The Astrology Blog – 9 February 2015
All times stated are in GMT
If you read the blog last week you may remember that I was praying for a break in the heavy clouds currently massed over Lefkas, just for a sneak peak of the glorious Full Moon in Leo conjunct Jupiter on Tuesday night. Happily that happened, and I did make a wish – hope you did too. Thank you to friend and fellow astrologer Ingrid Hoffman from Cape Town for reporting this showing of the event –
The Leo Moon conjunct Jupiter attracted over 3 000 people to the beach for a mass meditation and the lights on Lion’s Head mountain sparkled like fairy lights!
This is such enjoyable “as above, so below” symbolism. Jupiter is planet of faith, protection and spiritual connections as well as joy, and loves doing things on a big scale. A mass gathering for peaceful purposes in a lion named place fits the bill to perfection. The recent Venus – Jupiter opposition was the applying (in the process of becoming exact) aspect on 18 January, when a record breaking 6 million people turned up for the Pope’s mass on the last day of his visit to the Philippines.
Moving on, some weeks are so packed with astrological activity that it’s a real challenge to sift through it all, unravel all the threads and then pull them all together again as a meaningful framework. Other weeks, like this one, are noticeably “empty” in terms of planetary aspects being formed, and this week we have only two major events. However, both are extremely weighty in their own right, the Venus – Chiron conjunction in Pisces that I’ll come back to, and Mercury turning direct. Hurray!
Mercury – winged messenger of the gods, planet of communication in all possible guises – turned retrograde at 17.04 degrees of Aquarius on 21 January. Thank you to Marc Heine for sending me this link –
This article itself encapsulates the retrograde Mercury theme, especially in scientific Aquarius, as it addresses the eternal battle between astronomy and astrology, quoting Rick Fienberg, communications (!!) director of the American Astronomical Society who of course says that astrology is “a whole lot of bunk” and that “there are no known, no conceivable effects that the planets can have on our behavior.”
He’s absolutely correct. Planets do not affect us. (I can hear my English teacher mother jumping onto the correct use of effect and affect!) This argument will rage on as long as people cling to the positivist take and insist that astrology is literally related to astronomy in this way, instead of examining how astrology works on the level of the symbolic. (From Wikipedia: Positivism is the philosophy of science that information derived from logical and mathematical treatments and reports of sensory experience is the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge, and that there is valid knowledge (truth) only in this derived knowledge.)
If you’re interested in this debate then look no further than The Moment of Astrology (Penguin ISBN 0-14-019369-3) by Geoffrey Cornelius. Robert Hand writes that this work is “one of the most important astrological books of our time… a well-reasoned presentation of a position that can allow astrology not only to defend itself, but to go on the offensive against the prevailing reality paradigm.”
So, Mercury is now “stationing” (appearing to stand still) as he gets ready to switch back to direct motion this week –
Wednesday Mercury turns direct at 01.18 degrees of Aquarius (14.58)
Right on astrological cue, the first print run of my new book is on its way to the Cico Books warehouse and I should receive my own first copy in the post this week. It’s always a thrilling moment to hold the new baby for the first time so this is an important event for me. Sticking my neck out here, my book coming out under a SD (stationary direct) Mercury is a good omen! But frankly, Mercury, you OWE me, and for all the mayhem of every retrograde period I will truly relish the moment of reward!
In the UK the RRP is £14.99 but you can preorder from Amazon for £12.15 on this link –
The book is also coming out in America and Canada, RRP $21.95 but you can pre-order from Amazon for $19.76 on this link –
You can also read more about how I came to Greece and the experiences that led to setting up the Greek Island Summer School on this link, my guest blogger spot on Avril Price’s new website –
What does Mercury turning direct mean?
This is simply the reverse of Mercury turning retrograde, so anything that has been a muddle or a struggle will now start to move towards resolution. Here are the kinds of things to expect:
• Breaking news, expected or unexpected, that affects us or someone close to us
• Light bulb flashes of insight
• We stop talking/thinking about something and realize that we need to make decisions
• People get back to us or make decisions
• We feel more courageous or determined to make something happen
• We stop pretending
• We stop avoiding
• We tackle/say the things we’ve been putting off
• We get back to a matter that was first important three weeks ago
• Important information comes to light
• Memory kicks in and we deal with what or who has been off our radar
• Disputes or areas of miscommunication are cleared up
• We find the right person to deal with the problem beyond our own expertise
• Computer glitches/communication technology are solved/sorted
• Secrets are revealed
• Rumours are squashed when the truth outs
• Lost objects are found – or we find what we have been looking for
You may already have had a taste of some of the above. Whether you have or not pay close attention to unfolding inner and outer events throughout this week. Something that had seemed impossible or irrational could suddenly turn out to be a no-brainer. In love retrograde Mercury is like Niles (Frasier) who spends at least the first half of the series eating his heart out for Daphne who remains oblivious, whereas direct Mercury is that Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally) moment, “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Putting it another way, if you want serious answers about your love life – or any other area of your life – then Mercury turning direct is the most likely time to find them.
