Transcendent Triangles. Full Snow Moon in Virgo.

A Full Snow Moon comes our way, reaching it’s peak around 3 am on Saturday, February 27th EST, so look to the sky on Friday evening.

Falling in the detail-loving sign of Virgo, lets zoom in close to the phenomenon of snow.

snowflake bentley
Photograph of a snow crystal by Wilson Bentley

Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley captured more than 5000 snow crystals on film. He was born in 1865 on a farm in Jericho, VT. His mother took note of his curiosity for nature and managed to pull enough money together to buy him a microscope. Just before his twentieth birthday, Wilson took his first photograph of a snowflake. He called these snow crystals “miracles of beauty”.

Snowflakes are (for the most part) hexagons, with each one being completely unique. Hexagons have 6 sides, and can be created with the interlacing of an upward and a downward triangle. Virgo is the 6th and most humble sign of the zodiac. Humility to look closer at common things (like young Bentley did) is a doorway to the miraculous.

This Full Snow Moon in Virgo is an invitation to, in the words of my favorite astrologer, Alice O. Howell,

“be humble enough to study the obvious“.

In her book, “The Web and the Sea”, O. Howell draws attention to the fact that a triangle is the first way that space can be enclosed. She goes on to muse about how angles of triangles always add up to 180 degrees, so if two triangles were to get together, as they do in a hexagram, we would have the full 360 degrees of a circle.

The triangle, as the first possible enclosed space, opens up the whole concept of inhabited space, something that Philosopher Gaston Bachelard delights in writing about. He says,

“Inhabited space transcends geometrical space”

Inhabited space can be intensified. When a snow storm rages outside, the intensity of inhabiting your own house is likely increased. Add a cup of hot cocoa and a good book and it increases ever the more!

Bringing more awareness to how space is inhabited does wonders to soothe the soul. Gaston writes:

“Our soul is an abode. And by remembering ‘houses’ and ‘rooms,’ we learn to ‘abide’ within ourselves.”

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The sight of a Full Moon can evoke the satisfaction of well-inhabited space; a feeling that there’s no place we’d rather be.

Maybe it is the inhabited space of a Full Moon, or someone you love, or a blooming flower that serve as that that second triangle. In hexagonal bliss, the full totality of the circle is experienced. Virgo’s humility to look closer and deeper into her everyday world unlocks the wellspring of wholeness from her opposite sign, Pisces.

Happy soul-abiding!

And as always, Happy astro pondering!

Astro art by Johnnie Day Durand

The Force of Union. Venus Enters Pisces.

Venus will drift into Pisces on Thursday, February 25th, following her trek in Aquarius. Joining the Sun in the most elusive of Seasonal signs, she re-frames her ultimate questions to the key of the fish.

Her questions are always those of relating. In Pisces she confronts the whole universe! Its mystery, her own mystery. Though Pisces represents the whole universe, it is the innermost of signs. Its notion of wholeness comes with a large dose of mystique.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said “Fuller being is closer union.” He goes on to say,

“union increases only through an increase in consciousness, that is to say vision.  And that, doubtless, is why the history of the living world can be summarized as the elaboration of ever more perfect eyes within a cosmos in which there is always something more to be seen.”

Venus in Pisces radiates with the essence of something more to be seen. It is her original gift of je-ne-sais-quoi. As she opens her heart to a cosmological guarantee of always more she strengthens her own sense of allure, and her relationship with a true sense of wholeness.

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Always something more to be seen

Goethe’s Faust ends with the line: “the eternal feminine draws us upward.” Certainly a mysterious statement. It seems to elude to an energy worth contemplating on.

Chardin saw all energy to be psychic energy, falling into two distinct categories: tangential and radial.

Tangential energy is related to physical energy; the way fire burns wood, water erodes rock, etc. This is a force that always leads to entropy. The things lose their order.

Radial energy, on the other hand draws elements “towards ever greater complexity and centricity- in other words forwards.” He called this energy “the force of union, drawing elements onward and upward, and manifesting itself ultimately in love.” (my italics)

This is starting to sound a lot like the eternal feminine!

Radial energy operates from center to center. If we look again at the sign of Pisces, it is easy to see this as a possible hint of radial energy.

