June 12, we have the occasion to fall asleep in a car on the highway during a torrential rainstorm as the moon becomes bedfellows with Mars & Neptune. Those bellicose warriors carry us onward on the turbulent waters in our modern-day vessels or our confined bodies, yearning for the ancients, searching for heroic points of orientation to yield to the hawkishness and to the intoxicating inspirations.
A grim reaper with an axe, or a scythe, draws a circle in the dirt in our dreams, surrounded by mice drinking liquor out of glass bottles they carry on their backs.
Becoming aware of the collective burdens faced by entire swaths of the human species calls for a death, and a dissolving of over-coagulated pride that has kept us stuck for generations. These moods, these dreams, these demands to be both drunk and sober, and the weight we all must carry on our backs, these are the waters of Neptune the greatly-feared, on which we must sail, tread, and swim.
Our burdens dissolve into fragmented parts, and with our hearts, we listen.
This solar eclipse on June 21st is in the same lineage (saros series 137) as the eclipse that occurred just before the Titanic sank.* This is not a doomsday message at all, but one to encourage the following reflection: “where can I be of service? in offering resources to the living or offering resources to the dead?”
Regarding the living, this eclipse could be about finding vessels that are simple and resilient enough to hold humans in transit while their other comfortable vessels are demolished. Regarding the dead, this eclipse could be about finding ways to account for those who have passed on, which specifically means finding the spaces and environments to respectfully contain them so that their souls transition in the right way and our land responds more harmoniously to the way we bury the dead. If you can offer more to the living in the way of resources to hold them, do this. If you can be a grounded presence to humanity while imagining containers to respectfully hold the dead and make sure they’re remembered, do this. In either case, great imagination and great courage are needed.
In either case, saying yes to more and more support systems instead of pride, and trusting in the primal bonds with each other rather than those in presumed leadership (who will be arrogant and indecisive) will carry us through.
*These are Pluto lessons. The hallmark of this eclipse lineage, starting back in 1389, was Pluto conjunct the lunar north node. The sinking of RMS Titanic was the Pluto Return of the Great Plague of 1665 AND the Great Fire of London. These are Pluto lessons. How do we account for the unnamed dead, for the extremities of nature, for the passions of fire and ice?
Shadow ‘scopes are horoscopes that hold space for the darker side of your life, and find the redemptive value in the daily awkwardness & agony.
Aries: Your enterprising nature tends to favor impulse over detail, and this New Moon comes as a rebirth of an orb of light out of the bowels of the underworld unto your desire to spin the wheels of new territories of knowledge. But whispers of scandal predominate: shreds of paper and documents from your past diplomatic failings are brought to the surface by ladies with upturned, hooked noses, and within the ridges of their noses your secrets of ill-spoken words run along in parchment spells.
Fear not, for these are the whispers of poorly made horror films presenting you with the void of primitive terror. You can only know the passion for fresh enterprises if you equally meet your most primordially fearful self —initiation through horrified encounters with gossip and shreds of detail you usually wouldn’t want to handle. The way to the grail of your fresh enterprises arrives through this encounter with forces that make you shudder, with chattering banshees shrieking about your scandals behind your back.
The trick is to know that there will always be all kinds of beings in every project you choose to undertake under any circumstance, and you will always find a fool. Know the fool that you are. Able to swim in the detail without becoming lost in your head, your pioneering spirit’s new inquisitive encounter with your weaknesses and vulnerabilities bolsters you.
Taurus: Money, money, money, graces you in a urgent way, especially the questions surrounding it, this New Moon, Taurus. It seems to make your world go round as you’re led into a den, a bed with velvet sheets surrounded by courtesans asking you where your values really lie. What do you value? You discover that everyone is too busy being chatterboxes to fully enjoy the fruits of your earnings with you, or that some lingering question around lack, the need to gather, and scattered resources, prevails in your psyche. How to stop the noise and settle down enough to fully enjoy your values?
Just as these lingering questions start to boil over into insight, a clown bursts in, throwing confetti all over the place, opening a trapdoor that shows you to what end your life is imploding and where it may head. The showering confetti tickles you, sending vibrations through your whole person, and it’s clear that this is no minor event: what began as a tiresome question surrounded by attractive gossipers culminates in a swift-shake-up forcing your head to turn in the direction of the true values aligned with the current density of your earthly person. While you don’t tend to like the swirling wheels of chaotic information, with a little bit of time and space for your mind, you will make the scattered-ness and the turbulent movement your bed into treasured pleasure.
Gemini: You may feel as though you’ve been like a dragon with human hands standing at the edge of a cliff, wringing away at washcloths, your fingers cracked and dirty with old blood. All the wringing out you’ve been doing, the labor with those hands and the even quicker labor with your notoriously quick mind, is really an initiation you’ve been going through to join heaven, earth and the lower depths. Your ability to transform and do what seem to be thankless, trivial tasks wearing the face of superficiality, actually represents a much larger struggle to gather divine energy into the sisterhood of which you’re an integral part. All the bullying and the lack of credit makes your dragon face downcast, looking lonely at your washcloth.
But don’t fret, for your guardian force lurks in the background, waiting to shoot its light into your place. At the tip of your finger is the new life script, which you alone hold the responsibility to write onto the sky to orient all who care to look. Your job is to feel love for even those who have not realized the extent of your sweat and toil—they haven’t realized it because, ever light-on-your-feet, you make it look so effortless. Big shifts come as a result of the blisters on the palms of your hands. Even if they don’t recognize that dragon-self, watch them be floored when on this dark moon, you make a full transformation into the sky-writing dragon, cleaning house of world view and writing a new script of how people will discern their views and information.
Cancer: This New Moon, you’re shot through space toward a swampy, stinking wood full of fog. In recent weeks you’ve been the one responsible for helping other loved ones swim, and this time you’re forced into the rocket of your own psyche, suddenly flying and floating independently of your own volition, acquainting yourself with your dream life. Dreams are important, for it’s only possible to swim in the outer realms and manifest care for other if you can also swim in the interior planes, which are sometimes shocking. When you come to a clearing, a hairy, wild creature with a rounded back emerges from the pits and roars at the sky.
Within the roars you decipher, as though recollecting something you’ve long forgotten, the greetings of people from deep in your past, especially through the line of grandparents. Each plea, yelp and grunt contains a unique greeting for you, and while it’s hard to hold back your tears in this moment, it’s important to let them see your response, as they’re the ones that taught you how to swim.
As you make your response transparent (read: feel your feelings in response to the strange imagery going on in your dream and waking life), you see large fire-people dancing with hats far in the distance on the outer edges of the marshy forest. Recognizing them, too, as ancestors, you dance around the perimeter together and see that caring for others and self doesn’t mean locking yourself into a particular trajectory. It’s multidimensional and spiraling, and includes feeling weakened at times, too.
Leo: In the throes of laughter and stumbling dance moves within your friendship circle in a little lonely house, a dark figure enters and crashes the party. The dark figure announces he had just struck the hard ground with his staff, releasing thousands of pigeons and doves out of the ground and into the air. Suddenly, as he speaks, the doves form around your house, and you realize that the chatter you had engaged in with your friends was illusory; that you weren’t talking about the real thing with real people because everyone had skirted around the central topic: their wishes. You wondered why it hadn’t truly felt like you had been around your friends all this time: you’ve missed your heart’s desires, which now return to you in the doves encircling your house.
The doves send coos of love and beg you to let the valiance of your heart back in during your confinement, and in letting this valiance back in, your friends will reappear, your wishes transparent to you anew. You feel uneasy at the juxtaposition of a dark sorcerer and a dove crashing your ruminations on who your friends are and what you want in life, but sometimes, contrary to your spirit of total trust and loyalty, it takes a shady figure to let the river of devotional love rush back in through the barriers. Your home ground is instantly moistened as the resurgence of your wishes vitalize you; a red river floods your space of dejectedness and solitary drunken dancing with illusory friends, and you sound your lion’s roar to all shades and all doves, proclaiming that out of your intoxicated wishing arises the sustenance of the fraternity of humankind!
Virgo: Taken by a corn mother’s hand, you walk down the mountain and into the streets. Who is this mysterious old woman holding your hand insistently? In charge of crop and harvest, she wears rags and wrinkles of experience on her dry skin under her flowing silver hair. At first, you’re not sure you can trust her. She takes you quietly through the streets, and the only noise you can hear is your slowly-forming realization that she was once your mother. Perhaps, too, once your wife. The mothers are looking for quality time with you, she says. Between you and the old mothers has stood an angry child somehow, making you sheepish about spending time over lunch in a dark bar with anyone maternal in an older generation.
