Halloween/Day Of The Dead/All Soul’s & Saints Day 2016

 

If you’ve never given thought to celebrating the ancestral holidays of Scorpio season beyond passing out candy to kids, this year you might want to start. There is a Scorpio New Moon that precedes Halloween this year, on Sunday, October 30th. This of course leads to Day Of The Dead/Diá de los Muertos on November 1st-2nd, All Saints Day on November 1st and All Souls Day on November 2nd. Last year we had a Cancer Moon that kicked off ancestor/spirit season and I wrote that the Cancer Moon shows our connection to heritage, genealogy, family lineage and roots. This year it’s the Scorpio New Moon that starts ancestor/spirit season, which is perhaps more potent since Scorpio (ruled by Pluto) is the sign of death itself, the legacies that survive from beyond the grave, the transmutation of energy from one state of being to the next. [Read more…]

R.I.P Dearly Beloved Prince

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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to get through this thing called life…

 

2016 continues to prove it is the year that won’t stop taking all the good ones from us. We added Prince to that list today. Music once again just got a little less sassy, sexy, smart, otherworldly. Reading over Prince’s life and learning things about him I never knew, that lyric from “Let’s Go Crazy” is only one of many things Prince said that seemed to be channeled from somewhere beyond. At his final concert last week, Prince told the crowd “wait a few days before you waste your prayers on me”. Apparently he was an epileptic in his youth (interesting to me as I was also epileptic in my youth and teens) and told his mom at age 7 that an angel had appeared to him, saying the seizures would stop. And they did. I knew he was the quintessential Gemini (ahem, turning his name into a symbol…), but knew nothing else of his chart until today. The Gemini expressiveness was indeed a fount for something much deeper in him:

 

Prince natal chart + transits at time of death

Prince natal chart + transits at time of death

 

Scorpio rising; Scorpio’s modern ruling planet Pluto (thus the chart ruler) in exact conjunction to Midheaven aka public image at the anaretic 29th degree of Leo; Scorpio’s traditional ruling planet Mars at 0 degrees of the sign it still rules, Aries, and in the 5th house of arts and creativity. Raw, visceral energy doesn’t even begin to describe it. His sexual energy manifesting through his art is easy enough to explain, and with Scorpio rising and the chart’s ruler in exact conjunction to his career/image angle it wasn’t hard to grab attention that way.

 

Pluto conjunct Midheaven: the public image connected to death and secrets. As I said I had never looked at his chart before, and was surprised at the connections -both by natal positions and by transits- that Prince shared with Robin Williams.

 

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Williams was also a Scorpio rising with Pluto in Leo conjunct the Midheaven; while he wasn’t a Gemini, the ruling planet of Gemini -Mercury- was in the Pluto-MC conjunction as well. Both Robin Williams and Prince were Pisces Moons. The Scorpio rising will project a certain exterior to the world at large to protect itself; for both Prince and Robin Williams their exteriors masked an inner life that was far more sensitive, susceptible, and easily lost and overwhelmed than most would immediately think. And very, very intuitive. Prince’s Pisces Moon was conjunct his IC, in tight opposition to that Pluto-MC conjunction. Home was his refuge, but I wonder how healthy of an escape it was. Adding to the heavy Plutonic nature of his birth chart is the Sun in the 8th house. These people are never strangers to psychological pain. Pisces’ ruling planet is nebulous, mythological ocean god Neptune and it is in the house it rules, the intangible and impossible to pin down 12th house. Here too is his North Node; while he often projected the image of being fully devoted to exploring the realm of the physical senses, his higher calling was always pulling him to explore the world far beyond this one. Music wasn’t just a passion, it was his direct connection to the divine. How he seen the divine within himself.

 

Both Prince and Robin Williams had Neptune transiting their 4th houses at the times of their death. With Scorpio rising, Mars and Pluto were co-rulers of Prince’s chart, and Mars and Pluto both just stationed retrograde one day apart. At 57 1/2 years old, Prince had also just entered the beginning of his second Saturn Return. All that’s a strong energy for someone who reportedly wasn’t healthy at the time. The cause of death isn’t known yet, but he had a nasty bout of flu that put him in the hospital just a few days previous and perhaps the weakening of his constitution facilitated whatever the cause of death was. Given the Neptunian nature, fluid buildup in the lungs would fit. Neptune rules fluids and a lot of people associate Neptunian death as drowning or poisoning or alcohol overdose; often, pneumonia or encephalitis or similar are the culprits.

 

(David Bowie did not have Pluto on the MC, so he wasn’t remembered for his actual death as much as he was/will be for the art he created about the transition from one stage of life to the next.)

