Archive for May, 2008

New Moon in Gemini — June 3, 2008, 19:23 UT

Friday, May 30th, 2008

By Kirsti Melto and Eric Francis

The New Moon in Gemini is in close conjunction with Venus. Soon, on June 9, 2008, we will experience the exact conjunction of Venus to the Sun, a Full Venus, which marks the midpoint between the 2004 and 2012 Venus transits of the Sun.

The orbit of Venus lies closer to the Sun than the orbit of the Earth. Because of this, Venus is always somewhere in vicinity of the Sun. The only major aspect possible between Venus and the Sun is the conjunction.

A Full Venus is a phase of Venus corresponding to a Full Moon. Venus is fully lit by the Sun. The Full Venus in the same sign repeats every eight years. Venus is then in direct motion and conjunct the Sun; this is also called an exterior conjunction. An interior conjunction is when Venus is retrograde and conjunct the Sun.

Conjunctions happen all the time, and during a typical conjunction between Venus and the Sun, Venus will pass a little above or below the Sun. During a transit, Venus will cross the disk of the Sun. A transit is a kind of eclipse. Transits of Venus are among the most rare of planetary alignments.

Transits of Venus are currently only possible in June or December when Venus’ orbital nodes pass across the Sun. If Venus reaches inferior conjunction at this time, a transit will occur. They occur in pairs: on nearly the same date eight years apart, in roughly the same zodiac degrees. The pattern repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years.

Venus is known as the lesser benefic (Jupiter is the greater one). Peace, harmony and balance are positive attributes of Venus. The Peace symbol turns 50 this year; Gerald Holtom designed the forked symbol for the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War in 1958.

In Mysteries of Venus by Mark Lerner, the author draws a connection between the shape of the peace symbol and position of the Venusian signs in the zodiac. He writes:

The peace banner is nothing more than an astrological symbol showing the primacy of three key Venusian signs — Taurus and Libra (where Venus rules) and Pisces (where Venus is exalted and most powerful). We might say that the true Venusian flag of our world is the peace banner with its unusual trident-like figure (creativity) within a circle (unity and wholeness).

Venus is the esoteric ruler of Gemini. Alice A. Bailey in Esoteric Astrology proposes a system of planetary rulership alternate to the one traditionally used by astrologers. In this system, Venus rather than Mercury is the ruler of Gemini. She describes Venus as the Earth’s soul: “The planet Venus is to the planet Earth what the higher Self is to the Personality.” Venus is about intelligence: notably, emotional intelligence.

Both exoteric and esoteric rulers of Gemini, Mercury and Venus, respectively, are conjunct the New Moon of June. Retrograding Mercury in this conjunction feels like taking an introspective erotic journey, perhaps a meeting with someone from the past. Passing encounters can lead to some truly unusual places. Mercury is square Logos in Virgo, so something truly intelligent may be in the works.

The Sun, Moon and Venus are exactly opposite Ixion on the Great Attractor in Sagittarius. Mercury is opposite Quaoar.

The Great Attractor is like some kind of huge magnet, a mass of dark matter pulling everything toward it. The point has a polarizing effect, sometimes pushing emotions, opinions and ideas to extremes. With Venus opposite the Great Attractor, our values are in some way tested, as is our collective sense of protection of what we value.

A prior lunation to the Venus transit of 2004 (a New Venus) was a Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 3, 2004. The Moon was then on the Great Attractor conjunct Quaoar. It is quite possible that events or feelings that we were living through four years ago may surface again, especially thinking that Mercury is now retrograde.

Quaoar deals with family patterns and how they influence our consciousness. These are patterns that existed before we were born and into which, as members of a family system, we were integrated without really noticing. Ixion is the dark side of human nature and that which we are all capable of. Together, these two planets represent the darkest face of the abuse that takes place in families. The most important thing necessary for healing seems to be the awareness that something was actually wrong.

Venus’s cycle through the zodiac forms a five-pointed star; a pentagram. Venus is very punctual in her cycle. The distance between each New and Full Venus is 72 degrees, or a quintile aspect (a circle divided in five). The Sun, Moon and Venus in this New Moon chart are forming a quintile to the Aries Point, a point associated with big events linking the public and private orders of reality.