But as you enter a lounge smelling of stale beer and she lights up a cigarette across from you, demanding to hear all the gossip, you swallow your embarrassment over the accumulated, wasteful anger over the years, knowing that this embarrassment is healthy. Anger with older generations is not in itself wrong—it actually provides grist for the mill of your stepping into your executive functioning.
Like a razor, or the snapping open of a beer can, you harness your anger to carry out leadership tasks, and you greet your embarrassment at raging against the past mothers with a touch of humility: it’s ok that there’s an invisible screaming red-faced baby on your shoulder. When invited onto the cabaret stage, you sing an homage to all the mothers and fathers throughout time. Thank you for giving me anger, thank you for giving me embarrassment, thank you for mediating these two forces with humility.
Libra: Shot out into a light apparition of the scales of balance that you treasure, you nestle into one side of the symbol etched with light and find that a round-bellied, pointy-hatted professor cuddles up next to you. The feeling is warm, but unexpected: why are you cuddled up in this corner of the scales of justice with an affectionate academic, and are you trapped or was this by choice? Not to worry, he tells you—the reason we’re here is because you’ve stuck yourself in a particular idea of balance, tipped to one side of the scales, and now need to bust out of that construct with a burst of laughter through light.
As he speaks to you, mice appear from under your feet, rolling over each other, chatting, tickling your ankles. You and the professor laugh in high-pitched tones, and you feel some kind of mind-bubble burst: noise and laughter can come through too, what a relief! Balance is never static, wow! You begin to chatter with the mice before flinging them against luminous walls within the confines of the symbol in which you’ve trapped yourself, and as you and your beloved academic both clean the floor, you find yourself in a new place, on new ground. The floor is incredibly dirty, but the soles of your feet insatiably skate across it.
The chatter of all those critters, your laughter and the professor’s pointy-hatted giggles were all the vibrations needed to tip the scales in another direction. Or perhaps it was medicine to knock you off firm ideas of right and wrong altogether. The professor takes off his hat, reveals all along that he was a laughing drunkard, and you lick your own dirty feet.
Scorpio: This New Moon awakens you to the smell of death, and you find yourself wandering around a charnel ground. While no immediate gore is in sight, you’re familiar with this particular stench, and you’ve been known to grow frustrated at how uncomfortable the rest of your human kin are with it. Not to fear: this time, though in the immediate vicinity of death, you are the sole live human in the area, and animals accompany you. A large black bird, a raven-stork hybrid, spreads its wings and lands in front of you. Two more join it, followed by wolves and jackals and dogs, forming a circle around you in which each whisper tender odes to your willingness to lie down on traces of decayed organs.
This place feels familiar to you, and while it would make sense to assume these animals could eat you, there’s a strong sense of protection. The animals grow human hands and remain in their formation around you while walking you further along the path, before telling you to descend once more and lay on your stomach. They peck and lick residue along your spine, and the confusion about what they want to show you becomes more clear: your solidarity with the hungry animals at peace with the arising and cessation of life’s appetites balances your bitter clutches to solitude in the human realm.
It’s less a moral lesson and more of a reminder that when frustrated with your human kin, your true brethren within the embrasure of carnality lies with the protective, guiding animals.
Sagittarius: A beautiful lover appears before you in a vision, in fact an amalgamation of your past loves, demanding to dance with you. You tend to have your eye on the next area of exploration, including people in your life, but the challenge here is to meet the synthesis of the unique energies of everyone you’ve loved (hint: this includes you!) and to harness this tantalizing mixture as the next step in your dance.
With a light touch on this amalgamation, aloneness poses no problem, for your lovers remain alive and present in your heart and memory as the ethers and vapors of your dancing body. As this potent mixture of lovers in beautiful human form appears to you, you dance into a kitchen full of eggs hatching baby chickens, and seeing the creative fruits of all your exploratory quests might seem a climactic pride-trap—but the beloved facing you insists that your focus remain on the dance as they take you deeper into a cave. You hear a resounding echo telling you that despite the fights and the bickering, you must not only attend to your self-satisfaction about how far you’ve traveled in the past, but remain attentive to the seemingly-stagnant heat of the current creative partners in front of you.
The message is that the supreme value lies not in the heat of what’s brand new, but in the reflective relating of energies of everyone you’ve loved from the past into the present. This reflective synthesis opens the gates to deepened creation, and even the road of boredom, bickering and confused dancing with self and partner bores the way into a different phase of your quest.
Capricorn: A new beginning in work and health, and of you diligently forming a rhythm toward the fruits of your labor, feels blocked by all the noise in the factory: the whistling smoke, the drones, and the yelling workers behind masks. Your colleagues, squarely built laborers, speak to you in deafening tones about the needs of not only your workplace, but work in general. They yell, “what is work to you?” You can’t tell if the deafening tones and the orange hues of the fire, screeching work instruments and smoke are irritants or sources of delight in tasks that have swept you up in their forceful speed.
You sometimes like force, other times like speed, but not always together. The fast rhythm delights you when it is comprehensible; the force delights you when it is yours to wield. In this case, power doesn’t feel entirely yours and the speed takes you into foreign territory that makes your brain and ears bleed. It’s a new initiation into relating with a more horizontal, less hierarchically satisfied form of power unfolding in a rhythm that constantly encircles your persistence and wants you to participate in it.
It’s not always important that you understand the work that you’re doing, but it is important that you revel in the irksome nonsense of the noise pollution around the construct that is work so that you can own both the problems and the virtues of your ambitious heritage and roll up your sleeves to bring the collective ethos of work into a new stage of evolution.
Aquarius: You find yourself in a desert, yearning for a party but with no friends around and no connection, when a giant bird takes you on its back and brings you to a mystery place. There’s an implicit understanding that it’s taking you to where your friends or siblings are in some paradisiac environment having a ball, but the exact inhabitants of the destination aren’t yet visible to you.
The bird drops you head-first into the chimney of a house in which a gathering takes place, and you listen to rollicking laughter, thinking it must be the sounds of the people you yearn to touch. They hear you cough, ask you to sing, and the sounds of your voice carry through not only that house but through the entire city.
After lonely, sooty singing for hours stuck halfway through the chimney, you land on the house floor, and it turns out they weren’t the ones you thought they were, but neither are you: in fact, none of you are who you were to each other or to yourselves. All that exists is the strength of your voice echoing through the streets as you sing the song of what it means to celebrate now, alone but together, intimate strangers. Everyone soon follows your lead, inverting themselves into chimneys and singing through all the dust in their throats.
You, Aquarius, are the one to teach us that in order to rejuvenate our social order and social lives, we must invert ourselves and understand that solitude and not knowing are the prerequisites for the song of friendship to truly move our species.
Pisces: This New Moon finds you inside a swamp of memory gossip, like those nights when zombie-scrolling through old faces of people who inspired, loved, wounded and betrayed you seems the only option to pass the time or cope with the loneliness. You now have the opportunity to feel the edges in those memory lands between passive chatter and active participation, laughing with those voices, arguing with them and engaging in playful banter with the masks of lost life. The past becomes a carousel for you to ride before you realize that your horse isn’t stuck in the circle—it moves in concentric circles, out into territories where the masks of the old can re-emerge in a new way, confirming the nobility of your past pains and the good-willed nature of your journey.
An ogress-mother reaches out of that memory swamp, gossiping with the horses and masks that carry the momentum of that carousel of the past. She’s chortling over you, your resentments, and your should-haves. Most importantly, while whispering to those phantasms, she reveals where she hid the keys for you to discover that you’re not caught in that circle of memory alone. Since you, oh so perceptive, eavesdrop on this ogress-mother, you take two keys from inside the nostrils of the profile picture of the old elder who betrayed you, and ride your horse into a new moment that lets bitter memory coexist with freshly-bloomed flowers whose names you don’t yet know.
Shadow ‘scopes are horoscopes that hold space for the darker side of your life, and find the redemptive value in the daily awkwardness & agony.
