Groundhog’s day is on its way this week, featuring the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, one of the most unusual celebrities. Aside from being a groundhog, his fame rests upon a one simple yearly question: will he see his shadow or not? To this answer is ascribed an outlook for the rest of us as to whether or not we can soon ditch our coats and open some windows. Although Phil receives much publicity on his special day, his fame is centered on a most private thing: what he sees in a moment.
Time is ultimately a flow of moments. Continuous and forward reaching. In each moment there are things to be seen, thought about, anticipated and reflected upon.
A couple years back I was in love with the show, This Is Us. The plot was driven by one dramatic theme, a father’s love. The show was made powerful by dramatizing the flow of time, in other words, rendering the flow of time more real. Continuous flashbacks support the character’s present moment sense of direction. The drive they find inside is born of something real and authentic. The audience has special seats into their lifetimes of subjective responses slowly magnetizing them towards a sense of destiny.
I say it rendered the flow of time more real because in reality, the flow of time is dramatic. The past is charged, the future is free! And the only thing that is real is now. (What!?)
Time is more bizarre than anything, even famous groundhogs. Yet it is also fundamental. You are never not in a moment in time. The moment and you are perpetually flowing, like the wavy lines of Aquarius’ glyph. I see time’s drama to be a hint that time is rooted in something immeasurable. No one can quantify the dramatic performance of Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. Because drama is not a measured thing. Although it is measured in many ways, time is ultimately something dramatic and immeasurable. Its essence must be in spiritedness and creativity.
A full Moon in dramatic Leo lights our stage on Sunday, providing a glowing limelight for anyone who sees it.
Will you see it?
Will Winter be gone soon?
Do you remember what you did last groundhog’s day?
Are you a dog person or a cat person? Dogs and cats have been a roommate to mankind for millenia. Why is this? Do we see something in them? Do they see something in us?
I think we do. I think they do. I think what is shared is a kindred affinity for play.
Dogs and cats both play but they play in very different ways.
As any cat owner knows, introduce something new, feathery and fast moving into its environment and the cat will seem at the mercy of its own spontaneous delight. Eyes rapidly darting about, the paw starts swinging as if it feels the lord’s presence and before you know it, a full body slam into a wall because the cat can’t contain its own delight and joy.
The cat is a solar animal. Leo the lion is a solar archetype, with its golden mane portraying the rays of the sun. To play like a cat or to play in a solar way is to play spontaneously with whatever is presenting itself into your field of experience. This is the secret of a good actor who responds to the created circumstance of the stage, the changing existence that buzzes around him. The audience is swooned in the presence of creative spontaneity. When a comedian responds creatively to a heckler the audience often laughs the hardest because the spontaneity is so enlivening.
Philosopher Henri Bergson saw laughter to be an evolutionary strategy. He said that in general we laugh at “something mechanical encrusted upon the living.” A person walking down the street isn’t funny, but when their flow of vitality turns into a clunky mechanical breakdown of them slipping on a banana peel, we are cajoled into laughing. Something mechanical encrusted upon the living.
The cat guards against us becoming robots. The cat in us will laugh at a robotic response, like those of a deadpan comedian because it recognizes something that it fundamentally does not identify with: a robot.
The cat stays supple and stretchy because it refuses to become automatized. The cat felt like sleeping on your bed last night but not tonight. He came over when you called him today but won’t tomorrow. The cat will not be automated. The cat stays supple and spontaneous, and at the delighted mercy of bright fast moving feathers.
Dogs play differently. While a cat couldn’t care less about bringing you back the ball that you threw, a dog is overjoyed to complete the cycle of that game. While a cat acts like he didn’t even realize that you came home after 8 hours, a dog is bubbling over with the joy of your return.
Dogs love the rules of the game. They love committing to them, learning them and mastering them. Unlike the cat, rules don’t encroach upon the dog’s sense of freedom. On the contrary, the rules allow their freedom to soar. They become experts at fetch. They become our faithful soulmates. They enjoy the privileges of venturing out into the world because they follow a set of rules; don’t run away, don’t bite, don’t pee indoors.
