Be The Cause. Inspiration From Spinoza.

The philosopher Baruch Spinoza saw nature to be synonymous with God.  He saw all living creatures as a part of this whole.  The thing that tied everything together was affectivity; the capacity to affect and be affected. 

He saw everything to be relative to something else in a web-like structure.  Consciousness sits in the middle of cause and effect, attempting to better perceive this ‘web’. 

If the web of cause and effect can be somewhat perceived, something very special can happen. We can become the cause and will the effect.

If we notice that the sun makes plants grow, we can plant seeds in the right spot. If bears notice that salmon swim upstream at a certain time of year they can position themselves to capitalize on this event and fill up their bellies.

 But animals don’t focus themselves into an idea of a future that suits them on a highly individual level. They go with nature’s flow. They are nature, as we are, but with them there is no confusion. There is also no freedom to create a unique future to answer an inner calling.

 Camus said, ‘with rebellion, awareness is born.” Human awareness is free of time’s constraints. Reflective thought allows us to get outside of time’s bondage and then return to it with better ideas of navigation. The only way to navigate time is to embrace its forward push. There is no backwards time navigation and no time machines. To navigate time well is to embrace the forward push within your own chemistry.

 The web of cause and effect becomes very personal. It is now quite evident to strive to clearly see what causes your effects. Maybe the problem that you continue to face is less about circumstance and more about a mindset, and maybe not. Seeing it clearly reveals true strategies to get back to ‘forward’.

 And what about the effects that are not negative? Are you paying attention to those? This would include effects such as delight, peacefulness, enjoyment. Maybe you think that a certain tv show gives you delight but in examining the true cause it becomes clear that the delight lies in getting a taste of a certain kind of life. Maybe it’s a life of more adventure and maybe it’s a life of better simplicity. To go on enjoying the show without ever examining its true cause of delight might keep you from taking a certain action towards something wonderful for your flourishing.

 The point is that the cause and effect pattern of the wide world we live in is like an elaborate web. Scientists see much further into the web than the bear awaiting salmon. They have found ways to determine the solid causes and effects of invisible forces. They can calculate measurements that serve as learning tools for future human minds to discover even more, as they build on this knowledge. The web emerges, in plain sight for those that learn these things.

 But the web is not just for scientists, it is also for artists, psychologists, engineers, teachers, farmers, chefs, parents and athletes. Anyone can use the knowledge of this ever-growing web to their advantage. Anyone can become the cause that they want to become, in search of desired effects.

 The web is vast and worldly, but also quite intimate and immediately present should one decide to become aware of it. If we can learn what the toroscope teaches us about the ego then we can witness a very personal web that is in the constant act of being spun. The Moon, our egos, are in a continuous state of change. Constantly “arising with a tinge of the past on the fringe of the future” as the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead described. He said we inherit the past, thus we are bound to it, but we are free to create. Each moment truly is the potential to a new dawn. You can wake up to the web you are spinning, or you can stay asleep to your momentum and spin in a mechanical spidery way.

 In the zodiac, Saturn represents ’cause’. These causes make up all of science and describe the laws of our natural world.

Saturn upside down is Jupiter. The toroscopes alerts us to the reality of inward and outward connections. If Saturn is the flipside of Jupiter, they are in a sense the same thing. If Saturn is the cause then Jupiter is also a kind of cause, just consisting of fire stuff instead of earth, or willing instead of law.

What kind of cause is this? It’s a cause that stands outside of time, in fire’s eternity.

The cause is quite simply your potential to be the cause, and create an effect. Embracing this ‘reality’ within is called confidence. It is as natural to embrace this cause as it is to embrace the cause of rain falling from the sky, in fact it is more natural.

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Cultivating Your Inner Cary Grant: Natural Order and Integration

The word “integrity” sure has  a good vibe to it doesn’t it?  If someone were to compliment you on your integrity would you not feel fantastic?  It feels to me that it’s one of the best things to compliment a person on.

When I think of a famous archetype of a person with a lot of integrity my mind migrates towards Cary Grant, or at least his screen persona.  His feathers just refuse to be ruffled and his moral standing seems very difficult to become compromised.

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He himself recognized the enviable attributes of his on-screen persona.

His characters embody that of charm and effortless problem solving.  Being socially graceful is of utmost importance, even when it would seem out of the ordinary.  In this way he comes across as more alive then the other characters, more awake.