 

It probably doesn’t matter in the court of public opinion what the actual cause was, though. Pluto is on the MC and, just like Williams, there will forever be mystery as to the actual cause and reports of fighting over the estate. The tangibles of such considerable personal investments of one’s soul energy. It was a small joke I seen around the Internet today that Prince is probably laughing at anyone trying to find and share his music on YouTube. But, it was no joke to him while alive. Power and control are Scorpio themes, and with Pluto conjunct Midheaven those power struggles played out in public. Remember Prince writing “SLAVE” on his face during a struggle with his record company? Not mere attention seeking on his part; the Scorpio/Pluto mantra of “energy in must equal energy out” was a deeply serious thing. Add to that Venus in Taurus, the money planet in the sign it rules and that doesn’t think twice about valuing its own self worth, and you ended up with the artist who was acutely aware of the ways his creative output would be used at his expense for the profits of others if he didn’t exert complete control.

 

So, no, even though I tried I could not find my favorite Prince songs for free on YouTube to share here (this link is the only one I could find of my very favorite Prince song), but while searching I did find a funny video of him kicking Kim Kardashian off his stage and taunting her with “oh what’s Kanye saying?”:

 

 

which isn’t exactly something to pay tribute to him for, but he was a Gemini after all (like Ian Dury, had Mercury in Gemini and Chiron in the 3rd house, a way with words that cannot be copied) and a funny, witty dude, and laughing at it temporarily interrupted my sadder thoughts. And illustrates again what I described in the David Bowie post is happening in music: the more we lose original brilliance, the more it contrasts with the dead eyed, soulless “entertainment” of the Pluto in Capricorn years.

 

UPDATE 4/24: Just yesterday someone uploaded to YouTube a live version of Prince covering a Jimi Hendrix song, “Red House”. I want to hug that person to death for doing it. The best artist of my time covering the greatest artist before him?! Do your heart and soul a world of good and watch it, share it. Also, show it to those uninformed people who think Prince was a “pop singer”. He should be remembered as much for being a producer, multitalented instrumentalist and particularly a kickass guitarist. Damn it this video made me cry but so, so worth it.

 

 

 

Does God Approve Of Astrology?

Stained glass zodiac images, St. Denis Basilica, France

Stained glass zodiac images, St. Denis Basilica, France

 

Hi Clarissa thank you for answering our questions.  I have one that I hope is OK to ask. My family is not strictly religious but they do like to go to church sometimes. And read the Bible. I think astrology is Ok with God and religions and I still do it but I don’t bring it up with people anymore because as I’m sure you know people think it is demonic or occult or whatever and goes against some religious beliefs. How do you look at it? Can a person be a Christian or whatever other and still look at astro stuff? I would like to have a response ready to tell others when they ask so I am hoping you can write something on it! – Suzy

 

This question was posted in the comments section of this post, an open call for questions from my readers. There is no easy answer to this one, and I won’t pretend my answer is the only or right one. This is just my two cents on the subject, take it or leave it.

 

As the stained glass image shows, astrology was once kinda cozy with religion. The biggest Christian holiday, Easter Sunday, is itself an attempt to blend the solar and lunar cycles, occuring every year on the Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Spring Equinox, when the Sun moves into Aries and kicks off spring in the northern hemisphere. Astrology was a common motif in those early Christian churches, even seen today at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It is a common argument that the reason astrology, indigenous holidays and other beliefs predating Christianity were used in the early days by Christians and eventually co-opted was to appease the immoral heathens and make Christianity into something they’d take to, identify with. I find that a basically lazy argument, honestly. The roots of Christianity are a bit more mystical and synthesized existing beliefs more than some modern day believers would think. Throughout history, religions tended to be quite sympathetic to mysticism before turning on it at a later point.

 

One Bible verse I hear thrown around a lot is 2 Kings 21:6, which warns against fortune tellers, necromancers, and mediums. On the other hand, astrologers like to point out the story of the Nativity in which the travelling Magi (derivative of Greek word for “magical”) followed a star in the sky over Bethlehem that lead them to baby Jesus. The Bible doesn’t actually say there were three Magi, but that’s the number of men who came bearing gifts so I guess they were the only ones that counted. Like most people who only care about who brings them stuff on Christmas. Anyway, back in the day Magi were priests of Zoroastrianism, and were well versed in astronomy and astrology, at the time regarded as a high science. Zoroastrianism was actually quite opposed to sorcery and dark arts; while in modern times astrology became lumped in with witchcraft, Tarot, the New Age movement, and so on, this is actually not close to the origins of astrology, which was practiced and seriously studied by very religious scholars and used by the rulers and priests of the land.

 

I, personally, see the Bible’s warning against fortune telling and necromancy as an important one. Your chart may be set in stone, but what you do with it is not, and your fate largely hinges on your actions. A bad fortune teller can ruin your life if you let them, if you believe that whatever they are telling you is beyond your control and even beyond God’s control. In my previous post, What Does Astrology Know About Death And The Afterlife?, I wrote that I’ve known astrologers who’ve told people they’d commit suicide or be murdered based on their natal chart. Which is utter bullshit. Bull. Shit. A good number of people claiming to know such things really are ego tripping on “playing God”.

