Monday, February 28, 2011

The 28th Degree

I put off talking about this degree, because it is not an easy one. 28 is a perfect number, meaning that all the numbers which divide into it -- 1, 2, 4, 7, and 14 -- add up to 28. Just to show you how infrequent perfect numbers are, there are only three between one and one thousand.

Jupiter, the most important planet in my chart is in the 28th degree of Sagittarius. 28 demands perfection, meaning that with this degree you are always aware of what is lacking, what needs to be done, always getting thrown off the track and having to get back on it. There are no shortcuts with the 28. One has to be thorough, and if one does a slopply or mediocre job with the 28 you will be miserable and guilt-ridden until you go back and fix it. The 28 demands that you keep being better, that you improve, that you work toward a higher state of evolution. The 28 wears me out, but I need such a task master.

Since the 28 craves perfection it can become strongly attached to laws and rules and concepts of what is right. This can then turn into self-righteousness. To overcome this it needs to keep asking itself, "does this attitude or behavior truly serve my purpose?" Coming back to purpose is a key need for the 28th degree.

It is refined and perfected by having to deal with the limitations that life presents it with, for ultimately limitations push it toward attunement to the sacred.

The 30th Degree

The 30th degree of each sign is a place of completeness. There is a feeling here of stillness, of having arrived at the end of the journey. The 30th degree can be extremely supportive, can become anything that a current situation demands. Here is often found great sympathy and an ability to relate in a full, rich manner.

Richard Wagner had Venus in 30 Taurus. His "Ring Cycle" is a complete essay (30th degree)on possession (Taurus). The ring is what everyone wants to HAVE (Taurus). The having of it turns out to be a curse, and so in the end it is returned to the river from whence it came (completion of the circle=30th degree). Wagner's aesthetic (Venus)is about completeness. Also, rather than the opera being divided into arias, the hundreds of little themes he uses to symbolize each different character and situation are used to weave the whole work into a a single, immense fabric, just as in the last degree of a sign the immense fabric of the sign is reflected and summed up. The Omega symbol for the 30th degree is "Beings from many dimensions attracted to an immense white flame." I am curiously reminded of that group of wealthy aesthetes whose hobby is to go all over the world to view each and every production of the ring, beings from all over the world attracted to the immense white flame of Wagner! I am reminded too, how at the end of the last opera of the ring cycle Vahalla, the home of the Gods, is immolated in the flames of transformation.

This 30th degree of Taurus in which Wagner's Venus is located is conjunct his Sun, which is in the first degree of Gemini, and so this aesthetic is amalgamated with a potently primitive and direct power (Sun) of communication (Gemini), which gives the operas a simple (first degree) vividness (Gemini) even in the midst of their amazing complexity. And to intensify it all this Sun/Venus conjunction is in his 12th house, where it may most potently touch the deepest layers of the psyche!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The 29th Degree

I shall never tire of thinking about the beautiful 29th degree of each sign! The degree of magic! The degree in which the sign is dying, for in the 30th degree the death becomes complete and we find a complete liberation. But in the 29th degree the energy of the sign is caving in, falling apart. It is not a bad thing, it is a thing teeming with possibility. Here the sign is used in new and strange and creative ways that can defy description.

There is a wonderful lack of caring here at the 29th degree -- a willingness to take the risks to experiment and create, and if it all falls apart or fails, don't worry, you'll get another chance, we won't take it hard or feel bad because if we did we might become scared to risk creative experimentation, which we must respect at all costs, because it is this creative experimentation that provides the ferment -- the rich soil that is to generate the next sign.

My Sun is in the 29th degree of Taurus, and my message from that degree is -- all of us have far more than we think we have. We are all vast treasure houses, and if we can only allow it the treasures may come forth from all of us to be shared by all of us.

The Chandra Symbol for this degree is "A man amuses himself by drawing strange shapes." A shape is a closed form -- a way of setting up a boundary to limit space. Our lives are full of shapes -- the shape of our work, of our relationships, of our health, of our loves and our fears. But do we realize that these shapes, which we think are more or less set in their shape, or at least maybe difficult to change, can in fact be creatively played with, can be reshaped, can be turned from something plain and uninteresting and dull into something beautiful and unusual and delightful. The man is amusing himself. We want to have (Taurus) things because we are attracted to them, we love them. And then we get them and they become a burden and we drag them around with us, weighed down by our having. In other words, we create oppressive shapes in which to live our lives. Come on! Lets have some fun, lets try out some new shapes! What's to lose? In the short run, maybe a lot, but in the long run NOTHING. And what we have to gain, and what we will inevitably gain, is our TRUE SELVES.

My Virgo Mars

If you study astrology and occasionally feel like you don't really understand a sign or planet or house this is a positive thing, for it means that you haven't closed your mind off to alternative and/or deeper interpretations of that element.

I have been an astrology for 44 years and as I sit here writing I am feeling like I don't quite understand Virgo. I could at this moment deliver an hour lecture on Virgo -- I literally have that much information in my mind about it. But beyond all this information I'm wondering what it really MEANS.

Virgo is about solving problems. What Virgo most wants is to engage in meaningful work. The keyword for Virgo is ASSIMILATION. This keyword helps to explain the Virgoan desire for purity, for what we assimilate determines our level of purity. If we assimilate clean air, water, and food, we are more pure. If we assimilate toxins, then we become impure and the body has to work to rid itself of them.

Nothing in the body works alone -- everything works together. Work carried out in total isolation is fruitless. And so Virgo loves to work with others. If we place Virgo in the first house then we see that the sign that falls on the sixth house is Aquarius, the sign of group support. This signifies that Aquarius is kind of a super-Virgo, that ideally Aquarius should manifest as all people working together to solve any and all sorts of problems.

