Goddess Power!

Every day begins with ritual. And yet, in these confused times our rituals have lost their wonder, their heart. Hygeia, Ceres, Vesta, we can honour the Goddesses in the simple rituals of awakening, washing, breaking fast and then, before we begin attending to our livelihood, we attend to the hearth, especially upon these cold winter mornings. I have heard people complain that these Goddesses are in the shadow of the Gods, are unequal and yet that is a choice each and every one of us makes, every day, to not honour them in the simple rituals of home and hearth. Some say that there was a Golden Age when the Goddesses held sway over human affairs, and perhaps that is true, but again, it is a choice for you, for each one of us, to whom we give respect. Every time you wash your face, eat bread, clean the fireplace, you have an opportunity to commune with a Goddess. Perhaps, if you are male, you might have opportunities to fight, to hammer metal and oil your weapons of war in case blood needs to be spilled with iron, and then you can honour Mars, but if those dynamics become part of your everyday rituals then you are not long for this world. The Goddesses, by the fact of their very existence in the simple, humble, homely rituals of every human day are with us with far greater frequency than the loud, bold Gods who are with us only when we need to make serious statements. Whose power then, is the greater? If the Goddesses are, for you, not honoured enough in the world, then do your part: honour them. Strike your match with a sense of wonder, clean the hearth – with love, real love, then you will invite the protection of Vesta. Bake your bread, and then break it with gratitude and Ceres will smile on you. Every moment is a communion, a ritual, an invitation to understand that the only reason that life is not more sacred and divine is because we do not recognise these opportunities. We want life to be big and bold, but where is the beauty and simplicity and humility in that? If every day were big and bold then we would have no choice but to become jet-setting playboys, dilettantes and femme-fatales, living for the rush of excitement, excess and danger, until, through aristocratic jading, even the rush becomes boring. It reflects our world though, through the green lens of envy, the red lens of lust and the black lens of despair, the addiction to control and power is the drug of the world whose antidote is the basin, the bread oven and the hearth.

Every day (I am learning), these are the habits of my life. I wake up, wash, eat breakfast, walk feisty Juno for a few miles along the field margins and hedgerows (Diana, Diana!), and then back home, to light the fire and begin my work, which is for me, with Moon/Vesta in the 6th more to do with duty and service than career and success. That’s okay, because when you have learned simplicity you realise its astonishing power. It is not the blood and thunder power of Mars and Jupiter, nor the judgmental power of Saturn who so frequently confuses ambition and status with responsibility and a Puritanical work-ethic, but rather it is the gentle, inwardly transforming power of the tides: rhythmic, soft, but irresistible, and which gradually erodes the tantrums of the ego.

Life calms. Forgiveness and acceptance replace anxiety and resentment. This is Goddess power; it is not flashy, there are no stages and spotlights but there is no audience either, and that is better because what is the performance when there is nobody to witness it? Gradually, you begin to make your own reality, in the satisfaction of quiet rituals, in cleaning and nourishing and serving, in giving to the world without expectation of reward and knowing that you are blessed and safe and loved.

Every moment of your life is metaphysical. Understand this and you have the key to your true power. You will be blessed, loved and valued, if you will only allow yourself to be, and it all begins with transforming drudgery into worship with a little reverence and wonder.

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A Sea Change on the Horizon?

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For many months now I have been watching the future. Inevitably this is a key concern of the astrologer, the Uranian, the Aquarian, the 11th house individual, but actually, this coming month there is an astrological event of staggering magnitude in the making.

So far as I can work out, 27th of May will be a day of great importance in the destiny of this world.

Of course, better astrologers than I have come unstuck through making such bold proclamations and I do not wish to characterise this “happening” as having any profoundly calamitous or dramatic overtones, indeed, the nature of it all suggests that it may be much more subtle than we at first understand and of course, to pinpoint a day is also a little presumptuous, since this is only the point of greatest intensity, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The event: in astrological terms at least, is a super-conjunction of Jupiter with Neptune and Chiron within a 15 minute orb of 26° Aquarius.

