Venus-Pluto: Lovely, Dark And Deep

 

I have a random request: Can you do an article about Venus-Pluto? (Question brought to by my upcoming transit Venus conjunct natal Pluto. But we also have that wild Thanksgiving T-square with Jupiter-Pluto-Uranus which has Venus conjunct Pluto exact. So it could be of general interest too right?) But it seems like it always brings so much angst…and not much else. ~ bomega

 

This was a question asked by a reader in the comments section just before Mercury retrograde in Virgo, which is why I didn’t respond right away. We do have a Venus-Pluto conjunction coming up in time for Thanksgiving, and it’s Scorpio season, so why not take a look at Plutonic love? [Read more…]

The 3rd House And Depression (And Other Quirks)

 

Mental health issues -whether something we were born with a propensity for or aquired through our lives- come in a wide variety of flavors, each with different root causes and paths to healing. Mental health in astrology is equally varied, and can be attributed to many different combinations of planetary aspects, transits, and so on. Astrology is a fairly reliable tool in getting to the source of the problem and pointing out the deeper philosophical and spiritual reasons for why one is going through such an experience. It’s been interesting to me throughout my years of astrological observation that the relationship between the 3rd house and mental health, specifically depression, doesn’t seem to be as common knowledge as some of the other astrological influences. So, I thought I’d make a brief overview of the 3rd house, depression, and some of the different ways this plays out in real life.

[Read more…]

Real Time Astrology: Full Moon in Scorpio April 21-22, 2016

 

A little Halloween in April comes courtesy of a spooky Full Moon at 2 degrees Scorpio at [Read more…]

Quickie Obervations On The Non-Discovery of “Planet 9”

Spoof poster, taken from the 1959 movie "Plan 9 From Outer Space"

Spoof poster, taken from the 1959 movie “Plan 9 From Outer Space”

 

I’ll just cut to the chase and say I’m underwhelmed by it. Mercury retrograde perfected its conjunction to Pluto at 15 degrees of Capricorn today, its a cynical and suspicious mood we’re in at the moment. Too much heavy mental lifting required of us now to entertain fantasy. Which is really all that the news of this new “Planet 9” is, no proof and only speculation and therefore not a “discovery” as it is being portrayed. In summary, this week two Caltech astronomers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown announced a possible explanation for unusual orbital features of the Kuiper belt (where Pluto can be found, along with Eris and Sedna) that would be the result of an undiscovered planet. This Planet 9 (sometimes written Planet Nine) would be huge to create such an orbit, four times the size of Earth and ten times the mass. Some articles I’ve read say it has gone unnoticed because it is so far away, 75 times further out than Pluto, and in others (or, sometimes even in the same article!) it is being said that Planet 9 should be easily found with sensitive enough telescopes. I am not an expert on telescopes by any means so I know my opinion doesn’t matter but I’m giving that a major side-eye. It is worth noting that Mike Brown is the astronomer responsible for getting Pluto demoted from its planetary status and uses the handle @PlutoKiller on Twitter.

 

I expected scientific discoveries to be one result of the Saturn-Neptune squares. I am not as excited as others by this one. There’s no actual discovery, just the possibility of one, which is great and all but I don’t understand the hype over it. Lots of leads to potential breakthroughs go completely unnoticed. I’m guessing some of the hype would be to support funding for their project, with Brown saying the planet should be found within the next 5 years. I won’t be surprised if they do and I’ll be less surprised if they don’t, or if it takes longer. Mercury retrograde tightly conjunct Pluto in Capricorn suggests something is off about the model/structure and will no go smoothly; maybe there are other things that need to be discovered or understood better first.

 

The astronomy angle is all well and good by me. The non-astronomy angle is a little odd. Of course certain corners of the Internet are spouting the usual End Of The World crap. Some people are trying their best to connect the news of a possible new planet to the death of David Bowie and have volunteered “Bowie” as the official planetary name. (Yes, the celebrity deaths of January 2016 have an astrological explanation; Mercury (news, talk) conjunct Pluto (death) in Capricorn (age, mortality, status and respect, also potential for depression). I have unfortunately heard some very bad news that affects people I know in real life.)

 

Astrologically, though, even if Planet 9 becomes a real planet soon it won’t have a major impact. The distance from the Sun is so massive that Planet 9 would take 10,000 to 20,000 years to complete one trip around our biggest luminary. That means it would take somewhere between 833 and 1,666 years to transit each sign of the zodiac. You and I won’t feel this. It maybe could have some meaning in the unfolding of major millenia-length themes, such as geological ages or astrological ages, but anything that moves that slow would take long term research to properly understand its astrological implications. If it even has any,and not every body used nowadays in astrology has properly earned its current reputation. There are countless bodies in the heavens ( https://www.astro.com will let you select from 19,402 asteroids for a natal chart. If you are serious about astrology check out asteroid 30, Urania, in your chart…); only a select minority make a noticeable impact on human life.

