Feel the Scorpio

If you don’t like the energy of the fixed, water sign Scorpio, I’d like to suggest you take a vacation – to another planet (I have a few I could recommend).

A few days ago, the sun, moon (which has moved on) and Venus all moved into Scorpio. Later in the month, the sun and Venus will meet up with Saturn whose been hanging out in Scorpio for a couple years.

The images of Halloween are Scorpionic as they involve death, a subject we avoid for the other eleven months of the year. All cultures seem to have a month to honor the dead and in our western world, we chose Scorpio (end of October through mid November). Scorpio is willing to talk about death and any other subject that needs discussing, subjects others would like to avoid.

Scorpio is known for its emotional intensity and desire to connect which leads to sexual desire. In a larger sense, I think of Scorpio as interested in penetration – of body and emotion.

With so many planets in Scorpio right now, it’s an awful good time to penetrate those emotions and when you’re down there, possibly throw a few out. Emotions come in all flavors and Scorpio will traverse them all while others prefer staying in the pastel colors of a Disney experience.

I suggest throwing a few emotions out because that is one of Scorpio’s difficulties – letting go. Scorpio is a fixed sign which applies itself to the water energy creating intense, penetrating and obsessive thoughts. And we know what thoughts do . . .

Personally, I find the sign of Scorpio to be a delight for its intelligence and emotional honesty. Don’t bother lying to this sign, not that you’d want to since you can be completely honest in return. Whew, isn’t that a relief? (Pisces is great this way too).

If you decide to stay on Earth this November to experience Extreme Scorpio, here are some ways to engage and enjoy the energy:

Scorpio Movies

Many of our famous directors have Scorpio energy so finding intense emotional energy on the big screen (or little screen) should be easy.

Anything directed by Scorpio Martin Scorsese should do the trick from old, intense classics like Raging Bull and Taxi Driver (with Scorpio Jodi Foster taking on a difficult and taboo role) to more modern intensity such as The Wolf of Wall Street (with Scorpio Leonardo DiCaprio as lead).

One of my Scorpio favorites is Jaws, directed by Scorpio moon Steven Spielberg and featuring two Scorpio suns, Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss, in the deep water searching for a killer shark. If you don’t like Scorpio men after this one, you might want to have your blood checked.

A different kind of Scorpio energy – that of the taboo – can be found in the movies of Hanif Kureishi (who has Saturn conjunct Venus in Scorpio). Remember that My Beautiful Laundrette came out in 1985 while its subject may seem commonplace today. The Mother, which deals with mom’s sexuality, will probably always have a bit of the taboo. No one wants to discuss this.

Scorpio Actors

A personal favorite, Toni Collette conveys emotion like no other. Astrotheme says her moon is in Virgo which tends to think about its emotions rather than expressing them. However, the Pluto conjunct Venus in Collette’s chart seems to give her an added Scorpio boost.

Tilda Swinton has taken on some very interesting roles in her career, my favorite the classic Caravaggio. That’s a Scorpio movie to so add it to the list. Caravaggio’s emotions are raw – art, love, sexuality, betrayal. Good stuff with no parent filters, no romance filters.

Matthew McConaughey wears his Scorpio sexual charisma like a loose shirt. Wait, he does that too! This man loves being a Scorpio and you can love it too! Enjoy. You don’t even need to listen to what he says.

Ryan GoslingI’ve blogged about the stare, very Scorpio. A bit annoying too, really.

Scorpio Authors

For classic Scorpio check out Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Scorpio in the northern hemisphere is cold and rainy so you should have time to make it through a work or two this late fall and winter.

Scorpio Margaret Atwood was described in a review once as like cilantro – you either love or hate her. Scorpio’s intensity creates equally strong reactions as we see with Atwood’s reviewer. One of her famous novels The Handmaid’s Tale has been described as a “feminist dystopia.” Say it can’t happen here?

I’ve got to add Neil Gaiman in here for Coraline, so wonderfully Scorpio! Lonely child Coraline discovers a perfect mother living next door! And she can stay forever if . . . she removes her eyes and replaces them with buttons. A high price to pay for perfect love!

Scorpio Musicians

Lying in bed the other night I thought I’d like to hear some Adam Ant. The universe, as usual, provided and at the coffee shop a week later I heard Ant Music.

Adam Ant was aware of his Scorpio-ness, even putting the signs of the zodiac for his musicians on the album cover (back in the day, you had “records” in big, square cardboard containers). Ant sings in Friend or Foe, “I want those who get to know me to become admirers or my enemies.” Open, obvious Scorpio here.

Scorpio Diana Krall is my pick for these upcoming cold, November nights. Her voice will melt the ice, heat the logs and warm the cider. Peel me a grape . . .

Scorpio Politician

In the US, Scorpio is also the time of politics. It’s interesting that we have our voting during a time of emotional intensity rather than a time of intellectual curiosity (such as in June in Gemini).

Well, let’s take a look around and see what Scorpio politicians linger about . . . Oh, here’s one.

Hillary Clinton. Although it looks like she’s going to run for president and many think she will win, I wonder if that will happen. From a purely political standpoint, Clinton divides people. Wait, that’s an astrological standpoint as well as people love or hate Scorpio.

Saturn will be transiting Clinton’s first house the entire election cycle. Saturn in the first might be seen as bestowing that great responsibility she is seeking, but it’s also a great burden to carry a heavy stick on your back for two years. It might hurt and make her ill. Saturn, I mean time, will tell.

Feel the Scorpio!

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Creative Astrology

Astrology to me isn’t a belief system but simply a description. But like all descriptions or belief systems, it can get in the way of direct experience. Creativity, I believe, is the key to having descriptions, thoughts or beliefs but not getting trapped by them.

A local aura reader quoted her late husband as saying that people are like light bulbs and that every belief is like a sticker put on that bulb. The more stickers you put on that bulb, the less light that shines through. To shine fully, you need to remove the stickers.

Astrology has symbolism for this very idea in the planet Mercury. Mythological Mercury takes messages between the gods. Astrological Mercury delivers messages between the parts of your personality.

Imagine being dropped in a new country and not speaking the language but being provided an interpreter. While it’s nice to have an interpreter who will tell you not only what everyone is saying but what everyone is doing, you still wish you could speak the language and directly experience this new, interesting country.

You might even get tired of having an interpreter around all day. You might get the urge to run into the town square and eat something unknown from one of those food carts forgetting that you can’t be understood.

What’s interesting, too, about belief, is how it projects our own fears right back to us. Thinking the other day about doomsday prophecies that come from the new age movement, religion, science and technology (interesting – they come from all disciplines), I was struck, again, but how most of the scenarios of our doomsday prophecies arise from our own actions.

If we examine closely our beliefs, it’s interesting to see how clearly they match our personality. Are our beliefs simply a projection of self?

