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Yoga and Astrology: Salutation to the Stars

This is Part 2 of 2 articles on Yoga, following up from Yoga and Writing

Tucked away at the bottom of the programme at your last Astrology Conference, and starting at some ungodly hour of the morning, there might be a yoga class.  A bit of HaTha or Ashtanga to accompany the Horary, House systems, Prognostication,  Zodiacal Release and Time Lord classes that follow. This pairing is not accidental as keen observers will already know. Millennials might have no problem transitioning the yoga mat to the astrology class tossing their yoga gear in a grab bag along with their ephemeris. But others might think “I’m too stiff to do yoga” (that’s Saturn speaking), therefore avoiding it for life. Astrology often slips in the back door at Mind-Body-Spirit Conferences too and no one blinks an eye. It is as though they were meant to be together but few seem to know exactly how much and how well they bolster each other.

The Inner Zodiac
The Inner Zodiac

Most astrologers are not yogis and the millions of people who flock to the yoga class – said to be close to a 15% demographic in the US- may know their sun signs but little beyond that. Typically, knowledge of astrology among the general public is superficial. But many are now realizing the advantage of being astrologer-yogis and yogini-astrologers. Diane Booth Gilliam runs YogaAstrology.com – and both Western and Vedic are taught alongside the yoga in a seamless whole. Faculty on the Western astrology side include Rick Levine and Erin Sullivan.

Astrology has a mixture of schools and divisional systems that amount to different languages talking about the same essence which is the integration of the principle of as above-so below. Yoga has a wide range of schools practising different forms of yoga. Most focus on the physical and that’s fine, but the goal is to integrate mind, body and spirit. The body is the place to start the journey. The zodiac can be mapped to the body- each sign is situated within. The sequence goes from the head which is Aries, to the feet which is Pisces, with Scorpio covering the genitalia. Each sign has rulership over various organs of the body. It may or may not surprise you that there are 12 cranial main nerves radiating from the brain stem to the body- 12 is the number of zodiac signs. Also that the proportions of the human body were used in Classical Greek and Roman architecture as the ‘measure’ (Saturn again). The physical is metaphysical- as above, so below, as without so within. The fact is that yoga and astrology have actually had a long historic kinship-they just look very different to the casual observer.

Just as Yoga and Writing are parallel practices, there are overlaps of yoga and astrology. This goes deep into the traditions especially of Indian Jyotish which draws on the philosophy of the Vedas. It is best seen as three prongs of a holistic approach to life, so it would also include Ayurvedic medicine. The wisdom goes that “Ayurveda is the Science and Yoga is the practice of the science.” So add astrology, also classed as a Science and/or Art, and with these three tools at your disposal and Ayurveda, you would be powerfully equipped for the kinds of world-rocking changes we are experiencing in 2020 and that will continue into 2021. If you agree with Goswami Kriyananda then “Astrology shows you where the problem is. Yoga helps you solve the problem.” The zodiac sign shows the area where any pain might show up.

There are many layers to unpack but If you want to jump straight to which poses best suit your sun sign, see below.

Moon Salutation Moon Phases
Moon Salutation Moon Phases (image Jill Paschal Yoga)

The Sun and Moon salutations in yoga honour natural cycles- and in astrology the luminaries are primary and the pivotal relationship between sun, moon and the earth creates not just the sun’s daily cycle, the moon cycle as it reflects the sun, but also the nodal points, North and South Node, and creates the extraordinary eclipses. The Sun Salutation is related to the prostration rituals called Pranama and Namaskar rituals. The Moon Salutation is the corollary of the Sun Salutation- the yin to its yang. The salutation follows a distinct sequence that parallels the interrelationship of light and dark that allows us to see the phases as moments. The yogic term Hatha also reflects these individual yet interconnected qualities –Ha referring to the warming, active energy of the sun and tha – the cooling, receptive elements of the moon. Hatha yoga, therefore, seeks to unify these apparently opposing elements, creating harmony and balance.

Is there a Solar astrology and a Lunar astrology? Definitely, you can focus more on one or the other, but most would agree the two are seen as an interlinked eco-system and never separately – and the way they interlink is in the Nodes and Eclipses always with the Earth as the third part in the equation. They are a direct way to align your body with the luminaries and contemplate the message each has to offer. It is interesting that yoga studios and astrology schools are mostly closed now. We are coming up to a series of powerful Eclipses in Sagittarius/Gemini where the nodal axis is currently and that yoga and astrology classes are flourishing online. These two ancient practices are not about to die just because physical meet ups are forbidden to take place.

Sri Yukteswar and Paramanhamsa Yogananda
Sri Yukteswar with Paramahamsa Yogananda

Yoga Teachers and their Charts

But there is another strand to unravel which is just how yoga and astrology fuse together.  Yogananda Paramahamsa (Capricorn) became one of the best loved Indian teachers, and he was schooled through difficult experiences that could only be explained by astrology. His own personal guru was Swami Yukteswar Giri (Taurus) a prominent Vedic astrologer, and his student needed some convincing. While they followed the conventions of Indian astrology wearing bangles for good fortune there was also an injunction to transcend it and spiritualise the astrology – with the goal of setting yourself free from passive and superstitious dependency on the star system.

For this purpose yoga is not just about hyper-twisted advanced ‘glamour’ poses to promote your IG account, but the whole philosophy leading via meditation to enlightenment. Many yoga teachers have a strong relational aspect of Uranus and Jupiter. Uranus, which is yoga as a ‘science’ of psyche and soma;  and Jupiter, which is the guru bestowing spiritual blessing and benevolence. A strong Jupiter can signify having that role in life. But there is no simple formula for this. I would not overlook prominent aspects of Mars, with Jupiter and Uranus as Mars is the physical embodiment, and Neptune, the spiritual, But even Pluto can be part of the configuration too, as both yoga and astrology are transformational. Standout aspects would be conjunctions to the Ascendant and MC- and any oppositions and squares as yoga requires effort to master, so it sets up a struggle and without squares in the chart willpower might be lacking. Uranus also happens to be one of the prime markers of astrology- put that with Mars and the urge is to express it in physical ways.  

Indian Gurus
Yoga Teachers from India

Even a brief look at the charts of Indian yoga teachers reveals some of these patterns. They would have naturally seen yoga and astrology as two peas in a pod, not isolated practices. Bear in mind this viewpoint uses only Tropical Psychological astrology.

Sri Yukteswar Chart
Sri Yukteswar (astrotheme.com)

Swami Yuketwsar Giri (Taurus) was the beloved teacher of Yogananda Paramahansa who convinced him of the inexorable power of astrology. He has an intense concentration of planets in Taurus: the Sun conjunct Uranus at 16 degrees, with North Node, Mars and Mercury conjunct Pluto at the earlier degrees. This is indomitable manifestation energy. Jupiter- the guru force- is completely unaspected at 29 degrees of Aquarius- so a kind of free-floating wild card. He incarnated on a mission to find his pupil Yogananda.

Swami Narendranath Vivekananda (Capricorn) brought yoga to the West in a very bold manner at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. He was bound to be visible and successful as his Sun conjuncts his Ascendant. He has a Cardinal opposition of Jupiter in Libra and Mars in Aries. His Uranus is conjunct his South Node opposite the North Node in Sagittarius so mystical access to higher order thinking would be a given. That he was pioneer in a ‘parliament’ of religions speaks to his North Node placement- Jupiter in the 9th house. The electrifying moment when he first uttered the words ‘sisters and brothers of America’ took place on 9/11- 1893.

Paramahamsa Yogananda
Yogananda Paramahamsa ( astrotheme.com)

Yogananda Paramahansa (Capricorn) pioneered the message of Kriya yoga in the West. He had Jupiter in Aries opposite Saturn in Libra. He had Pluto conjunct Neptune in Gemini on his MC inconjunct to Uranus in Scorpio. This powerful magnetic combination helped him make an immediate impact with a bell-like voice, exotic robes and long flowing hair to die for. He wrote spiritual ‘classics’ seemingly without effort: Autobiography of a Yogi (1946) still conveys his fresh, direct approach.  He said god was in the spine and “energy distributed evenly in the body is what keeps diseases from settling. You don’t have to be afraid of germs. If your body is electrified, they’ll be electrocuted” ( Uranus speaking).

Sri Baghwan Rajneesh, also known as Osho (Sagittarius) had a clear fire trine of Uranus, Jupiter and the Sun, played the role of guru to the nth degree with unfortunate dysfunctional consequences. He promoted a Bhakti- devotional style blend of Kundalini yoga and philosophy. One of his statements from 1975 is “The meaning and essence of astrology is that we are not separate, we are one with the universe. Not only are we one with the universe, we are also participants in every situation and event….So, if you can, use this [astrology] for making people more alert and meditative, more responsible for their lives, more clear that this is their past … now they have to escape from the clutches of the past, you can be of great help. You can be a blessing to people.”   

Sri Aurobindo started out as a political leader and poet then abandoned this role completely to found an ashram in Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu. He had Uranus conjunct Mars, Jupiter and the Sun in Leo conjunct his Ascendant making his role as ‘leader’ self evident while still managing to look like a Biblical prophet.

Krishnamacharya (Scorpio) sometimes called the father of modern yoga especially of the Ashtanga sequence out of Mysore, had Jupiter in Sagittarius and Uranus in Libra square Mars in Capricorn where it is exalted.  He also studied astrology and called Ayurveda “a veritable surgery without instruments.’ 

B.K.S. Iyengar (Sagittarius) had Pluto and Jupiter in Cancer and Saturn in Leo opposite Uranus in Aquarius. He was a teacher of static forms- his Saturn besides being opposite Uranus is trine to Mercury, Venus, the Sun and the Moon. Jupiter as in Yukteswar’s chart unaspected and there’s a predominance of Fire.  

These examples all Indian men, as their contribution happened to be outstanding. The influence of women in yoga and as teachers is under explored.  Leading yoga teachers such as Shiva Rhea, Seane Corn, Diane Booth Gilliam simply do not have their charts in the public domain- so they cannot be studied.  But astrological guesswork might suggest similar prominent combinations of Uranus, Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune in their charts. Among my clients is a female yoga teacher- one of my teachers- who has Uranus trine Mars and Jupiter square to Neptune and she likes to extend the poses longer than most teachers due to a prominent Saturn on the Ascendant.  

One of the aspects that stands out in my own chart is an awkward link between Jupiter, Uranus and Mars, and without some semblance of discipline, I would not have been able to manage this circulation of pure energy and learn to contain it. It has taken me in opposed directions- so yoga has helped me to channel wisely.  In these charts  of yoga gurus there is no one single aspect that indicates a yoga teacher and there are multiple styles and to pick out that characterises astrological-yogis even more difficult to find. In India however it appears there is no separation at least at the philosophical level between yoga and astrology- they both are respected, and both tear away the veils on reality to reveal the hidden workings of the divine underneath.

The Astrology within the Body

The Ayurvedic system of health which can be linked as the third arm in a tripartite ‘alchemy’ of tools to understand the universe.  I might suggest that there is a disembodied and embodied view of astrology: one view is that it all mental and psychological residing in the brain alone; and the other view roots the astrological archetypes directly into the body, more correctly, the body-mind  (link) and that is a more ‘embodied astrology.’ Psyche and Soma are interlinked and to miss this understanding just as to miss the message revealed in the map of your psyche, your natal chart, may cause you to misalign to your ‘dharma’ or true life purpose. Studying your chart reveals what lessons are in store for you, not just with health but with the whole of life. Its symbolic mirroring is less deterministic than you might believe, but it takes applied knowledge to bring that into being.

 

The Planets and Chakras
The Traditional Planets and Corresponding Chakras

According to Yogananda, yoga and astrology are linked via the spinal column (medullary, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal plexuses) as he explains “The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man.“   

The word Yoga is also used in Vedic astrology more to mean particular effects of planetary combinations. James T. Braha defines it “ Union. In this case planetary unions which produce specific effects.” There are way too many ‘yogas’ to discuss here. They are well known to boggle the memory of anyone learning Jyotish astrology.

The zodiac is a series of animal archetypes in constellations- many yoga poses are a friendly menagerie. This is the origin of the word zodiac- zoos in Greek.  Both astrology and yoga have zootropic metaphors. Each yoga pose is a kind of archetype. Among thousands of asanas, many actively embody these animal totems such as the Lion, Rabbit, Cow, Scorpion and Fish and you can align with them if they match your zodiac sign.

The chakras linked to the planets and to the zodiac signs- this is a whole subject in itself. Chemical salts can be assigned to each zodiac sign as well for natural recuperation of the bodily alchemy related to that sign, especially useful where there is an imbalance. There is also a system of mudras ( hand positions) that focus energy. But an asana is a mudra of the whole body. There is a system of hieratic gestures, a performance art therapy that also embodies the essence of each Zodiac sign. Rudolph Steiner and Marie von Sivers developed this. Hieratic poses to ‘fix’ the energy of the sign into  in the body in the form of Eurythmy– here is an intersection point between the physical and the mental i.e. bodymind coherence. 

Yoga and Astrology both converge and diverge paths: you may come from one and then see the wisdom of blending the two overarching philosophies together or you may not. They would still be 100% valid in their own right. They may run on parallel tracks and never appear to connect or just occasionally. In one sense yoga can free you from astrology but only if you do the diligent practice of erasing the bondage to karmic imprints. The point is to realise that if the planets are embodied in the spine then the natal chart intersects there too. This came through the tradition of Sri Yuketswar and Yogananda– that the zodiac is centered in the body. This fusion has not seeped so deeply into Western astrology whereas it is axiomatic in Jyotish and Medical astrology points to this not always recognising the etheric body and higher or more ‘subtle’ nervous system.

How to envisage this in practice may not be obvious but for example:  If your Saturn is in Taurus or Libra  in the natal chart, it means it is lodged in the heart area, the Anahatta chakra in the upper chest. This centre aligns to the two signs ruled by Venus. This is visualized as green- the colour of Venus- to tune in to this think of a brilliant emerald resting there or green rolling fields. Taurus rules the spring, and Libra the autumn. But if this Saturn there acts as a block and your heart is tinged with heaviness,  sadness or restriction, not allowing that smoothness and greenness that is Venus to manifest. Venus Saturn aspects can complicate the expression of love and appear conservative and status-oriented but still earthy and loyal.

So yoga breathing that channels energy through the energy centres of and in the heart centre, it can help you come to terms with that dilemma of how you feel. It increases the seriousness of love and compassion and may deepen understanding of the suffering that Saturn can bring, being loving but not ignoring the harsher realities that relationships trigger. What this fusion of yoga and astrology achieves is a lightness to your heavier more karmic aspects, but even if they are not there, and you have just one or two squares, practicing yoga with astrology can give you the energy in this lifetime to elevate consciousness. The accidental side effect of that is that you ride the wave of a difficult transit an annus horribilis like 2020 with more equanimity and better insight into when to act and when not to act. You are less bothered by major conjunctions which are impersonal rather than personal.

The goal of yoga is meditation, reaching that state of calm, and knowledge of astrology is a tool for self-development. To become overly dependent on it might not be useful in the long term. Astrologers like yoga teachers vary enormously in their rigidity of thinking and some are more inclined to be trapped by their own stickiness to the age-old doctrines and conventions of their art/science. They can tend to act fatalistically, or become obsessed with- even possessed by – the trivia of techniques and formulas, missing the bigger or human perspective. In the esoteric tradition there is the concept of heirmarmene which is ‘astral fate’ that locks us in to the natal chart and any struggle against it would appear an act of sheer futility. It carries immense weight.

What is worth realizing though  is how you allow the directions of the inexorable cycles that appear to chain us to either dominate your life. To err towards a fatalistic view is to increasing a sense of helplessness; but to err towards a more elevated view where you understand the patterns, you exert some free will in the face of what appears to be a wall of ‘fate’ that we bang up against. It is possible through inner work- for example yoga- to break free from this as Sri Yukteswar said “The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars.” He held the natal chart in high regard but the soul was cannot be contained by it which sets Kriya yoga at odds with astrology though they are still sisters at heart. It highlights what Liz Greene (2019) calls the ‘compulsions of the planetary daimons’ and that working with astrology or yoga, we can gradually become ‘what we were intended to be.’

Yoga Poses for Each Zodiac Sign

Zodiac
Zodiac (templepurohit.com)

Aries   ( Fire-Mars- Manipur  Navel Chakra)

For Aries, the natural poses are from the Warrior sequence, lending strength and stamina. The poses work best if you make your arms as straight as a spear and think I am proud and I am strong. They might be attracted to Hot yoga- the steamier the better. Ashtanga yoga and any Aerobic Power and Yang yoga styles would also appeal.  Forward bends, Head stand and Handstand too might work well;  any pose that brings blood to the head and flushes the pineal and pituitary gland e.g. Tortoise or Downward Dog. Kapalabati-breath of fire or ‘Shining Skull is quite Aries-inspired, though Aries is really the whole body and the beginning physical aspect of yoga- asana.

Taurus ( Earth-Venus –Anahata  Heart Chakra)

For Taureans  over exertion is not cool. So Slow yoga without hurry appeals to them. They might find Seated poses very relaxing, connected to the ground and for that reason they have  a good mat on which they can just sit perfectly still in Lotus pose. The totem animal is bovine so the Cow part of the Cat-Cow warm up exercise. Also and Tadasana or Mountain pose as it helps to ‘earth’. Bride pose too.  Any  of the strengthening poses- Taureans probably go for the endurance – staying ‘in’ a pose longer than usual which may be the secret of Taurean longevity. They might like colourful yoga gear. But Down-Dog Pose is good as it strengthens the spine.  

Gemini (Air-Mercury-Visudha Throat Chakra)  

The goal of yoga overall is to quieten the mind, the internal chatter so Geminis might need yoga more than most.  the Plow and the Half Shoulder Stand and forward bends. Downward Dog. Try practicing outside in your element of fresh air but  on the grass to ground yourself. Hand poses. Mudras using the hands. Yoga for therapeutic writing might also appeal ( link). And deep meditation to watch the fulminations of the monkey mind and let it all settle down eventually.

Cancer (Water- the Moon- Chandra-Base of Cranium)

Hatha-style done in the cosiness of  home rather than the studio would appeal to Cancerians.  Poses like the Half Moon and the Cobra too with the curling curving action.  Any ‘Yin’ yoga that softens and is restful and non-vigorous allowing psychic intuition to gather more easily. Perhaps avoid Iyengar style as that constructs static poses – there is no ‘flow’ to enjoy as in Vinyasa. Dancer’s Pose is nice for Cancerians, or the Tree pose to gain mroe emotional stability, while the Boat pose strengthen your weakest area: the belly.

Leo (Fire- the Sun- Ajna Eyebrow Chakra) 

For Leos something regal is indicated like The Sun Salutation sequence, perhaps also what is known as ‘the queen of all poses,” the Shoulder Stand, and its counter pose, the Fish, which opens the heart. Leos need to pay attention to the heart area for potential problems.  But very obviously  Simhasana– The Lion Pose s good to practise as it mimics your totem animal’s fierceness, and helps release the upper chest and throat. Plus diaphragmatic breathing could be useful or Kriya practice of Pranayama control of prana. Also, the ‘cat’ part of Cat-Cow but a strong ‘cat’ not the kitten inside.

Virgo ( Earth-Mercury- Anahata Heart Chakra)  

Virgo likes to celebrate the interconnection and Boat pose. Harmony of body and mind ( Mercury) Iyengar style to keep on perfecting the same pose so they can almost measure it with a ruler. Wherever yoga its use of props like blocks, and belts and harnesses will stretch them to the limit and modify the poses. Boat pose presents a nice challenging pose to get the legs straight. If you have a nervous system that goes into overdrive,  restorative poses may be restful such as Supported headstand or just lying legs up the wall.  like Use of body salts particular to your sign. And props: straps and blocks. The chemical salt for Virgo is Kali Sulphate.

Libra (Air-Venus-Anahata Heart Chakra).

All the balancing poses are good for Librans as equanmity and social poise are important for them. If they can be elegant too, it is a bonus. All poses standing on one leg would be good for Librans, that’s Tree, and one of the ultimate balances – hands free-and not least the most challenging to the knees, Padangusthasana– Toe Stand.  Ha Tha sequences that start on one side and then balance up by doing the other side- for balance to integrate yin and yang also makes perfect sense to a Libran, to leave one side out would discombobulate them so this includes Eagle pose- Garuasana which aligns left and right in a tight twist.  

Scorpio ( Water- Mars and Pluto-Manipur Navel Chakra)

Kundalini yoga uses techniques to stir up  the sexual creative energy at the base of the spine by rocking and pivoting and allowing energy to rise up the spine. But this can be done easily in Happy Baby which stimulates the sacral area. Pranayama– and Kapalabati, breath of fire are strong for Scorpios. Kumbata-retention breath could have a powerful impact of storing up and directing energy.  Hatha Yoga also can appeal to Scorpios to restore yin-yang balance. Proud Warrior pose- with emphasis on the ‘spiritual’ Jedi warrior style- is an advance of the Aries-Mars version and would offset that Pluto as ruler of the sign.  The Camel pose is recommended, and of course the classic but not easy Scorpion pose- as it is connecting to your totemic creature.