The dog is a lunar animal, as symbolized by the wolf who howls at the moon. The moon is all about finding a sense of inner security, through the home, the family, but also your private inner life. The moon is the subconscious, who plays just like a dog.
Before the dog of your subconscious knows the rules of the game, you struggle to stay balanced with the bike. Falling down teaches your subconscious mind what works and what doesn’t. Once the rules are learned you are able to ride effortlessly, without even thinking of it. The loyal, rule-loving dog of your subconscious allows you to put your mind on other things while he rides the bicycle. What a good dog.
The dog is skilled, effortlessly, and with each new skill he better navigates his world.
Everyone wants to be effortlessly skilled and everyone wants to have more fun. But the time involved in learning a new skill often daunts a person away from even beginning. Having fun is generally reserved for ‘free time’ on a rare Saturday afternoon, under the right weather conditions.
But the wisdom of the sun and moon declares that time, married happily to the body is free. Learning and laughing are by-products of spirited time as a light builds inside.
Fun and finesse are what come out of our most precious birthright: spirited response.
With a spirited response, one builds light inside and stores energy. This is the uphill march of evolution, a move against entropy. Moving against the flow of entropy is the most basic characteristic of life.
At some point in the grand evolutionary chain of life, a molecule wised up and decided to store energy instead of lose it.
It is misdirected to place all of the capacity for the growth of spirit onto the growth of money. This leads immediately to what philosopher Erich Fromm saw as a catastrophe, as humans begin to alienate from their true natures because they see themselves and others as commodities. Love becomes a cheap transaction instead of an art. A thing instead of a verb. Life itself begins to turn to stone.
This is not the way. Growth has to be centered on the spirit, which is centered in the body, and relates to its world in search of truth.
Growth of the spirit promotes unity in the complex fragments of personality. It finds a worthy direction for a powerhouse of unknown energy deep within. The powerhouse builds and builds based on all actions taken in the past, and the past stretches back until no one knows. Nature has many secrets. Not only does nature have secrets, its mystery is worthy of our deepest understanding and fiercest protection.
Just as the very nature of our planet continues to be threatened, so too does human nature.
We ignore listening to the needs of our planet just as we ignore listening to the needs of our natures.
To underestimate the need for an individual’s growth of spirit is to turn our backs from the future of humanity.
Discovering your place of spirited response seems at first so private, and maybe even self-indulgent, but it points true north towards a better tomorrow for everyone.
Finding that relationship where reality coaxes forth a spirited response readies one to find a rightful place in society. This is not selfish at all! In a world whose inhabitants are growers of spiritedness there is an important role for everyone.
As Joseph Campbell put it “everyone talks about saving the world but you’re not here to save the world, you’re here to save yourself. But in doing that you save the world. A vital person vitalizes.”
Ladies and gents we are about to explore the mysterious functions of Venus, a.k.a Aphrodite. Alchemically she is linked to the metal copper. Her reputation revolves around love and beauty.
First stop, the human body, specifically the circulatory system.
In the last post we talked about how Mars, a.k.a iron is what makes the blood red when it combines with oxygen (iron as hemoglobin). It is this oxygenated red blood that travels through the arteries and nourishes all of our organs.
Quite simply the blue blood is now WITHOUT oxygen because the organs have used it all up. It now travels through the veins back to the heart where it will become oxygenated again through our breath (and that hemoglobin!)
Let’s start with her name, Venus. Quite similar to the word VEIN is it not? And for that matter Mars sounds more like ARtery.
Back to the blood.. it seems to be an intuitive understanding that Mars and red blood go hand in hand. Less intuitive is Venus’ blue blood, the blood that is WITHOUT oxygen.
Venus is introducing the principle of PASSIVITY and RESTORATION (negativity without it’s bad connotations). It seeks balance by being passive. It trusts in nature and knows there is an order more divine here than anything we could actively cook up ourselves (leave that to Mars!).
Let’s talk a little more about it’s signature metal, Copper.
So some of Copper’s themes have to do with electricity, and this rather pretty light green tint.
Venus points to the blue blood and the green color that copper turns. Where else do we see blue and green?
Earth demonstrates magnificent beauty especially when it’s left alone (Venus). National Parks are an excellent example of this.