The prevalence of doomsday prophecies would suggest we don’t think as highly of ourselves as we’d like to believe.

All of the inner planets in astrology represent the personality as we define it – moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter and Saturn are where we connect with society and bring those characteristics into our personality.

Astrology also contains symbolism for a way out of the personality – the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Uranus creates a crack in the egg of the personality. Neptune dissolves what’s left and then Pluto transforms this into new energy (which some call evolution).

Does that sound fun or terrifying?

Astrology has the symbolism for its own dissolution. Astrology is a ship with an escape hatch. Fascinating.

Creative astrology, then, might be a path that takes us into our personality then out the other side, like a black hole, into direct experience.

While trying to understand why we get trapped in what’s called dogma, a friend provided the analogy of fishing. The key, he said, is to take the food off the hook without getting caught in the hook.

One way of not getting caught is to have creative fun with your beliefs. The image that comes to mind is of the house cat chasing its food around like a toy. The cat protects its food and surely takes it very seriously; but at the same time, it’s sometimes just a toy.

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Ohio Political Fight Club: Mandel and Pillich

Since the Ohio governor’s race is such a snooze-fest, it’s time to move on to a more exciting, raucous, energy-fueled political competition – that of Ohio Treasurer.

Incumbent Treasurer and Republican Josh Mandel is being challenged by Democrat Connie Pillich.

Let’s see how their personal characteristics measure up against the job description. Since neither is in the room interviewing we’ll just have to use astrology.

What else can we do?

Ohio Treasurer

From Ballotpedia, I found these duties for Ohio Treasurer:

The treasurer is the chief financial officer of the state and serves as the state’s banker. The most important duty of the treasury is to safeguard the taxpayer’s money in Ohio. The office is responsible, among other things, for:

  1. managing more than $160 billion in financial assets
  2. investing the state’s money and manage an investment portfolio that exceeds $15 billion
  3. tracking and maintaining a database of all unclaimed property in Ohio
  4. providing financial advice to state agencies
  5. providing financial education and resources

Just five duties? I may be pursuing the wrong career . . . But looking at these duties suggests a finance background is needed.

Then again, what’s the difference between balancing $160 billion in assets, $160 million, $160 thousand or $160 but a bunch of zeros?

I didn’t find any needed personality traits in the job description (is a personality needed?) so consulted eHow and found this:

Characteristics of an Effective [State] Treasurer

In addition to being skilled in the fields of management, business, and finance, a good Treasurer must also possess traits and values such as honesty, integrity, and care when it comes to accuracy of all records and transactions. She must also have common sense, an open-book policy on financial matters (transparency for the public helps build trust, credibility and accountability), and a watchful eye (the Treasurer’s office must keep track of income, expenses and other finances).

Mandel and Pillich

Examining the curriculum vitae of each candidate, there’s quite a bit in common – military background, law degrees and, of course, interest in political office. Pillich additionally has an MBA.

Astrology represents this well. Our candidates have these astrological traits in common:

  • Pluto conjunct sun – need for power and control
  • Moon in Aries – aggression and need for dominance
  • Mars square (ish) to the sun and Pluto – dominance thwarted creates irritability, frustration and sabotaging behavior

The planets represent energies or drives while the signs represent the characteristics of that energy or drive. Mandel is Libra sun while Pillich is Virgo sun. Pluto’s need for power over the lives of others or ability to vanquish opponents completely filters through these signs.

Libra (air) is partnership oriented with a sense of justice and fairness. As the sign of the sun’s “fall,” Libra doesn’t have a strong sense of identity and tends to reflect off others to define self.

Virgo (earth) is work and health oriented focusing on perfection of details with an anxious and worrying nature. Virgo can burn out its nerves through worrying and excessive focus on minutiae.

Mandel’s Pluto square Mars makes him extremely controlling in personal and family relationships. Pluto’s fear of loss must monitor what everyone is doing which can create the need in others to escape. When this happens, Pluto feels betrayed.

Pillich’s Pluto square(ish) Mars creates a need for order of the environment that creates and obsessive-compulsive personality who is excessively disturbed by the typeo in your document. This is someone who picks at every flaw, her own and others. Because no one can meet Pluto/sun Virgo perfection, people are driven away feeling flawed.

Saturn, a traditional malefic suggesting caution, restraint and contraction, is often our weakest link in the personality. Saturn for both candidates is in positive aspect to the sun. Pluto’s need for control is evolving them to work with Saturn.

Mandel’s Saturn in Leo (fire) suggests lack of confidence in self. Pillich’s in Capricorn (earth) suggests fear of failure. Pluto’s excessive control and inevitable loss will probably bring these lacks to our candidates in the way the Wizard of Oz bestows his gifts to Dorothy and her friends.

Mandel must feel confident and valuable in self not to have to control others in order to feel admired. Pillich needs to feel self-respect and self-love so as not to control others to feel a sense of perfection.

There are lots of points of connection between these two charts. If they ever chose to work together, they will find common ground.

Job Description Assessment

1. managing more than $160 billion in financial assets

Both Mandel and Pillich have Mercury in Virgo, the sign of details. Libra sun is more prone to enjoy money than Virgo sun which balances the checkbook daily and notices that you didn’t donate to United Way because you claimed you had to buy medicine for your mother but today have shown up in a new outfit.

Although Libra loves to spend money, it’s a smart air sign that can balance the checkbook. Mandel has both Mercury and Venus in Virgo which can override the Libra energy.

Let’s call this equal.

2. investing the state’s money and manage an investment portfolio that exceeds $15 billion

Both candidates have moon in Aries which is prone to extremeness and inflated ego which leads to impulsive actions. Virgo sun may have a wee bit more control of this inflated ego than Libra sun.

Both have Pluto control so we’ll call this equal as well.

3. tracking and maintaining a database of all unclaimed property in Ohio

I have to go Office Space here and ask, “Does the Treasurer actually, physical maintain the database? Or does someone else do it?”

Show me the chart of the CIOs and we’ll re-visit.

4. providing financial advice to state agencies

I haven’t known a Libra or Virgo that wasn’t willing to provide advice at all times. Libra is a cardinal sign and all cardinal signs are well-known for offering unsolicited advice. The moon sign Aries is also cardinal which both candidates possess.

Both get perfect scores on this one. We’ll call it equal.

5. providing financial education and resources

Now here I’d say that Virgo is an educator personality while Libra is more an artist personality. But Mandel does have Mercury and Venus in Virgo, so he has the ability to teach and might also educate with more finesse.

We’ll call this equal as well.