Charging with anger-in-denial toward the undersurfaces of the beds, spears pointed with red-hot tips spewing embers into the air, you roar, attempting to dig for the coins and inheritance documents underneath all of the incestuous moans. The crescendo of gasps coming from chthonic embraces of great grandparents, brothers, and sisters from other lives, doesn’t phase you, but it irritates you enough that you need more time to process the confusing information in these last wills & testaments. They all seem to be written in a secret code. How will you decipher this cryptic language written for a particular form of intimacy that your pioneering nature can’t always translate? You tend to blaze into new territory knowing that you’ll find riches there, but you now find yourself needing to bend over. You’ll find that it’s not about waving the hot spear in front of you, but looking deeper into all the intimate bonds that create the resources you so need to reach the peak of appreciation of the place in which you find yourself. Rolling around in the incestuous, moldy undergrowth with the other bodies reminds you that you’re not only a newborn babe freshly exploding onto the world stage—multiple, overlapping cycles of fate carry you, and it’s time to acknowledge them as part of the depth of the resourcefulness that’s contributing to your current strength.
It seems stability and autonomy within your own skin is on shaky ground, and it’s a prime moment to remind yourself that instability can be delicious. The shakiness first hits the lavender-scented pillows and velvet sheets you’re tempted to melt into during quarantines and post-coital embraces. This full moon most immediately stirs the “relationship” part of your life. Who is the towering bird-woman with bulgy eyes CAWing at you to get your hands, face and arms dirty in the soil of relatedness, thereby resuscitating the soul of your relationships in the world? This doesn’t only apply to romance, but to anything in your life existing as a dyad: how can the two hold hands, sob, laugh, rhythmically breathe with the bursts of thunder in the sky, and meet the bird-woman’s charge? Approaching her throne with a thumping heart, you meet her as the compost of all of your hoarded autonomy. You surrender all of your possessions kept out of fear and lean forward (leading with your heart), repeating, “instability can be delicious.” If you assume that lightning won’t strike you hit, sleeping in a thunderstorm can lead to a tragic fall; if you’re pretty sure you won’t be struck, the same sleeping arrangements can be edgily comforting. Walking this edge of change, vulnerability and release, yours is the kingdom of earth and all of its delights.
Wandering around the cafeterias and porcelain floors of the monastery, you may find yourself out of your element this full moon in Scorpio. But in another sense, you’re right at home, as you’ve always known that applying ideas in a serviceable way is the method to bring your data-hunting and idea-gathering to its full peak of fruition. In your characteristic ability to fast-forward to the final result, you feel transformed into a witch on a broomstick, cackling nervously through the sky and flying forward into the place where service becomes transcendence. But it’s an isolating adventure, and you thrive on social interaction. Don’t fear: your mingling now consists of gazing in wonderment at the walls and ceilings, rag in hand, swearing you see some never-before-translated hieroglyphics on the beautiful ceiling before a custodian barks orders at you to continue the journey of bleaching your current quarters. Wipe the monastery down and see the isolation as a gift. The acidic companions, commanding that you put your information to use lest it all fades into irrelevance, give you the creative tension of service and self-visibility. No longer valued only for adding levity to the party, the free-electron can now be both server and seen unto themselves entirely. From the cackles to the unglamorous elbow-grease of cleaning (physical and ancestral), you sound the low hum of how solitude transforms human awareness into a keen perception of each being’s uniqueness.
It seems you’re the only matriarch of the family able to swim in the deep waters flooding the foundations of your home. As you struggle to hold the pack afloat, scandals of past illicit affairs leak in through the walls, forcing open the window blinds and airing your family’s dirty laundry to the whole village. Even if it seems everyone’s distant and nobody’s listening to you, this started as a chance for you to teach them all how to swim. It ends as an opportunity to realize that it’s not only about the welfare of the small clan; it’s about the whole community gathering the might of their resources, combining their values tangibly in the anticipation of a mass voyage. The reminders of unwanted sexual consequences, rejected children, and outcries of unmet needs that everyone tries to blame on you, are the components of an overture to the epic drama in which you gather everyone aboard the ship destined to sail across a course of many churning waters. Your ability to swim and protect, while not over-hardening your shell, strengthens the ability of your family and village to coexist. You must hear the cries of the rejected fetuses as music in order to swim in the ocean we’re all about to face, and you are called to teach everyone how to do it.
Just as you’re ready to bask in the pleasures of creative juices made visible to the public, phantasms of the dark mom-and-dad parental lions startle you, messing with your stage lighting. Their eyes shine so brightly within their dark manes that they destabilize your sense of presence, stoking the fires of your anger by interrupting your time in the spotlight. But this Scorpio full moon invites you to enter the oneiric portal to your roots, crossing into a turbulent void. Imagine that instead of a solid “you” existing in the limelight, the stage contains no center, and instead your awareness drifts toward the act of tumbling through the past. While you, Leo, are susceptible to motion sickness when it’s not all about you, there’s no need for queasiness when gravitational movement alone offers itself as a focal point. Monuments to your childlike nature feel by turns grandiose and destabilized, but the darker lions at the bottom of the cellar bear snarly gifts.
With your band of brothers and sisters, you stampede toward the temples and new sites of knowledge, insatiably lusting after new food for your mind and medicine for your soul. The sunset, or dawn, shines on these places of knowledge and the birds arrive with their songs. Tongues of devotion lure you in, the horizons themselves promising not only an endless supply of inspiration for your acts of service, but also a den of love-aplenty. When you enter the temple, gossiping sisters try to convert you into their likeness, and listening to their competitive bickering, you’re suddenly seized by a desperate need to have no wrinkles and appear flawlessly in harmony with the elements. You’re tempted to skin yourself, and this temptation serves as the first transmission of knowledge you receive here: crossing the realms into the dawn of knowing requires the desperation to violently dispose of all of your skin until you’re nothing but entrails. Yearning to serve the wrinkle-less order is your specialty, but the trick is to feel that longing without destroying the perceived imperfections of your current vessel. What would the cosmic order be without your wrinkles?
You fancy yourself perfectly in control and ready to serve the whims of the diplomatic order of the day, but this full moon you acquire resources from unidentified beings in less identifiable flying objects. At first, it seems the old fruits are rotting away just when you need them to last you the longest. But when you look again, the ground lights up: a thousand ground flashlights point you toward the undercurrent of more fruit on its way to ripening. Perhaps when you looked away the extraterrestrials placed the lanterns on the ground in a flash. But even though you’ve never tasted these fruits and you’re uncertain how much you can trust the entities from whence they came, you feel an undeniable power in their presence. Rather than indulging in drama over the devastation of the rotten avocados and the drained, delayed accounts, better to be silent, listening to how to eat and preserve what’s newly gifted to you. Your skill at diplomacy needs to include a diplomatic attitude toward adapting to new experiences, including those that take appearances that don’t immediately meet your criteria of the Good and the Beautiful. Right after you feel the temptation to indulge in the devastation, silently lean into the novel power.
You find yourself thrusting out into the world in a belligerent shamanic frenzy, gifted with just enough madness to move your gonads forward into creative autonomy. But suddenly your eyes roll into the back of your head. Even though at first it seems both sides of your body are on board to step into a newer, freer view of the world, there’s a lot that’s been left unsaid. You’ll need to gutturally sputter your way to silence, retracing the steps that led you to this perspective, in order to rejuvenate your self-confidence. Letting these forces from underneath hack your brain and tear your fingernail will show you that despite the interruptions, your true power remains indestructible. Rather than suppressing your odors, gurgles and vulnerabilities when expressing your emotional autonomy, you now see that these are instrumental and that the foibles are what make you vital. Riding the back of a giant scarab, you realize that in order for your intuition to carry you forward you need the company of your most intimate friends and partners, and part of this celebration of the foibles is to let them take whatever shapes necessary.
This full moon might make you feel like a child bumbling through a cliffy terrain leading to a hall of ghosts that have just escaped prison. As you amble along, a country bumpkin cartoon within your own mind, the ghosts make feeble attempts to scare you, bulging their eyes at you through space. You realize that this was all catalyzed by a magician’s golden fingertip shooting starseed back into the sky. After a warlock extends a webbed foot toward your body, you realize that pie-in-the-sky naiivete won’t carry the day, but that you can make space for yourself in the floating hall of ghosts. Awareness of both your solitude and your foolishness is therapy for you on this lunation. Sink into rock-bottom while also in space! Forge a profound scripture from all of the anguish of the ghosts and their stories! The knowledge you’re seeking hasn’t yet been discovered until you’ve served those raging demons and helped them tell the epic tales of their aeons of isolation.