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He seamlessly embraces paradox (Venus) which heightens his romantic (Venus again) disposition.

 

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Even in times of panic the look on his face is focused, even somewhat serene.  Not to mention his clothes and hair are perfect.

Venus is very apparent here.  Calm cool and collected.  Let’s examine the word “integrity”.  It comes from the notion of integration which is another very Venusian concept.  Increasing the strength of something by bringing things together.

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Like the dude’s rug that “really tied the room together” integration puts us in tune with vital energies, and strengthen our sense of self

There is a longing for us all to find order in ourselves.  Chaos happens when our energies are attuned to disintegrating qualities such as jealousy, anger, hatred etc.  The solution is assuredly not to suppress these natural forces within us but to gently get back towards SOME kind of natural and integrative mode of conduct.

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This is a famous alchemical sign pointing out that a shift in perspective can  transmute chaos into order

Instead of letting these disintegrating emotions and thoughts become deconstructive to us we must gently put ourselves back in line with CONSTRUCTIVE tendencies.  Con-(with) structure (structure) puts order back in our lives, and order is naturally in tune with INTEGRATIVE energies.

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Robbie Hart, the wedding singer, was wise to CONSTRUCT a song to channel his DECONSTRUCTIVE feelings of anger that had been brewing ever since Linda left him at the alter

Back to Cary Grant for a moment.  Social grace, integrity, personal order, how might these look symbolically in a natal chart?

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 Without knowing a thing about astrology one can see the clump of planets at the bottom of the chart.  What is the feeling that conveys?  Perhaps the feeling of anchoring?

These planets are in the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius which are both affiliated with Saturn.  Saturn itself is at the very bottom of the chart.  What planet in astrology best signifies ORDER?

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SATURN!!!

Now keep in mind, Aquarius, although co-ruled by Saturn welcomes in the bizarre.  Could this be saying that order in the natural world IS bizarre yet still orderly?

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No argument here..

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Nor here!

And what about that social grace?  The wit, the charm?  In other words, what is happening with Venus?  Well, it is in the sign of Sagittarius which embraces larger than life essences and enthusiasm.  It is squared by Jupiter which only EXPANDS it further and is opposite Pluto which serves to EMPOWER it.  OF course this is if he is working well with his own energies, and he sure seems to do that.

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The virtues Cary Grant embodies on screen speak so loud to people because they are resonant with natural laws.  Social harmony and order are birds of the same feather.

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They flock together

Personal order can be cultivated by practicing and making room for these things within ourselves.  By doing so we unite with nature and our fellow humans.

Was Archie Leach this schooled in the craft?  Archie Leach was Cary Grant’s birth name.  In a bizarre (Aquarius!) moment in the film “His Girl Friday” Grant says this.  Talk about embodying his new persona!  Watch it- it’s only 7 seconds.

That’s pretty wild right?  He isn’t who he was, he’s who he is becoming.

On a final note I want to celebrate the fact that we can all learn to tap into our inner Cary Grant in times of trouble and chaos.  With a little cool-headed grace can come a little more order and vice versa.  Constructive choices bring put us in better reception to INTEGRATING energies which keep us more settled in nature’s natural order.  Letting deconstructive choices block integration, working more to dis-integrate ourselves.  It is always possible to balance it a bit more in the natural direction.

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The Tao Te Ching and the mysterious number 4

This post is a continuation of the last post about the Cardinal Cross and Venus’ function within that.  In the post below we went over the idea that Libra and Aries are related to each other symbolically by both celebrating symmetry.  The difference is that Aries likes to fight and be number one.  Aries has to be number one because it just IS number one.  It is the first day of spring when the leaves push through the pavement.

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And there it is- a Y shape – the symbol for Aries. The symbol for the “ONE”

The Tao Te Ching states: “one produced two, two produced three, three produced all numbers”.  If one is Aries then 2 must be Libra.  Libra is opposite Aries.  Libra is female and Aries is male.  Libra introduces the concept of partnership, and the “other”. In the last post we explored the phenomena that Capricorn (the Sea Goat), the 4th sign on the Cardinal Cross, seems to be a marriage between Aries (the Ram) and Cancer (the Crab).

A man (Aries) marries the woman (Libra) and makes a family (Cancer).  It looks a lot like Cancer is number 3, symbolically, in terms of the Tao Te Ching.

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The family is represented as the number 3- after the union of one and two. Aries plus Libra equals Cancer.