Sagittarius ( Fire-Jupiter- Svadisthan Genital Chakra)

Standing Bow Pose
Standing Bow alonyoga.com

Sagittarius are naturul born yogis as they have both athletic and spiritual urges combined. Power Yoga would appeal, anything tough and challenging, but also yoga practiced outdoors on the grass, or in the mountains, or by a lake. Hot yoga set to disco music would appeal to the brash ‘fun’ side of Sag. Sweating and detoxing from that is a bonus.  I like Dandayamana Dhanurasana-Standing Bow pose as it’s pure Sagittarius. This pose is actually shaped like a bow and arrow so it aligns to the archer archetype, but all Hip poses, like Pigeon and ‘King’ pigeon. File-log pose also is one of the deepest hip openers as is Lotus pose itself for meditation. Lunges, and  especially Twisted lunge are also good for the thighs. Sags like variety so add Dancer pose,  The advanced Ashtanga sequence appeals to the athlete inside as do ‘flying’ poses and expansive poses which are heart opening.  

Capricorn ( Saturn-Earth- Muladhar Sacral Chakra)

Capricorns tend to like form and structure, so you might like appreciate a stricter and more angular style of yoga, like Iyengar. However, if the spine tends toward stiffness, it would be good to work on moves like the Cat-Cow and the Camel to keep it limber and flexible. Gate pose works on skeletal structure in this way strengthening the core. To counter the workaholism, relaxation poses like Viparita Karani, Legs-Up-the-Wall and Corpse pose can reduce all activity and slowly provide peace and quiet that counters ambitions and desires for action in the outside world.

Aquarius ( Saturn (Uranus) Air- Mulhadhar  Sacral Chakra)

Aquarians can be stern without realising, perhaps because of a high-strung nervous system so they would really benefit from the restorative effects of Hatha yoga. And, Kundalini-style yoga would assist with breathing gently, watching the belly rise and fall can be soothing. They are capable of A backward-bending Bridge pose paired with a counter pose like the Seated Forward Bend will calm your brain and rejuvenate the calves and ankles as these might not be the strongest areas.  Crow pose also offers sufficient challenge and balance, especially if they can manage the straight arm version, any pose that encouraged flexibility rather than rigidity.

Pisces  (Water- Jupiter (Neptune)- Svadisthan Genital Chakra)

Classic Hatha yoga done to music with spiritual aphorisms to take away from class would appeal to Pisceans. Also, use of sound-vibrating mantras that encourage devotion. The totemic symbol of Pisces is the Fish so the Fish pose would connect with that. Clearly Savasana ‘Corpse’ pose also relates to the seclusion and withdrawal of the senses of the 12th House. Seated meditation is also good. Yoga Nidra or ‘sleep’ yoga takes you into deep states of repose and awareness where at its culmination you can access what Tibetan Buddhists call ‘the clear light’ beyond life.  Sun Salutations might also work and any Yoga-Martial art or Dance fusions such as Budokan, Balletic Yoga and Shadow Yoga. They might incorporate complex but graceful moves like the Half Moon pose and the Dancer’s Pose, would appeal to your fluid nature if set to music or indulging in a Gong bath.

Zodiac
Zodiac (templepurohit.com)

© Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, November 21st, 2020.

All rights reserved.

 

Part 1 was a contemplation of Yoga and Writing: Getting back on the mat and the chair check back here to read.

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Featured

Yoga and Writing: getting back on the mat and the chair

There are many reasons for embracing yoga and getting back on the mat. Stay away too long and you feel the urge to return.  One reason may be surprising; to be a better writer. This is not everyone’s goal, but writing brings you back to your self when you have strayed; and yoga clears the mind in readiness. Writing might not seem easily paired with yoga but it is worth exploring how and in what ways these two seemingly different pursuits neatly align. 

Lotus Pose: Satcatranipuranacitram from Yoga: The Art of Transformation (2013)

Yoga is a huge topic and asana positions are only at one end of the spectrum but they are the ‘handle’ for eventual mastery over the mind. If writing is 90% thinking and only 10% writing, then all the nervous energy is centered in the body as a whole, not just the brain. Yoga is an ancient practice that brings together the body and the mind, compelling an inter-dependency of the two. By  definition, yogis ought to be good thinkers and can put their thoughts into words that come direct from the heart as the mental process is more rooted in the body. Both yoga and writing require being in a state of relaxed, energized tension. They benefit from a clear intention, which in yoga parlance is a San Kalpa or dedication, at the onset. Both yoga and writing are methods of self application requiring long-standing effort leading to a more coherent expressive behaviour that is full of grace, wisdom and light. 

What makes yoga fun to do is that it is sprinkled with animal names:  Rabbit, Camel, Crow, Peacock, Cat-Cow, Down Dog, Cobra, Frog, Turtle, Butterfly, Crane and more- it’s a friendly menagerie well attuned to nature- well, perhaps not Scorpion pose. But it goes beyond that by adding fantastic creatures: the Dragon, Garuda, the mythical bird of Indonesia, and the awesome Sphinx, one of the most relaxing poses for the spine. These add a mythical fantasy aspect and more than a little of the magic ingredient of imagination and the inhabiting of animal characters.

Yoga:The Art of Transformation (2013)

 

Asanas and sequences recognise and honour natural cycles:  the Sun Salutation, Moon Salutation, and earth bound structures- Mountain pose, Tadasana, the Plough and grounding you to the earth by sitting in Lotus pose. The lotus flower has  roots that go deep into the mud. But there are playful poses too – Child’s pose, and Happy Baby. Kids can do yoga no problem. Their spines are more bendable. We are conditioned into stiffness from an early age and accept cranky joints not realising they could be oiled and lubricated into a graceful old age through good diet, awareness, and consistent practice of yoga. Yoga poses even resemble a kind of alphabet and an asana sequence can have its own grammar going from warm up salutations, standing, balancing, back-bending, core, floor series towards the final slow down. The whole class becomes a definitive ‘statement’. Yoga is sometimes also called ‘meditation in motion’; writing is also a meditation- the writer ponders on a topic, and uses words to arrive at a contemplation of the themes involved. 

For the more Saturnian among us we get to practise death in Savasana, the Corpse pose. Just so that we may be ready for that day, but Corpse pose induces the deepest of all relaxation for the body-mind as anyone who does yoga Nidra will tell you. But above all people practise yoga because it makes them feel good. First it works on the level of fitness, but then quickly deepens to changing your basic habits. Despite requiring a struggle and repetition, it makes them feel more at ease in their bodies, more familiar with their anatomical and system design. It performs internal massage of these organs, and a whole heap of benefits from enhanced breathing, clearer eyes, better complexion more openness, increased flexibility, strength and its popularity is in no way decreasing. While writing is not the same as yoga – it operates a different domain, yet can have a major impact as James Pennebaker established, writing about trauma in a particular way can relieve stress and bring about a state of inner poise and integration.

Circadian Rhythm

 

As with yoga so in writing: there are metaphors about natural cycles where writers must establish a routine often going in rhythm, circadian or just the morning or evening. They describe a process that involves a struggle of some sort. An essay is an ‘attempt’ to express a topic. It is a foray into new territory – not necessarily the finished piece. Wrestling with the ideas in a push-and-pull with what is within to emerge and for a concept to be ‘born’ out of the ether. Tension that is held in the body can be released when the idea comes. You need to let it out. First, you might have ‘page fright’ where a blank page paralyses any creative ideas from finding their voice. Then there is ‘free writing’ where you must limber up, take your pen for a walk, or allow your fingers to glide over the keys. Loosening up to get in gear. 

The Mind and Body and BodyMind 

There is a sheer physicality to writing that is often overlooked. The common assumption is we are brains on legs and it’s all about the brains. And don’t forget that books have a spine and sleeves operating like arms. If yoga is about union of body mind and breath then ‘putting pen to paper is about making that contact. Processes that exist separately fuse together and that draws on bodily energetics. Writing is also a ‘looping back process’ with lots of ‘re-vision’ a text can be woven’ together calling on the intricate threading process of a loom and of fabricators and weavers.

When talking about the writing process, essays, articles and stories, I find myself using metaphors of cooking or gardening: the timing in the development is essential. When exactly do you mix the raisins in the cake mixture, and when do you add the seasoning?  When do the seedlings grow best? In what soil? With writing as timing and patience and coordination of tasks is just as crucial. Academics of writing are not always the ones who know best as they intellectualise an otherwise dynamic ‘body-mind’ process and turn it into a dry exercise. But when they mention ‘cohesion’ pay attention as this is the invisible glue that knits all the words together. You need to master that glue.

The body is often taken for granted until something goes wrong- an accident, neck ache, or back ache, an injury, disability or stuckness, continual distraction preventing any concentration leading sometimes to a more serious block that is nervous paralysis. Listen closely and you will sense that the body is a finely-tuned feedback system giving us messages we would do well to heed.

Writing, like yoga, has a range of styles. One is the tight, the opaque style in a wide range from the rough and the loose even to street graffiti, the message and the meme more intertwined with imagery perhaps.  Tight can be ultra-technical and academic, and therefore very dense. The looser style is less bound by rules and prefers to reorder them, and includes  and the more free flowing essay style, the meandering, open ended mode of writing such as creative prose: the lyric essay, poetry and even songs.  But even poetry can be loose or ultra tightly structured and formal. It really depends.  Even in a disjointed jigsaw style, the omissions help join the dots every part together with the whole. Writing has a  structure within a structure, and essays have a ‘head’ a ‘body’ and a ‘tail’ as in storytelling there is always a beginning, a middle and an end. With this, you cannot argue. Writers need to have both wits and nerve, maybe even a good deal of chutzpah to pull off feat of writing well and make it successful. The choice is uninviting: leap off the springboard and take a risk, or relish the anxiety of blankness that leads back to another so-called ‘block.’ It is as in yoga, a balance between strength and flexibility.

Yoga and Writing are both processes that require discipline that is regular. They do not respond well to a ‘hit-and-run’ strategy. “Apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair” said Sinclair Lewis, a maxim that is often trotted out for restless nervous writers who cannot focus on their task for long. Glue in other words, stickability- just substitute ‘mat’ for ‘chair and that works in yoga too. But another solution might be do a bit of yoga. Both processes are long, painstaking, require mental energy, control of the mind and need building over long periods of time to accumulate skill. Without practice, the skill and fluency diminishes. Your body can become like a muse. 

Cyberyoga Untangling
Cyberyoga  (Lamonte Goode) untangles

Mind-Body and Body-Mind

Writing can hold tension and be a struggle to unravel thoughts which are ’embodied’ but staying with it helps find greater ease and psycho-physiological coherence. If you are full of tension, it is more difficult to write, more difficult to shift. Yoga poses can iron out those kinks. Flexibility of mind equals flexibility of body. But as to which one comes first the Smiths song ‘Still Ill’ laments that we don’t know “Does the body rule the mind, or the mind rule the body? I dunno.”

But perhaps it is not even about mechanistic causation anyway or that they are separate entities. Something more quantum is going on, which is why I prefer the hybrid and more holistic term body-mind.  It is an intricate balance between Psyche and Soma as we know well from psychosomatic illnesses- the mind has a sneak emotional layering at the cellular level of the body.

Psychologists and yogis already know this but culture lags behind. Opinion is often locked in long-held paradigms of separation where the focus only on what the conscious mind can see, not all the much more important stuff it cannot. Use of the term ‘body-mind’ or ‘mind-body’ goes some way to subvert the old paradigm and thrust us into fresh ways of apprehending how all this works. Even using the term image-word to explain a new type of literacy that is less abstract than physically embodied and reestablishes words as having symbolic, energy-resonant function.

The old mind-body split- Cartesian dualism- is similar to the tendency to downgrade the image over the word as part of a major cultural shift towards left-brain thinking- from the Goddess to the Alphabet . The schism that has been perpetrated for centuries, but also the privileging of the so called left-brain functions of rationalism over right-brain functions of intuition when they actually work more coherently together just as a master and his emissary, like wave relates to particle in new physics.

The Moment of Contact is Where it Happens

In both yoga and writing what works well are remarkably similar. You should warm up first. In yoga this kicks off with a few breathing exercises, loosening limbs or a sun salutation sequence until you generate enough heat to do trickier poses. In writing, it might be to do your ‘morning pages’ as Julia Cameron recommends. This is a clearing process, preparing the way for deeper more concentrated work. Another way yoga and writing align is that they establish ‘flow’ consciousness. At your peak you enter the state of ‘Flow’ which is a meditation in motion for yoga, and is the balanced focus in writing. You have to be there when it happens. It is your presence of mind that counts. Channel your attention on the task however menial to the exclusion of all else.

Presence is just turning up but you have also to be there when it happens. “Is it connecting the thoughts to the words that come forth? Are you actually there when the magic happens? Is it driving the effort to move your body into a pose that challenges its limits? Has your mind floated away?  

Seeing yourself in the mirror in a yoga room is like self-reflection writing the observing ‘I’ that witnesses your experience without judging. Eventually this awareness becomes less self-conscious or narcissistic, and it comes into its own. It uses this pure observing faculty to modify, adjust, correct, develop and improve alignment and coherence and homeostasis. Compare this with observing what you write as you write. Do you correct errors as you go or do you leave the rewrite until later?  Reflection writing activates this this function of self-observation in order to extract the deeper meaning in the connection of learning, and ultimately like writing a diary, becomes a moral compass during the process of life this ‘one damn thing after another’ phenomenon. In this sense both yoga and writing bring us to this arena where the process itself can become the goal, and can be enjoyed for its own sake along all the modifications, fixing, adjusting, stabilising, deleting, recreating and all of it boosts your self development.

Yoga recognises that each body is different and can only go so far in any pose. This is not bad or good in itself, but what counts is the awareness you have of what challenges you in that pose. You pull back, or stay put. Good teachers give modifications to account for body shape, injury, or just energy level that day. The benefit of this adaptation is to make it okay to be where you are, it helps reduce that sense of competition with other who may be going further and helps to understand why a process like yoga needs to be repeated often, and is not so goal-oriented. 

Writers find this hard when it is goal oriented, but when it is only the enjoyment of the process, the problem disappears. You do it for the sake of doing it, not to become famous. Editing is the self-modification process in the constant need to read back your work and edit, to accept that the first burst of words may have energy and inspiration, but lack accuracy and precision. So it is back to rewording again and again.  There is much talk of being agile in the 21st century, but people lack patience and the two are at loggerheads. Being obliged to continually revise what you wrote is humbling, and reduces the fixation on being competitive and competition, brings focus back to you and where you are at and to learn to just accept that. 

Jared McCann
Jared McCann International Sports Federation of Yoga, London (2014)

One takeaway from my own yoga practice is that it made me realise how it is cumulative. The slow painstaking repetition slowly builds into a fully developed practice which makes you better at it but oh so gradually. There are setbacks where if you have an injury, you have to do less, just more slowly and intentionally. Showing off and pushing into advanced poses is the wrong thing to do.  Progress can be so slow you don’t notice week by week but only after months or years of doing it. This is the Stoical view that recognises all the limitations of your body-mind. All the things you cannot do. But without the endurance in the pose, or sticking with the idea  long enough to unravel the thoughts, and allow the words to flow, none of this progress wold happen. Doing that through thick and thin, without judgement, develops skill. 

Cyber yoga
Cyberyoga (Lamone Goode)

Writers may be unaware they are holding energy in wrists and shoulders as they write. Tension between strength and flexibility very interesting as that is a see-saw – those who are stronger may be less flexible and those who are too flexible are less strong. This fine balance is essential in good writing too.

Finally, just to remind ourselves of the most obvious point, Yoga helps with the whole of life, not just writing: it helps improve deeper breathing, concentration, resilience, connection to feelings and to the body, acceptance of problems, but the more I think about the parallels with writing and yoga, the more it takes on depth and substance. You don’t have to bring them together but if you do, it can expand your understanding a hundred fold. It counters the mind which is ‘the most corrupted agent’ as the yogis say in the trance-inducing film Agniyoganda. Similarly with Yoga and Astrology the links are fundamental, but not often made fully clear.  I will cover astrology in a separate Part 2 article. These parallels across practices offer intuitive pointers to reshaping your life more in line with what you want. 

© Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, November 3rd, 2020.

All rights reserved.

 

Further Reading

Balnaves, E. dir. (2019) Agniyogana: Lower Your Head and Invoke the Fire (Film) Australia: Hatha Yoga Film Company.

Broad, W. J. (2012) The Science of Yoga. New York: Simon Schuster

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Ro (2013)  Yoga: The Art of Transformation Smithsonian

DeLuca, G. (2005–2006). ‘Headstands, Writing, and the Rhetoric of Radical Self-Acceptance’. Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning11, 27–41.  

Fleckenstein, K. S. (1999). ‘Writing bodies: Somatic mind in composition studies.’ College English, 61(3), 281–306. Freedman, D P., & Holmes, M. S. (Eds.).

Lakoff, G., and  Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic Books

Mallison, J. and Singleton, M. (2017) Roots of Yoga.  London: Penguin. 

McGilchrist,   (2012 ) The Master and the EmissaryThe Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World Yale: Yale University Press.

Schlain, L. (2004) The Alphabet and the Goddess London: Penguin Books

Wenger. C. L. (2015) Yoga Minds; Writing Bodies Contemplative Writing Pedagogy Anderson: Parlour Press.

White, D.G. (2013) Yoga: The Art of Transformation (ed. Diamond, D.).  Washington: Smithsonian Institute.

 

Part 2 will be a contemplation of Yoga and Astrology:  Salutation to the Stars 

Link Tree

Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

Natal Chart Readings via Skype with Discounts available
This is a great opportunity for those who are curious about what a chart reading can do for them and need advice on where to go from here.

Email me on the Proteus Astrology FB page

Or Contact

Eusastro@protonmail.com  and you will receive a request form to fill in.

Astrology can help you to understand:

  • life patterns, purpose and life path
  • relationships, business and romantic
  • money, and what it means to you
  • career issues
  • personal and spiritual development
  • vision, hopes and wishes
  • choices and decisions
  • planning for the future
  • health and well being, aligning your energies
  • stimulating creativity
  • the best places to travel and live

Featured

Martialing your Mars in Aries 2020

Heinrich Aldegrever ‘Mars’ from the Seven Planets (British Museum)

Mars has been in the watery sign of Pisces since May 14th and emotions have been not just been bubbling mildly but reaching boiling point in an explosive emotional way and it has polarized the world, but on June 28th Mars moves into the Martial sign of Aries and stays there for six whole months. Will this be relief or will it be like throwing gasoline on the fire? During this time Mars will trine any planets you have in Sagittarius and Leo, but it squares those in Cancer or Capricorn and opposes any you have in Libra. This transit of Mars through the warrior sign covers the entire second half of 2020. Fire signs will be even more fired up, especially if you are an Aries sun sign or if Aries is in your first house, but all signs and houses will be affected. But since it is going retrograde in its own sign, it may be worth paying attention to the push-me-pull- you message it is delivering in that area of your life.

The Mars conjunct Neptune June 12th-14th has steamed up the windows so we cannot see clearly and may feel played by what is going on. It feels like the world is drunk on anger and the level of deception and aversion to truth is high. But when Mars goes into Aries on June 26th, it would be time to do and not just talk; not to just follow the trend, but to take a step back and learn to stand on your own and to channel your inner warrior. The lesson of Mars is to treat the life force with respect, embody it in yourself and exemplify it in your deeds, but at the same time, the danger is to feel constantly triggered by news, events and people from your knee-jerk reflexes and not from deeper reflection which is badly needed now more than ever.

Aries is not just the first sign of the zodiac it demands to be first and asserts its right to be the one going ahead for the rest of us to follow. That could be reckless or it could be divinely inspired action, so watching the movement of Mars can tell us where the trigger points happen.  Mars is ‘hot’ in all senses of the word. Touch it the wrong way and it burns you. But another kind of hot can be pheromones spiralling out of control, so there may also be super-sexual energy that does not waste time in getting what it wants. Mars is in Aries where the sun is exalted. So Mars serves the higher purpose of the Sun which is the prime creative force and if seen in this elevated mode can bring about the highest expression of its power to bring about enlightened change for the good of all.

Mars Retrograde 2020

Having Mars in Aries is like have a Jujitsu master in town upgrading the training you need for combat and testing out all the split-second reflexes you may need to make best of the energy. If you miss a heartbeat your opponent can have you on the floor- a lesson to be learned from shadow boxing. But if you sidestep and learn a strategy you can keep bouncing on your toes. Periods of moving fast forward will coexist with the need for physical rest and strategic retreat which is as simple as getting a regular good night’s sleep.  How you manage to switch between these modes of shooting forward and dodging back is crucial for you to get a handle on this period. This will be especially true during the retrograde period lasting for 66 days starting on September 9th. The people who move forward fast may need to learn this toggle shift from doing to being, from all action to all reflection. It might feel like you have lost your Mojo, or feel exhausted, but it can bounce back. Reading inspiring books and meditating would be a good way of achieving this to enhance the quality of your state of mind before putting any new plan into action.