I’m indebted to one of my regular readers, psychologist Sharman Hague, for her brilliant take on my washing machine event of last week. As a symbolist she saw beyond the reality paradigm (of the “batty” bit!) and dug under the surface. In the spirit of Mercury then still being retrograde I can’t share it because of the discretion factor and a promise I made that no one would hear it from me. But, with just a couple of questions related to how the numbers involved related back to my own horoscope, she hit a nail bang on the head and moved into poignant interpretation. The whole issue accurately reflected the astrological picture of the frustration of retrograde Mercury and the current “mixed reception” of the Sun – Uranus that I talked about last week, the moves that would have to be made. It was actually quite spooky. And it just goes to show that being an astrologer doesn’t automatically mean that we have problem free lives or know the answer to everything! Thank you Sharman.
It’s worth noting that astrological interpretation, like dream interpretation, does need “unpacking”, and often this takes input from another person to get the process going – akin to the power of psychotherapy. Also as I was saying a few weeks ago this refers to what Jung identifies as the difference between a sign and a symbol. The former is clear and immediately obvious (blatant), the latter is bursting with meaning that has to be teased out (latent). When you arrive at the right interpretation however this then becomes blatant. It has the ring of truth about it and smacks you between the eyes. A message from the unconscious, or from some other magical source, has got through.
Honesty is a main psychological issue when Mercury turns direct. Language conceals (lies/silence) or reveals (truth/speaking up) and the lies we tell ourselves are in the mix – eg I don’t care, I can’t, there’s no point, it doesn’t matter, oh well, he/she doesn’t mean it, I’m fine etc. I especially liked Barry Goddard’s post this week on his UK Professional Astrologers Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ukproastrologers/
“Know thyself” was inscribed in the forecourt to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. This suggests that the function of oracles – and therefore of astrologers – is to help people gain self-knowledge. It is, you could say, to help people ask the right questions of themselves, rather than to give them answers.
This automatically made me think of Socrates and “the unexamined life is not worth living”. In other words, without honest self scrutiny, it is impossible to live an authentic life. Without self knowledge we can only ever blame other people or outside factors for our lack of fulfillment. In this respect I believe astrology to be invaluable. To understand the cards you have been dealt in this life, and to work out how best to play that hand, when to hold back and when to move on, or to know when fate will step in, all of this knowledge and more is embedded in the horoscope.
This leads me into the second major feature of the week –
Monday Venus conjunct Chiron at 15.38 degrees of Pisces (17.02)
Chiron is the archetype of the Wounded Healer as, unable to use his healing arts upon himself, Chiron gave up his god status in order to die and thereby end the eternal agony of a poisoned arrow wound. When I was writing my book and reached the section on Chiron I contacted Melanie Reinhart, a recognized authority on Chiron. She wrote that his importance lies in –
“how he points to the issues that accompany the path of awakening, such as health crises, life-changing experiences, meetings with teachers, recapitulation of old trauma or major insights”.
In true retrograde Mercury fashion an oversight on my part was to forget to mention the Mars – Chiron conjunction that came first, also at 15 degrees of Pisces on 31 January. This was tragically the day that Bobbi Kristina Brown (Sun at 14 degrees of Pisces, and also born on an almost exact Uranus – Neptune conjunction) was found face down and unconscious in her bath at home. Pisces, co-ruled by Neptune, god of the sea rules everything to do with water and the difficult side to this sign/planet relates to escapism, such as the altered states of consciousness found though drug or alcohol abuse. The deep family wound is echoed in her mother’s chart too. Whitney Houston – Ascendant 5 Pisces, Chiron in the first house at 14 Pisces, conjunct her daughter’s Sun – her own Sun in Leo opposite Saturn in Aquarius the 12th house (the natural house of Pisces/Neptune) both forming a fixed T-Square to Neptune in Scorpio.
We all have Chiron in our charts, we all have our wound. Studying Chiron in your own chart can reveal what needs to heal. As Melanie Reinhart also pointed out to me the full power of Chiron’s message is captured in his “rebirth”, being returned to source and immortalized in the constellation of Centaurus. With that in mind on this Venus (love) Chiron (healing and rebirth) union, along with Mercury turning direct, it seems apposite to post the below. I’ve posted it before, but it is powerful stuff and really does make you think.