In these terms then “all numbers” as stated by the Tao Te Ching would then be society, everyone else in the world.  Families multiply the population of the world and we have a thriving planet of constant expansion.

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People get born and population constantly increases. Man plus Woman equals Family equals Society. Society is the 4th number. The number that represents “all numbers”

So the 4th number is the Capricorn, the Sea Goat, and it represents “all numbers”.  Interestingly enough Capricorn’s planet, Saturn, is displayed as an upside down 4.  In the last post we discussed how the imaginary Sea Goat representing the planet of concrete reality (Saturn) was a bit of a paradox.  But that might make sense because it came out of the magic of Venus (marriage) and Venus to begin with represents opposites and paradox.  And here again, the Tao Te Ching coincides with Capricorn being the 4th number and voila- there it is- just upside down!

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The symbol for Saturn looks like an upside down four.

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Jupiter looks like a four! And symbolically Jupiter represents all things OPPOSITE Saturn. Jupiter EXPANDS while Saturn CONTRACTS.

Psychologically, the ONE could be “I” and the TWO could be “anything I am noticing” making the 3 “my connecting what I notice to some internal truth” and then the FOUR “experiencing the unus mundus, or the one world” where we realize that duality is an illusion.  This is the place of synchronicity that Carl Jung talks about.  It is a “time out of time”.  It is “once upon a time”.

So perhaps that is what lies behind the double paradox of Capricorn, as number four.  The imaginary Sea Goat and the upside down number 4 points to stepping back into a place, even if just for a moment, where we experience the one world.  It is there that we become momentarily disillusioned.  Libra wants to take us there.  The number 2 (Libra) beckons the number one (Aries) to make the number 3 (Cancer) from where we can experience the number 4 (Capricorn).

Libra is also the artist.  Let’s look at how Art can perform this magic.

UnknownArt (#2 Libra) beckons the onlooker (#1 Aries) to make an inner connection (#3 Cancer) in which you experience a momentary glimpse of the interconnectedness of everything (#4, “all numbers” Capricorn).

Makes me want to reread the entire Tao Te Ching!

Happy Birthday James Dean!

James Dean, the epitome of cool.  Let’s have a look at some key components that carve out this coolness, shall we?
Data Deluxe #1.  You never know what he’s going to do. Dean has Uranus tightly conjunct his Ascendant, fusing his identity (Ascendant) with a rebellious and contrarian spirit (Uranus).  He’s just DIFFERENT (Uranus again) than the other actors of his time- or anytime!  Watching him brings about an awareness of a wild unpredictability (Uranus).  I remember seeing a scene from “East of Eden” (my favorite of his 3 movies) where James Dean and the other actor are in a locker room discussing the lucrative prospective of growing beans.  The one actor is very focused on what he is saying, meanwhile Dean is kind of hopping all around the locker room, climbing up on benches and down again and at times zeroing in close on the other actor’s personal space.  At one of these invasively close moments the other actor exclaims (in a very natural reactive way) “don’t get so close I’ll get all hot again!”.  I would put good money down saying that that line is NOT in the script.  I could be wrong but I doubt it. The point being that Dean doesn’t care.  He doesn’t care if he is making the other actor uncomfortable, or jeopardizing the script, or coming across a little looney.  He is being natural to his own whims, like a child, without being irritating (maybe a little bit to that actor).

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Dean does things his own way

#2.  He knows his influences. Before Dean was famous he was writing letters upon letters to Marlon Brando.  He was enchanted by Brando in every way.  Brando rode a motorcycle so Dean rode a motorcycle.  Brando dressed in jeans and white T-shirts so Dean dressed in jeans and white T-shirts.  Brando played the bongos so Dean played the bongos.  The emulating got to be so much that Brando wrote HIM a letter saying “You have to be YOU, not ME”. But Dean knew that what Brando was doing was starting a new wave in human culture (Brando is a double Aries, a pioneer).  James Dean has an Aquarius Sun in the eleventh, which is the house naturally associated with Aquarius.  Aquarius seeks to identify itself by challenging the status quo, and seeking other like-minded people.  The eleventh is the field of life where those like-minded relationships take place.  It’s interesting to wonder if there would have been a James Dean had there been no Brando.

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Hailing in the new wave of cool, Brando and Dean.

