Thursday, November 10, 2022

Hippy Roots

 When I first started reading about Magnus Hirschfeld I thought of him as an early activist for queer rights.  But Uranus in Cancer (circled at bottom of chart) flagged his position in history as a forerunner of the flower children born around 1952, when Uranus was next passing through the nurturing sign of Cancer.  That's right, the cycle of Uranus is about 84 years.

Uranus's 84 year orbit is slow, but Neptune's is even slower; it takes 165 years to revisit a position.  Neptune was in explosive Aries when he was born and so had made it only half way around the ecliptic by the time Uranus returned to Cancer and our idealistic followers of war resistors were born.  The more diplomatic placement of Neptune in Libra was just one difference between his generation and the 1950's babies.  Notice the faster planets Jupiter and Mars are also in Aries.  His chart is pretty much ruled by that Mars in Aries.

One person's hero is by definition someone else's enemy.  This dedicated and nurturing hero of suicidal queers was an enemy of closeted high officials of the imperial state.  He thought he miscalculated the forces he was facing, but his impulsive courage laid a path for the following Uranus in Cancer cycle.  

Magnus Hirschfeld wikipedia article. The section about the Harden- Eulenberg affair is a good example of how daring he was in his willingness to go up against the prevailing ideas of society.  But I also like the parts that discuss how persevering (Mercury superior conjunct Sun both lined up with Pluto in Taurus) he was in seeking out evidence of the universal nature of sexual variations. 

Friday, April 1, 2022

This is a chart for the morning 2 million people were assembling to form a human chain extending 430 miles across the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. 
11 weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall


Note Jupiter at top of the chart.  The planet of the soul ruling over the cross of existence, aka HOPE, was crossing the meridian as people were coordinating their movements with portable radios to form the chain across three countries, or would be, wanna be countries.  That's how the Soviet Central Committee characterized the demonstration:  "People should know the abyss to which they are being pushed by their nationalistic leaders.  Should they achieve their goals, the possible consequences could be catastrophic to these nations.  A question could arise as to their very existence."  Declaration of the Central Committee, August 26, 1989.

Eleven weeks later, when Saturn was at the very end of its cycle with Neptune, the Berlin Wall fell.  See Uranus, Saturn and Neputne at the bottom of the chart in Capricorn?  Saturn the old ruler of time is between Uranus and Neptune.  Saturn used to be the slowest one on the block in our neighborhood of the Milky Way, then, with a bit of techno wizardry our vision improved, and we learned to follow Uranus and Neptune as well.  So in 1989 Saturn was like a tag team messenger running from one historic marker to the next.

The photos of people lined up peacefully, holding hands along various stretches of highway make me feel a bit emotional.  These demonstrations when Uranus and Neptune were in austere Capricorn (which is nurturing Cancer in the Southern Hemisphere) are a far cry from those of the last 2 decades while Uranus has progressed from Pisces through Aries and now Taurus.  Jupiter, enough hope to stand for a dream, forming that upright Cancer Capricorn axis, fulfilling a fresh vision of how people can organize themselves in states, was at its high point in Riga that morning.

Bloody History

Jefferson was ok with Lafayette's arrest and Louis 16th's beheading; he said innocent blood was a small price to pay for the liberty he believed would follow the excesses of the revolution.  I try to keep that in mind as I watch the events of this decade unfolding.

Then too, it is only as I compose this post that I'm reminded Uranus is in esoteric Scorpio, say in Chile, while it's moving through stubborn Taurus for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. 

It's a really big globe we turn on, and a long trek from one tropic to the next.  As we spin on Earth's axis we think we we're exposed to the whole of heaven once every revolution, but the very axis that makes that spinning possible makes it impossible to see the heaven above those in the opposing, 'southern' hemisphere.  While Argo Navis is a brilliant and real constellation ever present in the lives of Southern Hemi's, for us, chidren of the revolving Big Bear, it is just a wild and crazy story of Greek heroes handed down through the centuries.

When I follow astrology to it's logical limit, which is the limit of my mind's ability to synthesize layers upon layers of information, information about the real heaven that holds all of us in it's dark, vacuous paw, I am reminded of Krshna and Arjuna, literally Black and Silver, in their long dialogue standing on the edge of the bloody battle.

The Baltic Way article from Wikipedia.  A link to that other time and place.


