The Week of 4/12: PANdrogyny

Yamira Serret, “INside OUT”

“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.

Yamira Serret, “Cinderella”

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.

Yamira Serret, “INside OUT”

The Week of 3/29/2020: The Skeleton

Yamira Serret, “Whorse”

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.

Yamira Serret, “Oniriginal”

“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.

Yamira Serret

Shadow Horoscopes for New Moon in Aries (3/24/2020)

Amador Montes, “Vestigios”

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.

ARIES

Amador Montes, “El Señor de la Lluvia Vino Al Taller”

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.

TAURUS

Amador Montes, “Nunca Sin Ti”

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.

GEMINI

Amador Montes, “Cuatro Personajes”

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.

CANCER

Amador Montes, “Sin Titulo”

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.

LEO

Amador Montes, “Equilibrio II”

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.

VIRGO

Amador Montes, “Sin Ti”

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.

LIBRA

Amador Montes, “La Reunion Sin Ti”

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.

SCORPIO

Amador Montes, “Equilibrio”

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.

SAGITTARIUS

Amador Montes, “Los Apuntes Del Mago”

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.

CAPRICORN

Amador Montes, “Magos y Magia”

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.

AQUARIUS

Amador Montes, “Actos”

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.

PISCES

Amador Montes, “Recuerdo”

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.

Amador Montes, “Vestigios”

The Week of March 1: Flotsam & Epiphanies

Odysseus and Calypso, 1883, Arnold Bocklin

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 Horoscopes for the week of Feb 23 & New Moon in Pisces

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.

Aries

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.

Taurus

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.

Gemini

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.

Cancer

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.

Leo

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.

Virgo

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.

Libra

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.

Scorpio

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.

Sagittarius

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.

Capricorn

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.

Aquarius

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.

Pisces

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.

The Week of Feb 16, 2020: Night Vision & the Dark Ground

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”

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.