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”
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.
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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.
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