Perhaps for the next months we should be more aware of where our buttons are exposed and to anticipate responses rather than knee-jerk react.  The irritability factor increases especially when the Mars is conjunct the Moon when moods may shift so fast we don’t realise we are cranking up a rage. That’s usually the people closest to us but also stories promoted by the media. Those dates are 26th July and August 9th when Mars is opposite the Moon making it ripe for conflict to flare up from fluctuating moods. When Mars squares Venus also on the 5th September, there could be friction between lovers or just difficulties finding the right balance with social relationships and individual needs.

The best trait of Aries sun sign people is that they may get angry, but they don’t hold on to it, they move too fast for that. But Mars was also the traditional ruler of Scorpio and this is a deeper Mars where the emotion can be frozen to ice and hold itself in that fixed state, unyielding.  Rage can be from the ‘ego’  which is Aries, or from the ‘id’ which is more Pluto- the higher octave of Mars.

Bruce Lee, (Mars in Scorpio) Image: http://www.brucelee.com

There are many ways to channel the energy and enjoy the simple physicality of being in your body and actively moving it around- all sports, running, jogging, cycling, swimming, weight training, and definitely boxing, any form of marital art all ruled my Mars. Also fencing, yoga – the Warrior Pose definitely- dancing of any style especially where it requires a degree of physical control. Add massage too, giving and receiving- try Himalayan salt massage as one that kneads the hardest and is painful but it restores lost functions of the nervous system and the Lymph system which does not have any flow of its own. The body basically needs to move just as much as breathe and have water. Movement is vital. When Mars is in Aries would be a great time to start a new fitness routine as the impetus may carry you far towards your goals and keep you motivated to do your exercises instead of giving up. Even if you reel it back in September, you can progress a long way during the summer.

Celebrities with Mars in Aries
celebrities with Mars in Aries

The list of people with mars in Aries hints at how they might lead the pack: Tom Daley Christian Ronaldo, Angelina Jolie, Iggy Pop, Prince, Harvey Milk, Steve Jobs, Walt Whitman, Tolstoy, and many more. It is a strong placement for Mars, depending whether you are their boxing partner or not. Joseph Campbell had Mars in Aries and his work even revolved around the ‘Hero’s Journey’ and the great mythological heroes Jason, Theseus and Hercules- all stand-ins for Ares, the Greek original of the Roman Mars. Mars even has an African manifestation as Shango the god of “thunder, drumming, dancing, fire and male virility. Known for his love of partying, Shango has a ritual dance named after him. He is a master at the drums and the rumble of the thunder reminds us of his rhythmic sounds. Referred to as the “King of Santeria.” What Mars represents is universal to the human psyche.

Shango/Chango http://www.originalbotanica.com

If anger is an issue – and that would be expected given the current turmoil- it will become more so in the coming months. But every time we are triggered is in itself an opportunity to manage it more skillfully. ‘Anger is an energy’ according to William Blake, a line stolen by Johnny Rotten for his song called ‘Rise’. But Mark Twain adds that like electricity it must be used wisely and that  “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”  So careful handling of this volatile energy will be needed as anger can be turned in on itself. Frustrations, inhibitions, setbacks and difficulties with authorities could be felt especially during the Mars square Saturn periods and we have already seen the world shake to its foundations, yet there is more rattling to come this year.

At the highest level Mars represents an equivalent to Freud’s concept of Eros, which can be the sex drive for sure, but it is not only that. It is the deep need we have to lay down what Reich called our ‘armour’ – the sum total of all the repressed Mars in the somatic intelligence – and finally be fully in the body, to have it healed and feel ‘chi’ energy flow freely and where we love life to the nth degree. Mars/Eros helps channel the will to live as opposed to the death wish. He is the one who will pull back before we jump off the bridge to end it all. He is the survival instinct that works contrary to death or giving in to oppression. He will fight to stay alive and we need that especially now if we feel under physical attack and whether that comes from imagined health threats we are told make us vulnerable, or from big technology company shenanigans or where we feel public life is not voluntary, or from psychic attackers with their witches brew of toxic ideas. A strong Mars can help you charge up the batteries of your immune system.

We often need to fortify our defenses and who better to help us do that than Mars in its own sign. But this is a power we have to know how to handle or it will burn.  The best way to do that is to switch in to ‘get things done’ mode. But if we deny Mars within as well, it can come back to bite us on the backside. People will start acting up like Mars because we have overdone the sweetness and light and become blind to our own hidden aggressions. Mars can be repressed and so turns up in various ways to remind us he is part of us and this goes for both women and men. When Mars is suppressed the end result can be depression which some even define as un-lived anger, fevers, skin eruptions, ulcers, stomach ailments, heart disease and migraines.

If you want examples of this unlived energy, most of J.G. Ballard’s dystopian novels are all recommended as cautionary tales that now read more like current affairs than dysfunctional futures. They are premised on this psychological understanding that people act out violence in ways quite unknown to their conscious selves. They are mostly people doing their repressed Mars. In Crash (1973) people get a sexual thrill out of the crushed metal and broken glass of a car wreck and begin seeking that out to give their lives meaning. Disturbing? Yes, but possibly true. Ballard was a Scorpio. He saw deeply into how people really tick. So this is hugely important to strive to be aware how you are dealing with your inner aggression and drives. These could be well channelled or it could take a passive-aggressive turn and come out as sardonic, bitter words and criticisms.

‘The Inner Planets’ Sasportas and Greene, 1993

Howard Sasportas makes this point well when he says we condemn violence but in the same breath as being fascinated and thrilled by it. Mars has been maligned due to uncomfortable feelings about sex and aggression. This is little understood due to repressive aspects of today’s culture as it is not normally condoned. There is also the phenomenon where we get others to act out aggression we ourselves have denied either in personal relationships or in the collective. Mars in Aries will bring these issues to the front burner and off the back burner, but during the retrograde they might shift back and forth in the house where Mars is in your chart.

How Mars in Aries will Affect you.

Check the house Mars resides in in your chart – on astro.com– to see where that energy pops up. Is it well placed or does it have to struggle?  Are you being active enough in that domain? If not then the retrograde period would be a great time to reassess your understanding of whether you are being assertive enough as opposed to being aggressive, or denying it completely. It manifests differently in each house, but is also affected by aspects to other planets.

Mars in the First House

A welcome boost of physical energy may help push you forwards but any fitness regime but come September, it may need to stall in order to be adjusted and reviewed to ensure it is appropriate for your needs and is not harming you in any way. Rest and recuperation is essential to avoid accidents, injuries and impulsivity.

Mars in the Second House

Simple, sensuous experiences, even doing artwork, may give renewed pleasure and help to ground you. But you may need to review your finances and take considered actions to feel really secure about the future but avoid being stubborn, a review should allow you to modify fixed behaviours.

Mars in the Third House

There may be massive proliferation of communications both online and, of among family relations. It’s a great time to start studying a new course but be aware that stating opinions too forcefully can create conflicts and needless arguments. Take time to appreciate the nuances.

Mars in the Fourth House

A good time to reorganize the furniture at home, perhaps with a splash of red or orange to give it an energy boost and try some spicier food. But also it is time rethink who you are in view of your ancestors and review what it is that makes you feel truly secure and in touch with them.

Mars in the Fifth House

This is a great time to romp around with the kids if you have them, and if not, to reinvest your old creative projects with renewed energy. Feeling rejuvenated will feel good, but avoid pushing too fast too soon, and give all the care and attention those projects actually need and then relaunch them when Mars is direct.

Mars in the Sixth House

Time to purify your digestive system of any toxins and get into the details of health and good nutrition. Purge if you need to purge. Learning about ‘chi’ energy can renew healing capacity but do be careful of conflicts with work colleagues or any allergic rashes or irritations that pop up. Rest and recuperation must be equal to pushing forward.

Mars in the Seventh House

It is nice have a partner who is physically fit or encourage them to take fitness seriously. Or at least to seek partners who are decisive and walk their talk so you can sit back and agree. The difficulty here may be that if you sit back too much it becomes a projection disowning your own desire to take charge. Be careful that tiffs and arguments don’t ruin the opportunity to work off energy through diplomacy and/or good love making.

Mars in the Eighth House

Deep and uncomfortable feelings might arise that are not easily settled. Stay with the feelings and work through any problems with shared finances- be the organized accountant there. Be careful that any new sexual and emotional liaisons get out of hand with intense passion. Be the marriage counsellor there. Any therapy you take up might benefit from being physically acted out rather than just spoken to resurface hidden emotions and work them out thoroughly.

Mars in the Ninth House

A renewed passion for ideas, truth, justice and philosophy and spiritual practices may feel welcome to you to intensify your life, but do take care to speak calmly and reasonably and not like you are speaking through a megaphone. No one likes to feel beaten on the head. The truth will shine through on its own without your great powers of sales-speak and inspiring persuasion.

Mars in the Tenth House

This could boost your drive to succeed and you’ll be willing to put in extra efficient work to achieve that status. Gaining recognition is important but it may need careful negotiation with stake-holders as authorities such as the government, police or military may impose draconian measures in which you are complicit or that you resist. Status can have its drawbacks if not aligned with your truer self.

Mars in the Eleventh House

A renewed interest in niche groups and participating in Zoom talks on the internet might become the focus of attention. Social causes and ideologies promoted via hashtags can predominate over more human and individual concerns as Utopian beliefs can seem to be the the ‘only’ right answer. Revise some of these opinions through careful research before giving your total support.  

Mars in the Twelfth House

Your dream life can become more lively than your actual life, and you might be feeling trapped by too much isolation and ready to burst out, or the reverse. to retreat even further into yourself. Strict types of meditation such as Vipassana might begin to appeal but  take care to express your anger or resentment directly without playing martyr.

‘The Rape of Africa’ David LaChapelle (2009) based on the ‘Venus and Mars’ by Botticelli (1485) A post-coital Mars in repose

© Proteus Astrology, June 12th, 2020. All rights reserved.

Link Tree

Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

Natal Chart Readings via Skype with Discounts availablePlease just ask.
This is a great opportunity for those who are curious about what a chart reading can do for them and need advice on where to go from here.

Email me on the Proteus Astrology FB page

Or Contact
Eusastro@protonmail.com  and you will receive a request form to fill in.

Astrology can help you to understand:

  • life patterns, purpose and life path
  • relationships, business and romantic
  • money, and what it means to you
  • career issues
  • personal and spiritual development
  • vision, hopes and wishes
  • choices and decisions
  • planning for the future
  • health and well being, aligning your energies
  • stimulating creativity
  • the best places to travel and live
Featured

The Beardsley Phenomenon

Portraits of Aubrey Beardsley 1:Sepia Print (1890 ) 2: Self Portrait ( 1892) 3: Painting by Jacques Emile Blanche (1895)

It takes some boldness to upstage Oscar Wilde, but young Aubrey Beardsley achieved that. His drawings for Wilde’s play Salome stole the show. They snatched attention away from Wilde himself and though Wilde was generous to Bearsdley, he was not pleased. Sneaky satirical depictions appeared in the drawings of Wilde’s face as a bloated and bleary-eyed moon.

Aubrey Beardsley (1872- 1898) was a spunky character with sun sign Leo, Moon in Aries, and a Capricorn Ascendant. That is plenty of fire to astonish people, combined with practical earth to get the job done. There is little in Air, so he didn’t rationalize much, just went ahead with his plans; and there is little in Water, so he was acutely unsentimental. That made him the standout artist of the late 19th century and the preeminent illustrator of his age. He defined a period of so called ‘decadence’ while at the same time being one of its main players.

It is curious -but not so curious for astrologers –  that Beardsley’s work has resurfaced this corona season. There is a collection of his drawings at the Tate Britain, the first in 50 years, and a TV biography  Beauty and Scandal by Bearsdley-fan, Mark Gatiss, of whom more later. The Jupiter/Pluto/Saturn stellium has just transited Beardsley’s Ascendant at 18 degrees of Capricorn, so once again he is being acknowledged as a master of black ink lines. In fact Saturn was exact on this degree three times during 2019 probably during its planning, and Beardsley’s chart completed a fifth Saturn Return. This is mind-boggling when you consider that he did not even reach his first Saturn Return.

I have not given any thought to Beardsley for decades but as a student did a study on his work, and in the month that Venus goes Retrograde in Gemini, here I am writing about him again, so there is a ‘blast from the past’  retro art feel to Beardsley popping up again. Beardsley’s North Node is at 8 degrees of Gemini. And though the exhibition ends May 25th, Venus will reach that point on 13-14 June and again on July 8-9th so these days may be retweets of interest in Beardsley to punctuate why he resurfaced in the first place.The day the exhibition began, March 4th , Venus was conjunct Beardsley’s natal Neptune in Aries. What is new is that since the lockdown this exhibition has had to go online only- very Venus in Gemini, perhaps the first in a series of transfers from the 3D experience of an exhibition to the audio-visual via the internet. His Mercury is well placed in Virgo along with Venus, so the finesse of his artistic technique is on display, as there is an economy of line as fine as needlework in his artistic style. And Venus indeed is the esoteric ruler of Gemini which equates to love of knowledge and learning but also artistry through the hands.

How King Arthur Saw The Questing Beast Aubrey Beardsley (1894)

His drawings in pen and ink that require a detailed eye and a precision of execution that he clearly mastered. What’s interesting too is that a Leo sun sign illustrated the typically ‘heroic’ narratives and struggles:  Seigfried,  Perseus, Tristan, King Arthur, and even Salome is a side story in the eventual death of Jesus.  It appeared that he zeroed in on stories that are archetypes of the sun and borne out of solar cult traditions.

But also his death reminds us that Beardsley died of a long-standing respiratory disease, Tuberculosis (TB), the aerobiology of which is difficult to stop. To set it in context and as a reference to actual deaths, there were 1.5 million deaths worldwide from TB as recently as 2018. It is a bacterium not a virus and was once called ‘the plague of plagues’. It is as though Beardsley has come back to remind us of this and to keep perspective. In fact, a new study has just revealed that  incidence of TB increases due to prolonged lockdowns as the focus is in the wrong place and there’s no access to treatment. So TB proliferates exponentially up to 150 times more than Covid deaths. These dangers we have yet to face. Back in 1898, TB was thought to be incurable and treatments were unavailable. Warm climates were suggested and those helped, but to this day it is still resistant to drugs. Towards the end of his life, Beardsley complained of the endless daily creaking of his lungs. He was 25 when he died.

Drawings from Salome Aubrey Beardsley (1894)

With a career of barely six years, he worked super-fast as he knew he was dying of TB. His ambition and eye for an opportunity kicked in early when he was bold enough to visit Edward Burne-Jones’ studio in Fulham. Burne-Jones famously said Beardsley had the talent to be a great artist and praised Beardsley’s work.  Young Aubrey did not lack confidence to promote himself to publishers and to Oscar Wilde himself aged only 20 when he heard about the play Salome needing an illustrator. He had an eye for the opportunities and seized them fast. 

With Saturn on the Ascendant in its own sign we would expect a disciplined master of his craft and have a heightened awareness of how he appeared in public so he was a dandy in his clothing style, wearing elegant suits, now imitated by Drag Kings, and he claimed to draw only at night to two Ormulu (an amalgam of Mercury and gold) candlesticks. All this added to the PR. It produced the desired electrifying Beardsley-esque effect that he wanted. His women seemed to not care about men which was new and different. The sinuous lines combine with funky-little details; and the purity of technique, its lack of sentimentality, sits strangely at odds with the impurity of content as Stephen Fry says. Beardsley’s Mars and Uranus together in Leo loved sparking a spitfire drama, and Beardsley loved to provoke scandal and was thrilled by it. The stellium of planets in Leo include Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, and the Sun. It’s as if he saw the world as a stage for him to play on, so he made a startling cameo entrance in life and in London, and then a quick exit. Cue stupendous applause.

The Wagnerites Aubrey Beardsley (1894)

His style was uniquely his own, but there’s a thoroughly absorbed understanding of the flat shapes, use of negative space and bold linearity of Japanese Shunga ‘Erotic’ woodcuts. These incidentally flooded into Europe for the first time in the 19th century. The event that triggered Japanese art into Europe came during  the same period that all the Asteroid muses were discovered 1854-1863. To say the Japanese aesthetic had a major influence is an understatement. He made it his own influencing artists such as Austin Osman Spare.

Even the first retrospective of Beardsley’s striking black ink drawings at the V&A exhibition in May 1966 caused a sensation with some drawings being withheld and said to be pornographic. The Sun and Moon were both in Taurus and Jupiter was at 01 of Cancer in its exalted position, perhaps explaining how this triggered a Beardsley revival. He was revived from the history books. Venus was in Aries transiting over Beardsley’s natal Moon/Chiron at 14 degrees.  His style is still modern- very sixties- and in its unflinching gaze at the world – it satirized his subjects, but it was but also elegant, razor-sharp and sexually free.

Natal Chart Aubrey Beardsley 21 August 1872 (astrotheme.com)

The muse asteroids are worth checking in the life of any artist. Thalia is the muse of Comedy and Cartoonists and she is conjunct Beardsley’s Ascendant at 26 Capricorn. Beardsley was definitely a Satirist, and hardworking one at that, commenting maliciously on the morals of his age. His detachment was complete from all he observed as he never had a relationship and was thought to be asexual and/or celibate. So it is very apt that Thalia is so prominent.  His was a comic genius that was able to disturb as much as entertain. At the same time the other muse that jumps out in this chart is Terpsichore associated with dance and the body is the signature muse for all bodywork practitioners including sex workers, and Beardsley delighted in depicting the human body, often in its grotesque proportions to the point of being obscene. Terpsichore is on his MC at 22 degrees of Scorpio the sign associated with sex and death. He was able to  pinpoint human foibles in a way that pushed the limit. No one had gone as far as he did since Greek vases outlined satyrs with gigantic penises.

Vera Historia by Aubrey Beardsley (1894)

I rarely overlook the death of an artist, not out of morbid curiosity, but to examine what the astrological correlations are. Plus, I felt his death contains a message. When Beardsley died in Menton on March 16th  in 1898, Pluto/Neptune in Gemini opposed his Mars/Uranus in Sagittarius.  That is quite potent enough to trigger a farewell to life, but just to add n the locational map for Beardsley Mars/Uranus are close to Menton, near Nice, in Nice, south of France. The Pluto line divides up the whole of France and crosses his Saturn line just north east of London. The North Node also was conjoining his Ascendant in Capricorn and thus South Node on the descendant in Canvcer hinting at karmic pasts- he had completed his task on Earth.

Mark Gatiss in ‘Beauty and Scandal’ BBC4 (2020)

So why is that Mark Gatss has put together an assessment of Aubrey Beardsley called Beauty and Scandal? No surprises really as they are both lovers of the grotesque.  Who can forget the bizarre League of Gentlemen TV series which was as dark as humour ever gets? Beardsley said“I have one aim – the grotesque. If I am not grotesque, I am nothing.” He claimed that is exactly how he saw people so for him that was realism. Gatiss has also made several documentaries on the history of Horror films, all worth a look as he is something of a connoisseur of the twisted and macabre. His muse asteroid Melpomene, muse of tragedy, resides in Scorpio conjunct this Mercury- so he goes happily into darker territory than most. His Jupiter conjuncts Beardsley’s Mars Uranus in Leo. So I see this as allowing him to be the promoter, expanding Beardsley’s reputation even more.

So again Beardsley is spiralling back to us now for several reasons: the Saturn Return emphasis on his Ascendant at the Pluto/Saturn point, that he was an Illustrator’s illustrator; his death is a reminder, lest we forget, that some diseases are even deadlier than Covid; and the very Venus-in-Gemini emphasis that art exhibitions have have to go online and the guest book is now an interactive chatroom. But all this is not to forget the sheer skill, technique and artistry of a young upstart from Brighton who had the nerve to challenge Oscar Wilde- and that can be celebrated while we are still at home obsessed by images on screens.

© Proteus Astrology, May 16th, 2020. All rights reserved.

Head Piece for Le Morte D’Arthur Aubrey Beardsley (1893)

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Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

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The Magic of Magnets

Playing with Magnets: Part 1

So we are in enforced lockdown where people are being shamed for even walking the dog. But stuck in four walls people can get easily very antsy and not know what to do with themselves. Why not play with your magnets? It beats banging your head on the walls?

source: mammothmememory.net

Magnets polarise energy and remind you there is a north and south to everything- a beginning and an end. Just like politicians they come and go. There is a turnover. If you split a magnet, where it is cut becomes the new north or south depending which end it is. Magnets are heavy but you can feel a magnet pushing and pulling. It sensitizes you to energy you cannot see but you can observe and feel. A magnet has a field of energy around it which splays outwards like an elliptical halo on both sides. There is a zero point where the splay stops and then it reverse swings to the other direction. Magnetic energy is fundamentally linked with electricity just like space and time bend each other, magnetism has an electrical charge and electrons have a magnetic charge. This creates the electro-magnetic field.

