An Elemental Afternoon

Tuesday in Toronto. Cold. A high of 11° C for a mid-October day. The sun is brilliant, cutting the sky with golden light. Not much wind. Just enough to rustle the trees and shake orange, yellow and red leaves one by one to the ground.

Shirt, sweater, jeans, sturdy sneakers, hat, half-gloves, double fleece jacket on in a flash. Grab the dog, car keys and sun glasses. Out, out and out into the light. Traffic on the Gardner uncomplicated and light, making our way to the outskirts of Etobicoke. Drive down Brown’s Line to a deserted park with a wide expanse of Lake Ontario.

Merlin and I together in solitude, except for a stray squirrel and a distant biker dressed in spandex red on the paved trail. We turn to the water, full sun high in the southern sky warming the expanse of field, beach and suburban forest. Oh Lake Ontario. This living, breathing body of water is crystal clear today and shimmers in waves of blue sapphires, gently breaking on the shore.

The elements of fire, earth, air and water surround and pulse with life. A stray Monarch butterfly dips by. Merlin buries his nose deep in a patch of ground, throws himself down and rolls belly up over and over again. Comes up for air with a loopy grin, tongue to one side and eyes bright. He disappears among a patch of trees and vegetation and I turn once more to the lake. A pair of geese flies low, honking in near unison as they merge with the horizon.

Gazing into the southern sky, closing my eyes against the sun’s full gaze. The fire signs leap to mind: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. All alit with solar radiance. Earth signs follow: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Each grounded into some degree of the material. Gemini, Libra and Aquarius chatter and declare their resolve on the breeze, while Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces bob on the lake in emotional resonance. Twelve signs dancing on the rim of the horizon forming a sacred wheel of fire, earth, air and water.

The reverie is broken as Merlyn dashes out of the rustic grove and tumbles towards me covered in burrs and brambles. Patiently, he stands still as I take one, then two then a half dozen out of his wiry coat. We move on.  The magic of the day shatters with our motion.

The echo of it remains.

Squaring the Circle in Astrology

Circles and squares are just a few of sacred geometry’s gifts integrated into the symbolic language of astrology. Understand the meaning behind the holy shapes and intuitive apprehension becomes possible.

The circle is the sign of infinity. With no beginning or end it aligns with planetary orbs and in particular the Sun. A dot added at the center point of the circle signifies the soul’s inclusion in infinity. Step into the middle of the circle and align yourself with the four directions: east, north, west and south. These are the cardinal or prime directions that inform and direct our soul’s energies. Add above and below and it becomes a multi-directional conduit. We have created sacred space.

A sacred circle brought to life may be sectioned off into 360 degree points that shimmer with star lit dynamism. Place planets within the apportioned sphere and you have created a sky map filled with story, myth, archetype and hidden wisdom. Time is fluid here allowing for the significance of a natal chart to direct the soul’s purpose, while the past and future shape the relentless ebb and flow.

This astrological framework is inclusive, allowing for multidiscipline intersectionality that includes archeology, astronomy, anthropology, physics, mathematics, philosophy, ethics, history, art, poetry, song and dance. It is nondiscriminatory making room for any and all cultures, classes, ethnicities, faiths, gender expressions, and sexual preferences. The circle embraces and includes by the very nature of its infinite contour.

The square has four equal sides that imply structure. It is measurable with a rational beginning and end. Reason and knowledge is manifested; brought to life in concrete form. Its purpose is to contain and its nature is to attempt to surround infinity.

 

To “square the circle” is to manifest the spirit in our everyday world.  Taking compass and straightedge a circle encased by a square can be drawn. Ancient geometers and modern computer programmers come to the same conclusion: it is impossible to perfectly encase the circle within the square. The sacred circle remains divine and implies our search for unity remains unending.

East, North, West and South. Above and Below. All the sacred points between. The circle held within a square speaks to the infinite possibility of life. Open your eyes, unplug your ears, loosen your tongue, sniff the winds of change and open your arms to the life around you. Dance in celebration. You have become one with the cosmos for this brief, perfect moment in time.

Now…go out and do something wonderful.

Jodie Foster: Mars in Leo Shouts “Action!”