This full moon, you’re responsible for glimpsing the new blueprints of what monuments to humanity-in-friendship might look like. Your raw material: the ashes from the razed skyscrapers, the vulnerable faces of the city’s masses, and the rebirth out of those ashes of the burned-down parts. You are the sign of the monument; the song to the crystallization of those structures that celebrate the toil and clarity of human force. But to what end are those monuments created? Can you be sure that humanity will erect monuments that catalyze meeting in public; a creative ‘third’ off of which the radiant light of the populace bounces? Now, with all of the current structures burned down, it’s up to you to unveil the integrity of the foundations, showing that it’s not all about gatekeeping and power, but about ways of being together. There is something beyond mass tragedy, and as the ritual elder the task is yours to show humanity that monuments reflect the light of the camaraderie that remains after burying so many loved ones. Being both in the fire and in the post-devastation is a tall order, and may take an emotional toll, but if anyone can handle it, it’s you.
Remember that time you walked in on your caregivers copulating—only to discover that in fact, they were having an orgy with their secret commune that you had no idea about? Remember how that time disturbed you immensely but also, though you love to deny it, spoke to something at the core of your life mission? The fruits of these labors of recollection now begin to show their moldy undersides, recalling the shaky past, making your memory tremble. They skyrocket you into embracing what the leaders in your life have given you through oppression, violence and the opening of the gates. Seeing the unbearable tyrants in your past and their intimidating cloaks, you feel the uprising of your contact with the generative life principle. Your effectiveness in the world depends upon your rebellion against tyranny, and if these authority figures hadn’t disturbed your powerless self and asserted their dominance in those dark, communal hallways—crescendos that recede into the private hallways and clogged bathtubs of your memory—you might have nothing to rebel against. A tip of the hat to the devouring or absent parents is in order, as is a treading on the edge of disturbance and arousal. Here lies your resistance, and the potency of your natural uprising.
You dream of far-off lands holding transcendent wisdom. This full moon, you also secretly desire to burn the institutional authorities sourcing those faraway places to the ground, overthrowing the dogmatic powers-that-be, and then stealing the crown hidden inside the church. In this dream, you resurrect all of the wounded children under the floorboards and find yourself held up by many who depend on your dance of longing toward sacrifice. You are sweating, tired, weeping, and for once, you have the opportunity to feel supported and suspended in the air by your soul-brothers and sisters. They hold you under the sunlight, shaking the dark residue out of your pores; you release the tears for the blisters and murders inflicted upon the world’s children by dogma. There’s no need to feel guilty about that power-grab in which you overthrew the power: sometimes overpowering the conquerers, and robbing the robbers, is the necessary move to restore the sisterhood able to see outside the claustrophobic vessels of power into the wider landscape of paradise. Everyone, including the ghosts of the corrupt, kneels and suspends your body in the air, weeping, offering their catharsis for the ability of every living being to be seen within their dreams.
“Fear, like love, can become a call into consciousness; one meets the unconscious, the unknown, the numinous and uncontrollable by keeping in touch with fear, which elevates the blind instinctual panic of the sheep into the knowing, cunning, fearful awe of the shepherd.” ― James Hillman, Pan and the Nightmare
As I write, the whole world grapples with trapped, anxious, and desperately speculative states of mind about all outcomes, including death. In the operatic match between Life Force and the Living Dead Unknown, taskmaster Saturn and wild-card Uranus challenge humanity to reclaim the fluid display of libido, erotic self-expression and panic.
Saturn and Uranus happen to rule the next 2300 years—the Age of Aquarius, an age that demands mass celebration of gender, sexuality and sensuality. The Age of Aquarius values freedom, desire, exploration, and androgyny; our part masculine, part feminine, half-desiring, half-panicking selves that move fluidly between life and death.
This week, mid-pandemic, Mars and Venus tango onto the scene with the refreshing yet chilling breezes of libidinous zeal and dread. How could these eternal lovers breathe words of ardor and orgasmic sighs on their bed under Hephaestus’ net while mortals suffocate with COVID-19? A week of grotesque epiphanies, tiny deaths, and mass death, stories of “love in the time of Corona” take taboo and morbid turns. Within human dreams of grim conditions and the close proximity of our thoughts to death, the week gifts us with an epiphany of the god Pan (“all”), who holds space for erotic desire and death simultaneously.
Mythology sings the praises of Pan, like his father, Hermes (the astrological Mercury) for his quick movement. Hermes guides the soul from the upper world to the underworld; Pan chases nymphs and revels in nature’s reflexes. Half goat, half man, Pan visits us during panic attacks, the hauntings reminding us of our status as bumps in the earth subject to its predators. But Pan also enchants mortals with revelry, ecstasy, music, and the cosmic joke that we, too, are predators—if we can celebrate that we’re half-and-half.
So, too, are we humans double, triple or more in the realms of gender and sex, and the week hints at the necessity of becoming comfortable with this complexity. Headlines on the horizon include tributes to lovers’ eccentricities, gender reveals, gender-bending, or character assassinations rooted in botched consent. We’ll see virtual ways to participate in group sensual encounters and reflection on our personal experiences of gender’s kaleidoscopic nature. At the strangest apparent timing, scandals about world leaders’ helplessness to control the spinning wheel of sexuality will come forward in the news.
‘What do love and sex have to do with a plague?’ we may ask ourselves. The courage to invite Pan’s lust for primal rhythms into our cells—not only in the form of literal sexual acts, but in the forest’s roaring silence and the plant’s soil—no matter what our proximity to death, bear profound and liberating lessons that transition our unconventional geniuses forward into Aquarian self-empowerment.
But we cannot afford to skip over the “panic” component of this forward momentum. The freedom of limitlessness and anxieties over letting-go both hang in the air, reflected in Luna’s turbulent connections to Saturn, Mars and Uranus in her waning cycle. Agricultural gods both, Saturn and Mars thrive when exerting themselves and laboring within specific structures. Saturn rules the mythological Golden Age, a tranquil, abundant time; Mars wields the power to blaze ahead, discovering new territory. But both forces, while essential for all forms of cultivation, in excess induce claustrophobia and ire. With Luna’s visit to these loosely conjunct planets this week, we feel impatient, agitated, and clingy. Equally, we may begin to let go, only to compulsively label new discoveries as our own in an attempt to possess them.
Part of sexual attraction and being in love—with a person and with the world—is the ability to let go and play, but equally prevalent is the proclivity to grasp, possess and dominate the other, panicking that the object of our desires will slip away. This includes life itself: panic over death is the wish to eternally possess the status quo of aliveness. But it’s the Age of Aquarius, and the more we insist on owning the beingness of persons and world, the more backlash occurs. As erotic demands tug on our physical and psychic bodies, can Libido coexist with Panic, and if so, how?
Whereas Neoplatonism and modern psychology sublimate Venus and Mars to symbolize Diplomacy and Assertiveness, the lovers now undress and resume their primordial status as amorous love-in-motion, a kinetic mode of desire. The interplay between letting go and claiming ownership is part of what the free-radical, kinkily bantering signs of Aquarius and Gemini offer Venus, Mars and the world this week. In this sense, they ‘cure’ humanity’s deer-in-the-headlights anxiety plaguing the world’s present moment: it seems even during a plague, there’s room for joy and sensual pleasure.
How can humanity put one foot in front of the other this week in a way that allows that razor’s edge of panic and joy without literally dying? Luna’s stint in Capricorn and Aquarius early and mid-week suggests that if we can recognize where mold grows upon once-reliable ground, our limits will transform, enabling our forward motion. Luna’s message encourages the expansion of our emotional flexibility even within apparently limited courses of action—those limits are transforming, and once we accept the past, our capacity to expand beyond obstacles increases.
What makes you jump out of bed, transcending all lethargy, with an awareness of your power? Whether it’s a piece of music, the voice of someone you love, a painting, an image from a film, a letter, a message, this week asks you to strengthen that connection. During times of panic & sickness, even when death demands contemplation, a connection with these reminders of life force ask to be consistently reinforced so that they’re rolling from within and with less effort. As Pan instructs, panic and vitality can and do coexist. In this sense, even if ninety-nine percent of your body’s in crisis, that one cell soaring in response to what reminds you of your joy alone protects you and makes all the difference. Even if you feel weak and paralyzed, know that the other side of panic is nature’s orgiastic dance of which you’re an integral part, so you’re exactly where you need to be.