Current Events

Now Saturn is under the influence of Pluto in Capricorn, or the other tropic, Cancer.  Either way you see it, from Valdivia, Chile or New York City, Pluto is where that historic trio (Uranus, Saturn and Neptune) was during the breakup of the Soviet Union.  That's just one way of seeing it.  One way of seeing the river of time that feeds the tree of life which the Norse called Yggdrasil.


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Out of Bounds Soul

 Today I came across a video of a soul out of bounds.

Out of bounds in astrology 

Out of Bounds has been on my mind for the last few months.  Now that the Moon's North Node has finished backing through Cancer and is precessing* through Gemini we are beginning to see the Moon out of bounds twice a month; when it is in Capricorn it is lower than the low of the southern tropic and when it is in Cancer it reaches higher than the high of the northern tropic.  This cycle of the Moon's pulsing wave, as it currently increases in amplitude, is a good one to follow when meditating on the soul unfolding through life and history.  From May 2020 through Jan 2025, twice every cycle, the Moon will push the boundaries progressively further.  While this process will peak in Jan 2025, it will still take 4 1/2 years for the amplitude of the lunar wave to come back down to the level of the ecliptic.  One of my favorite meditations on the soul centers on following this cycle of the Moon's nodes through the years (using an ephemeris) and considering historic events.

Meditating on the Meaning of Soul

I've also been noticing my deepening conviction that past lives, past life regressions and discussions of reincarnation can be a distraction from understanding the real meaning of soul or psyche.  I think stories about recalling an individual past life, as though an ego, aka I, or individual identity, can retain its existence from one creation to the next, can be misleading fictions.  They serve some purpose in coming to understand how individual lives are connected through generations; but by inferring that we can carry even a part of the identity we experience in our physical existence from one body to the next we are negating the definition of psyche in its relationship to ego.  Psyche is free of the body and free of the limits of the ego.  The ego is limited to the body and physical existence.  

Observing our actual changing relationships with others, especially in the context of the Moon's cycles, gives us invaluable insight into our very real psyche, or soul.  I'm including this video of a young Syrian born YouTube star in the Netherlands as an example of soul or psyche in action.

 Obada Sykh is a Young Netherlands YouTube Star

First I want to tell a bit about what led me to the video. I was looking for examples of how to pronounce the Arabic word for service - عبادة‎. 

It is transliterated Ibadah, but when I pasted the Arabic version of the word in the search bar I kept getting hilarious videos of a kid parodying himself, his mother and his brother.  They were all labeled Obada Sykh.  I could not understand a word he was saying, but his facial expressions, props and body language were enough to hold my attention and make me wonder who he was and what he was saying.  I guess he was imitating his mother when he modestly adjusted the scarf he was wearing over his curly hair.  I really wanted to be in on the jokes that were unfolding through the various characters he played. 

 After several searches for some information in English, I came upon a video about him made for Netherlands public television.  "Obada: YouTube star but all alone."  I'm putting the same link near the end of this post.

The story of this young man's family is as soulful as any story I can think of.  It tells about all the ways it is difficult, but essential, for us to maintain connections.  It's a full 45 minute documentary.  During much of it I was reminded of all my neighbors and friends from Mexico and further south.  One remark especially made me think of them.  The father said that their family members in Syria were jealous of their lives in the Netherlands, while they in the Netherlands were jealous of, and longed to return to the life of their family in Syria.

The video that originally led me to this beautiful family's story was posted May 15, 2021.  Here is the link ---> Funny video by Obada Sykh  

This link goes to the documentary about the young performer and his family ---> Obada: YouTube star but all alone

And now for the charts.  It was 9:35 when I started watching the video.  Raleigh was just turning past Uranus in Taurus on the midheaven.  Maybe this family's journey will be as inspiring to you as it was to me.  If you are an astrologer I wonder what will be going on in heaven when you watch the video.

Below is the chart for when the video ended.  Jupiter was crossing from the 7th house of friendship (right side of chart, just above horizon) to 6th house of service.


*precess is an old astrology term for cycles that go backwards compared to normal planetary motion like the Sun progressing through the 4 cardinal points of the seasons.