Twice awarded an Oscar for Best Actress, Jodie Foster is currently featured in Hotel Artemis, a first time action film by newbie director Drew Pearce. Foster reviews her long career in a recent video created for Vanity Fair, articulating her natal Mars in the fixed, fire sign of Leo. Listen carefully, for in the course of 11 short minutes, Foster’s Mars shouts “Action” in a uniquely dramatic, creative reveal.

Foster has a dynamic natal chart with a Scorpio Sun hiding in plain sight in the 12th house. The Sun is the tail end of an impressive 11th house stellium of Mercury, Venus and Neptune all in the same fixed, water sign of Scorpio. Disciplined artistic desire harnessed to a razor sharp intellect, hard won value system and a creative immersion into shadows deep hints at the esoteric power unleashed in the public sphere of wishes, dreams, and civic society. Foster counters this with an analytical 9th house Virgo Moon – also in a powerful stellium with Pluto and Uranus. Using a practical, objectively balanced emotional life regarding life’s big philosophical questions, Foster harnesses a prophetic independence and an uncanny ability to transform through ethical crisis. She is an emotive, living and breathing survivor of what life has thrown at her.

Foster’s Sagittarian Ascendant suits her well, with so much natal focus in the 9th house. The chart’s ruler, Jupiter swims in the 3rd house through the ocean blue of mutable Pisces. The wounded healer, Chiron teams up with Jupiter to oppose the Moon and company in a balancing act of opposition. The discriminating Moon seesaws against Jupiter’s universal message and Chiron’s doubt in the wisdom of saying anything at all. Foster has been in the public eye for over 50 years and has won the right to choose when to share her vulnerability as well as survivor’s emotional strength.

Finally, we come to Foster’s natal Mars. Whether in full roar or quiet purr, this dramatic and at times flamboyant 8th house Mars in Leo finds itself square to the Sun’s stellium in Scorpio. Mars in Leo personalizes the creative action, digging deep into the mysterious stuff of life and death that crystalizes an 8th house experience. So, though Mars drives Foster’s individual creative energy, the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Neptune demand that the result relates back to the underworld journey of Scorpio and the 8th house. Foster begins the video with the opening statement “is it true or not true?” allowing this unique and proud artist to shine with Leonine strength. She repeatedly verbalizes through the video how she “beat down the door”, “banged down the door”, “punch(ed) some people in the head” for her iconic roles, giving voice to the creative frisson created by Sun stellium square Mars. Foster has harnessed the square’s creative tension with two Oscar winning performances: the young waitress, Sarah Tobias in The Accused and FBI agent, Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. She sums up this career review’s theme “When I really love something, I smack people in the head in order to get it.” Mars in Leo, placed in the 8th house in square to an 11th house Scorpio Sun, Mercury, Venus and Neptune articulated.

The summation of this blog post is saved for Foster’s Saturn. In the sign of the community minded, rational air sign of Aquarius and placed in the 2nd house of personal values and resources, Foster will experience a 2nd Saturn Return in February 2021. She states in the video that she intends to direct more than act. In the upcoming years, utilizing the wealth of her personal experience, values and resources in creative endeavor for the betterment of the larger community may be a way through the challenges of maturity awakened through the Saturn return.

Jodie Foster is a multidimensional, creative, disciplined artist who magically brings to life her natal chart and especially the personal planet Mars through the Neptunian portal of the Vanity Fair video. Mars in Leo shouts for all to hear “Action!” Let Saturn holler “and Cut”.

 

 

Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 12, 2018: Remembering Henriette Pimentel

The New York Times reported in today’s paper that the Holocaust is fading from popular memory. Most millennials believed only 2 million died and couldn’t identify where the death camp Auschwitz was. Six million were killed and Auschwitz is located in Poland. Soon to leave this life, the remaining Holocaust survivors and the WWII veterans who liberated them are in their 80’s and 90’s, frequently unable to give personal testimony. Still, the memory of that time, that place in history needs to be shared, and a day in April is just as good as any other date. We are doomed to repeat what history we do not know. Let me share with you one story, told within an astrological framework of an amazing woman’s life:  Henriette Pimentel. 