Playing With Magnets Part 2

Our bodies also have a bio-energetic field so magnets remind us this energy is invisible but at the same time very powerful. All Qi practitioners know this and become vessels for this flow. They practice Qi Gong and Tai Qi to become more aware of how energy moves in and out of the body. Emotional Freedom Technique taps on those meridians using a technique of identifying the words that programme the psycho-somatic problem and help to unlock its baleful effects. EFT practitioners also know that energy flows along meridian lines and tapping key acupuncture points is a way not only to increase the right/left hemispheric balance of your body but also get instant relief.

Here in the videos Parts 1 and 2, I demonstrate how just playing with magnets can realign your energy and it could be feeling frazzled at the moment while in lockdown. First, I show feeling the push and pull, then the cycle pedal, then above and below, sausage roll style nd top spinning. This is done just by whirling the magnet above it and moving the energy. Simple things can trigger an awe at the universe and its mysterious workings.

Astrologers say Venus represents attraction so like one end of the magnet, and Mars is the propulsion, so it is at the other end. Very broadly speaking Venus is Yin to Mars’ Yang and as the Yin-Yan symbol shows it is not static but whirling. The black dot is emerging inside the white petal and the white dot inside the black petal is surfacing and this is a never-ending cycle. It is in constant dance. What this means is that there are permutations. There you have an integrated dynamic that cannot really be separated. Venus and Mars exist as archetypes in both males and females. Venus and the 2nd house are said to attract money, making some people money magnets.

Cole Porter once said in song that ‘a man chases a woman until she catches him.’ Who is chasing who is never clear. In same-sex love there is still a dynamic whereby the attractor and attracted is either fixed in stone, or the partners shift roles and one is more in the lead than the other. I have definitely seen that when Venus and Mars are conjunct in the natal chart or by synastry with a lover- the level of sexual attraction is through the roof. This frisson would exist even if Venus and Mars are in 180 degree opposition. The Sun linked to the Moon as well can create powerful attraction if one person’s Sun is on another’s Moon, or in opposition. The effect operates much like a magnet-locking people together then propelling them apart. Who has not experienced that attraction-changing-to-repulsion-and-back again cycle within intimate relationships? The makeups follow the breakups and this tension sometimes maintain the opposing forces in a state of equilibrium – or not as the case may be. Divorce after all is as useful an institution as marriage and just as necessary.  

There’s no doubt there is a push and pull going on in all types of relationship whether at work, with friends or with partners.  The Sun and Moon in a chart also carry a lot of attraction, where opposition or intense attraction is indicated.

moonconnectioncom

The Sun and Moon do a dance for us every month from the new phase where the moon is dark to a full moon when it is at its brightest and a super moon when it is closest to the Earth. There are eight moon phases where light on the moon goes from right to left: 1) New Moon, 2) Waxing Crescent, 3) First Quarter , 4) Waxing Gibbous, 5) Full Moon, 6) Waning Gibbous  7) Last or Third Quarter  8) Waning Crescent. It returns each New Moon in opposing signs in approximately 27 days. What we often take for granted is that these phases are only visible with the interplay of the light of the Sun, so it is a Sun-Moon dance. Eclipses are a bit more unusual.  

A Lunar eclipse is when the Earth comes between the Sun and Moon causing the moon to be in shadow and when the Moon shadow covers the Sun it causes a Solar eclipse. There are six eclipses in 2020 only some of which will be dramatically visible. The one on June 21st will be the one to watch as it coincides with a new moon solar eclipse and when the biggies- Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are back together within 5 degrees of each other.This will be mostly visible across Africa, Pakistan, Northern India and China.

The Dance of the Planets – the Sun, Mercury and Venus: Ferguson’ (1771)

Following these Sun-Moon phases in our chart helps monitor our progress and development from seeding to fulfillment. From the germination phase during waxing, towards fullness and then consolidation and absorption periods in readiness for the new cycle during waning. These extreme points are accompanied by dramatic eclipses. The North Node and South Node are points in the sky at the intersection of the Sun’s apparent path. These points in your chart are said to be magnetic too. If for example you have Venus there or Mars, or even Pluto it could mean you have inexplicable powers of attraction, Pluto on a deeper level than Mars. This would also be true of any Scorpio and the 8th House placements.

The 2nd House ruled by Venus is said to be a money magnet too, and J.P Morgan, while not having Jupiter there, has a stellium of planets in the 2nd House. Where the North and Sound nodes are in the chart can be magnetic points. This nodal dance reminds us of the dynamics of opposing archetypes and they appear to do the magnetic push and pull.  Mercury appears to have its intertwined positive and negative signals representing its dualistic nature, but it does its own dance with the Sun when it goes Retrograde a few times a year.

J.P. Morgan ‘The Man Who Bought the World’ Apollo Magazine (2015)

There is even a theory of astrology that gives magnetism a fundamental place.  In 1988  Dr Percy Seymour noticed that as an astronomer it became useless to attempt to explain astrology using the theory of gravity.  He realized the usual theory that planets influence the earth by their gravitational field did not really fit the phenomena. He proposed a new idea that magnetism from the sun aligns in a holistic way with harmonics, genetics and neurology.

Whether Seymour’s notion that planetary influences form an electromagnetic field or not, and we may never know, but even so, developing your awareness of magnetic attraction and repulsion can trigger some beneficial effects:

1) it can amplify your sensory receptivity and awareness of sensations.

2) it allows you to open and focus your mind at the same time.

3) it helps to distill your mind to its essential parts.

4) increases your understanding of natural forces in nature.

5) increases awareness of your personal bio-energy.

6) alerts you to how Qi flows through your body’s meridian lines.

7) helps to rebalance your bio-magnetic field.

Ilche Lee Change Your Energy

Korean master Ilchi Lee expresses this very well in his videos. He calls himself a brain educator for Earth citizens and uses magnets to illustrate this natural process of attraction and repulsion. He does this in a gentle, soft and simple way that even children can get. From Lee it is easy to see how understanding brings acceptance of change.

This dance that magnets make can seem like a door closing. As T.S. Eliot said in Little Gidding What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” For me the main thing playing with magnets teaches you is that it demonstrates clearly that we are more than just our physical bodies. There is invisible energy beyond the body that directly impacts us. Interesting to is that the North and South Poles do not align exactly with the Magnetic Poles. Changes to the earth’s magnetic field can also disturb the intricate balance of nature as when increases of the use of radar and intensification of telecommunications technology, this can have an effect on health of people.

People also talk of the Schumann resonance which is a pattern of spectrum peaks in the earth’s electro-magnetic field first predicted in 1952. Our heartbeat creates its own electro-magnetic field as the Heart-Math Institute have shown. But our lungs too and all organs generate a field of energy that radiates outwards from the core. Increasing awareness of the magnetic push and pull helps us to understand all this and avoid following a narrowly reductive model of the world, and challenges the supposition that is all-too firmly entrenched that only physical is real.

© Proteus Astrology, April 5th, 2020. All rights reserved.

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Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

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Astrology can help you to understand:

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Finding your Creative Signature in Houses and Signs

Now that we are mostly in enforced quarantine at home due to a whole lot of of March madness, it can bring surprising opportunities. One is the quietness can allow the urban noise to dispel to reveal that nature has been there all along- the birds are still singing and the trees blossoming ready for Spring and the Astrological new year March 20th.

William Blake (1809)

Another blessing is that may be able to have time from your day-job slavery to return to that project you forgot about months ago. Mercury is now back in Pisces which is foggy, but it very clear that neglecting your creative inklings may not be good for overall mental and work-life balance. This forced break from the working routine, with many having to work from home, can open a window into that world where there is an increased sense of urgency about what you might do with your time.

Provided you are healthy, this is great for artists and budding creatives. It could be the very antidote needed against the global panic over a certain family of viruses. How many of us have unpublished novels, a poem or a song that used was thrown in the bottom drawer, but is now probably lost on a folder you have forgotten the name of on an external hard drive. Any paintings or artwork can be picked up once again. Take advantage of this time by refreshing your mind about the creative DNA that lies in your personal chart- which planets and aspects point to your artistic inclination. And are you in touch with your inspiration, namely the muses? Or, are you struggling to hear their distant whispers?

Creative Signatures

First off there is the definition of ‘creative’ to get out of the way. There is an energy around it, a buzz that must come out somehow, and whatever form it takes, full blown art, or modest, or somewhere in between, it brings something into being by your tapping into the imaginal realm to produce an artefact of some kind. If you believe creativity is only for full time artists, you may be overlooking how your imagination is actually creating scenarios in your life all the time, but have you harnessed that and directed it? Don’t dismiss that modest hobby you have as not being professional enough as the point of it is that it channels your creative impulse into constructive activity so – cooking, DIY, water colour sketches, doodles on notebooks, montages, party organising, decor, keeping a diary – all of it is good.

There are many signs of creative urges in the natal chart. Venus is prominent as queen of the Visual arts in Taurus and arbiter of taste and interior decor in Libra. Mercury is often thought of as the ‘writers’ friend’ with good reason. It gives dexterity and skill to juggling with words or doing hand crafts. Yet combine Venus with Mercury in a conjunction and the talent enhances that eloquence, that beautiful way with words. T.S.Eliot wrote complex poetry but was one of the best loved poets during WW2. He had a Venus-Mercury conjunction on his Ascendant. Maya Angelou also had this conjunction and pleased the world with her heartfelt words. Leonard Cohen had two artistic heavyweights Venus and Neptune conjunct in the 12th house and so he was inspired and inspiring to many.  He appeared to be stimulated by seclusion on Hydra, a Greek island with no cars, and as a monk. But also his Sun was conjunct muse asteroid Erato and he wrote love poetry inspired by the women in his life. out of deep seclusion.

Another radiant signature of creativity is the Sun as this is the life force itself, the light you beam into your simple hobbies and creative pursuits. Where the Sun is can tell you a lot about what you could create. In Leo the sun is strong, and often front of the stage, playing out scenes in the repertoire and getting people’s attention. The Sun manifests through all the signs as the carrier of purpose. Also, the Moon which gives intuitive promptings and the primary energy to imbue artwork with a nurtured feeling as if cultivated in the allotment. Then there is Neptune which is the ocean of the imagination, the depths which can drown you, but also carry you on its mysterious tides on to a shore that is productive of artwork.

Combinations and aspects of the Sun, Mercury, the Moon, Venus and Neptune are prominent in the charts of artists. Often overlooked is Saturn which gives constructive skill, and a sterner edge to what is created. Pluto too lends visceral and transformative power to any work, making something small into something big and vice versa. The ground is deep. An additional layer are the muse asteroids which can indicate which genre your creative energy takes, whether it is love-inspired (Erato) , or inclined to historical topics (Klio), or about the body (Terpsichore), or scientific and astrological ( Urania).

The Creative Houses

It is often said that the planets are the actors and their field of activity are the houses. So the houses are the stages on which the actors – the planets- play out the script. Therefore the signs are the interpretation, the manner in which the energy is revealed in life. So which houses are the most creative? The problem lies in the question, how it is framed. If you say the ‘most’ you may miss the less visible types of creativity that are also vying for attention. They too need to be acknowledged. and needing to be acknowledged. There are houses that stand out as obvious candidates: the 2nd ruled by Venus, the 3rd ruled by Mercury, the 5th ruled by the Sun- and these are the stereotypes of ‘artistic’ activity, painters, writers and actors. But there are no un-creative houses. All houses are creative , each in their in their own distinct way. This chart shows how each house has something to offer.

So, for example, in this chart, if the first house is not usually associated with art, but Martial is also an art. The physical body can be trained to a very high level to enact movements of sport and athletics that can also have grace and refinement blended with spiritual force. It can be a lifelong choice. The Fourth House can sometimes be associated with artists, and even writers, but this house governs diarists, archivists, and museum curators- and let’s not forget chefs and restauranteurs – is theirs not also an artistic and aesthetic? This house is of the self, the home (of the soul) and Mexican artist, Frida Khalo rendered an image of herself in almost every painting. She put self portraiture centre stage and has now achieved iconic status. She had Neptune conjunct the Sun in Cancer, so while they were not in 4th house, the overlay of the 4th through Cancer influences the 11th house. Her image is now branded and marketed across the world via the internet.

”Fulang Chang and I’ by Frida Khalo (1937)

So too with the 8th house ruled by Pluto, there is an art to counselling and psychotherapy. The ninth inclines whichever planet is there towards the art of religion, the sacred, theology and philosophical musings perhaps in written form or in speech making. The tenth house, ruled by Saturn, may not be a house connected to any art, but a lot of our infrastructure would not exist without engineers who become architects of buildings. The art of designing buildings includes the shaping of negative space and interplay with the surroundings. Then there is the 11th House, ruled by Uranus. This area can be just as creative as the 3rd and the 5th as Uranus is associated with genius, but it could be a technological flavour, manipulating digital art via Adobe Indesign skills. This can point towards blogging and the internet or being a social influencer- and of course astrologers of a creative bent.

The 12th House is regarded as problematic, shifty and hidden, but it can be among the most creative houses of all. But the inclinations of any planets or the sign resideding theremay not be fully understood or incorporated into the mind-body psycho-somatic mix. These energies may be unconsciously played out unless there are more favourable influences, yet it is ruled by Neptune and that is the planet of the boundless imagination from which a sea of ideas rises up. This fresh way of looking at the houses can begin to signal where your creative urges may lie in a more comprehensive way, uncovering potential under every stone.

Hilary Mantel and the Muse of History

If you see an indication through planets and signs this can be enough, but if asteroid muses are added and their placement is significant, then another more highly specific signature can show up. It offers a more nuanced view of the particular art form. For example, Hilary Mantel has just published the third book in her historical trilogy about Thomas Cromwell to a great fanfare of attention not seen since Harry Potter. ‘Wolf Hall’ (2009) won the Booker Prize and was adapted into a successful TV drama. The second book ‘Bring up the Bodies (2012) also won a Booker Prize. This made her the first woman to win the Booker prize twice. So we might think her signature as a writer is with Mercury, and it is true that her Mercury is in Leo in the 11th sextile to Saturn in Libra in the first so she is a good and balanced storyteller and knows her audience. But the books are historical, and her particular skill is in bringing fresh insight to the circumstances of 16th century intrigues.

Very telling is to locate asteroid Klio, the muse of history in her chart. It is placed in the 4th house- where archiving, history and domestic details thrive. Sure enough, her Sun conjunct Uranus and Venus are all in Cancer -the house of self and the nation she belongs to, in the 10th, but this trio directly opposes Kilo residing there in the 4th suggesting that history might be her main driving force-as she declares she never suffers from writer’s block and has too many ideas. When ‘Wolf Hall’ was published in 2009, asteroid Klio had just transited 5 degrees across Mantel’s trio of Uranus/Sun/Venus in Cancer giving its blessing. It doubled the emphasis as Klio is also known as the native’s ‘claim to fame’ as well as being muse of history, and of teachers. Although Mantel had many readers well before ‘Wolf Hall’ arrived- if she will be remembered in years to come for any achievement, it will be these historical novels.

Hilary Mantel by Andrew Testa NYT

There are so many factors involved in finding what is creative that no one planet sign or house would ever give you the full picture. It is jigsaw and the pieces may not obviously blend together. If we don’t feel like doing anything, that is fine too, but there is a belief that every single thought we have is creating something in our world, whether we like it or not. Thoughts tend to percolate on the back burner- there is constant activity waiting to burst through to boiling point.

So if the motivation is there, we can get in touch with these whisperings, check the chart, look for the main signatures- they are usually there in the main players in which signs and which houses they are placed- but also check for any extra overlays which may point to a specific type of artwork you might best channel that drive towards doing, making and producing.

© Proteus Astrology, March 16th, 2020. All rights reserved.

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Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

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Astrology can help you to understand:

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  • career issues
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  • choices and decisions
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Sessions can also be in person and will include a full recording of the sessions, with print outs of your chart, astromaps, and notes.

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Warrior Mars Enters Executive Capricorn

Hort ‘Mars’ (1865)

Whether you are male or female the chutzpah of this energy will get an extra boost when the sun moves into Aries on the 20th March. The joys of Spring in the northern hemisphere then will shift more into high gear. But before all that, as we swim through Pisces, our goal-shaping can still be sharpened and refined and business acumen may be at a peak from tapping into this Mars in action. It is a great time for finessing daily routines, and perhaps doing more work than usual, as long as it is useful, constructive and efficient work and does not fritter away valuable time. One thing that is hard to do is to just accept things even if they irritate you. There is often some greater purpose that is serves.

Get the ignition key handy and get moving with this push start to your ambitions. If you can manage this along with some shuffling and navel gazing due to Mercury in Pisces then all the better. Put all your energy into organizing the details. Do the step by step logistics of anticipating problems and doing it all with painstaking care that a master of discipline bestows. Get all your plans, papers, systems and processes sorted these next few weeks. The son is working for his dad’s company and getting all the  necessary training to eventually take over as CEO.

This acceleration symbolised by the warrior planet may slow down in September when it appears to go backwards in the sky. But that’s not for a few months. It is not going retrograde just yet. Plans may move forward more easily now. Mars will join Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto over the next few weeks so that might be a bumpy ride. It will overtake each on in turn, even crossing the South Node of the Moon.

If this long cycle meeting of the outer planets Saturn and Pluto in the sign of Capricorn is like a council of the elders, sorting the world’s problems, then that is important enough. But it seems all generations are coming to the ritual circle, mythological brothers Pluto and Jupiter, who argued over the daughter of Ceres, and the old daddy Saturn, master of the cycles of time. Jupiter traverses this territory bringing a breezier and less heavy-handed attitude with a bit of guru wisdom. But he can be curtailed by Saturn and Pluto.

Then along comes the young buck to visit everyone and he might get very antsy. It takes a lot of self control for the urban warrior to listen hopefully and take note of what the elders advise. The fact that he is in Capricorn suggests that this time instead of being impatient to leave, or to jump ahead too soon, he will actually listen and something productive may arise. It is a series of learnings for this impulsive streak that might be like a hero’s education. The focus is definitely on the ups and downs of your physical energy so watch out for pushing to extremes and how others might fly off the handle.

Could it all get out of control? Yes, easily, so keep an eye on the road ahead and drive your life with the skill it deserves.

Mars enters Capricorn today February 16th until 30th March.

Mars is out of bounds from February 9th to March 2nd.

Mars squares Chiron February 21st

Mars conjuncts the South Node of the Moon on 25th and 26th February- 6 degrees of Capricorn.

Mars conjuncts Jupiter March 20th at 22 degrees Capricorn.

Mars conjuncts Saturn April 1st at 0 degrees of Aquarius.

Mars conjuncts Pluto March 29th at 24 degrees of Capricorn.

© Proteus Astrology, February 16th, 2020. All rights reserved.

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Jackie and Aristotle Onassis: the Juno and Jupiter of Greece

It is always satisfying to tidy up a mystery – that of why Jackie Onassis became so associated with Greece and is so revered by its people, though she was mistrusted at first. She was not born there, nor was she royalty,  and she did not even stay there that long preferring to stay in Manhattan, yet she had the aura of having stepped straight off Mount Olympus playing the Juno/Hera archetype to Aristotle Onassis’ Jupiter/Zeus. Sure enough, asteroid Juno goddess of partnerships is at 13° Scorpio is conjunct her Ascendant so there is a queen-like energy here that the Greek people acknowledged.

Jackie O Mykonos Old Port
Jackie with Pedros the Pelican, Mykonos

 

Fate and fortune appeared to have blessed her life in equal measures with her first husband’s assassination and her second husband’s wealth conferred tragedy as well as financial security.  This was mainly because in 1968 she married Aristotle Onassis – the Zeus/Jupiter to her Hera/Juno. This link to Greece is a curiosity worth doing some astrological digging.  I wondered what was a Bouvier doing paddling in Aegean waters and lying naked on Skorpios island in Ionian seas? It especially applies to the beautiful Cycladean island of Mykonos where there is a gay bar and luxury beach club with the name Jackie O  and not even Judy Garland can claim such an honour. Jackie Kennedy Onassis helped to make that island fashionable and even played a role in replacing its mascot Pedros (Peter) the Pelican that wanders around the Old Port. The pelican as a totem animal is about grace, pleasure and offering benevolence.

Both asteroids and astro-location might have a few pointers to establish Jackie’s Greek credentials besides marrying one of Greece’s wealthiest shipping magnates. But first Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s natal chart has a Leo Sun loving the limelight. She turned the white house into an open stage, and although wary of the press and distrustful of journalists, she was certainly in the full glare of publicity most of her life. But she could snap taut: when asked what she fed her German Shepherd dogs she said ‘reporters.’  This earned her a reputation of being snarky and she avoided interviews. Leos can be prickly, if not treated with whole-hearted respect; Leo-with Scorpio rising amplified that, both are in fixed signs so not easy to change, as it was a paradoxical combo: both showy and secretive. She also had her feminine Moon in the masculine sign of Aries which can tend to be over-assertive to compensate.  For a more detailed analysis of her chart from the perspective of Hellenistic astrology see Demetra George’s book Ancient  Astrology: a Manual of Traditional Techniques: Vol 1.pp 547-559.

