A very long time ago, someone noticed something, and felt inclined to share it.
Living in the Northern part of our globe meant that, as the sunrise happened further toward the South, the darkness of night lasted longer, and the Sun rose lower in the sky when it bothered to make an appearance at all, and it also set well south of West.
Wherever our northern ancestors were, they had noticed that, in the early fall, the sun rose in a noticeably different place every morning, moving southward as it went. They had also noticed that, as the nights got longer, the southward progress of Sunrise also slowed.
Eventually it stopped moving southward to rise, rose in about the same place for a week or so, then slowly started to move northward. As the position of sunrise and sunset moved further northward, the nights became slowly shorter. In the far North, of course, the sun didn’t rise at all in mid-winter, and nor did it set in midsummer.
Noticing the position of sunrise, and which direction the sunrise was moving, could tell our ancestors what part of the season they were in, and how soon the changes of season would come. This is information could mean the difference between living and dying for our ancestors.
In order to remember these things, our non-literate ancestors told stories and sang songs so that their children would benefit from their observations. Because they knew the light would return after this day, they held great feasts. During this time, we began to look toward the heavens for the promise of things to come, and we have had astrologers in our midst ever since.
All of this was noticed long before history was ever recorded in words, or details were ever recorded in stone for posterity.
The religions that have developed and survived into the modern era have evolved from those stories, songs, and festivals. Our modern science has found ways to describe the seasonal phenomena in ways that are common to all people regardless of religion.
The return of the light, a festival of great celebration in the Northern tribes, has been adopted by the church as a pseudo-birthday for the christian savior who, being of common birth, never had his true birth date recorded. As the Sun provides sustenance for all life, so the church sees their savior as providing sustenance for the soul. And so a new song was made, and a new tradition started, so that the observations of our pre-literate ancestors were lost in the mythos of the birth of the christian savior.
When a religious person announces to the world that “Jesus is the reason for the season”, I can confidently turn the statement around and say to myself “no, the season is the reason you celebrate Jesus on this day”...and all because many astrologers in many places a long time ago cared enough to share what they observed.
Wishing you all a wonderful solstice celebration, regardless of the name you attach to it !!!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Luna (the Moon) is still in her waxing first quarter as she enters Aries today, and she is nearing her “bends” (as Ashmad so eloquently translates Ptolemy), and is therefore more prone to erratic, creative behaviour. In short, Luna is full of vim and vigour.
This is good news for Venus, who could really use a good stiff tonic after her long march in Scorpio. Luna gives Venus the pep-talk she most desperately needs, and Venus flowers into her radiant, beautiful self in Sagittarius under Jupiter’s favour.
Luna’s next encounter is with Saturn, who enjoys his exalted status in Libra. Luna is intent on creating a brave new world, and Saturn is keen to keep her new world within the bounds of established forms of beauty and order. They have quite an argument, but the fallout is not terrible, Sol (the Sun) sides with Saturn (with considerable concession to Luna) on this round, and Luna moves on, a little ruffled, but undaunted in her optimism.
Next, Luna checks off with Sol, making sure there are no hard feelings over the Capricorn eclipse, and Luna changes her mood from “sowing seeds” to “bearing fruit”. Still in Aries, this means “more, faster, and better”… the pressure for results is on for the coming week.
Exalted Mars is next in Luna’s errands, but exulted though he may be, Mars is currently pressed into service for Sol, so Luna simply cries “more, faster, better” in his ears, and marvels at how well Mars performs when he is constrained by limits and pressed into service.
Mercury is now recovered from his recent retrograde and making his third pass over the late degrees of Sagittarius, gleaning as much information as he can from this transit (and all the gossip about the Lunar eclipse just before Yule), and passing as much information on as he can. Demand for information increases as Luna cries "more faster better" in his ears, and leaves Aries, heading for her beloved Taurus.
Luna’s mantra has been “plant, sow, prepare” since the Capricorn eclipse, and her demand from Sol has been for long-term planning and greater foresight. On January 10, she enters Aries, where “plant-sow, prepare” becomes the pep-talk that inspires great action. Her encounter with Venus happens late that day (wee small hours of the 11th for Australia). Her encounter with Saturn happens later again on the 11th (early 12th in parts East). She makes her first quarter with Sol early on January 12 (very late in Australia), where she takes up her “more faster better” mantra, which she whispers in Mars’ ear later that day (early 13th in parts East). She catches Mercury in the very last degree of Sagittarius just before she slips into Taurus, late on the 12th in the US, wee smalls of the 13th at Greenwich, and well into the morning in Australia.
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Our dear lady of fruitfulness and pleasure has seemed a bit erratic lately, and the discerning astrologer will notice she has spent an awful lot of time in Scorpio.
To understand why this is a big deal, we need to understand a bit more about her.