Italian classicist and philosopher Giulia Sissa, in her book Jealousy: A Forbidden Passion, writes, “Culture happens when sexuality is transformed into sensuality.” The driving forces behind the Age of Aquarius might add, “and there are as many sensualities as there are persons—just as with deaths.” Sensuality and death dance with us, and the way out of freezing in Death’s apparition as a terrifying construct lies in recognizing how much each of these parts of life affirm our utter uniqueness. Each of us treads a path: “My sensualities and my deaths.” Also: “Our sensualities and our deaths.” Also: “The world’s sensualities and its deaths.”
What we need are strong hearts, strong stomachs, senses of humor, and lots of trust through the pain. Toward liberation we all go.
As I write, the sirens outside my Brooklyn apartment remind me of the complicity between bones, blood and government. With a rare planetary alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto—one that hasn’t occurred in thousands of years—overtures sounding new judicial dynasties now begin to form on the bones and blood of many generations. The week of March 29th roars in with ambulatory blares transmogrifying into the smoky omens of a nascent city-state, a form of government in a liminal realm as yet unclear, appearing as a fragmented cyber-image too fleeting to hold any certain guidelines about our situation. Without reliable long-term direction, the smoke signals challenge us to create boundaries that hold action-streams bearing light and regeneration. How is it possible to lead with the vital enthusiasm for mental and physical exercise instead of the morbid masks passing through our dreams and the news cycle?
The iron-pumping fighters for love and justice transform into apotropaic maneuvers against primordial terror: exercise this week shows up as rest (for the privileged), struggles for survival, anxious waiting, terrifying phantasms, and strength-gathering. Discipline and frenzy coincide on parallel streams or parallel time-tracks, or with one in time and the other in the timeless. But who administers our action-flow? To what extent do we possess agency over this administration? And if unexpected realizations about going forward arrive, can we go forward spontaneously? The need to make peace with structure while not feeling trapped characterizes the tension we experience in domestic, interior and bureaucratic spheres.
We feel this tension acutely this week, culminating in a conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto, with warlike Pallas Athena and tyrannical Saturn close by. Jupiter, harbinger of expansion and growth, meets Pluto, lord of the Underworld, overseeing the light that shines through the ashes of post-death transformation. An autonomous force beneath the decay casts a luminous beam to the side of our view, which, if aimed directly at our eyes, would blind us. But some sorcerers swear they’ve heard Pluto himself whisper this promise: if a mere mortal gazes upon the heap of decay long enough to receive the side apparition of the light beam, the antidote to loss-aversion graces their soul.
In mythology, Jupiter and Pluto are brothers: Jupiter the life of the party, Pluto the most powerful. Nobody, not even Jupiter, overrules Pluto’s chthonic judgment. A culture in monotheist-materialist death rattles polarizes this pair with Jupiter (Zeus: “shine,” “lightener”) on the pedestal and Pluto in the gutter, or in the shudder. It’s up to us, now, to help these brothers support each other instead of running on independent agendas, which is no small task, given that a keyword for astrological Jupiter is “growth,” and late capitalist New Age self-development looks upon growth in an uncritically positive light. But as revolutionary psychologist James Hillman reminds us, “When you have too much growth, it’s cancer.”
Growth serves as a reminder of light—growing seems to equal happiness—but the accumulation of happiness-reminders falls short of its light-bearing source. Whereas the growth of the happiness-reminders only leaves the pull of human longing with a pile of hapless relics, witnessing decay and grieving the dead opens the way for the life-giving whir composed from the collaboration of Jupiter and Pluto to enter. If we fail to bear witness to the cinders of corruption, growth goes manic, forcing the heavens and the underworld to forge an aggressive light that pierces through the happy-hapless-densities of earthly comfort straight into our retinas.
“Stay in your homes,” they say. Whether literal homes or interior, psychic space, resting in a nesting base is important. As red-eyed warrior Mars moves into Aquarius, nudging up against taskmaster Saturn, it’s a week to love the holding power of a container large enough for the invigoration of steady, constructive impulses within their structure. But uncertainties broil and freeze: will we be masters of our own domains? Will we be dictators? Will we live in servitude to outside despots?
The answers depend on the degree to which we bear witness to the form of the container itself: Will we stay home and administer our energy? Will we feel the power of stillness? And perhaps most important of all, will we remember the natural clarity of our bodies? There’s a desperate need to reclaim skeleton and blood, a necessity that makes a contentious bedfellow with speedy cyberspace. While the internet inspires structure, reminding us that that we must stand in solidarity to defeat inner and outer enemies, the task of claiming foundation, bearing witness to the ashes of those lost, and administering our virtuous action through rightful channels, belongs to bones and blood.
Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto last joined forces in the sign of Capricorn in 1894 BC, the year of the founding of Babylon, which began as a tiny village in the middle of a vast planet. Babylon soon became a dynasty that transformed world justice and human rights. The rare 2020 conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, occurring for the first time since 1894 BC, sets the stage for the seeds of a city-state unlike any other in history, existing now only as a dream image of a floating vessel too fragile to confirm. News about cyber-currency, including proposals for the digital dollar, suggests this seedling government will unravel online, its first iteration a cocktail of solidarity, sadism, dark eros, hypertrophied information and propaganda. It’s possible that the new face of bureaucracy has become so commonplace it’s right at our fingertips.
While embracing the surges of internal innovation that the vitalized beings on the front lines of this future source of human collaboration bring, it’s important to remember that the true roots of any revolution of hierarchy structures lie in the blood and the bones—of ourselves and of our ancestors. Let us bear witness to the decay through which their light may shine.
Shadow ‘scopes are horoscopes that hold space for the darker side of your life, and find the redemptive value in the daily awkwardness & agony. This week they’re especially weepy, with the Pisces New Moon.
Warriors with eyes all over their heads gaze on the sunset, plundering forward into their new territory thirsting for fresh blood. Looking back behind their shoulders, they can’t help but look upon the blood already shed over the ground from the battle hard-won. The question is whether there’s still a larger war to fight, to use all of the energy of freshness and boundaries that limit-giving Saturn affords you during this time of conspicuous new beginnings. Sounding the cry, the resonance of your voice could lift the sun out of the belly of the underworld itself. As your strident cries carve out the boundaries of this fresh start and your followers shake in awe and terror, you must take stock of the balance between sunset and sunrise: starting something new and reflecting melancholically aren’t mutually exclusive; they feed each other and must hang in balance. Allowing people to grieve their losses, you march forward, grieving a few of your own while holding your arms out in front of the sun. Take a breath. You know building a new village on the land is possible.
As you gaze over your shoulder, little relics from deep within the past seem to emerge out of the sea behind you: jewelry boxes, splintered chairs, hand grenades your grandparents used in the war, bottles of Scotch. The detritus of addiction moves into your orbit as you see all of the fresh starts within the hidden stories of your ancestors coming toward you to help you realize the hidden sources of power that you possess in this moment. Though you may feel lost at sea, and may feel at times that you’re drowning in the hiddenness of what was possible and what was actual, and what IS possible and what IS actual, you’re actually becoming more able to discern what you can use from the flotsam. Instability and disorder have been the beginning of your initiation during the last couple of years, and as you continue to lean into the disequilibrium, you discover paradoxical balance: the sniveling inner gremlins begin to drink from the old family stories so that those stories are no longer power-drains on you.
You discover this New Moon that you arrive at a party of your circle of friends only to discover that the circle itself has turned into a group of wild beasts. The lions, tigers, bears and serpents demand that you dance with them, and with your light-hearted, harlequinesque nature, you dance joyfully, gliding across the currents of transformation. But there’s dread lurking in the background: wherefore did this transformation occur? Something arises out of the middle of that friendship circle, a new beginning of an initiation into your primordial animalistic nature. The sores of civilization, including disease, allergy, and plain old city soot, seem to be coughed out of the center of this group dynamic, and only your light-hearted curiosity can expel any of its lasting impacts from hanging over the clan. The initiation lies in shedding the armor of civilization and being at once light-on-your-feet and guttural, lower-body, in your connection with the earth. You all roar together, and within your respective domains, you breathe fire, knowing that you will only gain the collective insight if you’re willing to temporarily leave behind the civil trappings you once held dear.
When you arrive at your temple, and when your focus presses upon the building, underneath the stone, dark hands cause cracks in the foundation. It seems the old king and queen, overthrown, reach up to rise again, disturbing the already-claustrophobic atmosphere. But this is not an atmos-FEARic situation: you find yourself standing serene within the temple and it becomes a vessel for your indestructibility. You endure the quakes of the foundation with an ease you had not previously known. The old, dead despots are demanding that their mission in the world (as it had existed in their old lives) be seen anew during this time. They want the boundaries of how their contribution had benefited society expanded, so that people can see their legacy in a fresh light. Hint: this has to do with you and your contributions as well. You might have done certain things that can’t be undone, but the way people see your contributions and the way you view your mission is due for a fresh start. This cosmic coup and rise of the dead royalty is the beginning of reframing the value of your social contributions, and after falling through the cracks of the structure, your vessel carries you to a new land where your unique contributions are unwaveringly valued by both yourself and others.