Personality Traits

1. honesty, integrity, and care when it comes to accuracy of all records and transactions

While there is a sign or two known for sometimes distorting truth, all signs can lie in the particular way of their element. For example, air signs (like Libra) may lie by making up pleasant-sounding stories that divert from the ugly reality. Earth signs (like Virgo), in contrast, may lie by omitting facts or answering so literally you won’t get the truth unless you nail the question on the head.

While it’s difficult to sum up a chart in terms of total honesty and integrity, both candidates have Aries moon which is a bit over-the-top in its self-perception for those of earth or water sensibility. But you definitely need this strong assertive quality in politics.

Let’s say neither appears overly dishonest or less than average in level of integrity. Again, we’ll call it equal.

2. common sense, an open-book policy on financial matters (transparency for the public helps build trust, credibility and accountability)

What is common sense? Dictionaries speak to “sound judgment” and “practical sense.” Earth signs, like Pillich’s Virgo, are definitely considered more practical than fire, water or air signs. But Mandel does have Mercury and Venus in Virgo so can’t be called totally impractical.

Pluto conjunct sun is never an “open book” because of its need for control. Control means I need to always have a trump card.

Let’s call this one equal too.

3. a watchful eye (the Treasurer’s office must keep track of income, expenses and other finances)

With Pluto conjunct sun, both candidates have a watchful eye, so watchful that they both probably need eye drops.

Equal.

The final determination

Don’t you hate when both candidates are the same, politically and astrologically? This makes it soooo difficult to choose and, of course, no one wants to resort to party politics and vote for someone just ’cause he/she is a Republican or Democrat.

But here’s a tie-breaker.

One interesting piece of information you learn as an astrologer is the place of birth. Pillich was born in New York (a foreigner) while Mandel was born in Cleveland (a native).

Pillich’s site says “The youngest of five, Connie grew up in a working class neighborhood.”

Was this in Ohio? New York? Somewhere else?

We’ve got two candidates with similar education, similar values, similar military background and similar astrological charts. One already has the office and was born in Ohio. One doesn’t have the office and was born in New York.

What’s an Ohioan to do?

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Saturn in Sagittarius FAQ

Dear Sagittarians, please sit down.

A little over two years ago Scorpios had to sit down for “the talk.” Now it’s your turn.

In just a few months at the end of December, Saturn, the great taskmaster, is visiting your sign. He visits every 29 years and stays for two and half years.

Saturn is the planet of form and contraction and manifests as responsibility, duty, obligation and serious pursuits. Saturn gone wild can’t relax and is always working, always doing something productive.

The Saturn-in-Your-Sign Task Force has developed a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) to make the Saturn transit easier.

Will I have any fun in the next two years or will life consist only of duty and responsibility?

Do not fear. People can have fun during a Saturn transit. For the first seven months of Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter will be transiting Leo while Uranus will continue its long transit of Aries. That’s a grand fire trine. Sagittarius’ fire sign buddies will make sure there are impulsive uprisings (Uranus) and regal gatherings (Jupiter) so there will definitely be excitement.

What may happen is that one evening you will be walking out the door to a Royal Costume Party hosted by a group of eccentric friends with plans for lots of interesting people speaking ten different languages when you’re suddenly struck by the urge to stay home.

You may have an unusual feeling that others sometimes identify as “comfort” where the known is chosen over the unknown. The Royal Costume Party may feel empty for some reason you can’t quite identify.

Jupiter and Uranus will come get you but Saturn may identify “fun” as a different experience than in the past. Experience for its own sake may not have the same thrill and a deeper, more serious, level of experience may be sought.

You’ll have “fun” but what’s called “fun” may change.

Should I have a drink now and again to make this transit easier?

While intoxicants will be readily available during this transit as Saturn in Sagittarius will square Neptune in Pisces, beware the square as you can’t drink Saturn away. When Jupiter moves into Virgo in summer 2015, any overdone Neptune-in-Pisces will put you squarely over the toilet as Virgo purifies you.

The thing about Sagittarius (and Pisces) is that it seeks heightened, otherworldly experiences to escape from the humdrum of life on earth with its bills, nagging spouses, demanding employers and annoying traffic lights.

The Neptune-in-Pisces lure will be strong as it brings the mysticism of “culture” around the ancient and ever-present desire in humans to feel heightened sensation. It’s culture, of course, but also spacing out, of course.

A little Neptune is okay but remember that Neptune has no boundaries so “a little” and “too much” have no line of demarcation in the foggy night. You may need to find a Virgo pal to provide a litmus test and, naturally, do the driving.

How will this affect my freedom?

Saturn and freedom are rarely spoken in the same sentence, it’s true. If you want to rise past seeing Saturn as a cage where you are forced to do chores, you have to think about Saturn in terms of discipline.

For those that love freedom (Sagittarians and others), any bit of restraint makes the desire for freedom greater creating an escape mentality (and sometimes a persecution complex). Sagittarius is a fire sign loving sports and athleticism, so concepts of discipline can tie right into that.

No one is an athlete without spending many of their waking hours in vigorous physical activity. This is the same with Sagittarian dreams and visions. If you like simply the pleasure of dreaming and envisioning, you don’t need Saturn, just a comfy chair.

If you want your vision to materialize or crystallize in this world of form, you need Saturn. Saturn is form. To create the form, you need to stay in one place for more than five minutes. “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” is a description of Sagittarian restless energy.

Will people finally understand my ideas?

Saturn is more cautious and restrained than your Sagittarian ruling planet Jupiter. With Saturn in your sign, you may feel others are cramping your ability to express or you may feel internally that your ideas have lost their energy.

Once again, we must think about how you expect others to be inspired by your ideas. Putting a bumper sticker on your car is one way, but you rarely hear people say, “I was eating meat, but then I saw this really inspiring bumper sticker and changed my ways.”

You can also tell people point blank in the middle of enjoying a hamburger why they shouldn’t eat meat. That, too, proves ineffective as it simply pisses off people.

Saturn will remind you that to be truly effective in sharing your ideas, you must provide a form for people to understand it. For example, people like things in writing. For the past 3,000 years or so, books were the way to bring credibility to your ideas.

Today’s world has many more clever ways than books to express ideas. Saturn is telling you that people won’t listen unless you create a form that lends to authoritativeness.

The past 3,000 years of both forced and willing idea conversion suggests that the form of writing is more effective than simple speech. Speech is transient, although today is less transient than in the past.

The fear of death is a very powerful tool in converting people to one’s ideas. Both fear and death are very Saturnian on the extreme negative side. Sagittarius is optimistic by nature, so hopefully you won’t go this route.

It’s also important for Sagittarius to walk the talk as Jupiter is generous and doesn’t mind if you call yourself a vegan and have bacon now and again. Saturn, however, has a non-negotiable “no bacon” policy.

How will this affect my health?

Saturn is both contraction and discipline, so if you want to lose weight or tone your body, this transit provides the perfect opportunity. Since Saturn may at times make you may feel less gregarious than usual, the physical discipline will restore your natural exuberance.