Below is the chart for the evening of 27th May, at five past nine in the evening here in the UK. I have looked at this in numerous ways most especially regarding house systems. I have experimented with putting the stellium on the 1st to judge its expression, using an arbitrary point in space, and placing the Sun on the 1st too in the tradition of daily horoscope writers, but in the end I have decided upon a simple 0° Aries configuration: it is the birth point into consciousness and form and this I believe will give the easiest route to interpretation.

Before I begin to explore the scenarios it might be as well to talk about generalisations. Jupiter – Neptune contacts speak to spiritual philosophy, non-materialism, matters of faith and religion, disappointed hopes, idealism, speculation and financial wipeout. Neptunian affairs are expanded and Jupiterian concerns are dissolved or transcended. Chiron enters the fray and themes of wounding and healing are highlighted, but these are humanity’s wounds and the effects are undoubtedly global.

One way of getting a flavour of the contacts is to look at what was going on the last time these contacts were made. Jupiter was conjunct Chiron in 1990, just days before Iraq invaded Kuwait and today, mere days before the next contact the UK is pulling its troops out of Iraq. Is this the end of the Iraq problem? Consider that the last time that Neptune was conjunct both Jupiter and Chiron was in September 1945, within a day of the end of the second world war and at the end of that set of contacts, the United Nations was formed

Before that, the last time the same superconjunction occurred was in the summer of 1881 when Britain signed the Pretoria treaty which ended the Boer war, within 3 days of the closest contact between Ju/Ne/Ch. The cessation of wars therefore appears to be a theme of the great conjunction of these planetary superpowers with the rogue comet Chiron.

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There are an enormous number of potentials here and it would be best to start with the most obvious, and possibly the most unattractive.

Scenario One: Global Pandemic

Jupiter conjunct Neptune conjunct Chiron. Here Jupiter expands Neptunian energy and attaches a measure of pain to the result, pain which is itself magnified. Poseidon (Neptune) was called “worldshaker” by the Greeks and with the Aquarius and 11th house influence this could certainly be an issue which affects the whole of humanity. With Pandora configured too it could also be of case of something having “got out”, and in the absence of any concrete measures being mooted, hope appears to be the last commodity available.

Sun and Saturn are peregrine. Authority and societal structures are out of the picture and with Saturn overexpressed in Virgo (and note: the exact midpoint of Virgo) and Sun in Gemini there are themes of communication breakdowns and health problems. Pluto is on the midheaven and in Capricorn, so change is afoot, and the usual structures do not hold. Sun is also in partile square to Ceres (not a minute out) which again suggests a real vitality problem, sickness even.

Moon and Mars are strong, Moon is in her sign, in hayz and at the midpoint of the Sun – Ceres square with the Sun too at the midpoint of the Moon – Venus square, a need to protect loved ones and family then. Chiron is exactly square Algol whose ancient imagery is of piled up corpses. Proserpina squares the stellium too, so loved ones may be taken down to the underworld and Neptune is stationary at this exact moment too.

The imagery of Neptune is interesting in this context. Neptune has of course long been associated with sickness and far more than Pluto is an impersonal force of devastation. Pluto actually represents an intensely personal confrontation with the Underworld, Neptune is the maker of sickness and has a much broader and less individual reach. It should be noted too that regardless of the broad trends indicated by this point in time that the event-mapping of the moment is somewhat uncomfortable to contemplate. Pl=Ve/Sa suggests transient states of chaos, the halfsum involves Venus in Aries (thus representing the physical body via the 1st) and Saturn in Virgo and the 6th: health. Thus, chaotic and confusing conditions relating to physical health. Then consider the darkly foreboding implications of Ne =  Ma/Ur = Ve/Pl! Fainting fits, raving madness and incredible fear combined with immoral and desperate behaviour.

