Macro Concerns, Micro Distraction

While signing up for an upcoming astrology conference, during one time slot I had to make the tough choice on which Neptune lecture I wanted to attend. I didn’t want it to interfere with the lecture on the upcoming Pluto and Saturn conjunction or the lecture about the upcoming Jupiter and Saturn conjunction which in the past has corresponded to dire political events.

Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto – some of my favorite planets! If you read this blog, you know I’m an outer-planet-kinda writer (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are the outer planets). With Pluto in Capricorn tearing apart the world as we know it, how can an astrologer focus on anything else?

As I made my tough Saturn choices about which Saturn lectures to attend, it occurred to me that there were few lectures on our two fastest moving “planets” in the horoscope – Mercury and the moon.

With all of the earth and societal changes occurring, I can’t keep my eyes off of Pluto-in-Capricorn which appears to be taking us through an evolutionary cycle involving how we structure our life on planet earth.

Yet my daily life is more and more about the moon and Mercury. My daily life is a constantly-changing swirl of communications, changes, texts and emails all demanding a response in the fast-departing, elusive moment called “now.”

We seem to be living in a schism of macro concerns such as global warming and faltering economies while daily life is more and more about the details of daily life via texts, emails and social media.

Do we become bipolar by default?

Personal to transpersonal

Observing life on earth, I’m not sure humans were meant to be anything but personal. Living our lives in family and societal units, we seem geared toward a hard-working but also more relaxed life of connection with the earth and with others.

Until the discovery of Uranus in 1781, astrologers knew of planets from the moon (considered a planet in astrology) to Saturn. The moon (response), Mercury (communication), Venus (pleasure) and Mars (action) are personal planets that move quickly and represent the actions and events of daily life.

Jupiter and Saturn, farther out, speak of our social environment. Jupiter is the school and church while Saturn is the law and government.

See, a simple life.

Until 1781.

In 1781, Uranus was “discovered.” Of course it had been there doing its work, but we didn’t know it. Uranus rules enlightenment as it was discovered during the period of the same name.

Enlightenment is good, no?

From a spiritual perspective, it sounds quite nice. But what’s important to remember is that when you seek enlightenment, by reflection you acknowledge being in the dark.

Saturn as the edge of the solar system also represented the boundaries of our lives. You live and then you die and, based on your beliefs, go to another place for eternity.

Uranus shakes that up suggesting that while alive there are other perceptual states that exist and life may not be as simple as it appears. More knowledge leads to more questions.

In 1830, Neptune was then discovered. Neptune rules spirituality and the inspiration of the times. As Neptune likes the altered state of relaxation and escape, it also rules drugs that produce this state as well as photography and cinema. And fog.

Then in 1930, Pluto was discovered. This is the era of nuclear exploration with nuclear fission discovered in 1938. Now the personal human beings had the ability to create transpersonal effects on the entire globe.

Pluto represents evolution and was in the sign of Cancer when discovered. Cancer is family and clan which changed dramatically since Pluto’s discovery. Prior to its discovery, Pluto was in Gemini which evolved communication. While radio seems Neolithic now, it allowed masses of people to hear the same message at the same time for the first time in history.

Pluto is now 180 degrees from where it was discovered in the sign of Capricorn ruling career and reputation. Since the discovery of Pluto, government has replaced family in many places as the definer of life and roles.

Transpersonal to personal

As I grew up in the late 1970s and 1980s, concerns about nuclear war were paramount (since this was also during the Cold War). Somewhere in the 1990s, our concern ebbed.

Why are we no longer concerned about nuclear war?

Somewhere transpersonal subsided and the personal returned, also in the form of communication. Technology connected us to the entire globe, but in a personal way.

With the proliferation of the smart phone, we are able today, if we choose, to stay in a communication network based solely our our personal interests. The transpersonal can be filtered out and the personal channeled in, mostly by those wanting to do business with us.

We seem to be wavering between personal and transpersonal.

And back to transpersonal

The transpersonal has reappeared, this time as climate change. I’m old enough to know that climate change was a concern since my early days on the planet. Now that there are extreme weather patterns (which seem to be predicted in advance, but I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I swear), the personal takes notice of the transpersonal.

So what does a person do in the face of the transpersonal?

Possibly our modern lives of constant, busy distraction is the response to a world in which we are increasingly spectators of larger, corporate interests of which we can’t control. We work for those corporations so it’s personal; but what they do is transpersonal and we can’t affect any change in behavior.

As any human being, we must also adapt to our environment. Unless I live in one of the major cities in the US that has public transportation, I must have a car regardless of its environmental impact.

It’s an interesting time to be alive with a unique challenge to live a personal life that has transpersonal ramifications. Macro concerns compete with micro distraction for our attention. It’s easy to see why we we are drawn toward the micro.

Related posts:

Pluto in Capricorn blogs

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United States Bombs Syria 30 Minutes Too Early

When I read on Saturday (April 13) that the United States and allies were going to bomb Syria, my first thought was it was a day too early. On Sunday, over here in the United States, the moon will enter Aries and join Mercury, Sun and Uranus in that sign.

Aries is ruled by Mars, the god of War.

Many wars begin in Aries because it’s spring in the northern hemisphere, a much better time to have war than the muddy, cold, dark winter.

While I don’t like being the “gloom and doom” astrologer, the energy of the globe is definitely less than peaceful and cooperative so seeing several planets lined up in assertive Aries triggers thoughts of war and aggression, especially as Uranus begins its transit of the last degrees of Aries.

Since Syria is far away from the United States, I thought that possibly the moon had already slipped into Aries over in those parts. According to this New York Times story, the air strikes began “shortly after 4 am local time.” In Damascus, the moon entered Aries a little after 4:30 am.

We may have been 30 minutes too early. Or maybe my astrology software is a bit off. I always wonder if the military uses astrology. Before you laugh, consider that information you have that others don’t provides a competitive advantage. We’re taught in the United States to disdain astrology, but what if that is simply a tactic to protect symbolic information?

Where is Mars?

The planet Mars is the ruler of Aries and makes a full transit of the signs about every two years, spending about two months in each sign.

Mars is where we take action. Mars gets us up in the morning to face the new day. Mars demands we stand up for ourselves. When we are too confident, Mars is pushy and wants others to do things the same way we do.

During the air strikes in Syria, Mars was in 15 degrees of Capricorn. Mars generally likes being in Capricorn because Mars is outward directed energy and Capricorn is ambitious and goal-oriented. Mars likes goals and ambitions for they are something to target.

Mars transiting Capricorn joins up with the long-lasting Pluto transit of Capricorn. Combined, there is a lot of authoritarianism and dominance in the global energy. Authoritarianism appears to be seeping into the average life across the globe from electronic monitoring to loss of civil rights.

