Dear Friend and Reader:
Following a New Moon conjunct Vesta in the sensitive first degrees of Cancer, opposite Pluto, it was quite a week for The Personal is Political. Let’s not forget the Venus-Mars conjunction. It’s fair to say that anything that happened in the news this week was about all of us, whether we think of it that way or not. We got the Aries Point in the style of the sign Cancer: the world has come crashing into our living rooms. In case we are looking for evidence of how the Aries Point (that is, the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) magnifies the news and makes it our own, we have a prime example.
Three beloved American celebrities, indeed, household words even on Guam, left the planet within 24 hours: Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, and Farrah Fawcett. Two of the three are extremely interesting sex symbols, and though this article may not be the place to get into it, the astrology gives a vivid picture of this.
Then the election crisis in Iran got a face: that of Neda Agha Soltan, the unlikely martyr: a young woman who was shot in the chest by Iranian police. The political movement in Iran has transformed to a specifically women’s movement; by some reports, two-thirds of the protesters in the streets of Tehran have been women. Or we might credit a lot of Muslim men for marching alongside their sisters. It transformed again from the perception or reality of voter fraud to a debate in the streets over whether the Islamic Republic has any credibility at all in the eyes of the Iranian people, and for that matter, the world. Remember that this country is ruled by a form of governance that draws all, as in all, of its power from the alleged dictates of a male god, his male prophet and his cadre of holy men.
Speaking of patriarchy, a young middle-school 4.0 honors student who was strip searched as zealous school officials were trying to find her alleged stash of Advil won a partial victory before the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s correct — they looked inside her undies for Advil. I’m surprised they didn’t find a tampon.
The court ruled that the search was excessive, in part because the immediately prior search of her bags and pockets revealed nothing suspicious (this is why you should never have rolling paper in your car, as that becomes probable cause); but the court immunized school administrators from personal lawsuits. This is not a good signal to send. When I was editor of New York Education Law Report, I learned all about what screwed up things go on in schools with the full knowledge and support of the administration. South Park is right.
Assoc. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a dissenting opinion. He thinks it’s okay to do this kind of thing. “Preservation of order, discipline and safety in public schools is simply not the domain of the Constitution,” he said. “And, common sense is not a judicial monopoly or a constitutional imperative.”
This quote makes no sense to me, even as the former editor of a law report. He must have copied it down wrong when Scalia was yakking at him. The Constitution does not mandate common sense, and the schools would be exempt even if they did. Right? But the conclusion is obvious. In the mind of The Hon. Assoc. Justice Pubic-Hair-in-the-Coke, clearly it must mean: off with her jeans!
Hypocrisy is a Drug
Then there’s the South Carolina governor: The Hon. Mark Sanford, who was exposed for having a relationship with a woman in Argentina, who claimed to be hiking the Appalachian Trail (look ma, I’m an Eagle Scout!) but left his easily-recognized official vehicle parked in the parking lot of a small airport — and then happened to bump into a reporter. Who recognized him as someone besides J. D. Salinger.
While this may seem like the sordid scandal of the week, it has a few special properties that make it archetypal in nature. It’s also the news event that most closely matches the astrology through the July 4 weekend, and which vibrates with some deep emotional undercurrents, and advises extra caution in affairs of the heart. That astrology also counsels extra caution where sexual or emotional hypocrisy or maybe is a factor.
Sanford is a person with a lot to lose: he was considered for the 2008 vice presidential nomination, he was a potential contender for the 2012 Republican nomination and he was chairman of the Republican Governors Association till he resigned in the wake of this news. Everyone knows that Republicans don’t have affairs. They hold the torch for the standard that how moral you look involves your personal life, set irrevocably during the Clinton impeachment.
Sanford’s conduct reveals how far we will go to get our emotional needs met, but it also speaks of the human potential for hypocrisy. And then of course there is the relationship between the two. Sanford, a congressman in the late 1990s, was a particularly harsh critic of Bill Clinton, and voted for three out of the four articles of impeachment when Clinton had an affair with his fellow Leo, Miss Lewinsky. “I think what he did in this matter was reprehensible…I feel very comfortable with my vote,” Sanford said at the time.
“The issue of lying is probably the biggest harm, if you will, to the system of Democratic government, representatives government, because it undermines trust,” Sanford told CNN in another interview. “And if you undermine trust in our system, you undermine everything.”
He has also weighed in on whether same-sex couples should have the right to marry, which means have the right to have legal sexual relationships. “As Jenny and I are the parents of four little boys, we’ve always taught our kids that marriage was something between a man and a woman,” he told The Post and Courier in 2004, according to Think Progress. As if that would prevent them from being gay.
In an email to his mistress, Sanford described her beautiful South American skin tone and tan line, the exquisite curves of her hips, and he used the term “hopelessly impossible” to describe their love affair, which evolved from an eight-year friendship. This is an example of the kinds of situations that can arise when we are in a structured relationship, have a few unmet needs, and have access to the entire world right from our desk. This describes a lot of people. I have never seen statistics on Internet-based relationships by those with supposedly monogamous primary partners, but they must be incredible.