Henriette Pimentel was born on April 17, 1876 in Amsterdam into a well to do Portuguese-Jewish family. With no public birth time recorded, the natal chart above is set at the neutral time of 12 noon. (Determining an ascendant, ruler of the chart and planets placed in house position requires a time of birth or chart rectification. I’ve chosen to focus only on planetary relationships and important transiting aspects.) Her Sun, Chiron and Mercury form a stellium in the late degrees of the dynamic, fire sign of Aries, indicating a forceful character and intellect, aware of her own internal failures. Her third quarter moon is in the independent, community oriented sign of Aquarius, suggesting a rational and cool soul aware that actions have consequences. She is part of a cohort born with Pluto in the sign of Taurus – a generation of people who lived to see their homes, lives and lands transformed by the Great Depression and World Wars I and II.

Henriette married when she was 23, in the year 1899 as transiting Jupiter moved to conjunct her natal Jupiter at 00° of Sagittarius in December of that year. For her, the beginning of her life’s second Jupiter cycle signified a renewed commitment to participating in the larger community through the act of marriage.

The chart above also speaks to the confluence of Jupiter, Uranus, Mercury and Saturn flooding the world with the adventurous, restless energy of the mutable Archer. 1899 saw an elderly Queen Victoria sending troops to fight the Boer War in South Africa, while Alfred Dreyfus was pardoned in France and Marconi successfully transmitted the news via radio across the British Chanel.  

Trained as a teacher and nurse, Henriette worked as a governess and later as a kindergarten teacher. She herself appears to have had no children, leading one to speculate that by 1916, this may have become a sensitive issue in her late Victorian marriage, culminating in her divorce.

Transiting Mars may have served as Henriette’s personal alarm clock, setting off the first bell in November of 1915 and completing her wake-up call in April of 1916 as the planet completed a series of conjunctions with her natal Uranus, both in Leo. A transiting Uranus in Aquarius simultaneously opposed natal Uranus in Leo – demonstrating how a classic mid-life crisis over identity and its place in the larger community resulted in a release of the bonds of marriage for the forty-year old Henriette. Place this personal crisis within the context of the larger chaos of WWI, when the Netherlands somehow absorbed over 1 million refugees from neighboring Belgium and France. Henriette’s teaching and child care skills were of use and probably kept a roof over her older but wiser head.

In 1926, Henriette was appointed director of the Crèche and Kindergarten Institute in Amsterdam, then located on the Plantage Middenlaan. Infants and young children, many Jewish but also of other faiths were cared for by a team of female attendants, allowing mothers to enter the work force. She was roughly 50 years old at the time of her appointment and soon became known for being a strict but capable director, with a small dog named Brunie as her constant companion. Shown in the chart below, transiting Uranus in Pisces once again shakes up the status quo, joining forces with the natal north node providing a career shift into her life’s potential fulfillment.   

In 1941, German troops occupied the Netherlands and by the autumn of 1942, Jewish citizens in Amsterdam are forced to gather at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, a repurposed theatre located in the heart of the Jewish neighborhood. From there men, women and children were transferred to the Westerbork Camp, a Dutch collection point before deportation to the death camps located in occupied Poland: Auschwitz- Birkenau, Sobibor, Bergen-Belsen, and Theresienstat. Anne Frank was briefly interned in Westerbork before being murdered at Auschwitz in 1944. From 1942 – 1945, 107,000 people were deported from Westerbork with 5, 200 thought to have survived. Of note to my Canuk readers – Canadian troops from the 8th Reconnaissance Regiment along with The South Saskatchewan Regiment liberated Westerbork in April 1945.

In 1941, Henriette experiences the German occupation with a life time lived as an able administrator, teacher and guardian to countless children. She is now called to care for Jewish children being prepared for transit to Westerbork. She has proven to be intelligent, capable, independent – interiorly how did she respond to this dire situation? What strength or belief sustained her? In the chart below, note transiting Saturn in practical, earthy Taurus conjuncts Henriette’s natal Pluto. Her world has turned inside out and upside down and nothing will ever be the same, yet with sustained work and discipline a radical rebirth is possible.

Henriette collaborates with Walter Suskind, the Jewish official in charge at the theatre along with Johan van Hulst, who directed the adjacent teacher preparatory college. Together, the troika made arrangements with Dutch resistance groups to smuggle an estimated 600 or more children to safety. Somehow, a scheme to remove the childrens’ names from transport schedules went undetected, even as many more were deported. Henriette was often tasked with securing parental approval, asking mothers and fathers to choose which in their family would live. Babies were transported to safety in boxes and backpacks, while deported mothers carried inert dolls wrapped in blankets as they boarded the trains to Westerbork. Other children slipped away with help of the crèche’s care givers to the waiting resistant groups, or through the help of van Hulst and staff at the college. The Germans closed the crèche in July 1943, sending Henriette, the remaining staff and children to the theatre and on to Westerbork.  Henriette died in Auschwitz in September 1943.

