Friday, November 30, 2007

The Pisces Sagittarius Square

All aspects in the astrological chart are neutral.
Signs want to combine with other signs and through the supposed hard angles is the only way some can accomplish this. The friction can add to the dynamic with good results ultimately, although conflict is generally involved. The North Node and Uranus are in Pisces now, and Jupiter is joining Pluto in Sagittarius. The lessons of the Sagittarius-Pisces square have been here for awhile and soon the planets depart, while the earth gradually moves on to other classroom activities.

Both signs are concerned with human spiritual development but in different ways. The broad outlying universe is sensed for the first time in Sagittarius and the individual starts to establish a relationship with an entity often called god. This figure resembles the human and is responsible for judgement, so morality, ethics, good, and evil are questioned while trying to act in a certain way, and for some, seeking passage at death into a promised paradise as a reward for good deeds.
In Pisces, the outer entity is no longer a recognizable form and the spiritual figure becomes a diffuse universal element, not at all concerned with right and wrong. All judgement is suspended and the individual is faced simply with the results of his actions. Cause and effect.
This dichotomy creates problems in understanding events and circumstance, the person's place in the world, and what one should do, if anything.

The Sagittarian model of religion creates an elaborate system of dos and don'ts, rarely adhered to by mankind so far. Some are clearly logical and conducive to social harmony, but others are completely nonsensical. Punishment is threatened if dicta are not followed. It's wrong to kill others, all religions say, yet sometimes survival says otherwise. Sometimes unconscious drives are motivating behavior and the wrong party is declared innocent. The problem is that one rarely knows the reality of a situation while one is immersed in it, and the moral rules can be arbitrary and even useless in some cases, thus the difficulty in establishing a workable religious order. In Pisces the problem is solved by abandoning the rules altogether and letting the effects of actions teach the way, sometimes with surprising results. Sometimes what appears to be wrong is the only path open at the time to what is right.
It's impossible to know the truth of it all.
And the truth is sought after, fought for, abandoned, reclaimed, feared, loved, desired, and never fully grasped and possessed. How good or bad is anybody or anything? How can anybody really know? Who is the judge? And what do I believe? What do I know? And so what?
Pastoral. Oil on canvas. Rockwell Kent. 1914

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Saturn, Uranus, and
Outlaw Business

A speakeasy during Prohibition
I've noticed some corporations getting panicky as the Saturn-Uranus times come bounding in with the business of the people. The extent of commercial development on the Internet and the growth of direct sales, trade, and bartering of services have been startling. An enormous amount of business is being conducted outside of traditional law, without licensing, taxation, and government control. While big business knocked out the little man; as always, the small entrepreneur found alternatives and rerouted. Nonregulated trade has historically thrived but probably not so openly and widespread. In many ways it reminds me of tribal barter and a return to basic transactions with survival in mind.
Last century the music business was an exciting one with creativity, joy, and possibility. Artists thrived, people were satisfied. As corporate control took over it became next to impossible for innovative artists to get recording contracts and music deteriorated. But the people were not daunted. A few years ago, a musician won a Grammy, her entire distribution done on the Internet herself. Self-made success seems to be on the rise again. 90% of the economy is small business and regardless of the much talked-about multinational control, the common man will continue to be the most important figure in the economic picture.
Prohibition began on January 16, 1920 when Uranus was at 29 Aquarius, just entering Pisces, and the Sun was in Capricorn. Pisces rules alcohol. It continued through Pisces and the government lost the battle when Uranus transited Aries. On March 23rd, 1933, the repeal started with the Sun/Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Aquarius. The repeal was complete on December 5, 1933 with Venus, Saturn, and NN in Aquarius, Mars in Capricorn, and Uranus in Aries.
The force of the illegal trade was phenomenal and the attempted restriction failed as it always does. Governments invariably come head to head with their limitations and pretty much lose it.
Some are feeling a pinch and responding. The Pluto in Capricorn grip could strangle, conceivably, but who would be the victims? Jupiter and Uranus are headed for Aries and the individual is once again rising up, kicked off by the year and a half trip of the north node through Aquarius. The Aces are slipping out of the sleeves. The big bosses can't win, nor will they lose, as the battle rages on and business continues. Never did we know that cyberspace would be the next great shopping mall. Are we in an imaginary world with commodities secondary? Well, that could scare a corporation. I understand.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Uranus goes direct
The human creature is born helpless in a complex world and from the first breath, s*he creates patterns to rely upon with what appears to be predictability. Boundaries are set and control is maintained primarily with the use of the planetary entity, Saturn. Uranus follows Saturn in the cosmos and assures that the human does not get trapped and imprisoned inside these boundaries unable to move, grow, stretch, and evolve, thus the phrase associated with Uranus, Aquarius, and the 11th house -- circumstances beyond our control.