Sunday, January 10, 2021

Mars Entering Taurus

 The Planet of War passed from the Sign of War into the Sign of Peace 

while Subordinate Officials of State Authority Cleared Smashed Glass and Enraged Protesters from the Halls of Congress

"They asked Judge Linda V. Parker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to refer Powell and her team of lawyers to the court’s chief judge for disbarment, and to refer them for further professional discipline to authorities in their home states — Texas, in Powell’s case.

Detroit also asked the judge to levy a financial penalty “sufficient to deter future misconduct,” at least equal to the amount of money that Powell and her team have raised to fund their post-election lawsuits."

The above quote is from this article in Washington Post - Dominion Sues Powell for Election Fraud Lawsuits  <---(click to follow link)

Jupiter and Saturn are working their way through Pluto's 1st house of New Beginnings.  We'll still have the intense trio rising within an hour of each other every day, for the whole planet, through this month.  But the deal is now done; both Jupiter and Saturn have completely finished their passage through Pluto's 12th house of  Dreams and Fate. Earth is now swinging around the far side of the Sun from the historic conjunction, and so we see them all moving forward again, and at their greatest speed.

Solar system view with straight arrow going from Earth through Sun, passing near Jupiter then Saturn, and finally pointing at Pluto.  Click to enlarge.

 During spring and fall, while Earth was passing between Sun and the slow outer planets, we saw them either slowing down to change direction, or literally regressing along the ecliptic.
And then there's Mars which just left Aries after 6 grueling months, and passed into Taurus the evening of Jan 6 while the subordinate officials of authority began clearing the US Congress of smashed glass and the enraged Trump supporters who had stormed the building.  It's hard for me to write this.  I grew up in a home with sporadic periods of domestic violence.  The chaos is not fun.  I am not attracted to large rallies of people amassing and fighting for a cause.  But then again I'm white, fairly literate, with a couple of years in an engineering program at a large university and fond of manual labor.  I have all the privilege and personality traits that guarantee a secure future.
But the greatest privilege that was handed to me was going to high school in Brunswick County North Carolina in 1974-76 just a few years after the school was racially integrated.  The ratio of blacks to whites was nearly 50/50.  A drive down coastal highway 17 was mostly tobacco fields dotted with sagging tobacco drying sheds.  The county was then one of the poorest in NC.  My father had been laid off after more than 20 years of service as an analyst with CIA, and my parents reunited, after a very dramatic and chaotic period of legal separation, and moved the family from the suburbs of Washington DC to this very poor county in NC.  Dad started a new career as an instructor of metallurgy and meteorology at Cape Fear Tech and the family worked at pulling itself back together.
My mother had a really terrible temper.  My father was not perfect by any means, he was a very quiet, affable alcoholic who never, and I mean, never, missed a day of work.  My mother was ambitious.  They both came from working Irish families who had struggled through the depression.  Even as a child I could see the quiet happiness my dad felt as he moved down the aisle of the grocery store picking up produce, meat and canned goods.  My mother told plenty of stories about life during the Great Depression and WWII so it was easy to make a connection between Dad's happiness with a full grocery cart, and the pair of shoes he had shared with his cousin in the snowy north of the 1930's.
We had so much in Vienna, Virginia; a horse, goat, chickens and a duck on 3 acres of land.  Yes, the house built before the Civil War was falling apart, just as the family was by the time the oldest of 4 children became a teenager.  The 70's tore my mother apart.  In our house the generation gap was a gully full of land mines.  The drugs, the boys that wanted to wear their hair long like girls, the parents that let their daughters sleep with boys; she felt compelled to fight the decay of morals that she had grown up with.  By the time she died in 2008 she had begun to make peace with the changes, but it was a long road with many years either fighting with children or not hearing from them or even knowing where they were.  The violence was so disturbing, even when things were peaceful we all felt we had to walk carefully and keep alert to manage her gathering tirades.  Until my Sagittarian older brother would just let her have it.  He was going to go his own way in the world and had no fear of her rage.  It was like a barely civilized cock fight, but between the brother I looked up to and the mother I adored.
I don't like chaos.  My mother's  anger was not just hidden in the home, though her family did suffer the worst of it; she also had a reputation for calling down local elected officials she had worked tirelessly to elect, publicly accusing them of transgressions they had committed against the electorate they served.  On one of my rare visits home as a young adult I was reminded of her remarkable courage when she stepped into the middle of the road at a town parade and harangued a local official. Her face was red, she was pointing at him and hollering at the top of her lungs, just like the people in the riots this year.  But she was all alone.  The combination of shame, pride and wonder at her conviction; this stew of emotions was familiar, and now that I had a life of my own, and she could not corner me and get my bare legs with the belt for my transgressions, I was beginning to sort out the many qualities that made her the amazing mom that I sometimes hated and wanted nothing to do with, and others loved and watched with wonder and curiosity.  How could she be so certain of herself?
