When I told my cat that I attended a lecture by an author who writes from a dog perspective, she asked what the dog thought about Pluto transiting Capricorn.
“Dogs aren’t as interested in astrology as cats,” I explained. “They’re more interested in simple stuff, like riding fast in a car, eating, peeing outside, watching TV, paying attention to humans, that kind of thing.”
“Do dogs have any intellectual interests?”
“Why do you ask? Are you planning on making conversation with dogs?”
“Maybe,” she replied with derision.
“You can talk to the dog next door,” I prodded, “and see how it goes. He’s been barking for the last three hours straight so he obviously has a lot to say.”
Before spending three hours in conversation with the dog next door, she decided first to read a book narrated by a dog to see if dogs had anything worthwhile to discuss.
Cat Reads The Art of Racing in the Rain
As my cat finished the last page of The Art of Racing in the Rain, I noticed her eyes were wet. She could not deny that it was touching, that dogs might not be interested in history, politics and astrology, but they were capable of some deep and poignant thoughts.
“As I read it,” she began, “I started to wonder if the dog wasn’t saying things the author wanted to say but felt he couldn’t.”
“Yes,” I replied. “The dog functions as a narrative device to provide safety in expression from an external point of view. Good catch.”
“Can a cat do this?”
“Theoretically. But I fear that humans don’t want to hear what cats think about their behavior. Cats seem to have less compassion than dogs for human folly.”
Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, has sun in Sagittarius (I told the cat). Since beginning my studies in astrology, I often reflected that if Sagittarius weren’t ruled by the centaur, it should be ruled by the dog.
Dogs have the freedom-loving nature of the Sagittarius and are always up for a ride, forgive maltreatment and are, by human description, “man’s best friend.” Sagittarius is one of those spontaneous mutable signs that likes to wander with you.
Racing also rings Sagittarius as this sign enjoys freedom of movement and fast motion. What Sagittarius doesn’t care for, at all, is restraint. We see that in the dog narrator, Enzo, when he dashes away after a traumatic event, running through the woods and devouring a squirrel.
Racing, dogs, very Sagittarius.
Stein’s chart, however, is one portion of fiery, freedom-loving Sagittarius but six portions earth (Uranus, Mars, Pluto in Virgo, Jupiter in Taurus, Mercury and moon in Capricorn), two portions water (Venus and Neptune in Scorpio) and one portion air (Saturn in Aquarius).
The freedom-loving Sagittarius sun is boxed in by a lot of mountains, rules and intense emotions. Capricorn is a difficult position for the moon as it’s controlling in nature and prone to suppress emotional response. We read about that, too, in the novel as the race-car driver engages speed and must control response so as not to make fatal mistakes that occur with hasty reactions, a very good use of moon in Capricorn.
Capricorn moon takes care of things as others fall apart. Our race-car driver lives through harrowing unfair treatment but is able to remain strong and prevail. Hopefully other Capricorn moons feel this sense of vindication.
“What a perfect description of Sagittarius sun and Capricorn moon,” the cat proclaimed as she examined the chart. “It’s almost like the character in the book is the author himself.”
So perceptive, the cat.
“What’s even more interesting,” I told the cat, “Is that this book was published when transiting Pluto had just entered Capricorn and transited natal Mercury. The Mercury transformation wasn’t a successful book but a new way of communicating. The innocent narrator has probably opened up a new channel of communication in general for the author.”
Natal Uranus, Mars and Pluto in Virgo (square the sun) make for an exacting perfectionist. The conflict in the square is that Sagittarius freedom involves spontaneity, encounter and experience which can be stifled by Virgo as well as the other earth signs. Reading and writing are other ways to travel.
Transiting Neptune in Pisces is opposing the Virgo energy asking for more imagination when discrimination tends to rule. Neptune also makes things blurry which Virgo hates. Words seem so clear to the issuer and so confusing to the receiver.
Natal Jupiter in Taurus bodes well for accumulating money and assets. During the Jupiter in Taurus transit of 2012 is probably when the financial gains arrived (the author mentioned something about selling movie rights which may have occurred at this time).
Natal Venus and Neptune conjunct in Scorpio provide obsessive and sexual intensity that is also in conflict with the freedom-loving Sagittarius and emotionally distant moon in Capricorn. The sun in Sagittarius is the eye-in-the-sky philosopher in the middle of planets that are continually demanding earth-bound realism and sticky emotional bonds.
“Fascinating,” purred the cat. “Why dogs aren’t interested in astrology is beyond me.”
Lastly, I told the cat, natal Saturn in Aquarius in Stein’s chart indicates how some of us move toward our fates with happy endings. Saturn, as the cat knows, is about our weakest link, our insecurity. In Aquarius, there is difficulty relating to groups, to feel part of the mission, part of the team. From the large audience drawn to his speaking, I think he’s doing okay with this placement.
“With transiting Saturn recently crossing his sun,” the cat added, “the speaking probably feels a bit like responsibility.”
And transiting Neptune in Pisces, I reminded her, is square causing a bit of free-floating anxiety. Neptune fears the monsters under the bed. Each person’s monsters are unique to the individual. Maybe Stein’s next book can be from the monster’s point of view. That could purge a Neptune square to one’s sun.
Cat Now Garth Stein Fan
After our lengthy discussion, my cat asked me to go to the bookstore to buy more Stein novels. She needed a break from astrology, she said. She wanted to understand how the other half lives, she said. She wanted to read all of Stein’s novels before he came back to town, she said.
“Unfortunately,” I told her, “you can’t attend the lecture. Cats aren’t allowed in public buildings. Only dogs.”