In the 11th, a person encounters for the first time the real unpredictability of events and the genuine nature of the future. In the 12th, it's fully understand that one can't control life on earth. The future is fundamentally unknowable as it should be and one is part of a universal current, ideally in synchronization and unafraid. The path to this knowledge is full of surprises.< <
People turn to metaphysicians, prophets, psychics, etc., to depict the future and these people are rarely right. And what if they were? People would hate it. The oppressive weight, the feeling of restriction and ultimate hopelessness. So humans continue the game, trying to predict what will happen, but knowing they can't and not really wanting to. This is the lesson of Uranus -- the craziness and absurdity of it all. A fool's paradise.

Surprise. Uranus is renowned for startling twists and turns, the opposite of what was thought, and sometimes the unsettling, disturbing, even shocking. Those with Aquarian points spend their lives learning to adjust to these curves and everyone does to some extent, related to natal placements in the chart. Because of the unusual nature of the entity, people think that circumstance is bizarre and uncertain at times. This is true.

Awareness. One of the most enjoyable characteristics of Uranus is its expansion of consciousness and the association with genius. Thinking travels on the oblique and all is questioned. Even the questions are questioned. End result: great intuitive knowledge and illumination connected to creative mentality, open to possibility. Highly charged flashes of insight are common. You just get it. "I know" are the keywords of Aquarius.
Emotional detachment. Uranus is known for being cool and aloof in relationship. This is employed to get things done without guilt and sentimentality. Acting on one's own against, or outside the grain, can sometimes be of value and occasionally is the only way to progress.

Unconventionality, physics, science fiction, and futuristic vision. Many of the greatest visionary thinkers are influenced by Uranus and the advancing technologies of the modern age come under its influence. Anyone can use this originality in everyday problem-solving with success and surprising results. Groupthink has its limitations, although good ideas and solutions can benefit the collective in time. Sometimes it takes a side trip first, however. Every invention, it seems, was considered bombastically eccentric in the beginning.

Tradition and rebellion. The breaking of traditions eventually becomes necessary and the planet is entering this daring phase in earnest. Obedience to authority causes incessant problems for mankind. On December 19, the north node goes into Aquarius and Jupiter crosses into Capricorn. The very same day, Saturn turns retrograde setting up this conflict between the established rule and the need for change. To add some hocus-pocus, Neptune will be at 19 degrees Aquarius. This is connected to the long mutual reception between Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius. It appears to be the time to start putting the knowledge into action with much to do concerning the Saturnian and Uranian energies and the global need for advancement. I've always resisted convention and this is what happened to me:

My father was a Pisces with Mercury, Venus, and Uranus in Aquarius. Not your ordinary guy. When transiting Uranus was in Aquarius exactly opposite my Saturn, he was in the hospital dying, and I almost caved in, breaking tradition with my lack of tradition. My plane reservation was made. I remembered our last time together, our moment of truth, and how we said good-bye laughing in the Pennsylvania hills. That's the memory I wanted to keep with me, not the man with tubes everywhere, his body and mouth burned with radiation. I called and asked if I should come. He said no. Still I worried about my brother and sister as the pressure continued.
On the last morning he fell into a coma, not moving, speaking, nor responding. I phoned in the evening and asked my brother, a physician, to let me talk to him. My brother hesitated saying that he wouldn't hear me. I said he would, so he put the phone to my father's ear. I told him I wasn't coming and said my good-byes. Then from death's entrance came a small croaking voice. "Good-bye", he said to the shock of all. Three hours later he was dead. Had I followed tradition I never would have had such an amazing experience, nor would I have known the magnitude of his strength and the extent of his feelings.