Henriette Pimentel so clearly lived a full life, serving her community and saving lives at a moment in time when hope was almost extinguished and death was a certainty. In an astrological framework – she lived her natal chart’s potential to the fullest, finding the strength and skills necessary to meet the many challenges of each transit and planetary cycle.

It is said that we die twice. Once with our last breath, and then a second time when the last person who speaks our name takes their last breath. On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, Henriette Pimentel lives. May her story quicken your heart and challenge you to remember.

 

 

IWD 2018: Six Women To Celebrate!

Celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 with me!  Here are six special women to discover or reclaim: 

Buffy Sainte Marie (b Feb 20, 1941) and Tanya Tagaq (b May 05, 1975) are indigenous women of rare grace and artistry. Buffy sings her universal truth under a Pisces Sun while Tanya brings a Taurus Sun to life through Inuk throat singing. Both defy indigenous stereotypes while empowering any who would listen. Their latest collaboration was “You Got To Run (Spirit of the Wind)”.

Lorri Neilsen Glenn (b Nov 16, 1947) is a Prairie born poet now living in Nova Scotia. For a great read pick up her latest book, Following The River: Traces of Red River Women. This Scorpio author with persistence and passion writes about the life of her great-grandmother, Catherine Kennedy Couture and other Cree and Metis foremothers, while exploring the legacy of Red River history and culture. This hybrid memoir weaves story, historical accounts, poetry and personal testimony in ways that tug the reader’s heart.

Cristy C. Road (b May 26, 1982) is a queer Latina who is a well-known graphic artist and punk-rock performer living in New York City. The versatile, Gemini born Road illustrated the Next World Tarot – a queer and people of color, archetype-smashing deck that challenges users to rethink their world view.

 

 

Yayoi Kusama (b Mar 22, 1929) is a Japanese contemporary artist who’s Infinity Mirrors exhibition can be seen at the AGO museum in Toronto. With her famous red anime wig, this dynamic Aries has pushed through personal turmoil and psychic disarray to create a body of work that serves to obliterate the ego while expanding cosmic consciousness.

Annie (b Jan 31, 1979) is an anthropologist, public administrator, academic and one of my dearest friends. Under an Aquarian Sun, she builds community by empowering those around her to seek their truth. She has graced me with her patient understanding, her native intelligence and warm smile. She celebrates IWD every year, understanding that the world grows richer when women are honored for their social, political, academic, financial and cultural achievements. Love you Annie.

Celebrate these and ALL the special women in your lives. 

 

Christopher Plummer Wrestles With Pluto

Christopher Plummer is experiencing a professional whirlwind of acclaim, since November 2017. This renowned stage and screen star agreed at short notice to replace Kevin Spacey in the role of J. Paul Getty in Ridley Scott’s film All The Money In The World. He then garnered critical applause and a best supporting nod for the 2018 Oscars. In synchronistic fashion, he is also synthesizing important astrological transits that include an impressive Pluto opposition only offered to a generational cohort now marking their very elder years. Is it coincidence or something more akin to fate that brings a major Pluto transit into Plummer’s life just as he portrays the ultimate plutocrat, J. Paul Getty?

Pluto is an outer planet with an erratic orbit, spending 16 to 30 years in each astrological sign and orbiting the sun in about 248 years. Discovered in 1930, it is an ancient archetype associated with Hades, Greek god of the underworld and extending even further back to Ereshkigal and the Great Mother herself. In modern astrology, it is a transpersonal and communal energy which modulates an entire cohort’s response to regenerative and transformative change.

In a person’s natal chart, transiting Pluto will sooner or later aspect a natal planet or angle. Due to its slow movement, a Pluto transit may last several years, including a period of time before the actual transit, the direct and retrograde motion of the transit itself and the separation. No matter the type of aspect made or the duration, this outer planet will announce itself through dreams, vague unease or outright external demands for eliminative, regenerative and transforming change.

For most people, transiting Pluto will square the birth Pluto somewhere in the middle of life. Elders in their late 80’s and older may experience the opposition while no one will experience a Pluto natal return. Take for example Plummer’s fellow actor, Leo DiCaprio. He was born with Pluto in the sign of Libra. DiCaprio’s Pluto to natal Pluto opposition will occur only if he reaches age 99, in the year 2074.

