Narrow Your Focus to Unlock Latent Powers

Metaphorcast 11/8-14, 2021

We had two significant planetary shifts at the end of last week.  Mercury’s stream of thought had been scanning the broadest horizons of Libra, and then vortexed into Scorpio in search of deeper meanings.  Venus had been preferring Sagittarian heights and big-picture orientations, but then switched her fancy to Capricorn’s goal-oriented, hard-working point of view.  We have moved from broad and high to deep and narrow.  There is a theme of focus, more specifically a narrowed focus, to unlock latent powers.

Teilhard de Chardin says that man evolved in such a way with narrowed eyes and freed up limbs so that he could bring his hands to his face in deep concentration.  Thus reflective thought was born and the rest is a very interesting history.

But what if when Galileo brought his telescope to his face he saw, among the glittering stars, a pop-up ad for a Chevrolet.  What if Thoreau brought an ipad to Walden pond, or Shakespeare concerned himself with a number of ‘follower’? What if candlelight never once bounced upon a word as its ink began to dry?  

Modern devices come with a slew of distractions and a narrowed focus becomes ever the more challenging.  

On the other hand, imagine if some of these ancient thinkers, scientists and artists had, at their fingertips, a whole library of the noosphere, like we do.  Our virtual world is a skeleton key to all kinds of knowledge, ideas and inspiration.

The question becomes how can we use our tools without being used by them?  We sure have become adept at bringing our hands to our face but how can we ensure that the original goal of doing this doesn’t get lost in the sauce? This planetary shift is an invitation to find a way back to an evolutionary drive.  An awakening of latent powers through the phenomenon of focus.

As always, 

Happy astro pondering!  

A Bigness: Jupiter moves direct today with Mercury

More than twice as massive as all the other planets combined, Jupiter can be felt as a bigness.  After 4 months of retrograde, the bigness moves forward today in Aquarius, the sign of future.  Also moving forward today is Mercury, the planet of mind, in the open air of Libra.  Will you open your mind to find a bigness worth getting excited about pertaining to your future?  Your future could be an evening plan or a distant dream- just so long as it is ahead. If you can make this dream/plan big, you will be in swift step with the gods! 

I would love to hear what big dreams or plans you are thinking! Write yours in the comments!

#jupiterdirect #mercurydirect #bigness #existentialastrology #metaphorcast

Wascally Wetwogwade! Mercury Retrograde

Listen to this episode here

Metaphorcast 9/27- 10/3, 2021

Kierkegaard famously said, “Life can only be understood backwards: but it must be lived forwards.”  

Understanding things is the mind’s job, represented in the zodiac by Mercury, the quick-silvered Messenger of the Gods.  It moves forward very quickly, faster than any other planet in our solar system.  But 3 times a year, it gives the illusion of moving backwards and we find ourselves in the spell of Mercury retrograde for about 3 weeks.  Good thing Mercury is the planet of mind, which is good at understanding life in a backwards fashion.  Mercury goes retrograde at the beginning of this week on Monday, September 27th and will continue its moonwalk until October 17th.  As we continue to live forward, let’s also see how well we can employ our minds to look backwards, and better understand the lives we lead.

Looking back is synonymous with reflection.  When you look in a mirror, there you are as a reflection looking back at yourself.  As Bob Dylan sang, 

When you wake up in the morning, baby, look inside your mirror

You know I won’t be next to you, you know I won’t be near.

I’d just be curious to know if you could see yourself as clear

As someone who has had you on his mind.  

In this romantic instance, a lover’s reflection, far away from her, wagered to be stronger than the actual reflection looking back at her from a mirror right in front of her.  

Distance is of little importance when it comes to the power of mind.  The Extended Mind Thesis, created by philosophers David Chalmers and Andy Clarke states that the mind extends into the world by use of tools and other minds.  The idea is that just like a prosthetic limb can become part of a body, technology such as computers or even notebooks become part of our minds.  You say you know the time and then look at your watch, or that you know where something is then consult your smartphone.  Your mind extends into your environment.

And then there’s the matter of other minds!  Other people’s ideas allow us to think of thoughts that we never otherwise would have.  Just think how limited our minds would be if ideas were never shared!  Ideas are like oxygen, the air we share. 

Thinking and looking back has a wide network of assistance.  It isn’t just you alone in your head indulging in some “me time”.  It is your mind, out in the world, entangled with the ideas that have inspired you, shaped by the people who you love and admire, made more efficient by the tools you use. 

