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.

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.

“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

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!

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.

Mars into Taurus- the Will to Stabilize

In the light of recent events, this title’s concept will likely be quickly felt. Felt in the right spot too. That is the mysterious space of the internal mileu, where good and bad are physiologically known.

It is through the avoiding of what’s bad, and the seeking and assimilating of what’s good that keeps us in a state of homeostasis. Just imagine what would happen if we always ignored that good drink of water when we were thirsty, or took no precaution to step out of the way of that bad oncoming city bus.

These value judgments are constantly at play, in every moment. They make themselves known to us through feelings.

Feelings are, according to neuroscientist and author, Antonio Damasio, “mental experiences of body states”. He talks about certain feelings as “basic homeostatic feelings”, in that they help to regulate the stability of our internal milieu. Homeostasis, as he talks about it, is a two-sided process. One side is the automatic unconscious physiological side, where the heart goes on beating, etc. but the other side is conscious. It is conscious by means of these basic feelings. These feeling can include hunger, thirst, malaise, wellbeing, pleasure and certain types of pain. These are feeling that can become known to us.

He makes a point not to confuse feelings with emotion. Feelings are the mental experience, the awareness of what you feel. Emotions are, as implied by it’s name, all about motion. There is a stirring in the body, you can see the anger on someone’s face, or the joy in a smile. Feelings may also cause stirrings within the body, but they are, by nature, more reflective. And they serve to keep us on track with “managing life”, or in other words homeostasis.

An interesting point that Damasio makes about homeostasis is that it is not only meant for survival, but also for flourishing.

He says , “life is regulated within a range that is not just compatible with survival but also conducive to flourishing, to a projection of life into the future of an organism or a species”.

Taurus is this fascinating mystery of homeostasis. The management of life that happens from within an internal mileu in a relationship of constant response and action to it’s world in which it lives.

This past week, television all over the US displayed shocking video of violent disregard for our own nation’s right to stability. Stability not just understood as surviving but a chance to flourish as well. Such flourishing can only occur by listening to the promptings of our moral understandings. Understandings, as Damasio suggests,. are deeply embedded in our very physiology. In our internal mileu. Where we respond to our world, in each and every magic moment.

Mars went into Taurus on January 6th, after 7 long months in Aries. It will move into Gemini on March 3rd.

Happy astro pondering!

Hindsight and Foresight, A Full Moon on a Cold Night!

Metaphorcast 12/28/20- 1/3/21

The Mohawk Native Americans would call this week’s Full Cancer Moon, the Full Cold Moon, falling in the cold month of December.  A New Year will find us before the weekend, allowing for the phrase Hindsight is 2020 to not only be a viral meme, but also a re-wakened dream.  If myth’s are indeed, as Joseph Campbell said, public dreams (as opposed to dreams being private myths) there is indeed a pertinent myth to reflect as the new twenties gain their stride.  That is the myth of Prometheus and Epimetheus.  Foresight and Hindsight.

It was both Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus who sculpted all living creatures with clay.  Epimetheus sculpted the various animals and beasts, with their horns, scales, wings, feathers, teeth and fur.  But it was Prometheus that sculpted the humans last.  He had no special gift to give them, as Epimetheus had already given these specialties to the animals, so Prometheus decided to make human beings walk upright like the Gods, and he gave them fire.

Epimetheus, in hindsight, can see the deep seated desire of the tiger, with his sharp teeth and powerful reflexes.  In hindsight he can see the spacial craving of the bird, with it’s delicate and aeordynamic wing.  He can see the swamp king’s alpha dream in the crocodiles scales teeth and giant jaw.  But what of the human?

Prometheus made the human, not in hindsight, but in foresight.  The human, with no horn, wing, or giant jaw, no beak or fur or retratctable claw, no antlers, scales or stinging tails, nothing special here to see, except that speical quality, of vision and fire, from eyes heart and mind, we can be in two different places at the same time.

The past and the future, who’s dividing line is so slight, it makes each tiny moment it’s own fire to ignite.

As Albert Camus said, “With rebellion, awareness is born.”

Tuesday night we will see the Cold Moon, December’s Full Moon, in Cancer during this Capricorn Season.  A Cancer Full Moon is the Moon at it’s Moonest.  Whatever the Moon does for you, it does it more on the Cold Moon, the Full Cancer Moon, in this start of the Winter Season.  

To have foresight is also to have hindsight. To grasp a future is to understand it’s roots.  In the Cold Moonlight of the Ocean of Memory, that forms an endless chain back to the place of myths themselves, can you feel your reality in it’s full mythic sense? Your own private myth of dreams, and your resonance to certain public dreams of myth? What would an Epimethean set of glasses tell you about yourself.  And when Prometheus hands you that burning fennel stalk, in which way would you point it?  What would you hope to illuminate?  

As the Cold Moon begins to wane, it will still be bright and beautiful, weather permitting for New Years Eve, in the sign of Leo, the quintessential party animal.  Though parties will be at a minimum this year, the Leo Moon lights any stage with a healthy dose of drama.  A realistic re-rendering of any setting, living room, hallway, sidewalk, kitchen, as the stage that dramatically swaps out an old year for a new one.  

The newfound Aquarian energy in the sky, with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, is a giant twinkly wink from Prometheus and his gift of foresight.

Foresight can make way for important paradigm shifts, like the one that happened in the 16th century, when the Ptolemic Earth-centered model of the universe was replace by the Copernican Sun-centered one.

There is a very interesting article written by astrophysicist Peter D Usher that sees Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a dramatization of this paradigm shift. Hamlet symbolizes the awakening to a new infinite and Sun-centered universe. He is ultimately responsible for the death of the old king, Claudius, who shares Ptolemy’s first name.