PISCES Symbol - Vinyl Decal in 2021 | Pisces constellation tattoo, Pisces,  Symbols
Two outer edges of circles connecting from their centers?

And perhaps the reason it isn’t two full circles is because that is the dynamic part: to relate to someone or something or a place, from your very center in hope of finding a sense of wholeness.

To relate to something from your center, is then, to anticipate a sense of wholeness, eternal mystery and all! Sounds like Venus has her happy work cut out for her. And you do too!

Venus will be in Pisces until March 21st, when she will burst forth in Aries.

Happy Astro Pondering!

Astro Art by Johnnie Day Durand

We Were All Born Poets. Pisces Season Begins.

Philosopher Gaston Bachelard said, “we are all born poets, whether we like it or not.” Pisces is the sign of poetry, the rhyme of time, the wish of the fish, the gleam of the dream. The Sun will go into Pisces Thursday, February 18th. Are you feeling open to a poetic awakening within? Are you wondering where to start?

For Bachelard, the poetic image is “the flare-up of being in the imagination”. He says “One must be receptive, receptive to the image at the moment it appears.” If we can perceive the poetic image in this way we can experience the “ecstasy of the newness” and a “sudden salience on the surface of the psyche.”

The antithesis to this kind of poetic consciousness is the robotic consciousness that tells us “there is nothing new under the sun”. Robotic consciousness de-values a moment, where as poetic consciousness not only restores its full value but stands in awe of the power of an instant, a moment of emergence, where time is disrupted and there is an element of surprise.

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“This world of Imagination is the World of Eternity.” -William Blake

There is still quite a lot of Aquarian activity in the sky, including a potent square between Saturn and Uranus. Saturn is time and Uranus is a shaking. There is a strong existential quaking happening, and anxiety is likely to be felt. Anxiety, by Kierkegaard’s definition is the “dizziness of freedom”, the effect of confronting the boundlessness of ones possibilities.

But if we can keep a few key ideas in place, we are likely to get more out of this disrupted sense of time, and the quaking of a boundless existential angst. As the Sun goes into Pisces, so too do our hearts illumine in this softer light. This is a soft poetic light, a “flicker of the soul” when we perceive the specific reality of something in its moment of its emergence. We are reminded that, as Bachelard says, “being is already a value”, and a certain bounded internal mystery soothes an over-thinking mind.

If we can trust, even for an instant, that this poetic sense is our origin, then we may be able to connect to an oceanic power within, and all its gifts of psychic renewal. As Owen Barfield said, “the poet, while creating something anew, is likely to be in a sense, restoring something old.”

If we can look forward to that “sudden salience on the surface of the psyche”, we can shift from robot to poet, restoring something old by creating something new.

Pisces, the fish are natural-born swimmers, and the poem, in an instant, finds its strength in the shimmer.

Happy astro pondering!

Astro Art by Johnnie Day Durand

Nothing Happens Until Something Moves. New Moon in Aquarius

In 1936 a not-yet-famous Tennessee William sat in the audience of Ibsens’ play “Ghosts.” But he didn’t sit for long. The play soon moved him so much that it moved him straight out of his seat and he had to pace up and down in the back aisle.

This Thursday the 11th, we have a New Moon in Aquarius, the sign of the Water Bearer, the sign of us, of human beings, with full potential to feel things and allow ourselves to be moved.

You can practically see movement in Aquarius’ glyph of two wavy lines.

Einstein said, “Nothing happens until something moves. When something vibrates, the electrons of the entire universe resonate with it. Everything is connected.”

Most of the planets in the sky are currently buzzing in Aquarius. Uranus, the planet associated with Aquarius is in the self-sustaining sign of Taurus, along with Mars, resonating like a Tibetan singing bowl over the rest of the buzz.

Taurus, often associated with money, is also the notion of taking stock in something. Just think what would have not happened if Tennessee Williams put no stock in the emotion that propelled him off his seat.

What has been moving you lately? Anything worthy of taking stock in? Anything worthy of cultivating?

