Sunday, 29 April 2012

Balancing The Masculine and The Feminine

Shivashakti - male and female energies combine in one body.
The asteroids – Ceres, Juno, Vesta and Pallas, named for four of the great goddesses of Olympus – were actually discovered before the outer planets Neptune and Pluto. But you wouldn't think so, given the amount of attention astrologers paid to them for the next 200 years or so. That is – almost no attention at all.

I've always found this odd, since the asteroids so clearly fill a huge, yawning gender gap in astrology – at least nominally.  The traditional planets have a 5-2 balance in favour of the masculine, but once the three new outer planets were added in the 19th and 20th centuries, that balance shifted to 8-2.

Now I don't believe that's a good representation of the human spirit, do you? Or even of life on Earth.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Redesign In Progress

Umm - the redesign. It was a little unexpected.
I hope you like it.
I am working on getting the gadgets back again, but blogger appears to have swallowed them up. Meanwhile enjoy the whizzy new views.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

So You Thought Lilith Was Always a Woman...

In my last post I pointed out that the extraordinarily brilliant writer Patricia Highsmith had dark, disturbing Lilith conjunct her Mercury, the planet of mind and writing. One of the things that makes her writing so remarkable is her ability to get under the skin of evil. 

Her greatest creation is Mr. Ripley, killer, conman, chameleon – psychopath. She wrote five spine-chilling novels featuring the talented Mr. Ripley.

These novels have been filmed several times. Most memorable for me are Matt Damon's creepily intense performance as the malevolent Ripley in the 1999 Anthony Minghella movie, and Alain Delon's earlier take on the same role in René Clement's Plein Soleil (1960).

Matt Damon: Mercury conjunct Lilith to the degree in Libra.
Alain Delon: Lilith in Libra also, in the 1st (8° from Asc) trine North Node
Anthony Minghella: Lilith in the craftsman's sign Virgo, trine North Node exact
René Clement: Lilith in Pisces (illusions), trine the film-maker's Neptune, 5° from Pisces Sun

They all understood what Highsmith was getting at.

Watch this clip and hear Lilith speaking.

Lilith: Wild, Outcast, Wicked – Essential

Joan Crawford.
picture by George Hurrell
Lilith – baby-strangler, seducer, mistress of secret knowledge, outsider, feminist icon.

In Jewish folklore, she is Adam's first wife. But her roots are much older – an Assyrian she-demon, a serpent goddess, queen of the underworld.

In astrology, confusion reigns. There are three Liliths - an asteroid, a mean Lilith and the Dark Moon Lilith. It is the latter to which most authors are actually referring. In your chart this will appear as a black crescent moon with a cross below.

But what does Lilith mean in the chart? Does she show independence, darkness, or repressed anger? Does she show a lack, an emptiness, as some writers have suggested? Or maybe obsession, voraciousness?

On a wet and blowy evening this week, my local astrology group met to investigate. None of us felt we had come to grips with the real meaning of Lilith yet. Nothing any of us had read really resonated. So we thought we'd look at a lot of charts and see what came up.

The results were... a) horrid... 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Who Has The Guts To Take On France

Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France.
Sun Aquaris/MoonPisces
Like so many nations, France is in a right mess. Unemployment, social unrest, shambolic finances, a failing education system – and perhaps worst of all, no clear vision for the future.

And France is in the midst of general election. But would victory be a poison chalice? Who can rise to the challenge of reshaping France for the 21st century?

Francois Hollande, challenger
Sun Leo/Moon Capricorn
There are 10 candidates in all, but only four are having real impact. They divide neatly into mavericks vs. establishment. What is really apparent from the current campaigns is how divorced the ruling elite is from the electorate – a very similar situation to the one we are in on this side of La Manche. The reason the two outsiders are doing so well, is because the French are sick of the insiders.

But astrologically, it's the similarities between the charts that are interesting.

The two establishment candidates are Nicolas Sarkozy, the current incumbent, who is from the right, and Francois Hollande, a socialist. Both of these men have emerged from the core Parisian ruling elite, a group which has pretty much run the country since 1958, when De Gaulle created the 5th Republic. Just to put this clearly, they grew up in the same suburb of Paris, Neuilly-sur-Seine. The cosiness of this sounds awfully familiar to the British.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Astrology of Now: Bright Ideas

André Durand - Prometheus Stealing Fire*
A long time ago, Prometheus, one of the lesser immortals, stole fire from the great god Zeus and gave it to humans. That immortal flame set them free. Ironically, Prometheus himself was punished by being chained to a rock.

Prometheus was a trickster, like another god of the Greeks, Hermes, messenger and protector of thieves.

Prometheus is an avatar of Uranus* (in astrology not mythology). Hermes is another name for Mercury.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Syria: The Blood-Dimmed Tide

A member of the Free Syrian Army, an avatar of Pluto wearing his helmet of invisibility.

This was written by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats in the 1919 in the aftermath of World War 1 and the Easter Rising in Ireland. As well as being a poet, Yeats was a visionary and a mystic. Read this piece carefully, because it could not be more appropriate to the current situation in Syria.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

More on Robbins, Absent Fathers and American Dreams

As I was making soup just now, I had some (very obvious) thoughts about Anthony Robbins chart that I thought I'd better share immediatement. Right now, of course, Mercury is over his South Node and Mercury, so it makes sense to think about him again. Also he has just resold his abortive TV series of a few summers ago to Oprah. I wonder if this relaunch will turn out to be far more successful than the original, which was cancelled.

But here's the point that came to me as I was chopping a really big potato. The highest planet in Robbins' chart isP Uranus. Uranus is often associated with unusual physical types – in particular giantism and dwarfism. As the highest planet, it is how he is perceived by those who don't know him. It's also opposite the chart ruler Venus in Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus.

