Archive for April, 2009

New Moon in Taurus — April 25, 2009, 03:23 UT

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Birch is without fruit
but just the same it bears
limbs without fertile seed;
it has beautiful branches,
high on its crown
it is finely covered,
loaded with leaves,
touching the sky.

– The Old English Rune Poem

Berkano, the Birch Rune, is the rune of fertility and birth, of a new phase or relationship. It means renewal and new beginnings. It is a conserving, protective force. Edred Thorsson writes: ‚ÄúThe B-rune rules the cyclical process of arising (birth), becoming (life), passing away (death) to a new arising (rebirth).‚Ä?

In Finland there are no leaves on the birch trees yet. Nonetheless, Berkano is a descriptive symbol for this Taurus New Moon.

The Sun and the Moon are conjoined in the earthy, fertile Taurus; Venus and Mars are together at the Aries Point, the first degree of the zodiac. These two pairs of planets are representing the feminine and masculine principles in the astrological chart. Mars and Venus are the rulers of Aries and Taurus, respectively.

A conjunction of any two planets begins a new cycle. The current unity of the polar opposites indicates a start of the phase of inner balance, the balance between the animus and anima, or balance in sexual relationships. Also Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune are forming a triple conjunction in the humanitarian sign Aquarius, adding optimism, idealism and light to this moment.

Pluto in Capricorn receives a trine from the Sun and Moon, and a square from Venus and Mars. These aspects are providing passion, intensity, sex, healing and transformation through love or through artistic work. According to tradition, the Moon is in its exaltation in Taurus; it is supposed to work especially well. Taurus is a sensual sign which enjoys the physical delight.

According to Robert Hand, Taurus’ function is to provide a vessel for the energies of Aries so that they can be made manifest. He writes: ‚ÄúAries and Taurus form the first positive-negative pair of the signs in the zodiac, and even though they contrast, when put together they represent a whole.‚Ä?

The minor planet Ceto in Scorpio, in the sign of transformation, represents cyclical rebirth and continuity. Ceto was prominent already in the Solar eclipse chart of January, as the eclipse in Aquarius was tightly squaring Ceto. On the February New Moon this trans-Neptunian binary planet was trining the Luminaries in Pisces.

Now Ceto is whirling right opposite the Sun and Moon. Oppositions symbolize polarity and confrontation, but also awareness and change through conflict. This can be felt mostly in personal relationships.

Ceto and her binary companion, Phorcys, have approximately similar sizes; they form a close binary system, and their mutual orbit is nearly circular. In mythology Ceto was a marine goddess of whales and sea-monsters, depicted as a serpentine fish. Eventually, the word ceto became shorthand for any sea monster. Jörmungandr, a sea serpent biting its own tail and forming a circle, is the sea monster of Norse mythology. In the form of the Ouroboros, Ceto represents cyclicality, re-creation and wholeness.


Edred Thorsson, Runelore, Weiser Books, 1987

Wikipedia, Anima and animus

Robert Hand, Horoscope Symbols, Whitford Press, 1981

Hellenica, Michael Lahanas

Wikipedia, Ouroboros

Full Moon in Libra — April 09, 2009, 14:56 UT

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

During the Full Moon, the Moon is in opposition to the Sun. The April Full Moon occurs at 19+ degrees of Libra, the sign of balance and equilibrium; conciliation; diplomacy and justice. Sociability and harmonious relationships belong to Libra.

The Sun in the opposite sign Aries, is approaching exact conjunction with Eris, the dwarf planet named after the Greek goddess of strife and discord, the sister of the god of war, Ares. Eris delighted in the tumult of war and in human bloodshed. How can we possibly attain balance in the current cosmic condition?

Eris was discovered in 2005 by the team of Mike Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David Rabinowitz. The orbital period of Eris is long, about 557 years. Eris is bigger than Pluto and has a moon, Dysnomia.

In the myth, Eris indirectly caused the Trojan War. Because of her troublemaking tendencies, she had not been invited to a big wedding party which all the other gods and goddesses attended. In her anger, Eris tossed into the party the Apple of Discord, a golden apple ‚Äúfor the fairest‚Ä?, provoking thus a quarrel about the appropriate recipient.