When you reflect, when you look back, certain things can happen that simply can’t happen while looking forward.  Threads show up and some declare themselves as common.  Dots appear that beg to be connected.  Patterns emerge.  Connections converge.  Before you know it, you are sitting in the middle of a movie that has a definite plot.  It is this kind of 4th wall shattering that credits Mercury as a bonafide trickster.  “Down in front” yells Bugs from the back of the theater.

That’s right, it’s a wascally wetwogwade, with you in the center of it.  

This year has been a year of air sign retrogrades for Mercury.  After retrograding in Aquarius through most of February, and Gemini through most of June, we are now looking into most of October with a Libra retrograde.  Above all, Libra is an otherness.  

No matter how much your reflection in the  mirror looks like you, it is still fundamentally not you.  The otherness of who looks back at you in the mirror is similar to the otherness of your mind as it extends into the world.  Silver provides the best reflection, and remember, Mercury is liquid silver.  It is fast moving silver, reflecting with a silly symphony of extensions from notebooks to neighbors.  It is you and not you.  The more not you it is the more you you may become. That is to say, the more you embrace the tools and inspiring ideas that surround you, the more you may come to understand the life you live, and feel a fuller sense of who you are.  

Maybe that is why we can see the rabbit in a Full Moon. 

That’s All Folks!

Until next time,

Happy astro pondering!

Timing is Everything; Virgo’s Magic

Metaphorcast for 9/6-12, 2021

Listen to this episode here

Labor Day comes this year on a New Moon in Virgo, a sign that like no other, knows the magic of timing.

If it weren’t for timing, no one would have ever figured out how to grow things from the ground.  Plant seeds at the wrong time and nothing will happen, harvest at the wrong time and the bounty is lost.  Through her diligent observation of nature’s timing, Virgo flourishes alongside her craft.  

Some say that timing is everything.  Miles Davis famously said, “Timing isn’t the main thing.  It’s the only thing.”  Some credit their success to being in the right place at the right time.  

One thing is for sure: nature has certain right times and right places.  What is also true is that human nature has the right times and places as well.

Rightness is embedded in our very anatomy, as feelings inform our moral reasoning.  It has been said that Pythagoras believed the entire cosmos to be constructed of right triangles.  

Time is cumulative, like character, like meaning.  It builds upon itself, like good music.  Just as a crowd can’t help but join in on the chorus, sometimes a time becomes so ripe that one can’t help but join in on its promptings, sing along, jump into a strong moving current, do that thing that your nature is screaming at you to do.  

Everyone longs for those right moments, when the stars align and things go right.  As a matter of fact, on Labor Day 6 planets will be in trine aspect, an aspect that favors easiness, smoothness, even luck!

Virgo has another key to the puzzle, however. In her natural humility she does what is so often forgotten to be done.  She listens.  Just like the original farmers listening to the land, she listens to what her surroundings are relaying to her own nature.  The right angles of the cosmos are the right angles of her body’s feedback.  The sphere of her surroundings include the cosmos.  The growing circle of her timing, which may also be called a spiral, includes what Emerson called “the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation.”

It’s not so much that she prays for luck, or right timing, but rather she enjoys a certain interplay; between the motions of her surroundings and how they speak to the motions of her inner life.  Her dance partner is the arena of life.  Her own control comes with her dominions over time.  She makes a humble pledge to cultivate timing, and thus cultivate her life, her character.

Timing is alive in the present which is beyond description. 

Timing is at your disposal at any moment.  Pause even a word in a sentence and you can  change a whole meaning, as any actor or comedian knows.  

There is power in timing, but it won’t come without listening.  True power is relational not dominating.  True power comes with listening as much as acting.

By Friday Venus will move into Scorpio where she will travel until October 7th.  Venus relates and in Scorpio she relates with power.  Use the gifts of this Virgo New Moon, and remember the power of timing.  A power that comes with listening- to the promptings of your surroundings as much as the promptings of your mysterious nature.  

If timing is everything then you must be timing too!  

From one timing to another,

Happy astro pondering   

Always You; Virgo and Cyclic Time

Metaphorcast for 8/23-29

Listen to this episode here

It is the first week of the new Season, as we shift from the bright and definite world of Leo light to the chiaroscuro of earth-magic Virgo.  The original “green thumb” of the zodiac, Virgo plays with earth and sky.  She blends the depth of deep earthly substances with the instant expanse of light, revealing the miracle of growth and the beginning of evolution. 