Venus is named for the irrational desire that overtakes us when our hormones get the better of us. This can be desire for love, desire for vengeance, desire for justice. In the modern world, desire for acceptance and desire for stuff. Desire in itself is not a bad thing, after all, desire gives birth to the love in which desire is mutually shared, but soap operas and historical epics are full of cases in which it goes badly wrong.
For those of you who might be thinking, “Hey, I thought that was Mars”, Mars is the principle of action. Mars represents striving and fighting, the planning and execution of plans, the “doing” of those things that serve our ends. When irrational desire is allowed to define our “ends”, irrational actions ensue, and another soap-opera scenario is born.
Needless to say, this is not a new phenomenon.
Venus’ long march through Scorpio began September 8, 2010. Venus in Scorpio: the planet of emotional desire entered the sign of manifestation and manipulation. Scorpio is Venus’ house of detriment, things go wrong when irrational desire meets manipulative action...
Mars and Venus have been cruising along together for quite a while, first in Libra, and then in Scorpio, they pass each other twice in that dance, which is all very romantic, and a prime environment for romantic foolishness.
If you are looking for some figures… for 99 days of the last 123 Venus has been in Scorpio, many of those with Mars as her consort… but Venus hates figures, so I won’t bore you with the rest of them, however, we may find a surprising number of children born of secret relationships this coming June/July.
A couple of days ago, Venus entered Sagittarius, while Mars has moved on through Capricorn, having his long discussion with the Sun. Venus improves the ambiance in Jupiter’s diurnal home, and Jupiter is already looking pretty jolly in Pisces, so Sagittarius is enjoying a lot of positive energy right now.
In Sagittarius, Venus wears her daytime garb, becoming the goddess of beauty, justice, and judgement. Unfortunately for us, the emotionally unhinged in our communities might have had a bit too much intensity over the past 120 days, and the execution of justice could get very ugly indeed. On a brighter note, inspirational stories should abound, and new buoyancy should inhabit the more progressive people in our midst for the month of January. Images of beauty will undertake a positive shake-up over this period.
On February 4, Venus enters Capricorn, and that is another story.
Friday, January 07, 2011
The Moon is queen of the Zodiac, and ruler of the night. She keeps in touch with everybody by aspect, currently adding moisture and fertility in her waxing light.
The Moon in Aquarius has finished her conversation with Mercury in Sagittarius, and is looking forward to her passage into Pisces.
In Pisces, her first order of business is a brief encounter with Venus (who has just entered Sagittarius), then Sun in Capricorn, then Mars in Capricorn, then Mercury in Sagittarius, then Jupiter in Pisces.
Jupiter’s strong placement over the last year has left both Sagittarius and Pisces feeling very strong. A visit from the waxing Moon inflates that joy.
Sagittarius, full of new ideas from Mercury’s long journey, now feeling Venus’ fruitful presence, will feel twice blessed for five days or so as the waxing Moon shares her light.
Capricorn, feeling the warmth of the Sun and the added warmth of its favourite planet, Mars, also takes extra heart from this waxing Moon.
Other signs feeling the spark of life from this waxing Pisces Moon include Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Virgo, and Scorpio.
Of the transpersonal planets, Neptune bids the Moon good-day as she exits Aquarius, Pluto grabs her attention in Capricorn, and Uranus is hanging out with Jupiter in the last degrees of Pisces.
So, what does it all mean? The Moon moves fast (in astrological terms) and its effects are fleeting but useful. Making the most of its energy as it passes through allows you to make a little bit more out of each day.
Those with strong Pisces, Capricorn, or Sagittarius placements can make more use of the Pisces Moon than Aquarius, Aries, Leo, or Libra placements, but those had a good look at the Aquarius moon and will get a good look at the Aries moon, so nobody dips out for long, and every part of your life can benefit from a lunar transit every few days.
As we learn more about our charts, we can learn to make better use of the things we have.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
After a very long time away, I’m going to endeavour to make a simple comment here every day… nothing huge or deep, just “here it is and this is what it might mean”.
The Sun is catching up with Mars in Capricorn, and I thought I’d share a few simple thoughts on that.
Mars is in his exultation in Capricorn, but this turn of the wheel saw the Sun blocking out his light while Mars was still in the last degrees of Sagittarius around December 4. This is called Mars’ “Heliacal Setting”. Any pomp and circumstance that Mars might have enjoyed in Capricorn was overshadowed by a visit from the Sun.
The Sun overtakes Mars around February 4 in the middle of the sign of Aquarius which is a very auspicious point in world affairs.
The Sun and Mars travel through Pisces together until both are in Aries, and its not until around April 15 that Mars can again be seen with the naked eye, (Mars' Heliacal Rising) this time as the owner of the house in which the Sun is exalted.
This speaks of a cosy relationship emerging between leaders and the military, between people of importance and surgeons, between personality and the need for action.
Mid April, while the Sun is still in Aries and Mars is visible, will be a particularly telling week, especially with Saturn also exulted in Libra. I'm expecting to see leaders taking action against establishment forces, but I'm not expecting easy victories...… we’ll see what happens.