Sports is a Sagittarius (and fire sign) pursuit and in today’s news, as my astrologer friend pointed out, you’ll notice the focus on athlete’s personal lives where the aggression of the field has made its way into the home. Athleticism is competitive by nature and turning off the aggressive principle is difficult.

With Saturn in Sagittarius, you may feel frustrated because the world seems to be caging you in. In response, you may at times be aggressive. Sports, activity and any kind of workout will be both good for the body and soul. It will also keep you out of trouble.

Will I win the lottery?

Sagittarius is known for its luck, but Saturn hanging about means that if you do win the lottery or have any other windfall, your creditors will be standing outside the door the next day.

Remember, a Saturn transit is two years. If you pay your bills (and wash the dishes) now, when Saturn passes you’ll be home free to spend all your money traveling the world and doing fun stuff.

With Saturn in Sagittarius, you can save up for some nice, new luggage. Maybe when Saturn passes in two years, trips into outer space will be available and affordable.

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Sagittarian Satirists

Satirists, like all professions, draw all signs of the zodiac who then put their particular energy into the profession.

Some professions, like medical doctors, evoke images that come to us through myth, history and television. Do those becoming doctors all have the same motivation? Some may be drawn to problem solving; some to helping others; some to achievement; some to pleasing a parent or society. There are many reasons people become doctors.

While reading an article about satirist Jonathan Swift, I noticed Swift’s birthday (November 30) was the same as my personal favorite satirist Mark Twain.

Looking for a modern satirist born around that time I found the famous Jon Stewart, born November 28.

What’s the quality that these early-degree Sagittarians bring to satire? Why are they interested in satire?

Sagittarius

Sagittarius has a disease that the pharmaceutical industry has not solved. It’s called “foot-in-the-mouth” disease.

Foot-in-the-mouth’s main characteristic is that you often say what you think BEFORE you consider the impact to others of what you are saying. (How you do it any other way is a bit of a mystery to me).

The term “foot in the mouth” is a bit interesting. According to this site, the term originated from putting your “foot in it,” “it” being something foul. The first recorded use was in 1770s referring to an Irish politician known for making verbal gaffes.

Some articles say it came from “hoof and mouth” disease, but don’t indicate how it transformed into a verbal gaffe.

From an astrological (and physiological) perspective, the mouth is at the top of your body, the foot at the bottom. Aries rules the head (and controls the mouth, if you can call it control), while Pisces rules the feet.

Aries is impulsive (and also known to have foot-in-the-mouth disease) while Pisces is more empathetic and receptive. Suggesting your foot should stay away from your mouth suggests Pisces perception doesn’t belong with Aries verbal projection. Pisces is nothing if not perceptive of its emotional surroundings.

Sagittarius, I believe, is a bit more prone to this disease because of its combination of Aries and Pisces sympathies. Like Aries, it is a fire sign so expressive and bold. Like Pisces, it is interesting in finding meaning; the fire in Sagittarius is interested in promoting this meaning to other people.

Sagittarius is using Aries to promote Pisces. And sometimes the foot gets stuck in the mouth. But Sagittarius still meant it (because it’s true).

Mark Twain

Of the three satirists noted in this blog, I’m most familiar with 19th century American satirist Mark Twain. My own perception of Twain is that his satire is trying to both understand and explain the contradictions in the world around him. Sagittarius seeks meaning and the world has this habit of teaching you one thing and doing another.

Take Letters from Earth, where Twain explores the many contradictions of man’s beliefs. My favorite is the concept of heaven:

First of all, I recall to your attention the extraordinary fact with which I began. To wit, that the human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys — yet he has left it out of his heaven! The very thought of it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything — even his queer heaven itself — to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax. From youth to middle age all men and all women prize copulation above all other pleasures combined, yet it is actually as I have said: it is not in their heaven; prayer takes its place.

In my hometown of Cleveland, we are quite aware of contradictions between what we enjoy on earth and what we plan to enjoy in heaven which is why we sing:

“In heaven there is no beer,
that’s why we drink it here.”

We drink beer when we sing it.

While Twain has been criticized for making certain races look bad through the traits of his characters, Twain, for me, leaves no one out of his satire (Sagittarius – foot in the mouth – remember?). Twain even takes on Adam and Eve. Here’s an excerpt from Adam’s Diary:

MONDAY.–This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the way. It is always hanging around and following me about. I don’t like this; I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals…. Cloudy today, wind in the east; think we shall have rain…. WE? Where did I get that word– the new creature uses it.

A future Sunday:

SUNDAY.–Pulled through. This day is getting to be more and more trying. It was selected and set apart last November as a day of rest. I had already six of them per week before. This morning found the new creature trying to clod apples out of that forbidden tree.

Who would have the guts to write the diaries of Adam and Eve but a Sagittarius?

Another Sagittarian trait Twain had in abundance was the love of travel. Because Sagittarius searches for meaning, it needs the perspective of other people, other places – the foreign.

Jonathan Swift

While I’m not as familiar with 18th century Irish satirist Jonathan Swift, I did discover that he’s the author of a satire of which I am a bit familiar, A Modest Proposal.

In A Modest Proposal, Swift has a suggestion to solve the social ills of poverty, unplanned children and overpopulation – eat children:

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

I don’t recall my 12th grade English teacher’s interpretation of this work, but its over-the-top satire seems to be calling awareness to solve social problems. Swift was clearly bothered by the unsolved poverty around him.

In A Satirical Elegy for a deceased person of importance, Swift is clear that the gains of this world mean nothing in the face of death.

His Grace! impossible! what, dead!
Of old age too, and in his bed!
And could that mighty warrior fall,
And so inglorious, after all?
Well, since he’s gone, no matter how,
The last loud trump must wake him now;
And, trust me, as the noise grows stronger,
He’d wish to sleep a little longer.
And could he be indeed so old
As by the newspapers we’re told?
Threescore, I think, is pretty high;
‘Twas time in conscience he should die!
This world he cumber’d long enough;
He burnt his candle to the snuff;
And that’s the reason, some folks think,
He left behind so great a stink.
Behold his funeral appears,
Nor widows’ sighs, nor orphans’ tears,
Wont at such times each heart to pierce,
Attend the progress of his hearse.
But what of that? his friends may say,
He had those honours in his day.
True to his profit and his pride,
He made them weep before he died.
Come hither, all ye empty things!
Ye bubbles rais’d by breath of kings!
Who float upon the tide of state;
Come hither, and behold your fate!
Let pride be taught by this rebuke,
How very mean a thing’s a duke;
From all his ill-got honours flung,
Turn’d to that dirt from whence he sprung.

