Friday, September 14, 2007

Disruptive Eclipse

Solar Eclipse (anular) September 11, 2007, 8:44:08 am EDT Ypsilanti, MI USA

The current eclipse occurs in Virgo and replaces the previous solar eclipse in Pisces.

At a very basic level, the subtext of the sun changes from “being served” to “service”.

The western half of the US is going to feel the effects of this eclipse much more solidly than the eastern half. For the Eastern US, there will be a call to spiritual values of service, with some disruption to services, for the west there will be a much more present call to the same values and some disruption to families. I expect there will be some trouble in the west that brings the nation together. Venus in 11 as warrior goddess on the east coast causes me some angst. I don’t think the war is going to end any time soon and I am concerned that something may happen to escalate the desire for it to continue.

The inspiration exists in this chart to do something “new and different”. It will be interesting to see which unconventional ideas turn unto something more concrete.

The eclipse itself will not have a huge impact on this area (Washtenaw County), being that it is in the 12th house and “outside the radar” of most of us.

The 12th house position does, however confirm the “spiritual” sense of this season, and for those of us with a strong metaphysical bent, there should be a noticeable shift in emphasis from the ethers.

Uranus opposing the eclipse means that there will be some disruption to services here (Washtenaw County), but I’m not expecting anything major.

As a new moon chart, the eclipse has Venus in a much stronger position, now in direct motion and rising as “Morning Star”. The people are going to feel its time for action, and the elected officials are going to feel the need to rise to the occasion.

Action over this period will be idealistically based, and community values are going to deeply influence those ideals.

Libra rising gives Venus a stronger-than-usual hand in this eclipse, it represents a great time for bringing people together behind a common cause.

Mercury's first house position means there'll be lots of talk during this eclipse, and Mars in Gemini suggests the talk will be hot headed and angry.

On a national level, the debate about the war will get hotter as one travels west across the country. The East Coast, the debate is ethereal, in the Mid West it becomes a real debate with much greater steam involving major universities and major protests, the Arid west it gets hotter again, however by the time it gets to the West Coast it becomes idealized, and very present.

My sense is that some Texas hot-heads are going to have a lot more sway in this debate than is warranted.

Mexico is in for a much harder time than it has had already.

Sorry about the gloom, I'd have hoped that reason would prevail in a Virgo eclipse, however, not in this one.

Take Care


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Well, that was fun!

I had the privilege to hear Robert Hand speaking last weekend (September 8th and 9th) and I have to say that he exceeded my expectations for lucidity of thought and approachability of presentation. I always expected Mr Hand to be bright, but brilliance doesn’t always translate to either clear or engaging presentation of the material.

It was reading Robert Hand that gave me a sense that there might actually be something to this “astrology thing” back in the early 90’s when I was still very skeptical that astrology was anything more than light entertainment for the crackpot fringe of society, and a belief system for the feeble of mind. I have since read several of his books and highly recommend them to my students.

Saturday night’s discussion was “Fate and Freewill” and to be perfectly honest, I went along expecting to hear a heap of dry-as-dust arguments with which I am already well acquainted; rehashed and regurgitated to come a middle-of-the-road conclusion (can you tell I spent way too long on e-mail lists a few years ago?).

For those folks (if any) who went to the lecture anticipating simple answers to a seemingly simple question, I guess they may have been under-whelmed.

Personally, I’m very tired of simple answers to complex questions, and it was a pleasure to follow a lucid train of thought through a complex issue and come away with the tools for investigating this, and several other complex issues, further.

The summary of his presentation comes down to “You will be who you are [fate] , the question is, how well [freewill] ?”

This is (or should be) the mantra of the humanist astrologer, but it was deeply satisfying to hear an extensive rendition of where this notion came from, and how far back in history it has been held by lovers of wisdom.

On the question of the "desire to believe", a fundamental part of the fate/freewill debate, Hand first pointed out that belief is simply opinion which is held in the absence of [quantifiable] experience. I'm not sure I'd ever thought of it that way.

Sundays workshop discussed the transition from Hellenistic to Medieval astrology. Both forms of astrology have been part of my own research (and finding their way into my work) for the last few years, so I was looking forward to this discussion from a person at the forefront of the translation and interpretation of the ancient works.

The beauty of the current era is that we, today, have more information available to us with which to put ancient astrology together than has been the case for 1000 years in Western Europe.

Again, Hand’s own work in the translation of text and the deciphering of meaning presented plenty of food for thought and answered many of my own questions about which way to implement some of these techniques.

I realize that questions of domicile and rulership, of terms and dignities and triplicities, are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but again following a lucid train of thought through the process of discerning meaning and application from these was both interesting and exciting to me.

I have found that ancient astrology meshes beautifully with post-modern humanism, but it does take considerable work to differentiate the technique from the philosophy.

I am very fond of saying that astrology is always a combination of the physics and metaphysics of its time. Physics doesn’t change much, however our understanding of it is always expanding and therefore changing. Metaphysics, on the other hand, changes almost momentarily, yet is born of archetypal themes that transcend the moments in time in which they were expressed, and perhaps even time itself.

