April 19th, 2014

Why Astrologers Need to Study Wittgenstein

Paul Horwich, in a long NY Times essay wrote:

“The singular achievement of the controversial early 20th century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was to have discerned the true nature of Western philosophy — what is special about its problems, where they come from, how they should and should not be addressed, and what can and cannot be accomplished by grappling with them. The uniquely insightful answers provided to these meta-questions are what give his treatments of specific issues within the subject — concerning language, experience, knowledge, mathematics, art and religion among them — a power of illumination that cannot be found in the work of others.”

Wittgenstein isn’t an easy immersion, but he’s worth your effort because the more you study his philosophy — which was actually, in spots, more akin to mysticism — the more freedom you might gain as an astrologer.

Like the closet mystic Carl Jung, Wittgenstein knew how to couch his propositions to pass the scrutiny of his peers (well, except for his mentor Bertrand Russell who he drove to fury by disregarding traditional formulations of logic.)

And because of this sketchy dance, between chilly logic and the nimbus of mysticism, I find Wittgenstein to be the most satisfying of linguistic rebels. His mix of the effable with the ineffable mirrors in a direct way how human beings toil with making sense (or a muddle) of astrology. Read more



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April 18th, 2014

Square Up! The Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014

grand_cross

“At the moment of supreme tension, there will leap into flight an unswerving arrow, a shaft that is inflexible and free.” – Albert Camus

“A perfect square configuration…represents a tight linking of two kinds of consciousness-building processes…which produce four 90 degree aspects…and leads to a very thorough and exhaustive type of clearing-up activity.” –Dane Rudhyar

*

Plato said the soul is a circle. But how do squares and circles come together? Imagine the difficulty of fitting a square peg into a round hole. Right?

The notion is annoying, but if you talk to most anyone (yourself included) I think you’ll agree that the concept — the blending of a circle and a square — is apt, especially now. Everyone is registering the twists and turns, the psychic torsion of the decade’s most significant astrological happening: The Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014.

But what is it? What does it portend? How long does it ‘last’? And how can you ride this particular tiger?

We’ll get into all of that in this essay.

I’ve loved the anticipatory build-up to the Grand Cardinal Cross (GCC) and how the term has actually entered the Zeitgeist. Everyone is talking about it, even the incredulous.

Essentially, this is an astronomical event that astrologers have claimed for themselves because it is a significant pivot point that resolves in 2015, with the final square between Uranus and Pluto.

Too, the term is elegant and beautiful. It’s also charged with an air of mystery and, for those so inclined, an Armageddon-taint (a misguided notion, but then consider the applicants.) Read more



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March 28th, 2014

New Grand Cardinal Square Update

Pictures often save thousands of words – especially when it comes to astrologers and their tendency to blowhard.

As we move towards April’s ‘big kahuna’ grand cardinal cross (on April 23/24 to be exact) the following animated GIFS convey the essence and feeling tenor of the approaching clash of the titans:

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fire_walk

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…and yes, you can even Read more



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March 26th, 2014

Kelly Lee Phipps: Now A Bright Star

kelly

A dear, dazzling soul took leave of the astrological community last night.

Many of us, today, are celebrating, recounting and mourning the extraordinary life of Kelly Lee Phipps.

Because astrology is a spiritual practice, a practice that offers the potential of awakening to those it touches, I’ve long known that astrologers comprise their own unique group soul upon the planet — a circle of colleagues that serves in the forging of a living connection between the terrestrial and the celestial within the individual soul.

Kelly embodied and embraced this service with all the gusto of a genuine (and wildly enthused) magician.

He inspired many hearts and minds, and initiated many others into the astrological logos as well — and offered the gift of his presence with spirit, imagination, humor and wisdom. A gentle man and a scholar.

 

“We are here to witness the creation and abet it. We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially, we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other.

We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness our generation and our times. We watch the weather. Otherwise, creation would be playing to an empty house.

According to the second law of thermodynamics, things fall apart. Structures disintegrate. Buckminster Fuller hinted at a reason we are here: By creating things, by thinking up new combinations, we counteract this flow of entropy. We make new structures, new wholeness, so the universe comes out even. A shepherd on a hilltop who looks at a mess of stars and thinks, ‘There’s a hunter, a plow, a fish,’ is making mental connections that have as much real force in the universe as the very fires in those stars themselves.”

— Annie Dillard

 

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels blest; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones, ‘To Him we shall return.’

–Jalal ed-Din Rumi



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March 02nd, 2014

Time and the Retrograde of Mars and Saturn

robert_place_hanged_man

To stall is to procrastinate. That’s the usual association we make with the word. And procrastination implies a conscious kind of non-action on the part of the procrastinator.

But there is another definition taken from the world of aviation. A mechanical stall is a malfunction in the flight of an aircraft in which there is a sudden loss of lift that results in a downward plunge. “The plane went into a stall and I couldn’t control it.”

Can you relate?

With both Saturn (the prime timekeeper) and Mars (momentum itself) in retrograde motion, our direction, our sense of time, our desire (Mars) for a forward direction (Saturn) — all of our leaning toward and lunging for is, well, suspended — left dangling. So when someone asks you, “What are you up to?” You can say, in all honesty, “Just hanging around.” Or if you’re a more melodramatic type: “Man, I’m going down.”

So, while you’re falling why not pick a card — any card.

Of all the various versions of the Tarot’s Hanged Man (Pamela Colman Smith’s glowing, haloed figure or Aleister Crowley‘s eerie ankh-hung Spiderman) I like the simplicity of Robert Place‘s rendering — taken from his Alchemical Tarot deck. I also think Place’s Hanged Man is more true to the initial stages of frustration one experiences when she first notices that her airplane has gone into a stall.

Place animates his Hanged Man with a thrashing motion of the body and an angry, perplexed countenance. The man is definitely rebelling. And all that he has acquired within the normal, forward motion of time, is falling from his hands. Read more



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