Jackie Onassis in Greece

But this clear Juno signature is right on her Ascendant at 13° Scorpio, with Hera at 4°  Scorpio to underscore the archetypal pattern. Hera is the Greek equivalent and earlier source for Juno. Asteroid Hera is at 4 ° Scorpio while almost 10° away, Hera is close enough to make that a double layer of how Jackie O was to be visibly recognized (Ascendant) able to handle compatibility with difficult partners, perhaps even being difficult herself. Interestingly at this very same point is asteroid Kalliope – the leading muse.

Also, there is asteroid Penelope – the wife of Ulysses from the Homer’s epic The Odyssey who travelled the seas for years while she waited for him representing the homeland, faith and perseverance. Asteroid Penelope is 3° of Leo conjunct Jackie O’s Sun. But Scorpio rising with Juno close to the Ascendant- this somehow does not surprise as the main story about her was her relationships and with the South Node being there too, this being in a relationship mode was her default and most natural defence against the world. The association with Juno, the goddess of marriage and faithful relationships is one aspect, but her symbol was the peacock which is about display and show and fashion. Venus was not the only one in this arena. Jackie was the clothes horse on display for her style choices but this made her was a leading fashion influencer, widely copied.

Jackie O in Mykonos
Jackie O in Mykonos

For Greeks then she was both charming first lady of the US who loved Greece and then the ‘black widow’ of John F. Kennedy as she became for the American public, who  went on to reject  her when she married a foreigner. Yet, foreigner or not,  the people of Mykonos took to her immediately as she first visited in 1961 and declared this island the best ever holiday she’d had. But once she had married Onassis he helped cement the island’s reputation as a magnet for the rich, famous and/or gay by building the island’s airport. Besides owning the seas, Onassis was unique in also owning the country’s national airline, Olympic Airways.

Jackie and Ari Onassis in Greece
Jackie and Ari Onassis

Juno was the one who stood behind the throne often running the show the background,  first lady style. She could judge nuances of style establishing the etiquette, comportment and multi-lingual conversation, and employing gay designers in her inner circle. As well as Onassis, John F. Kennedy also occupied the role of a kind of Zeus putting Jackie in the role of consort, Hera in the USA. People might have expected that she had everything- wanted for nothing. She was feted, and widely emulated in style, but allegedly unhappy with the arrangement though never revealing that doubt. JFK was apparently a sex-aholic. So there was rivalry from the first lady to all her husband’s conquests just as it was on Mount Olympus looking at it archetypally. Juno had a dark side as she ruled over jealousy, divorces and disintegration of relationships. This puts Marilyn Monroe in the role not of Venus who had power in her own right,  but of all the women John Kennedy  had affairs with-the ‘mistresses’ -including several White House interns. The parallels would be Europa, Leda, Io, Ganymede and Semele with whom Zeus engaged in all his sexual dalliances. Zeus (Jupiter) was repeatedly unfaithful to Hera (Juno) who struggled to maintain her position. Jackie Kennedy allegedly once said to Marilyn Monroe on the phone that she could have it all if she wished – JFK, the white house- including the problems. Perhaps this is why she was so admired even when she fell into the role of ‘black widow’ as even though depressed she showed great wit and fortitude.

The asteroid patterning does not end here however: asteroid Zeus and Part of Fortune is conjunct Jackie Kennedy’s Sun at 7° of Leo in the 9th House of long-distance travel. Could Onassis have been this Zeus figure for her, acting like a saviour? And then there are the lovers entwined….

Eros and Psyche

The Eros and Psyche connection is fascinating. The placement of these two asteroids can indicate an explosive and transformational kind of love experience that turns into hard life lessons – see the full story in my previous post. Jackie Kennedy’s asteroid Eros is opposed to Onassis’ Eros. So we can only speculate what kind of nuclear fusion that ignited. Onassis was not handsome; he was short, had shed loads of money and could charm women through flattery. He usually got what he wanted. Her Eros is at 21° Virgo opposite his Eros at 19° Pisces, which is also his Ascendant. This would certainly have had a direct impact as previously he treated non-Greek women as mistresses but  he never married them. This time he had bagged the most famous woman in the world. and married but the press suggested it was not for love but one for status and respectability and the other for money- both Capricornian themes. Jackie O had Venus in Gemini opposite Saturn in Sagittarius which may also point to this trait- Ari was 23 years her senior and she once said JFK acted like her father, in a patrician manner she was used to. But Onassis ( source: McIvers) was born with a Capricorn sun and has Venus at 23° Capricorn making public status hugely important in matters of love.

National chart of Greece
National chart of Greece (astrologyweekly)

Just while we are on this point, the mundane chart of Greece as a nation is also Capricorn- it is January 13th, 1822- and this chart aligns astonishingly well with the most commonly used birth time for Onassis’ chart. (an alternative is 21/9/1900). If the Capricorn chart is used, His Venus, Mercury and Sun are all conjunct the Greek chart and more specifically his MC/Uranus conjuncts the nation’s Uranus/Neptune conjunction (4-3°Capricorn) – Uranus can represent the airline company and Neptune represents the shipping magnate. Clearly supported by the astrology, that fuses Onassis as icon of in the public eye entwined with the destiny of the nation and Jackie was along for the ride.

Back to asteroid Psyche, it is about the soul and Jackie’s Psyche is conjunct Onassis’s Chiron, so perhaps she was one of the few women to teach him a painful lesson his ego did not like to take? She was the sophisticated college educated socialite- his polar opposite. He began to complain that she spent too much money and even leaked her clothes shopping list so the public could know how much she overspent. But, perhaps she had been traumatized by her connection to the Kennedys and Onassis’s money offered security away from prying eyes and the paparazzi. When he died in 1975 she spoke diplomatically but carefully of him saying she was ‘eternally grateful.’

Maria Callas

Jackie and Maria novel
‘Jackie and Maria’ by Gill Paul (2020)

Then there was Callas too – an interlude for Aristotle between Tina, his first wife, and Jackie. This affair with Maria Callas was a whole other story deserving full attention in its own right since there are two possible birth charts for Callas. Just to say here that Callas was already married when she met Onassis, and she was treated as a woman perhaps for the first time. But in a tiff Callas walked out on him. But he never came back and married Jackie Kennedy instead delivering a shock to Callas and to the world. The press called it the marriage of ‘beauty and the beast’ – echoing the strange dynamic of the Psyche and Eros story. It was the stuff of high drama played out on the world stage as Callas was already at the tail end of her singing career and her deterioration was rapid after this rejection. Both Callas (Dec 3rd chart) and Jackie O had Pluto in the Eighth house, just 7° apart but Pluto aligns to the Vertex which can have an eclipse-like effect in both their charts. Callas’s Moon is conjunct asteroid Juno. They were two fire signs with Scorpio rising-  not to be messed with- a rivalry celebrated in a novel called Jackie and Maria.

Personal Name Asteroids

Personal Name Asteroids (PNAs) are always worth a look to add yet another layer of meaning. Onassis’ middle name was Socrates. Asteroid Sokrates is at 25° Libra opposite his Moon in Aries.  Asteroid Aristoteles is at 29 °of Pisces right on his Ascendant: he was after all a great shipping magnate, designing some of largest tankers on the seas and doing oil deals with the King of Saudi Arabia. He was the type of ambitious Capricorn who played hardball in business saying ‘the only rule is that there are no rules’ – and this final degree of Pisces is end point of the end point of the entire zodiac, making it phenomenally powerful and mysterious in its fated completion of all the preceding energy.

The position of asteroid Aristoteles in Jackie O’s chart is at 26° Libra which is opposite her Moon at 25° Aries and lands in Aristotle’s 7th house, so perhaps another point of tension that triggered her moods there? It conjuncts his asteroid Polyhymnia adding a sacred feel.

Astro Locational Astrology

Jackie O Astro Map
Jackie O Astro Map

Finally, the astro-location map has some further interesting indicators as to why Jackie loved Greece so much.  To read more about what Locational astrology is see my article which gives a short introduction. Geographical astrology can be useful to show what potentials there are in a given place if you change the chart to that location and/or see where the angular, rising and culminating lines land across the terrain. Where lines intersect is particularly of interest. Jackie Onassis’s location chart shows the Jupiter I.C. line running through the Cyclades Crete and Athens. While it is 197 km wide of Mykonos itself, a reading for Jupiter in this area would be it is a place where the native receives accolades and blessings, or run to great excess but if it aligns with the I.C. it is a place where you feel at home, where the security, comfort, the food all serve to make you feel comfortable and loved.

Mykonos itself nestles between this line running through the islands of Milos and Crete and her Neptune line runs directly through the island of Rhodes which is closer to Turkey. She was married to Aristotle Onassis 20th October 1968 on the island of Skorpios to the left of the Neptune line.

Aristotle Onassis astro map
Aristotle Onassis astro-map (solar fire.com)

Aristotle Onassis’ astro-map shows Mars on the Ascendant running through Athens and Pluto running close to Skorpios island where his son Alexander is buried. This island has now been sold to a Russian billionaire but still has the remains of Aristotle Onassis alongside his son. Interesting that it is Mars and not Neptune here as it might show that he poured all his passion, energy and was so driven to succeed this area, It was the scene of most of the action in his life.

This blending of the asteroid patterns and the location pictures can bring their stories into sharper focus as the alignments appear to corroborate the symbolism in a cool way, establishing Jackie and Aristotle as Juno and Jupiter archetypes and bringing the ancient mythology alive in a way that will ensure they are not likely to be forgotten.  Greece has a way of bringing things into sharp contrast – according to John Fowles, author of The Magus set on the island of Spetses,  it is a ‘mirror’ in which you learn to be starkly alone- in the case of Jackie and Ari- ‘alone together’.

 

© Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, September 13th, 2020.

All rights reserved.

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Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

Natal Chart Readings via Skype with Discounts available
This is a great opportunity for those who are curious about what a chart reading can do for them and need advice on where to go from here.

Email me on the Proteus Astrology FB page

Or Contact

Eusastro@protonmail.com  and you will receive a request form to fill in.

Astrology can help you to understand:

  • life patterns, purpose and life path
  • relationships, business and romantic
  • money, and what it means to you
  • career issues
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  • vision, hopes and wishes
  • choices and decisions
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Hard Knocks on the Path of Love: the Story of Eros and Psyche

Psyche and Eros
Psyche and Eros

 

The Golden Ass by Apuleius
The Golden Ass by Apuleius

One myth that speaks directly to me is that of Eros and Psyche. Both these asteroids can now be located in your natal chart. Myths are private dreams that can have a real impact in your life. The myth tells that love requires faith and any doubts can make it vanish overnight. There are the hard lessons in love to reach its divine and redemptive phase- a price must be paid. The story was a prototype of the Beauty and the Beast which was rendered on film in 1946 by Jean Cocteau.* The main source for the story Eros and Psyche is an adventurous semi-autobiographical novel, the first of its kind, from 2,000 years ago, ‘The Golden Ass’ by Apuleius.  This book is a great romp in itself and very entertaining, but it contains this gem of a mythical story sandwiched in the middle- this coupling of a young girl who rivaled the beauty of Venus and the god Eros who fell in love with her and all that transpires. But it is remarkable how Venus behaves in a similar way to Saturn, dishing out tasks and hurdles for Psyche to complete. Saturn is not mentioned, but it is as if Venus acts out her inner Saturn on Psyche. Each task she doles out to Psyche becomes increasingly punishing and difficult. The difference is that Venus appears to be motivated by capriciousness, vanity and peevishness, whereas Saturn works his tasks to build your resilience, determination and help construct your destiny.

You might well be curious – a typical trait of psyche – how these two asteroids land in natal chart comparison, across the charts of your lovers and partners.  If you are madly in love with someone, quite likely there is the Sun and Moon, conjunction, square or opposition that creates bonding at a subliminal level, and perhaps a Venus and Mars, conjunction, square or opposition cranking up the sexual dynamic, but Psyche and Eros add another burden of irony to the lovers tryst. It can show your love-as-trial signature. Where does asteroid Psyche align with your partner’s Eros and vice versa?

Asteroid Psyche not only conjuncts my natal sun, it is square to Eros, so this aspect of tension compounds the bumpy ride, the bitter lessons of love, where it always felt like I was being schooled and punished rather than being able to embrace wholeheartedly any joyful experience. Each trial is a blessing people say but if only the event was not so disguised as a test.  If relationships contain ‘work’ then I had a fair share of tasks to do and could fall into despair and depression, just as Psyche did. For others, it could be any number of other asteroids that tell the story, but for me it has been this Psyche-drenched narrative. 

Watch out especially if yours or your partner’s Psyche conjuncts Pluto- that will prove to be profoundly transformational I can verify. The Sun is life purpose so that asteroid Psyche is there adds the trials of love to the story of self in a long unfolding pattern. So knowing where your Psyche is can reveal this life history. ‘Psyche’ the root of many modern words like ‘psychotherapy’, ‘psychoanalysis’, ‘psychosis’ which make it sound almost as if it is an abstract quantity. Its original meaning in Greek is ‘soul’ which cannot be quantified in stats and research papers, so to understand it this way, ‘psychic’ disorders are really ‘soul traumas’ as Brian Clark says in his book ‘Soul, Symbol and Imagination.’

Eros and Psyche: the Labours of Love

Psyche is a female archetype but being male does not prevent you from having resonance with a female archetype/asteroid and vice versa, women often resonate with male archetypes. So you can say it has a resonance for me as I even once wrote a contemporary version of this story. That’s what makes asteroids so intriguing- they inhabit your DNA somehow. Psyche can be thought of as the anima, for men, their inner archetype of the soul which men often repress in order to avoid the suspicion their masculinity is in question. For women it is the animus, a more masculine configuration, and likewise often suppressed until integrated- it’s just easier to conform to societal expectations of your sex.

Cupid and Psyche
‘Cupid and Psyche’ illustration by K.Y. Craft (1996)

Painters historically and perhaps intuitively depicted Psyche as androgynous- that Eros and Psyche were adolescent helped. The effect is to fuse them together as if they are two sides of the same coin – but in Burne-Jones’s work, this goes further than most.  Some painters chose to depict the bedroom scene erring towards titillation, and sculptors tend to go for the intertwining of limbs when rendering Eros and Psyche.  Eros remember is born directly out of the primal Chaos long before many of the other gods and is not really the son of Aphrodite. Eros is your lust for life, that which can save you from death.

The word ‘psyche’ means soul and psychology should more appropriately be called ‘Soul’-ology. It  presented itself as a new science only because it had to do to survive and in order to replace religion once Nietzsche had announced that ‘God is Dead’ and the culture moved towards more secular beliefs placing Science and Technology on the altar normally reserved for exalted gods. Astrology is an art and craft of allowing the soul to speak through symbols and timed cycles, hence it tends not to fit a purely materialistic model. Psyche’s trials make her a female Hercules, but the work is all inner, and she falls many times into despair, all quite un-heroic, unless you’re familiar with the modern anti-hero hero, the one who has flaws aplenty, yet somehow makes of those flaws a virtue. It is cypher of continuous self exploration. The cure for the soul (Psyche) is the senses (Eros) and the cure for the senses is the soul- they are suspended in a homeostasis.

The Story of Eros and Psyche

characters in Cupid and PsycheThe story of Eros (Cupid is the Roman name) and Psyche involves a whole cast of characters so her plight sent ripples from Olympus to Hades: there is Zephyrus who carries Psyche on the wind; there’s Aphrodite (Venus) who is at her most vain and temperamental here and vicious towards Psyche; there are the jealous sisters who we know from other classic stories; there’s the satyr god Pan, who helps Psyche; there are Ceres and Juno whom Psyche solicits for advice but they are both unable to help as they defer to Aphrodite; Cerberus the three-headed dog that guards Hades is there, and Charon the boatman that sails to Hades are part of the story; Zeus and his eagle also appear.

Some of the themes echo across the parallel story of Lucius becoming an ass and that of Eros and Psyche. Lucius after a comedy of errors is eventually initiated into the Mysteries of Eleusis, and this is described as ‘metamorphosis’. Psyche after so many difficulties and trails eventually is allowed to join Eros and become immortal. These hardships are’the hard knocks on the path of love’. Even Shakespeare said ‘the course of love does not run smooth’.  Love as a quest links to the element Water and therefore the suit of Cups in the Tarot as the journey traverses from earthly emotions in Cancer to the most spiritual in Pisces. Other themes include being versus becoming as we never quite reach our goal and perhaps that is the point. Also, too much curiosity or being quizzical and influenced by mal-intentioned people, can extinguish the elation of love and life, which are perhaps best left as mysteries.

Themes in Cupid and Psyche themes

    The Story of Eros and Psyche

    Here’s a summary version of a story that has many variants:

    Psyche was a young girl whose beauty made her famous and people started worshipping her as an incarnation of Aphrodite herself. This angered the goddess Aphrodite who vowed to punish Psyche by getting Eros to make her fall in love with a monster. Eros hesitated to use his arrow when he saw Psyche, finding her the most beautiful creature, but following his mother’s orders used his arrow on her, so but accidentally pierced himself too while she slept.

    But no one would marry Psyche due to her reputation as Aphrodite’s enemy. So her father invited Apollo’s oracle and this suggested a doomed fate. Her husband which was meant to be a monstrous serpent. She was carried away from a cliff edge to marry this monster. She expected barren rocks and a cruel fate, but Zephyrus carried her to a beautiful palace, like a golden cage. They were now in love and wanted her as a bride an unseen husband (Eros) and to allow her to live in palatial surroundings with her every want provided. The deal was that she should never actually see who her husband was.

    Eros and Psyche
    Francois-Edouard Picot ‘Cupid and Psyche’

    This roused the interest of Psyche’s sisters. Once they were invited to visit her they became jealous and conspired to get Psyche to breach her agreement with the mystery husband. She had agreed never to see her husband’s face as he only came at night and disappeared before dawn. She had no idea he was really the beautiful young god Eros.  She was obliged to agree never to see her husband’s face. But the sisters persuaded her she was married to a monster, and the only way to tell was to reveal his hideousness at night while he slept. She did so and saw the face of a god and witnessed divine beauty. An angry Eros abandoned Psyche as she had broken her promise.  She was devastated. When Aphrodite found out she was also livid and set Psyche a series of near impossible tasks to break her spirit, but in each task whether separating grains, or retrieving a beauty box from Hades, hidden helpers came to assist Psyche in her wanderings and this became her heroic path. 

    Task 1 was to separate a mountain of grains, millet poppy seeds, lentils and beans. Ants came to sort them out for her. 

    Task 2  was to get some wool from the shining golden sheep that was guarded by vicious animals. A reed told her how to accomplish the task successfully. 

    Task 3 was to fill a vessel with water of the spring that feeds the Styx and Cocytus and the Eagle of Zeus comes to help her achieve that.  

    Task 4 was to go to Hades and ask Persephone to provide Aphrodite with a box of beauty cream, past Cerberus and Charon. She is given a coin. Even Theseus had to be rescued from Hades, but Psyche managed this task too

    After completing all her tasks, to the surprise of Aphrodite, Eros relented and appealed to Zeus to do something. Zeus brought together all the gods, and absolved Psyche from any further punishment, allowing her to become immortal and join again with Eros.

    All relationships involve us in a dance of polarities, and knowing the position of Eros and Psyche can intensify that see-saw effect.  Could it be also that some people are in love with love, and cannot bear to be without someone through poor self-esteem? Or, there are people who see love as a torment, a tempestuous ride and it can be no other way, anything less would be insipid so they are no longer attracted? There are some people set to play out a psychodrama similar to that of Psyche in her loss and search to live out her Eros nature? Once you have glimpsed the divine, had that taste, you will trample the earth and sacrifice it all to find that pathway to ecstasy again. Let’s look at some examples.

    The Long Game of Aphrodite:  Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

    Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor
    Burton and Taylor together Betman/Getty Images

    Elisabeth Taylor, a Pisces, had seven husbands, which is quite a few more than most people.  She played feisty, demanding characters who stood up to their men as equals and her fifth husband was fellow actor Richard Burton. They met on the set of ‘Cleopatra’ in 1962. Their love affair and marriage created a sensation that was lived out in full public view, diamonds and all. Of this love Taylor said “When you are in love and lust like that, you just grab it with both hands and ride out the storm.”

    Liz Taylor natal chart
    Elizabeth Taylor with Eros and Psyche http://www.astrotheme.com

    Taylor’s chart shows a turbulent Moon in Scorpio with asteroid Psyche at 6° of Virgo- conjunct Neptune.  Was Taylor searching for the one in the many, some elusive ideal mate? She was Pisces after all, and that ideal mate might well have been Richard Burton (Scorpio). Working on the theory that Liz Taylor had some issues finding love, or that perfect marriage, love for her became a kind of quest, their synastry charts are worth a look, bearing in mind that it is not just asteroids that bring people together but the entire configuration of planets.

