Archive for September, 2007

Libra Equinox – Sept. 23, 2007, 09:51 UT

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

By Eric Francis and Kirsti Melto

EQUINOXES and solstices begin the seasons and take us to a new phase of our lives. They are the times when the Sun turns a corner and makes a 90-degree angle to either the equator or one of the tropics (Tropic of Cancer or Tropic of Capricorn). In the case of an equinox, the Sun’s rays are at 90 degrees to the equator, and the length of night and day is equal everywhere on Earth. The word equinox means “equal night.”

When the Sun enters Libra, it is crossing one of the Cardinal Points (which are the first degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn). The cardinal points are highly sensitive points, bringing the message “personal is political? with events that tend to connect us to the larger events and movements in society around us. They are also natural turning point sin our lives. In the Northern tradition the cardinal points are represented by guardian dwarves called Nordri, Ostri, Sudri and Vestri, who held up the four “corners” of the cosmos.

Libra in particular is a point of rebalancing. Its image is of the scales of justice; its tarot card is Justice or Adjustment. Libra reminds us that one of the highest personal virtues we can attain, or at least strive for consciously, is fairness. A little fairness goes a long way. As with any cardinal sign, Libra is one that needs to take initiative. Aries is a potent sign of getting things going, but it tends to lack confidence. Half of the astrological cycle has passed by now, and Libra is the place where we find our confidence and the ability to make decisions.

The ascendant of the Libra equinox chart above, cast for The Hague, Netherlands (per Planet Waves tradition of casting global charts for that city), is in Scorpio, a sign ruled by Mars and Pluto. Mars and Pluto happen to be in an aspect at the time of the equinox — an opposition, which happens for a few days once every two years. Here, we have the two aspects of Scorpio — desire and the evolutionary impulse — facing off. We tend to think of them as being different. We tend to think of desire as being the thing that rules our lives, or that is the root of all suffering; of evolution as good and desire as something we need to get under control. Could it be that these two aspects of Scorpio contain one another? We can give desire the job of leading us to freedom as well as to anything else.

The Sun is squaring Pluto in this chart (it was exact earlier in the week, so this is called a separating square), which for its part is conjunct the Galactic Core. The Sun, Mars and Pluto form a T square. What is interesting and not revealed in conventional charts is that currently, on the Gemini side of this aspect, Mars is conjunct a centaur (Chiron-like planet) called Cyllarus. This has a panicky feeling, as if that sharp arrow depicted by Mars could come flying at random out of anywhere.

But this is taking place in Gemini. There is another side to the story that we might be missing entirely: “fate,” as we call it, does not always strike us down; just as often it lifts us up or redirects our path. It’s just that we tend to miss this second kind of cosmic move and get more caught up in the first. The arrow of Mars could be that of desire, it could be that of being chosen for a purpose, and it could be a sign that it’s time for a significant transformation of your life.

If you “trans-form,” make sure you remember to “trans-substance” too: form is not enough. A change in form needs to reveal something on the inside, something that may have been hidden by the old form. That something is the content of who you are, your ideas, your feelings, your sense of reality. Most of us walk around with a split personality; we are one person to the world, and someone else to ourselves.

The Moon in Aquarius makes a sesqisquare (135-degree) aspect to the Sun, and a semisquare to the Aries Point — both of which could be considered trigger aspects. The Aquarius Moon is genuinely friendly but prone to spending too much time in its own head. The humanitarian ideals of this Moon need to be expressed tangibly and in ways that are both idealistic and able to be documented.

The Moon is in conjunction with Neptune and Chiron, standing nearly exactly between the two. The Moon, positioned like that, suggests we are trying to decide whether we want to wake up or go back to sleep. The ongoing development of the Neptune-Chiron conjunction in Aquarius represents a slow coming to terms with the fog that has enveloped the Western world: the fog of war, of technology, of mood-altering drugs, of the distorted collective values we hold. Chiron acts like a focusing lens when put into aspect with Neptune, and though this conjunction will not be exact until Feb. 17, 2010, we are seeing the beginnings of it now.