Scenario Two: Global Financial Collapse

This was my original opinion and I have held this particular view for more than a year now. It appears to hold true as well, at least thus far. Global conflict is, in these latter days, increasingly economic, sanctions have replaced gunboats, but more widely I do believe that this theme bears out, even mundanely. In all cases of the previous conjunctions of this type it would appear that idealism wins out after a sustained period of pain and wounding. At this time Uranus transits the midpoint of Mars – Jupiter and Mars – Neptune from the 12th house. This suggests sudden plans being formed to combat sudden crisis conditions in business institutions, and as Uranus rules the stellium in Aquarius it is a decision taken by a hidden group; the ruler is well aspected however, so I am not especially pessimistic. A world currency? This possibility has been on my thoughts for longer than I care to mention. I do have grave misgivings about this as a concept and it could only probably be put into place if a profound financial crisis were in evidence (whether it had been manufactured or not). This last factor is echoed by the square to Mercury in Taurus: an enormous financial lie (Me sq. Ju/Ne from Taurus and the 2nd).

Scenario Three: A Spiritual Forward Step

Events of this type are invariably precursors to major shifts in thinking. In 1534, when Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron were all conjunct Martin Luther translated the bible into German for the first time and the Church of England became a functioning entity through Henry VIII’s first Supremacy Act. In 1945 the United Nations was formed. These are cohesive events which create a sense of higher purpose that can be shared by all people and crucially, which offer a sense of unity and a glimpse of a more enlightened future.

Most intriguingly in my view however, The stellium occurs on the astrologers’ degree of Aquarius. This is a profoundly sensitised point in the internal dialogue of astrology and it creates quite a buzz across the polarity to the 27th degree of Leo. Unquestionably this will up the ante for the world of astrology, even if not overtly.

The Sabian is delightful too:

An Ancient Pottery Bowl Filled with Violets.
This is a symbol of the permanence or changelessness of the real as an ultimate assurance to the human heart. No matter how many shifting forms the face of life may present to man, there are always the surviving tokens of an enduring stability on which the ephemeral and the superficial are unable to make any impact. Where there is replacement of substance and variety of structure there is also an over-all continuance of meaning and identity in which self may anchor itself. The keyword is TRADITION. When positive, the degree is a high realisation of values and a real gift of using them, and when negative, a loss of self in conventionality and its meaningless trappings.

In my heart of hearts I believe that we are all faced with a choice in this life and at no time has the urgency of the withering dichotomy that is the  collision of material and spiritual values been so apparent. This degree tells us that it is time to get real about our values. We as individuals do not have to hide our lights under the bushel of shame that has been handed down to us by those with no universal – only selfish – conviction. I for one refuse to be ashamed of those tenets I hold dear. I am here to help people and I do not want to be enslaved into the empty material trappings that are the garb of those who have not dared to believe in anything more. What of it if I go to my demise destitute? The rationalised avarice of our times is built upon a pyramid of parasitism that I simply cannot tolerate as a life philosophy. I want none of it, it sickens me, although not with an angry disgust, but just through proximity to the unclean and the poisonous. If life can be better, lived to a higher ideal then I want to aspire to that possibility, and if it cannot, then at the very least I do not have to be dragged down by it daily, again and again.

It’s actually very simple, but it takes a peculiar and rather detached view of your own place in this world to realise it.

The Serious Side of Ceres…

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Before I begin today I would like to thank everyone who has taken the trouble to comment or send an email over these last few days, it has been very sincerely appreciated.

The Jupiter effect is a well-known shortcut to experiencing any given planetary contact; the theory being that as the expanding power of Jupiter contacts a specific point in your nativity, it begins to make itself felt. I myself discovered this principle in a less pleasant manner as Orcus transited across my Jupiter a few months back and my dreams became a frightful flight from an ursine monstrosity through a forest of obsidian trees. Less apprehensible, except by the keenness of its absence however, is the Saturn effect: as the constriction of Saturn applies to a point in your astrology you might become aware of the effect and influence of that particular force in your nativity too as the difficulty and restriction of the archetypal principles become increasingly onerous.

Ceres is not a study to which I have been especially predisposed in the past, not least because it felt somewhat of a halfway house between Hygeia and the Moon, seeming to allude to already catered for principles, thus, its superfluosity, on casual inspection, made it a poor candidate for investigation. As Saturn approached 19 degrees of Virgo however, I began to wonder at it and so, in keeping with my usual methodology, began to investigate the underpinning mythology, for therein lie the deeper clues to any astrological probability. Ceres is, of course, the Roman facsimile for Demeter, and there is little question that the myth of Demeter and Persephone is among the most persistent, profound and intriguing of all the Greek tales.

