“The scientific theory I like best is that the
rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.” –Mark Russell
Saturn has been on my mind this week. Or rather Saturn has been pinging me, tapping my shoulder and nudging my conscience in the same way most of us experience Saturn — which is to say obliquely. From the corner of your eye, in the tractor beam of a projection or a dark figure in a dream.
Most of us have our eye, ear and heart tuned to the frequencies of the other planets: Mercury (planning and multitasking), Venus (feeling what we want), Mars (getting what we want), Jupiter (how we’ll get more of what we want). The Moon is more the medium of how consciousness morphs within the soul and doesn’t do much other than support our comfort zone and old habits. With no light of her own, the Moon reflects the activity and lazy lags of the soul, but adds nothing to the symphony of self.
But with Saturn we’ve what psychologists call depression. If you tune out your conventional notions about depression and consider the condition in a different light, you will see something like this:
The writer Thomas Moore wrote that depression is an answer — a remedy — to our manic hyperactivity, a frantic state reinforced by the constant buzz and hum of our info-glutted age. Feeling low and heavy we are forced to move inward and that movement inward is necessary for the soul. It creates psychic space, a container for deeper reflection where soul increases and the surface of events becomes less important.
So when you’ve a moment this weekend, take some time and consider the following facts, pointers or articles related to Saturn. It benefits each of us to know, consciously, the only planet in the solar system that rules not only lead but also diamonds.
Think about that while you research these five finds: Read more
It’s long been a tacit secret that Margaret Mitchell used the 12 signs of the zodiac to define and imbue her characters in Gone With The Wind.
UK astrologer Neil Spencer describes Mitchell as having based her epic “on the zodiac, leaving a blatant trail of clues which were only picked up in 1978 when US astrologer Darrell Martinie was shown photocopies of notes from Mitchell’s library.”
You can do the celestial math. Scarlett O’Hara, is an impetuous, selfish but ultimately heroic Aries. Rhett Butler, a passionate and proud but principled (when need be) Leo. Sister-in-law Melanie Hamilton, a self-sacrificing Virgo. I’ve often wondered what sign Prissy (“I don’t know nothing about birthin’ babies”) might have been based upon. Maybe a hysterical Pisces or Sagittarius?
Where only speculation surrounded Mitchell’s masterpiece, we now have a Man Booker Prize winner — Eleanor Catton and her second novel The Luminaries (what a stellar title!) — pushing its way into the world of popular literature. Catton has talked openly about the astrological motif (and its influence) that enlivens her prize-winning fictional work. In an interview with PBS’ Jeffrey Brown she notes:
“In my research for the book, I discovered, to my interest and astonishment, that astrology really is an incredibly mathematical system and one that has a lot in common with music. In music, we have got the 12 semitones and then the seven natural notes in the scale.
And in astrology, you have got the 12 signs and the seven planets. A lot of the kind of interrelations that happen and the harmonies that happen in the sky are quite similar to the harmonies that can happen or the chords that can happen in music.”
Good for her! No mention of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Rather than spend time sharing my impressions of the theme and the charming author you can watch the interview here.
And order a copy from Amazon. (I just placed my order tonight, and can’t wait!)
My friend David Roell runs a real brick and mortar bookshop in Maryland. It is one of the best annexes around for all things astrological. He just notified me that his bookstore’s shipment of Jim Maynard‘s Celestial Guide calendars have arrived and that it’s time for you to order yours now.
Please consider purchasing your calendar from an astrologer and an astrology bookshop as it goes a long way in keeping a business like David’s Astrology Center of America available to all of us. David has an incredibly comprehensive collection of books and we want to keep him and his business around for a long time.
About the calendars, David offered this fascinating observation:
“Give one to a child who wants to learn the craft. Have him/her learn to use the voids as a guide to daily activities. Train him to sense the Moon’s transit through the various signs, give him practical advice from Mercury retrograde, etc.
From what I’ve worked out, astrology shows the Earth’s daily temperature, in other words the Earth’s unique ever-changing vibration as it continuously relates to the Sun, Moon and other planets. Astrology does not rain from an empty sky. It radiates from the earth itself . You should no more ignore the daily ephemeris than you should go out of doors without regard to the weather. Astrology describes the raw energies of this planet, our home, nothing more and nothing less. That’s what Maynard has given us, on a daily basis and set in our own proper time for easy reference.”