While the air strikes in Syria might appear benevolent to some, the war has been in effect ten years so the assistance seems delayed. I read that President Trump recently granted some Syrian refugees extended status which is certainly kind but comes after a travel ban which included individuals from Syria.

The recent intervention may be more about Mars (domination) and Capricorn (use) than humanitarian concerns.

Other wars

How does this compare to some other recent US invasions?

Vietnam

The US officially entered this conflict on March 8, 1965. That was the time of an intense opposition of Pluto/Uranus in Virgo opposing Saturn in Pisces. On March 8, the Sun, Venus and Mercury were in Pisces and Mars was in Virgo adding additional energy to the opposition.

Way back then, there was a lot of resistance to war which is symbolized by so many planets involved in that opposition. The opposition is both astrological and literal as that was a time of anti-war demonstration. We sometimes need an opponent to ignite us into action – that is the lesson of oppositions.

The war didn’t end until Pluto was in Libra, Uranus in Scorpio and Neptune in Sagittarius. The late 1970s now seems like a relatively peaceful time for the US.

Grenada

The US invasion of Grenada on October 25, 1983 was a four-day event under interesting zodiac signs that later reappear in 2001.

While the sun and Saturn were in Scorpio that day, there was a T-square of much mutable energy with Mars and Venus in Virgo, moon in Gemini and Uranus, Jupiter and Neptune in Sagittarius.

On September 11, 2001, there was another mutable T-square with sun in Virgo, Pluto in Sagittarius, and Saturn and the moon in Gemini. On that day the US was attacked.

Sagittarius is a fire sign that seeks meaning, often championing causes. Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter is also the social environment including the religion which is the foundation of much culture. Jupiter is expansive and can, like fire signs, be overzealous fighting causes of which the environment has no concern.

Sagittarius in pure form loves what is foreign and what is different. With the tension between Sagittarius and other mutable signs, we see the fear of foreign and struggle for cultural dominance. While Pluto left Sagittarius in 2007, Saturn entered was in that sign for roughly 2015-2017 (going retrograde a few times) and we had another round of conflict with views and cultures foreign to our own.

Panama

The invasion of Panama on December 20, 1989 was strongly fueled by Capricorn. The sun was in a very late 28 degrees of Sagittarius with Uranus, Neptune, Saturn and Mercury in Capricorn.

Our friend Mars was in one degree of Sagittarius.

The themes of authoritarianism and foreignness have been playing out since the 1980s. Uranus and Neptune transited Sagittarius then Capricorn. Pluto then transited Sagittarius and now Capricorn. From this vantage point, it is clearer how they interplay – one transit transforms and leaves a bit of residue and the next transit cleans up any leftovers.

The energies present during the invasion of Grenada and Panama re-appear a few years later. Did the energy we send out come back with a vengeance?

While violence is never justified, the recurring energy themes suggest dysfunctional global relationships mutually triggers.

Can we stop?

Forgiveness seems to be an energy that halts the constant back and forth of conflicting energies.

Afghanistan

After the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the US invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. We are still there.

The invasion, like the attack, came under the Pluto (in Sagittarius) – Saturn (in Gemini) opposition. We continued the struggle of belief, of worldview.

Neptune and Uranus were in Aquarius at that time as we began a new technological revolution. That revolution has changed our daily lives so quickly in ways unimagined.

Mars was in 16 degrees of Capricorn, pretty close to the position of the Syrian airstrikes.

That war continues with very little play in the US media. We could consider it an occupation rather than war as there is no clear outcome.

Iraq

The invasion of Iraq occurred on March 20, 2003 with the sun in 29 degrees of Pisces about to move into Aries. As with the Syrian airstrikes, it was possibly 30 minutes too early for the best energy. Or maybe my software is a bit off?

The Pluto (in Sagittarius) – Saturn (in Gemini) opposition of the 9/11 attacks was still at play during this invasion.

Mars was in 9 degrees of Capricorn. Our last three invasions occurred with Mars in Capricorn. Remember, it occurs for about only couple months every two years.

At the time of this invasion, Uranus had just popped into Pisces. Uranus transits are seven years and that transit is long gone with Uranus about to move into Taurus.

Neptune entered Pisces in the spring of 2011. December 2011 is the official end of the war but the US still remains engaged in conflict there.

Nebulous Neptune says the war is over but Neptune (and Pisces) rules fog so the “fog of war” term seems appropriate here.

The conflict in Iraq is like a ghost of grandma in the corner. If you see it, you are reluctant to admit it for being viewed as hallucinating.

Worldview

While Mars is the god of War, Mars traditionally invades because it is strong and because it can. US invasions from the 20th century until present are about worldview. Ostensibly it began with a fight against “communism” and today is labelled “terrorism.”

Essentially it is a global fight for the dominance of a worldview as described in the 1992 article and 1995 book by Benjamin Barber Jihad vs McWorld. Barber is quite prescient and understood the patterns very clearly.

Just beyond the horizon of current events lie two possible political futures—both bleak, neither democratic. The first is a retribalization of large swaths of humankind by war and bloodshed: a threatened Lebanonization of national states in which culture is pitted against culture, people against people, tribe against tribe—a Jihad in the name of a hundred narrowly conceived faiths against every kind of interdependence, every kind of artificial social cooperation and civic mutuality. The second is being borne in on us by the onrush of economic and ecological forces that demand integration and uniformity and that mesmerize the world with fast music, fast computers, and fast food—with MTV, Macintosh, and McDonald’s, pressing nations into one commercially homogenous global network: one McWorld tied together by technology, ecology, communications, and commerce. The planet is falling precipitantly apart AND coming reluctantly together at the very same moment.

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29 Degrees of Aries

For the record, I love the fire signs – Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Fire signs have an exuberant love of life that brings joy internally and also to those around them. Fire needs no external justification for its existence, a powerful reminder of spirit.

The universe, however, has provided this blog writer with an abundance of the other elements – earth, air and water, especially earth and water. The universe preferred that I learn from quiet contemplation (and write this blog, I presume) with enough fire to make it through a world harsh to those of sensitive nature.

Astrology helped me sort this out. While I admire fire from the top of its head to the tip of its feet, fire can be overwhelming to earth and water seeming to always be “on” with no off switch. That is the kind of energy needed to win marathons, sing and dance nightly before audiences and run multi-national corporations. You can’t do those things without abundance of constantly replenishing energy.

If fire energy can be overwhelming to earth or water signs, likewise earth and water energy can dampen the spirit of fire. There is earth and water energy on its way and the challenge of life is to keep the balance of elements – of internal and external; assertion and rest; expression and contemplation.

We need to keep the fire while responding to the earth and water.

Uranus in Aries

In 2011, the planet of sudden enlightenment and breakthrough (through shocks and disruptions), Uranus, moved into fire sign Aries. Aries is not only fire but the first sign of the zodiac with focus on identity, self-assertion and forward motion. Ruled by Mars, the ancient god of war, Aries can cross the line of assertion and leadership to aggression and dominance.