The Moon closely sextiles Jupiter. This is what I would call a healthy relationship to luck, to potential, and to the need to expand. The sextile says, expand incrementally rather than wildly. Use leverage rather than effort.

The Sun in Libra and Venus in Leo are in mutual reception. (Note, there is an old rule that says that they can’t be in mutual reception unless they are in an exact aspect, which they are not, but we still take this as a mutual reception, in spirit if not in form.) When two planets are occupying one another’s signs, the planets in question can in a way switch places or roles; they are bound with a kind of shared role or obligation. Venus opposes Neptune tightly. In any situation where love seems fogged over by idealism or an unrealistic perspective, there is a second perspective offered, and that begins with focusing on oneself and then oneself in relation to others.

Venus opposite Neptune, for its part, calls for either surrendering to what may seem like an improbable possibility, or striving for clarity and awareness at every turn of events. The two do not have to contradict. Of note, Sedna is forming a T square to Venus and Neptune, suggesting that we remember to keep our hearts open even when we are in love.

Jupiter in Sagittarius is closely conjunct the Great Attractor, a point in the sky that brings out polarities, heightens awareness and gets us to look at our real opinions. Both Jupiter and the Great Attractor tend to have a magnifying effect on things they touch. Note that in Sagittarius we are also in the warm-up of several major events, including Jupiter square Uranus and Jupiter conjunct Pluto. Jupiter contacting outer planets can bring great leaps forward in wisdom and technology, though these days you would have to open your eyes to see it.

This is a strong chart and there is one more factor emphasizing the strength of it. The Sun opposes the Centaur planet Bienor at the Aries Point. Bienor completes the T square formed by the Sun, Mars and Pluto as a Grand Cross. Bienor is a small Uranus-crosser discovered in 2000. There is not much told about Centaur Bienor in mythology. The name Bienor means “Strong One” and from Ovid’s Metamorphoses we also know that Bienor was tall. Bienor attended the Lapith king Pirithous’ wedding with other Centaurs. Centaurs and the Lapiths started to fight and Ovid describes how Pirithous’ friend Theseus leaps upon the back of Bienor, and how Bienor gets killed by Theseus.

The death of a Centaur symbolizes transformation and healing and offers us a possibility to move to another level of awareness. In this case, we have a fitting metaphor for the idea of transforming that human quality known as strength. In short, do we put our strength to work for us, or against us? Always a good question to ask.

Mercury Retrograde Warm-up

Mercury’s pre-retrograde echo phase begins on Sept. 21 at 23+ degrees Libra. Mercury makes its retrograde station on Oct. 12 at 9+ degrees Scorpio and starts going backwards until it reaches 23+ degrees Libra again on Nov. 1, then stations direct.

This retrograde takes us from a water sign to an air sign. Mercury is not often retrograde in water signs, though it has been recently. Most people I’ve heard from have found them to be particularly challenging, but I think many of the challenges involve learning to be clear about what we feel, and connecting that clarity to words. In truth, how often do you say what you feel? And how much trouble and disappointment does it cause you that you don’t? Mercury in Libra sextiles Pluto and trines Mars. This says that you can speak and you won’t drop dead or cause the economy to collapse if you do.

Under a Mercury echo or retrograde, make your commitments consciously and carefully. Be mindful of who you are and how you bring yourself into your interactions. Ask questions, but listen to the questions that other people ask — this will often give you more information than interviewing someone.

Aries Full Moon

Full Moon in Aries – Sept. 26, 2007, 19:45 UT

The Libra equinox is followed within a couple of days’ time by a Full Moon in Aries. The Moon at 3+ degrees Aries is conjunct the Aries Point and the Centaur planet Bienor. The outer planets are pretty much occupying the same placements as they were at the time of the equinox. The Grand Cross formed by the Sun, Mars, Bienor and Pluto is still valid. The Moon makes an exact trine to the Centaur planet Pholus at 3+ degrees Sagittarius. Mercury sextiles Pluto and Venus trines Eris, the exact aspects taking place during the two days between the equinox and the Full Moon.

