Negative Capability and the Real World of All Streams. Mercury enters Pisces.

Mercury moves into Pisces on Monday, March 15th, joining the effortless harmonics of the Sun, Venus and Neptune.  Into the vibrant vibrato goes the trickster, to see what can be seen through the ultimate fish-eyed lenses.  

Having moved through Aquarius since the start of the year, there has been healthy turbulence in the streams of thought.  The turbulence has oxygenated the water, and created fresh negative ions.  The atmosphere is like that after a rainstorm, perceptually speaking.  How can you make the most out of these new lenses?  This new soft vision of synthesis?

For starters, soft vision is not to be confused with blurriness.  Soft vision is a receptive mental act.  At its ultimate, it is what John Keats referred to as ‘negative capability’, a kind of negation of the personality so as to be as open as possible to all different points of view.  Shakespeare was said to be an expert in negative capability as his characters diversified from each other with  such rich complexities, yet Shakespeare the man remains quite a mystery.  

To have negative capability is to be satisfied with ‘half-knowledge’ and not impatient to reach firm conclusions that would undermine the complexities of experience.

Keats said, “Let the mind be a thorough fare of thoughts” rather than a “select party of beliefs.”

Pisces vision is like a waterfall.  Not only a stream of consciousness, but the real world of all streams.  The real world of all accumulated thought, Chardin’s ‘noosphere’.  The reality that if libraries were to contain all the written works of history, and then the human race was nearly wiped out, a new generation could use this knowledge instead of starting from scratch.    

When Mercury is in Pisces, the real world of all streams is more apparent.  There is a desire to synthesize, and to open your senses as wide as they can go.  Through the lenses of the fish, peripheries are extended and centers are strengthened.  Outside of the hard outlines of a fact and reason, the mind gets a holiday, and can begin to think about nothing, which can lead to everything, as Einstein and other geniuses have proved.  

Mercury will be in Pisces until April 3rd when it will burst forth in willful Aries. 

Happy soft eyes, happy open mind, and as always, happy astro pondering!

Astro art by Johnnie Day Durand

Fusing Fact and Value. New Moon in Pisces

A New Moon in Pisces is in store for us this Saturday.  New Moons “hide” from us, thus they hold a signature of privacy. With the archetype of Pisces, the most inward of all signs, the privacy dimension gains more depth.  Throw in the fact that harmonizing Venus and mystery-of-mysteries Neptune are right there too, and we have, what seems like, a romantic quest.  To the inner-most bounds!  A loving quest for the universe within! 

Psychologist, Abraham Maslow saw this quest to be paramount to discovering a person’s “isness”.  This “isness” is very important, because in knowing this, one can find their “oughtness”.  Maslow saw this as a crucial fusing of fact and value, is and ought. 

 In a storybook, this “is” would be the landscape, conditions, and basic reality of the hero.  The “ought” would be the hero’s desires and visions.  The ultimate question, or quest of the story would be: can the facts of reality merge with the value of the vision?  

Maslow applies this dynamic recipe for good ficiton straight to our own sense of well-being.  Of the person willing to look inward to his “isness” he says,

“The more he knows about his own nature, his deep wishes, his temperament, his constitution, what he seeks and yearns for and what really satisfies him, the more effortless, automatic, and epiphenomenal becomes his value choices… Discovering one’s own nature is simultaneously an ought quest and is quest.

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This is celestial music straight from the effortless graces of Pisces and Venus.  A song that is no song at all, like John Cage’s 4:33.  

Notice that when he talks about discovering one’s inner nature he focuses on “deep wishes” as well as “temperament” and “constitution”.  It’s a balanced inventory- a real assessment, but an assessment of a hero/ heroinne, and all that he/she seeks and yearns for.

Don’t even think about taking the romance out of your “isness”!  And at the same time, two feet on the ground please. 

Will you indulge in the Fishes inner plunge tonight and alchemize some facts and values?  

Happy Astro Pondering!

Astro Art by Johnnie Day Durand.

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.

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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.

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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

Metaphorcast for the week August 31- September 6, 2020

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Summer days are numbered to the tune of 3 more weeks as we head into the month of September- the question arises, can we make it a <strong>September to remember?</strong>Summer days are numbered to the tune of 3 more weeks as we head into the month of September- the question arises, can we make it a September to remember?