    Taylor’s Psyche and Eros are in direct opposition- so she had plenty of turbulence within to deal with. Their chart synastry tells a lot as why they experienced such a depth. His Sun/Saturn lies on her Moon in Scorpio, so probably the only who who could contain and influence her enough to bring moments of calm. His Mercury is on her Ascendant so talking was a direct route to the stimulus of talking. Her Sun is sextile his Venus and they their Mars placements are trine to each other.

    Taylor and Burton loved to make a show of their violent disagreements acting out the arguments for public benefit, yet the tension is there ripe for the picking as Eros at 4° is basically at the midpoint between her Mars at 1° and her Sun/Mercury at 9 ° in Pisces. Pisces likes the ideal and finds the real rather bothersome and lacking in imagination and does not mind saying so, so there’s a striving for the impossible like the grit on the pearl that eventually makes it smoother.  Eros in Pisces is the spiritual manifestation of the erotic which can easily go beyond the usual boundaries in its search for oneness but is also acutely sensitive.

    In Richard Burton’s chart Psyche is conjunct Taylor’s Descendant at 11° Gemini which would make him the most fascinating if challenging for her mind to get its teeth into. He was famed for his gift of the gab and wrote many steam love letters to her. His Eros is at 7° Libra which is conjunct her MC making him the number one lover associated with her publicly of all her husbands.

    Incidentally, another way to analyse asteroids is to look for personal name asteroids  (PNAs) to see if that offers any extra in terms of synchronicity. Elizabeth Taylor has her own name asteroid Elisabetha at 10° of Taurus conjunct asteroid Nemesis in the 5th House and asteroid Richardromeo is at  20° Virgo in 9th House, opposite Vesta, goddess of the sacred flame in the 3rd. Her own personal name asteroid Elisabetha is at 6° Capricorn conjunct Richard’s Venus at 4 ° Capricorn, which also happens to be also conjunct his muse asteroid Erato a 3 °  Erato is of course the muse of love poetry.

    Some people even have Eros and Erato conjunct. Lou Reed is an example of the poet maudit of the street and dirty realism about sex in ‘Walk on the Wild Side’. His asteroids Eros conjuncted his Erato in Capricorn.

    Crazy in Love: Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown

    Houston and Brown
    Houston and Brown

    The media had a field day with  Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown that we may never know what is fact and what is fanciful. But they had an explosive relationship all right that triggered them both in different ways. Bobby was six years younger and Whitney doted on him being there. He denied that he precipitated her descent into addiction, also that he ever abused her but he did admit to following his testosterone now and again with other women. Here I am cherry-picking for the Psyche and Eros signature and will skim over the obvious chemistry that existed to get quickly to the fact that her Eros at 11° of Capricorn is conjunct his Psyche at 13° of Capricorn.

    To have both Eros and Psyche across charts suggests the lessons of love are triggering the myth. But in Capricorn specifically it implies that they struggled to maintain the respectable side of this liaison in the media glare. This would have been the key to understanding  the difficulties, hurt and jealousy, as this pairing had some mythic patterning and most likely taught them both a huge lesson in maintaining the balance of love. The evidence is there from the asteroids.

    The most obvious aspect from straightforward synastry is that their suns opposed each other one in Leo and the other in Aquarius. His Jupiter is on her Mars, so expanding the passionate side or the angry tiffs, perhaps both. With Brown’s Uranus there too, quite likely he was abrupt with spontaneous ideas and Houston’s Mars in Libra tried to settle by compromise, and things got out of hand.

    Her asteroid Psyche was troubled and nebulous as it rests on Neptune in the Eighth House. This aligned with Brown’s MC and therefore his public reputation. She may have had some psychic ability there to boost his career with artistic ideas.  But the Psyche and Eros story is clear. His Psyche also squares her Moon/Jupiter in Aries just to add some turbulence in the mix. Some astrologers might even go to town on the fact that Houston’s South Node is just 5 ° away too, and make that the  main ‘soulmates’ from past lives narrative.  Perhaps at least they were never bored with each other. For me the Houston’s Eros bang on Brown’s Psyche is complication enough. His own Eros is at 24° Aquarius also just 5° away from her Saturn – so who was teaching who? And, Houston’s Psyche is in.Scorpio conjunct her Neptune and as said, influencing his career with artistic ideas.

    Weddinng march of
    The Wedding march of Psyche by Edward Burne-Jones (1895)

    Asteroid Psyche was discovered in 1872  in the sign of Pisces and Eros later in 1898 in the sign of Leo. So water and fire gives a Psyche and Eros dynamic. Psyche is currently (September 2020) at 15° of the sign of Gemini, making the cerebral connections much more important and for any children born during this period and Eros is at 20° of Cancer making the emotional force of the erotic stronger and more protective.

    If you have a significant placement, it could be worth pondering on this story and letting it suggest intuitive layers of meaning on any event in your life. With Psyche on your Sun, does that condemned you to an eternal quest for love that demands separations and the feeling of being tested to the limit?  I laugh and say ‘well yes, it has for me’ but it depends how you interpret the symbolism; and Zeus has not yet called the party of gods to resolve Psyche’s plight and elevate these painful liaisons to immortal status as he did with Psyche.

    To search for your own Psyche and Eros  positions in the degrees and houses use this ephemeris. It may even be as important as Venus and Mars, and if your Psyche conjuncts your partner’s Eros, it is a marker of an intense connection that you may never forget. While your every trial in love may be difficult there’s always a chance it will become eventually after some hard work, your blessing.

     

    © Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, September 3rd, 2020.

    All rights reserved.

    Link Tree

    Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

    Natal Chart Readings via Skype with Discounts available
    This is a great opportunity for those who are curious about what a chart reading can do for them and need advice on where to go from here.

    Email me on the Proteus Astrology FB page

    Or Contact

    Eusastro@protonmail.com  and you will receive a request form to fill in.

    Astrology can help you to understand:

    • life patterns, purpose and life path
    • relationships, business and romantic
    • money, and what it means to you
    • career issues
    • personal and spiritual development
    • vision, hopes and wishes
    • choices and decisions
    • planning for the future
    • health and well being, aligning your energies
    • stimulating creativity
    • the best places to travel and live

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Open your sensors and register a reading at the complexity we now feel which can be intense. There is a lot of pushing and shoving, the drama of compliance and enforcement and the collective shadow looms large and even intrudes daily into more personal territory. Archetypes can take possession of the mind in powerful ways this can be for good channeling creative energies, but also negate all the good stuff if we are not aware of what direction they are driving us. We can see and feel that happening in the collective in 2020 as public behaviours undergo seismic shifts and are altered before our eyes. When we project hate, we often fail to see what motivates that deep in our own subconscious. There are many disowned parts floating about in the primal soup of consciousness. Shining in a light on them helps the integration process. But myths and archetypes operate in your personal most private psychological world as well and that is the challenge to see them defaulting to a blindness to what is actually going on.

     

    For the Love of Astrology: the Asteroids of Walter Mercado

    Flamboyant astrologer Walter Mercado is the news because of a Netflix documentary film released July 8th 2020. It is called ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ and is almost a hagiography – the beatification of Saint Walter. It proves that this particular Puerto Rican astrologer and celebrity has not gone from this world completely. The film resurrects his spirit in all his bejeweled glory. If you already knew of him, you will appreciate his sparkling allure, the twinkle from the cosmic eye, but if you haven’t heard of him yet, then this film will lay bare why he was so revered and why he had the status of a demi-god to millions across the Americas.

    Walter Mercado History-Miam Museum, 2019
    Walter Mercado in Miami

    Mercado is striking for so many reasons. Walter was fond of jewel-encrusted cloaks most of them dazzling and over the top putting Liberace to shame. His mother was deeply religious from Catalonia and his father was a gardener. But  Walter was also a pioneer to have a hugely popular TV Series on Telemundo devoted to astrology. The nearest equivalent in the UK is Russell Grant who was a popular TV astrologer starting in the 1980s. But Mercado had creative panache in spades, and he was a genuine rule breaker in another sense as contrary to embedded machismo in Latino countries, he presented himself as androgynous.

    Astro Local Map
    Walter Mercado with Sun in San Juan

    He used make up, Botox, artistry and an intense theatricality and flair to offer a complete experience where viewers asked is it a man or a woman or magician?  He was all three at once- and more. As soon as he opened his mouth to speak, viewers probably didn’t care as he had the knack of speaking directly to the heart of anyone in his presence. He added spectacle to the oracle and the formula was irresistible as in the Pisces chart (which may have been the day of his ‘Santo’ birth in Santeria), if that Jupiter in Leo and that very well placed Venus in Taurus blessed him with more than usual abundant success. The astro-local map however for his 1931 Taurus birth chart has the Sun-Ascendant line running just east of Puerto Rico but traces a backbone all the way through South America.

    www.astrotheme.com
    Source: astrotheme.com

    There are two possible birth dates 9/3/1932  Pisces, or 25/4/1931  Taurus. The exact times are not really known and some are debating how to ascertain the Ascendant/Angles through rectification techniques. One story goes was that he wasn’t even born in Ponce in the south of Puerto Rico, but on a ship on its way there from Spain. So even the location is disputed although there is a birth certificate for chart number 2 and none for chart number one – the ‘official’ one. The 9th March 1932 birth time is the one Walter and his family celebrated, saying he was born in Ponce, so there is some element of speculation here and I leave that for others to decide, just to focus on the asteroids which keep coming up with curious synchronicities. Astrology is a metaphorical language to deepen understanding, and that should be kept in mind as the symbols are translated.

    All this confusion adds to the Piscean mystification if he was a Pisces. And the fact that he lasted so long and made several come backs is very Taurus. This does not even get to the question that with a rounded time to the hour often suggests inaccurate timing, so there might be an Aries Ascendant, possible. So while it is difficult to  weigh up the pros and cons of charts, one a double Pisces, and the other a double Taurus, it might prove fruitful to consider each in detail. His nieces said he was ‘ageless’ anyway as if to say an accurate time was irrelevant in his case.

    https://photoaltan22.blogspot.com/2012/02/walter-mercado-horoscope-in-english.html
    Walter and his gods

    Walter appeared to transcend the male-female divide as he exuded a spirituality that reminds us of archetypes of compassion such as Guan Yin- who is rendered in very feminine ways as compassion is ‘Yin’ not ‘Yang.’ The Chinese version of Guan-yin is more often in female form than the original male Bodhisatva of Avalotikeśvara. It was clear Walter’s energy was exceptional and possibly contagious in a good way. When Walter fixed his stare and pointed to the camera, his focused love energy was projected outwards like a laser beam of warmth and the fans must have felt it viscerally as they adored him, treating him as a healing force for good in their lives. His message was never negative, always hopeful. He had radiance and beneficence that he was able to transfer to others. There is no asteroid Guan-Yin but it is likely that one will be named that in the next few years.

    So if he was a Pisces, it is the sign of poets and mystics. It ruled by Neptune and Jupiter-the more traditional ruler. Walter Mercado absorbed the philosophies of different religions. He definitely blended insights from world religions Buddhism, Hinduism and syncretistic Christianity with elements of Santeria which is actively practised throughout Puerto Rico and nearby Cuba. In the Pisces chart, asteroid Ganesha the Hindu elephant-headed god of luck and abundance is at 7° of Cancer, ruled by the Moon not particularly aspected. But in the Taurus chart, it is at 7° of Libra conjunct his South Node and Vertex and opposite the North Node and Uranus at 16° of Aries. To err towards the Pisces, this blending of religious sources is quite Neptunian, as well as the fact that he studied pharmacology, was claimed to be a healer and psychic and had a cupboard full of drugs and vitamins. But to err towards the Taurus chart, his role in life was to break the mould to bring the wisdom of other cultures into the mainstream. In his house in San Juan, he had statues of Ganesha and intoned mantras to this deity. Walter’s show name was also Hindu – Shanti Ananda – Sanskrit words meaning Peace and Bliss.

    the Younger Walter Mercado
    the Younger Walter

    In the Pisces chart, the first most noticeable is that the Sun is conjunct Polyhymnia – the muse of the sacred -at 18° Pisces. This was noticeable in his affecting presence and repeated emphasis having a positive vibration and spreading love. His words were inspired with a love of the sacred and this included sexuality.  He bonded with fans in a Piscean way sacrificing his own life in order to help fans with theirs: “I have no one. I have channeled my sexual energy into the good of humanity by praying for so many people who ask me for help.” So sublimation was his forte with just a touch of martyrdom thrown in.  And yet, he retained an authenticity which is more Taurus that he was a people-person, down to earth, simple, direct and sincere. In the Taurus chart Polyhymnia is 16° Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, opposite Orpheus in Gemini, of which more later.

    Willie Acosta
    Willie Acosta

    He did however have a devoted personal assistant, Willie Acosta, who became a beloved part of the family and the unsung hero in Walter’s life. But Mercado dodged questions probing his sexuality by saying “I have sexuality with the wind, with the flowers in the garden, with all the beautiful display of nature! I have sex with life! I have sex with everything! With the clothes, with beauty!” If this is not mystically inclined I don’t know what is.  It could have been uttered by Saint Francis of Assisi (Libra) who would have thrown away the cloaks and gone naked. If Mercado was a Pisces, he would have few boundaries. But this could also be the mysticism of the everyday, the simple soul telling the same story over and over of how love redeems the soul. As a Taurus with both the Moon and Mars in early Leo, he exhibited a restraint that  admirable and far as we can tell, he was able to maintain a sheen of sweetness and sincerity that did not vanish in his private life. He really was benevolent and kind and evoked love in those around him. The only whiff of scandal was around 2006 when he naively trusted his business manager Bill Bakula too much and he was robbed of even the use of his own name spending six years in legal wranglings to restore ownership of his name.

    For astrologers the asteroid to look for is Urania, and perhaps Astraea, or Stargazer. As a Pisces, Walter’s asteroid Urania is at 9° of Gemini which would place it at the apex of a mutable T-Square between Mars in Pisces and Neptune in Virgo and therefore important. But if he was a Taurus, Urania is at 1° of Aries conjunct Venus at 29 Pisces making it doubly prominent with a feminine vibe to the astrology.  But also, asteroid Astraea, linked to astrologers, is conjunct his Ascendant at 0° Taurus. Such signatures are meaningful for an astrologer as hugely successful as Mercado- and that he had a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Cancer surely facilitated this massive success, ability to capture attention, and make money from astrology.

    His motto was ‘Mucho, Mucho Amor’ which could be translated as ‘ Much much Love’ or ‘A Lotta, Lotta Love’ and in the Pisces chart the asteroid Amor is 26° Virgo close to his Vertex and conjunct his South Node of the Moon. He was a believer in reincarnation though was vague about it when probed in interviews. Perhaps this Amor had some previously accumulated intensity that he could always rely on as this incantation that he is most associated with and became the title of the  Costantini and Tabsch documentary. In the Taurus chart, however, Amor is at 8° Taurus just 4 ° from the Sun- giving it the strength of life purpose, and 8° is the midpoint between the Sun and Mercury at 12°.If it was possible to make love to his TV viewers through these verbal mantra Amor in a very big and noticeable way then Walter was the one to do it- the love was palpable even through the screen.

    There are two  other asteroids of interest –Walter and Mercado. Walter is the most obvious PNO – Personal Name Asteroid. This is the beauty of asteroids when they come up with the goods- as in the Pisces chart, Walter is neatly placed at 14° not very tight, but still close enough to be significant to his Sun just 4°away at 18° of Pisces. Mercado at 16° Aquarius is less prominent, but still opposite Neptune at 13° Virgo. In the Taurus chart Mercado is at 13 of Libra.

    Assuming a birth time of 6 am for this chart claimed to be his,  this puts asteroid Walter’ close to the Ascendant at 5° of Pisces. For astrologers the asteroid to look for is Urania, and perhaps Astraea, or Stargazer. In the Pisces chart,  Walter’s asteroid Urania is at 9° of Gemini which would place it at the apex of a mutable T-Square between Mars in Pisces and Neptune in Virgo. His motto was ‘Mucho, Mucho Amor’ which could be translated as ‘ Much much Love’ or ‘A Lotta, Lotta Love’ and the asteroid Amor in the Pisces chart is 26° Virgo close to his Vertex and conjunct his South Node of the Moon. He was a believer in reincarnation though was vague about it when probed in interviews. Perhaps this Amor had some previously accumulated intensity that he could always rely on as this incantation that he is most associated with and became the title of the Costantini and Tabsch documentary. But in the Taurus chart, asteroid Walter is at 4° of Capricorn in the 9th (using Placidus).

    What was very neat for me was that the music chosen to celebrate Mercado’s arrival on a chariot/throne- at the History-Miami Museum was by Monteverdi. It is the Toccato from his opera ‘L’Orpheo’ – and very exuberant, majestic and uplifting- fittingly Baroque. Walter was nothing if not Baroque which was all about dramatic effect in his outrageous staging for his entrance at the exhibition opening. In the Pisces chart, asteroid Orpheus is at 10° Pisces conjunct Mars opposite Neptune. In the Taurus chart it at 7° Gemini. But this was all very Kingly, and asteroid King is bang on top of his Saturn at 23° of Capricorn conjunct the MC, adding weight to the idea that the documentary released when Saturn was at that same point, posthumously crowned him King at least for that moment.

    The 1931 birth time of April 25th 1931 offers some clues as we have seen that the view of Walter as the ultimate Pisces was perhaps just the facade, more the persona he wished to project to the world and not the real one at home with his assistant Willie Acosta. There is a birth certificate confirming the April birth date, so this is very telling and weights it towards that chart. As a double Taurus he would be under the rulership of Venus who is in Pisces, the most ideal and spiritual of placements for Venus. Love of luxury and opulence and the longevity, staying power are all very Taurean traits.  The sun in the first house would attract attention- the ‘stop and look’ factor. Urania, muse of astrology is at 1° of Aries in the 12th House dissociate but still conjunct Venus at 29° Pisces and Calliope at 28° who is the muse of Epic poetry and the chief muse of inspiration. At the same degree as Urania is Sappho, poet of the personal and intimate.

    Another telling placement in the Taurus chart is that Terpsichore muse of dance is at 7° of Aquarius opposite Mars at 8° in Leo and therefore square to his Sun in Taurus. This lends quite a force to the importance of physicality of expression. There is tension and energy here. In his younger days Walter was a dance master, teacher and performer in ballets and shows. He was expert in Flamenco which he learned from his mother. In his TV shows he used his body both to be expressive and making each gesture extra dramatic to communicate strong feelings with that Mars in Leo.

    His death was reported in November 2nd 2019 in Scorpio season. He died of kidney failure  and the kidneys are associated with Libra. I wonder if he died with his jewel encrusted boots on – the ‘keep-on-trucking-motto’ of the Taurus- as Walter said he would. This statement hinted at the strength of his spirit, his resolve to never quit, and is the reason why we are still talking about him a year later. Whatever the truth is, the Pisces appears to be his cloak of the magician flashed in our faces to dazzle us with psychic powers, what he wanted us to believe, but the real Walter was the Taurus, a straightforward soul, and wholly down to earth. Without going further into the transits and perhaps his eclipse sequence, these are just first impressions.

    www.mui.today.com
    Walter Mercado, the astrologer

    Walter Mercado is now also an icon on Instagram as practically all the attendees of his opening night at the exhibition posted selfies with him on social media, ensuring his fame to millennials and Gen Z. They don’t have a problem with his androgynous look and his appeal goes beyond boundaries.

    It is a pity more was not shown in the film about his study techniques, how he learned astrology and from whom, which traditions he knew and whether he thought of himself more as a psychic than an astrologer. It was clear he devoured books and did masses of preparation for every short appearance. He also spoke of the Saturn Return and interestingly once Saturn was at 23° of Capricorn earlier this year, that’s when the film first appeared at Sundance offering this emotional retrospective look at his entire life, closing the chapter. That happened to be conjunct asteroid King.

    statue of Walter Mercado
    Statue from 50 years of Walter Mercado

    But on the other hand, the Pisces chart would suggest that when Saturn goes in to Aquarius in December, he would have been having his third Saturn return as it is placed at 1°,  of Aquarius the herald of the new era of Air. So it will be interesting to see if his reputation boomerangs back into view in December.

    This detailed tour around his asteroids does not get around the fact that there are still so many unanswered questions, such a mystique, that he was so quasi-religious, knew no boundaries, his extolling of love ‘sobre todo’ i.e. was a projection of a very powerful ability to have all eyes on him, in spite of the doubts about the accuracy of his natal placements.

     

    © Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, August 9th, 2020. All rights reserved.

    Link Tree

    Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

    Natal Chart Readings via Skype with Discounts available
    This is a great opportunity for those who are curious about what a chart reading can do for them and need advice on where to go from here.

    Email me on the Proteus Astrology FB page

    Or Contact

    Eusastro@protonmail.com  and you will receive a request form to fill in.