You want it all, and your mask of power lands you in an ivory tower surrounded by heaps of dusty books, seeming to counsel you. In the moment when a ray of light pierces your chest and you find yourself staring into an apparition of a new land, you wonder what it’s all about. The sweat on your brow begins to melt your pride away. All pie-in-the-sky pronouncements from the past echo in the air, and when you travel downstairs to see that on the throne sits another King, Queen, or Qing, you run away from your domain, finding that the only thing left to do is to go toward the apparition of the new land that you saw earlier. You travel faster than your legs can carry you, and, hint, hint: the labor and the toil of the journey is what counts. Though the dust and light were gateways, the fresh start you were looking for wasn’t in the collection of the books,. The fresh start was what those artifacts catalyzed in your mind and spirit: the eruption of pride, the sweat of wanting to do the real work of fleeing fossilized sources of fake strength. Now, you venture forth toward the true nobility of humility and fresh mind.
Frequently ill-at-ease with new bold starts, this New Moon you crawl toward this unforeseen territory on all fours in a deep trench during a thunderstorm. In the trenches there’s an unexpected drop-off, and you find yourself thrown into a ceiling vault that requires more crawling in order to reach the light. Once you reach the light, a smoldering lover appears—or is it an ex-lover?—cross-legged, with a wry smile, asking you to unbutton their blouse. Complying makes you excited and uncomfortable: how could claustrophobia, survival, and bodily intimacy be so intertwined? The simultaneous expertise about the body and discomfort with raw physicality is an ongoing paradox that makes you charismatic and puzzling, Virgo, but it’s okay: going down there to discover merging, you discover you like the hag and the gnomish version of your ex-lover, too, and that it’s just these grotesque appearances that empower you to get primal with them. Maybe that shape-shifting source of temptation down there isn’t a person: maybe it’s an object, an account, a bill, or the fertile soil of your imagination itself, but either way, after you’ve kissed it, the light carries you both to a new place you need to create your life.
Rivals and jilted lovers with pouting lips and swords pop out of the shadows and start speaking to you in invented languages, and it seems at first as though they’re offering to take you for a ride. A ride with your rival? Hopping on a train with an ex? The scales seem to tip toward a fresh perspective on those who don’t seem to be balanced people in your life, but who thrust you in the direction of quick, direct, fiery independence that is the counterpoint of your comfort zone. When you hop on board with these flaming enemies or frenemies, it might seem at first that you’re descending to the ninth gate of hell, but you’re actually careening toward the balance that you truly seek: a fresh geographic look at the way you can be and live with others with passion, leadership and diplomacy. You might create a new home together, with plenty of space to joust, or you might discover that you can live in the middle of the ring of fire anew, quietly while they try unsuccessfully to accost you from the outside. If you can apply these ideas toward arguing with yourself this week, the empty side of the map of your soul will start to fill in.
In the middle of your daily routine there is a schism when time seems to stop and a new impassioned approach to time seems to begin. It’s a gap, a reddened void in which integration is obliterated and only the unknown prevails. If you are able to short-circuit the tight control around your daily sources of power you hold dear, this gap becomes your friend, and teetering on the edge of the day’s schism and its order gives you strength to charge forward. When you lean into the schism of the order of the day you might find sobbing hypochondriacs, laughing nurses, used containers for bodily fluids, post-surgery smells, all the while knowing that the whole time, a reset of time’s hierarchy is available to you. If you can cry with the cries and find a new frequency in your voice, if you can laugh with the laughs and discover a fresh depth of laughter independently of the claims of healthful hierarchy, if you can curiously contact used containers without immediately sanitizing them, the breakage in time turns you toward the right outlet, that of the edge of dirtiness and collapse. It is only on this edge that the creation of taken-for-granted routine becomes possible, and once that daily order becomes fossilized, the ground opens you again to the sniveling rejects of absolute power.
All the children you didn’t realize were yours stand in a line holding shot glasses full of whiskey and demand you pay attention to them. You don’t love being held down, so thinking of your offspring wasn’t exactly high on your list, but those born with your DNA running through their bodies and souls offer you the opportunity to take a fresh perspective toward what has grown as a result of your creativity. It’s not an opportunity for you to escape, but to notice anew—bursts of reflection, phantasms, inner beings and creatures that show you what the consequences of your actions and creations look like. They appear on a patch of land that had been previously hidden to you, and it’s through your willingness to clink glasses with them—with those born as a result of your actions—that the boldness to climb the next mountain arises. It’s wise to listen, to feel Youth-As-External, rather than hoarding eternal youth into your own mindset, so that your perspective can be humble, fresh, and other-directed, rather than self-centered. Your past creativity causes joy and pain, and the discomfort of feeling the dissonance of joy and pain as a result of your past risks is what propels you into new territory now.
All the family critters climb out from under the bed, some of them young, some of them old, but all of them dipping into the pond of your murky memory-bank, almost as if fishermen trying to catch the one recollection from the school of fish in your memories that will give both them and you the key to nourishment. The nourishment they’re seeking from catching of the fish of your memories is that which will nourish you and the generations to follow. Reaching into the dark waters of your bloodline, the swarms of fish encircle your desire to catch the emotional anchor. It will not be easy, they tell you, for we all come as one, and you will need to take all the agents of feeling into account before you go ahead with your agenda. The discovery of this school of fish, of this ecosystem of recollection, is what you need to spend time with, growing some gills yourself. The new pieces of clarity emerge from the willingness to be surrounded by those immediately reaching into your emotional space and those deep within the transparent vessels of feeling from the past. Your ability to hold both of these, while being in the center and in your center, invigorates your strength as a leader and protector.
Brothers, sisters, and lapses in communication, wires going haywire, sparks flying and missed connections and deviously misinterpreted words bring your consciousness down into a knot of cords, but it’s in these cords that you find out how to untangle yourself, Aquarius. It’s only in inhabiting the discordant, tangled space, an exaggeration of your state of being curled up in a ball of ideas, where you untangle yourself and feel spacious in your world again. As you see the overwhelm of all the messages trying to get through, and recognize the space of disorder, you are able to toss the pine needles, little by little, off the bundle of knotted wire and hear each message clearly, determining what is worth addressing and what isn’t worth your energy right now. First curling up in a fetal position at the center, then splaying out like a Vitruvian man, clarity arises and your fraternal connections, as well as the fraternity of all the units of communication show you gratitude.
Some goods feel stolen, some relics seem to have grown mold and dust; either way, your possessions feel not-quite-yours, Pisces. But something underneath the material things that had previously defined a certain aspect of your life comes to the forefront of your awareness: the space around those objects, and the ability of your psyche to see the territory available to you to discover new births and the thrust of your being toward the anticipation of the next instance of harmonious surges of creation with the world’s tides. It’s as if you stand as a new ruler, standing over your corrupted possessions, but you are not a ruler of egomania. Rather, your arms extend to the rain and lightning, which kiss your fingertips. The abundance of wiggle-room in the world’s creation place propels you to discover the moment after your customary dissolving: recovering the sight of the fertile land and its potential, knowing that resources can regenerate with the help of your compassion and inspiration. Though a tinge of sadness strikes you as you gaze at your items, you harness your power of empathy for the rest of the world, and your connection to true resources knows no bounds.
A curious and driven hero wanders around a rising tide, thinking he can befriend it. The water seems to invite him in, but right now he’s just looking, unsure if it’s dangerous, unsure what it wants. He climbs up on the rock pile so he can have the best view of the ocean. Suddenly, a pang of longing enters the hero: he yearns to go forward on the journey so that he can return to what makes him human again, so that he can return to his home and hearth.
But he doesn’t know the boundaries of the ocean well enough. He waits, alert, on the rocks near the shore. And like this hero, as Mars sextiles Sol and Neptune, we find ourselves burning the fuel of what inspires and magnetizes us. We might be drawn to go into some deep, dreamy waters, and feeling as though self-interested judgment is suspended, we’re not sure how much of the sea is friendly and how much is monstrous. All we know is the strong pull of the lover at home.
