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!

 

Guillermo del Toro – At Home With Pluto

Guillermo del Toro – film director, screenwriter, creative auteur of fantastical monsters, evil men and empowered women. Who is the man?

The Art Gallery of Ontario’s current exhibit Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters takes “inspiration from del Toro’s extraordinary imagination, reveals his creative process through his personal collection of art, artefacts, books, and props, all culled from Bleak House, del Toro’s creative haven located in Los Angeles.” (www.ago.ca)    I got a chance to view the show early on a quiet Sunday morning, before the normal crowds arrived. At every turn, del Toro’s genius springs up from the dark shadows of humanity’s beating heart and aligns him with the esoteric power of Pluto.

Born on October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara, Mexico, del Toro has no publically known birth time. As an astrologer though, I believe his work pulsates with the touch of Pluto’s underworld energy. With a bit of fantastical thinking of my own, I’ve chosen to rectify his birth time to 4:37 AM (see chart below), placing his natal new moon in the sign ruled by Pluto, in the critical degree of 29 Scorpio. This moon sits with Neptune in the 3rd house of day to day communication – gifting him with the drive to communicate the underworld energies of this passionate, intense new moon energy.

Pluto also dominates the Virgo ascendant angle in this natal chart – announcing the importance of Scorpion themes that the chart’s ruler, Mercury will communicate in the sphere of its influence, the 10th house of public life and career.  There will also be a need to physically and socially manifest Pluto thru the ASC and 1st house, with Mercurial wit and intelligence balanced on Libra’s fair scales of justice. 

In del Toro’s Wikipedia page, the claim is he picked up his father’s Super 8 camera at age 8 and began to make short films. Note in the dual chart below his natal Saturn is in the 6th house square the 3rd house Scorpio Moon. Del Toro must physically labor in the day to day of life to manifest the moon’s creativity. Around age 8, transiting Saturn in Gemini conjuncted the mid-heaven in three distinct hits and later conjuncted his natal North Node in Gemini, suggesting his early interest in film was no accident but part of a life’s plan.

 

In astrology land, I often look for serendipity in groups of 3 when working with a chart and more with an unknown birth time. For the purpose of brevity, I have counted the Scorpio moon as #1, the Saturn 10th house transit at age 8 as #2. Now for #3.

Once again as per Wikipedia, in 1997 the 33 y/o del Toro was given a $30 million budget to shoot the film Mimic for Miramax. Following this career coup, his father was kidnapped in Guadalajara, culminating in del Toro and his family’s involuntary exile from Mexico.

Del Toro’s 1977 chart below shows transiting in the 8th house of life and death, Saturn in martial Aries opposes del Toro’s natal Libra Sun located in the 2nd.

Astrology doesn’t necessarily express itself so concretely, but in this quick assessment the pieces fall together nicely. Saturn’s archetype of the elder comes alive:  it is del Toro’s father who is threatened in an 8th house life/death situation. Del Toro was literately forced to make the choice inherent in an opposition and chose a transformative, life giving 8th house move away from his country of birth.

Trick or treat – this is my Halloween gift to you. Know that this natal chart has been creatively rectified to suit a particular interpretation of one person’s birth on a particularly monstrous day. Reader be(a)ware!

The exhibit remains at the AGO until January 7th, 2018. Toronto is a great town for a weekend visit, so consider Guillermo del Toro in the light of both his creative work and natal astrological potential as he beckons you to join him At Home With Monsters.

 

Saturn Into Capricorn – An Early Welcome

On December 19, 2017 at 11:49 pm in Toronto, Canada, Saturn will return to the sign of its rulership – Capricorn. The Sun will follow suit upon the winter solstice on December 21st around 11:30 am and join in conjunction with the time lord Saturn in the longest night of the year. This festive season will usher in for most of us living upon the shores of Lake Ontario, holiday parties, ice hockey and getaways to warm weather places.

People living in the northern hemisphere experience the holidays as the Sun’s most southern point in declination, followed by the Sun’s slow climb through the winter months and culminating in the balance of the Vernal Equinox. Sagittarian ruler Jupiter wearing the mythic guise of the Holly King is cosmically overcome by the proceeding Capricorn ruler Saturn as the Oak King in Celtic lore. January becomes an earthbound, stern season of sober reflection, befitting the symbolic horned zodiacal Capricorn goat climbing upward along with the sun towards the far off mountain top. Prudent goals are set, elder sages honored, laws and tradition hold sway, and society rewards those who reach the top.

The Midheaven and 10th house in the flat chart are associated with Saturn and Capricorn, representing our public identity and career possibilities. It is here that benefits are received from a person’s 2nd house set of values and resources and the 6th house rewards of vocational toil. Where Saturn is placed in the natal chart and what sign it expresses its planetary energies in is a person’s apprenticeship in this thing called life.