So as circumstance spins out of our control and Uranus moves ahead, there is a lot to learn about courage to do what a person thinks is best even if it defies convention. There's also the knowledge of what traditions are useful and should be maintained. Along with the direction is the ongoing Mars in Cancer and all the tribal questions emerging. Many people are realizing that family includes the unexpected friends they've made in these last years and now is a perfect time to enjoy the fellowship, daring to remain unique, and helping this thing along.
Uranus goes direct.
Paintings: Outburst of Fear: Paul Klee. New York Movie: Edward Hopper. Philosophy: Hugh Ferris

Friday, November 23, 2007

Under the Weather

It's chilly and snowy in my hometown today and I'm remembering my childhood in upstate New York. My town was nestled in a beautiful setting but with one of the worst climates known to mankind. This was verified by Mr. Ross, my tobacco stained 8th grade science teacher, a trustworthy scholar.

The winters were long, wet, and cold, and I was required to greet the rickety, drafty schoolbus every morning at 7:30, not my best time of day. This was after being up most of the night in order to concentrate on my homework in the quiet. I've always been a night person. I was born at midnight, after all, wailing and ready to go.

Then I would board the bus in my bleary state, and since I was on the end of the line, all the faces would look up and stare in unison, not all of them my fans. And this as a prelude to the 46 minute dictatorial sections of my day ahead. Lunch at the same time from the same godawful cafeteria. In contrast, things are pretty good now. I don't have to get up at 6 AM. Plus, I'm no longer involved in the battle between my parents concerning the temperature of the house. Mom liked it cold, Dad liked it hot.
I like it reasonably warm.

I have some errands to run but I best wait until Midnite Madness as Black Friday winds down. The roads are going to be frightfully congested under these weather conditions. One good thing, though. All the burning rubber of the day should mean no black ice. Ahh, sweet comfort.
Illustration: Ponder Goembe

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Food and the Family

I stopped gorging myself on animals many many years ago and ceased over-eating entirely as time progressed. Mercury in Cancer can irritate the stomach so I'm careful. The proverbial question in the family seems to be "What's for dinner?" or nowadays "Where are we eating tonight?" as the group moves from one food source to another, meal to meal, hand to mouth, consuming far more than survival requires.
I find it fascinating that today's feast had Mars just retrograde in Cancer and I imagine that some truth about this family pursuit emerged amongst the brussels sprouts and bird cracklings. How healthy is this family unit? How emotionally satisfying? I have questions in light of the hysterical shrieking sports' confrontations going on while trying to digest the complicated array of foodstuffs, along with the spoken/yelled and unspoken emotional conflicts almost always woven into the underlying family fabric. Huge meals on this fabric can be problematic but the reverse can happen, too -- joyous celebration of the tribe and its prosperity.

The rituals around food intake still intrigue me along with the fact that human desire still far surpasses need. Since this country over-eats daily, the holiday banquets are sometimes grotesquely consumptive. And now it's especially mindless since people in modern times are so far removed from the source of nourishment. All taken for granted. It's robotic, as well. On the Fourth Thursday everyone stuffs their bodies in unison. Well on May Day, we supposedly dance together, so it all evens out.
Anyway, I'm curious. Of course, people are reluctant to admit these insights, so I'll probably never know.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Secrets of the Stone

If I could get by on a penny a day
I'd live like a king in a castle of gray
And if I could plant a penny like a seed
I'd grow rich as a king, I could live like a queen

If I could turn a penny into a tune
Warm as the sun, old as the moon
On pillows of silk I'd sing you that tune
In a sultan's tent, under the moon

If I knew like the wizards of old
How to turn pennies into gold
If I knew the secrets they knew
The secrets of the stone

Then I could live on a penny a night
I could live like a king all my life.