Perhaps this week’s Full Moon might get us started.  This Full Corn Moon will enchant in Pisces- watch for its signature hue of mystical indigo!  Indigo, cobalt, azure and even turquoise find their expression in the  Corn of the Hopi Native Americans. The Hopi’s tradition of planting Corn is truly deep rooted.  For 2,000 years they have brought their children out to the fields to teach them the ways of cultivating corn in the hot and dry Southwestern climates.  They plant their corn deeper, to catch the moisture from the winter’s melted snow, which lies further below the surface.  The Hopi corn has learned to shoot one strong root downward, searching for water.  

Perhaps its this deep and forgotten water in which the Piscean fish swim that bestows in it that gorgeous blue– that health of blue- those anthocyanins that bring about new neurons in the mind- new life into life.

The daily ways of the Hopi are more than routine- they are ritual.  Seeing the world as a gift, and time as experienced, not used.  They are rich with ceremony- Stable in their existence- united in community and in harmony with their environment.

Virgo Season is a time of paying more attention to the day in and day out.  Her strength is in knowing what is of significance- so the mundane can be transmuted to the magnificent.  So roots can learn to plunge ever the more downward in search of water- and existence can be stable and purposeful.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Life is not intellectual or critical, but sturdy.” 

Mercury moves through its final days in Virgo- perception is hungry for simple significance- keys that fit into the right locks- and open doors to a lifestyle more sturdy, that ultimate integrates the farthest yearnings of the heart.  As Muhammad Ali said “Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

By Saturday the trickster trades in its notebook for a colorful scarf, and glides into Libra- the sign of conceptual beauty.  Look for synchronicity in places of complimentary relationships.

Venus, the Love Goddess in her final week of Cancer- and in tense relationship to serious Saturn and fiery Mars.  As a truck I recently spotted displayed in big bold letters “Feel your feelings baby”- Don’t miss the opportunity for deep water to reach that downward root- nourishing a life more sturdy.  The Hopi have a proverb: “Don’t be afraid to cry.  It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts.”

The Goddess just wants you to hear her song- that speaks in Ocean about where you belong. By Sunday, water dries on sunny rocks as the Goddess ingresses golden Leo.  Refreshed, renewed, and ready to be seen.

Mars in the latest degrees of Aries, The alpha of the A- the A in the day- the beginning as well as the centrality- the Life of the day in the daily ritual.  As the Hopi have said “Take a breath of the new dawn and make it a part of you.” 

Jupiter Saturn and Pluto retrograde and near each other in Capricorn- Learning from the past to make room for rebirth.  

Uranus in Taurus and trining the Sun- a stable existence, a day rightly begun!

Neptune in Pisces- the new life in the blue

The Moon

The Moon starts the week off in Aquarius, where it spent most of the weekend.  Bigger now with its prized gift of awareness, this Moon sheds light where light seldom gets shed.  Eyes wide open, it bids adieu to August!

By Tuesday our Mother Moon waxes towards fullness- exact on Wednesday 1:22 am, which makes both Tuesday and Wednesday’s night sky an excellent backdrop.  The Full Corn Moon- Full in Pisces, the sign of the Mystic.  A wealth of ancestry as experience continues to accumulate into what Carl Jung called the collective unconscious.  Consider putting a bare foot to the Virgo ground one of these nights, and even if this ground is as landlocked as can be, see if you can, in Van Morrison’s words “smell the sea and feel the sky”.  The Hopi have a proverb, “all dreams spin out from the same web.”  There’s that sturdiness again.  Sturdy with life and connectedness, we can sail into the Mystic with barefoot on solid fertile ground.

By Thursday, a young Aries Moon raises it’s head, a bit wobbly with its sea-legs, but eager to get started on the day, and choose a ritual that supports his dynamic state of becoming.  

By Sunday, the same day that Venus enters Leo, we have a stable Taurus Moon.  Love is in the Sun and the Moon grows with slowness.

Slowing down to spot those places of magnificent significance!  The mystical simplisticty of the day in day out.  

Will it be a September to remember?  And were we borne before the wind?  

As always, happy astro pondering!

Isn’t it Sublime? Venus Moves into Pisces.

The goddess of love and beauty is setting out to sea.  She has danced to the offbeat drum of Aquarius long enough and now craves a deep serenity.

She wants to be moved in an all-encompassing way.  She wants now to dance to the harmonies of the spheres and to feel the most exalted sensations.

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Mermaids are at home in the deep peace of the ocean.  But the ocean also holds some scary stuff!

Entering the realm of the sublime.

Sublime: of such excellence, grandeur or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe. -Webster’s Dictionary

Edmund Burke was a statesman, political theorist and philosopher during the Age of Enlightenment.  He saw beauty and the sublime both as things that move us, the difference being that the sublime moved us more profoundly.