The movement you feel might be strong enough to propel you off your seat, but it also might be more subtle. A special shift, and all of a sudden some chemicals inside stir. Maybe you feel a quickening of energy. Maybe the other side of the universe feels it too!

The movement of Aquarius’ wavy lines hint at the magic of feedback loops, always at work in the present moment.

Alfred North Whitehead said “What we perceive as the present is the vivid fringe of memory tinged with anticipation.”    

That sure adds a dose of dynamism to the moment! The fringe of memory and the tinge of anticipation, fringe and tinge! Vibrating sounds, vibration abounds!

These feedback loops show the logic of an optimistic attitude (i.e don’t let that fringe sabotage the tinge and vice versa!) Such a correspondence also shows the grand potential of letting art, love, or anything else move us.

Put some stock in those special emotions!

Happy Astro Pondering!

Astro Art by Johnnie Day Durand



Uncommon Common Sense. Venus Enters Aquarius

Voltaire said, “Common sense is not so common”. Venus, the Goddess of the senses glides into Aquarius today, the sign of the uncommon, but also the common, as in the common good.

Aquarius strives towards a universal brotherhood and also celebrates the uncommon qualities that makes an individual unique.

Your own uniqueness is, in a sense, your own otherness. What happens when Venus enters the scene, with her magic love potion?

Does a love for the otherness of yourself also inspire a love for the otherness of others? Is this part of the evolutionary recipe for universal brotherhood?

Evolution-savvy Aquarius is freely unique without ever losing sight of the humanity that unites.

Unique yet united in humanity. Seems like common sense.

Sometimes however, we forget to look for otherness. Our robotic selves tell us that there is no need for otherness, and just to look for ourselves in what we see, hear and read.

Fran Lebowitz said “A book is not supposed to be a mirror. It’s supposed to be a door.”

What uncommon common sense this is!

And so much more romantic!

A door opens one up to learning something new, a mirror shows you, yourself! A door opening is like a horizon resuming its stretch, a unique musical score uniting an audience! Where you are is different, but there is a mysterious warm glow of unity.

With so many planets already buzzing in Aquarius, Venus is fashionably late to the party. Her eyes wide and perfectly original. Like a salt-lamp disco ball, Aquarian-ruled Uranus puts a dynamic square on the party, upping the existential questions of what truly matters and strengthens us.

By the 25th of this month she will float into dreamy Pisces- but until then- it is the uncommon common sense that propels her look, listen and reach out for rejuvenating otherness.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. Voltaire

Happy Astro Pondering!

Astro Art by Johnnie Day Durand

Back to the Future; Mercury goes Retrograde in Aquarius

Philosopher William James first coined the phrase “stream of consciousness” to describe the full range of thoughts that we can be aware of at any given time. He called it a stream, observing that thoughts tended to flow from one to another and another.

Here we are at the end of the first month of 2021, and Mercury, the god of thought, is decidedly reversing the stream’s current, in Aquarius, the sign of awareness, foresight and future.

Are we going back to the future?

In a sense, maybe.

As we go about our days we are immersed in many droplets of rich subjective life. Moments when something speaks to us, moments when we feel good or bad, moments that we share, moments that we rush, moments that we savor.

With winged-sandals, Mercury, God of thought swiftly weaves facts out of these moments. Facts that may be recalled in the future about what happened in the past. The facts are what survives, the feelings are fleeting, and disappear like the Moon. Facts weave and connect into the mysterious network of memory. Awaiting a reason to resurface, and be reflected on. Once reflected on, feelings may arise again, and feel like those original feelings, but they are still new, and based on these facts.

As Mercury moves retrograde, the stream of consciousness goes back on itself. It’s like using one of those now obsolete microfiche machines in libraries, where newspapers can be flashed through in search of that pertinent piece of information. Thought goes back on itself, in search of something.

Mercury has been in Aquarius since the beginning of the year leaving many Aquarian-esque facts weaved into our neural networks. Aquarian-esque; existential, pertaining to future, off the beaten path and in question of some basic assumptions.

You found something in these weavings, what was it?

Maybe you will find a fact worthy of reflection. By reflecting on these resurfaced facts, perhaps you will better shape your future! Time flows just like the trickster. Maybe you can manage to go back to the future!