Venus knows how to let nature BE her order. She knows to listen, to notice, to meet and behold.
Our bodies are constantly sending electrical messages from our brain to various body parts. Electricity is needed to make anything happen, from blinking our eyes to making ourselves a sandwich. Electrical signals happen when the cells switch from a negative charge to a positive charge.
Once again I will bring in the Wizard of Oz because I simply can’t help it. The Emerald City looks a lot like the northern lights married the Statue of Liberty. Not only that but like the North Pole, it serves as center of attraction of which our heroes and heroine are pulled towards.
But what happens when they get there? What does the Wizard say?
In closing, Venus teaches us the virtues of negativity and how non-doing can restore and bring back balance. It is a side of life that is often ignored, especially in our fast paced modern society. We can consciously feel the blissful effects of negativity by sitting by running water and soaking up those negative ions, or noticing the peace that is felt after a rainstorm. Another fun tip, beeswax candles also emit negative ions.
The other day I had the pleasure of experiencing an infrared sauna. Infrared saunas are different from other saunas as the heat that they give off is “the same as the heat of the sun” and it warms you up more gently and brings out toxins more effectively. I was very curious in the fact that it was the same as Sun heat. You mean SUN heat? Spark of life heat? How great is this thing going to make me feel?
Not only did it make me feel great it had this other little strange side effect while I was sitting in it. I instinctively really wanted to bring my hands together- as if in prayer, but not to pray- just to hold them flat against each other. That felt really right weirdly. I didn’t think much of it at the time. But later that night I had a dream about staring at a giant fossil from high up on a roof and seeing infrared energy in the fossil. I woke up and googled “ancient infrared” and found that infrared energy is the stuff used in Qi Gong. That energy that is transferred through the hands, the Qi, is infrared energy.
So let’s bring in the man who discovered infrared light, Sir William Herschel. This is a very interesting man. He also discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. Uranus is considered the planet of the “common man” and Herschel himself was considered to be a relatively common man as he was an amateur astrologer who built his own telescopes and spent even more time composing music. He discovered infrared light nearly twenty years later when he conducted a simple experiment.
So here is this eccentric (Uranus) man who has made two discoveries that are not entirely dissimilar symbolically. Uranus is associated with Aquarius and what is the symbol of Aquarius?
Certain animals see more of the spectrum. Bees for example can see ultra-violet colors. These colors are displayed very noticeably in the flower’s buds to show the bee what pollen is where.
Aquarius is the sign that is opposite Leo which rules the Sun. Oppositions are said to be like two heads of the same coin. Here we have one portrayal of that with Leo (the Sun) and Aquarius (the Sun’s vibrations, or the waves of light). As we enter into the Age go Aquarius we are certainly experiencing more and more use of invisible energy waves (wifi, cell phones, etc). Some say that all of these airwaves are confusing the bees by interfering with their navigations system. I find bees to be a very Leo/Aquarian symbol. For one they worship their Queen and make golden honey (LE-O!) and for two they work in colonies and make buzzing sounds (the electric-associated and group oriented Aquarius).
So the color beyond red is where infrared energy begins.. Let’s take a quick look at the rainbow.
All of a sudden I have Dorothy Gale in my head, singing “Somewhere OVER the rainbow.” Could she be referring to this invisible energy in some way? I would be tempted to leave this thread alone if it where not for some VERY strong Aquarian associations with her character.
What about the other guys? Can we find a place for them of Dorothy is Aquarius? Let’s see…
And the final clue that Dorothy is related to Aquarius (and thus Uranus)…….
All of these symbolic connections of the Wizard of Oz to the Fixed Cross is the work of my twin sister. She went on such a stretch of these associations one day. Well done Johnnie! It may seem that I am going on a wild Wizard of Oz tangent, but I am going to try and tie up all of these themes. As we find ourselves in the Age of Aquarius, I think we could use some tips from this Aquarian heroine, Dorothy Gale.
The dangerous side of Aquarius is de-personalization. With so much technology it becomes easier to forget that we are human beings beholden to wondrous moments that can easily be missed.