While I’ve never read Gulliver’s Travels, I learned a lot from the online Cliff Notes (I have a strange sense of high school guilt but wish there was an Internet when I was in high school!). In the Cliff Notes we read of Swift:

His life was one of continual disappointment, and satire was his complaint and his defense — against his enemies and against humankind. People, he believed, were generally ridiculous and petty, greedy and proud; they were blind to the “ideal of the mean.” This ideal of the mean was present in one of Swift’s first major satires, The Battle of the Books (1697). There, Swift took the side of the Ancients, but he showed their views to be ultimately as distorted as those of their adversaries, the Moderns. In Gulliver’s last adventure, Swift again pointed to the ideal of the mean by positioning Gulliver between symbols of sterile reason and symbols of gross sensuality. To Swift, Man is a mixture of sense and nonsense; he had accomplished much but had fallen far short of what he could have been and what he could have done.

Man as a mixture of sense and nonsense. I think Mark Twain could have related to that. As could our modern satirist -

Jon Stewart

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know this writer doesn’t pay for television so doesn’t get to see much Jon Stewart, a contemporary satirist known for satirical news (what other kind of news is there today?).

Searching for Stewart online, I found I can stream his shows (thank you Jon!). Watching the September 15, 2014 edition where he explores the current American initiative to fight in the Middle East, I see the Twainian and Swiftian frustration with human contradiction and rationalization.

Stewart explores the changing acronyms for a group of people we’re proposing to eliminate (ISIS? ISL? What changed here in a week?), the reluctance of authorities to call a war a war and the changing political opinions when your political opponents actually do what you want.

According to Astrotheme, Stewart has both sun and moon in Sagittarius, as well as the planet Mercury. Stewart has Uranus and Pluto in Virgo with some wide squares to this Sagittarian energy. Pluto square suggests compulsion, in this case to call out the disconnects between what people say and what they do.

Sagittarius sun and moon is both conscious and unconscious quest for meaning. Because of this drive, Sagittarius needs experience and will try things others may turn away from. I’m not referring to “adventure tourism” where you jump off a cliff for no reason (to experience heightened physical sensation and feel alive), but the need to experience others’ realities by trying on their clothes, eating their food, experimenting with their lifestyle, taking their hallucinogens.

Moon in Sagittarius finds comfort in heightened sensation so often is associated with a partying nature but can also be focused on more spiritual disciplines which take you past the humdrum contradictions of life on earth.

Transiting Saturn will enter Sagittarius in late December 2014 for a 2.5 year journey through the sign. As Stewart has three planets in Sagittarius squaring two others (Uranus and Pluto) in his chart, he will go through many changes in the next two years.

Saturnian change involves contraction, discipline, responsibility and authority – none of which is common to the sign of Sagittarius. Stewart may have to take on responsibility of a kind he’s not used to handling – the kind that’s a bit boring and may involve drudgery.

Ask a Sagittarius

A professor from the University of Delaware found with a small sample of students that liked satirical news that:

Such viewers exhibit high “need for cognition,” a psychological term used to describe people who engage in and enjoy arguments, ideas and the analysis of problems and their solutions.

The early-degree Sagittarians (born late November) are the purest of the Sagittarian energy and some of the most open to toss around your crazy questions, radical notions, random connections or bizarre ideas.

Remember that when you “Ask a Sagittarius,” you may receive a response that points out that you love sex in this world, but you have left it out of your future, perfect world.

Be prepared.

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Ohio Political Fight Club: Ohio is Crying

For the last three days, Ohioans have been crying. You’ll find them under trees, in parks, stopped at the side of the road – crying.

Three days ago Governor John Kasich said he would not hold public debates with Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald.

What’s the fun of an election if there is no debate?

It’s like Fourth of July without fireworks. It’s like dinner with no dessert. It’s like the Cavs without LeBron James.

According to this MSNBC article Kasich won’t debate FitzGerald simply because FitzGerald has no chance of winning:

“Despite good faith efforts on our side, the implosion of his campaign two months ago put a pause on debate negotiations, and then the recent abandonment by his party and giveaway of his campaign cash seems to now have finished off any serious effort by their campaign altogether,” said Kasich spokesman Connie Wehrkamp. “We think moving on is the best thing to do.”

Maybe that’s why Fidel Castro hasn’t debated anyone in 55 years – no one has a chance at beating him.

Should Ohio just skip the gubernatorial election entirely since FitzGerald has no chance of winning? Why don’t we just save all that money spent on having an election?

Moon Signs

Without knowing time of birth, the moon is a difficult body to track as it moves so quickly around our globe. Kasich’s moon is confidently in Capricorn while FitzGerald’s could be Capricorn or Aquarius.

Watching FitzGerald’s campaign, I’m now convinced of an Aquarius moon. I’m suspecting not getting a driver’s license had more to do with rebelliousness than absentmindedness.

But I’ll never really know.

There will be no debates where the moderator can look FitzGerald in the eye and ask:

“Explain why you didn’t have a valid driver’s license for ten years? As a politician, didn’t this strike you as important? What were you thinking?”

As for Kasich’s Capricorn moon, well, I think it’s time to talk about the less pleasant aspects of this placement. The moon is reactive and, consequently, represents the emotions which tend to shift rather quickly from internal and external stimuli.

The moon is ruled by Cancer and Capricorn is opposite Cancer. That means the moon doesn’t really like being in Capricorn and is called its detriment sign.

The moon wants to react and Capricorn says, “No, control yourself instead.”

That’s an awesome trait for some leading troops into a battle field or for those times when you must suck up a bad situation and move forward.

Where this moon sign sometimes causes problems is in relationships when others want to know how you feel. In relationships, Capricorn moon can be viewed as emotionally closed off.

Since the moon is reaction, regardless of whether that reaction is apparent, Capricorn moon reacts in Capricorn ways – creating order, control and system.

Thinking Outside the Earth-Sign Box

Capricorn is about structure, rules and order. It’s quite logical that the Taurus sun (earth) and Capricorn moon (earth) Kasich would think that because FitzGerald has no money, no party support and no chance of winning that we should essentially ignore that he’s running.

That’s very practical, very earth-like. I agree with Kasich – FitzGerald will never win.

Yet, this voter is beginning to wonder, beginning to get suspicious that American elections are won by the candidate with the most money. It’s been a nagging thought for many years now . . . since the 1970s in fact.

As money represents values, more backing of money is representative of more value by the populace. That makes sense.

The one wee problem is that we don’t have equal amounts of money in which to “value” a candidate. Another complication is those (entities) with more money might also be those that employ masses of people. The employers and the employees have stake in which candidates are “valued” with large sums of money. The employees are a great part of why those employers have lots of money.

We are connected.

As Pluto transits Capricorn, our societal structures are being transformed, evolved. Rigid political structures are called authoritarian and a few countries around the world are in the process of dismantling those governments (transiting Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn).