 

As for mediumship and necromancy, any belief system that believes there are benevolent spirits/enitites/forces at work in the world also believes there are opposing darker ones, and one thing the Bible does really well is explain that evil often masquerades as benevolence. When actively attempting to contact such spirits/entities/whatever, how would you know what you’ve actually contacted? It’s a sensible question.

 

My opinion is that the Bible (and the other religions, from what I’ve seen of them) don’t explicitly prevent a person from studying or practicing astrology; the evil is in how it is being used in your life. Anything can come between a person and their relationship with the Divine Whoever/Whatever/Wherever. Astrology itself never has been, and still isn’t, a religion and so treating it like one could potentially be problematic.

 

Essentially, astrology is a primitive study, in the literal sense of the word: the first, the earliest, the most ancient. The oldest form of technology we have. Christianity was once primitive too, as were all religions, and in those early stages we find more common ground than degrees of separation. I actually read the Bible in its entirety when I was 14, at the same time I started learning astrology. I was a strange kid, what can I say… I also had a lot of Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus stuff hitting my chart in a big way and my head was just exploding with concepts. I had a dream about Tarot potent enough to put me off it for life, even still I do not use cards. (Nothing against those who do, apparently it’s just not meant for me). I did very quickly after that discover the Bible could be used in similar fashion; I’d meditate on something and open or flip the Bible to see where it opened to. Since I was a kid and an idiot, I thought I had invented something new. It wasn’t until well into adulthood that I learned bibliomancy is actually a thing. It found me first.

 

Not surprising to me, actually having read the Bible. The whole thing is full of prediction and prophecy and dream interpretations and channeling. That’s one sticking point I have with people who tell me astrology isn’t compatible with Christianity: the Scriptures are chock full of mysticism, but everyday mysticism and mystery is seen as divine sin.

 

I recently read and loved a book called The Color Of Christ: The Son Of God And The Saga Of Race In AmericaIt is recommended reading for anyone regardless of religious persuasion or lack thereof. It details how much what we perceive to be Biblical interpretation morphs and bends depending on the races, cultures, languages, and other factors it encounters along the way. In it, the book very briefly details an exchange between  a Jesuit priest keen on converting a native American :

 

“For some, Christ was a problem because he had never appeared in North America. ‘Your God has not come to our country, and that is why we do not believe in him’, one native told Father Le June. Le June responded that Jesus could be seen with ‘spiritual’ sight, but this did not satisfy the native. ‘I see nothing except with the eyes of the body, save for sleeping, and you do not approve of our dreams.’ Perhaps pointing out Le June’s hypocrisy in trusting his own stories and dreams but not those of the natives, the native believed any reasonable God would appear to all, not just some.”

 

I see where the guy was coming from. It is odd to dismiss dreams, visions, and spiritual interpretations with a belief system born out of the same. It is common throughout the rest of that particular book, and throughout historical records, and our own oral history, to see indigenous, primitive (a compliment) peoples on every continent embrace theology and be temporarily embraced back before being told mutual understanding is impossible.

 

Personally, it never has been anything I’ve lost sleep over. My intentions are not keeping me from God or interfering with divine will. If ever once I thought it was, I’d drop it that day and never look back; I don’t play around. But I’ve had no reason to yet, other than the external social stigma and judgement coming from others who refuse mutual understanding. I’m not sure how much, if any, of this will help you in convincing people you’re not evil, but hopefully at least that is clearer in your own mind.

 

 

What Does Astrology Know About Death And The Afterlife?

Pic by Paul Koudounaris

Bejeweled catacomb remains. Pic by Paul Koudounaris.

 

I haven’t been able to find much astrological information (over the years) on the subject of death (yes, that taboo subject)… I would like to have a better understanding. The subject is simply a very interesting one for me… We all will face this territory one day, so the indications must be in all charts, and I would like to shine some light on the subject. – Crystal

 

Is there any way to incorporate past life aspects into the readings even though they are not person specific? – dweezer19

 

When I wrote this post asking readers to submit ideas for articles they’d like to see on Viva Combusta! pertaining to astrological perspectives they wonder about, these were among the first ones submitted. Death is the inevitable conclusion for all of our lives and yet curiosity on the subject tends to be shunned, and the existence or non-existence of life after death is something we all wonder and speculate about. I’m far from an expert on either subject, but I’ve obviously myself asked and continue to ask the same questions as everyone else and through the years I’ve picked up some interesting astrological perspectives on both subjects that I can leave here for anyone to use if its their thing.

 

So, here’s some stuff I’ve come across so far and my two cents worth thrown in…

 

In traditional/medieval astrology, they definitely tried to find issues of life and death in a birth chart. Life span and medical breakthroughs were not what they are now; thousands of years ago fifty was considered old age and people were dropping like flies from simple infections, tetanus, etc. Not to mention wars, crusades, pillaging and plundering, assassinations of leaders… Given the times, attempting to gain insight into a person’s life span was crucial.