Portrait of an Astronomer (Nicolaus Copernicus?) Marco Basaiti
Date 1512 (funny that he also looks like Shakespeare!)

The sky during this time in history shared a key characteristic as it does now, as Jupiter and Saturn go into what’s known as a “grand mutation”, shifting from 200 years of Earth conjunctions to a new 200 years of Air conjunctions. These Jupiter Saturn conjunctions are known as trigons. The full trigon cycle is 800 years, as it passes through each of the four elements.

In Shakespeare’s time the shift was from Water to Fire, and the fire of the Sun indeed became the new center.

Now it is from Earth to Air, as the Aquarian Age truly begins.

Hindight may be 2020, but that’s old news.  Another year over and a new one just begun.  Will we see another paradigm shift in 2021?

Happy New Year all the same!  

And Happy Astro Pondering!

Jupiter Saturn Great Conjunction 2020!

The week begins with a lively event, as the Winter Solstice will present, the shortest day and the longest night; look to the sky for a fantastic sight.  For Jupiter and Saturn will align, and form a shining star so divine, and while this occurence happens every 20 years, they have not been this close since the days of Shakespeare!  And even then it’s predicted to have not been well-seen, for that we are looking at the early 13th century! 

Needless to say, take advantage of the extra evening darkness tonight.  Look just above the Southwestern or Western horizon after sunset.

Saturn, the planet of tangible reality, fused together with Jupiter, the planet of far-reaching possibility.

What does it mean for these two planets to unite, on this special first day of Winter, when the Sun enters Capricorn, the sign of reality. 

Is there a place, where reality and possibity unite, to form a different type of reality?

Maybe.

German physicist Werner Heisenberg was born under a Jupiter Saturn conjunction.  Known for publishing the Uncertainty Principle in 1927, he made staggering discoveries in the strange quantum world of potenitalities and possibilities.  He discovered a strange physical world, a probability wave that lived between reality and possibility.

He said, “Revere these things beyond science which really matter and about which it is difficult to speak.”

Born on the same exact day as Heisenberg was another reality-possibilist, Walt Disney.  He famously said “Fantasy and Reality often overlap” and maintained that his films were made for the child in everyone.  He spoke to children matter of factly because he saw that they were “always reaching”.  He also saw children to be “born blessed with vivid imaginations”, and he admitted that he resented the limitations of his own imagination.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle speaks of a certain fuzziness to reality.  It states that the position and the velocity of an object cannot both be measured exactly at the same time, even in theory.

It’s like knowing that your car is at this exact location, and having no idea what speed you are going, or vice versa.

A strange world where reality meets possibility, shining symbolically in the sky on this darkest night.  As a New Year approaches and an old and challenging one comes to an end, what a good time it is, to get cozy with uncertainty itself!

It is uncertainty that brings about expectation, and investigation.  Lively things, alive with a sense of future.  Things that keep us reaching, and re-vivify our imagination! This Great Star in the sky, a glimmer of the Aquarian age, as both of these planets just went into Aquarius last week, the sign of future and innovation.

While certainty may seem to quell stress and fear, uncertainty, with it’s dynamism, is a reason to cheer.  As psychologist Erich Fromm said, “The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning.  Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.”

Mercury is now in Capricorn, along with the Sun- perception is sharp- tuned in.  Perfect for beholding that briiliant night star.

Venus is in Sagittarius- celebrating the enthusiastic love of knowlege, which historian and mathematician, Jacob Bronowski saw as “an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.”

Mars moving onward in Aries- the most daring of planetary signatures.  Oh where would we be without the ability to dare.  Walt Disney said he like to dream, then test his dreams against his beliefs, then dare to see them through.

There it is again- that strange world- alive between reality and possibility.

Uranus in Taurus, the body electric, supporting by trine aspect the energy of the Sun and Mercury.  See the star and be the star.  The merging of the near and the far!

Neptune in Pisces – dreaming before daring

The Moon

The Moon will begin the week in Pisces, the sign of imagination and fuzziness.  Get cozy with that fuzzy aspect of reality, and let your imagination seek out peritinent avenues that slowly come into focus.

By early evening Monday, as we begin to look for that brilliant night Star, the Moon will wax into Aries, and the atmosphere comes alive with anticipation.  Though you will be able to enjoy the beauty of this “star” for the whole week, tonight when these two planets are the closest.  Its the Winter Solstice, with drama at it’s mostest!

The Aries Moon will continue through Tuesday and Wednesday- make room to dare, and do it with flair.

By Thursday, Christmas Eve, we have a larger Taurus Moon, the sign associated with nature.  Now that we have meditated on nature’s fuzzy little secret, pour some eggnog and turn the fire on the TV- these warm fuzzies are like wormholes to that world between worlds.  Where possibility and reality snuggle.  Where possibilities glisten, and reality listens.

Enjoy this Big and Fuzzy Moon for Christmas night as well, after the cookies and mistetoes have cast their spells.  Hold close the things certain, like the warmth of love, and give tidings to uncertainty that twinkles from above. 

By evening on Saturday the Moon grows quite large in Gemini, the sign of facts.  Like little pixels that continue to accumlate, and make our world a knowable place, less fuzzy.  The last timet the Great Conjunction Star was this visible was when religion held the answers, whereas now it is science.  

Heisenberg always held a strong curiousity towards where these two worlds might unite. He said, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

If there is a world between reality and possibility, where waves behave in the most mysterious ways, and sharpness bottoms out into more of a blur, this is surely the realm where blood starts to stir.

Enjoy this chrystaline first week of Winter, in all of its uncertainty.

as always, happy astro pondering!