As Kasich undergoes his own Pluto transit to his Capricorn moon, he might consider authoritarian energy in his own life. That Pluto transit energizes a natal T-square of Uranus (in Cancer), Saturn/Neptune (in Libra) and moon (in Capricorn).

Does calling off debates during an election signal authoritarian tendencies? Who said you should only debate when your opponent has a chance of winning? Is politics off-limits now to those without money?

Why can’t we hear what FitzGerald has to say even if he can’t win? (Those that can’t win often say some interesting things). Maybe we want to see how nutty FitzGerald truly is so we don’t vote for him in a different, future election.

Kasich’s Powerful Future

With Pluto transiting his moon and next spring Jupiter transiting his Pluto, Kasich does have some intense pressures from his power base, whoever they are. When Jupiter transits Kasich’s natal Pluto in Leo next June, Kasich will definitely buy a new set of clothes and may also change his image. Leo represents leadership and charisma. With Pluto in that sign (squaring Kasich’s sun), this is where Kasich will evolve.

Kaisch’s cardinal T-square is about tension in interpersonal relationships from family (Cancer), to partners (Libra) to society (Capricorn). The sign missing is Aries, which is where natal Mercury is placed, but too far into Aries to form a grand cross. However, transiting Uranus in Aries is adding fuel to this fire. Aries “me” energy is challenging the balance of interpersonal relationships.

The last paragraph of the MSNBC article is a quote from Kasich and has this Aries-square quality.

“All I’m considering now is winning and keeping Ohio going,” Kasich said. ”When I was very young … I’d see the governors walking around, and I’m like, ‘Gosh, that’s the governor there.’ Now I’m the governor. … This is the job I want. Period.”

Period. We’re done. No debate.

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The Virgo Litterbox

On Labor Day, I stopped at the pet store to get some cat litter. It’s America, stores are open almost all holidays so why not? I followed a dog into the store that was much happier to be there than me (probably because he doesn’t have to pay).

Oh yeah, and why are dogs allowed and not cats? Which is the most common house pet, huh?

A bit to my surprise, the store was packed and product thin as the store must have had a special sale. My surprise didn’t last long, you might have guessed, as I’m an astrologer and Labor Day does fall in the sign of Virgo, which rules pets.

Virgo also rules work, health, food and diet. Virgo is ruled by Mercury which is learning and communication. It’s no wonder we go back-to-school in Virgo. It’s also no surprise that Labor Day falls in this sign.

I’m guessing the vitamin store was packed too but I didn’t stop there. There’s not enough time in the day for all the Virgo.

Why the pets?

That Virgo rules work and health makes sense as Virgo, being an earth sign, is concerned with the material world. Taurus builds and buys, Capricorn owns and controls, so Virgo must do the project planning and logistics.

Virgo manages daily world details from getting to work on time to making sure you have enough vitamin B12 and don’t pass out on the desk when the boss is walking by.

How do pets fit in?

Like the tai chi symbol, each sign has a polarity, a complementary opposite. For Virgo, that sign is Pisces.

Like the tai chi symbol, each month is ruled by a sign but contains the seed of the polarity which manifests during the full moon (when the moon is opposite the sun).

Like the tai chi symbol, when a sign becomes extreme, it becomes its opposite.

Why the fastidious, keep-your-feet-off-the-table, oh-my-god-did-I-eat-butter, Virgo would rule drooling, shedding, smelly animals is a mystery only if you don’t think about Pisces.

Virgo has the attention to detail that is needed to maintain domestic animals while Pisces supplies the empathy for beings that are dependent upon us without utility. Virgo love of pets involves Pisces feelings of love and tenderness.

Pet Extremes

On the Virgo-Pisces extreme for pets, we have animal hoarding and, in certain cases, animal rescue.

This article is by a psychologist who has worked with individuals who’ve hoarded animals. She notes that the individuals have a great capacity for love but may have had some trauma or loss that triggered the need for the conflict-free love that comes from pets.

Pisces is the mutable water sign, the last sign of the zodiac and the most sensitive. Water signs don’t bounce back from trauma and loss the way the other elements can, especially fire, which rules the spirit. Air finds new interests and people. Earth has the fortitude to continue with practical matters and routine.

Water, though, flows downward naturally and can have a difficult time letting go of pain and injury. Water signs may also feel injured where other elements haven’t registered a notable event.

What’s interesting about hoarding of any kind is that it’s seen as an inability to categorize. Virgo, which is ruled by Mercury, is about analyzing and categorizing. Unbalanced Virgo-Pisces seems to run the gamut from over-categorizing obsessive-compulsive disorder to uncategorized hoarding.

Virgo is analysis, Pisces is synthesis. We need a little of both to be in balance.

Related to animal hoarding is animal rescue. Sometimes hoarders are rescuers and sometimes rescuers are reluctant to allow the pet to live with others when the environment is not perfect (another Virgo trait – perfectionism).

Pisces is the rescuer of the zodiac. This trait can create difficulties for the rescuer creating the need for Pisces to be rescued from its own rescuing efforts. This article suggests the rescuer identity is simply a means to create relationships.

Neptune Calling

Transiting Neptune is in Pisces, the sign it rules. Neptune entered Pisces in February 2012 and will be in Pisces through 2026. That’s a long time.

Neptune in Pisces should bring heightened spirituality. Neptune’s (and Pisces’) lower desire is for that same feeling through heightened sensation so expect continued increase in use of intoxicants, both legal and illegal.

Neptune and Pisces bring rain and fog and water, which we’ve already noticed. Now water issues, such as lack of water in the world and polluted water, are becoming more common.

Every Virgo season (end of August to end of September) until 2026, Neptune will be opposing some of that energy. Some full moons will be more intense than others depending upon which degree the moon lands and where Neptune is residing.

This month’s full moon is September 8 and will be in 16 degrees of Pisces. Neptune is only in five degrees of Pisces so it’s okay to be on the roads. But if you drink, take a cab.

I’ve never noticed the long-term influence that astrologers predict with full moons; but, then again, I’ve never really studied it. The full-moon energy is always present as the polarity (or unmanifested side) of any energy we experience.

What I have noticed, again since Labor Day, is that my pet cat has been chasing cobwebs (or, dare I say, ghosts) through the house. I thought I’d missed the full moon; but no, it just came early this month, while the moon was in Sagittarius.

Or maybe my cat is reminding me that this Virgo month she RULES. And if I forget, she will gladly wake me at three in the morning to remind me.

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The Comcast Family

When I tell people that I no longer care to pay for television, they immediately respond with the varying options available to me in my market. (Anecdotal evidence suggests Netflix has the best brand awareness in my market.)