Paris, Prince of Troy, was appointed to select the fairest one by Zeus. Aphrodite, one of the contestants, offered Paris the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. Paris accepted Aphrodite’s gift and awarded the apple to her. The result was the Trojan War, one of the greatest wars in Greek mythology.

In 2006, astronomers after a debate approved a definition of a planet, which led to the demotion of Pluto from its planet status. Eris (not yet officially named at the time), Pluto and Ceres were designated a dwarf planet. The naming took place soon after that, and the name Eris in part reflects the discord in the astronomical community.

At this point in its orbit, Eris is slow and very far from the Sun, near its aphelion. Just about everyone alive now has Eris in Aries in their birth chart. No doubt this is a challenge in delineating its meaning. The mainstream astrology community regrettably hasn’t much noted Eris so far. To understand the full astrological meaning of a planet is a long process, but for open-minded astrologers Eris has already revealed something of its nature.

Eris seems to reflect the chaos and discord of our world. She also represents a castaway woman, the shadow feminine, the aspects of womanity that have been cast off as evil and unacceptable.

In the Full Moon chart Jupiter in Aquarius sextiles the Sun-Eris conjunction, potentially adding air to the flames.

The Full Moon forms a yod pattern with Mars in Pisces and Sedna in Taurus. The Moon is the focal point of the yod, forming quincunxes to Mars and Sedna. We often experience the quincunx as irritating and uncomfortable. Quincunxes require adjustment.

Sedna is another distant minor planet discovered by Mike Brown’s team and named after a mythological castaway woman. She became the goddess of icy waters.

Venus retrograde in this chart is yet another representative of the repressed feminine. During the retrograde period we may enter the subconscious and encounter hidden truths about ourselves. Venus turned retrograde on March 6 and is about to station direct on April 17. At the moment she is right at the Aries Point — the point which tends to join individuals with the collective — squaring Pluto and about briefly to slide back to Pisces just before changing direction.

We all have a shadow and facing it can be frightening. Unless we do, we tend to project our shadow into other people, and according to Jung, the more these projections are unrecognized, the blacker and denser the shadow is. Is there any help available?

A water deity, Varuna, is squaring the Luminaries from Cancer. He was concerned with matters of justice. Varuna is a vast energy that seems to exists silently behind consciousness, now pushing our awareness with the squares.

128 Nemesis, a large and very dark main belt asteroid is in an exact conjunction with the Sun. In mythology Nemesis was daugher of Nyx, Queen of Night, as was Eris. Nemesis was the goddess of retribution. She was depicted with a wheel of fortune in one hand and an apple bough in the other. Astrologer Demetra George, who has studied a lot about the female shadow, writes:

“According to the lost epic Cypria and several later works, Zeus fell in love with Nemesis; but she did not want to couple with the King of Gods and fled from his advances. Twice she changed her shape in order to evade him. The third time she transformed herself into a goose. Zeus, taking the form of a swan, raped her. Nemesis in due course laid the awaited egg, from which sprang Helen — the most beautiful of women, who precipitated the Trojan War.”

According to Demetra George, Nemesis in the birth chart symbolizes our conscience and guides us toward taking right action. When we ignore her promptings, we suffer the consequences.

Nemesis is a good example of repressed feminine shadow. Quoting Demetra George: “While the patriarchy perceived her as a monstrous figure of revenge and anger, her earlier nature was more as an abstract force of justice rather than that of retaliation. She was a personification of the reverence for law, and she sought to restore balance when order was upset. Her endeavors to preserve an equilibrium in people’s attitudes toward one another were recognized as springing from a deep-seated love.”

We are all part of the same whole. Nemesis can guide us toward respecting others through right action with the natural laws of an orderly universe. When we pay honor to her and live in harmony with these laws, “then Nemesis resides within us as a wise, kindly influence, ever-guiding us toward right action.”


Theoi Greek Mythology, Eris

Wikipedia, Eris

Eric Francis, Eris, Small World Stories, 2008

Mike Brown’s site

Anne Massey, Venus: Her Cycles, Symbols & Myths, Llewellyn Publications, 2006

Wikipedia, Shadow

Demetra George, Mysteries of the Dark Moon, HarperCollins Publishers, 1992

Demetra George, Finding our Way Through the Dark, ACS Publications, 1995