Asteroid Urania is also conjunct the New Moon. In Greek mythology, Urania, which means heavenly, is one of the nine Muses, who with their graces inspire arts and all creative work. Urania is the muse of astronomy, astrology and mathematics. Urania’s position adds some extra meaning to this moment. Urania is saying, “Pay attention: Note this event!”

Mercury Stations Retrograde – May 26, 2008, 15:48 UT

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

By Kirsti Melto and Eric Francis

Mercury makes its retrograde station on May 26, 2008, in its home sign Gemini. As a metaphor for the current event we can use an image of the wandering shaman who is fetching information from various different levels of consciousness. The Norse god Odin was equivalent for the Roman god Mercury. Odin was a shaman, shapeshifter and truth-seeker, able to fly through the air on his magical eight-legged horse.

Mercury turns retrograde three times a year. In reality the planet’s movement doesn’t change direction, but the experience can have real effects. Usually the retrogradation is described as a time when things seem to go wrong; technical devices stop working, communication fails, travelling gets delayed etc. While all this is true, and it is wise to prepare oneself in advance, this particular Mercury station seems to be offering also another kind of experience.

In the chart the emphasis is in mental air signs and retrograding planets.

Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are the air signs, and they operate on the mental plane and as knowledge gatherers. The Sun, Mercury, Venus and Ceres are in Gemini. Mercury is the ruler of Gemini, and it is the planet of the mind. It rules thinking, communication, commerce and transportation. It is strong in its own sign. Mercury is the messenger of the gods.

Mercury trines the Moon, Chiron, the North Node and Neptune in Aquarius. Chiron has stationed retrograde on the previous day, and Neptune is about to station retrograde within a half an hour after Mercury’s station. Mercury is also forming a quincunx to retrograding Jupiter in Capricorn. Asteroid Iris, named after the female equivalent of Mercury, is retrograding in the air sign Libra.

Mercury squares cubewano Logos in the Mercury ruled sign Virgo, and Logos is also retrograding. We have many outer planets that represent the higher octave of personal planets, such as Neptune being the higher octave of Venus. Logos would appear to be have that relationship to Mercury. Mercury addresses both the spirit of the mind, and its content; it is the medium of communication, and to some extent that which is communicated. All of these attributes can be sensed coming from Logos.

So, we are having a lot of mental energy turned inwards all of a sudden. Look within and pay attention to sensitive messages of your subconscious.

Mercury squares Uranus in Pisces. Uranus is a planet of revelations, intellectual brilliance and genius. Uranus is also sometimes said to be the higher octave of Mercury.

Venus squares Saturn in Virgo. Venus is associated, among other things, with money. Venus square Saturn can hint at difficulties in financial matters. This aspect advices you to be extra cautious if signing contracts or making deals during the Mercury’s retrogradation.

When a planet is retrograde the energy is turned inward: things may be understood on a deep level. Mercury retrograde works a little like Chiron. Barbara Hand Clow writes on her book on Chiron: “Direct planets are electrical, and they cause energy to charge and move; retrograde planets are magnetic and draw energy into the chart. Therefore, when Chiron is retrograde it draws in healing, initiatory and alchemical powers.”

Chiron is in conjunction with Neptune, which rules vapours. In a chapter named “Mutations of mercury” in The Metal – Planet Relationship by Nick Kollerstrom, the author mentions: “What chemists call sublimation can well be shown with mercury. This is a process whereby matter transforms directly from the solid into the vapour state without passing through the liquid condition.” This is a bit like a description of this chart. He also writes: “Mercury is widely used in idustry as a catalyst — either as itself, a metal, or in complicated organic compounds. A catalyst helps to bring about a reaction while remaining itself unchanged at the end of the reaction.”

Let Mercury act as a catalyst and bring in the healing powers of Chiron!