Invisible vibrations are around us and inside us. Let’s not forget the message of the East, to seek fulfillment also on an INNER level, like Dorothy ends up doing in the end when she says “I don’t have to look any further than my own back yard”. Let’s not forget the powerful energy that comes from within and how that connects to a staggering potential for connectivity.
We are entering the Age of Aquarius and It’s an exciting time to tune in. Both on the outer and the inner level. It is an exciting time to reach out as well as reach in.
Fade out with the helicopter spin sound effect of Brian Wilson…..
For anyone in the area looking for an infrared sauna session, I recommend Avellino Organic Esthetics Day Spa in New City, NY.
The Sun is naturally associated with the sign Leo. Leo is the lion, the king of the jungle. Our Sun in our chart is the king of our own jungle (our psyche- which can be very jungle-like!)
My favorite astrologer these days is the great Alice O. Howell. In her book, “Jungian Symbolism in Astrology” she goes into great depth in describing the natural hierarchy of the natal chart, with the Sun as the rightful ruler.
She explains that this is because the Sun is the only true STAR of the chart, therefore it is the natural “king” and it deserves to sit on the throne. Problems can arise when another planet tries to usurp that throne. A strongly placed Saturn or Uranus (or any planet) can run wild and attempt to be the king but it will never truly be the king because it is not a STAR. Thus we have the many myths about the king in exile. A look at the natal chart can attempt to find the guilty archetype. Who is trying to steal the throne? Venus (too much focus on pleasing)? Mercury (the forever-child)?
Leo is the sign associated with hollywood and it is no wonder that we call famous people “stars”. We tend to project these stars “out there” in hollywood as we do the Sun “out there” in the sky. The beautiful reality is that we are ALL stars when we tune inward towards our hearts and let our spirits shine. The Sun isn’t only “out there”, it is “in here”. The heart is ruled by the Sun, and Leo. It functions in our bodies as does the Sun in the sky. It is central, life giving and constant. Our hearts are “warmed” as the Sun warms us.
O’Howell also talks about how children are much more aware of their inner Suns than adults. Leo also rules children, and the child in all of us. She says this fact is abundantly clear when we look at children’s drawings. They seem to ALWAYS include the Sun somewhere. They intuitively understand it’s true centrality. Don’t you remember drawing in those Suns? Maybe in the corner, or in the middle. Long rays short rays. Maybe a smiley face on it?
Today we are looking at a comparison between the chart of Carl Jung and that of Sigmund Freud. I felt compelled to look further into their similarities and differences when I noticed that they both had 7th house Suns. The 7th house stands for “the other”, and it often gets it’s reputation on the “marriage house”. But “the other” is also so entirely bound up in our projections, which both of these men spent much of their lives studying. Does having a seventh house Sun put you in an easier position to accept this concept of projection because you are less bound up in your own identity (1st house)? Perhaps there is more wiggle room in the seventh, and you can see through the facade of your own illusions when it comes to how you perceive another person.
It stands to reason that such a comfortability in this could bring about much curiosity. Curiosity would be no stranger to Freud’s Gemini Moon, and again no stranger to Jung’s third house Moon (the house naturally associated with Gemini). These men have questions that seek answers.
Freud was very focused on sex, seeing it as the ultimate reason why anybody does anything. He has Scorpio rising (the sign most associated with sex) and an eight house Moon (the house most associated with sex, and death, and psychotherapy!). His Moon is in Gemini, so he seeks a lot of stimulus, and wants facts. His Taurus energy will stand behind these facts like a Sumo wrestler. Just look at the expression on his face!
Jung saw the libido as not just a means for sexual gratification (as Freud saw it) but rather as a well of psychic energy that could be used in a variety of ways, including the creative drive. Jung’s Mercury (mind) is in inward Cancer and conjunct Venus (creativity). This is a quieter mind, a mind that is naturally more in touch with the feminine (Venus) and therefore more attuned to mystery and things hidden (feminine). His Leo energy vitalizes this standpoint, blazing a well lit path into the unknown. This mission seems to fill him with visible delight. His ultimate emotional drive is a sense of solid ground (Taurus) in matters of the mind (third house).