 

One misleadingly small heavenly body that unquestionably leaves its mark on us is Pluto. Go through a bad Pluto transit and you’ll forever on think of your life in “before” and “after” terms. People with strong Pluto signatures in their birth charts live their entire lives in a state of metamorphosis. While I’m not impressed by the news of this alleged Planet 9, I do see the irony and synchronicity in its press release coming during a conjunction between Pluto and communication planet Mercury, courtesy of a guy priding himself on being the Pluto Killer. As if! Mercury retrograde conjunct Pluto in Capricorn sees more to this story than meets the eye. Learning more about the Kuiper belt objects may unintentionally result in Pluto giving up more of its secrets.

 

There’s a cosmic joke of some kind going on when news of an invisible planet comes from people who tried and failed to kill what we know to be real to us right now.

 

 

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.

Real Time Astrology: January 3 & 4, 2015 / Full Moon in Cancer

In my previous article on the Taurus Moon we have for New Years Eve, I wrote: “Take a deep breath, create quiet time to calm your nerves, and find your center”. It is advice I hope is followed, as the first weekend of the new year, January 3 & 4, will see many tense planetary aspects, sign changes, and a highly charged Full Moon in Cancer that will be rocking all our centers. A quick rundown:

Saturday the Sun at 14 degrees Capricorn will square Uranus at 12 degrees Aries at 2:40 a.m. and conjunct Pluto at 13 degrees Capricorn by 5:34 p.m.

Sunday Mercury enters Aquarius at 7:08 p.m. followed by Venus’ entry into the sign at 8:48 p.m., ending the Capricorn stellium we had through the end of December and at the beginning of the new year. Mars at 24 degrees Aquarius will still be in opposition to Jupiter at 21 Leo.

The Full Moon @ 14 degrees Cancer takes place at 11:53 p.m. Central Standard Time Sunday, January 4. (Of course, depending on your time zone, it may take place in the wee hours of Monday, January 5.) The Moon is the natural ruler of Cancer and this alone will increase the strength of this Full Moon. Its magnetic pull will dominate the entire weekend. Normally I would like a Full Moon at its home in Cancer, however this Moon will be in a very agitated state. It will be squared by the North/South Nodes along the Aries/Libra axis shortly before the Full Moon is exact. It will also be at an exact square to Uranus at 12 degrees Aries at 7:18 p.m. and in opposition to Pluto at 13 degrees Capricorn at 8:34 p.m.

There will be a spooky feel, then, to this Full Moon weekend. Cancer is a cardinal sign, and as this Full Moon takes place at 14 Cancer, we will rehash many of the friction points set off by the Cardinal Grand Cross at 13 degrees from April 2014. Think back to that time frame, any unresolved issues from then will arise again. As both the Full Moon on Sunday and the Sun on Saturday will be in hard aspect to Uranus and Pluto we will also see the themes of the most recent exact Uranus-Pluto square on December 14, 2014 brought to a head. If you felt unscathed at the Uranus-Pluto square, you may feel the effects of it here.

Many issues brought to light by the Full Moon will of course be typical of Cancer: women’s issues; issues regarding home, family, heritage, our roots and our past/our family’s past; mothers/maternal instinct; issues of our collective family, our countries, patriotism; and emotional and financial stability and security.

A Full Moon in Cancer of course takes place in opposition to the Sun in Capricorn, and as both will be squaring the North Node in Libra, important balancing acts will be asked of us. Balance between our home/family life and our professional life. Balance between sentimental thinking and nostalgia for the past, and the ambition and drive into new territory. Balance between our very real current need for emotional and physical security, and the reality that we must forego some of our current desires in favor of long term successes. Are we sacrificing too much, or not enough? The Sun-Pluto conjunction Saturday will heighten our  awareness of power dynamics, either that we control or are controlled by us, that are restricting and thwarting this balancing act.

Answers to these questions are possible now, but they may come from some very deep and weird places. The Moon full in watery, psychic Cancer is a strongly intuitive Moon, and the aspects to Uranus and Pluto will help bring the otherworldly into our world, heighten any natural ESP abilities, give flashes of insight. Along with this will likely come sleep disturbances; insomnia, nightmares etc.