From May 26, 1914 through October 07, 1937 – Pluto was roaming the ecliptic under the cardinal, water sign of Cancer. These 23 years included WWI and the years prior to WWII, the financial collapse of the Great Depression and the authoritarian regimes of the 1930’s. Plummer was born in 1929, amid the sweeping societal changes that challenged, revitalized and transformed the elemental concepts of home and what it could become. Almost 89 years later, Pluto now travels through the opposite sign of Capricorn and the world at large struggles with the regeneration and transformation of its political and social structures in light of climate change, economic inequality, sexual and gender liberation.

Please note: Pluto has defined zigs and zags before settling into an extended period in one sign. Pluto retrograded into Gemini then directed back into Cancer several times from Sep 1912 through May 1914. Similarly, the period after Oct 1937 Pluto moved forward into Leo then retrograded back into Cancer a few times from Oct 1937 to June 1939. It remained in Leo from June 13, 1939 until October 19, 1956 when a similar zig and zag occurred with Pluto moving into Virgo. Confused? Check an ephemeris for the specifics or visualize Pluto’s movement with an astrological software program.

Plummer along with his generation are intimately experiencing the Pluto in Capricorn traveling back and forth in opposition to his natal Pluto in Cancer. It signifies radical change in some area of Plummer’s life. Normally, it is a metaphorical death with resulting rebirth. Sometimes it is a battle with illness or a loss of a friend or partner that shakes up life, creating new priorities.   Something is lost or eliminated and within the newly created void a rebirth occurs.

A key to unlock the opposition is to review life events when transiting Pluto in Libra first squared Plummer’s natal Pluto in Cancer. The year would have been 1980 and Plummer just turned 50. Whatever rebalancing Pluto in Libra demanded of Plummer is now up for review as Pluto in Capricorn challenges the very structures and accomplishments made in the intervening years. The past plays a part in this transformation. You need to understand where you’ve been to realize where you need to go.

Plummer’s birth time is publically unknown, so there is no way to tell what house/sphere of life is affected by the current Pluto opposition (see chart above). At almost 89 years of age, it is reasonable to consider that Plummer may prefer to stay rooted in psychological and/or physical habits that have served him well. My counsel to Plummer and any other lucky elder undergoing a Pluto to Pluto opposition is to rely on the hard won wisdom you may have garnered through a long life. Surrendering and metabolizing the needed change are skills an elder already has. Professionally, Plummer has great experience entering and exiting on cue – Pluto asks that it be applied in his personal life.

Paul Getty died June 6, 1976 at the age of 83, leaving behind an estate then valued at $2 billon. A quote attributed to him perhaps sums up his general philosophy…”the meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights.” He died while Pluto in the guise of Libra transited his 9th house, proving even a billionaire must face the greatest of philosophical questions. Plummer in the role of this great plutocrat may have brought clarity to his own Pluto directed journey. If so, then he has won a cosmic prize far greater than another Oscar win could achieve.

 

Justin Bieber: Jupiter Returns Home

 

Justin Bieber welcomes home transiting Jupiter in 2018, bringing behind the scene, 12th house blessings to his very public life.   Jupiter is Christmas morning, an all-night rave and the winning lottery ticket all rolled up in one. The planetary archetype reminds me of a whole bowl of only green shamrock Lucky Charms or a big red balloon rising towards the sun and any other joyful excess you can imagine. Keep in mind, Jupiter is also the morning after hangover, the popped expectation and the over the moon letdown. Yet, we need Jupiter in our lives to imagine and create the philosophies that underpin higher education, the rule of law and spiritual journeys.

Jupiter’s gregarious planetary energy dived deep into the water sign of Scorpio in October 2017 and will gallop into its home fire sign of Sagittarius in November 2018. Bieber was born with Jupiter placed in the 12th house at 14° of Scorpio (inner ring of the above chart). Transiting Jupiter joined in union with Bieber’s natal Jupiter on December 19th (outer ring) and in 2018 will return two more times: June 10, 2018 in retrograde motion and August 9, 2018 in outgoing direct motion.