And she wasn't just blunt, more often than not she was astonishingly quick in both her judgement of an unfolding situation and her delivery of the scathingly hilarious insult she felt it required.  Then she would riff on the phone with friends, considering other bombs she could have dropped that might have come even closer to the target she was always aiming at.  Then she would get sick, for days.  She smoked a lot, which couldn't have helped, but I can't help wondering how much that rage contributed to her long periods of illness.  She threw herself heart, soul and mind; fearlessly, into her battles.  
She was a passionate woman.  Not about love, or romance, but about family, the Catholic Church, her country.  Passion is Mars.
Every 2 years Mars spends about 3 months going 'backwards.'  Other planets spend a total of 3 to 5 months a year doing this backstepping routine; Mercury does it several times a year like a nimble tap dancer, Venus does it much less often and the change is more languid.  The planet of war can take as little as 6 weeks to plow through a sign or dig in for 6 months.  Of all the planets, Mar's retrograde period generates the biggest interruption in its cycle.  And every time it happens in a different sign.  For instance it has not done a retro period in Aries since 1988.  This last 6 months is the first time in over 30 years that Mars has been able to rocket daily over the horizon, as active ruler in the chart (Mars rules actively in Aries) for 6 months in a row.  That's a lot of passion without an interruption for other life considerations.
Meanwhile, every day, for those same 6 months, that triumverate of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto have been rising like a super pac in the limit enforcing sign of Capricorn six hours before inflamed Mars.
When I was born Mars was in Pisces.  My passion is fighting for the right to love any and every one.  I see BLM/Queer/Trans folks throwing bottles of water at cops, smashing windows of local businesses and wonder how I can explain to my strident liberal friends that while I fully appreciate their anger and frustration, I reserve also the right to express compassion for the cops standing behind plexiglass shields.  I see Rednecks smashing windows and attacking photojournalists and want my Brunswick County Redneck friends to know I understand why they like Trump.  I love my friends and will not call them deplorable.  I fight the urge to cry and look for opinion pieces by diplomatic thinkers who can put all this rage about how we govern ourselves in a historic context.  I binge watch Steven Colbert and feel guilty when I laugh at the scathing wit he uses to attack the Redneck Racist Revolutionary mob.  I watch black cops talk about how it tears their hearts up to hold young black men in their arms, bleeding to death from shots fired by their peers, and know they will have to deliver the tragic news to some worried mother.
There are no easy explanations for all this.  There is no sinner, or contingent of various sinners that we can blame for all this rage, not even corporate capitalists.  Let she who is without sin cast the first stone is not a cliche, it is a well polished pearl of wisdom.
Soon, all these people will have their day in court.  I've been there, when I broke up with my husband.  It was a mess.  No fun for us or our son.  There were cops and banging on doors and yelling in the middle of the night.  I was so glad for someone who had the authority of the state to help bring things under control, including myself.  
Weeks after the drama in the streets I was amazed how the sober air of that courtroom made me feel almost as though I was floating.  Everything came to a dreadfully quiet halt.  Officials in uniforms made it clear that no one was to make a sound while court was in session.  No one was permitted to interrupt anyone with name calling, derisive laughter, witty comebacks, self righteous diatribes or even well meaning helpful insights on misguided behavior.  Each had their turn, plaintiff and defendant sitting in a chair, in an elevated box, given the sobering quiet space to collect their thoughts, guidance from the judge about the proceedings and what specifically was under question, and what, under the law was considered extraneous, what was admissible as evidence and what was hearsay.  I saw cokehead husbands flatly declare their wives were plotting against them, and was uplifted by the respect they were given, and the absolute dispassion of the judge who made it clear what would be considered evidence pointing toward the truth and what would not be considered evidence because it was an unsubstantiated accusation. 
I saw a few really slack lawyers, accepting money from clients though they clearly had no real defense.  But I also learned what it's like to think within the framework of the law, and clearly define weighty concepts that are often juggled frivolously in recreational conversation or fired indiscriminately in heated arguments.  I gained a lot of respect for lawyers.  
Libra is opposite Aries.  Around the 36th parallel Libra takes almost twice as long to rise as Aries. <--- (click to follow link)  A planet in Libra takes over 2 hours moving through the 1st house, while one in Aries springs up in an hour and 18 minutes.  Mars is now restrained in Taurus, but eventually it will also pass through Libra.  Venus will lead the way beginning Sept 17.  But even before that they will all, Sun and its court of Mercury and Venus, as well as militant Mars, pass through the Virgo gauntlet of rules and paperwork.  But I'm mostly looking ahead to Sept and Oct when we see Sun catching up to Mars while they are both in Libra.  I'm remembering those sobering but uplifting moments in court when the authority of the state felt like a boon to me, looking back on chaotic periods in my life and feeling relieved that they are behind me but grateful for the lessons they taught me.
I don't like the chaos, but my faith that things can and often do improve, is deeper having survived it.  My ex husband is now my dearest friend.
Circular chart for Sunday Jan 10, 2021 showing Mars and  Uranus in early Taurus both 90 degrees from Jupiter and Mercury in early Aquarius.  Venus, Sun, Pluto and Saturn are in Capricorn right next to the planets in Aquarius.  click to enlarge.