Those who have planets in their natal chart in cardinal signs -Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn- will feel particularly revved up and agitated this weekend. Mood swings and emotional outbursts will be likely; it may even be you, even if you typically aren’t the type. It would be wise to give people lots of space and quiet time to process the inner turmoil in healthy ways. Give yourself space as well! Patience will be pretty thin now, and maybe justifiably so. Many will see rapid changes in plans and circumstances; even if the need for change has existed for a long time, it may still be a shock to the system when it happens.

Monday January 5 Mercury at zero Aquarius will sextile Saturn at 1 degree Sagittarius at 4:21 p.m. This will afford many the chance to take a step back from the turmoil of the weekend. Our thought processes will be serious without being weighed down; we can reflect on all that was dredged up and rid ourselves of what will not serve us any purpose as we move forward in this new year.

Real Time Astrology: New Years Eve & New Years Day 2014-2015

2014 was a helluva year and many are understandably happy to see its end in sight. 2015 will be a dramatically different year of astrological transits affecting us on the personal and transpersonal levels; truly uncharted territory and a game-changer. At New Years Eve/Day people are naturally inclined to reflect on the previous year and plan goals for the upcoming year. This New Years the need for introspection and commitment to action is more critical than usual. Take a deep breath, create quiet time to calm your nerves, and find your center. Do not push this aside this year.

Make time to party, too! This will be a fun year to celebrate. The Moon will be in Taurus on New Year’s Eve Wednesday, December 31. It will move into Gemini New Years Day Thursday, January 1st at 11:09 a.m. Central Standard Time.  An exact opposition between Mars in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo will take place at 1:49 p.m. CST January 1st but will strongly felt the night before, as the Moon in Taurus will be squaring it. Moon in Taurus is always a good time to have a good time, especially where music, dancing, food, alcohol and any other sensual pleasures are concerned. Mars in opposition to Jupiter will have energies running high and encouraging some to bite off more than they can chew and, as it will be squaring the Taurus Moon, the feeling of New Year’s Eve will be the saying: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” I won’t bother warning the hard party types about how awful the hangovers and headaches will be the next day; going too far WILL feel worse than usual the next day but that’s what some will be driven to in spite of reason!

One potential cause of concern is the opposition between Mars in rebellious Aquarius and Jupiter in flamboyant Leo. As stated, this opposition causes energy to run high and sometimes doesn’t know when to stop. Pulling pranks at a party for attention and fun can be fairly harmless; loudmouthed condescension or crude, shocking insults will make for a bad scene, especially if the people involved are heavily intoxicated. The Mars-Jupiter opposition will be squaring a Taurus Moon and while Taurus isn’t a sign that angers easily – preferring to chill at a leisurely pace- once it does anger it has considerable stamina backing it that doesn’t fade fast and, in worst case scenarios, can become physical. That isn’t the usual manifestation, however it would be best to avoid anyone or any scene that’s too brash or obnoxious, lest it turn into something else.

For those who prefer a quieter commemoration to the years end, it looks like a wonderful night to stay home with friends or loved ones anyway. Music can be profoundly moving at this time, not only from the Taurus Moon so strongly emphasized but also from Pluto in Capricorn’s sextile to Chiron in Pisces in the very wee hours of the new year. Play music that reminds you of someone, that reminds you of what you went through this past year, that dredges up the strongest emotions. It will all feel comfortable, healing and inspiring. Actual dreams may be more interesting or vivid than usual as well.

For anyone doing the New Years resolution thing, you’re better off starting the resolve December 31 rather than January 1. Even though a Taurus Moon is prone to slowness and self indulgence, it is still a sign of emotional stability and health and does not easily change course once it has set its mind to something. The Moon moving into Gemini New Years Day is a flakier time to get a start on goals; more changeable, less decisive and resolute.

Even if you do not plan on celebrating in any fashion, or have any typical resolutions, as stated it will still be important to find your center now, to process fully the previous years experiences so you can move forward into the new one with more awareness and clarity. Astrological transits are often like tornadoes or hurricanes in that you’re aware you’re in a major storm, but you cannot fully assess the damage until the storm has cleared. ( I’ve lived in “Tornado Alley” most of my life; there’s been times I didn’t know the tornado was there until I was close enough to it to practically shake hands…)  The transits of 2014 were life altering on every level. Even if some of what was written about these configurations seemed like overblown hype at the time, with hindsight we can now assess what was changed and how deep the impact was.

For those who lost the most, endured the tough physical, emotional and psychic lessons, what you have to show for it is who you are now, who you have become. Your character has firmed up, you’ve eyes have been opened to how this life really works, and you have a very deep well of Truth to draw from now. At this New Year, perhaps your best resolution is to promise yourself you’ll live by your wisdom gleaned from those painful episodes,  you’ll help to end the dynamics that create such chaos in the first place, you’ll turn Truth into action and tangible results. If you make no other resolution for 2015, resolve to return to the land of the living, and commit to fighting the good fights!