It takes Jupiter about 11.8 years to travel around the sun and this gas behemoth will spend about a year in each of the 12 zodiacal signs. Thus, a person experiences Jupiter’s return to their natal placement roughly every 12 years. Jupiter naturally calls Sagittarius home, reveling in the element of fire and the mutable mode. In a personal chart, Jupiter’s placement in a house will signify the area of life where a bit of luck, expansion or growth may occur. It’s the sunny side of the street that we cross over to in search of life’s meaning and belief systems. Lurking in the shadows lie grand schemes, empty promises and inflated dreams beyond our capabilities. Hard won wisdom balances Jupiter’s excess and best be acquired along the journey.

Bieber was born with Jupiter in the sign of Scorpio, coloring the usual buoyancy with a deep and passionate thirst for answers to the very questions that make life more meaningful: philosophical theories, educational journeys and spiritual exploration. Will-power aligns with faith and will rescue Bieber at critical moments, with Jupiter’s placement in the 12th house of hidden strengths and weakness. The theme of a hidden Jupiter is emphasized with the placement of Sagittarius within the 1st house – indicating a need to further uncover the archetype’s expression in his immediate physical surroundings and social expression. The planet Pluto’s placement upon the Ascendant angle, and it’s rulership of the chart emphasizes Scorpio traits that Bieber embodies: an intense physical presence and a focused social intelligence. A bit of Jupiter’s sunny optimism and resilient faith will lighten Pluto’s heavy load.

Over the course of a lifetime, a person who lives to age 84 will experience 7 Jupiter returns. At each turn of Jupiter’s wheel, find ways to reintegrate personal belief systems, philosophies and faith within the larger community. Bieber experienced his first Jupiter return at age 11 in 2006. By October 2008, he had a record deal and was well on his way creating the journey that a gifted Sun in Pisces, Moon in heart throb Libra and disciplined Scorpio Ascendant soul might well create.

Now as Bieber approaches his 24th birthday, his 2nd Jupiter rewind asks him to reenter into the social compact. As he answers these questions, Bieber will also be experiencing transiting Jupiter in Scorpio making a trine to his natal Venus in Pisces. Luck in love (Selena, that’s you babe!) and money is an opportunity too good to pass up. Finally throughout 2018, transiting Neptune in Pisces will trine natal Jupiter suggesting that creativity will flow easily now: beats and lyrics should form into song and songs into an album with little difficulty.

With Jupiter’s return it is wise to stay on the sunny side of life while avoiding empty words, grandiose actions and false appearances. Count your blessings, renew your faith and share what wealth and abundance you have with those you love.

Good advice for Justin Bieber and you.

 

3 Unique Saturn Returns: Rihanna, Emma Thompson & Christopher Plummer

Rihanna, Emma Thompson and Christopher Plummer are individually celebrated for their artistic achievements around the world. Beginning in late December 2017 and through 2018, they also celebrate a Saturn return to their natal Saturn in Capricorn.

They each share the hallmarks of Saturn as expressed through Capricorn: a call to duty, perseverance and prizes won against worldly obstacles. Individually, they will express in some sphere of their life organizational skills that with age and experience lead to accomplished life goals. There may be displays of dour practicality or frugal efficiency. Each will feel a unique interior pause as one Saturn cycle ends and another begins.

In general, Time Lord Saturn returns to a person’s natal position every 28-29 years. Most of us experience the first return before our 30th birthday while many of us will age to understand the second return as we welcome our 58th-59th year. Some of us will physically endure to celebrate a third return as we approach our 88th year. If any soul upon their 117th year reaches the 4th Saturn return….their worldly wisdom is beyond compare.

Saturn returns signify a cycle of world experience has completed. An inner tally of challenges met, hurdles overcome and lessons learned is part of the transit no matter what the native’s age. The return is the culmination of Saturn’s cycle through our lives. The chart below is a cyclic example of Saturn in action for these three individuals.

Saturn’s similarity with a lunar cycle is noteworthy. The moon’s 28-29 day cycle symbolizes the flux and flow of our interior life, while Saturn’s 28-29 year cycle heralds our mastery of this earthly reality. Saturn’s waxing, outgoing square has a first quarter feel, while an opposition alludes to a full moon moment. The waning, incoming square is similar to a third quarter moon which leads to a natal Saturn return and new moon promise.