In the Full Moon chart, Mercury and Mars have both proceeded into the demanding last degree of a sign. Mercury is in Libra about to enter Scorpio, which takes place on the day following the Full Moon. Mars enters Cancer on Sept. 28, only a couple of minutes before the midnight UT.

This could bring big news, as activity in the cardinal signs often offers, though the revelation is that the most important strength we can possess is emotional strength.

Partial Solar Eclipse of September 2007

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

By Eric Francis and Kirsti Melto

New Moon in Virgo — Sep. 11, 2007, 12:44 UT

THE NEW MOON of September occurs at 18+ degrees Virgo. This is a partial solar eclipse on the South Node of the Moon. The focus is in Virgo at the moment, as earlier this month, on Sept. 2, Saturn entered Virgo for the first time in about 27 years. In addition, the current Venus retrograde began in Virgo, and Venus stations direct in Leo Sept. 8 — just three days shy of the eclipse.

Sue Tompkins says in The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook about Moon in Virgo: “Strong on humility and gentleness, above all this is a helpful, kindly Moon and also one packed with common sense.” About the sign of Virgo in general she writes: “Like Gemini, the other Mercury-ruled sign, Virgo wants information but, whereas Gemini is inclusive in orientation in that it gathers all information, Virgo is more exclusive: it only wants information if it is useful. Thus, Virgo has a gift for discrimination and prioritizing. There is a capacity for selection, an ability to sift — criticism and analysis are key Virgo skills.”

Yet with Virgo, we must remember at all times the profoundly self-critical factor that is often paralyzing. Sun or Moon in Virgo can get a lot done as long as it stops thinking and takes some kind of action. With Uranus directly opposite the eclipse, this seems within the realm of possibility, though the result may be a little shocking.

The Sun and the Moon are in conjunction with two small worlds: a trans-Neptunian minor planet called Logos and a main belt asteroid called Atlantis. The Sun is also parallel with Logos, enhancing the power of the conjunction. If two bodies share the same degree of declination, that is, they are at the same distance from the celestial equator (either north or south of the celestial equator), they are said to be parallel. The conjunction of Logos means language, a form of technology. Atlantis represents the use and abuse of technology, and the effects of small things on big systems. Atlantis is a culture that in our mythology fell from grade as a result of the abuse of its technology. Uranus is also about technology, invention and breakthrough.

This eclipse seems to include a commentary on technology and our relationship to it.

Logos, a Cubewano (a type of outer planet beyond Pluto) is a binary Kuiper belt object with an orbital period about 307 years. “A binary planet” is a pair of worlds that are similar in mass and orbit one another. Each orbits the other around a gravitational balance point that is between the two — a location called the center of mass, or the barycenter. The pair may have born like twins, or may be produced by collisions, where a single body is split in two. Binary minor planets are a relatively recent discovery. It is not unusual that TNOs have binary companions, and more are being discovered all the time. Logos was discovered in 1997 and its binary companion Zoe in 2001. The naming of Logos took place in 2006.

In English, the word “logos” is the root of “log” (as in record) and of “logic.” Logic is a special area of philosophy and it has many branches. Logic is the essence of critical thinking, which is not necessarily anything critical in negative sense of the word. Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally. It enables one to analyze, evaluate, and restructure one’s thinking. Fair-minded critical thinking requires intellectual humility, empathy, integrity, courage and other intellectual traits – mostly these are characteristics of Virgo. Critical thinking without these traits may result in clever, but manipulative thought serving unethical purposes.

Psychologist Carl Jung used the term “logos” for the masculine principle of rationality.