And to kiss goodbye to retrograde Mercury until the next time and for a real bellyache laugh the last piece of this blog is priceless for children’s views and spelling mistakes!
Wishing you joy and strength on the road to fulfillment,
With love from Greece
5 Top Deathbed Wishes – written by a hospice nurse…
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
CAN YOU IMAGINE A NUN SITTING AT HER DESK, GRADING THESE PAPERS, ALL THE WHILE TRYING TO KEEP A STRAIGHT FACE AND MAINTAIN HER COMPOSURE!
PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE WORDING AND SPELLING. IF YOU KNOW THE BIBLE EVEN A LITTLE, YOU’LL FIND THIS HILARIOUS! IT COMES FROM A CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEST.
KIDS WERE ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
THE FOLLOWING 25 STATEMENTS ABOUT THE BIBLE WERE WRITTEN BY CHILDREN. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN RETOUCHED OR CORRECTED. INCORRECT SPELLING HAS BEEN LEFT IN.
1. IN THE FIRST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, GUINESSIS. GOD GOT TIRED OF CREATING THE WORLD SO HE TOOK THE SABBATH OFF.
2. ADAM AND EVE WERE CREATED FROM AN APPLE TREE. NOAH’S WIFE WAS JOAN OF ARK. NOAH BUILT AND ARK AND THE ANIMALS CAME ON IN PEARS.
3. LOTS WIFE WAS A PILLAR OF SALT DURING THE DAY, BUT A BALL OF FIRE DURING THE NIGHT.
4. THE JEWS WERE A PROUD PEOPLE AND THROUGHOUT HISTORY THEY HAD TROUBLE WITH UNSYMPATHETIC GENITALS.
5. SAMPSON WAS A STRONGMAN WHO LET HIMSELF BE LED ASTRAY BY A JEZEBEL LIKE DELILAH.
6. SAMSON SLAYED THE PHILISTINES WITH THE AXE OF THE APOSTLES.
7. MOSES LED THE JEWS TO THE RED SEA WHERE THEY MADE UNLEAVENED BREAD, WHICH IS BREAD WITHOUT ANY INGREDIENTS.
8. THE EGYPTIANS WERE ALL DROWNED IN THE DESSERT. AFTERWARDS, MOSES WENT UP TO MOUNT CYANIDE TO GET THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
9. THE FIRST COMMANDMENTS WAS WHEN EVE TOLD ADAM TO EAT THE APPLE.
10. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT IS THOU SHALT NOT ADMIT ADULTERY.
11. MOSES DIED BEFORE HE EVER REACHED CANADA THEN JOSHUA LED THE HEBREWS IN THE BATTLE OF GERITOL.
12. THE GREATEST MIRICLE IN THE BIBLE IS WHEN JOSHUA TOLD HIS SON TO STAND STILL AND HE OBEYED HIM.
13. DAVID WAS A HEBREW KING WHO WAS SKILLED AT PLAYING THE LIAR. HE FOUGHT THE FINKELSTEINS, A RACE OF PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN BIBLICAL TIMES.
14. SOLOMON, ONE OF DAVID’S SONS, HAD 300 WIVES AND 700 PORCUPINES.
15. WHEN MARY HEARD SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF JESUS, SHE SANG THE MAGNA CARTA.
16. WHEN THE THREE WISE GUYS FROM THE EAST SIDE ARRIVED THEY FOUND JESUS IN THE MANAGER.
17. JESUS WAS BORN BECAUSE MARY HAD AN IMMACULATE CONTRAPTION.
18. ST. JOHN THE BLACKSMITH DUMPED WATER ON HIS HEAD.
19. JESUS ENUNCIATED THE GOLDEN RULE, WHICH SAYS TO DO UNTO OTHERS BEFORE THEY DO ONE TO YOU. HE ALSO EXPLAINED A MAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY SWEAT ALONE.
20. IT WAS A MIRACLE WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND MANAGED TO GET THE TOMBSTONE OFF THE ENTRANCE.
21. THE PEOPLE WHO FOLLOWED THE LORD WERE CALLED THE 12 DECIBELS.
22. THE EPISTELS WERE THE WIVES OF THE APOSTLES.
23. ONE OF THE OPPOSSUMS WAS ST. MATTHEW WHO WAS ALSO A TAXIMAN.
24. ST. PAUL CAVORTED TO CHRISTIANITY, HE PREACHED HOLY ACRIMONY, WHICH IS ANOTHER NAME FOR MARRIAGE.
25. CHRISTIANS HAVE ONLY ONE SPOUSE. THIS IS CALLED MONOTONY.