What’s interesting to me, having been on this planet before the advent of cable television, is that there is no question about whether or not to pay for television. When paid television was created, it was considered an entertainment expense. Today, it appears, it has become a necessity. Paying for television is no different than paying for electricity or water. That’s probably because it’s often tied to two services that are increasingly essential – telephone and Internet.

According to this site, experimental television broadcast began in the early 1930s. At that time, Pluto was transiting Cancer, the sign of family and belonging.

Prior to Cancer, Pluto transited Gemini from 1884 to 1914. Gemini rules communication and during this critical time, most of our modern communication devices were created or being created: mass circulation newspapers, state education, radio, telephone and television.

At the end of Pluto in Gemini, we had our first “world” war. Wars are part of our known human history but a “world” war meant something important – we now saw ourselves as one world. We were now a world, not a family or a clan but a whole world.

How did that happen but from mass communication?

If we became one world in 1914, why did we fight instead of inviting each other for dinner?

As Pluto moved from Gemini to Cancer, the sign of family, Pluto did bring us together but unfortunately not at the dinner table. If Pluto in Gemini brought the “mass” to communication, Pluto in Cancer brought the world together through radio then television.

In 1947, television finally exploded after we ended our two “world” wars and had the capacity to develop it. By this time, Pluto in Leo was birthing the “Me Generation” who fought with their parents (in the 1960s), called themselves “hippies” and was expressive to the point of irresponsibility.

How would a group of youngsters across the country have amassed a movement without the power of image that came through television? What was “fame” prior to television? What was self-expression prior to television?

Hippies dropped out of the “establishment.” Was there always an establishment or was establishment a development of their parent’s generation?

Born in the Time of Television, I will never know.

The power of image and any portal that provides image is beyond what I can describe. It’s truly magical, like reality itself. As I often read, we’re not even sure how the eyes make sense of the world.

That we pay for image is understandable because of its great power and magic. As Neptune is transiting Pisces for many years to come, I expect this power to be better understood.

Possibly ingesting image does to your mind what ingesting food does to your body. Neptune in Pisces has brought water issues (such as pollution) to the surface and over its long transit may help us understand image issues and what they do to our mental and emotional health.

Hopefully we’ll get a little of Pisces’ opposing energy – Virgo – to do some picking through the garden to determine which plants are edible and which are weeds.

The Comcast Family

Comcast, the largest broadcast and cable company in the world, according to Wikipedia, was formed on June 28, 1963 as American Cable Systems. Interestingly, the current CEO, Brian Roberts (son of the founder), was also born on June 28 (1959).

Comcast was founded with sun in Cancer, the sign of mothering, nurturing, belonging and family. The moon was in Libra, the sign of partnership.

In this blog, we see early images of television viewing with families gathered together to watch a show. Today I’m sure that still occurs, but probably at a far lower percent as the choices are incredibly more abundant and the idea you watch what your mom watches has definitely gone out of style.

It’s quite interesting to me that television started as a family event then created extremely rebellious youth. That’s the power of image and mass communication.

Comcast was born at a time when television united families after the Pluto-in-Cancer loss of domestic life from 1914-1939. Now that transiting Pluto is in Capricorn, it opposes Comcast’s sun suggesting that the government will breakup the Comcast family.

Comcast is currently trying to merge with Time Warner Cable. Astrological indicators (Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries) suggest that not only will this be blocked, but Comcast may suffer some other Plutonian damage in the process either from breakup of the family business or excessive regulation.

Could Comcast be nationalized in some way?

In July 2015 when transiting Jupiter opposes Comcast’s natal Saturn in Aquarius, the company may receive the final outcome which will probably involve some communal (government?) stake in the business (Aquarius) and re-branding of certain portions of the business (Leo). From a business perspective, I’m not sure what it means but Jupiter in Leo says, “You can call it yours but you must give a part to the entire group as recompense.”

Natal Saturn in Aquarius doesn’t fit in with the group, is not playing by these ideal rules the group creates that do not consider family or personal relationships.

Possibly the government will do to media what it does to banks – says you have to give up market share to another brand.

I haven’t followed media as much as banking, but know that in banking the government doesn’t care what you’re called or how many pieces you have because it’s involved in all those pieces regardless.

Maybe it’s the same with media. I haven’t explored why the government regulated television conversion from analog to digital which seems odd for something that is just entertainment. Possibly that digital regulation represents the Pluto opposition which was in orb at the time (2009).

Brian Roberts

Brian Roberts, current Comcast CEO, has Uranus, Mars and Venus all in Leo. Jupiter will begin transiting these planets in spring of 2015. Uranus will also continue its transit of his moon in Aries.

At that time, Roberts may take impulsive and unexpected action. Roberts’ chart isn’t one of someone who speaks irresponsibly, but in his role as CEO he might find himself taking back his words as Jupiter creates a strong need to save a brand, save an image.

Roberts has natal Saturn (in Capricorn) opposing sun (in Cancer). Transiting Pluto has already been over that so the worst of the bargaining is actually over. The worst wear and tear of government versus security has passed. Transiting Saturn in Scorpio transiting Roberts’ natal Neptune then Jupiter in Scorpio suggests that some money was owed or demanded and that, too, has passed.

My own political saying is that it takes 20 years to hear the political truth, well past the time you can do anything about it. Likewise with this Pluto-in-Capricorn transit which affects both Comcast and Roberts personally, as they have the same birthday. Maybe in 20 years we’ll know what Comcast truly had to negotiate in regard to this business transaction.

Both Comcast and Roberts also have a little transiting Neptune action with transiting Neptune in Pisces opposing natal Pluto in Virgo. Neptune in Pisces is the big picture, Pluto in Virgo obsession about details. Through excessive focus on detail, Roberts may be missing a big smokescreen.

With Pluto calling the shots, I’m guessing Roberts has already signed on a dotted line. Pluto’s a difficult planet to manage if you want to hold on to anything that you have.

Dynastic fathers and sons

The astrological contacts between father Ralph Roberts (founder) and son Brian Roberts involve planets you’d expect from dynastic succession – Saturn (structure and authority) and Pluto (power and control).

Both father and son have Saturn in the sign opposite their sun. The father has Saturn on his son’s Pluto and Pluto on his son’s sun. Ralph, essentially, had no choice about being in the business.

Ralph may be a business man at some level with that moon in Aries, but he may have gravitated naturally to something less “successful.” Natal Saturn in Capricorn represents a compulsion to be successful and a compensating fear of failure.

When you’re left an empire, how can you fail?

When Ralph Roberts’ Leo energy gets activated next year with the help of Uranus transiting the moon, we may see some self-expressive behavior that ignores Saturn-in-Capricorn’s cautious advice and fear of failure and loss of reputation.