Traditionally, logic has been seen as a branch of philosophy. In ancient times the motivation for the study of logic was to learn to distinguish good from bad arguments and to become more effective in argument. In later times formal logic has been studied in the context of mathematics. The development of formal logic and its implementation in computing machinery is the foundation of computer science. Computers can also be used as tools for logicians.

Logic is essential for a scientist. Albert Einstein (theory of relativity) had Logos in the 10th conjunct his Pisces Sun. Charles H. Townes (who developed the the principle of the maser and laser) had Logos in Taurus in the 10th square the Sun. Henri Becquerel (one of the discoverers of radioactivity) had Logos in the 10th in Aquarius conjunct his Moon, Johannes Kepler (creator of the three laws of planetary motion) had Logos in wide conjunction with his Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Pisces. Thomas Alva Edison’s (developer of the light bulb) Logos was conjunct his Mercury and Sun in Aquarius in the 4th. (The source for the birth data of these scientists is Nick Kollerstrom & Mike O’Neill, Eureka Effect.) In this light I think it is quite safe to assume that one keyword for Logos really is “logic” — and maybe also that because of it Logos probably is quite comfortable in Virgo. But inventions also depend on breakthrough, an energy that is delivered in the current eclipse by the presence of Uranus in Pisces.

Could there possibly be a better chart examples of Logos than the chart of sir Frederic Calland Williams, the developer of the “Manchester Baby” — the world’s first machine that had all the components now classically regarded as characteristic of the basic computer — and the chart of the first computer program? The source for the chart of the first computer program is Nick Kollerstrom, The Metal – Planet Relationship. The “Baby” successfully executed its first program on June 21, 1948.

F. C. Williams later said of the first successful run: “A program was laboriously inserted and the start switch pressed. Immediately the spots on the display tube entered a mad dance. In early trials it was a dance of death leading to no useful result, and what was even worse, without yielding any clue as to what was wrong. But one day it stopped, and there, shining brightly in the expected place, was the expected answer. It was a moment to remember. This was in June 1948, and nothing was ever the same again.”

F. C. Williams was knighted in 1976 for his work as an electrical engineer and electronics innovator.

These both charts are also lunation charts, as the chart of the first computer program is an exact Full Moon chart and Williams’s natal chart is a New Moon chart. There is a Jupiter-Logos opposition in both charts!

Williams’s Sun-Moon conjunction (New Moon) sextiles his Logos and his Uranus squares his natal Logos. His Mercury-Pluto conjunction (and the midpoint of his Mercury and Pluto) is opposite the Galactic Core.

Virgo is rising in the first computer program’s chart. Logos is the most elevated planet of the chart. Logos is conjunct the Sun and Uranus. Mercury is also in wide conjunction with the Sun, Uranus and Logos. Uranus opposes the Galactic Core. Uranus = Sun/Logos. Uranus/Logos midpoint of this chart is at 24 Gemini 20, which is in exact conjunction with Williams’s Mercury at 24 Gemini 41.

Heraclitus (ca. 535 – 475 BCE) established the term “logos” in Western philosophy. His main doctrine was the unity of opposites. He thought that all things are composed of opposites, and because the opposites are at strife with one another, all things are in constant change. The change is governed by logos, a principle of order. He also claimed that everything originates out of the logos. One of his statements is: “Men do not know how that which is drawn in different directions harmonises with itself. The harmonious structure of the world depends upon opposite tension like that of the bow and the lyre.”

Zoe, the binary companion of cubewano Logos (not its moon, but the planet that it orbits with) could represent the Sophia aspect — the wisdom aspect.

“For the Gnostic Christians, the Sophia was a central element in their cosmological understanding of the Universe. A Feminine figure, analogous to the human soul but also simultaneously one of the Feminine aspects of God and the Bride of Christ, she is considered to have fallen from grace in some way, in so doing creating or helping to create the material world. For the Gnostics, the drama of the redemption of the Sophia through Christ or the Logos is the central drama of the universe. The Sophia resides in all of us as the Divine Spark.”