In allowing for both of these complexities, one can gain a great deal of insight from what astrologers once thought, (or more particularly, how they thought) and can discern the techniques that stood the test of time for 1000 years across many political and religious bounds.

I have been working with the above premises for several years now, and was beginning to feel a bit isolated in my viewpoint (because my best resources to date have been “astro-fundamentalists” of one form or another… yep astrology has fundies too, folks).

It was therefore with some relief that, among the concluding statements in an extremely enlightening workshop, Hand came out with this little gem, “I have no problem with being a[n] humanistic astrologer who is applying ancient techniques.” … neither do I Mr. Hand, and the reinforcement is encouraging.

I have always believed that the written word contains only the parts of a person’s thinking that the person is (or was) prepared to defend. We lose so much insight when we “hang on every [written] word” of an esteemed authority, and fail to see what it was that said authority was actually thinking.

I am reminded of a statement I heard during the workshop about fundamentalists believing in the absolute truth of selected portions of bad translations.

Do I agree with all of the conclusions Robert Hand drew? Of course not! However, it was a real treat to “fill in the gaps” on how he arrived at them.

Many thanks to the the Learning Center for Astrological Studies in Lansing, and particularly to Mr. Win Rowe, for making this event possible in our area.

Now… back to our regular program…

Take Care


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Reality comes a-calling on Virgo

Saturn Enters Virgo, 9:51:57 am EDT Ypsilanti, MI

Saturn means structure, it also means limits and order and reality. Where Jupiter represents faith, Saturn represents religion. Where Jupiter represents commerce, Saturn represents business organizations, where Jupiter represents education, Saturn represents the school board and so forth.

Saturn has a way of bringing things down to earth, and providing the structure and standards without which we cannot produce excellence.

Saturn has finally moved from Leo into Virgo.

Saturn in Leo, like Saturn in Cancer, remained in a nasty mood for the duration. Saturn’s hard pragmatic edge is rubbed up the wrong way by Cancer’s strong nurturing and familial spirit, and Saturn’s mechanical group-think is not fond of Leo’s self-aggrandizement and die-hard loyalty. We’ve had the worst 5 years Saturn has to offer. They are now behind us until Saturn moves back into Cancer when my now 4-year-old is almost 30.

We can now breathe a collective sigh of relief.

For Virgo, the challenge over the next two and a half years will be to "make it real". Virgo tends to dither, Saturn will cure it of that. Mercury will find it has some backbone. Either that, or Mercury will become depressive, finding that saturnine reality is more than it wants to deal with.

This will be a period where the bean-counters will rise to the top and make a nuisance of themselves. We will find more CEO’s appointed with financial and accounting backgrounds.

Saturn in Virgo is great for folks with placements in Capricorn, less fun for those with placements in Taurus, but its not all bad.

Virgo is a mutable sign. The Mutable signs tend to require structure to function, so Saturn here could be a stabilizing influence where the mutable signs are up for the challenge of stability, or a disruptive influence where the mutable signs are content with chaos.

The mutable signs are Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces and Gemini. The planets that rule those signs are Mercury and Jupiter.

Realty comes a-calling... can the mutable signs make up their minds? Will Mercury gain some backbone or wallow in depression? Will Jupiter use the boundaries to achieve excellence or burn itself out in the name of freedom?

It all comes down to the attitude we take to the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

And, after all, the attitude we take to our circumstances is the only freedom that is wholly our own to administer.

Take Care


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Political showdown, Stronger business.

Business and Politics

Lunar Eclipse, 6:35:01 am, August 28 2007, Ypsilanti, Michigan.
(effective as full moon until new moon, September 11, 2007)

As discussed in the astrology post on this eclipse, the subtext of the mood of the people has shifted from “attention to detail” to “spirituality and belief”.

Between now and February, the successful appeal will be made to “something greater than ourselves”. Folks have tired of the details its time to present a big picture.

Locally, the eclipse still favors the voice of opposition, with the leadership feeling trapped and imposing greater burdens on the people as a result.

The people as a whole are largely oblivious to this pending burden.

An active opposition has been stirring the pot for some time, it is now time for that opposition to present its manifesto, to give the people a reason to believe and a reason to implement change.

The leadership is not without strength, and its ability to add unseen burdens to the people is not to be taken lightly. We can expect some “tough talk” from our leaders locally.

This all points to a showdown over the income tax in Ypsilanti. I’ll be interested to hear how it affects other communities in the region.

The strongest appeal for either party will be to the family and the home.

For local business, the difficulties continue, however appeal to “core clientele” and family values will capture the imagination of the locals.

There are stronger indicators for steady cash-flow for those who are bold and prepared to take calculated risks. It is time for some well-thought-out marketing targeting high ideals and old-time values… though wait until after September 8th do implement a marketing plan.

Because this eclipse carries some subtle effect for the holiday season, it is an indicator that the holiday season will be better than expected for local business. In the current climate, that’s saying something!.

Hopefully next week I’ll get this out a bit earlier

There will be stronger business and political indicators from the solar eclipse and from the Libra ingress of the sun.

Take Care