Full Moon in Scorpio — May 20, 2008, 02:11 UT

Friday, May 16th, 2008

By Kirsti Melto and Eric Francis

This is the second, and more intense of the two Scorpio Full Moons of the season. What was seed at the Beltane New Moon two weeks before has now rooted and matured. The lunar cycle, beginning with the New Moon and developing towards the Full Moon, finally peaks when the Sun and Moon are opposite each other and the Moon is reflecting the maximum amount of sunlight. This light gives us objectivity and consciousness to make decisions.

If the Taurus New Moon during Beltane was about balancing the male and female energies, this Full Moon in Scorpio is about solidifying that balance. At the New Moon, the Sun and Moon were exactly together; now they are face to face, seeing what they are getting. The Scorpio sign is powerful because it dares to look at the core of reality, and allows us to understand better our true nature.

Saturn is squaring the Sun-Moon opposition right at the midpoint of the two, functioning as an anchor for the attained balance. The Moon, previously in the April Full Moon chart sextile to Saturn, is now forming a more intense aspect to Saturn by the square.

As part of the Fixed Cross pattern, the Sun and Moon are occupying the last degree of the Taurus-Scorpio axis. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius are the four fixed signs. They manifest as willpower. A Grand Cross indicates strength and enduring. While squares are aspects of growth and development, crosses can be very dynamic. With all this energy abounding, we can also feel pulled in four different directions at once, which is worth keeping in mind.

The Sun, Moon, Saturn and Neptune are the main planets forming the Grand Cross. Saturn has already entered the mutable sign Virgo. The Centaur planet Okyrhoe is tightly conjunct Saturn. According to astrologer Mark A. Holmes, Okyrhoe seems to indicate, among other things, an ability to stand up for one’s beliefs or principles. Okyrhoe’s position opposite Neptune helps to avoid the possible confusion in grasping the realities, which sometimes results from the Saturn-Neptune opposition.

Also, plutino Orcus is in conjunction with Saturn but with a wider orb and being still in Leo, thus forming the fourth leg or arm of the Fixed Cross. Orcus was a Roman underworld deity, sometimes indentified with Pluto. Mark A. Holmes suggests that among the astrological attributes of Orcus are “boldness? and “having something to say.? Among Francesco Schiavinotto’s keywords for Orcus are ?fight for survival? – also one of the attributes for Scorpio — and “endeavors aimed towards the boundary of the achievable.? This indicates that the struggle for balance is not wasted in the end.

Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio is retrograding in the first degree of Capricorn and forming an exact square to the Aries Point, a point which is associated with big events linking the public and private orders of reality. The effect is symbolically not just doubled but multiplied because of two consecutive Scorpio Full Moons and also Pluto retrograde travelling those degrees that it has gone through before.

Both Mercury and Venus are in their own signs, Mercury in Gemini and Venus in Taurus. Planets are said to be strong in their own sign, because they are in a sign with which they have much in common. Mercury is already in the echo phase, which began on May 11. Venus is applying conjunction to the Sun. Venus squares Neptune later on the day of the Full Moon.

A struggle between femininity and masculinity can be sensed in the aspects of Venus and Mars. Venus forms aspects with many planets, while Mars, the traditional ruler of Scorpio, looks a bit lonely in Leo making no other main aspects except for a trine to the Moon. The fiery Mars is though quite at home in a fire sign.

Chiron and Neptune are on the North Node of the Moon. Interestingly, these three are at the midpoint of Jupiter and Uranus. Jupiter is sextiling Uranus. Chiron is a planet of awareness and can be very helpful in pursuing objectivity. Neptune’s influence here may be twofold: Neptune may blur that awareness, but on the other hand there’s the possibility of dissolving boundaries.

The Moon is trining asteroid Lilith in the last degree of Pisces, conjunct the Aries Point. Lilith tells about the original woman inside the woman. She can also represent the crisis that “being the real me” brings into the lives of both women and men. Finding the real woman inside is necessary, though, before the balance between the male and the female can be stabilized.

New Moon in Taurus — May 05, 2008, 12:18 UT

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

By Kirsti Melto and Deirdre Tanton

Taurus is an earthy and fertile sign. It is the warm soil, where seeds sprout and grow in the spring. The Moon is exalted in Taurus. A planet in its exaltation is usually able to express its nature to the best advantage.