Monday, November 30, 2020

21st Century Orphism

It just occurred to me that Mercury is like Venus wearing the Moon (aka Psyche) for a helmet, and that, conversely, Venus is like Mercury doffing his Moon hat in a humble bow.

I was taking a break from Thucydides History of Peloponnesian War - and looking at the chart for the moment.

I  noticed that Venus is near the 13th degree Scorpio midheaven while Pluto is rising at 23 degrees Capricorn.  A vast majority of earth's current population resides along the same latitude, or thereabouts, as Raleigh, so that means a lot of the planet's peeps will share that same phenomenon, of Venus on MC while Pluto is rising.  Kindness culminating as the marginalized is presented to our vision.  Then, I guess since Venus and Mercury aren't too far apart in the chart yet - they are still in the same sign (Scorpio) and still both preceding Sun along the ecliptic; it came to me about the Moon hat/helmet.  Mercury, which doesn't travel as far from Sun, but runs rings around it compared to even loyal Venus, wears the hat of the fastest of them all, Lovely Luna.  To me, that Moon hat signifies the freedom of rapid movement and consequent ability to process  perceptions which Venus and Mars lack.
So that explains the title of this post, 21st Century Orphism:  all these shape shifting symbols of old time myths used to seriously drive me NUTS.  Now I think of Orphism as Morphism without the M.  In other words I'm taking an ancient symbol system and using it with my own 21st century sensibility.  If morphology is how things change visible shape over time, orphology is how the invisible essence of those visible shapes is ever the same.

Now, for why I did the chart at 10:19am.  I stopped reading after finishing two opposing speeches by orators making the case for, and then against, killing all the rebellious Mytilenes for leading the island of Lesbos in rebellion against the Athenians.  Both orators were so incredibly eloquent and persuasive!  I was soaring with the gods of intelligence (old timey expression there) and thanking them for the gift, passed down through the centuries, of these recorded speeches. 

I'm pretty sure Thucydides fought on the side of the Athenians in the P War.  During the Martial phase of these unfolding events he would have been blind to so many of the events he recorded afterwards in this worthy history.  (Mars is the active iteration of Mercury w/out its Moon hat, also known as passion.)  It was only afterwards, when he had the luxury of surviving, with his wits, that he was able to tap into that eminently soulful capacity, associated with the Moon, to communicate widely and in a timely manner and gather the information required to complete his literary endeavor.

I'm not going to spoil the story by telling you how the Athenians ultimately decided to deal with the rebellious Mytilenes.  I will clarify however the deed under consideration; it was to kill all the men, and and enslave the women and children.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Moon Meets Neptune while Reading Iamblichus


In the last post so many months ago I started out with the intention of composing a blog page about dreams, then proceeded to slide into an involved perusal of the then current cycle between Venus and Uranus.  One day I may still construct a page dedicated to dreams, but today I am admitting that once again my passion for discussing organic time has overcome that intention.