Within the birth chart, Saturn in Capricorn natives are born with an innate sense of limitation, boundaries, rules and the awareness of the inevitable bottom line. Many with this placement will have responsibility thrust upon them early in life. Their parental figures may believe in the value of discipline, family tradition or tribal custom. Too many rules and restrictions may lead the native into fits of anxiety or irrational fear. Others will gradually learn a work in progress approach to life’s many challenges and will slowly master the situation at hand. Aspects to Saturn will bring greater clarity to any interpretation.

How to work with this universal taskmaster? Take the time to understand the myths, archetypes and dynamism of Saturn. Learn more about how a zodiac sign adds to the basic Saturn expression. Then work with house placement and consider Saturn’s sphere of influence in the chart. Add aspects to further define Saturn’s planetary expression.

Finally, consider where Saturn is in the larger 28-29 year cycle it makes in a natal chart. Native Saturn in Capricorn cohorts will be experiencing Saturn returns beginning in the middle of December 2017 thru December 2020. There will be a brief dip into Aquarius beginning mid-March 2020 followed by Saturn’s retrograde movement back into Capricorn in the first few days of July 2020. Brush up on how to read an ephemeris or learn how to use an astrological software program, like Solar Fire.

Astrology is often associated with the prophecy of Uranus but it is the many hours of study that will lead to an understanding and ultimate mastery of Saturn’s energy.

Saturn Introduced

Somewhere in the middle of life, I was sitting with John Marchesella, a skilled New York City astrologer, for one of many astrological counseling sessions he graced me with over a 20 year period. Though aware of astrology basics, the finer points eluded me back then. He kept repeating basic themes of discipline, mastery, overcoming fear and rising to the occasion and pairing it with the planetary energy of Saturn. Finally, in a fit of impatience I said “Saturn, Saturn, Saturn – what is it about this planet that makes it such a prominent part of life?”   He chuckled and gave me a line or two that smoothed my edges away…but not my curiosity.

Upon the 2017 Fall Equinox, Saturn sits at 21° of Sagittarius and will soon move into Capricorn around the Winter Solstice. This numinous, planetary energy was given form and structure in ancient myth by the Titan god Kronos who swallowed his children in an attempt to avert his eventual removal. Zeus and other Olympians gave battle, forcing generational change.

In modern myth, Saturn is often depicted as an older man in a long robe holding a staff or scythe. The tarot hermit card is an older but wiser archetype worthy of weaving into a more holistic, conscious consideration of Saturn’s energy. Liberating the planetary energy from myth, cultural and gender bias loosens up the many positive possibilities inherent in each of us. Saturn’s many themes include: mortal reality, the aging process, limitations, depression, mastery through discipline, shouldering responsibility and plain hard work.

In the birth chart, Saturn’s themes will be expressed through the lens of an astrological sign and in the sphere of life signified by house placement. For example, Saturn in the mutable, air sign of Gemini will find day to day communications challenging or limited in some way. Place this combination in the public and career 10th house and this may be the executive who enrolls in a speech class to overcome their childhood fear of public speaking.

Saturn takes 28-30 years to cycle through all 12 signs of the zodiac (about 2 ½ years in each sign) and will return natally 2-3 times in the course of a person’s life. These Saturn returns are bellwether moments, where life experiences are tallied and the wheel is set for the next spin of time. An individual’s return will be uniquely sensed and processed either in full awareness and increasing mastery or within the shadows of doubt and lurking disappointment. Either way the celestial taskmaster’s presence will be felt; if not in the day’s waking moments then in the night’s dream world.

The first Saturn return as a person nears 28 to 30 is the final hurrah of youth and the journey towards mature adulthood. Responsibilities normally increase, relationships grow or wither away and life’s purpose continues to be shaped by Saturn’s call to authenticity.

The second Saturn return between 58 and 60 will reflect wisdom hard won through the course of the adult years. Shamans of experience, the wisest among the second Saturn returnees will walk into their elder years laying foundations for future generations.

At the age of 88-89, the third Saturn return signals culmination, an approaching mortality, a final opportunity to bring talent, wisdom and a bit of hard work to relationships and life projects the ancient one loves and cares about.

Weaving Saturn into the larger picture will bring definition and clarity along with the passage of time. Wisdom is always hard won and bittersweet – to be treasured as well as shared for the benefit of all.

 

You Are Invited To Walk Through Venus’ Looking Glass

Come one, come all to a workshop presented by Joanne, celebrating Venus in all her Divine Feminine glory!

  • Astrology Toronto
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017
  • 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
  • at The Centering Space, 59 Cambridge Ave, near Broadview the Danforth.
  • more info:  www.astrologytoronto.com

Venus Through Her Looking Glass

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  Does the outer image reflect your core values, tastes and preferences or does a stranger return your gaze?  Take a walk through Venus’ looking glass and explore via myth, archetype and astrology how this planetary force shapes individual concepts of value, pleasure and desire in everyday life.