 

The traditional method of determination involved identifying planets in the chart to fulfill certain roles: the hyleg, or “giver of life”; the alcoccoden, or “giver of years”; and the anareta or killing planet. The hyleg was the planet fulfilling the role of life in the chart, generally the Sun or Moon, sometimes the Part of Fortune. Some astrologers used other planets for the hyleg, some didn’t. The alcoccoden was the planet that would indicate the years a person had. Generally speaking, if there was no hyleg pinpointed in the chart, then no alcoccoden, either.

 

Over the years I have seen some ancient astrologers who would use other planets for the hyleg, and some who said no hyleg was needed for an alcoccoden at all. A lot of other factors were considered too, such as whether the chart was nocturnal or diurnal; dignities and debilities; whether the planets involved were malefic or benefic, and so on. (The ancients really considered this technique to be a literal life-and-death thing and didn’t shy from using malefic or benefic to describe things, like the don’t-worry-be-happy, New Age-y, politically correct modern astrologers do.) Determining when the alcoccoden would expire or bump up against the anareta was complicated, too, and again I’ve seen various techniques of determining this, usually involving progressions or primary directions.

 

Somewhere along the way, using the hyleg/alcoccoden/anareta fell by the wayside, like a lot of other traditional techniques. Certain houses started being associated with death: the 4th house became associated with conditions surrounding a person at the hour of their death; the 8th was both seen as showing how the person died and if anyone was involved; the 12th was associated with death in more ethereal terms. There was never total consensus on using the houses, either, and less consensus on what had to be happening in the house for death to occur, rather than the usual activity of those houses. A lot was being attributed to the planets, too, particularly after the discovery of certain outer planets. Mars became known as violent death, and Pluto too after its discovery in 1930. Saturn was thought to bring death from illness of old age; Uranus was unusual death; Neptune involved poisons, drowning, and shady unknowable circumstances. Interestingly, in more modern times Jupiter -traditionally the greater benefic, jolly big giant of good times- is being more and more frequently associated with death, as Jupiter brings “expansion” to whatever it does and in some astrologers eyes this plays a part in one’s passing.

 

I’ve also seen some fairly modern astrologers using complicated techniques to predict death using the lunar cycle and eclipses in particular. There may be other techniques that I haven’t come across yet.

 

I wouldn’t have a moral or ethical problem with these -or any other- predictive death techniques if they really worked, but therein lies the problem for me and why my initial morbid curiosity led me to abandon the idea of finding death in a chart altogether. They just don’t work very well. True, there are examples online of certain deaths that match a certain technique quite well, any person curious could find these. What they’re not showing, of course, are the bigger majority of deaths that do not fit any criteria at all. People regurlarly outlive these doom-and-gloom transits, and they do not die the awful death allegedly promised by their chart. Some things are easier to catch in hindsight, and I think these online examples of fitting a death to the astrology are doing just that. Retrofitting the outcome to the alleged cause. Meaning: not a prediction. That was my personal experience with looking at post mortem charts in examples where I knew or knew of the person; nothing at the time of their death was obvious or fit any criteria.

 

Now, astrology does have many, many quite accurate ways of looking at a person’s health throughout their life and pinpointing what in a person’s body is most likely to cause major issues. And indeed there are a number of things -transits, solar returns, progressions and so on- that can and do act as the “trigger” for health issues to pop up. It is possible, given the person’s age, overall health, lifestyle factors etc. to be concerned about the possibility of death by looking at a chart at a particular moment in time. Sometimes, as in the case of David Bowie, death is the conclusion to an organic process that was started with no other outcome. In his case, there was one astrologer whe predicted his death beforehand. Still, people can and do come back from the brink and recover from quite dire circumstances, so while I think it’s very important to look for and point out health issues and potential triggers, I call bullshit on anyone using those things as predictors of death.

 

Depression and anxiety are also things that can show easily in a birth chart. And depression and anxiety can lead to death via suicide, alcoholism, or careless and reckless behavior. Again, while the tendency to depression can show in a chart, death from it cannot, and even people who fight their whole lives with mental health issues can live very long lives, learn coping techniques, and pass away on natural and unrelated terms.

 

At least the ancient astrologers would acknowledge that their predictions weren’t foolproof, generally looking for a somewhat natural death, and allowed for any number of variables to interfere. I’ve talked to people who have had astrologers tell them their chart showed early death or that they would commit suicide or be murdered or some other outlandish bullshit claim. Modern astrologers claiming to know the hour of death or cause of death is fundamentally stupid at best and incredibly irresponsible most of the time. For one, if the time and cause is known, theoretically it can be avoided or cheated somehow. “Cheating death” can and does happen, such as a person miraculously surviving an accident they logically shouldn’t have, and to some extent astrology can help with this when it is able to warn of such a thing in advance and therefore preparing a person for that possibility.