Rihanna is experiencing a first Saturn return, with the exact transit having occurred on December 24th, 2017. If the reported birth time is correct, the Saturn return will echo through the 9th house spheres of life:  spiritual quests, long distance journeys, life philosophies, higher law and education.  As I write, she is making a public call to end gun violence as she mourns a younger cousin’s tragic death over the Christmas holiday in Barbados.

Christopher Plummer follows with his 3rd Saturn Return on Jan 02, 2018. He recently received a Golden Globe nominee for Best Supporting Actor for the role of J. Paul Getty in the film “All The Money In The World.” With Saturn like discipline, this 88 year old actor credited his early theatre training in allowing him to step in and replace Kevin Spacey over a demanding 9 day re-shoot. Will Plummer be rewarded with an Oscar nod later in January?

Emma Thompson will experience a 2nd Saturn Return in 2018 beginning in February and ending in November. In October 2017 her frank assessment of Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood culture made headlines around the world and illustrated this Saturn in Capricorn native’s ability to overcome career impediments placed in her path. Thompson’s interior dialogue with Saturn will determine the direction of her next 28-29 years. 

Are you born with Saturn in the early degrees of Capricorn? Then you have or will experience a Saturn return in the coming months. Your experience may not be as public as the three mentioned above, but it is a moment to take a deep breath and consider lessons learned, challenges met and plans yet to achieve. The celestial taskmaster has returned and beckons you to grow in maturity and wisdom. Many happy Saturn returns to all.

A Sagittarian Winter Solstice: Jupiter’s Time of Year!

In the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas is celebrated under a Sagittarian Sun, culminating in the Winter Solstice and a seasonal handoff to Capricorn. Jovial Jupiter raises a glass and recognizes dour Saturn’s return, even as the party is in full swing. In Celtic myth, the Holly King bows and recognizes the Oak King’s dominion, as the longest winter’s night gives way to daylight’s return. So let the yule log burn, for the New Year’s sobriety is nigh.

The Spirit of Christmas Present is an updated Jupiter archetype in my favorite British film adaption of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Filmed in 1951, this black and white production stars Alistair Sim as Scrooge who over one night, comes to know the true meaning of Christmas through his experiences with 3 spirits: Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

Francis de Wolff, (born Jan 07, 1913) a Capricorn mostly known as a character actor depicts Christmas Present with true Jupiterian bravado. The Spirit is garbed in a velvet robe with fur collar, enthroned before a roaring fire and surrounded by bountiful food and drink. Jovial in spirit, Christmas Present reacquaints a reluctant Scrooge with those who are not financial secure but who share the good will of the season.

At the very end of the Spirit’s time, he pulls back his robe and allows Scrooge to see the two thin and ill-dressed children who search for comfort there. “The boy is ignorance and the girl is want. Beware of them both, but most of all, beware of this boy,” gravely cautions the Spirit of Christmas Present. Then in mocking tones he says, “But have they no refuge, no resource? Are there no prisons? Are there no work houses?” Words used by Scrooge in defense of his own miserly philanthropy.

Jupiter challenges us to celebrate the best in this life while meeting the need that is hidden in plain sight. This leads to questions of justice, resource allocation, and other philosophical and cultural questions that many people struggle with in public and private life. In any Jupiter inspired tale higher education, the rule of law, philosophical queries and spiritual yearnings will play a major role. Look to the planet’s restless mutable quality for clues as well as to the inspiration the fire element lends.

A native born with a Sagittarian Sun finds Jupiter calling the individual to place their edgy feet on a journey in search of the highest ideals that the world aspires to while lending a helping hand for those coming behind them.    A Sagittarian Moon will need to nurture a belief system that defeats skepticism and doubt. A Sagittarian Ascendant will physically gallop into life, traveling far and wide to discover truth and inspire others to follow their lead.

Look to your own natal chart and observe where Jupiter sits. The house placement will offer a clue as to what sphere of life Jupiter themes will echo in. A 10th house placement puts Jupiter in the public spot light while a 5th house placement will signify a merry and creative sense of play. Excess is always possible…so too inevitable deflation and is part of Jupiter’s role of the dice in the area of life it influences. Jupiter will return to its natal placement roughly every 12 years and signifies a reorientation in ethics, morals, worldly outlook. It is not accidental that the first Jupiter return in many spiritual traditions, around age 12-14, centers on recognition of the young person’s beginning journey towards full adulthood.