  • Explore the many expressions of Venus in a natal chart by sign, house placement and aspects formed.
  • Look at lovers and relationships through Venus’ lens of pleasure received and desire fulfilled.
  • Connect issues of worth and value to how money and personal resources are used.
  • Discover how different planets forming aspects to natal Venus refine and influence this ‘personal’ planet’s expression.
  • Delve into Venus’ shadow and see the areas of life where envy and disillusionment may be experienced.

Integrate Venus into your life and see a beautiful and complete individual reflected in your looking glass.

 

Scorpio Sun: The Power of Desire

pablo-scorpion-waters

For people born under a Scorpio Sun (October 23 through November 21), their solar energy flows as currents of deep desire. Personal transformation is their birthright and many will spend a lifetime searching for it. The most publically famous will create success in their chosen field or sphere of influence, often overcoming personal crisis. Much like a phoenix rising from the ashes of despair, all Scorpios have the power to transform into a truer version of their authentic self. The less fortunate will flex their Scorpion tails in vengeful, sometimes violent arcs, wounding those around them until the final thrust stings themselves.

Scorpios dive deep and refresh themselves through the element of water, while displaying a fixed, often intense character. They are unusually passionate about something and will with laser like precision gather the resources needed to achieve their goals. Pluto, the god of the underworld, is this sign’s planetary ruler. Scorpions are adept at penetrating Pluto’s hidden realm to return with secret treasures brought forth to share under their Sun’s light.

Many Scorpios unconsciously gravitate towards the deeper mysteries of birth, sex, death and taxes, seeking careers in medicine, psychiatry, social work, or politics. The Scorpio police detective will operate undercover to foil a drug deal, while the Scorpio scientist may spend a lifetime discovering a cure for cancer. The soul standing in the shadow of their Scorpion Sun may be the crime boss living around the corner or the sex worker pursuing a college degree. Often the Scorpion native simply has an air of the unknowable, leaving you to ponder over the intense jealousy uncovered during a casual lunch with your Scorpion lover. Or a best pal born in early November may surprise you with a sarcastic comment that cuts to the truth of the matter.

The Plutonian actor Mathew McConaughey (Nov 4, 1969) won an Oscar for Best Actor in 2013 for his passionate, disciplined performance in the movie Dallas Buyers Club. Playing Ron Woodroof, McConaughey transformed himself physically into the rodeo rider suddenly diagnosed with AIDS, losing 22 pounds for the role. With brilliant artistry, McConaughey convey Woodroof’s struggle to obtain treatment along with the character’s renewed sense of human dignity even as death neared. This role capped McConaughey’s own Scorpion transformation from playing unremarkable romantic comedy characters to portraying complicated dramatic personas. Perhaps McConaughey powerful Scorpion Sun’s desire is best left in his own words: “I don’t want to revolve. I want to evolve. As a man, as a human, as a father, as a lover.”

Other famous Scorpions:

Hilary Clinton                       Oct 26, 1947

Leonardo DiCaprio             Nov 11, 1974

Future                                    Nov 20, 1983

Bill Gates                               Oct 28, 1955

Caitlyn Jenner                      Oct 28, 1949

Diana Krall                            Nov 16, 1942

k.d. Lang                                Nov 02, 1961

Lorde                                      Nov 07, 1996

Joni Mitchell                         Nov 07, 1943

Pele                                        Oct 23, 1940

Willow Smith                         Oct 31, 2000scorpio-rising

 

Saturn Square Neptune: Walk Your Talk

79 Woman walk beachSaturn at 12 degrees Sagittarius squares off against Neptune at 12 degrees Pisces in the sky today, both planets in retrograde motion. These planets’ energies tell of the tensions inherent between the hope of spiritual relief against the harsh realities of this world we call home. Retrograde motion implies an interior conversation, subjectively playing out in our psyches.

The planet Saturn is commonly characterized in myth and legend as an elderly man holding a scythe in one hand and an hourglass in the other. The proverb ‘as you sow so shall you reap’ succinctly captures the astrological spirit of Saturn. We toil in this earthly garden, planting our intentions and gathering the results of our hard work within the boundaries of time and space. Some may plant their seeds with fear and anxiety present, often as darkness descends with the sun. Other wiser souls will bend to the task at hand with the light of sunrise, gaining skill and maturity with each intention sowed and result won.

Neptune with triton in hand is visualized as a Roman god of fresh water and the oceans blue. Neptune rides through an aquatic kingdom in a chariot drawn by majestic seahorses, attended by mermaids and water sprites. Water is life and without it all would die from thirst. Astrologically, Neptune has come to symbolize the desire to quench a spiritual thirst. The 1960’s phrase ‘turn on, tune in, dropout’ conceptualizes the possibility of spiritual enlightenment and raised consciousness while intimating illusion and escape. Does one swim in the shallow waters of drugs, alcohol or virtual reality?   Do you choose instead to dive deep into mindfulness, prayer or meditation?

Saturn in philosophical Sagittarius tenses against Piscean Neptune’s kumbaya song of universal love. Practice what you preach. Walk your talk. Let your actions speak as loud if not louder than your words.