 

However, so many of those flukes cannot be seen at all. Think of the number of people who pass away as a result of mass shootings, terrorist attacks, natural disasters… those people could not have had such a thing ever written in their chart and also shared it with so many others, nor could so many people with different and complex charts be experiencing transits to indicate such events. So many people die as a result of being in the wrong time at the wrong place, and by definition that cannot be predicted!

 

And as for suicide… as someone pointed out in the comments on the David Bowie post, suicide statistics dramatically increase in correlation to economic downturns, so if anything astrologers should be looking at the much larger view of what’s going on in the world rather than individual natal charts when dealing with this topic.

 

After looking at such things through the years, not only did I find that looking for death indicators in a chart (but separate from health indicators, which are far more accurate) is hit-and-miss in its results, I feel it’s a far better use of time to use astrology as a tool for living rather than dying. As the saying goes, “Men plan, God laughs”.

 

On that note, the experience of death as felt by the living can be shown by both the natal chart and by transits. A person experiencing a heavy Saturn transit may come face to face with their own mortality. A person who loses someone during a meaningful Neptune transit may see the loss of someone close to them as a very spiritual passage. People who lose a loved one in a Jupiterian way may experience the death as a “laughing through the tears” sort of thing, even throwing a party. Uranus can see a loss of someone quite suddenly and unexpectedly. Pluto transits are more renowned for bringing a person experiencing the transit into contact with death and loss in profoundly transformative and potentially scarring ways.

 

Since starting this blog, people have let me know of their loss of loved ones that took place at New and Full Moons. It’s not been possible as of yet for me to discern if the loss was due to the New/Full Moon making a particular aspect to the deceased ones chart, or if it mattered more to the survivor.

 

I personally nearly lost my mother during a Pluto transit to my Moon (mother/women). She survived. I did lose a coworker who had become a sort of surrogate father figure  (as I grew up without my own father) during an otherwise exciting Uranus transit; the last thing he told me was how he still felt like a “young son of a bitch” who could do more in a day than most men half his age do in a year. He died only a few hours later of a heart attack. The first time I had to face the reality of my own death was at my Saturn Return, when a health issue cropped up that potentially could have been bad but thankfully wasn’t. Celestial timekeeper Saturn just slapping me upside the head, letting me know I’ll reach that place too.

 

As a result of my own Pluto-Moon transit and my experiences with my mother (I won’t elaborate, so don’t ask), one area of astrological research I haven’t seen a lot of but that I feel is needed is in regards to near death experiences. That’s a fairly recent development, since before the middle of the last century if you were near death or clinically dead you, er, well you just died… The ability to resuscitate and directly stop the death process in its tracks is a very interesting recent achievement, very Aquarian Age as a matter of fact, and I’m not sure why astrologers haven’t jumped on it.

 

 

If you’ve been through a near death experience or witnessed it in someone else firsthand and know the astrology behind it, I’d be interested in hearing it, either in the comments for others to learn from or via my email vivacombusta@hushmail.com

 

People with heavy Pluto/Scorpio/8th house signatures or Saturn/Capricorn in their charts do seem to experience the realities of death more frequently than others; again, this says less about their own ending and more about lessons they’re here to learn and eventually share with others. People with emphasized 4th, 8th, and/or 12th houses are also going to be more strongly impacted than others by death in their family. These houses are houses that are concerned in different ways with family legacies, heritage, ancestors.

 

Pertaining to the question about past lives… sorry if this disappoints but I don’t believe in past lives, at least not any of the ways I’ve seen it explained. I don’t believe I have ever been anything or anyone other than me, and I don’t believe if I don’t “get it right” in this go around I’ll get a second chance or be punished in a next life, or rewarded for doing the opposite. I’m not completely against the idea, I just find most explanations insufficient for me. There’s something like more than seven billion people on Earth alive at the moment; that’s got to be more than the population has ever been, too many people alive now to be vessels for the much smaller ancestor pool. I do somewhat believe in the concept of “soul age” or the maturity and wisdom level inherent in a person at the soul level, and I’ve contemplated the possibility that the reason for so many “young souls” on Earth now could indeed correlate to the booming population that is rapidly outpacing any previous reproduction rates; not enough “old soul” wisdom to go around.

 

Here’s a crap quality but very interesting clip on soul age:

 

 

Now, I do believe we go somewhere when we die; pretty much every culture and civilization throughout history had an understanding of an afterlife. Lots of those understandings intersect in ways they possibly couldn’t have done through direct communication of such ideas. My personal feeling is that we somehow merge into the larger ocean of human experience in the afterlife and serve as a resource to be drawn upon like water from a deep well by the living. In that sense, the 4th, 8th, and 12th houses is where I would look for that in a chart. Firstly by drawing directly on our direct family lineage and history/heritage, their legacy, then in ever widening concentric circles in the larger ocean of community, cultural history, country, then humanity as experienced through our intuition and psychic “knowing”.

 

(That’s a shoddy attempt at articulating a big concept, sorry if it isn’t clear but the best I could do…)

 

A lot of astrologers use the North and South Nodes of the Moon as past life indicators; I explained in The North Node in Virgo Manifesto that the nodes are extremely useful in our lives but I personally do not look to them for past life explanation.