Mercury will be retrograde for the rest of Aquarius Season. The Trickster God will go direct on February 20th, two days after the start of Pisces Season, and remain in Aquarius until March 15th.

Happy Astro Pondering!

Astro art by Johnnie Day Durand.

Full Wolf Moon in the Sign of the Lion. Bound in the Unbounded.

The first Full Moon of the year will be here on Thursday the 28th.  The January Full Moon is known as the Wolf Moon, as it was traditionally believed that wolves howled more at this time because of winter hunger.  The Wolf Moon will paradoxically be in the sign of Leo, making it a breed of dog and cat.  An archetypal mix of belonging and spontaneity.

Many good dogs eagerly anticipate the arrival of their person after a long day of work- and the sight of a sparkly ball sends the average cat into a multiverse of possible spontaneous reactions.  What does this Moon speak of in combining these two themes?

Could it be that we, as humans, are curious creatures whose belonging becomes more clear in moments of spontaneity?

Is this why we laugh with those we feel most at home with? Is this evolution itself making sure that we stay supple and moveable, like a good flame? 

Opposite this Moon will be a trinity of Aquarius, with Sun Jupiter and Saturn.  The sign of freedom, lit up and made expansive by Jupiter, yet with it’s own laws of Saturn.  The age-old debate on Free Will.  Is it ours or is it not?

Squaring all of this is Mars in Taurus near the Great Awakener, Uranus.  Taurus is wonderful magic of homeostasis, always at work in our physiology.

And maybe herein lies a clue.  We are free, but our body knows things that are good for us, and ‘good for us’ speaks on so many different levels (emotionally, physically, morally, for example).

William James said, “the question of free will is insoluble on strictly psychological grounds”. Is he referring to the mysterious balancing act of our physiology, as well as hinting at some greater mystery?

Is to be truly free to surrender to your true being? 

Anchored in flight!

Scorpio, Taurus’ opposite, knows that to some extent, the Will must surrender itself to the mystery of inner balance.

Free Will is embedded in the word spontaneity comes from the latin root sponte, “of one’s own will.” The spontaneous delights of children are likely the best reminder of how good it is to grab a joy where it can be found.  “Kiss it as it flies” as William Blake would say.

Maybe this Full Moon can inspire us to do this. And in a moment of free-willed joy feel a solid place of belonging.

Bound to be unbound, and unbound you are bound to come back around, to where you are bound? 

Anyway, a howl-roar to the first Full Moon of 2021!  

Happy Astro Pondering!

The Promise of Tomorrow; Aquarius Season Begins

Tomorrow, tomorrow. I love ya, tomorrow,  it’s only a day away… that a new president steps into office. It was only a day ago that we gave tribute Martin Luther King, a great leader who believed in the promise of tomorrow.

Aquarius Season has begun.  The promise of tomorrow.  The creative life of the future that is always accessible in the present moment.  A shift in perspective.  A shift in momentum.  A whole lot of shaking going on.

The word future stems from the latin root fu which means “to grow” or “become”.  This puts the magic of the future more directly in the body, and renders it less of an abstraction.  The warm glow of optimism that floods the body would be Annie’s sun of tomorrow.  As the 5th dimension sings: Let the sun shine in.

To put the emphasis on growing and becoming is to welcome all experience as a learning tool.  The current buzzword for this is growth mindset, but Goethe would have called it bildung; education from life experience.

Aquarius is the water bearer.  An air sign that refers to water.  Experience that refers to feeling. Experience ultimately is subjectivity, the feelings that arise in each moment, the emotions that arise in us and signal what is good or bad for our survival and flourishing.

Aquarius is the evaporated air (thoughts) of our water (feelings), as they descend into the past, making facts from which we will reflect on in the future.  These “facts” will inform our behavior through the subconscious mind.  Wouldn’t it be best to oversee what “facts” make it into the fabric of our being?  

Aquarius has the solution with its gift of awareness and foresight.  Awareness can dawn (there’s that inner sun again) on you in any moment and cause a shift, or a rift, in the steady sea of the subconscious mind.  Writer and philosopher Colin Wilson would call this steady sea the robot,  an evolutionary life-hack that allows us to drive a car or type without much thinking after we’ve learned it.  The robot steps in and does it for you, freeing you to tend to other thoughts, or do other things.  The problem is the robot becomes over active, and in its tendency to take over, it also de-values the moment, by making it overly familiar.