#3.  He shows his vulnerable side. As stated in a previous post “The Crying Game: Water planets and the comfortability in expressing emotion” James Dean has his Moon in deep and mysterious feeling-oriented Scorpio.  When he cries, the audience FEELS it.  It’s REAL. The beginning of “Rebel Without A Cause” features Dean falling down drunk on the street next to a wind-up toy monkey.  As the credits roll, he plays around with the monkey and it quickly becomes a deep emotional connection between the two of them.  The monkey amuses him with it’s wind-up talents and then Dean tucks him in with a ratty newspaper “blanket” and a party ribbon trash thing for a pillow.  He makes sure the monkey is comfortable and then he snuggles up as close to it as he can get.  The sweetness comes across SO genuine!  It’s the first 5 seconds of the movie and he’s already won our hearts!!  And yes, he improvised the whole bit, as the cast and crew stared on with admiration.

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Opening moments of “Rebel Without a Cause”

#4.  He shows a strong sense of personal authority. Astrologer Caroline Casey, author of “Making the Gods Work for You” (get it get!!) talks about how the word “cool” is derived from the Yoruba word which originally meant “responsible”.  “Cool-headed” meant that that person took care of what he should.  Like Babe Ruth with his leaf of cabbage under his ball cap.  Keeping cool-headed so he can hit the home runs.  This is Saturn talk. Saturn is authority, which starts with inner authority.  Self composure, steadiness, a sureness in what you say and do.  James Dean has a very powerful Saturn in the 10th house of career (the house naturally associated with Saturn).  It is in Capricorn (the SIGN naturally associated with Saturn) and it is opposed (bringing in a full awareness of) the powers of Pluto.  Anything Pluto touches in empowered, or it is wounded UNTIL it is empowered.

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Sureness. Self-composer. In tune with his own rhythm.

Happy Birthday, James Dean.  A true rebel with a deep and mysterious heart, forever cool.

Sophia Loren’s Uranian depth

Planets at the very bottom of the chart symbolize who you are on a deep deep deep down level, and this is inevitably tied to early life experiences.  This is also true for the sign that is at the bottom of the chart (even if there is no planet).

Let’s take a look at the chart of Sophia Loren.

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Sophia has Uranus at the bottom of the chart, in Taurus.  Uranus is intense.  It’s like a bolt of lightning.   Just a glance at this chart brings about the question:  what is the intensity absorbed from early childhood that is so at the root of who she is deep down?

Sophia grew up in extreme poverty and violence during World War 2 in the little Italian town of Puzzuoli.  Her father was married to another woman when Sophia was born and even though he fathered a second daughter with her, still refused to marry.  He was an aristocrat and ignored them and the fact that they often had to beg for food.  Her mother, a beauty herself who looked like Greta Garbo, raised them at their grandparents house where Sophia often had to share a bed with 8 people.  They lived on rationed bread and hid from air raids in rat-infested tunnels.

About her difficult childhood she says “You learn the facts of life fast.  You are street-wise, people-wise, self-wise.  The two big advantages I had at birth were to have been born wise and to have been born in poverty.  As a result, I appreciate life more.”

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These pretty eyes have seen a lot of horror

This is Saturn wisdom.  It comes from learning through struggle.  It installs a sense of self-reliance.  It is also connected to the father’s influence.  Sophia has her Saturn conjunct her Aquarian Moon.  The need to be unique is tied into this kind of difficult learning.  Uranus rules Aquarius, and her second house (where her Moon is).  The second house is all about values.  There is a direct connection here to her traumatic early life and the values that she lives by.  These values will be of the utmost emotional importance to her (Moon in the second).

Humble perfectionist solar energy (Virgo Sun) fueling a need to be unique and special (Aquarian Moon).  Exquisite and ethereal beauty (Neptune conjunct Venus) that is valued and cherished by others (in the 8th).  Marriage being a powerful link to international success (Pluto in the 7th square Jupiter in the 9th)..  These are just a few other astrological shades of this enigmatic woman.

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With her Sun and Venus in modest Virgo, Sophia is not approving Jayne Mansfield’s dishy look here (which was a publicity stunt intended to upstage Sophia).

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She married film producer Carlo Ponti whom she saw as a father figure. She desperately craved a “legitimate husband, children, a family, like anyone else”. The root of that which she says is “the experience with my father”.

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Loren turned down Cary Grant’s marriage proposal.

What is the sign at the bottom of your chart?  Is there a planet there?  If not where is the planet that rules that sign at the bottom?  All of these answers can help to get you in touch with some deep truths about yourself that are inevitably linked to your upbringing.

Happy astro-pondering!