She holds bushels of wheat and corn, plants that reach straight up to the day of sun.  With her gift of contemplation she strives to be plant-like, always reaching for the light of new meanings, bringing them back to the deep dark roots of past experiences.  The Virgin birth is the shimmering texture of the present, cultivated by this union of light and dark. 

Virgo has a special relationship to memory.  With special pieces of texture, like that dress she wore, or the way the sun was setting, or that cold snap in the air, meanings sprout up like crops from the deep earth of the past.  Her garden extends from past to future but it only exists in the illuminated texture of the present.  

For Virgo, time moves in cycles.  It folds in on itself producing a Virgin birth of meaning.  Like a fibonacci pattern, this kind of time makes meaning grow in spiral form.  Extending outward from seemingly infinitesimal roots of self-similar experiences.  It was always you there, in those different places, at those different moments, always you.

Experiences shape who you are in order for you to shape future experience, in order for you to find a frequency worth cultivating.  

What texture does your present have now?  Can you hear its signature frequency?  Would you like to change it?  

You may have to roll up your sleeves and take it to the field, so to speak; a place where the deep substance of soul can meet the broad expanse of light.  A place where memories work unconsciously to mold ideas out of the mysteries of inspiration. 

This place might be an actual place.  Your “field” might be your backyard, your stairwell, your kitchen at dusk.  For who knows what reason,  this place puts you in an optimum balance of blending deep substance with the broad expanse.  Inspiration becomes real and reality becomes inspiring.  

Your “field” might also be an activity, like yoga, reading, playing music or sports.  The field may take many shapes.  Most importantly It  is and always has been yours.  Visiting it and cultivating it seems to bring back magic to your fingertips.  

As Voltaire famously said “you must cultivate your own garden.”

Happy cultivating and as always, happy astro pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

The Only Certainty That Exists; Erich Fromm

Metaphorcast 8/2-8, 2021

Listen to this episode here

Have you ever thought about to what extent your doubts color your attitude towards life?  Or for that matter your faith?  

In his book Man For Himself, psychologist Erich Fromm makes a distinction between different kinds of doubt and faith: the rational kind and the irrational kind.

Irrational doubt iis tied to an uneasy feeling that “nothing is certain.”  For some it is an attitude of indifference, for others it is more compulsive.  Rational doubt on the other hand is how children learn to think for themselves, and how adults go on to further develop their personality.

Rational doubt is essential to modern thought, and all the discoveries that have contributed to what we know now.

Irrational faith, he says, is “rooted in the submission to a power”.  This type of faith has made a muck of many things, from witch hunts to the Inquisition.  It is easy to see why this is not a good idea.

Perhaps less easy, however, is to see the value of embracing a “rational faith”; a faith that is rooted in one’s own experience and in “the confidence of one’s own power of thought, judgement and observation.”    

Whereas irrational doubt gives a vague sense of nothing being certain, and irrational faith strips one’s power away, rational faith restores power by providing the only certainty that exists. 

Any guesses for what you think Fromm’s definition of “the only certainty that exists” is?

Remember this certainty is based on the powers that come from within, and a dedication to rationality.

Ok so here it is:  the only certainty that exists is the certainty growing from productive activity.

For Fromm, the basis of rational faith is productiveness, and to live by faith is to live productively.  In this way, we connect to our true powers and find certainty.

These are real powers; powers of reason, love, strength and potential.  In embracing meaningful and productive activity you can count on the certainty of your own growth, the certainty of your own powers.  There’s no denying them just as there is no denying the productive activity of an apple tree making apples.  

Henry Miller said that “the goal of life is not to possess power but to radiate it.”

Happy radiant Leo Season and remember: when in doubt, stay productive to revive your faith and keep in touch with the certainty of your own powers.

As always, 

Happy astro pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Thunder: The Sound of Light 

Metaphorcast  7/19-25, 202

Listen to this episode here

There is a Full Thunder Moon headed our way this week, on Friday, July 23rd.  As the season shifts from the mysterious electricity of Cancer to the bright and obvious light of Leo, it seems a perfect time to ponder the phenomenon of thunder: the electric rumble born out of light itself.    

The sound of light comes in two distinct forms: the long low rumble and the sudden loud crack.

The long and low rumble is heard when the light is far away.  Rumbling like the grumbling of hunger.  But this hunger is a spiritual appetite, a “hero’s call” for adventure.  The farther away the light the more the blood stirs.     