Although it is associated with technology, Aquarius is weary of over-mechanization.  The robotic mindset stands in opposition to the urge to be free.  The awakening of that urge, is awareness, Aquarius’ first step.

Though associated with technology, Aquarius is not robotic!

The next step is to tie in the future through foresight.  It’s not enough just to be aware of the moment, there must be a commitment to cultivation.  There must be a reverence for the fleeting shimmer of water (real feeling) that is active only in the present moment.  This is the sunlight dancing on the water, sparkling in the snow, shimmering in the heart.  The joy and freedom of becoming and growing. 

The evaporated facts that come from shimmering water are quite different from the evaporated facts of stagnant water. They are healthy with electricity, supportive of the life urge to flourish. Knowing this is Aquarius’ foresight, a path for cultivation.

Aquarius reveres the water that it bears, listening to it and cultivating it. 

The promise of future lives moment to moment! 

All art by Johnnie Day Durand

Venus in Capricorn- The World as a Whole

This past week Venus entered Capricorn, the sign of the real world. Capricorn is the mythical SeaGoat. We can find a goat in the world and we can find a fish in the world, but we can’t find a SeaGoat in the real world.

Or can we?

Perhaps what is necessary is to examine what is meant by a real world.

In his book, Leisure as the Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper says that a world is a “field of relations”. To have a world is to “be the center, the coordinator, of a field of relations”. He gives the example of a plant using its surroundings; absorbing the air, the sunshine, and drawing nourishment from the ground. `

If the world is defined by our relations, of our inner life to our outer life, then a human’s world would include all the many relations of the mind and heart. The world becomes deeper and wider.

Imagination, philosophy, dreaming, these are the things that extend the boundaries of our world into the reality of wholeness. This, as Pieper saw it, is the real world. The world as a whole. For us to be at peace with ourselves, we must not mistake our environment with the real world of wholeness.

"The really human thing is to see the stars above the roof, to preserve our apprehension of the universality of things in the midst of the habits of our daily life, and to see "the world" above and beyond our immediate environment."   Joseph Pieper- Leisure The Basis of Culture

For the rest of this month, as Venus moves through the Capricorn, don’t forget to see those stars amidst your daily habits.

Venus will move into Aquarius on February 1st.

As always, happy astro pondering!

The Future of Value. Uranus Moves Direct

 The planet of future moves forward today in Taurus, the sign of value, after having been retrograde since mid August.  

Uranus has been called the Great Awakener.  These awakenings are born from a kind of shaking, a moving, a turbulence, or perhaps a strange moment of wonder that renders us back to a freshness as a beginner.

The past year has shook the entire globe up into a collective new reality.  The question is, from such a change, what is the future of value itself? 

Is there a future where wellbeing is deemed more valuable than money?  What would such a future look like?  John Lennon painted such a future, from his imagination outward.  When he said he was not the only dreamer, he understood full well the joy of the beginner.  Embracing what is fresh, and yet to be.  

Uranus is the planet of future because it is the essence of yet to be.  In Taurus we tie in an element of goodness.  Taurus is the kinds of response we prefer to hold on to, to constitute ourselves, to be secure and strong.  Be it food, thought, relations, environment, tradition, habit, what have you.  Taurus uses whatever it can to continue to constitute itself and make itself strong.

The future lives in every moment, as we are free to shake off the imposing qualities of the immediate past (as philosopher Alfred North Whitehead talks about) and create something new with a “bid for freedom”.  In this way, we step into the realm of yet to be instead of sinking into the swamp of that’s just the way it is.

As the future gains its forward stride, cultivate moments of well-being, that inform you from the inside the true meaning of value.  Lightning visions of intuition may find you in such moments, illuminating this question even more, then gone in a flash, yet hopefully rediscovered through… pondering! 

As always, happy astro pondering! 

Uranus won’t retrograde again until August 2022, and will be in Taurus until April 2026.