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Edmund Burke

The Sublime, maintained Burke, moves us more profoundly because it is tied to the vast, the overwhelming, even the terrifying!  He says that the possibility of pain triggers basic feelings of self-preservation, exercising nerves that could save our lives.

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Maybe Venus will visit me for a cup of coffee..  or a fresh kill.

The totality of the ocean, or the whole of the universe for that matter, is not without these scary creatures, places and concepts.  Venus is moving gently into the sign that looks at the totality of everything and sweetly says “yes, I am still love”.

And then, lo and behold, beauty becomes even more beautiful.

Because, as everyone knows, the sweet ain’t so sweet without the bitter.

The sublime is the intoxicating marriage of the bitter and the sweet.

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Most would agree that chocolate cake can fall into the taste category of sublime.

Chocolate is one of the few foods that is both bitter and sweet.  Other examples include coffee, wines, and teas.  They have an extra hold on the public, with their intoxicating effects.

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Here they are, the seduction brigade!

Fruit flies are discouraged from eating fruit when there is a bitter taste because it alerts them to toxins.  These foods pictured above seem to say “oh hey, just a little bit of danger here.. but go ahead.. it’s so good!”

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Just a wee little bit of the secret sauce!

Poison is remarkably similar to the french word for fish, “poisson”, and of course, Pisces is the sign of the fishes.

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Les Poissons! Intoxicating, dreamlike, forever mystical.

The world of the sublime is one that balances sweetness with a taste of the bitter.  Venus is exalted in the sign of Pisces because this is love’s highest task.  In Pisces, love acknowledges the whole picture; the vast, serene, majestical, and sometimes terrifying.. and she still comes out on top.

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Lenny Kravitz can best close out this post.

 

Until next time, happy astro pondering!

Sail into the Mystic: Mars Enters Pisces

The holiday season this year comes with some stirred up cosmological waters.  After a prolonged stay in Aquarius, Mars, the planet that energizes is entering the vast territory of the collective unconscious, the endless and unfathomable ocean of Pisces, the sign of the Fishes.

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The waters above and the waters below.  Pisces sails into the mystic.

Pisces is a sign that is most associated with passive, female principle of the the universe that is Yin energy.  It is the type of love that is all-encompassing, it is pure forgiveness, gentleness, ethereal beauty, subtlety, deep imagination, psychic phenomenon.  People who are born under the influence of this sign have a natural ability to tap into this realm, often to the astonishment and wonder of others.

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Edgar Cayce, famously known as the “sleeping prophet” astounded the public with his knack for clairvoyance.  He has more planets in Pisces than any other sign in his chart. 

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Einstein’s driver said that one of his habitual routines was to play the violin in nature, with the birds.  He said as he did this he would have tears streaming down his face.  Pisces feels it’s way into the secrets of the cosmos.  

Back to Mars.  Mars motivates in many ways.  Sometimes it can just feel like a straightforward burst of energy.  A new focal point in which you are ready to place your time and energy.  Other times it comes in the form of agitation, unrest, a feeling like you just can’t take it anymore and something needs to change.  This is the boiling, roiling, stirring and churning way of the warrior planet.

In Pisces, it is the the ethereal waters of other-worldliness that are being agitated, motivated, energized.  In short, the Mystic within is being summoned.

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Bob Dylan was born when Mars was in Pisces.  A Gemini, he is a rue Trickster/ Mystic.  A master of words who can tap into other-worldly realms through the potency of poetry. 

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Yuri Gagarin was also born when Mars was in Pisces.  His motivation for other-worldliness took on a more literal tone as he was the first man to ever journey into outer space.

Mars will stay in Pisces until New Years Eve, flavoring the holiday stretch with a sizzle of Yin energy.

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Liz Taylor, A Pisces was born under the influence of Mars in Pisces.  A Yin energy that is sizzling.  A peak into the other-worldly realm is a glance into her deeply reflective eyes, a beautiful hint of eternity.

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Marilyn Monroe also has Mars in Pisces.

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So does Ava Gardner.

There is definitely a je-ne-sais-qoi quality to the next couple of months.  Things may pop up that make you open your eyes wider to the greater mysteries of life.  The wonder that comes about from the many holiday lights may be of extra sparkle.

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It is the receptivity of our subjective state of mind that permits the wonder and the beauty to enter and influence our reality.

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“Starry Night” is an example of the celebration of the artist’s subjectivity.  Van Gogh also had Mars in Pisces.