Since its ingress into Aries, Uranus has inspired and incited many a movement of self-assertion including the formation of South Sudan, the Arab Spring, mass migrations from war zones to safe zones, Black Lives Matter and the Me Too Movement. These are the more noticeable movements but there are probably many more that don’t make American news and also the everyday moments of self-assertion that can never be calculated by news or astrologers.

On the flip side of Aries energy, we also see copycat school shootings and a bullying US president that demonstrates the self-assertion of Aries but the narrow focus of forcing what is personal on others. As I’ve written in My Uranus in Aries, this narrow focus is supported by targeted marketing using information from our constant interaction with social media. This marketing can target to our individual identities, longings and needs so closely that it can create separation from others both in a physical sense (I never have to go to the store anymore) and a spiritual sense (I don’t get a healthy mixture of conflicting views).

Uranus Cycle

The seven-year Uranus cycle (aka “seven-year itch”) is almost complete and soon it will move from Aries to Taurus. It may feel like hitting the brakes as Taurus is a fixed earth sign and much slower in motion than Aries. You can read about that here in March 2019.

Each sign has 30 degrees and at 29 degrees is considered a critical point, its culmination. As we look at other planets from our vantage point on earth, like a car driving past a distant mountain range, the planets can appear to move backwards. That is called retrograde movement.

Uranus will be in 29 degrees of Aries at the very end of April 2018 through mid-May 2018 when it will move into 0 degrees of Taurus. Because Uranus is far away, it November 2018 it will from our vantage point go back into 29 degrees of Aries again. It won’t stop until 28 degrees of Aries then go forward yet again and in February 2018 be for the third time in 29 degrees of Aries.

Are you seasick from that explanation?

Uranus will be in 29 degrees of Aries at the three times:

  1. April 2018 – mid-May 2018
  2. November 2018 – early December 2018
  3. February 2019 – early March 2019

There is no law that transitions must be smooth. Our culture sometimes presents history and evolution as a seamless, straight-line trajectory of progress. Reading about ancient cultures, I’ve been disabused of this notion which is supported by astrology. Cycles ebb and flow. People learn then forget. Laws are made and laws are broken. Each cycle both long and short will hopefully rise us upward in consciousness.

Uranus bouncing back and forth between the late degrees of Aries and the early degrees of Taurus represents the rocky shift between focus on self and focus on external environment. This same shift occurred the last time Uranus made this transition in April 1935. That was a time of economic adversity (The Depression) coupled with an on-coming world war. During the WWII and that Uranus in Taurus cycle, there were rations. After the war, for various reasons, there was plenty beginning the existing trajectory of material expansion.

29 Degrees of Aries

What will 29 degrees of Aries mean for the planet?

In searching the blogosphere on the subject, I like this blog best – there is only so much time left. Aries already carries a sense of urgency and at 29 degrees it will be as if the new iPhone 25 is out, supplies are limited, the store is closing and I must get in line.

That urgency makes sense if you look astrologically at what comes next. Pluto and Saturn are currently in earth sign Capricorn and Neptune is in water sign Pisces and Jupiter will still be in water sign Scorpio when Uranus goes into Taurus. The planets from Jupiter and beyond represent social and transpersonal energies. All will be in earth or water, a very strong shift from fire.

For those that sense energy shifts, there will be that strong desire to run a marathon, sing and dance in front of audiences or run the multi-national corporation before it’s too late. It is now or never! Get out of my way!

The shift into earth turns the focus into the practical and tangible environment. We may not have time for self-assertion as the shift in focus to some basic earth needs will rise above individual identity. It’s probably a good thing that we may be too preoccupied with material needs to annihilate those who we do not like.

Twenty-nine degrees of Aries is right now in a world already in the “I must have it now” mode. If Uranus in Taurus will create shocks and disruptions for enlightenment and breakthrough in our relation to the material world, a culture that can have an amazing amount of material goods delivered in a single day may find that no longer available.

Uranus in 29 degrees of Aries will be the store closing sale on “anything you want now because you are special, you are the consumer.”

I find it interesting that our world is moving toward digitization as a solution when any disruption in electricity would wipe out infrastructure. Moreover, my personal information is at more risk than ever.

Likewise, I find the consumer dominance of my culture today a grand delusion as the minute you have no money, you are no longer important. Marketing is directed to those that spend.

I’m expecting some shocks of this nature as Uranus moves through the last degrees of Aries. Self-assertion for individual rights is the strength of Aries. The dysfunction arises when the needs of self create the delusion that we aren’t dependent on an external reality for survival.

Related posts:

Uranus in Aries

Do you own your culture? Uranus in Taurus says “no.

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Tears of Chiron

Don’t be surprised that I’ve just watched the 2016 Academy Award Best Picture Moonlight. Normally I’m ten to 20 years behind the media curve as I still haven’t figured out where to find the time to watch the plethora of media available today. I clearly sleep too much.

Watching Moonlight, I’m surprised, pleasantly this time, how a culture with little interest in astrology or mythology uses its symbolism so readily and appropriately.

Astronomers, for example, are modern scientists disdainful of “superstition” yet continue the history of mythological assignment of heavenly bodies. Apophis, a comet that will fly near the earth in 2029, is named after an Egyptian snake goddess. Rarely does one hear daily talk of Egypt unless there’s Tutankhamen news about.

Today I’d expect comets to be named after Star Wars or Disney villains or some other popular culture characters of negative repute. With our absorption in media, why the blast to the ancient past when naming space objects?

Artists of all sorts are more likely than scientists to play with images, past and present. Reading interviews of the author whose work inspired Moonlight, I didn’t find his reasons for choosing the main character’s name. Mythology is appropriate here but astrology even more so.

Mythological Chiron

For the first third of Moonlight, before the main character’s name was revealed in writing on screen, the pronunciation led me to believe a different spelling. Shocked, I read the main character’s name – Chiron. I’ve heard it pronounced differently in the astrological community than I heard in the movie.

According to Britannica.com, the mythical Chiron was:

… one of the Centaurs, the son of the Titan Cronus and Philyra, an Oceanid or sea nymph. Chiron lived at the foot of Mount Pelion in Thessaly. Unlike other Centaurs, who were violent and savage, he was famous for his wisdom and knowledge of medicine. Many Greek heroes, including Heracles, Achilles, Jason, and Asclepius, were instructed by him. Chiron frequently appears in the legends of his grandson, Peleus, and his great-grandson, Achilles. Accidentally pierced by a poisoned arrow shot by Heracles, he renounced his immortality in favour of Prometheus and was placed among the stars as the constellation Centaurus.