Below is chart for end of this morn's session reading Iamblichus on the Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians:  Translated by Thomas Taylor in 1821.

 First thing I noticed was Venus nearing the end of its passage through Uranus' 6th house of study.  I seem to be into that pair, maybe because Uranus is drawing ever closer to my natal Sun at 13deg Taurus. This Fri, Nov 27 Venus will be at the very end of Uranus's 6th house of apprenticeship when it crosses Raleigh's midheaven.  Sat it will rise in Uranus' 7th house of partnership.  I thought about how Uranus is naturally retro while Venus is nearing opposition, aka fulfillment, with it.  Considering exactly why Uranus is retrograde while Venus, Mercury and Sun are in the furthest steps of their cycle of uniting and drawing away from it is a valuable meditation.  We can't grasp what's actually happening without stilling our minds and focusing on constructing an intellectual construct of their relative positions in the solar system.

I was reading Iamblichus biography of Pythagoras, but it seemed to be full of tall tales and repetition.    It looks like that was also translated by Thomas Taylor but 3 years earlier in 1818.  It helps me flesh out the intellectual climate of early Christian times, Iamblichus wrote around 300ad; he died during the reign of Constantine some time before 333ad.  Just situating him in the reign of Constantine helps me cut some slack for his repetitive and worshipful lists of the signs of the purity and perfect virtue of Pythagoras.  He begins with a wonderful intro to the awesome education Pythagoras acquired from many illustrious intellectuals including Thales and the priests of both Egypt and Mesopotamia; but after a brief overview of a remarkable 40 years of intellectual development, we are brought to southern Italy where Pythagoras settles and leads an extremely ascetic, secretive and exclusive community of believers.  The protracted celebration of purifying rituals and communal rules got on my nerves and I switched to Iamblichus' writing on the old mysteries.  

 This work is so much more satisfying.  It thoroughly explores definitions of Gods, demiurges, deamons, soul (psyche) and other concepts central to the mysteries.  It is as though Iamblichus is speaking through the voice of an Egyptian priest to give us some idea of the education Pythagoras had received through hard work and loving dedication, and was attempting to pass on to the Greeks.  It is remarkably clear considering that Iamblichus was writing a good 8 centuries after the days of Pythagoras.  

Well, I gotta go clean a house for a wonderful young couple, so I'll just mention the last thing I noticed in today's chart - the Moon was finishing up it cycle with Neptune and starting a new one as I was settling into my studies of Iamblichus.


I made a quick chart for the last meet up between Moon and the planet of grand illuminations or disilluminations.  Sometimes to reach one area of light we have to turn our backs on an area of illumination that we are comfortable with.  Last Moon/Neptune meet up happened during the early morning hours for Raleigh; Mercury was conjunct Sun in the beginning of Scorpio.  The mysteries for me are opening up to become linguistic exercises for grasping the nature of eternity.  I learned in the first minutes of this morning's reading that Apollo comes from apolutoi - disposed to acquit, which comes from apoluo - to loose from, to undo, to set free from, release or relieve from.  Apollo is the 'son' of Zeus who was saved from being consumed by his 'father' Cronos.

Please forgive mistakes, I am eager to post before running off to work.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Dreaming in the Dark

I am beginning this post Sunday morn, March 8, but it will probably be more than a week before it is completed and ready for posting; which is fine, since i just posted a long essay on Friday and stuck it on my FB page.  My friends deserve a break from these long monologues about what's going on in my inner world.  Besides, this post will be even longer and more involved than the average lengthy essays i am in the habit of posting.  And there will be several links.  What the hey, let's start out with a link; Dreaming of Getting Nothing Done.  It goes to another long post, which only tells part of my little adventure to find a refugee from Pakistan whom I had met in my neighborhood WalMart.   I hope readers will invest the considerable time and attention it takes to immerse themselves in the dream referred to in the post.  Here, i am presenting an exploration of how i have come to see the way our dreaming mind, at least my dreaming mind, speaks in riddles, literally.  I am not a fan of puns, but the puns that i tease out of my dreams are as edifying as they are entertaining, and they are laced with such universal compassion that i am compelled to return again and again to the old myths to see if humble meditation will trip the locks on the reasonable aspects of these ancestral dream like misadventures. 