 

 

Halloween/Day of the Dead/All Saints & Souls Day October 31 – November 2, 2015

How fitting that the Scorpio season holidays honoring our ancestors will be dominated by a Cancer Moon this year. Give some serious thought this time round to the history and underlying intent of the traditions we’re keeping alive through the centuries. The beginning of the three day religious and cultural celebrations of Halloween, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), All Saints Day and All Souls Day begins of course on October 31st, this year falling on a Saturday and runs through Monday, November 2nd; the Moon moves into Cancer early Saturday morning and remains there until late Sunday night. The Cancer Moon will be strongly aspected over the course of the weekend: opposing Pluto (death, birth, afterlife & transformation) in Capricorn,  sextile the Jupiter – Venus – Mars conjunction in Virgo, trine Neptune and Chiron in Pisces,  square Uranus in Aries and trine the Sun in Scorpio. The morning of Monday November 2nd the Moon enters Leo and Mercury enters Scorpio, creating the right channels to communicate what was felt over the weekend and finish the third day of remembrances with soulful expression.

There shouldn’t be any less fun this year than any other year for those who only celebrate these holidays with children or on a strictly superficial level. The Cancer Moon lasting all weekend trine the Scorpio Sun does indicate delving deeper into both the history of the holidays themselves and the history of the ancestors being remembered. Cancer is a sign that loves and knows its history, retaining (hoarding, even) the things left behind in haste or considered useless. It knows the tides change and such things will be useful and important again at some point or another. It clings to the past like no other and yet, as a cardinal sign, initiates change in the waters it is comfortable in. It knows the tides change and what seems groundbreaking today can often be old habits and patterns dressed up in new clothing. There truly is nothing new under Cancer. As such, it is the sign most closely associated with heritage, genealogy,  familial lineage and roots. Scorpio is of course the sign most closely associated with death itself, with the legacies that survive from beyond the grave, with the transformation of raw energy from one state to another.  This trine between the Scorpio Sun and the Cancer Moon this Halloween/Day of the Dead weekend brings the messages of the holidays home for those perceptive enough to see these things for what they are. There are deep influences running the scenes here but not necessarily spooky, so don’t let imagination and marketing lead you down a different path.

What do your ancestors mean to you? What does their legacy mean to you in the here and now? How much do you even know of their struggles to survive, how hard they pushed forward and kept the life cycle in motion? Their traditions, their understanding of God and the spirit world,  the worlds within ourselves?  What will you pass on from beyond the grave once you’ve become an ancestor yourself? Whatever your feelings of your family’s past, you inherit more than physical traits and disease genes through your DNA. What else has genetic memory passed along through the generations?  Where does this “memory” even have its roots? Why does DNA itself look like a language that is meant to be read? Questions to ask yourself under the Cancer Moon; questions to ask of others once Mercury slips into Scorpio.

This is a great time to not only decide to change or continue traditions pertaining to death and honoring the deceased but also begin new ones. There is a mix of all four elements at work in the cosmos at this time (water, most notably,  followed by earth, fire and air) so incorporate from the elements as feels right to you. Rituals and traditions can add focused, tangible meaning to the proceedings but remember they are not necessary.  The real magic always lies in our hearts and souls.

For those in the U.S., daylight savings time ends this weekend, at 2:00 a.m. Sunday November 1st so set your clocks back one hour. Extra hour of sleep, extra hour for the dreams that will be more active under this strong Cancer Moon. Pay attention to your dreams this weekend.  Your ancestors and the other angels from somewhere beyond know we are listening to them more than usual and can come through to us in our dreams. Even the strongest dreams should still be gentle and not spooky.

Jupiter in Virgo opposing Neptune in Pisces September 2015: Faith In Something Bigger

Amazing grace. Delusions of grandeur. Dreaming the impossible dream. Mirages sparkling seductive in the desert, unobtainable. Invincible souls and susceptible bodies. Boom or bust, or maybe both. The opposition between Jupiter in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces at 7 degrees of each sign this September (exact on Thursday, September 17 at 1:54 A.M. CST but will be in effect September 12-21) is larger than life and yet shifty, hard to pin down or define. The possibilities are endless, for better and worse. It is one to watch for, though; make no mistake. Like a siren it has been calling to me lately, growing stronger as it approaches. Yet, trying to write a thorough work up has been a challenge. How to write about something that is a very big deal (Jupiter) that is also just slightly out of reach (Neptune)?