    Astrology can help you to understand:

    • life patterns, purpose and life path
    • relationships, business and romantic
    • money, and what it means to you
    • career issues
    • personal and spiritual development
    • vision, hopes and wishes
    • choices and decisions
    • planning for the future
    • health and well being, aligning your energies
    • stimulating creativity
    • the best places to travel and live

     

    Muse Asteroid Report Preview: David Bowie

    Muse Asteroid Report

     Sample Muse Asteroid Report for David Bowie

    The contents of  every standard report will contain a section on the background, history and mythological significance of the muses and a short intro to how muse asteroids are used in astrology. In this sample, it will skip straight to the chart of singer and performer David Bowie just to show what a sample of his muse asteroids might contain.

    1. Who Are the Muses
    2. Mythology
    3. Asteroid History
    4. Creative Signatures in the Chart
    5. Your Muse Asteroid Placements: Calliope, Klio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Thalia, Terpsichore, Polyhymnia,  and Urania
    6. Final Comments.

    Please check my original blog post on Bowie and some of Bowie’s Muses here

    Also a general introduction to Muses and Muse Asteroids here

    Bowie Muse Chart
    Bowie Muse Chart using Solar Fire.

    General placements in Bowie’s chart can be found on the net, so this is not a full analysis. The focus is on the significance of the asteroid placements.  However, he was a sun in Capricorn, Moon in Leo and Ascendant in Aquarius. In Bowie’s chart there is a Mercury/Mars/Sun cluster in Capricorn, Venus is in adventurous Sagittarius, Jupiter is in psychologically deep Scorpio and Neptune in balanced Libra.  So a quick typical interpretation might be that the native might be a trend setter and progressive with the Aquarian Ascendant, but also very down to earth with a stellium in Capricorn, very driven to succeed, and capable of rising high by putting in an enormous amount of hard work in to achieving that. The creativity signature would be the Moon with Saturn and Pluto all in Leo adding discipline and depth to his efforts possibly as a performer and entertainer.  This is all in the seventh so it would be given to others for their pleasure and allow for recognition and popularity even though his stage persona was full of changes and challenges.

    There are even indications of being a leading cultural figure and creative force for decades based on the signatures for a rock star from the system of Harmonics  (Cochrane, 2016) and this is relevant not just for where the muses are in his chart, but for deeper integration of mathematical points in the chart based on Harmonics. Rock stars are the modern-day avatars of the cult worship of Dionysus and the Eleusinian mysteries as in Chris Knowles’ book ‘The Secret History of Rock n Roll’. Also, mythological figures such as Orpheus, Dionysus  and Icarus can echo in the life of Bowie himself joked about being a ‘rock-god’ to comedian Ricky Gervais and Auden’s poem ‘Icarus’ was used in ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’.

    The Fall of Icarus
    ‘The Fall of Icarus’ attrib. Breughel the elder

    Cochrane  studied the charts of rock stars in detail and offers a formula for defining who would be a rock star using minor aspects and the comprehensive study of Harmonics. The formula is revealing and fits the charts of Jim Morrison, Hendrix, Lennon as well as Bowie. He has Venus and Uranus in the eleventh harmonic which might seem minor but fits the research model.  Fun and creativity shows up in the Fifth Harmonics. He developed ‘proficiency’ as a song writer which is indicated by these vibrational signatures. Aspects are angles – 60, 90,  120, 180 degrees etc. Harmonics are the more unusual aspects Quintiles (72 °), and biquintiles (144 °) along with sevenths and Elevenths. Cochrane even looks at 55ths.  Most astrologers do not look further than the standard angles or even at asteroids of any kind.

    Cochrane Video

    Harmonics show talents, but alignments to the harmonic fifths indicate that the native has potential to be a rock star. Cochrane said it was ‘mind boggling.’ It gave him chills when he discovered Bowie’s Venus/Uranus is spot on the Fifth Harmonic, with Pluto trine to both of them. The angles created by fifths are finer and would otherwise be totally dismissed, yet chart after chart proves the link to this lesser known architecture of stars who become icons for whole generations and have an intensely personal impact on people’s lives.

    Frieze of the Nine Muses
    frieze of the nine muses

    Here are a few comments on Bowie’s muse asteroid placements.

    Calliope (Epic)

    Calliope is positioned at 3 of Taurus.  This is in the 2nd House so with Taurus in the second this is doubly ruled by Venus. Venus is queen of art, artifice, personal adornment and theatrical performance. This would suggest that the native’s main inspiration is simple and true, and that they are inspired by items of great quality and that this urge either to create or to collect art has persistence and longevity. *

    Calliope was at 3° degrees of Virgo when Heroes was released on the 14th Oct 1977.  Calliope was conjunct Polyhymnia that day and some might say it lent a quasi-religious feel to the song.

    * Bowie was actually an art collector and a painter himself inspired by everything. Heroes may not have been designed to become an anthem, but its epic quality is well-recognised everywhere and the song is trotted out on occasions where the heroic stance of resilience is needed.

    Calliope is also trine to asteroid Terpsichore suggesting an easy flow of inspiration the the right movement to create meaning.* (See Terpsichore)

    *Bowie’s physical movements were notable and inspired. His use of his body as a performing instrument was what made him a watchable performer. The integration of theatre into rock music gigs started with David Bowie. It was taken up by the likes of Michael Jackson and Madonna.  How he used his body using mime techniques meant his physical presence was noticed.

    Klio (History)

    Asteroid Klio is at 26 degrees of Leo in the 7th house so it is ruled by the Sun which lends itself to the construction of heroic narrative. This placement for anyone might suggest a collector of historical items , a keeper of thing in order to reconstruct their history. *

    *As a collector of ‘things’ Bowie kept all his paraphernalia, notes, books, drawings, records and stage costumes. Klio rules the memory and history, so the historical reassembly of all these items became the core resources for a breakthrough audio-visual type of exhibition Bowie Is at the V&A in 2013 which of course happened in a Museum – home of the muses.

    Euterpe (Music)

    Asteroid Euterpe is at 16 °of Pisces. This is in the 1st House and is ruled by Neptune, but Pisces is intercepted so the overall ruler of the chart and the first house is still Uranus. *

    *One would think that Bowie and musical Euterpe would be strongly linked – but there are no major aspects to the sun or moon. However, it resides in Pisces whose flavour is spiritual and poetic. Euterpe has ‘flat mates’ as it is there in co presence with Orpheus, Klio and Polyhymnia. It would confer on the native an inspirational feel of a poet interested in mood, texture, atmosphere, and context.

    Erato (Love)

    Asteroid Erato is at 6° of Sagittarius in the Tenth House.  Erato is significant because it is just 4° away from Venus at 2 °of Sag and 3 from the South Node all of which conjunct the native’s MC at 3 ° Sagittarius. Erato in this position might associate the native with sex and sexuality or that would be prominent in their expression or their career and that might be their default mode to exude a certain sexual allure. *

    *To say he was associated with a sexual and erotic is an understatement. His Ziggy period especially his lyrics are laden with sexual references both direct and implied.  ‘Soul Love’ is a good example but he was also capable of delivering tragic love songs that were full of emotional longing and sincere feeling such as ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ and ‘Wild is the Wind’. He inspired adoration and love in his fans bordering on sexual fantasy.  Erato is also linked to the art of mime and Bowie trained in mime physical techniques of expression with Lindsay Kemp. He used mime and gesture in his performances to add drama narrative to the song lyrics something which no other rock star had done and that added to his public reputation for rock theatrics.

    Melpomene (Tragedy)

    Asteroid Melpomene is at 1° of Pisces and this sign is intercepted in the 1st House which is ruled by Uranus or more traditionally Saturn. This might suggest the native would have a tragic view of life or a severe looking physical appearance such as actors might cultivate to convey feelings and character. *

    Melpomene is conjunct Orpheus and co-present in the first house with Klio and Polyhymnia. It is square to Venus at 2° of Sagittarius.

    *Bowie had a brother who was in a mental health asylum and wrote lyrics exploring the edges of madness and Melpomene is associated with psychotherapists. He was lauded for his performance of the tragic figure of the John Merrick, the Elephant man using mime to suggest the deformed spine and head. For this performance he won great praise.  

    Polyhymnia (Sacred)

    Asteroid in Polyhymnia is at 27° of Pisces in the first house so ruled by Neptune ( traditionally Jupiter). It is co-present in that house along with Klio, Melpomene and Orpheus.

    Urania (Astronomy and Astrology)

    Urania is placed at 18 ° of Leo in the 7th house, ruled by the Sun. It is almost six degrees away from Pluto in Leo. Some would say this orb is too great to be of significance, but it being in Leo would lend it a dramatic twist that might be expressed in the native’s creations.*

    *Urania might be linked to the alien science fiction characters that the native created Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Halloween Jack and the Alien in Loving the Alien. It might also suggest a futuristic kind of inspiration, inspired by numerous Science/Speculation Fiction novels and Bowie was an avid reader of this genre and books in general. He attempted to put Orwell’s dystopian vision 1984 into a stage musical but failed to get the rights to do so.

    Just as a side note, Chariklo has been associated with Science Fiction writers and many of them have a prominent Chariklo. Chariklo was the wife of Centaur Chiron and represents the holding of space and compassion for others, abiding with people enduring the most difficult complex emotions, almost beyond embodiment in what Tibetan Buddhists call ‘the clear light’. Most likely this would supercharge an interest in space travel, astronomy or astrology and being a compassionate healer of souls.  Where is Bowie’s Chariklo?  It is at 21 ° of Scorpio conjunct Jupiter. She also shares the same sign as her husband Chiron which is at 6 of Scorpio.

    Terpsichore (Dance)

    Asteroid Terpsichore is at 11 ° of Aries.  Aries is ruled by Mars which is the energy of the physical.*

    *Bowie was known for his dance moves and his physical presence and combined use of music with movement. He used his body as a tool of expression very much as a dancer would. He learned dance with did a duet with Mick Jagger in Dancing in the Street which saw them dancing throughout. A more serious collaboration was with Louise LeCavalier of dance troupe La La Steps in 1988 for whom intense physicality and dynamic moves was part of their work. One of his biggest selling singles was ‘Let’s Dance’ with the words “put on your red shoes and dance with me.. Red is a Martian colour.

    Thalia (Comedy)

    The first most striking placement is that of Thalia, the muse of comedy, at 13 ° Cancer, which is opposite to Bowie’s Sun/Mars in Capricorn in the 12th house. *

    *At first glance, this is not what would be expected, and would be more likely to show up in the life of a stand-up comic, but it does emphasise the line ‘Comedian’ in the ‘comedian, Corinthian, chameleon, and caricature’ in ‘The Bewaley Brothers’.  Bowie in his ordinary bloke mode was known to be hilariously funny, sharing jokes in emails to Brian Eno, and the element of music hall comedy is evident in the first album on the track he could barely ever put back in the closet The Laughing Gnome (1967). The jokes were lame, straight out of a cracker, and his voice a copy of Anthony Newley’s style e.g. “Writing comedy prose for radio shows: it’s a Gnome Service of course.” His sketches with Ricky Gervais highlight his comic timing, but Bowie’s acting roles tended not to emphasise this comedic side, dazzled more by his alien and dramatic personas. He once quipped “One would expect that the marriage of a rock star to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world.  It is.”  It is not obvious humour- a bit dry and hidden – but is very Capricornian -a very 12th house theme as the sign of Capricorn is in the 12th.

     

    Personal Name Asteroid: David Bowie

    Bowie as Sphnix
    Bowie as Sphinx

    The focus of this sample is just to outline a few insights into the impact of the nine art muse asteroids on Bowie’s life and career. It is retrospectively achieved through knowledge of his life. Inspiration apparently came easily to Bowie, so he must have been well tuned to the messages of these muses. But for those who want more, and I am among them, they’ll know that there is a Personal Name Asteroid (PNA) called David Bowie. So where is that? It’s at 17 ° of Scorpio just 4 ° away from his Jupiter.  In the chart of his first wife Angie Bowie, a Libra, this asteroid is conjunct Terpsichore and Aphrodite, but the asteroid DavidBowie is at 11° Cancer. For Iman, a Leo, David Bowie, the asteroid, is at 10 ° Virgo conjunct Bowie’s Vertex at 7°  Virgo.

    A good introduction to the meaning and significance of asteroids in a birth chart can also be found on Kim Falconer’s site among other sites that deal with asteroids. Muse asteroids are among the great understudied curiosities of the universe, and I’m sure Bowie would be be interested to know about his asteroid muse placements, being the artist he was. This report goes some way to redressing that imbalance.

    I bore in mind that the orb of an asteroid needs to be close. The conjunction is most important within 3 degrees. Sextiles and trines are not as potent as conjunctions and oppositions, but it depends on what kind of story the muses tell of the native, and this wold be related to overall themes inherent in the chart. Sometimes the signatures are wide of the mark and vague and that’s fine, there are plenty of others ways to examine and interpret any chart as in Cochrane’s Harmonics and vibrational astrology.

    For a personal muse asteroid report on your life, it would focus on the degrees, aspects, signs and houses in which they fall to suggest areas where your creativity might flourish and be more forward looking – seen as an adjunct to a deeper reading of the natal chart. Muse asteroid reports however, still offer a fascinating insight into any natives creative signatures from the viewpoint of the asteroid muse placements.

     

    © Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, July 25th, 2020. All rights reserved.

    Source

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    Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

    Natal Chart Readings via Skype with Discounts available
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    What Lessons have we Learned from Venus in Gemini?

     

    Gemini by Johfra Bosschart
    Gemini
    ‘Gemini by Joffra Bosshart (1974-5)

    If this is Earth school then our challenges are now the toughest ever and what we’ve gone through may be just the mock exams. The real graduation is down the line. We’ve taken some hard knocks from Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter doing a ritual dance together. But I want to keep the focus on Venus just a while longer before she goes into Cancer. What did we learn from Venus Retrograde and Venus in Gemini? The hindsight view is so much easier than the predictive.

    Venus retro lasted from 14th May to June 26th and we’re still in the shadow phase. Since Pluto, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter and even Pallas were all retrograde during May and June it has put our emotional understanding out of synch with the speed of events. Mercury went retrograde in Cancer on the 19th of June just to add to the backtracking. Mercury is now direct but Chiron went retrograde on July 12th reopening a few old wounds. The universe is telling us it is time to slow down and make good use of this time to look back at the losses and gains, even if the world appears to have jammed on the fast-forward button. Without a some stock taking,we may be doomed to repeat errors. Reflection time is as badly needed and there’s a whole lot of stuff to process to avoid moving forward without thinking it through.

    Through April, May and June it was manic with changes that were on a global level but also invaded our domestic spheres: .as without; so within. Did your online networking go through the roof? Did you take a course, a fitness, or yoga class, or begin to learn another language online? Did old friends and lovers pop up to contact you by text or online messenger?  Did you do more shopping online than before? Did you send more messages than ever before? Did you become an information junkie? Did you get giddy following the speed of a Live Chat on Zoom with multiple people conversing at the same time but learned to love it? Did you encounter conflicting narratives in the media that deepened your confusion? Did you become aware of what might be termed dis-information which obliged you to review what you formerly believed to be true? Did you begin to realise that the meme, the hashtag, video clip and blog post have become ‘the’ powerful modes of communication?

    These are all the province of Gemini and Venus made key choices but was not at her best. An example of this retarded energy was that I ordered a magnetic bracelet online on the 12th May just two days before the Venus Retrograde. It did not arrive until July 10th – that’s 2 whole months- 60 days exactly. That must be a record and when I got it I didn’t even want it and regretted ordering it in the first place.

    The learning curve has been steep. It was a monster hurdle and the process of adaptation is ongoing. The Venus retrograde was also square to Neptune. This increased the chances of our being vulnerable to deception and fraud on a grand scale. And a lie is most effective when we don’t realise it is a lie. As more truths are uncovered the disorientation factor may increase as more facts comet to light.

    ‘The Toilet of Venus’ by Konstatin Makovsky (1910)

    Venus: The Sacred Harlot

    Let’s recall what Venus is about. She’s the ‘harlot’ according to Liz Greene. But this is a very considered choice of word, but that gives her a sacred role more like a priestess and an initiator of men. But she is amoral too unlike the Moon. Venus opposite the Moon in a natal chart pivots that mother-daughter clash and the Elektra Complex. But that does not make Venus bad but just authentically and unapologetically herself. Venus is linked to Eros the ‘gift from the gods’. Yet Eros originated out of the primordial Chaos.

    We can ask – does Venus gel well with Mercury the ruler of Gemini? Yes and No. Aphrodite may even have had an affair with Hermes when he wasn’t being androgynous. So Venus in Gemini is more sapio-sexual, finding someone’s knowledge alluring, watching their mouths and tongue move while talking – likely online- and being turned on by that. Talking and gesticulating can be like foreplay, using the hands while talking, being witty, being dexterous, being an excellent conversationalist, showing the range of learning can all be a form of excitement. There is something multiple too here. It wasn’t just one person or issue, but two, three or more, all vying for attention at the same time.

    Joan Rivers Chart

    Joan Rivers chart: astrotheme.com, image:  biography.com

    An example of a Venus in Gemini person is the late Joan Rivers. Not only was she a fast talker, breathtakingly bold, and tough, full of ‘chutzpah’, she had one of the sharpest wits of any comedian, male or female. Her Venus was at 29° of Gemini conjunct Mercury, sextile to Uranus, and opposite her MC. The anaretic degree is the culmination of all that is quintessentially Gemini with a few added fireworks and loose sparks. Her catchphrase was ‘Can We Talk?’ and she talked a lot more than people bargained for. One of her mottoes was “with age comes wisdom” such as “To marry for love is stupid. Marry for money but wait to be the second wife as they get bigger rings.” She made the shocking revelation sound like everyday chat e.g. ‘Your don’t need boobs to be ultra feminine – look at Liberace!”

    If this is Venus in Gemini talking, stand back as it is no holds barred. Other people with their Venus in Gemini are Tupak Shakur, Sandra Bullock, Robert Pattison, Al Pacino. Jackie Onassis, J.F. Kennedy, and Boris Johnson, whose Venus is now bang on the North Node axis at 28 ° of Gemini. There are various ways you can consider how his Gemini Venus might believe that love is a game. PR with the public is another game. Behind the clown mask is a more savvy player that we have bargained for. He can play the clown while hiding the savvy backroom deals. He needs to be watched carefully for more sleight of hand manoeuvres.

    To keep this firmly in context, Venus in Gemini is just one player among many in the sky right now. There is no doubt that in April and May Mars was triggering a series squares to the Capricorn Stellium, hence the need to martial those energies too. The feeling of tension build-up to the January 12th Saturn-Pluto conjunction was palpable. It meant we knew something ominous would happen, but had no idea how radical and devastating it would be. 2020 is a crisis year and the Venus retrograde period was interlaced with the impact of Mars triggering the Saturn/Pluto hammer effect, which brought lockdown rules which though now are easing seem poised to ping back at any moment increasing the sense of unease and lack of confidence.

    I wrote about the Venus Retro on April 25th in Taurus season. Now we are almost in Leo season, look in your diary your to review these dates:

    Lockdown officially began on a day sacred to Venus, Friday, March 23rd in the UK when Venus was still in Aries at 17 °.

    Venus entered Gemini on the 4th April at 0°.

    The North Node moves into Gemini on May 5th.

    Venus went Retrograde from 21-5 ° of Gemini on the 14th May.

    Venus went direct on the 28th June.

    The final Venus shadow period ends July 28th.

    Venus goes into Cancer on August 8th.

    Code and Platform Switching

    Venus retrograde in Gemini suggested we re-evaluate what is important for how we interact socially. Along with many other, i began to re-examine my online communication methods: how I email, how I message and to whom on which platforms.  It became imperative to subject Google, Facebook and Twitter to the test. Is their service tainted and influenced by unseen decisions, or is it trustworthy? You decide, but first do your homework. Many are holding them to a much higher standard of truth than before as . monopolies have a tendency to dominate the range of opinion. This means they have more power than they ought to, and whatever you think about that, for some it is shocking. So the trend for platform switching and using codes to avoid detection began. Switching to new and more people and freedom-oriented alternative platforms flourished during this time.

    switch platforms
    Switch Platforms

    Switching Platforms : Suggested Alternatives

    Alternatives to Face Book include Vero, Ello, Diaspora and EyeEm and an alternative to Google is Qwant. There is also an alternative to Twitter called Twetch but I have not used it. The shift from the old platforms will gradually gain momentum as it offers greater consumer choices to be more ‘conscious.’ It is in a state of transition and so difficult to say which of these will maintain their open status. But at least there are more ‘options’ for more de-centralised user-owned platforms. It can help avoid the internet giants tilting out of balance -all very Venus in Gemini, the caveat is that people must do their own research and experimentation and make their own choices.  