In the natal chart, the libido is represented by the planet Mars. Both of these men have Mars in the eleventh house, which is a Succedent (security seeking) house that is naturally associated with the sign Aquarius (the most intellectual of the air signs). Thus, the eleventh house represents where we seek intellectual security. For both of these men, the libido is very involved in their intellectual pursuits.
Jung has his Mars in far reaching ever-philosophizing Sagittarius. It is naturally associated with his Jupiter which is in Libra (balance and beauty-seeking) and in the 8th house (in places hidden, the occult). Sagittarius is a mutable sign, and it will seek to change and reinvent itself again and again. Jung famously studied alchemy, and astrology to a lesser extent, incorporating the metaphors of these occult practices into his therapeutic work. He also commonly had patients make their own personal mandalas, a practice used by many ancient cultures including Buddhism, Hinduism and Native American, to better understand their emotional disorders and put them on a path towards inner wholeness.
Freud’s libido is another story. It is in the sign of balance-seeking Libra, which is associated with the planet Venus. Here is where it gets interesting. Freud has QUITE a lot of Venusian themes in his chart. He has all that Taurus (ruled by Venus) in the 7th house (also associated with Venus) and now we see that he has a Libra Mars. Taurus is related to Venus in a visceral, carnal way, as in “this cake tastes good” or “nice legs!”. Libra is related to Venus in a more social and graceful way, as in “shall we have some cake?” or “thank you for that compliment”. Ok, so what we want to know now is WHO is Freud’s Venus???
Freud is famous for introducing the Oedipus complex, where a patient has sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex. His Venus is conjunct the North Node and in the service-oriented 6th house. The North Node is connected to our dharma, the things that we do in life that feel like we are traveling on our rightful higher path. However, the Nodes are ALSO highly connected to the concept of MOTHER. Freud’s Venus (projections of women) is naturally bound up in the concept of mother! The Oedipus complex likely has an exceptional resonance with this man. His Venus is in Aries, which ties it right back to his libido (Mars)!
Jung has Aquarius rising, which is associated with strong intellect as well as breaking rules. His dabbling with esoteric teachings made him somewhat of an outcast (Aquarius) amongst his peers. He has Saturn (the planet of inner authority) in the first house (identity) in Aquarius. His intellectual inner authority is blown up with empowerment as it is squared with Pluto. It is also very connected to the 12th house (because Capricorn is on it’s cusp), which is the house of mystical realms. The collective unconscious, a concept introduced by Jung, represents a vast well of psychic material that connects us to all of humanity. The 12th house is that very deep oceanic territory of the collective unconscious.
Hope this was a fun little jaunt into the behind the scenes of some very mysterious men! ‘Til next time!
I have a simian crease on my dominant hand. For those who don’t know, that is one line across the palm of the hand instead of two. It’s a blending of the head and the heart line. Every now and then I zone out on it and certain questions start to percolate.
Does my mind blend well with my heart? Do my feelings always match my words? It’s a lovely idea that the head and the heart should be so entwined. I would guess that life would feel like a waltz that you knew all of the steps to. In astrology the Sun rules the heart and Mercury rules the mind. It’s interesting that Mercury is never 28 degrees farther away from the Sun. Therefore many people have their Mercuries in the same sign as their Sun. Is it easier for these people to find that happy balance between mind and heart?
My Sun is in Leo but my Mercury is in Virgo and I definitely feel the little tug of war between these energies within me. I have an early memory that echoes through my soul where I was so eager to show off (Leo) that I knew the word that the teacher was writing on the board. “I know what that says! I know what that says!” and the teacher said “Tess, don’t—” because she wanted the other kids to sound it out, but I didn’t heed her warning and blurted out “JILL!”. The teacher let out a sigh of frustration and that’s when my Mercury in Virgo took over. In my head I was mortified at my know-it-all behavior. Where’s my humility?? My Virgo mind needed that I maintain humility but my Leo heart wanted to go for the gold! This is a theme that has repeated itself many times over in my life.