Moonlights character Chiron is definitely placed amongst the violent and savage (as boys of many times and places are, especially when economically disadvantaged). Is our movie Chiron wise with knowledge of medicine?

You might say he’s sadder but wiser by the film’s end. But he’s also adapted in ways we hoped he wouldn’t.

Astrological Chiron

The astrological Chiron is named for a large asteroid orbiting between Saturn and Uranus. In astrological symbolism, Chiron is the wounded healer. Chiron represents our deepest wounds and the ability to heal ourselves and by extension heal others.

From Café Astrology:

Chiron is a comet with a unique and erratic orbit. In the natal chart, Chiron is symbolized by the “wounded healer”. It represents our deepest wound, and our efforts to heal the wound. Chiron was named after the centaur in Greek mythology who was a healer and teacher who, ironically, could not heal himself.

Chiron in our natal charts points to where we have healing powers as the result of our own deep spiritual wounds. We may over-compensate in these areas of life. Chiron, as a wounded healer, first must face issues of low self-worth and feelings of inadequacy and learn to rise above these issues. Because the wound goes deep, and we may work hard to overcome the wound, healing powers are potent.

Wounds occur with life. Paper cuts, deep cuts, broken bones, hurt feelings, major trauma, crappy upbringing – these are the wounds of daily life that we all experience in some way.

Wounded is the major trait of Moonlight’s Chiron, who is sad and bullied from the very beginning of the film. He’s also emotionally-adopted by a loving couple who in the midst of the same environment as movie Chiron are better adapted and able, in the words of the wife, to have love and pride. Their circumstances have not destroyed their spirits. Yet Chiron has the greater challenge of being alone in his sadness.

[Spoiler alert] While the movie depicts the very difficult circumstances of growing up disenfranchised and bullied because of sexuality, I think it’s much, much more.

What movie Chiron possesses that is lacking around him is sensitivity. Chiron cries. As we see him in the three periods of his life – child, teenager and adult – we see tears. We see tears of sadness and sensitivity, of sweetness. They are deep, sorrowful tears, tears for all the pain on earth. There is no dramatic music to accompany the tears – they are raw – no airbrushing, no forced feeling. In fact, they fall from the face of a boy-teenager-man who can barely express himself in words.

Rarely do we see men in American film cry in this way. In A Streetcar Named Desire, for example, Marlon Brando cries for Stella, a cry of desperation and passion. But it is not the same cry of sensitivity and vulnerability that we experience with movie Chiron. Movie Chiron is tender.

Chiron in Pisces – Bullying

When the astrological Chiron is in Pisces, it stays there for longer than other signs. I suspect many of the parents that rose up against bullying were born in the mid 1960s when Chiron was in Pisces.

Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, an emotional water sign associated with empathy and sensitivity. So sensitive is Pisces, in response it can revert to escapism through imagination, drugs or indulgence in addictions, including film and media. Pisces can be the savior or the victim – sometimes both. Pisces is seen as the sign of self-undoing as it known for sacrifice and might not turn and run when placed in the position of scapegoat.

Chiron in Pisces is very sensitive to the wounds of life, the wounds of bullying, the wounds of victimization. In the movie we also see these manifestations as the community succumbs to drug culture both in use and commerce.

When Moonlight was released, Chiron was also in Pisces, and still is (the transit spans 2011 – early 2018). Moonlight focuses deeply on the spiritual wounds of childhood that do not pass with time.

In recent years, bullying has faced stiffer challenges from the public. Interesting that President Trump exhibits many traits of the traditional bully in a time when we are trying to protect against bullying.

Our nation appears to be undergoing some mass psychological shift with regard to bullying and victimization (a polarity). If the “meek shall inherit the earth,” as I sometimes hear, it appears to be a long way off. Or possibly the rise of the Great Bully will continue to polarize then energize the victims, as it seems to be doing already, until we achieve a balance of strength and compassion.

Strength is good and made distorted by bullying. In fact, our movie Chiron finally gives the bully what he deserves. Unfortunately for our ever-victimized Chiron, he must pay a hefty price for avenging a lifetime of injury.

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Tarell Alvin McCraney, the author of the short story In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue that inspired the movie Moonlight, was not born with Chiron in Pisces. Chiron was in Taurus when he was born, a fixed earth sign that deals with body, property and assets. As with Saturn in Taurus, there is a feeling of not having had basic needs met, or of not having enough. The feeling seems to exist and persist regardless of material upbringing.

If Moonlight is autobiographical, clearly there was material lack in McCraney’s life. But more than material lack, McCraney’s moon in Capricorn shows the emotional lack and subsequent reticence that is often in relation to a distant maternal figure. We see that too in the movie.

Moon in Capricorn is a difficult position emotionally as we see our character struggle to relate, even to those that embrace him. McCraney’s moon is in square to a Libra sun, an air sign much more interested in relating. Libra, in fact, seeks partnership above all else and often marries early in life.

Sun in Libra and moon in Capricorn makes for the perfect diplomat or judge, wise and fair, gentle but firm. There can be a nice trade off of Capricorn’s adherence to rules with Libra sense of pleasure.

Pluto conjunct the sun in McCraney’s chart is very powerful and often controlling, mostly of the partner. There is a fear of the partner leaving so extreme control is the response.

It’s interesting that McCraney’s Chiron so easily sheds tears. While there’s a little bit of water in McCraney’s chart (Mercury and Uranus in Scorpio), it’s not the most emotional of horoscopes. Possibly the character Chiron openly and easily cries the tears of his author. Or possibly moon in Capricorn cries more than we know. . .

Moonlight is about tears, male tears and male tenderness, rare subjects.

Related blogs:

Interest and Awareness

Thoughts on Chiron

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Astrologers Plan Government Shutdown and Move into Aquarius

Astrologers planned yesterday’s shutdown of the US government.

This isn’t “fake” news. One doesn’t shut down a government with the sun at 29 degrees of Capricorn through whim and chance.

Not possible. Astrologers had to be present.

Capricorn is government and shutting it down at 29 degrees of Capricorn symbolizes that government is at the end of its tenure.

Only astrologers could plan this so well.

Rallies in the streets?

When I read this morning that the US government had “shut down,” I thought I’d hear cheering in the streets, great rallies of released emotion as the government is finally off our backs. No one likes the government, right?

No more taxes! Yeah!

No more regulation! Yeah!

No more government monitoring our air and water! Yeah!

No more unemployment insurance! Yeah!

No more trash pickup! Yeah!

No bailouts of collapsed financial institutions! Yeah!

We can take care of ourselves, thank you. It’s quite easy, I assure you, to rally one’s family, friends and neighbors to pick up trash and repair pot-holed streets. We can conduct commerce using digital bitcoin or possibly revert to gold and silver. We don’t need the government controlling money.

Freedom, at last.