The voluptuous Queen of Pentacles is looking at me right now and the graph of the cosmos tells me that the stars might align in my favor, come winter. Ever-active Mars is heading back to Gemini and will turn direct exactly on my Venus, goddess of my 2nd house of cash. At the same time, Venus will be conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn on my Midheaven and Pluto will be at 0 Capricorn. Will this philosopher discover the secrets of the stone? Tune in to the next installment. If all else fails, there's this reminder:
When it rains it always rains
Pennies from heaven
Don't you know each cloud contains
Pennies from heaven
You'll find your fortune falling all over town
Make sure that your umbrella is upside down

Not to worry. As Uranian as I am, my umbrella is always upside down and inside out.
Secrets of the Stone. JM. Cpwt IMS 1983
Pennies from Heaven. John Burke. Arthur Johnston. 1936

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Have Something to Tell You

Let's order first.
One thing about the sign of Cancer is the intimate pleasure of sharing personal experiences, and when Mars turned retrograde last Thursday, I had a series of warm and eager conversations with my girlfriends. One in particular -- a new one. A calm, confident lady I encounter all the time but hadn't connected with until that day. And what a connection it was. It turns out she's a Taurus, a young woman studying to become a psychologist. Now that was grist for the Mars in Cancer mill. Great talk, which will be continued since we cross paths several times a week in an intimate setting. A new friend is always a joy, added to the pantheon of old standards, of course.

Chop Suey: Edward Hopper. Oil on canvas 1929

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Something good just happened. I think it's related to Mars turning retrograde which happens to be exactly on my 4th house cusp. I was deep cleaning so Saturn in Virgo must be involved, and the Moon was just crossing Pluto in Sagittarius, so I believe it's big. Will elaborate after some meditation.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Wheat From the Chaff

A Conversation
Chessplayer: Do you want instructions in building up your personality?
Harry: Yes, please.
CP: May I see your pieces?
H: Pieces?
CP: Of your personality. I can't play without the pieces.
[The pieces appear all transparent except for one]
CP: Which one is you?
[Harry picks the one with his image on it]
Wrong [In a lilting voice]. You are the whole game.
H: But all these personalities in one man?
That's schizophrenia.

Virgo governs the harvest, particularly the separation of the usable wheat from the extraneous chaff. Essential nourishment. Virgo notes that it's not productive and can even be stressful to force the body to digest and assimilate what it doesn't need. The same applies to all experience; ideas, sensations, people, places, and things. People are bombarded every moment and some picking and choosing asks to be done. Can we really put the pieces of our own puzzles together? As Saturn transits Virgo for the next two years I intend to find out. 
Saturn in Leo was entertaining. However, soon the south node transits Leo diminishing the importance of the ego as it was. I'm thinking it could be time for distillation, editing, rearranging, and analyzing for the final synthesis. The audience assumes less dominance as the search for essential self follows a new curve in the path
Pisces realizes there's no working order. The amorphous realm of illusion is its domain and fragmentation of reality, as close to absence as possible, is its goal. But with the north node leaving, Virgo can get to work with freedom, creating and organizing functioning systems without the natural Piscean undoing of everything it tries to keep together. Of course, Uranus will still be in Pisces adding the mystical element to some degree, and encouraging the incorporation of altered realities into this new phase. Will the parts fit? Will the machine run smoothly after all? Will the Piscean schizophrenia become the integrated personality?
The plan
Piece myselves together to suit myself.
Conversation from the film of Hermann Hesse's novel Steppenwolf

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just Down the Hill

The evergreen outside my living room got terribly bent out of shape during a storm several years ago, but it survived and even seems to be regaining some of its former handsomeness. It's missing a few crucial limbs, aesthetically speaking, but I don't really mind. This easy-going conifer is a good steady companion.

Monday, November 05, 2007

It's Weird

I'm in the mood for abstraction. Very heady, although clearly defined emotional moments are in and about. And through.
From: photomontage with painted water color by Gygorgy Kepes. 1939 .

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I was thinking ....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Our Future

I'm confident. With Pluto in solid Capricorn I think there's a good chance our country's builders will be of a high standard. Erectors learn young, using quite complicated sets.
Of course, I live in the lower niches, so I feel reasonably secure with whatever transpires.
I understand Minneapolis, Minnesota is rebuilding her bridge today. The best of fortune from me, Jm. Your Saturn in Capricorn will certainly come in handy.