A good place to start is August-October 1849. That was the last time Jupiter was in Virgo opposing Neptune in Pisces. That period offered up a few nuggets of gold we can glean some meaning from. It was a time quite literally awash in gold nuggets galore. The Gold Rush had begun the year before and hit its peak in 1849; California transformed from mostly rural, podunk towns into a booming gold hub in a very small time frame. Jupiterian excess and growth. It was a land of opportunity (Jupiter) for anyone willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty (Virgo). The rapidly expanding population came from every corner of the globe (Jupiter), making California into the melting pot (Neptune in Pisces) that it still is.The reason California still carries these signature characteristics to this day is the drawing up of the California constitution on September 1, 1849, with a tight orb between Jupiter at 4 degrees Virgo and Neptune at 3 degrees Pisces. Fittingly, the state motto was “Eureka!”, translated from the Greek word for “I have found it!”. (The word itself has an interesting “full circle” Neptune in Pisces-esque connection to water; read here.)

As unprecedented material fortune -both personal and global- was being cemented on the West Coast (only to crash in the following years), a different side of Jupiter in Virgo opposing Neptune in Pisces was playing out in the East. Harriet Tubman’s brave first escape from slavery took place on September 17, 1849, famously guided in the night by God’s voice and the North Star.  While the idea no doubt was with her for a long time, the Jupiter-Neptune opposition (with Jupiter at 7 degrees Virgo, same degree as the opposition this September) brought a little luck necessary to make it happen (as much as you could define “luck” for a slave woman in that era, anyway.) A change in owners created some confusion (Neptune) that allowed Tubman to slip away into the night unnoticed (Neptune again). Although she returned a couple weeks later, the seeds had already been sown in her soul, and she continued to work (Virgo) to provide the same opportunity (Jupiter) to others in need of rescue (Neptune in Pisces.)

William Ernest Henley was born during this time as well, on August 23, 1849,and as such carried the inherent grasp of the big picture bestowed by Jupiter opposing Neptune with him his entire life, best expressed in his famous poem Invictus (derived from the Latin word for “unconquerable”). (He also had Sun and Mercury in Virgo as well as a Scorpio Moon.) His lifelong poor health was also an expression of Jupiter in Virgo opposing Neptune in Pisces; the last lines of Invictus, “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain  of my soul“, are betrayingly optimistic, as Hensley wrote them while recovering from major leg surgery (his other leg had already been amputated).

From this small sampling of the last time Jupiter in Virgo opposed Neptune in Pisces, we can guess at the shapes it might take for us this September. I’ve written previously about some of the subjects we will be faced with during Jupiter’s transit of Virgo. In September, however, Jupiter in Virgo must meet Neptune in Pisces halfway, which Jupiter doesn’t often like to do. An opposition  at its best is a balancing act; both sides contributing in equal amounts. Often, however, the pendulum will swing too far to one side of the opposition before swinging too far the other way. Acting out one side of the opposition while projecting the other is a common problem.

Jupiter does it stuff up big time, and so in opposition to nebulous, ethereal Neptune in Pisces we’re talking big faith, big ideas about God and spirituality, huge outpourings of helping hands, love and empathy. A wedding of sound principles and compassion. Not striking the right balance means we’ll also be talking about big time victimization, overdoses, outpourings of grief and sorrow.  Bending ethics and laws. There’s going to be sob stories of the too-good-to be true variety here. Social causes will move to the forefront while simultaneously being distorted. (Yes, that’s often the case already, but more so with the opposition.) Be careful of surrendering your beliefs to whatever seems more urgent or dazzling. Stick to the truth.

Truth will come through our intuition far stronger than our logic. In fact, I would strongly advise against investing too much stock into “truths” that pop up around this time unless you know deep in your gut it is the real deal. On Thursday, September 17, the day the Jupiter-Neptune opposition is exact, Saturn finally leaves Scorpio and enters Sagittarius. That’s another story in itself, but we automatically enter the Saturn in Sagittarius square to Neptune in Pisces era as well (here). On the very same day Mercury stations retrograde in Libra. Strange week; very strange day. Believe none of what you hear and only some of what you see. The wish to believe something is true might be stronger than the facts, and the facts probably won’t be well understood until after this stuff has passed. If it smells like a lie or tall tale, it probably is.

However, you might be able to hear the divine whispering words of wisdom in your ear. True knowledge will come from a higher source than the cacophony of talking heads we’re accustomed to listening to. Dreams are a ripe source of such knowledge. It would be a good idea to keep a dream journal during this period. In fact, it is probably a good time to keep a journal throughout the day, even if it isn’t something you normally do. Writing this stuff down as it comes to you can be very revelatory, as our minds and intuitions will be acting as conduits.

I have a real concern here regarding health matters. Neptune in Pisces tends to weaken the physical constitution and can get sloppy with sanitation; Jupiter in Virgo really exaggerates this. It is hard to say if this will play out stronger in individuals charts or on a broader scale, but there is potential for big outbreaks here, so take extra precautions regarding hygiene, environmental safety and the like. Respiratory infection – fluids in the lungs is a Neptune/Pisces thing- might be a particular concern. (I noticed too that the patent for the first gas mask with a breathing apparatus resembling the gas masks we now know was filed during Jupiter in Virgo/Neptune in Pisces, though no longer in opposition at the time the patent was filed.)