Don't fret about skipping over the link above.  If this essay captures your imagination you can go back and read it.  And the chart below is really just for people who are fascinated with the kinds of maps of heaven that people like Pythagoras and Plato would have been exposed to when they studied the system of time used by the Babylonians, Egyptians and other cultures that those eminent Greeks admired.  The current format is quite evolved from the one used 24 centuries ago, but the language is the same and still refers to the cycles of the same planets in the same galaxy.

So relax your mind.  Take a few conscious breaths.  The map below is for the moment i changed the clock on my stove for daylight savings time in Raleigh.  There's a lot of information there.  More than most people need, but plenty for someone who wants to formulate a very specific and accurate model in their mind of where Raleigh was in the ever unfolding cosmos.  Keep in mind that to Plato's contemporaries, the Greek word cosmos meant order or arrangement; so if one of Plato's first students at the Academy were transported to the 1950's and saw news reports on television about Russian cosmonauts in 'outer' space, they might very well imagine a futuristic boat exploring the order of the heavens. 

While this may be an annoying distraction, i encourage readers to at least make a note to meditate on Jason and the Argonauts, including a full study of the celestial mechanics of the northern constellation Hercules and the southern constellation Argo Navis.  The story, though much older, was recorded by Apollonius Rhodius just a few generations after Plato wrote Timeaus, in which he points out that the absurd myths associated with the constellations are actually referring to the angular relationships between heavenly spheres.  Though the chart below does not explicitly locate Hercules, any person thoroughly versed in the teachings of the Babylonian and Egyptian priesthood would have understood the 26 thousand year cycle between the northern constellation Hercules and the location of the spring equinox along the ecliptic.  Now-a-days we refer to it as the precession of the equinox.  Don't be fooled by tradition bound authoritative scholarship citing Hipparchos as the discoverer of this celestial phenomenon.  Neither Plato nor Hipparchos considered themselves discoverers; Plato stated as a matter of course that the philosophy, which meant technology of nature, he was writing about had come to the Greeks from the Babylonians and Egyptians.

Enough wandering through a small segment of ancient history in a very limited region of our globe, and back to this morning's chart.  Below you will see two pairs of planets circled.  Each pair is in an aspect called conjunction.  That means they are lined up with each other.  

Aspect is a word often used in astrology to describe the angular relationship between two points.  When the Moon is full it is 180 degrees in the chart circle from the Sun.  We call this  aspect an opposition.  When the Moon is new and visible a few days after conjunction it appears as a thin crescent for a mere hour or two after sunset; then, it is 30 degrees from the Sun in the chart and we call this aspect a semisextile.  A few days later the crescent is thicker and appears higher in the sky at sunset; in the chart the moon is then 60 degrees from the Sun and this aspect is called a sextile. Let's skip over the square (90 degrees) and the trine (120 degrees) and look at the quincunx which is the 150 degree aspect.  The Moon reached that stage in its relationship with the Sun yesterday morning.
 Aspects are a very popular shorthand  for considering the relationship between two points.  Many astrology sites distinguish between major and minor aspects, as though some relationships are more important than others.  While it is true that some relationships grab our attention more than others the nice thing about charts is that we can use them to equalize those relationships and simply see them as a series of steps in repeating cycles.  We do this by meditating on houses.  Each 30 degrees a point puts between itself and another one in a cycle represents a house.  When the Seventh house is reached the two points begin coming back together, with the last 6 houses marking the half of the cycle where the separation between the two points is gradually diminished.

Next is the same chart for this morning when I changed the clock, but this time i made a circle with 30 degree sections beginning at Venus/Uranus; so you can see how the Moon is near the end of Venus/Uranus' 4th house and about to enter their 5th.

The terminology can be very confusing.  For instance see the numbers around the very small circle in the center of the chart?  They go from 1 -12 counting from the AC, which means ascendant.  That's the eastern horizon where we see things come up as we turn on Earth's axis.  While the Moon is in the 5th house from the Ascendant, it is in the 4th house from Venus and Uranus and the 6th house from the Sun and Neptune.