Astrology and Depersonalization

We have certainly experienced some intense, frictional transits here on Earth lately, and this will not let up as we segue into the next chapters in our personal and collective lives. There will be tempo changes along the way, and moments of breakthroughs along with the moments of breaking down. As I write this, we are heading into another square between rebellious freedom fighter Uranus in Aries and controlled, austere establishment figure Pluto in Capricorn, exact at 12 degrees on December 14. This is the sixth exact square in a series of seven that began June 24, 2012, and again we feel the mounting tensions approaching breaking points. We are also trudging through the final degrees of hard-assed Saturn’s transit of Scorpio, shortly before its entry into more extroverted, cause-fighter Sagittarius on December 23. Not long after this transition Saturn will begin a potentially painful square with Neptune in Pisces, creating struggles when we attempt to clarify what’s real and what’s illusion.

 

While books could be written about the impact of these transits on our external lives, I thought I’d devote a little time to explaining one way this will likely manifest in our quiet, interior lives.

 

Depersonalization and derealization describe two distinct states of dissociation. Depersonalization describes a state of disassociation from the sense of self or body; it is an alteration in experience or perception wherein you feel detached from yourself and/or as if you are an outside observer of your own life. Derealization is this same disassociated feeling externalized; the distortion/detachment is instead in relation to the environment. The environment itself may not feel real, or your relation to your surrounding may not feel real, or feel distorted. It is an alteration in experience or perception with the physical world, time and space.

 

Literally, most everyone will experience this to a degree at some point in their life. It is far from rare. Sleep deprivation is enough to trigger an episode. The moments in our lives that we experience acute crisis, stress and anxiety are very often accompanied by depersonalization episodes. Though it can be very disturbing, for the most part the feeling is fleeting. Ongoing crisis can extend the duration, but even then the feeling usually resolves on its own. Drugs, alcohol and other substances that cross the blood/brain barrier are known of course to be disassociatives. It is also a common symptom of many neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, sleep disorders and migraines, as well as a common side effect of the meds used in treatment. There are some people who experience it frequently throughout their lifetime, some often enough to be considered a disassociative disorder, though for most it isn’t disruptive to their daily habits and responsibilities. For those who experience it on a somewhat more regular basis, it is usually internal conflict and anxiety that is the source.

 

Astrologically, I look to the following for someone describing bouts of depersonalization without major external upheaval: any planets in the 12th house, a highly stressed Sun, Saturn or Pluto, and aspects to the Sun from Saturn or Pluto. In people who do not usually experience depersonalization, stressful transits involving Saturn, Pluto or Neptune can still give way to this experience for the duration of the transit(s).

 

As you can see, many of the usual suspects involved in depersonalization and derealization are and will be dominating the psychosphere. I think, as a result, these uneasy internal experiences described here will become more common on a broader collective scale. It will calm anxiety considerably to know what the feeling is as it happens, so you are not caught off guard. By no means is this an exhaustive list of the many complex feelings associated with the phenomena, these are just some common feelings associated with depersonalization and derealization:

 

– Experiencing life in the third person

– Feeling unreal, like a visitor to your life or to Earth

– Feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed to see your reflection in mirrors, electronic screens, store windows, photos; you may not recognize yourself as you and feel startled that you have a physical body or shape

-Embarrassment at others treating you as if you are real

-Discomfort with making eye contact

– Feeling unreal, invisible or overlooked completely

– Affecting a flat, monotone voice or a change in syntax

– Feeling emotionally flat, empty or dull; feeling that life has no significance

-Hyper awareness of your behavior and others behavior with intense observational detachment: “I am a man/woman, I am talking to someone right now, they are looking back at me, the clock is ticking on the wall…”

-Hearing your speaking voice in the third person, or sounding different than usual

 

Not everyone will be experiencing this, obviously. Even those that do will usually experience one or two symptoms, not all, and the feeling will pass quickly on its own. If you do experience it, for the most part it is nothing to worry about. Strange as it sounds, in some cases the feeling serves a purpose. It is a survival mechanism of sorts; an “off switch” to our psyches when we are overloaded with fear, anxiety, worry, agitation, crises, and stress of our environments. Who among us doesn’t live with all these things? As the world changes around us and we struggle to adapt and survive, it will be crucial to remember -paraphrasing Dave Chapelle here!- that its often the environment that’s sick, not us. It will be necessary for all of us to do what we can in our personal and collective lives, give it everything we’ve got, but do not do more than that. Learn when to hit the psychic “off switch” and allow yourself time to heal and regenerate.