Aquarius is one of the collective signs, it's the sign of groups, evening classes, charity. Aquarius is where groups of people with similar interests get together – and Uranus is the daddy.

This is how Robbins comes across to those of us who don't know him. And lo, he has the sign of family on his MC. He makes his believers, sorry customers, feel like they are part of one big family, which I guess for him is a way of making up for the loss of his own father.

Right, that's all folks. Except for this final thought, US Presidents specialise in absent or distant fathers. I wonder if one could make some sweeping generalisations about the American psyche and the search for Daddy....

PS Katie Sweetman on The OA Facebook site pointed out that the angles of Robbins chart are all about to get Uranus-Pluto kazammed.

Here's a link to the full post on Robbins.

Tony Robbins: Guru or Snake Oil Salesman?

Anthony Robbins, self-invented
Anthony Robbins is a phenomeon. If you haven't come across him yet – well, you will.

In a nut-shell he is the top, or one of the top, personal development salesmen in the world – hosting seminars, writing books, making the infamous "infomercials", giving lectures, flogging motivational CDs  - he even had a TV show for a while, which has just been picked up by Oprah. He is brand Tony Robbins.

If you want to get thinner, richer, fitter or just more fulfilled and successful, Antony Robbins says he can help you.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

What's Your Job on the Ship of Life?

One of the things that astrology teaches is that we need all kinds of different skills and qualities to keep the ship of life afloat. Society needs to work together to get things done.  And quite often the person who is most annoying in one role – say, the gossip at the school gates – is highly efficient in another – say, as a city councillor. We need the busy bodies, the fighters, yes, even the bullies sometimes – as well as the singers, the lazybones and those of us who sit around talking about the stars.

You wouldn't want your excellent baker to be your surgeon, or your policeman to be your nurse, would you? We all have something to contribute and we all have a niche to fill.

Imagine we were on a ship sometime in the 18th century.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Aries Self-Portraits Redux

Click here for to read my piece on Aries self portraits published here last April.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

12 Ways To Embrace Mars in Virgo

The action planet Mars has slowly toiled backwards through Virgo for months, but now there is only one more week to go. He turns on the 14th. Then we'll still have another two months of Mars in Virgo as he makes his way back through almost the entire sign. On July 4, he moves into Libra.

Mars retrograde is about redoing stuff, or even undoing it. Have a look at where Virgo is in your chart and that should give you some idea of what it is you should be re-examining. And remember Virgo is about healing.

Here are some possibilities. This works better for rising signs but also for Sun signs.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Enter the Fairy Realm: Venus in Gemini

Steal away with the fairies for the next few months while Venus dances in Gemini
"At the beginning of each summer, when the milk-white hawthorn is in bloom, anointing the air with its sweet odour, and miles and miles of golden whin adorn the glens and hill-slopes, the fairies come forth in grand procession, headed by the Fairy Queen. They are mounted on little white horses, and when on a night of clear soft moonlight the people hear the clatter of many hoofs, the jingling of bridles, and the sound of laughter and sweet music coming sweetly down the wind, they whisper one to another: "’Tis the Fairy Folks' Raid", or "Here come the Riders of the Shee".
The Fairy Queen, who rides in front, is gowned in grass-green silk, and wears over her shoulders a mantle of green velvet adorned with silver spangles. She is of great beauty. Her eyes are like wood violets, her teeth like pearls, her brow and neck are swan-white, and her cheeks bloom like ripe apples. Her long clustering hair of rich auburn gold which falls over her shoulders and down her back, is bound round about with a snood that glints with star-like gems, and there is one great flashing jewel above her brow. On each lock of her horse's mane hang sweet-toned silver bells that tinkle merrily as she rides on..." From Wonder Tales From Scottish Myth 
It's not quite the beginning of summer here in the Northern hemisphere, of course. We are in the midst of spring – primroses, violets, daffodils, early bluebells; catkins and the first dusting of bright green on the dark winter trees. But the planet Venus has sailed way ahead this year; she has already danced into the sign of early summer, Gemini.

Because she has moved so far ahead of the Sun, Venus is about to go into her biennial retrograde motion (May 15 - Jun 27). That means she will be in the sign of the trickster from now (April 4) until August 8th.

What happens when Venus meets clever, quicksilver, airy Gemini?

When the goddess of love moves from one sign to the next, she changes her costume, changes her demeanour. She shows us different ways to approach love and art each time, and she appears in different guises in works of art.

Gemini, the first air sign, is all about lightness – lightness of touch, fleetness of foot, quickness of tongue.

In Gemini, we find Venus as, among other characters, Queen of the Fairies, who seduces humans with her ethereal beauty, her quick rhymes, above all her music and laughter. Down into her fairy realm under the hill, she takes us. At first all is fun and games, dancing and feasting, but one false move and, faster than blinking, the fairies turn. Flowers turn to coals, gold to mud, beauty to ugliness – nothing is what it seemed to be.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Art in the Era of Neptune in Pisces

Daydreaming by DG Rossetti
I think it's time I drew your attention to a piece I wrote about Neptune in Pisces and the Pre-Raphaelites. The astrology is pretty exact. Click here to read it.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Posts About Burma

To celebrate the sweeping victory of Aung San Suu Kyi and her party in yesterday's election, I'm posting links to all the pieces I've written about her and her country over the past 18 months.

Aung San Suu Kyi: Embodying the People's Dream

Burma: The Ugly Face of Astrology

Burma's October Full Moon

Burma's Thaw: Managing Inevitable Change January 2012

April Horoscopes

courtesy of Kerry Darlington
What a delightful, exciting month ahead. I'll be posting about some of the more exhilirating cosmic events later on, because I think they deserve more attention.

Meanwhile, click here to find your monthly horoscope.