Are you getting dizzy thinking about all these relationships?  The yoga sutras remind us to focus on just one.  You enter the mandala seeing the many points and lines connecting them - there are so many it is impossible to make sense of all of them - but you can ponder a few and as you proceed in meditation allow your mind to settle on one relationship considering only the two points involved and the signs they are in.  For instance, let's consider the relationship between the Moon and Venus/Uranus.  The Moon is in the very beginning of the sign Virgo which is the step in the zodiac associated with study, learning and apprenticeship.  The Moon, because it is so near to us, proceeds very quickly through the zodiac in less than 29 days.  Meanwhile, Venus is lining up with Uranus in Taurus.  Uranus is fairly distant and slow in its cycle, we will not see it pass into Gemini until summer 2025, while Venus will enter Gemini in less than four weeks (April 3).  So, since it involves the Moon and Venus, we know this relationship is changing very rapidly.  We are talking about psyche, that strange word in classic Greek literature that is invariably translated into English as soul.  Psyche is impossible to grasp, but infuses everything.  Psyche is most certainly associated with breath and the human ability or inability to control it.  A person with a disturbed psyche is unable to control their breath.  They are under control of emotional forces for better or worse.  Like an infant blessed with good health, well nurtured and fed on a regular schedule, the Moon in Virgo translates as the psyche in a very regulated step in the zodiac cycle.  It is only there for 2 and 1/2 days, but this morn marked the beginning of that short period.

An informative aside here - a very experienced astrologer would have in the bottom pool of their mind an awareness that Mercury is now stationary in Aquarius, its sign of exaltation.  They would not need to distract their mind to gain an understanding of how this placement of Mercury strengthens the refined energy of the Moon in Virgo.  Come along with me.  Let that pass as we return our focus to the one relationship under consideration.

The Moon in Virgo is at the end of Venus and Uranus' 4th house.  The 4th house is the most tender step in the process of one sphere separating from another sphere.  The 4th house is the house of children and dependents as opposed to the 10th house of parents and responsibility.  Any planet from 90 -120 degrees ahead of another planet is just beginning to stand on its own two feet independently of the planet in question.  In this case the studious Moon is finishing the tender segment of its evolving relationship with Uranus and Venus.  The previous 2 and 1/2 days while Moon was passing through bouncing Leo, in addition to all the other relationships it had with the various points in heaven, it was looking back at Uranus and Venus in Taurus steadily going through their respective paces like a couple of blinded horses driving a grindstone from the bars strapped to their halters.  Remember Venus is just passing through for a month of helping Uranus in its 7 year indentured servitude.  But what a wonderful partnership.  No planet is more disposed to accepting the weight of a heavy load than Venus.  Venus bears weight as though it were merely a puff of water vapor hesitant to evaporate and take leave of such kindness and equanimity.  So Moon in bouncing Leo looks back at Venus and Uranus driving their load as though they are stepping to some happy tune humming in their heads.  Venus near Uranus in Taurus brings kindness to this vulnerable period in the Moon's monthly cycle with Uranus.  Most other months, as the Moon circles from Uranus in Taurus to its 4th house (bouncing Leo is 4th house from Taurus) it looks back and sees only the powerful planet of revolution (Uranus) moving a heavy load like a solitary ox yoked to a plow.  The hard working beast may be humming a happy tune or hearing "Old Man River" repeating in its weary mind.  What must it feel like for the Moon to be at a sock hop learning the latest dance while Uranus seems stuck for almost ever yoked to the plow in the sunny field?

But this morning the Moon neared the end of that 4th house step with Sweet V and and Mighty Big U.  Now it is entering school.  While not driving a mill or pulling a plow, the Moon is doing its own work filling out forms or studying data.  It is in a calmer place after the party and by now, as i have spent most of the day composing this post, it is at 6Virgo21.  Can you see it in the chart below getting ready to rise?  Counting 30 degree sections starting at 4Taurus01 can you tell that is has crossed into Venus/Uranus' 5th house?

Can you tell that I am having fun composing a very involved post?  It is hard work.  I have worn blinders most of this day, determined to finish what  could seem like a very boring task.  And i have only just begun.  There is still a conversation with my husband about a dream he barely remembers.  That took place yesterday when the Moon was in the bouncy sign of Leo but at the same time in 4th house tender step of its cycle with Uranus.   Who knows when i will return to work on this page exploring the connection between astrology and how i see dreams as riddles, sometimes playful and nearly always baffling, tossed up from the pool of darkness.

This is the chart for ending this post, with fond hopes of returning soon to further this project about Dreaming in the Dark.