The New Moon at 15+ degrees of Taurus occurs on Beltane. Beltane is a cross-quarter day falling halfway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. Cross-quarter days originated as pagan holidays in Northern Europe and the British Isles. On Beltane the traditional summer begins. It is a time to celebrate life and renewal and a time of hope.

Walpurgis Night is a holiday celebrated on April 30 or May 1, in large parts of Central and Northern Europe. The festival is named after Saint Walpurga (born in Wessex in 710), who was declared a saint on May 1. In the Finnish and Swedish calendars the first of May is named after Saint Walpurga. Viking fertility celebrations took place around April 30. Because Walburga worship was similar to Viking spring celebration, the two dates became mixed together into one — the Walpurgis Night celebration.

In the Norse tradition, Walpurgis Night is considered the time when Odin, the chief god of the Norse pantheon, symbolically died to retrieve the knowledge of the runes. Odin hanged from Yggdrasil, the great cosmic ash tree, for nine days and nine nights as a sacrifice to master the runes. Odin’s death lasted until midnight, and then light returned to the world. The night was celebrated with large bonfires lighted around the countryside. It is said to be a time of weakness between the living and the dead, as on Samhain, a festival dedicated to the harvest and the dead. The living invited deceased friends and relatives to warm themselves by the Beltane fires. One of the bonfire’s purposes was purification. Cattle, the source of wealth in those days, were often led through the purifying smoke.

Maypoles remain common in Scandinavian countries today. The May Pole is a symbol of fertility and it also relates to Yggdrasil. The tree of life has its roots deep in the earth and its branches reaching toward heaven. Yggdrasil is linking the underworld, the world of the living, the heavens and numerous other realms.

The New Moon of May semisquares (45 degrees) the Aries Point and forms a sesquiquadrate (135 degrees) to Pluto. Both of these aspects resemble a square and they can be challenging. The New Moon is in quincunx to the Great Attractor, a powerful point outside our galaxy. The Great Attractor has a polarizing effect on people and situations.

In the New Moon chart asteroid Amor is in a delicious conjunction with Venus and the Centaur planet Asbolus. Venus is the ruler of Taurus. Amor is in the discovery degree of Chiron at 3 degrees of Taurus. Asbolus is the archetype of the survivor. According to Martha Lang-Wescott asteroid Amor tells about conditions that one places on unconditional love. Amor being conjunct Venus and Asbolus in Taurus, the conditions involve utmost loyalty as well as steadfast sensuality.

The Sun and Moon are conjunct asteroid Hephaistos. Amor is an alternate name for Cupid, son of Venus. In mythology Roman Vulcan, or Greek Hephaistos was god of fire who among other things manufactured Cupid’s arrows. Hephaistos was the artist god who worked in a smoky forge underneath a volcano. He became a patron of blacksmiths and artisans. He was also regarded as one who aided the spread of vegetation, because volcanic soil was generous especially for grapevine. The British occultist Alice A. Bailey proposes in her book, Esoteric Astrology, that the esoteric ruler of Taurus is Vulcan, “the one who goes down into the depths to find the material upon which to expend his innate art and to fashion that which is beautiful and useful.”

The Sun and Moon are opposite asteroid Pandora. In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first mortal woman. She was fashioned from clay by Hephaistos. According to the myth, Pandora had been forbidden to open a jar which contained all the evils of mankind. The gods had concealed among the evil spirits one kindly creature, Hope, whose mission was to heal the wounds inflicted by the evils. Pandora was curious and could not resist opening the jar, and so the evils got loose; only hope was left inside. Astrologically Pandora represents curiosity, unexpected consequences, and hope. She can suddenly throw you on an entirely new path.

Myths are alive and can change over time. The story of Pandora was repeated on Greek ceramics. On a fifth century amphora Pandora is depicted emerging from the earth; she is the Earth, a divine giver. Over time this life-bringing goddess devolved into a human who released misery into the world. This may reflect a shift from matriarchy to patriarchy in Greek culture.

Planting a seed in the warm Taurean soil on this New Moon may yield a stable new sprout, perhaps leading to an abundant harvest. Let us rejoice and enjoy the generous gifts of the Earth.