The sudden loud crack is when light is astonishingly nearby.  It’s what propelled Archimedes to jump out of the bathwater yelling “eureka”, which is Greek for “I found it!”.  Finding such a light can seemingly stop the flow of time.  It’s the nature of a peak experience; a bubbling over of sheer delight.  

In both instances, light is making sound, and in special cases, it is recorded to allow the sound to become a second birth of light.  

A record player is a perfect example: the light of Louis Armstrong is expressed through sound, which is captured on record, to be played for someone who enjoys it.  The record is like thunder, the sound of light, it may come again as a loud crack or distant rumble to the right set of ears.  One of those sets of ears belonged to the 12 year old Billie Holiday who, in between scrubbing the halls and kitchens of some neighborhood apartments, first heard Armstrong’s “West End Blues”.  Whether it was a low rumble or a sudden crack we may not know, but as her nickname Lady Day suggests, she rebirthed the light.

Rebirthing the light is a virgin birth.  As Joseph Campbell explains it, “The virgin birth has nothing to do with a biological accident,”.  It symbolizes instead “the awakening of spiritual life in the human animal.”

Our job then, is to tune in to those low frequencies of rumbling thunder that are so often unheard so that we can give attention to a faraway light that “calls”.   We must also be ready to seize the light if we are lucky enough to hear the sudden loud crack and yell Eureka, I have it!  I have in my possession the light that found me.  

Just like a record player, one can learn to get into the habit of recording light;  paying attention in those times of rich warmth and bright meaning, then committing them to a precious bank of memory within.  Letting these instances of warmth, meaning and light fill up a personal account.  Drawing from an inner currency that answers to the highest of gold standards; that of light itself.

Nikola Tesla famously said “Everything is the light.”

He said “I am part of a light, and it is the music.” 

When asked by the journalist interviewing him whether he heard this music he replied, “I hear it all the time. My spiritual ear is as big as the sky we see above us.”  

Make big your spiritual ears this week!  

As always, happy astro pondering

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

What’s so Special About a New Moon?

Metaphorcast 7/5-11, 2021

Listen to this here

There is a new moon coming this week on Friday, July 9th.  Maybe you are wondering what is so special about a new moon.  Well, let’s ponder it, so we can better enjoy it when it comes!

New moons occur when the moon is in between the earth and the sun, whereas for a full moon, it is the earth that is between the sun and moon.  

The full moon is the popular one.  It makes a dazzling spectacle that is usually impossible to miss.  With the earth at the center, full moons are ‘centered’ around earthly things.  Sensory things.  Beauty, tastes, aroma, textures and so on.  Some people are lucky enough to find their ways to a moonlit swim.  Others may find a simple walk home to turn into the most mystical of experiences, all because of these heightened senses.

A few weeks back we had a Full Strawberry Moon and I was lucky enough to eat some of the best tasting strawberries I’ve ever tasted!

But we are now going to ponder the new moon, which finds its ‘center’ with the moon itself.  With the new moon it isn’t the senses in the middle of it all, it is the intuitions, the instincts, the songs in our blood.  In the darkened night distant stars appear with startling clarity.  In the same way, meaningful ideas and connections may find you, bright with purpose, and seemingly out of nowhere.  

The ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides said “Gaze steadfastly at things which, though far away, are yet present to the mind.”

A full moon may light up the details of a flower, but a new moon brings a vast distance into your own place of detail-making; your own mind that makes order out of chaos. 

Distant stars, coming into focus from so far away.

Tennessee Williams said that time is the longest distance between two places.

But what if the light of the stars is a world beyond time?  A world where myths are made as living guides, changing as the people that made them continue to change.  Where would we be without these myths that made us?

Where would we be without these new moons?   

Also fun with a new moon is watching for its return.  In the depths of winter she is gracious enough to return with a smile!  Though now, in summer, she will return with her signature right-sided waxing crescent.  Thankfully she never returns with a frown.  

Look to the western sky this weekend just after sunset.  After being new in Cancer, she will be visible again in Leo, and… ready for her closeup.

As always, happy astro pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

Time and Eternity

Metaphorcast for 6/27- 7/4, 2021

listen here

Summer days have begun, ready to blow some jasmine in your mind and make you feel fine.  Boding well with eternity, an endless summer has a much better ring to it than an endless winter.  

Cancer Season stands opposite to Capricorn Season, the sign of time and winter.  Summer, then, stands opposite time, full of light and warmth.  Full of Sun.  