Roberts Sr. is at quite an advanced age (94) and we don’t know how much influence he exerts on his son. From the charts, I’m guessing it is a lot regardless of his ability to enforce his views. As Roberts Senior lessens his hold over time, Roberts Junior may be able to shed some of that Saturnian, paternal, influence and exert that Leo energy.

Jupiter in Virgo

While transiting Jupiter in Leo may ignite changes from Brian Roberts, it probably won’t be until late 2015 that changes to Comcast occur.

In October 2015, Jupiter will conjunct natal Pluto and Mars in Virgo in the Comcast chart. However, a few months later in January, Jupiter goes retrograde (apparent backward motion) and returns to the October 2015 placement in May 2016.

Virgo squares the natal Venus and Mercury in Gemini which suggests some limitation of communication.

CEO Roberts may want to take his vacation before Jupiter enters Virgo as it will be a trying time for the company.

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Good Planet, Bad Planet

Over a hearty but greasy breakfast, a friend and I discussed our Jupiter returns (in Cancer, surprise) and that it wasn’t quite what we expected. With Jupiter, you expect some mighty fine stuff to happen.

Jupiter, my friends, is the ancient astrological great benefic bestowing good upon all like Santa Claus who bestows gifts, a Jupiter figure who visits as the sun moves from Sagittarius (when Santa makes all those gifts and sends them to Walmart) into Capricorn (when Santa must then pay off his hardware store credit cards).

At an astrological conference a Saturn return ago (long time), an astrologer pointed out that Jupiter was not “good” or “bad” but bestowed its Jupiter trait of expansion upon what it finds.

If you have planted a seed in the ground, Jupiter expansion can help it grow into a big tomato.

Good Jupiter.

If you have a lump in some part of your body, Jupiter expansion might be the opposite of what you want.

Bad Jupiter.

Saturn, in contrast to Jupiter, is an ancient malefic bestowing hardship and contraction upon what it finds.

Saturn contraction on our little tomato seed might prevent it from growing into a juicy beefsteak.

Bad Saturn.

The lump in our body welcomes the contracting principle of Saturn. When you diet, you also enjoy a little Saturn – what is skinny if not Saturn?

Good Saturn.

Sai Weng

There is a Chinese story of a man who experiences events that others perceive as “good” or “bad.” Sai Weng replies to the praise and pity with equal temperance.

The Lost Horse

A man who lived on the northern frontier of China was skilled in interpreting events. One day for no reason, his horse ran away to the nomads across the border. Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, “What makes you so sure this isn’t a blessing?” Some months later his horse returned, bringing a splendid nomad stallion. Everyone congratulated him, but his father said, “What makes you so sure this isn’t a disaster?” Their household was richer by a fine horse, which the son loved to ride. One day he fell and broke his hip. Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, “What makes you so sure this isn’t a blessing?”

A year later the nomads came in force across the border, and every able-bodied man took his bow and went into battle. The Chinese frontiersmen lost nine of every ten men. Only because the son was lame did father and son survive to take care of each other. Truly, blessing turns to disaster, and disaster to blessing: the changes have no end, nor can the mystery be fathomed.

(from http://www.yellowbridge.com/literature/horse.php)

Good Planet, Bad Planet

In a piece of prose by Seng-Ts’an in Buddhist Scriptures, he says:

. . . To set up what you like against what you dislike, that is the disease of the mind . . .

This wisdom might be applied in the study of astrology. When we view Jupiter as expansion and Saturn as contraction, there is no value judgment.

Your property will expand. That can mean building a deck or it can mean that you will soon be aware of a sinkhole in the backyard.

Your property will contract. That can mean someone lays claim to your land or it can mean that you move into that cozy retirement home and leave lawn mowing to the young dads.

The problem for us astrologers is that if we leave our astrological interpretation to the properties of the planets without trying to determine the “good” or “bad” outcome, we may leave our inquisitive questioners wanting more.

Is that good or bad?

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Looking Competition in the Eye

If you were the only person on this planet, would you be tall or short? Beautiful or ugly? Without the “other,” many of your qualities would disappear in the void of reflection.

In The Cosmic Serpent, a book about DNA-like images in the visions of Amazonian shamans, we see a picture from Egypt of the double-headed serpent. This serpent, we learn, provides attributes. Attributes need duality.

If you were the only person on the planet, would you be happy or sad?

Without the “other,” you still have feelings. But how many of our feelings are reactions to the “other?”

If you removed all the feelings you have that are reactions to others, what is left? What do you feel that is not a reaction?

Competition

Aries, the first sign of the zodiac is known for its focus on self which includes competition. Its ruler, Mars, figures prominently in the charts of athletes (physical competitors). Aries’ focus on the self brings an independent and headstrong nature.

Opposite of Aries is Libra, the seventh sign of the zodiac known for its focus on others which includes partnerships from friendship to marriage to business ventures. Libra’s focus on others brings a dependent nature as the identity is formed through reflection off others.

This self-other axis seems the energy that produces competition. The reflection off others that forms identity for Libra becomes competition when the response to that reflection is to exceed what that other is doing to increase the Aries sense of self.

Libra may see your shirt, enjoy its qualities then seek one like it or something different that provides the same sense of pleasure. Aries may see your shirt, enjoy its qualities then seek something it sees as superlative to that shirt (more expensive, more colorful).

According to a recent NPR story, it’s around the age of five that kids start playing to win (i.e., become competitive). Interestingly enough, that’s the age where kids begin the socializing process called “school.”

At the age of six Jupiter forms its first natural opposition to its natal placement (because it has a 12-year cycle). Your natal Jupiter’s social awareness is understood through Jupiter’s opposing social pressure. I want to eat lunch at nine; the school wants me to eat it at noon. I’m told to be myself, but I’m also told to stop my many quirky habits.

At age six, at this first Jupiter opposition, you learn there’s a social world out there that’s going to make you its member, willing or unwilling.

Twelve years later, in many cultures, Jupiter makes that same opposition it made when you were six. Now it’s time to face the social world outside of school as we turn 18 and enter higher education or the adult world of home and work.

The NPR story concludes that good competition helps you improve yourself, not merely excel over others. Bad competition, of course, is about winning for its own sake.

The socialization process creates competition both good and bad. Maybe what we need to do is see what Jupiter is up to.

Is Jupiter culture asking you to be more physically fit and studious? Or is Jupiter culture telling you to buy expensive jeans and watches?

Those that are exceedingly competitive are more reactive than average to the culture and others. By extreme reaction, the self is lost as it extends outward to whatever the culture has deemed valuable, to whatever the culture has laid in its path. If the culture has promoted building character, competition becomes “good.” If the culture promotes greed, competition becomes “bad.”

Maybe rather than looking at competition as good or bad we need to look competition in the eye and see what the culture is up to. Then we can look back in that mirror of reflection and ask, “Is this really who I am?”

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