0 Degrees of Aquarius

The US government officially shut down with the sun at 0 degrees of Aquarius. The talks leading up to it occurred in 29 degrees of Capricorn.

Capricorn is government, is authority. Humans are hard-wired to respond to authority which can explain why there is no cheering in the streets – the mind says “no” to government but the heart says, “yes.” At 29 degrees of a 30-degree journey, it’s the culmination of the energy.

Pluto, the great destroyer and transformer, is taking a long journey through Capricorn destroying and transforming governments, institutions and authority. The journey began in 2008 with the global financial collapse and government bailout.

Pluto gave us a chance in 2008 to get rid of the entire establishment in one fell swoop. We didn’t allow it to collapse. We saved it.

We chose to prolong the transformation in the way of watching a movie. If the police hadn’t made that stupid mistake allowing the killer to run free, there would be no story. You have to suspend disbelief to enjoy the story. With Pluto’s destruction of the economy, we simply believe the situation fixed and over. We shortened the story.

Aquarius, the sign after Capricorn, creates society through shared ideals. It’s the commune of Communism which became a dirty word, and rightly so. Coerced communism is authoritarian government hiding under a fancy name.

Brotherhood is the more old-fashioned term for sharing Aquarian ideals through platonic love. Aquarius the water-bearer is not a water sign – it is an air sign. Shared ideals are not shared emotions. You can be upset that your fellow commune member didn’t take out the trash leaving it for you; however, the ideal still remains and is no reason to create some “government” to make sure everyone does his or her task.

If you’ve ever worked in a corporate setting, you know that we are all truly individuals and attaining consensus on anything from pizza toppings to strategic plan is all but impossible. This is the challenge of Aquarius, which is a fixed sign focused on its goals with determined intensity.

To overcome the challenge, Aquarius must develop ideals that allow flexibility to make room for those that don’t fit the ideal or to resolve the problems that inevitably appear with groups of humanoids. Aquarian ideals can inadvertently become Aquarian separation banning those that aren’t perfectly suited (which by my math is everyone).

The men’s smoking room, the sorority, the fraternity and the activist organization are all Aquarian manifestations. All are wonderful bonding experiences for those included. By the idealized nature of Aquarian groups, many are excluded as they don’t fit the selection criteria. Aquarius, a mental sign, can then become the emotional tribalism of Cancer (which rules family and emotional belonging).

Pluto will transit Capricorn through 2024. In 2023, it will go into Aquarius briefly then go retrograde (backward appearing) into Capricorn again. Aquarian energies will both emerge and be transformed after we regenerate our relationship with authority.

For many years we’ll have a back and forth of brotherhood versus authority.

Which do I trust more? The government or this group of people who say they care about clean air?

Shut it down

The government shutdown is the perfect opportunity to move directly into Aquarius and avoid years of struggling with authority. Pluto tells us to let go as our habits tell us to hang on.

Why don’t we let go of government while we have the chance?

In addition to authority, Capricorn represents responsibility. In removing the government, personal responsibility would increase exponentially. Americans live amidst a complex infrastructure and transnational dominance that allows us material wealth and the leisure time to enjoy personal growth.

Like teenagers learning to be independent adults, we need to accept that if we kick our parents out of our house, we have to do our own laundry. Parents often remind rebellious teenagers (Aquarius is also known for rebellion) of how much they truly depend upon parental support.

Yet at the same time, we can re-write all of the rules of the house. Maybe we don’t need to change clothes everyday, anyway.

The government has shut down. The opportunity is here.

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Saturn in Capricorn – Success and Failure

Those making New Year’s resolutions may have more success this year as Saturn has just entered Capricorn, the sign it rules. Saturn and Capricorn are disciplined and employ authority, rules, structure and caution to sustain that discipline. Think of driving a car on the highway versus driving a car in one of those amusement park rides – it’s much easier to drive when there’s a track or guardrails. In the free open space of the highway, discipline is much more difficult to maintain.

Saturn in Capricorn will provide some guardrails for those resolutions this year. From my membership at the gym, I’ve learned the “New Year’s Resolution” folks last a month, maybe two, on average. That means few make it past mutable, nebulous Pisces in March.

According to this Huffington Post article, only eight percent of people keep a New Year’s resolution. Statistics Brain has it at nine percent with healthy eating as the top resolution.

So why do we continue to make resolutions when faced with a failure rate of over 90%?

Success, success, Failure and failure

Success and failure in their original meanings regard the outcome of an action, such as fixing a mechanical instrument. It’s fixed or not fixed – success or failure. According to Dictionary.com, the more modern meaning of success as a state of being appears to be a 20th century invention.

Our dualistic thinking requires an opposite for success which is failure. In today’s parlance, to be a failure is to be “a loser.” The successful are “winners” and the failures are “losers.” Our current American president is a very strong embodiment of this duality with his single-minded focus on “winning.”

Saturn in Capricorn is going to challenge our beliefs concerning success and failure. Capricorn’s worst traits – calculation, meanness, lack of imagination and excessive ambition – arise from the feelings of failure and compulsion for success. Capricorn as mountain goat must climb ever upwards. As sea-goat, its original glyph, it has the tail of a fish. We hear it’s lonely at the top so the sea-goat eventually looks toward the water, true emotional connection with others rather than structural connection, in older age.

Worthiness

While each sign has a compulsion toward its representative energy (the Aries must lead, the Taurus must collect, etc.), there is learning as part of those energies.

According to Psychology Today, success is also tied to feelings of worthiness:

Our successes are important to us for deep psychological reasons. From the vantage point of the unconscious mind, they stand for more than mere outside achievements. They stand as evidence of our potency, competency, and capability. They serve as reassurances that we have The Right Stuff—the psychological resources to make it in this world. They tell us that we are safe, that we can survive.

Deeper still—from a psychoanalytic view—our successes are linked to an essential belief in our own goodness. To the unconscious mind, being successful means being good. And being good means being worthy—worthy to exist, worthy to keep on living, worthy to be kept around. At the deepest level, still, being good means that we are worthy of being loved. And being loved ultimately is what matters to us most.

Capricorn, then, must be a success to feel worthy and is drawn to what is traditionally deemed successful (business, government, authority). Success for Capricorn must be social, not personal; this sign represents then our social consciousness and how we fit into the world around us. In the horoscope, it’s represented by the 10th house and can indicate the career chosen.

Authority

While not all of us have the planet Saturn or sign Capricorn prominent in our horoscopes, we all have the planet and sign somewhere in the wheel called the horoscope. The horoscope is, dear readers, a mandala in which we are all truly the same.

Even those not openly drawn to authority may be unconsciously drawn to social acceptance. For example, have you ever disliked a book/film/music only to be told that it’s a classic or that the critics loved it? Another way I see unconscious Saturn is the person who is laughed at for his/her endeavors until those same endeavors are recognized by a larger social group. This, to me, is very common. We don’t trust our own ability to assess until some critical mass is in support.