I think one of the reasons I sometimes feel I don't completely understand Virgo is because the one planet I have there -- Mars -- is in the first degree of Virgo. The first degree of any sign has a fresh, innovative and simple quality. So even though I know a great deal intellectually speaking, about astrology, for instance, when I go to actually DO (Mars) someone's chart I just jump in in highly direct fashion, with that first degree quality of feeling like I know nothing and am seeing it all for the first time. I would say it is an ability to always take a fresh approach (first degree) when it comes to analyzing (Virgo). But it is also this "oh I just got here now what's going on?" quality of of the first degree that can make me feel like I am always at the beginning of everything, no matter how much knowledge or how many facts I have assimilated. You see Mars is always the question of what to DO, and with me all I can do is just jump in directly and start working (Virgo).

Neptune Opposing Mars

During the next couple of years I will be having Neptune opposing my natal Mars five times. Such an event being generated by one of the outer planets is an energy that comes to dominate the life for awhile, and which can teach one vast and profound things.

This transit is complicated by, and I would also say enriched by my having Neptune conjunct Mars in my 9th harmonic -- so this is an energy I am moving toward, that I am developing inevitably.

One major area which Neptune/Mars addresses is subtle energy, and for most of my adult life I have been interested in energy therapy. I am a Reiki master. I have taught flower essence therapy, gem and mineral therapy, and several other forms of energy therapy. I will say,though, that my involvement with these things has been strongly theoretical and abstract, that is, I think about them, collect information about them, and know much about them. I am now strongly feeling that what Neptune/Mars is to bring me over these next two years is a more pure, direct, experiential ivolvment in these therapies.

Astrology is said to be Uranian. I say "said to be" because there are many different forms and styles of astrology. The Uranian type of astrology has much to do with intellectualizing and the mind. What I have always been more drawn to is what I would call "Neptunian" astrology, and that is why I have been so focused on the use of degree symbols when interpreting charts. Uranian astrology attempts to see the uniqueness (Uranus) of each chart. Neptunian astrology is more interested in using the chart as a doorway or portal into the deeper and hidden realms of the psyche, which ultimately means using the chart as a lens through which to focus the intuition. Uranian astrology is more about inventing mental constructs to explain the chart. Neptunian astrology is more about feeling into the chart, about the chart as poetry. And here I am not referring to superficial poetry, whose only goal is beauty and pleasantness, but the ancient poetry, whose purpose was magical evocation, poetry which is talismanic and carries the energy of healing.

My Mars is in the 1st degree of Virgo, and the Chandra symbol for that degree is "A volcano erupting at night." The Omega symbol for that same degree is "Late at night someone comes home and slowly ascends the stairs." What I get out of this is that the volcano is about a natural, primal releasing -- an effortless pouring forth of something which is a combintion of fire and earth (lava) meaning a combination of that which is spiritual (fire) and yet practical. The person coming home and slowly ascending the stairs is about a retreat from the world and a return to the deep inner self. In a sense the two images seem diametrically opposed, but both are about release -- a letting go.

The man climbing the stairs is being slow -- He is working to elevate himself -- the stairs take him upward into a place of privacy. And yes, as I am now under the first of these Neptune opposing Mars transits I feel both that I am in the process of spewing forth my contents like the volcano while yet also coming back to personal center.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Uranus in 1st house

Uranus in 1st house resists all definitions, labels, and categories. Whatever role it plays it does so in its own unique way, bringing to all standard and accepted roles something new, different and unexpected.

The individual with Uranus in 1st house evokes strong reactions from those people who interact with them. People who are open-minded can very much enjoy how the Uranus in 1st house person encourages them to rethink how they see the world, but people who are conservative and intent on maintaining the status quo can find the Uranus in 1st house person upsetting, unpredictable, and disturbing.

One of the beauties of this Uranus position is the way a person with it can quickly throw off one role and adopt another. If one way of being starts to feel too limiting to them they will find another way. This independence of identity means that in all their relationships they need a lot of room to change, and to interact with people who will appreciate their upredictibility and innovative spirit.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Uranus in 12th house

Symbolically Uranus is freedom and the 12th house rules prisons, so Uranus in 12th is a very polarized combination that can yield dynamic results.

It has to do with finding unforseen and surprising ways out of situations that are limiting and restricting. The 12th house signifying confinement means that Uranus here can see all situations of confinement in new and unique ways, and it is upon the basis of these insights that it generates its original exit strategies. Of course all of this is likely to be carried out intuitively and instinctually, and can arise to the conscious mind suddenly, through the vehicle of inspiration.

Other people may experience the individual with Uranus in 12th house as subtly and/or indefinably upsetting, as being an undermining influence. Of course this undermining may be exactly what is needed, even though in scares people who cling to old and stagnant structures.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Uranus and bridge building

Wherever Uranus is in a natal chart is a place where that person has a unique and original approach to life. Of course this may or may not be something that the person has cultivated. It is to be found, though, that the area of life signified by the house which Uranus is in can become an area of isolation, due to the fact that Uranus cares not for what is accepted, time honored, or taken for granted in society, and so especially does not fit in with conservative or traditional notions.

The negative karma of this can be alienation, and the way to prevent this from causing discord in one's life is to work to build bridges between the Uranus energy and the rest of one's world, without repressing any of Uranus desire to innovate or create.

For instance, if Uranus is in one's 6th house natally one has a unique approach to problems and how to solve them, meaning special insights into pathologies, for instance, and unique approaches to healing methodologies that might be used. But one needs to realize as well that others have their approaches and solutions, and so the challenge becomes how can one integrate one's own creativity in this department into the lives of others in such a way that it will be accepted.