Astro Web Destinations
Two of my favorite astrology websites that I want to note for you this month are both published by women and they both offer unique insights into the ongoing dialogue between you and me and the solar system. I prefer sites like this where you develop a distinct sense of the author’s character and proclivities; a kind of approachability that tempers astrology’s intimidating complexities. This brings astrology down to earth and makes it accessible without involving Sun sign banter or romance advice (not that I’ve anything against that sort of astrology).
A good example of what I’m talking about is Wonder Bright‘s Stars of Wonder.
Wonder’s prose is akin to sitting down with a friend over a cup of coffee and moving through a myriad of topics both celestial and terrestrial. Her first-person retellings generate an inviting aperture on the astrological matrix.
I particularly enjoyed her recent rumination on the Twilight series of movies, the story’s heroine Bella, and how our culture has become so distanced from a healthy connection to the feminine we’ve had to devise a way back to her essence through the supernatural realm. Highly recommended.
My friend and art colleague Kate Petty publishes Ambient Astrology, a beautiful respite and reminder that astrology websites don’t have to resemble a carnival attraction to hold your attention.
Kate’s fierce interest in some of astrology’s more esoteric and complex modalities, namely the school of Symmetrical Astrology (the bug of which bit me hard when I met up with one of its kingpins, Gary Christen, at the recent NORWAC astrology convention in Seattle) and employing antiscia when studying the various markers of the horoscope, underlie many of her articles.
Kate’s most recent post, Reclaiming the Apocalypse, will give you pause when you consider the intense, unprecedented array of exact planetary aspects we’ll experience through the remainder of November. Spend time with this piece and you’ll come away with a new way of considering what living through a cycle’s final throes implies. It’s both thrilling and unnerving, but we wouldn’t be here to usher in this new phase if we weren’t gifted with the substance of soul to persevere.
Have a site you think I should know about? Please share your comments below. I’m all ears (and eyes).
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to … miss.
It feels that way with half of the solar system residing in the water element through November. The Sun, Mercury and Saturn are moving through Scorpio, while Neptune floats and goes uber diaphanous in Pisces. And Jupiter just stationed several days ago to make a long retrograde through Cancer, until early 2014. The perfect time to contemplate exactly what the water element translates to in astrological terms, in human terms in other words.
Well, you can start by watching this video*. Pay attention to the silkiness of the creature’s movements. The glide, the way everything seems still on one hand, but then in constant motion on the other. We take water for granted, thinking we know it, remember it, from our childhood days of swimming and playing in it — or standing in awe as we watched the deluge of a storm or cowered at the news of an impending tsunami (well, at least I did while living in Hawai’i.)
Like the other three elements in astrology (fire, earth and air) the magnitude for creative or destructive power is equal. And when you think about it, the way the Greeks and Indians did when they declared the four elements to be the very foundation, the components that composed our reality, both visible and invisible, the totality of our lives move through, within and without, the four elements. Meaning we reside in a world composed of the elements as we ourselves are composed of the very same essential parts.
Astrologers will talk a lot about emotions and feelings when it comes to the water signs, and that is true, in a vague sort of way; but I’ve found, more specifically that the water element — when highlighted in a birth chart or predominate by transits — presses upon our consciousness the unseen realm of images and symbols, and the ability to work with metaphor, poetry, song, or any creative medium that requires stillness and movement simultaneously.
Dreams and dreaming become more emphatic, the unconscious more crucial in honing the inchoate, the unformed. Creative solutions abound in myriad forms, shapes and expressions. The rewards are plenty, though the test, (the condition of being a kind of medium for transmission), involves a vulnerability that can be difficult to allow. This is the gift and the riddle of the water element — the capacity to create is dependent upon a condition of openness that is both delicate and fierce; working that riddle requires the wisdom of a poet and skill of an artist.
From my perspective, this is more what the water element alludes to.
Drift in that notion awhile and then share your ideas with me below, please. I’d like to hear your experiences and impressions.
*(Apologies re the treacly song that accompanies the video. I recommend turning the volume down when you watch. At least that’s what I do)