As Pluto has been transiting Capricorn since 2007 and represents an evolution of that energy, I’ve been writing a lot about authority. We are hard-wired to obey authority yet at the same time our ability to see the humans behind the authority is greater than ever which is creating a schism in our response. Like teenagers, we want freedom but still, secretly, desire some parental guidance.

Failure as part of success

While we’re experiencing a great deal of Capricorn energy right now, and there’s more to come, what we are moving toward is Aquarius. In 2024, Pluto will start transiting that sign.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Uranus and Neptune were transiting Aquarius, the fixed air sign associated with ideas, revolution, genius and technology. This was the initial rise of technology that is creating some unique challenges for the Capricorn social system today. We have an American president who uses the 140-character Twitter mechanism to communicate to the world.

Technology arose from entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is not a rule follower waiting to discover what position he/she will have in the new reorganization; the entrepreneur is guiding his/her own process of invention and success. It’s Capricorn in its self-reliance but Aquarian in social networking needed for accomplishment.

One of the best learnings I’ve personally received from entrepreneurs is that failure is part of the process. Failure is not the end point where one gives up the goal.

Failure as part of success is an evolution in Capricorn energy. The climb is not necessarily up but can span in many directions. Entrepreneurial success today still looks to “monetize” in the Capricorn sense of the word which needs tangible outcome. Yet, these are the seeds for future growth of the Aquarian energy which seeks ultimately to have a more perfect, rational society.

Communes are an Aquarian ideal. Our planet developed that into Communism which can’t be imposed by authoritarian rules but by shared agreement. Government and commune are mutually exclusive.

I’m expecting that when we reach the Aquarian transit of Pluto, countries will be thinking more as a whole. The challenge then will be about inclusion (Aquarian brotherhood) and how to deal with the imperfections of the perfect society.

New Year’s Resolution

This year as you face your New Year’s resolution, think of it in the entrepreneurial sense. Saturn in Capricorn can provide the extra disciple needed to push through the first temptation to abandon the resolution. Saturn might also get nasty and tell you how bad you are for not going to the gym every week since you are spending a lot of money on membership (based on a true story).

Like a good entrepreneur, push past the failure. Make Saturn in Capricorn your friend.

Related posts:

Saturn in Capricorn: End Goal Personal Responsibility

Three Capricorns in Ebbing, Missouri

Pluto in Capricorn blogs

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Saturn in Capricorn: End Goal Personal Responsibility

On December 19, Saturn will transit from Sagittarius into Capricorn where it will feel right at home as Saturn rules Capricorn. Café Astrology has a nice description of this transit which describes all things Capricorn including desire for conservation, need for control, fear of scarcity, “firming up” government and themes of aging.

The challenge of astrology is taking one aspect and interpreting its energy through the interaction with all of the other energies occurring at the same time. What’s extremely relevant to this transit is that Pluto has been transiting Capricorn since 2008 and will continue into the early 2020s. In a year or so, Saturn will meet up with Pluto.

Saturn ultimately is the energy of contraction and limits which includes rules and laws. Authority is where Capricorn manifests this desire for order and control. We all like Saturn when we get to a four-way stop. No Saturn stop sign and there would be a lot of chaos. Yet we get resentful that we have to stop our speedy and consistent pace.

Pluto is the energy of transformation which often starts with the compulsive need to destroy in order to remodel what is stagnant. Pluto is transforming Capricorn energy. The stop signs are being destroyed. What do we now do at the four-way stop?

If you like things the way they are, the Saturn and Pluto transits are not for you. If you think you don’t like things the way they are, the challenge is on.

Authority’s Last Stand

Around the 2020 US election, Jupiter will join the fun when Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto will travel closely in Capricorn. What a coincidence, to have three planets transiting the sign of authority during a time and place when there is both a loathing of authority and a longing for fairness, which depends upon structure to enforce.

What an interesting challenge for the citizens of the United States! Get your notepads ready as these are times that will need to be recorded for posterity.

In November 2020 during the next US election, Mars will be in Aries making a wide square to the Capricorn energy guaranteeing election strife that will make the past look quite tame. As this blogger has been watching politics for some time, I can say that from 2012 to 2016 the nasty in campaigning increased exponentially compared with that I’ve lived through. Historically it’s always been nasty but we seem to have crossed a new threshold of “all is fair in love and war.” We now have non-state players such as Wikileaks involved with no clear agenda but disruption.

With Saturn in Capricorn, I feel that there is going to be a desire to return to some order. If the pendulum swung to bring us a president without the least bit of structure, we may swing to the other extreme in the need for stability.

Authoritarian Armageddon is how I’m referring to these energies. It’s easy to see the authoritarianism without but we must also look for it within. Watching the moving Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, we see a woman fueled with anger at her daughter’s death and the slowness of authority to find the killer. She lashes out at authority, which can be thrilling if you find yourself disappointed in authority’s effectiveness. Yet at the same time, she wants authority to disregard civil rights if necessary to satisfy her need for justice.

This movie represents clearly the current American conflict with authority. If authority had satisfied the woman’s need for justice by DNA profiling the entire globe, authority would have made even more enemies.

Martyrdom

Two other generational (outer planet) transits occurring as Saturn is in Capricorn is the long transit of Neptune in Pisces and Uranus finishing a transit of Aries and moving into Taurus.

Capricorn and Taurus are earth signs while Pisces is water. Astrologically, these are in harmony. The preponderance of earth and water will be tough for the fire and air signs that need to have a little fun mixed in with life’s duties and responsibilities. The earth and water sign energy will have us focused on practical matters including the earth itself, money and property. Uranus in Taurus will create sudden changes with these items.

Saturn in its ruler Capricorn in harmonious sextile with Neptune in its ruler Pisces gives me the sense of some new forms of martyrdom. Capricorn is serious and Pisces is sacrificial. Add Pluto and Jupiter to this energy and we’re in for some self-immolation, literal and figurative.

While there are serious matters long-overdue on the planet which Capricorn and Pisces are well-suited to address, levity will be needed as seriousness is focused on the truly imperative.

Pisces brings us empathy and spirituality. When in dysfunction, Pisces escapes into fantasy and substance abuse. We’re already seeing a lot of this with the rise of opioid addiction and the rise of media addiction from online gaming to binge watching. It’s interesting that we say “binge watching” as that clearly likens it to over-eating. Unlike food, we can’t purge it back up.

End Goal – Personal Responsibility

Saturn and Capricorn are ultimately about responsibility. Pluto transiting this sign demands evolution in this area.

In our current aspects of Uranus in Aries squaring Pluto in Capricorn we’re seeing what is demonstrated in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri – taking the law into our own hands. Personal responsibility, in contrast, demands cooperation within the structure of society.