Subjective reality is the home of our feelings.  With Mars traveling through Pisces, emotions that come with this time of year may feel more overwhelming.  One of Pisces biggest challenges is to keep the rivers and tides of emotions flowing healthily.

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Keep the waters of strong feelings flowing by means of acknowledging them, so they can be processed and moved into new states of being.  This is the mutable quality of Pisces, a promise of healing through the willingness to change shape. 

Pay attention to what is nagging at you or what is merely calling you in the next few months.  It is likely tied into a deeper personal connection to the waters above and the waters below.  That is, a deeper connection to all that is unknowable, yet worthy of reflection.  A grander reality, that is based on a willingness to feel.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

Neptune podcast: the song and the memories of the sea

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Back! Back beguiling sirens!

The latest podcast is all about the seductive beguile of the planet Neptune.  Wherever Neptune is found in the birth chart is a place where the beauty and the spell of the sirens live within.

The collective unconscious is the ocean that lives within each one of us.  During dreamtime, Poseidon’s chariot is literally navigating us through an ancient world of memories, connecting to more memories.

Tune out and tune in!

PODCAST    –then scroll down to find the episode “Neptune, the song and the memories of the sea”.

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash!

To say he is an enigma is quite the understatement when it comes to Johnny Cash.  “The Man in Black” without a doubt lives up to his mysterious nickname.  His words come out straight, with no extraneous descriptive poetics, yet they hit us deep within our soul by way of emotional accuracy.  This man knows pain and suffering, and he strides through that dark territory like the outlaw that he is.

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On to his chart!

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The fist theme that jumps off the page here (always a good place to start) is the EXTREME Neptune/ Pisces energy.  He has his Sun (life energy) conjunct his Mercury (speech and mind) and Mars not far behind (what makes him tick) ALL in sensitive Pisces and all in Pisces’ natural house, the 12th.  The 12th house brings Pisces types of issues into your world- issues like times when you feel vulnerable, overwhelmed, or weak.

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The 12th house can be your own personal prison. A place where you are stuck until you learn that you hold the key to your freedom. Here stands Johnny outside of San Quentin prison, one of the two prisons he famously performed in.

On the higher end this could be times/places that bring feelings of rapture or interconnectedness with all of life.  But suffering is no stranger to the 12th house, and Pisces energy feels everything more sensitively.  Let’s add the very important detail that Neptune itself is EXACTLY opposite his Sun/Mercury- adding one more POWERFUL thrust of vulnerability to this equation.  It’s really unbelievable this set up.  This man is either walking with God or walking with his demons.

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Here at Folsom Prison the climate is one more of rapture than isolation. He’s the man for the job.

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Pisces seeks the rapture. Cash sought this through drug and alcohol addiction as well as religious experiences. Here he is with his good friend the Reverend Billy Graham. He valued this friendship so much that his house in Jamaica featured a “Billy Graham room” with a bed only for Billy.

Instead of cowering in a corner in the face of pain and suffering, Cash puts on a headlamp and marches straight in to the dark trenches of sorrow in search of something true.  This is the spirit of an 8th house Scorpio Moon.  Scorpio is emotional energy that goes deep and craves REALNESS.  The 8th house is the place in life where those things happen, like intimate relationships or offering values (like the messages in his songs) that can be truly SHARED by others.

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Cash faces emotional trouble dead on and transforms (Scorpio) pain into wisdom.

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Another Uranus/Venus Aries example is his spontaneous (Uranus) proposal (Venus) to June Carter in 1968. She tried to deflect his question, as he was a bit high at the time, but he made sure he got an answer (Aries). His unrequited love for June helped him “walk the line”, instead of floating off into obscurity. (Aries verse Pisces).

But there’s more to Cash’s approach.  He’s an outlaw.  Which brings us to his guns-blazing Venus Uranus conjunction.  Venus (personal charm) is fused with Uranus (the rule breaker/ outlaw!) and they are in fiery courageous Aries in the first house (personal style/identity).  This piece of dynamite is squared by Pluto, which blows it up even bigger with empowerment from the 5th house (the house of self expression).

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Cash the outlaw. This picture is worth a thousand words to describe Uranus/Venus in Aries square Pluto.

His Jupiter is in Leo, bringing a restoration of faith through play and spontaneous fun (Leo).  Humor wedges it’s way into the tumultuous terrain of emotional bullets with songs like “A Boy Named Sue”.

So Happy Birthday to The Man in Black!  Hello, he’s Johnny Cash!  Thank you a million times over you beautiful man!

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Cash in his element (Water) outside his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.