Another concern is safety around bodies of water.  Rain and storms can take on a life of their own, so pay attention to weather warnings if any are issued and avoid being around water if possible.

Saturn Has Returned to Scorpio: Staring Reality & Mortality Down

“saturn return to scorpio june have some prior effects”

“mood swings astrology June”

“saturn scorpio again mental health”

“scorpio health June”

“saturn enter scorpio stomach issues”

“nerve disease during mercury retrograde”

“june 2015 mercury retrograde painful lump”

“scorpio june2015 anxiety die”

“saturn scorpio 2015 am I going to die?”

A small sampling of some of the search terms that have shown up on my stats page the past week or so. Even more painful ones were left out. Consider that, for the most part, the majority of search engine terms are encrypted and invisible to me. Many people’s inner and outer lives have been changing gears in preparation for the return of Saturn retrograde reentering Scorpio for the final time (until approximately 28 years from now, anyway), and here we are. Saturn rules, among other things: reality, finite chronological time, aging, heavy burdens, responsibility, depression and fears. It is associated with physical death as a reality of life. Scorpio is intimately associated with death in the metaphysical sense, with the deepest life altering changes, with final endings but also with rebuilding from scorched ground. It is an extremist sign in everything it does, abhorring half-measures. Wherever Scorpio goes, it will take you all the way.

Hence, the recent sudden nervousness about any and all health related matters. The very beginning of a major Saturn or Pluto (Scorpio ruling planet) transit, whether it be a transit to a persons natal chart or a mundane transit that affects people in a broader sense (Saturn returning to Scorpio this summer, for example) is always a difficult time;  it is the shape of things to come in an undiluted form. It is a slap in the face more often than not. It is not the whole story, though; the rest of the transit tends to unfold in many different and unexpected ways. With Saturn retrograding on the turbocharged final (anaretic) degree of Scorpio officially as of Sunday, June 14, we see clearer the soul deep life lessons and responsibilities that will be asked of us. The future, however, is still unwritten.

Not everyone will experience Saturn retrograde in Scorpio the same, so there is no reason to think health will be an issue for everyone, or even most, people. For those who have been experiencing recent health issues, it is a possibility that these things will play an integral part of the Saturn Rx in Scorpio experience this summer. The hardest but most necessary requirement here is to maintain perspective about it. Generally, there is more fear and anxiety about health and death matters than is really warranted. People do not die any more during one particular transit than any other. The impact of death can be experienced as substantially more powerful during these times. People can and do develop certain illnesses during particular transits, and yes for some it will be Saturn Rx in Scorpio. Perceptions surrounding health matters tends to be heavily skewed towards the negative, though. Even if it seems quite bad it usually isn’t hopeless.

Strange as it may seem, whatever you are dealing with at this beginning of Saturn Rx in Scorpio isn’t the major storyline. The things experienced now are only catalysts serving to propel the true narrative. Even if you find you are faced now with health and/or mortality issues for yourself or someone you know, you will eventually see it take a secondary role to something much bigger. And it won’t be whatever it is that you’re thinking of.

Coincidentally, I share an experience with one of the anonymous seekers who came across my site. I also found a small lump (in my thigh) right around the time Mercury entered Gemini. Mine was and is painless, though. I expected it to go away and when it didn’t, I asked for advice from someone I know who is a medical professional. By that time, Mercury had gone retrograde, and I took their wait-and-see advice which I shouldn’t have done. Oh well. I am getting it looked at this week. I don’t expect a quick or easy answer. I do expect it to play some pivotal role in my own Saturn in Scorpio story this summer. I’m really and truly not worried about it. I’ll either live or I’ll die; it can only go two ways, right? (Dark humor, people. It’ll help.) Seriously, what I’m actually anticipating are the lessons that are being set out for me. I’ve been through this before, during the first go around with Saturn in Scorpio a few years back. Pluto started squaring my Moon right around the time my Scorpionic solar return had begun. My mom suffered a nearly fatal acute liver failure brought on by regular use of acetaminophen for joint pain, as recommended by her doctors. (I’ve since learned how truly toxic acetaminophen is, and am horrified anytime I see someone take it without thought.) I watched a parent very nearly die right in front of my eyes. She survived, but the subsequent recovery, change in family dynamics, and revelations of family secrets took a toll on me physically and mentally. Those things were the real story; the near death experience was simply the trigger opening up a deep chasm in our lives. At one point I was sure it would be actually be me who wouldn’t survive.

I did survive, obviously. My mom is still here too. Smiles and sense of humors intact. The liver is a Plutonic organ, able to completely regenerate itself. (At one point I was asked if I was willing to be a living donor to my mom; they would’ve taken 90% of my liver out and it would have grown back completely within a week!) That’s really the more crucial Scorpio function anyway: regeneration and transformation. I have seen it up close (and many, many more times than this one example.) I have faith in its process. I would hope others have faith in the process as well.