The Homeric Hymn to Demeter (which is a reference to style and not authorship incidentally) is certainly one of the most complete and influential of all the original sources. Demeter, an older sister – and consort – of Zeus was also a sister to Hades (Pluto) and Poseidon (Neptune). Her power and influence ought not be easily discounted therefore and certainly, her ability to control the seasons of the earth is extremely potent: without her consent, the grain would not ripen; this observation is of profound relevance in the development of her story. Zeus fathered by her a daughter, Persephone, who was her mother’s joy, but as the only child of Zeus and Demeter, Persephone was Epikleros, a sole heir to her parents’ estate. In keeping with the social mores of Athens therefore, the marriage of an Epikleros was frequently constrained by expedience, the father would very often marry his daughter to an uncle in order to keep the wealth in the family and since a woman’s consent was neither required nor much valued in the arrangement of marriages, Zeus would have felt no need to tell either Demeter or Persephone of his plan to wed Persephone to his brother Hades.

As the myth goes, Persephone was picking flowers in a meadow when Hades, wearing a mask of invisibility, rose up from out of the earth and dragged her down to Tartarus. The ‘rape of Persephone’ as it became known was not so much descriptive of a physical assault  as it is resonant with a somewhat brutal and insensitive wrench from innocence (picking flowers in a meadow) and a descent into – literal – darkness. There are so many archetypal themes connected with this story, and so much Plutonic material too, that it is a rich vein of insight for the astrologer into themes of Pluto, Scorpio and the 8th house too.

The point though in this context, is that Demeter – Ceres – was utterly distraught. At first, not knowing what had happened to her beloved daughter she wandered the earth “making a desert at every step.” Eventually she found a shepherd who had witnessed the abduction and immediately confronted Zeus on Olympus and demanded that he restore her daughter to her. Zeus however was constrained by another attendant reality: any soul, once conveyed down to Tartarus was not allowed to return, it was sacrosanct and designed that way to ensure that the dead stayed dead. Demeter, in her anger and rage, threatened to make an eternal winter on earth so that nothing might grow and all life would end and through this grave threat Zeus was finally forced to broker a deal whereby Persephone would be allowed to return to Demeter’s side for 6 months of the year. Our seasons are thus characterised by 6 months of fertility – where Ceres in her joy promulgates abundance, and 6 months wherein she mourns the absence of Persephone (or Proserpina in the Roman) and nothing will grow.

One of the most key themes of Ceres therefore, is concerned with the abduction or loss of one’s children.

A Saturn contact of course creates a burden and a test, so it is not entirely a surprise to find that my children are being kept from me at this time, and certainly, with Saturn transiting Ceres at 19 degrees of Virgo and fast approaching Pluto at 21 Virgo, these are dark days in prospect. If Ceres (the loss of one’s children) becomes burdensome enough through the attentions of Saturn then the promise of Saturn conjunct Pluto (Ebertin’s aptly named hard-labour), which promises extreme anguish and cruelty seems to loom large. Indeed, with Saturn Pluto going near partile on Christmas Day it appears to be a profound hardship indeed: to be living apart from your children is hard enough, but to be denied even the ability to speak to them will no doubt be very hard to bear, most especially at Christmas.

I hold out little hope for progress. I have taken to writing to my children at their schools in hope of establishing some sort of a reasoned dialogue. Yesterday I received a solicitor’s letter from my wife threatening to take out an injunction preventing me from even being allowed that much contact. My own solicitor has told me that it is laughable in the extreme, certainly without grounds, but it does demonstrate the mindset of my wife, who incidentally has Libra Sun conjunct Virgo Mercury conjunct Pluto. I need say no more really.

If I stand far enough back from the situation I glean some hope from the passing influence of transits, My Saturn transit of Ceres/Pluto has a year in it at best, but within that time frame there are some powerful subsidiary contacts to consider which might give me pause, but beyond this, the key themes of Ceres do include the promise of a reconciliation whereby Zeus (Jupiter, thus commonsense and goodwill) reaches a compromise with Pluto. I pray for that very possibility, without expecting it to happen any day soon.