Imagine, if you will, trying to form a community committee to build a highway from one city to another. Trying to get a few people to agree on one pizza is difficult enough. If you work in a corporate setting, you’re probably having anxiety just thinking about it.

Personal responsibility means that there is no government to blame. We are the government, always, through our decisions both large and small. Each of us is a participant in our culture and therefore is always involved in its rules. We are involved in creating classes; for the few to overtake the strong involves dividing the many so that they don’t respond effectively.

The world around us is the world we’ve collectively created through millions of decisions every day. I once talked with a woman who said there will always be war because her religious beliefs said there would always be war.

If we believe there will always be war, there will always be war. This is Saturn in Capricorn.

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Three Capricorns in Ebbing, Missouri

It can be tough to explain astrology. Astrology is complex symbolism that can take years to learn frustrating those who don’t want to ignore friends and family for untold hours as they cast and try to interpret charts. You need a little bit of an obsessive nature to study astrology.

For example:

In 2008 Pluto began a transit of cardinal sign Capricorn. In 2011, Uranus began a transit of cardinal sign Aries. Both being cardinal, they create a square aspect which is tense and frustrating. It’s like a family gathering where two relatives who don’t speak find themselves in the same room. The energy simmers until there are random, sudden explosions.

Did the analogy help?

If not, there’s a movie out now that can help explain the Pluto / Uranus square.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri describes a woman’s efforts through the use of billboards to arouse the police force to investigate more vigorously her daughter’s homicide. I’ll be describing some scenes in the film so this is the official spoiler alert.

Three Capricorns

Pluto is a destroyer and transformer of energy. Capricorn is the earth sign representing worldly success and is drawn to authority and structure so is practical, ambitious, serious and cautious.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a full-frontal assault on authority figures. There are three clear Capricorn authority figures: the police chief, a priest and a dentist.

The police chief is the most obvious authority figure. There are several other police officers in the film but the chief is the “good” cop who has a conscience, wisdom and insightful humor. He exhibits patience with others where he seems to know them better than themselves. In this way, he’s the only mature figure in the film, a positive image of a Capricorn.

Unfortunately, the good authority figure is dying, is “ebbing” away (in his words, he doesn’t want to watch his body ebb away). We are then left with the bad authority figures, although a replacement good cop arrives later in the film.

The priest and the dentist are very minor characters occurring in one scene each. Our woman berates the priest with no regard for his exalted status. He has no authority to a woman rendered anarchistic by grief.

The dentist, too, is Capricorn as this sign rules the structure of the body including skin, bones, teeth and knees. The dentist decides to punish the woman (by his own authority) by drilling her teeth where it’s not needed; he learns the hard way that her anger knows no fear as she turns the drill on his fingernail.

Pluto in Capricorn

Movie reviewers might have some issue with the crimes that go unpunished in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and there are several. But this is what the movie is about – the complete breakdown of authority and of rules that make sense.

Our main character respects no authority. Yet at the same time she expects authority to overstep its boundaries to help in her particular situation. To help solve the crime, the grief-stricken woman suggests lining up the entire city, the entire country, the entire world if needed to find the person who committed the crime.

Does she truly hate authority?

Pluto is destroying Capricorn authority and structure. It began in 2008 and will last through 2023-2024. The first casualty of Pluto was the banking and financial system. It’s moved through other structures and now is destroying the idea of government. We have some time before it culminates then changes signs (into Aquarius).

Uranus in Aries

Pluto in Capricorn is squared by Uranus in Aries. Aries is a fire sign ruled by Mars (the God of War) the first sign of the zodiac centered on self including self-assertion, self-promotion and impulsiveness. Square to Capricorn is frustration with authority, taking authority into one’s own hands and struggle between the needs of the self and the needs of the society.

Uranus is the planet of sudden change, awareness and consciousness. Uranus is breakthrough. In Aries, we have self-realization and self-actualization.

It’s both exhilarating and terrifying to watch the anguished mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri breaking all rules of decorum to demand justice. The exhilaration comes from the vicarious venting of anger toward what is unfair and corrupt. Terror comes from the impulsive behavior the mother exhibits without the slightest regard for the feelings of others (especially her son).

As you’d expect from fire energy, we also see actual fires and fire bombs in the film. When authority responds in negative ways, they must pay by fire.

Neptune in Pisces

Does the Pluto in Capricorn square to Uranus in Aries make more sense now? Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri dramatizes the tension we are seeing in American culture with the role of authority versus individual rights.

While Pluto and Uranus have been creating tension, the movie does leave out the third outer planet transit – Neptune in Pisces.

Neptune rules Pisces so is at home in this mutable water sign. Neptune is the spiritual, creative energy of a generation. Neptune is also the ruler of film, drugs or any form of imagination or escapism.

We don’t see a lot of Neptune in the film. Our extreme weather events include both fire and water; in the film we see only fire. Neptune in Pisces in its purest manifestation allows us cross boundaries to merge and share experience creating compassion and empathy.

Neptune and Pisces in negative manifestation are escapism. Notice in our world the rise of alcohol and drug abuse during these shifting times.

Neptune may be exhibiting itself in the response evoked by the film. While misguided, watching the mother’s anger allowed me to feel and purge my own feelings of anger. At a certain point, I’d had enough. But I could imagine going on this roller coaster again when feelings of anger or frustration become too great.

The Square Ends

While this film exemplifies the current square of Pluto in Capricorn / Uranus in Aries, the transit will soon pass. Next year Uranus will begin to move into Taurus. It will bounce back and forth between Aries and Taurus (called retrograde) during 2018 and in 2019 will move forward in Taurus for seven years.

While I can’t imagine the challenge of individual versus authority (and society) will magically end at that time, the movement from Aries to Taurus will provide a new focus. Then it will be about fixed earth-sign Taurus concerns – money, property, assets and the earth itself. Hopefully by then Uranus in Aries will have asserted individual rights for the next phase of our evolution.

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Do you own your culture? Uranus in Taurus says “no.”

When they say they we want our America back,
our America back,
our America back,
when they say they we want our America back,
well what the fuck do they mean?

Jill Sobule “America Back”

The comment that one is “proud to be” a certain nationality has always struck me as an odd statement. You had no choice in the matter (to most beliefs) so what else could you be? You don’t often hear “I’m proud to be human,” possibly because we are all human and the animals amongst us do not care,

Cultural identity seems to be tied to self-worth which of course is important but will always be threatened because culture is like water – it moves and changes continually. As Jill Sobule sings (full video below), when Americans say they want our country back, what do they mean?

The culture from 100 BC when the Adenas were building mounds? The culture from the 1400s when tribes roamed freely in search of food and shelter? The culture from 1776 when slaves tilled the fields and we split from the British? The culture of the Industrial Revolution and factory work? The culture of the World Wars? The 1950s? The 1960s? The 1980s?