     

    Beauty Parlours as Heroes

    During lockdown (and Venus Retro) with barbers closed, I was forced to learn how to cut my own hair with scissors and clippers – with great difficulty and intense use of mirrors – but remember the glyph of Venus is shaped like a hand mirror. Mirrors are not just for narcissist self-love but for genuine self-esteem and appreciation of the way you look and feeling okay about your body. The toughest thing for most people to actually do without squirming in agony of embarrassment is to say ‘I Love you’ to your own image in the mirror- a practice that Louise Hay (a Libran, and so ruled by Venus) Insisted was the cornerstone to true healing and self-acceptance. But I did also hear that because of lockdown some people became sloppy and got used to pyjamas and loose clothing. They did not need to worry so much so much about how they looked and got a surprise reminder when did finally look in the mirror.

    Beauty parlours came into the news in mid-April. Shelly Luther was arrested for opening her Dallas, Beauty Salon. She said she had to ‘feed her kids’ and ‘pay her mortgage arrears’. This message found a lot of support and raised $500,000 for her legal expenses. She was ordered to jail for seven days by a local Judge but then was ordered to be released by the state governor. She became a heroine for defending her right to do business in spite of lockdown guidelines. This was replicated by another Beauty Salon, owner in Salem, Oregon, Lyndsey Graham who opened her salon against the odds amid popular support.  

    Theatres go Dark

    This strong effort to keep Beauty Salons open was not matched by any support for the Theatre, both Westend and Broadway..  Theatres went truly ‘dark’ – a particularly apt term in the circumstances.’ The parallel to Venus going behind the sun is obvious. Venus goes from morning star Lucifer before the Sun to become ‘dark’ or invisible for 14 days to reemerge as an evening star, Hesperus, behind the Sun. They myth of Erishkigal is that Venus, in the form of Babylonian, Inanna, is stripped of all her robes and jewellery and forced to go naked and vulnerable in order to appease her sister who is queen of the underworld.  Venus is associated with the theatre and the arts- along with Apollo and music. While shows can go online, it is not the same as the ‘live’ experience. Dame Judy Dench fears she may never see the theatre come back in her lifetime. She mentions how it affects not just actors, but the crew, technicians, musicians, designers, managers, ticket office staff, maintenance people- the lot.

    Judy Dench on Theatres going Dark

    The atmosphere at the Globe and open air theatres seems not to matter when Saturn and Pluto crunch down with rules are the rules in capital letters.  So the lockdown seems close to a death knell for the theatre world. There is no sign of theatres reopening anytime soon. This puts to severe test the actors’ phrase that the ‘show must go on’ regardless. This is now the indignity our much-loved players and troubadours must suffer. The real drama is being enacted before our very eyes across the world in any case in a global pandemic that seems magnified by the media.  This to me this is a huge loss in terms of the joy the theatre brings and a literal manifestation of Venus retrogradation.

    Social controls

    Gyms, yoga studios, swimming pools, football stadiums and pubs all closed.  So the social external milieu was on hold while digital networking boosted. Churches, synagogues, mosques and temples were all closed, only opening with restrictions on group prayer. This is more to do with the fact that Jupiter is constrained in Capricorn But the lock-down has ironically propelled people into a real spiritual crisis and questioning of what they really believe  which is the province of Venus in Gemini. People now consider the ultimate questions of death,  and how to live a good life, just as the Stoics did as who you really are is revealed through difficulty.  While Jupiter is still in Capricorn alongside the two other heavyweights – even his optimism is dampened down and even singing in choirs is forbidden. But this variant strain of viruses is almost being treated as if it were the atheists’ new religion, filling the void left by natural philosophies, nature worship and modernism which posits that everything is random and has no meaning. It creates a world of only bad versus good, good for a child’s understanding, but with zero nuance in between. It ideologues and demagogues only who insist that if you are not with me, you are against me. This` tends to shut down real debate. Let’s see what happens December 20th when Jupiter meets Pluto in Aquarius the conjunction to end the year with more radical change that we ever imagined possible.  

    Watch your Neighbours

    And it is Gemini that rules neighbours. There was a big rise in ‘snitching’. Who would have believed the neighbours would turn against their neighbours in the strange distortion of trust that has occurred? In the new ideological way of being ‘snitching’ became almost a norm with neighbours reporting each other for not rattling their saucepans clapping for the NHS. It could even turn family members against each other.

    Masks are about persona whether it covers the eyes to reveal the mouth or covers the nose/mouth to only reveal the eyes, a mask can cause hypoxia, (source) a lock of oxygen, a breathing disorder from lack of oxygen which again points to . People were dying in hospitals from having intubation forced into their lungs when perhaps this was the wrong treatment  

    Mushroom Zoom

    Zoom classes mushroomed and for some this was fun and different. Home schooling became an option but there is an issue. Some following a Fordist conveyor-belt model may believe that education can be easily delivered online, but is it really education or just the packaging of information? Here lies the rub about the true nature of education which requires real social interaction to active emotional and kinaesthetic cues. Online learning suits only some who have internet access and who are visual learners. The debate will go on.

    There was a renegotiation of friendships, and partnerships.. it probably looks like a different scenario  now than it did before the Venus retro period. Who could you trust? Like the judgement of Paris some fine splitting of hairs was needed to sort the wheat from the chaff.      

    Cancel Culture

    Cancel culture caused people to lose jobs on the grounds of racism, and although astrologers are not being banned from these platforms yet, guidelines are vague, and banning-mania jumps on the bandwagon. What does it achieve to destroy someone’s career from partisan political motives? Is it not wiser to stand back and reflect on what motivates that urge? Haters on all sides of the spectrum reduce arguments to the lowest common denominator, yet love to let rip on social media. But when people are actually face to face they might stop to think before they speak.  But we are not allowed to be face to face very much anymore. It is only a matter of time till the cancellers who triumph today will themselves be cancelled tomorrow. Just read your George Orwell- but wait- there was an attempt to cancel Orwell too.

    Food Glorious Food

    Chariot of Ceres
    Chariot of Ceres

    The economic collapse and loss of jobs triggered by the lockdowns will reverberate for some time. Poverty might seem far away but food shortages and the halting of food production relate more to the asteroid Ceres, who in the myth stopped all food supplies until she could get her daughter back from Hades. Ceres at 22° Capricorn was tight among the mega-stellium culprits back on January 12th in between Saturn, Pluto Jupiter, and Mercury. She may be more important that we think as this drama plays out the rest of the year and into 2021. This links back to the Beauty Parlour business owners who said they acted to ‘feed their families’.

    The food industry is in crisis, supply chains have been stalled. Vietnam , the third largest rice exporter, has ceased all exports of rice to the rest of the world. The cost of rice has risen sharply and will continue to shoot up. Shortages may come very soon, along with inflation ( Jupiter), and increased taxes (Saturn-Pluto) and economic inequalities may be on the rise later this year as unemployment increases. It’s a pivotal year echoing changes that occurred back in 1920 when the National Socialists were first named as Nazis. So we need to keep a close eye on Uranus in Taurus and Uranus square to Saturn as that might point to further radical ideologies to become even further entrenched.

    There was a massive increase of online food orders, and community support. Every week some kind person donated a box full of food for anyone to help themselves. Ordering online was possible before,but it has escalated. People wished to avoid tedious queues at supermarkets and now may avoid mandatory masks. We have used more apps than ever before -entering data with the fingers on a ‘hand’ held device which is ultra-Mercurial. Restaurants stayed open only for home delivery guys still slogging away picking up food and delivering it to homes, doing multiple short journeys on bicycles and mopeds were often the only people using the roads. This again is very like Gemini.

    The Broader Picture

    To keep this firmly in context, Venus in Gemini is just one player among many in the sky right now. There is no doubt that in April and May Mars was triggering a series squares to the Capricorn Stellium, hence the need to martial those energies too. The feeling of tension build-up to the January 12th Saturn-Pluto conjunction was palpable. It meant we knew something would happen but had no idea how drastic and all consuming, devastating it would be. 2020 is a crisis year. And the Venus retrograde period was interlaced with the impact of Mars triggering the Saturn/Pluto mania, which brought lock-down rules which though now are easing seem poised to ping back at any moment increasing the sense of unease and lack of confidence.

    Fear has been used to control the public in their most intimate personal choices: rules emerged to say who they could and could not invite into their home, when, where and how to have a party. This reminded me of strict Muslim countries where the sexes are segregated, and to break this law results in lashings of the whip.  It is a powerful lesson in psychology to see how people allow such intrusions and act from fear- and whoever controls the fear pulls the real strings. Do we need more evidence of the power of thoughts to influence the world, our bodies and thus our health via psycho-neuro-immunology? If you sniffle Ever sniffle and experience a fever it is a short phase before it settles in to the body or is resolutely repelled. But if you think it’s corona, so can thoughts make it so? Or is it all about perception?

    Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

    Fear has been used to control the public in their most intimate personal choices: rules emerged to say who they could and could not invite into their home, when, where and how to have a party. This reminded me of strict Muslim countries where the sexes are segregated, and to break this law results in lashings of the whip.  It is a powerful lesson in psychology to see how people allow such intrusions and act from fear- and whoever controls the fear pulls the real strings. Do we need more evidence of the power of thoughts to influence the world, our bodies and thus our health via psycho-neuro-immunology? If you sniffle Ever sniffle and experience a fever it is a short phase before it settles in to the body or is resolutely repelled. But if you think it’s corona, so can thoughts make it so? Or is it all about perception?

    Venus finally Moving On

    Venus goes into Cancer on 8th August when Moon is in Aries. How different will that be?Famous people with Venus in Cancer are Angelina Jolie and Mae West. So it is more emotional and sensitive but could mean the rebellious side of being female battles against the maternal side, so more mother daughter spats to occur? Venus does not sit well with the Moon, the ruler of Cancer as they are two completely different phases of the feminine and often at odds with each other. But on the plus side there may be less game-playing more honesty and emotional resonance.

    And by the way, I have barely mentioned the eclipses which have pivoted all these turbulent energies in extreme ways and will continue to bring shocks and surprises later in the year. And newcomer Comet Neowise astonishes us -it’s node is at zero of Gemini. Still, I think we should not ignore how much Venus has played a role in all we have experienced these past few months.

    © Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, July 19th, 2020. All rights reserved.

    Source

    Greene, L. and Sasportas, H. (1993) The Inner Planets: Building Blocks of Personal Reality, from Seminars in Psychological Astrology Vol 4 York Beach, Samuel Wieser, Inc.

    Link Tree

    Kieron is a London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:

    Natal Chart Readings via Skype with Discounts available
    This is a great opportunity for those who are curious about what a chart reading can do for them and need advice on where to go from here.

    Email me on the Proteus Astrology FB page

    Or Contact


    Eusastro@protonmail.com  and you will receive a request form to fill in.

    Astrology can help you to understand:

    • life patterns, purpose and life path
    • relationships, business and romantic
    • money, and what it means to you
    • career issues
    • personal and spiritual development
    • vision, hopes and wishes
    • choices and decisions
    • planning for the future
    • health and well being, aligning your energies
    • stimulating creativity
    • the best places to travel and live

    Venus Retrograde in Gemini: Venus in the House of Mercury

    Mariska Veres sings ‘Venus’ in Shocking Blue (1969)

    We are approaching a phase of Venus in Gemini where she will retrace her steps as if she has forgotten something in the house of Mercury. To make sense of Venus in everyday life we start reviewing our social connections and what they mean to us: all the people we know and the intricate web of emotional attachments we value as important. But Venus also relates to the world of objects and the internet of things- what we wish to acquire and attract. Put Venus into Gemini -the house of Mercury- and tongues will be wagging about all that we value- a bit of this that and the other- but it will have this purpose, to reevaluate key relationships, which includes to things, allowing us to move on.

    Who does not love all things Venusian, beauty, the arts all the finery and razzle dazzle? The morning star form of Venus was known as Phosphorus– ‘the sparkling one.’ She is certainly gorgeous as visible in the evening sky during April. We cannot tell that she revolves West to East the reverse of the Earth. But, as everyone knows, all that glitters is not necessarily real gold. Nor is everything to do with Venus about women alone, as Venus can manifest as a boy, as much as Mars as a woman. So there are anomalies to pay attention to. Her domain covers bonding with girl and boy buddy gangs.

    Venus casts a real spell over us all. She can mean lust for money and materiality with a bit of manipulation thrown in. Venus makes us see what we are identified with – is it what we have or who we really are? During the Venus retrograde phase from May 13th to June 24th -we might be thinking more about which ways we might be more authentic and how we might detach from false values.

    Giorgio Vasari ‘Birth of Venus’ (1555-57)

    Astrologers say Venus is about love, pleasure and emotional connections, but it is not always romantic lovey- duvvey type love as it can be more to do with personal values, but as Venus in Capricorn shows love is more about status and respectability, working in discreet ways to maintain that. Other styles of Venus are those who use shopping as therapy in place of real nourishment and love sustenance. Venus rules the signs Taurus and Libra in slightly different flavours. In Taurus she is rutting in the field content with being simple, and in Libra she is preening in the mirror checking her colour-coordination. But Venus also represents the fine, and nice things in life that makes it livable.

    Venus and Mercury by Hort (1836)

    From April 4th to August 8th 2020 Venus is in the sign of Gemini an unsually long time. This means love in the house of communication ideas and learning. This could increase the online chat room activity ten fold. Talkers will come to the fore. Those who love oral satisfaction, for whom a good chinwag is as satisfying as any real meeting, will be in their element. It could see an increase in love-bombers, those hit-and-run lovers who strike using emoticons but are gone before you scratched the surface. But during this time of uncertainty people might feel that cannot handle any deeper entanglement is too much trouble. You want lightweight not heavyweight people this time around. It most definitely will see a rise in verbal dexterity and wordplay. It will more likely be sapiosexual charm that is on full display during Venus in Gemini. Romance as a consequence might be less about the physical than mental stimulation, brain not brawn.

    Relationships might also take on the style of a business deal or trade off with flirting online-hundreds of texts back and forth, and a whole lot of chit-chat as foreplay, talking about it before doing it. Then deftly avoiding signing the contract. Take care to speak to your partner with compassion before ending a relationship suddenly as break ups are a feature of Venus Retrograde- likewise new partners and especially getting married are best postponed until July. There might also be a massive increase of shopping online as we have already seen, filling Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s pockets even more. But expect delivery to be slow and you will need to be more discerning about what to buy. On the other hand, we may turn away from material goods, and it might drive us to writing poetry or songs which is a useful creative and therapeutic outlet for this energy.

    The Venus Retrograde in Gemini 2020 (astroseek.com)

    The Retrograde phase will be interesting -no doubt about it- if anyone feels fully the actions of Venus, and they are inescapable, they know how important it is. Those born with Venus Retrograde also tend to know that love doesn’t always come easily but will be the better for wiser choices. This period extends from May 14th to June 26th- six weeks- past the Solstice which is accompanied by an eclipse. Then Venus once again goes direct having finished up her business in Gemini not going into Cancer until August. It is crucial to know your own chart and which house Venus is in to see how this might impact your life, otherwise advice can seem very generalised. You need not only to know where Venus is located, but also where the sign of Gemini is- there are two different pieces of the puzzle. The North Node arrives in Gemini too adding to higher levels of trade and exchange locally.

    The easiest example to use is if you have Venus in the 3rd House, it already relates to Gemini and communication, so this period will feel normal. Or, if you have Venus and Mercury conjunct in your chart. It will be even more pertinent for you if you already have Venus in Gemini between 5 -25 degrees. This makes it particularly personal and relevant, giving you a intense drilling over with a Venus return boosted by her Retrograde action. While poets have multiple chart signatures, the poets whom the public most loves stand out. They often have Venus and Mercury conjunct. T.S.Eliot had this placement for example He was named ‘the most loved poet’ in Britain during WWII because his words spoke persuasively to people’s emotions during a difficult time.

    how Venus Retrograde in the houses might affect you

    If you have Venus in the first house, it would relate to your physical appearance so don’t do anything drastic, just refresh your style; if it is in the second, to evaluate your budget, does income match outflow?; in the third house questions about short online courses, which one suits you best?; in the fourth to reviewing notions of your self or to the nurturer in your family, is that you?; in the fifth to restart your creative projects, and which story you tell yourself about that?; in the sixth to concern about reboots to the immune system at home, the new workplace- is it functional?; in the seventh to realisations of your acts of mirroring with partners, is it working for you?; in the eighth to a reevaluation of shared resources and impulses to transform,how is that going?; in the ninth to a re-connection to a love of wisdom, crazy ideas and philosophies; in the tenth, to a review of your visible status and reputation, is it still what you want? ; in the eleventh, it offers restarts in finding your real tribe, how to proliferate your social media connections, is a cull needed? ; and finally, in the 12th, it will bring a subconscious reprocessing, perhaps with sweeter but complex dreams that inspire poetry, how is being stuck in the house working for you?

    A further layer of meaning can come from checking where the sign of Gemini falls in your chart, as Venus will affect those areas of your life. Combine the planet Venus placement with the sign Gemini placement and you can build a more comprehensive picture of how the retrograde season will affect you.

    The Dolly Parton Meme Challenge (Oprah magazine, Jan 2020)

    Gemini is about communication, interactions, collection of information and getting quickly bored. Facets of self in Gemini and the trend for posting several images of oneself all shown together so Linked In, Instagram, Facebook, and Tinder.The trend was apparently started by Dolly Parton -whose Gemini signature gave the name Dolly to the first cloned sheep. In different photos showed four facets of how people present themselves on social media: the roles they play in work, business, hobbies and the more intimate side. The Tinder photo was the erotic pose – doing their Venus- in contrast to the ones on Face Book and Linked-In, not in birthday but the dark banker suits- doing their Saturn. Some presented themselves as a joke as if to say I do not hide myself behind masks with the same picture in each Platform. Masks themselves are a bit of a lark, well used by criminals, and very Venus in Gemini. They say to the world, I have facets of the self that comprise the whole, and most of us would agree this is true. We can wonder now whether this is duplicity or is it survival instinct that the roles we play for work create a barrier between ourselves and the outside world to protect the more sensitive inner self.

    A warning attached to this might be that sweet words sound good but are not always true. Venus squares Neptune May 4th and May 20th.  So confusion and deceit are abroad in the world, as if we could not already see that. People who are in love with love can be more easily deceived. People come to you the gift of the gab and it is just that- all talk with no substance. We all know that lies and statistics are conflated, and where there is smoke there are mirrors reflecting back to us a mirage of the truth.

    Pieter van der Heyden ‘Ship of Fools’ engraving (1559)

    The pandemic has thrown people into a terrain where we are all vulnerable to being lead along by what the media tells us is true, when differing stories are in conflict. Venus in Gemini may start questioning all of that. It will bring more revelations to come during May and June. It can trigger continuing reevaluation of all that we know, what’s real and what’s not. This can be a shock, and it is dividing people in new and unexpected ways which could create even deeper rifts in the coming months. But on the plus side it helps you to be sure who is your real tribe and who is not.  If an ex-lover pops up again, as is the trend during a Venus retrograde, it may just be that it is to have that final conversation that settles scores but said in a reasonable compassionate way so whatever difficulties passed between you can be signed off once and for all.

    Venus gone Funky (source unknown)

    It is not useful to talk about Venus without mentioning her shadow side which is not all sweetness and light. She is the queen of Hot as in Erotic, as spawned at her birth was both the god Eros and Hymenos- Love and Desire. Through Venus we get our sexy grove on – we are in touch with our hotness. But hotness can burn. It brings us a lot of fun, but also trouble. The successful ITV show Love Island caught people’s attention but it has its shadow in terms of the mental health casualties. Carol Flack became the third contestant to commit suicide after the show. Desire for love and fame and riches are fine, but rapid exposure in the harsh light of reality TV can produce extreme withdrawal symptoms when it is gone. There is an imbalance, prompting suicides in the contestants. So there is a ruthlessness in Venus that is easy to underestimate. She married Hephaestus and then proceeded to cheat on him as she pleased- not caring whether her lovers were mortal or immortal. So vanity and selfishness, even narcissism where she is shown looking in a mirror is part of her nature. The lyrics of Shocking Blue’s 1969 song go:

    Her weapons were her crystal eyes
    Making every man mad
    Black as the dark night she was
    Got what no one else had

    This puts at least one of her feet into similar territory of the dark vengeful goddesses Kali and Durga and it is through relationships that we can see the darkness of ourselves. Venus can rule people’s lives without their knowing and undercut their espoused values especially if aspected to Pluto. Remember that it was Venus who encouraged Pluto to go after the daughter of Ceres/Demeter creating deprivation, loss, food shortages grief and eventually the seasons. So go easy and keep a check on all that you value. There is nothing wrong with fun as we all need or creature comforts, we all need to feather our nests. But if you see through the glamour, the artifice and jewellery, there is a darker side to Venus that we would be well to pay attention to, especially during a retrograde. She can be capricious- just because she can. Venus is also out of bounds so playing wild.

    The higher octave of Venus is Neptune and this is spiritual love and universal compassion beyond earthly love. So we can aspire to that if we know how to guide the energy. The question during this retrograde is to ask ourselves: do our values match up to our choices? That is tricky to answer, yet all of May and part of June, we may be forced to answer by reviewing what we value.

    © Proteus Astrology, April 26th, 2020. All rights reserved.

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