But what about the relationship of eternity to time?

William Blake said “Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”

Eternity, then, is like a child, delighting in blowing the seeds of a dandelion, a product of time.

The planets of passion, Mars and Venus are traveling through Leo right now, the sign of the Sun, the child, eternity and delight.  Mars especially finds itself directly opposite Saturn, the planet of time, and squaring Uranus, the planet of future.

Time and future can be put another way as law and evolution.  Laws are things you can depend on.  They help you make those ‘productions of time’ that eternity is so fond of.  Without these laws there would be no cities, no dandelions, no agriculture, no science, no Brooklyn Bridges and no Mona Lisas.  

But evolution goes against the law.  Instead of losing order, as all natural things do in time, it gains order, and marches uphill, towards some distant aim.  Evolution is the reason that birds have wings to fly, and horses have strong legs to run.  These specialties reflect the dreams held deep within the animal’s soul.  The dream to fly, the dream to run far and wide.  

The ‘productions of time’ don’t come out of law alone, they also need that distant dream of evolution.  That refusal to let law alone rule.  That instinct for higher worlds that stand outside of time.

The Moon wanes this week, into her 4th quarter by Thursday with the beginning of a new month.  It will be in the sign of beginnings as well, Aries, a fresh start.  July is the month of rubies, pairing well with Cancer’s theme of home.  Home can be synonymous with evolution’s distant dream.  There are those special moments when time seems to stand still and you can feel what Colin Wilson calls ‘the magnetic north of your existence.’

A distant and dynamic dream that stirs up a vortex of personal power.  Memories building on each other over billions of years.  Nothing is wasted.  All is incorporated.  

Holiday weekend ahead with the 4th of July on Sunday.  Uranus, the planet of independence and evolution was discovered in 1781, a mere 5 years after Independence Day. One glance at the Statue of Liberty shows the power of evolution’s distant dream.  The poetry that weaves its way into time and delights eternity.  This Sunday, the Moon will travel over Uranus, bringing a special mood of future to the fireworks.  

I hope everyone enjoys it!

As always, happy astro pondering!

https://www.happyastropondering.com/

It’s Great to Anticipate! Mercury Enters Aries.

After practicing the art of negative capability, Mercury, the planet of perception moves forward in Aries on Saturday, April 3rd.  Looking becomes forward looking.  A type of looking that generates excitement.  A perception that is fond of future and its yet-to-be contents.  When Mercury moves into Aries it becomes clear how great it is to anticipate. 

Numerous psychological studies performed in 2007 (professors, Leaf Van Boven and Laurence Ashworth) reported people feeling more intense feelings when contemplating future events than when reflecting on things that already happened.  Prospective holidays far outranked the levels of excitement and happiness than the reflected-upon past holidays, even the most satisfying ones. 

Anticipation underlies optimism and hope.  It provides momentum, and works wonders even in its most simple practices.  

To see through the eyes of the Ram is to see the future in lit-up pieces.

Plato saw vision as a a smooth and gentle outward-flowing fire that was emitted from the eye to fuse with ambient light and create a “body of vision.” Empedocles also believed this but added that the fire of the eye was lit by Venus herself.

While science agrees little with this theory of vision, psychologically there is something here. Venus, with her delights, “light” our visions of future events. There may in fact exist an outward-flow of fire when it comes to an important type of vision; the vision of looking forward, the fire of anticipation.

As Twin Peak’s special agent Dale Cooper muses, “It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.”

Aries’ forward-fire is more alive when contemplating the future because it is only in the future that we can experience hope.  Jean Jacques-Rousseau said “anticipation and hope are natural born twins.”  The strength of the Ram is the strength of the Will, again connecting fire to future, as in “I will..”

Fire mixed with future is what nurtures the Japanese concept of “Ikigai (pronounced icky guy), which is seen to be a key to longevity. Ikigai translates most literally into “a reason to get out of bed every morning.”  It is a dynamic sense of well-being, one that hinges on a relationship to the immediate (and also faraway) future. 

The Sun and Venus have been relearning many active principles, and Mercury is the latest to join the springtime party.  The trickster looks forward to looking forward, and experiencing what Camus called “the sweet pain of anticipation to tell us we are really alive.”

How will you ignite some anticipation in your life?

Mercury will anticipate in Aries until April 19th when it will embrace itself in Taurus.  

Happy anticipating and happy astro pondering!

Astro Art by Johnnie Day Durand.

https://www.happyastropondering.com/