Jupiter’s natal zodiacal sign will offer descriptive context. A Jupiter in Capricorn will be quite sober and perhaps miserly, while a Jupiter in Leo purchases another round for the whole bar. Jupiter moves through each astrological sign in about 13 months. Currently, the planet entered Scorpio in October, 2017 and will remain there until November, 2018 when it enters Sagittarius, the sign which represents its purest energies.

Review natal Jupiter’s relationships with other planets. Consider the consolidation of energies in a conjunction, the seesaw swings of an opposition, the pull this way while pulling that way of a square, the ease of communication in a trine and the hey, let’s talk of a sextile.

All of these preliminary musings will illuminate the current Jupiter transit in Scorpio within the context of your natal chart. In the larger culture, it is not surprising to see the conversations around psychosexual power dynamics between people have come to the fore. Use the laser like Scorpio energy to transform the area of your life where Jupiter now transits in your natal chart.

Most importantly of all, embody the best of Jupiter during the holiday and into the new year. Extend a hand to those in need and much like Scrooge experienced with Tiny Tim the joyful blessing of the season.

Merry Solstice everyone!

 

Matt Lauer: Saturn Returns With Invoice Marked Due

On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, NBC fired veteran Today Show host, Matt Lauer for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. Viewed through an astrological lens, was his second Saturn return involved? Saturn returns every 28-29 years to its natal position and will demand an accounting of past actions before settling accounts and beginning the next cycle of life. Let’s investigate.

Lauer is 59 years old, soon to celebrate his 60th on December 30th of this year. Born in 1957 in New York City, Lauer’s birth time is unknown. Below, Lauer’s natal chart is set at 12N, which allows an astrologer to consider the planetary relationships…but not the ascendant, ruling planet of the chart or the spheres of life where the planetary energies play their parts.

Focus your gaze immediately on Lauer’s natal Sun in the sign of Capricorn, with Mercury in retrograde motion in Sagittarius followed by Saturn in the same natal sign. Natal Mercury retrograde speaks to an internal dialogue that exists before a person will speak the words of everyday life out loud. Paired with Saturn in a loose conjunction, there would be a cautious and skeptic tone added to Lauer’s speech that would extend to his belief systems as well.  Natal Saturn will also limit and discipline an unrestrained Sagittarian wit.

Lauer’s first Saturn return occurred in 1987 at the age of 29, with the planet transiting over natal Saturn three times: direct on Feb 10th, retrograde motion May 20th and completing the cycle in direct motion on Nov 8th. Whether processed internally, externally or most likely a combination of the two, Lauer experienced some sense of completion and adjusted life goals to complement the adult he had become. Note that his divorce from first wife Nancy Alspaugh was complete sometime in 1988.

Lauer’s second Saturn return occurred in December 2016, at the age of 58. This recent, one-time transit set in motion a scenario similar to that of a bill coming due. Public life was going well…Lauer weathered the criticism aimed at his election interviews with both Clinton and Trump while renewing his co-anchor contract thru 2018 with a yearly salary of a reported $20 million dollars.   What other life lessons was Saturn suggesting he learn?  And when?

It is now almost a year later with transiting Saturn and Mercury in Sagittarius having joined in conjunction with Lauer’s natal Mercury (see chart below). Fleet footed Mercury has delivered Saturn’s recurring message and it has illuminated both Lauer’s inner journey as well as conferred very public consequences based upon the many choices he made and lessons not learned over the last 29 years.  Mercury will turn retrograde December 3rd, suggesting that Lauer review the belief systems, gender and cultural mind sets that have lead to this destructive behavior.

Saturn in Capricorn will conjunct Lauer’s natal Sun through the year of 2018: direct motion March 27th, retrograde May 10th and direct on December 9th. Limitations along with taking responsibility for the consequences of past actions will test and challenge Lauer’s sense of self. No transiting planet operates alone and Lauer will experience Saturn’s boundaries and restrictions within the context of all the other energies of the chart.

If Lauer was a client and an accurate birth time was known, I would suggest looking towards the 8th house as well as where Pluto lies.  Precise and intense psychoanalytical examination, followed by elimination and hoped for transformation into a balanced, healthier psyche is certainly called for.

Matt Lauer’s journey continues and only time will tell what Saturn’s third return in 2046 will bring. Lauer will be 88 years old and will have grown not just older but perhaps wiser. Saturn would have it no other way.