Does this strike you as wrenching grief, as with Odysseus? Or as with Orpheus, do you find yourself driven to play music on your seashore rock, feeling that there’s a creative act to be done that requires courage and that redeems what you thought was lost? In either case, the need to speak with the flotsam emotions and invite the radioactive realization into your home presents itself.
This week brings a view of possible navigational directions, taking stock, weighing the consequences of directions taken from a distance only to be surprised by what presents itself at the current stop-gap base. With Luna on her waxing cycle toward fullness, there’s a rhythm and ethic of growth, of preparing for peak and release, and of the necessity to confront how the blooming of what’s been planted meets the emotional environments of power, authority and justice. The dangers of these charged ghouls are alluring and unknown. There’s a notion of moving into uncharted oceans or paths, resulting in situations that are easy to dream about but hard to see clearly. The scope of the sea, its surfaces, wombs and death-traps through which we voyage and that give boundaries to our journeys are endless in their depths even with the best view. No route is free of storms, ambushes and secret undertows.
The word “navigation” comes from “ag”—to drive, draw out or draw forth, move. To go or to stay? And what is doing the drawing of the drawing out—from the perspective of the force that’s drawing us out, are they therefore drawing us in? Just as a heroic quest to move out there prevails, so too does an irresistible magnetism toward ‘we-know-not-what. ‘
But we sure want to know: as Mercury the trickster continues in his retrograde motion, he regresses into Aquarius, in which we grow impatient at the massa confusa of the tempting forces pushing, pulling and trying to communicate with us, converting the desire into a focus on clear ideas. Messy feeling, scattered all over the place, turns into dissociated thinking. The cacophony of emotive experience turns into intellected, truncated fusion for our sense of individuality not being able to bear the lack of focus. Swimming against the current of psychedelic moods and poisons infecting our concentration, the mercurial force lusts after the whirlwind of airy focus that it hopes will result from intellectualizing all the wet confusion.
A grounding question through this mental-emotional maze might be, “How do your ideas about the journey you’re on help each person express who they are as individuals while still participating in a collective?”
Mid-week, with sensual Venus squaring task-master Saturn, there’s friction between the part of us that’s seduced by the possibility of forging ahead into the erotic mysteries, and the grindstone in front of us that needs attention. Old, cold and dry figures threaten to stomp out the fire, compressing and contracting heated ambitions. But when Venus ingresses into her home, Taurus, on Thursday, she nears a conjunction to wild card Uranus. It’s as if electricity suddenly courses through the limiting grindstone Saturn had only moments before forced upon our sensual drives as an object of toil and labor.
This jolt could lead to unwelcome surprise, or conversely, an over-confidence in our sensuality, an over-trust in the endurance and feel-goodness of material resources to see us through the tasks at hand. On one level, we may feel that we’ve moved ahead when in fact we have stayed put. On another level, we might have thought nothing had progressed and that we’re stuck, only to find out there’s something growing and ready to surge in the very place that seems most familiar.
It’s as if the week rhymes: just as Mercury’s retrograde motion into Aquarius tries to gather the moody debris into a windy cylinder of concentration, the dynamics of Venus, Saturn and Uranus sideswipe love’s restless drive to move ahead into more creative paths with a sudden jolt and realization that we have yet to complete our reflective journey toward epiphany in the place where our sensuality currently treads.
It is these concentrated swirls and jolts that enable us to glimpse the rest of the journey—its dangers, joys, and demands for completion, the deception of unexplored territory, and the ability of our immediate surroundings to ceaselessly surprise us with everything we need.
Shadow ‘scopes are horoscopes that hold space for the darker side of your life, and find the redemptive value in the daily awkwardness & agony. This week they’re especially weepy, with the Pisces New Moon.
After awakening sweaty from a nightmare in which all your grandparents and great-great-great grandparents were shrieking at you to do their bidding, you strip down your pijamas and put on your tyrant suit. With a somber face and fire in your eyes, you step up to the podium, that optic flame the only heat source for the cold faces of your followers who have sat through ten church services in a row in the dead of winter. You belch and your joints crackle as you tell them that your radical ideals themselves have turned into ungraspable kaleidoscopic visions. Pouring whiskey into everyone’s cup, a bristly white beard appears on your face, and in a premonition of the seven generations of leaders of your domain to follow you, you preemptively arm their souls decades into the future with daggers to combat extinction.
As the debts pile up and you can’t see your friends behind the stacks of bills, you try to see past the constructs of dollars and cents, only to find that the reason you’re blind is because you’ve actually been in a legal battle in a foreign country for quite some time now. Give yourself a pat on the back and a kinky smack on the rear for going out of your comfort zone, Taurus. After kissing all the old geezers and bloating your stomach on international cuisine, it’s revealed that the other side of your gender has a vicious little starlet who will stop at nothing to get what they want done and stand proudly in the limelight. Burning those debts, a taste of incendiary fearlessness overcomes you that you had previously not known, the skyscrapers of bills collapse into ashes, and with a haughty laugh in multiple octaves, you declare your right to live an aesthetically distinct life, seeing in a way previously unseen.
After stumbling off the lecture stage with a glass of sake in your hand, putting sexual desire into action feels a little dry. But the eros of life desires flows, and it’s hard to tell if it’s your genuine longing inspired by spontaneous desires of the night, or if it’s the voice of the elders telling you to spread your DNA. Petty fights over inheritances and over your professional reputation are all for naught when you tear up the papers, which you do after crawling out of the bathtub, throwing a temper tantrum that demonstrates why you deserve the earnings and why people who came to hear your extrapolation of art gallery statistics can follow your intoxicated logic if they dare and if they’re capable—yours is the celebration of the drunken tears and shreds that rip through what bind the populace to toxic guilt-making. Only after your manic shredding, and only after the interruptions of the inebriated chatterbox, are all the generations’ desires allowed to flow.
You and your lover awaken to go for a roll in the hay, only to get a message from the one in charge that your joints must crackle over the chalice of sacrifice, and that this is the price to pay for greed and miserliness. A foreign glass of wine paints your lips a deeper red and you contemplate how when you were a dragon, your presence could span more of the land than the home-bound, parental life of your aching body. After bonding with the beloved over cracking bones, drooping skin, and territoriality; after weeping and beefing yourself up with armor to make sure all intruders stay out of this surreal love bubble this week, that armor slowly cracks and stiffens just like your joints, only to reveal that this is the first motion of its expansion outward into wings, and finding that you have these wings and breathing fire, you have become that dragon. All must enjoy dragon’s cuisine.
Power contests of extreme pleasure and extreme pain lead you by an invisible thread into a shady lawyer’s den full of golden cola, puffing cigarette ash over debts. You growl and cry over those debts, insisting that the damn crown stays on your head. But remember, the golden phoenix gets tired after hundreds of years singing to the sun: maybe the crown needs to fall, so that a new signature of your royalty may be born out of all burnt carcinogen on the papers. This is the ultimate performance of power: the celebration of its decay after it’s spoiled. How do you let that corrupted, self-centered jerk within dissolve into the ashen ocean so that full radiance returns? It’s not about a literal act of repayment, it’s about power being moved and confronted with what has been violated in nature, including you.
The demons of competition—the perfectly curated hipsters and pedagogues even more perfectionist, even bigger hypochondriacs than you—“I scream into my pillow three times at night but I’m more than willing to make the sea swallow your name during the day!”—Appear uninvited this new moon, making all of your code-switching, winged-heeled information freeze into oblivion. Remember that ice is one of the great manifestations of the goddess, and the elements coming together into solid form, but it’s not permanent, it will melt. While there, you might contemplate how you can’t just become a nurse in this moment, offering a type of pain medication nobody currently needs or wants, as the ice won’t be cracked surgically. More apt is skating across your bewildered consciousness as if a frozen lake before it all melts, harnessing the rival hypochondriacs who suspend your service as a way to go listen to a new environment.
Servers drool into your food and pets’ eye-gunk drops further into excess than you’re comfortable with. There’s sacrifice that suggests all or nothing rather than moderation. You might become the drooling dog or cat, or you might huff and puff and want to blow your boss’s house down while interiorizing how wronged and oppressed you’ve been. This is the counterbalance of the subservient speaking through you so that you can let diplomacy melt away when necessary and standup for the oppressed: the true heroes are the ones so often treated as playthings and instrumentalities in the public discourse, and your sober compassion is pushed to see the excess of servitude so that you can serve the resurgence of the unsung heroes. Walk around with tongue sticking out, open gash from a catfight, wearing the wound proudly.