Which culture do they want back?

The Cult in Culture

While working in a bank many years back, a senior leader said he wanted the corporate culture to be like “a cult.” (Good luck with that, dude, I thought to myself). Then I realized that “cult” was part of the word “culture.” Only then did I see that a cult was simply a sub-culture struggling for dominance.

The characteristics of a cult are often found in culture with the predominant characteristic being that you are born into the culture – it surrounds you and you can’t get out (called “milieu control” in cult psychology). When you are finally able to physically remove yourself (assuming no political barriers), you have already internalized the culture from language to food. It’s inside of you – there’s no getting it out.

In times past, you might spend your life not seeing another culture. Today’s technology has broken the barriers of physical space so culture now flows beyond natural boundaries.

In wanting “America back,” I would analyze it simply to mean that they want the cult back. The cult could be from any time or place of comfort, but would be limited and finite, as culture never is. Cults often implode through this very containment of energy. Culture, in contrast, is always evolving.

Uranus in Taurus

The astrology you ask, where is the astrology?

Uranus is currently finishing up its transit of Aries and will next year begin to step into the sign of Taurus. Aries is fire and self assertion (in case you haven’t noticed). Taurus, in contrast, is fixed earth.

The energy symbolized by Uranus is the energy of inspiration, awareness and enlightenment. It’s often of a sudden nature, like inspiration itself.

Is Uranus good or bad? I’m often asked in readings.

Like all energies, it’s neither. If you suddenly realize that your spouse is cheating, you might think it bad. But the awareness is important to your growth and development. Scientists and artists of all sorts tend to like Uranus inspiration when that idea coalesces or appears in the mind’s eye. Uranus is breakthrough. Discovering a cure for a disease would be the mark of Uranus, even if it took years in the coming. Uranus can be preceded by much work; it’s not divine intervention but the moment of happening.

When in Taurus, this Uranus awareness will come through things related to earth energy – the earth itself, home, objects, work settings and money. Earth is dense so the energy of Uranus may feel shocking as it takes a lot to make earth change. The strike must be more intense.

In another fascinating twist, some of our famous cult leaders were born in the sign of Taurus. Taurus is a fixed sign as are Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Fixed signs are focused and determined so are best at leading; you’ll find fixed signs as leaders in many countries. Taurus may be good at cult leadership because the boundaries are firm, something that provides comfort for an earth sign.

Do you own your culture?

Wanting “America back” is a possessive statement, as though someone has stolen something that is mine. Yet culture is not an object; it’s a fleeting state. It involves all the individuals participating at a given time.

If we think we own our culture, Uranus in Taurus should change that. Uranus will probably shake up both boundaries and cultures. A rise in cults may occur in reaction to this change. Cults in the age of Uranus in Taurus will probably build physical boundaries between themselves and others.

It doesn’t seem possible to own or possess culture any more than you can own or possess the fantastic time you had at last night’s party.

In America (The United States of America, that is), the tribes that lived on this land in 1492 didn’t own the land. The entire concept of owning the land was incomprehensible. The American culture that arose based itself on ownership of land and people. Fast forward 200+ years and now companies own genetic code. Ownership is expanding.

Do we own our culture? I think not, but Americans may try to own it as we’ve tried to own since our founding. It will be interesting to watch this desire for ownership as the energy of Uranus creates shocks and shifts to all we find stable.

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Ten Thousand Emojis

When my iPhone updated so that I could have 500 more emojis, I wasn’t too excited.

I don’t have 500 emotions. I don’t need to waste electricity and battery on emojis, iPhone. What’s more, I consider myself emoji dyslexic – I don’t really understand but a few of them.

Years ago I accused a friend of having only five adjectives to describe the world (to satisfy your curiosity they were heavy, ugly, crazy, jealous and tacky). I don’t have the courage to count my own. While I believe they would be greater than five, they would probably be far less than those represented by the emojis on my iPhone.

Ten Thousand Things

In astrology, there are four elements – fire, earth, air and water. Emojis, as emotions, are represented by water.

Earth represents our tangible, three-dimensional world. In Chinese, all the things of the world are described as “ten thousand things.” There are clearly ten thousand objects in the world. If I walk through Target, I can see them.

Categorization is our cure to manage the unwieldy ten thousand objects. The top two categories in Target are hard goods and soft goods. We can also categorize many of Target’s offerings as consumer packaged goods. Or we can create other categories that lasso the unruly ten thousand into numbers we can count with our fingers.

Air describes thoughts and socialization; it is the world of idea and image. Are there ten thousand thoughts? That doesn’t even seem to cover half of what goes through our minds daily. We are bombarded with images from marketing to social media communications more than any time in history. A friend pointed out that we make more decisions in a day today than our ancestors did in their lifetimes.

Clearly there are ten thousand thoughts.

Fire represents the spirit, intuition and creative possibility. Are there ten thousand “things” represented by fire? While we could count possibilities and outcomes, fire energy doesn’t seem as “countable” as earth and air energy.

We might also analyze the object of fire desire – love, inspiration and enlightenment. For the spiritually inclined, all these roads lead to the same place although in our human confusion we think they are different.

We see this often in a consumer culture as there are some who continually want new objects, but those objects never truly satisfy. Earth signs tend to derive genuine pleasure from the objects of the world. The over-spending fire sign rarely does as they are seeking something beyond the object that is never contained in the object.

Water, as previously noted, represents the emotions and connections to others. What we describe as emotions (rather than thoughts) does seem to have some volume; I’m just not sure there are 500 emotions. You might carry many emotions about one situation, but 500?

Water focuses on family, intimate relations and communal spirituality. Water is the focus of many a book and movie. There are surely ten thousand books and films. But do they contain ten thousand different emotions? Emotions are like categories – there is love and it is applied differently to parents, siblings, friends and spouses. But we know it has the same core.

There seem to be far fewer emotions than thoughts or objects. But it seems similar to fire in that there are a few basic emotions that guide most of our actions.

Thought-icons

Are emojis really emotions? Or are they thoughts?

Ask around the table at your next gathering – what is the difference between a thought and emotion? It’s a tough question and an interesting one to explore if you meditate. It’s also interesting to hear others trying to explain the difference.

My own astrological exploration is here.

Emojis, also known as emoticons, might be better described as “thought-icons.”

Throughout history we’ve shared our thoughts and emotions with others through theater, the written word, motion picture and now social media. It’s not an uncommon or new experience, really.

What’s different with social media is the brevity of the expression. Emojis are part of that brevity. Emojis have no backstory; they are the punchline describing how the words or images are meant to be received. Emojis are the last page. Emojis provide information (this is meant to be a joke) and instruction (you’re meant to laugh).

While I have enough emoticons for a lifetime, I suspect there will be many, many more coming. As objects of the world, we know there are ten thousand of them.

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