Mercury also rules the lungs. This ties mind into speech as well as connectivity with all living things. The air we breath today is the same air that was breathed by Nostradamus and Shakespeare. In the human body the lungs and the heart are VERY intimately connected just like the Sun and Mercury. As I learned in my Medical Assistant training class, the blood is blue when it enters the heart’s first chamber because it has no oxygen. After it fills up the first two chambers of the heart it goes directly into the lungs where it becomes oxygenated and RED (!) then back into the heart’s last two chambers where it is sent through the aorta to deliver this oxygen to the rest of the body. Pretty amazing…
Is your natal Mercury in the same sign as your natal Sun or in a different one? If understanding these relationships better can help facilitate a lighter heart, I think that is reflection well spent.
Your Sun sign keys you into understanding the fundamental energy that you run on. There are four basic different categories of this energy: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Start with understanding your element and then move on to understand it’s specific qualities within your sign.
Today we are taking a look at the energy of Fire.
Fire energy is excitable and motivating. There is dramatic charge with Fire. Fire energy needs inspiration and action to get moving. It is the most outward (yang), it needs to express.
Cardinal Fire: Aries. Cardinal energy as we have learned is all about INITIATION. With initiative fire we arrive at the archetype of the pioneer. Boldly going where no one has gone before. One who embraces new beginnings with courage and gusto.
Fixed Fire: Leo. Leo is naturally associated with the Sun. The Sun is Fixed Fire, a.k.a Fire MAINTAINED and burning bright. Leo energy basks in the limelight, exudes a natural confidence and celebrates it’s own radiance with play and spontaneity.
Mutable Fire: Sagittarius. If inspirational and excitable Fire energy is constantly ADAPTING, REFINING and CHANGING itself we may be looking at a person with strong and impassioned beliefs and opinions, based on what they’ve learned along life’s path. Sagittarius wants to learn, and identify itself with what it’s learned. But in the Mutable spirit- always continue learning, changing and evolving- hence we get the archetype of the free-spirited traveller, the student, or one who seeks more and more knowledge/ life experience.
The next post will wrap up this Sun Sign series as we will explore the light and socially-inclined element of Air.
Planets conjunct the Ascendant are fun to study because they jump right out. They were literally on the horizon at the moment of your birth. The Ascendant is your own personal “dawn”. It is the way you dawn on others too. Everyone has this Rising sign to effectively project and best express the rest of the Horoscope.
When Pluto is on the Ascendant what might manifest is a kind of cultural icon-energy particular to the sign it’s in. This is because their identity (Ascendant) is merged (conjunction) with something much bigger than themselves (Pluto).
Ascendant troubles arise when you notice that you are not feeling so comfortable in your own skin, so to speak. I have Libra Rising and I notice that I will start to feel very un-myself when I’m frazzled (Libra likes peace) and also if I slip into the habit of being too anti-social (Libra needs to mingle).
Anybody with Leo rising will be settling into a style of self projection that is not shy of attention. Leo is the sun, it is bright and warm and radiant. Pluto in Leo is a whole generation of people (the Baby Boomers) who share a very deep perspective (Pluto) on what it means to stand out and be this radiance (Leo).
Christopher Reeve’s “S” on his Superman shirt may as well also stand for “Sun” because they both do the same thing. He saves the day, the Sun creates the day and saves every living thing again and again. Hulk Hogan embodies the King-like energy of Leo. He struts around in Royal costumes and golden belts to further intimidate his competitors and excite his fans.
Tim Curry gives us the taste of Rock n Roll as Dr. Frank n Furter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is fire energy, more specifically FIXED fire energy. The sun blazes a constant fire, it sustains, it is FIXED. It is confident and it needs do nothing else but radiate in it’s own glory. The other fire signs need to take the energy forward (Aries, Cardinal) in the pursuit of something new, or let the energy change them into new ways of thinking or being (Saggitarius, Mutable). Leo just basks and lives for the day.
In the spirit of this present moment exuberance we have kids falling under the spectrum of Leo. Andy Kaufman and Eric Idle are sparkling images of the power of silliness and laughter. They pick our spirits up when things get too drab with the flick of a facial expression. The warmth of humor sustains us like the warm rays of the Sun.
As a Leo Sun, I deeply appreciate these cultural icons who remind us to dream big, lighten up or go for a little flair. After all — YOLO!