It’s as though you become obsessed with that hottie at a party only to puke all over them a few hours into the night, of which your clothes probably retain the odor into the next few days. You’re a dictator in victim’s clothing: “love me, I was wronged, and you’ll believe me because of how cute I am!” The regurgitation catalyzes you to resist taking for granted the process of nature decaying and reproducing itself—though you’re a representative of the reproduction of nature, you’re not infallible or immune to necessity. The intensity of desire and the grotesqueness of unexpected bodily fluids shows you how at one you are with the mortal and the immortal aspects of nature. To know the letdowns after rising to the height of creative power, to know nature trying to vomit itself out as a messy manifestation of its actual reproduction, is to be willing to go deeper into queendom.
You find yourself wandering through a dark corridor to discover your parents rolling around on a bedroom floor between two bunk beds demanding that you send them monthly checks and reassuring you, “there will be no inheritance. We wouldn’t want to give you that burden.” Being swallowed by domestic ghouls when you want to be on the path to enlightenment renders you a thumb-sucking temper-tantrum-having gossiper, spouting acidic words about mom, dad, grandma, or those deeper into the past. It’s the venom, lack and domestic double-crossing that remind you that underneath all the new places you go and people you see, you’re still you, and that sometimes whitewater rafting on the gene pool is even more of an adventure than climbing the spiritual peaks.
You find yourself accosted by the trolls and the peanut gallery, getting noogies from all the brothers and sisters that really in their darkest moments want to slice your head off or vice-versa, and feeling all the inner voices saying you need to save them and be responsible for them. “It’s all on your shoulders, but how could you possibly think in this other way?” This moon may bring out your vain philanthropist, showing your abundance and your righteousness when in fact internally you may be shaking in terror over the ambiguity of abundance and lack, and reddening with rage at the voices lording your sense of responsibility over you. The keenness to lead astray and be responsible for the financial and spiritual demise of others makes you feel like you don’t know yourself anymore, but even those given the role of wise elders have inner terrorists, and it’s time to let yours scream at your action figures, dollar bills, and liquor bottles.
A seductive house-squatter, flickering between appearing as a real-time human being and a shady, chiaroscuro Jessica Rabbit, crosses their legs on your couch, and soon after, you find your possessions gone, disappeared, as though when drunk, you let someone convince you to give them away. A seven hundred year old grandfather, or mentor, or lover, sucks all of the money out of your bank account through a dirty straw. Sometimes a green lion’s face appears on top of your own face, roaring to re-assert its pride after its losses, only to fall on the wet soil and realize that this is a moment of suspended pride. Alternately, resilience and voluptuous endowment appear in your torso and bosom as you walk into the night naked, knowing that possessions are meant to circulate and that your worth depends more on your courageous procession into the sunset than on a number in currency.
After being tossed out of your childhood home into the dead of cold, you limp down the street with bruised legs and calloused feet, face dirty and grimaced. You wail into the night, and la Llorona’s return is seen over the new horizon. Your lamentation echoes through the bodegas, buses and forests alike—the lament of the wronged grandmother wolves. You ask grandmother wolf to eat you up, and she refuses, demanding that you pluck two of her eyelashes. When you run along with the eyelashes, you can see each sentient being, including yourself, for who they truly are. It takes a long time of wandering to finally find the correct blend of discernment and compassion that makes you able to see who you can live with, and how you can live wit them. Though clear seeing may protect you in some way, the growls and lamentations are there to stay. Compassion can’t negate your animal appetite for new blood.
During this week, Luna (the moon) makes her slow journey through the sign of Capricorn, conjoining old task-master Saturn and underworld transformer Pluto. Already, we’re in heavy territory: at first glance, this seems the week to cut through illusions and ground ourselves in practicality. There’s an uncompromising weight of reality, solidity, and with Mercury turning retrograde in Pisces next to the fixed star of the Hydrus, all of our visions seem suspect, drunk, paranoid. There’s a tug toward doing what gives us that secure, feet-on-the-ground feeling, and at the same time, a subjective sense that we’re bereft of material resources, needing to take simple and slow steps into a stark nighttime of our three-dimensional world.
Several planets this week loiter in Capricorn, the sign of foundation, structure, clarified ambition, with a dash of the capricious goat and a pinch of occasional melancholia: Luna, her south node, Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter. Ah, Jupiter, the great fortune, the partying philosopher who mirrors our optimistic wisdom back to us…right? Actually, this time, with Jupiter, there’s a twist: in traditional astrologies, Luna and Jupiter are both said to lack robust resources in Capricorn, and since these celestial bodies reveal different aspects of our growth through the cycles of worldly life, in the mid-week we’re likely to feel an ‘abundance of emptiness’ that prompts us to live simply and manage time concretely. There’s a desire to mind the ground but also glimpse the mountain of aspiration in its full form and scope—if there are no peaks to ascend, no paths to groom for the next seven generations to walk, if there’s only a void in this dark nighttime of reality, then we grow depressed indeed.
Our Nocturnal Double
It’s necessary, then, to cultivate nighttime vision, shape-shifting into nocturnal, animal nature, so that we might see the mountain with perhaps more crispness, sharpness and cunning than we would in daytime vision. If we can smile at the void as Luna transits Capricorn, waving hello to the task-master, child-eater and lord of the underworld, as black cats and goats know to sniff further past the void onto the path’s whispers of twilight, then we’ll be laying just the ground needed for ourselves to dive into Pisces season. It’s not advisable to insist on “more, more, more,” demanding that results come to fruition, because later in the week when pioneer Mars trines wild-card Uranus, state-of-the-art swords, clubs and staffs will arrive at your feet to aid you in the mountain-climbing, and to insist on their delivery prematurely would be like encumbering yourself with feeble armor and glass trinkets that would at best be heavy to carry and at worst would break, causing you to spill your own blood.
Visitors Inhabiting The Space
Developing our night-vision will show us that far from the suspicion that this week contains no fruitful visions, we’re really in the business of laying down a flexible methodology to ground our imaginations’ inspired images so that they can express themselves properly. On February 19, we’ll see Sol (the sun) move into Pisces, and the psychic visitors will come into our home demanding we creatively address them whether we like it or not. The rock-bottom sitting-on-the-earth feeling of early in the week cleans house ensuring the habitability of our living space: can these moods, flights of fancy, feeling and inspiration demanding attention live in here? Is this body’s connective tissues open to the medicines and potions working, to the sicknesses clearing it out? It’s necessary to empty out and gaze into the night, eyes twinkling, before the glimpse of the winding path up the mountain refills our hungry eyes.
Coyote And The Stars
In an old Navajo story, the night creatures were unhappy with the pitch darkness of the night, and called out to the Great Spirit wanting more light. “We only have the moon: we want more light in the sky!” The Great Spirit told them to gather pebbles form the river and draw self-portraits in the sky using the stones. Coyote overslept and missed the meeting, so Raven told him to quickly go to the water and gather his rocks. He was determined to make his portrait the best, but as he ran up the mountain with his pebbles, the other night creatures were already hard at work. In his exuberance toward drawing his self-portrait, he tripped, fell, and splattered his pebbles all over everyone else’s pictures. All the other animals were furious with him for lifetimes, but the myth suggests that Coyote’s trip is the reason we have stars in the sky now: he scattered the pebbles, and that’s what was required to make stars.
But unlike other seasons might express, this week it’s not Coyote’s action alone that makes the stars: the others’ careful rock sketches, the raven’s urgent message, the complaint of no light in the dark—Coyote was the unexpected wild card, but all the others laid the ground and paved the way up the mountain so he would jump. So mind your pebbles, roam in the darkness, work deliberately, heed the messages of the ravens—and prepare for the unexpected. It might light up your world, it might be too hot and messy at first, but you will have done your part.
“You trace a line from point Z to point A and then you forget where you were going but that’s ok because you discover the meaning of what you were searching for between the starting point and the finishing one. People reveal their secrets between breaths, between sunset and sunrise, when dragons move from heart to mouth. It’s refreshing to be given all the answers without asking for them; you simply know without your head. There is a cool dark forest at the base of a mountain with an ancient fountain of memories where the water tastes like earth and courage. You drink from this place before you ascend higher and higher, crossing a golden net made of your own ambitions and fears.“- Elodie St-Onge Aubut, 9th House Astrology, 9thhouseastrology.wordpress.com
image from Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection, Matt Dembicki and Jack Lenzo”