Check out this Solstice Aspect Structure, Again
So how does this all happen at once? Well, the answer is astrology. Unrelated things are related because you can’t jump out of the universe.
Everything about the solstice/New Moon combination points back to the Aries Point, which points to events that we can all relate to, and which reflect our lives directly. It also points to sex: Venus, Mars and Pluto, for example, and a New Moon conjunct the sex goddess herself, Vesta. I know I also refer to her as the celibacy goddess — she is both.
As part of the solstice and Cancer New Moon conjunct Vesta that we experienced Monday, Venus and Mars made an exact conjunction, in a close aspect to the solstice point (00 Cancer). The solstice and subsequent Cancer New Moon happened in very early Cancer; and Venus and Mars at that moment were conjunct at 15 degrees of Taurus (the Beltane point) — creating an exact semi-square, or 45-degree angle. This, in turn, was in aspect to Pluto, specifically a 135-degree aspect called a sesquiquadrate (or sesquisquare): that is, a 90-degree aspect plus a 45-degree aspect from Venus/Mars to Pluto. The 45- and 135-degree aspects often work as triggers or tipping points.
When you see me or any other astrologer use the term degrees, we are saying: these things are related. Don’t think of it as a complicated aspect structure; think of it as a huge conjunction. They are so related as to be in one place. It’s one energy system, though drawing from different signs; but you can pile the whole thing up (which is what often happens, in terms of the results).
We have the following planets related: the Sun and Moon, the solstice point (i.e., the Aries Point), Vesta, Venus, Mars and Pluto. Remember that this is the setup for the whole season, and this season comes with a lot of eclipses, three of them, including the cliffhanger of a solar eclipse that is the subject of my extended midyear horoscope report. This astrology tells a story that will go on for months.
And Here Comes Aqueerius
During the next week or so, the celestial drama unfolds, if you can imagine such a thing. In astrology, imagination counts for a lot. The whole thing is a kind of legal fiction. It’s like a cartoon based on reality that creates reality as it goes; the more you notice, the more fun you have.
Venus and Mars are in Taurus. Both are gradually sailing into a square aspect (90-degrees, fixed sign to fixed sign) with the triple conjunction of Chiron, Jupiter and Neptune in Aquarius. Can you visualize that? First Venus (the faster moving of the Venus/Mars pair) will square the triple conjunction, starting on July 1 when Venus squares Chiron (followed soon after by Jupiter and Neptune) then four days later, Mars squares Chiron. Of course, Venus and Mars will each square Chiron, Jupiter and Neptune; so this is a very complex dynamic, and it involves every sex, gender and gender role. Even a cross-dressing bisexual can’t worm out of this one.
A square also has a way of triggering events, but it has another way of being deeply introspective. It’s as if something that’s inside ripples out, as an event. Or as may be the case, a lot of events. My intention for explaining this astrology to you is so that you can use the aspects consciously and not get dragged into something negative — but rather, apply it to deepening your relationships, to raising consciousness and for some interesting sexual experiences.
To sum up in advance: the key to taking this astrology on a positive, constructive and interesting level rather than a negative and entangled one (abundant possibility here) is tossing hypocrisy out the door of your life. This astrology is a beacon for honest transactions.
Let’s look at a few of the dynamics involved. I will save Jupiter for an afterthought — the more challenging energies are Venus and Mars square Chiron, then Neptune. This is a potentially explosive, potentially extremely fun, potentially extremely weird, potentially demented sequence of events.
Venus square Chiron can result in an uncontrolled expression of erotic energy. This is the girl in your high school who everyone thinks is beyond hot and who has a reputation for actually having sex and who you really, really want to have sex with, but you’re afraid it won’t be ‘special’ for her and you’re probably right, but it would be really good, but you’re still scared for some reason — she is not, she just wants more. And she’s gonna get it, and you need to have guts to walk up to her and speak your mind (or whatever organ you want). Basically, it’s a girl like Farrah, who is kinky in part because she’s a little messed up. But she’s determined to have fun. She’s determined to let it out, and work it out that way.
One manifestation of Venus square Neptune could be: everything is like a dream, you cannot tell what’s real and what’s not; what’s coming from your hormones and what’s coming from your brain and what’s coming from, um, someplace else. You’re not supposed to care where it’s coming from; you don’t care what pill it is. It’s all too good to be true and maybe too much to be fun — to appreciate this aspect you need a taste for excess (particularly with Jupiter right there). You need to violate public moral standards (Aquarius) for it to be really fun. Jupiter can make it seem like whatever you’re doing can have huge consequences, which may or may not be true; but it’s worth the risk.
Chiron square Mars turns this whole thing inside out. I will give a male example. He is the guy who is so stunning that all the girls/women are dripping for him, but he’s a proper kind of fellow, despite being the hottest drummer for miles around. The propriety is part of his appeal, but it’s a trap.
He has this thing about sex being sacred, and he won’t get naked with anyone unless they are destined to be really, really special. The standard is impossible to meet; it’s religious in nature. You are human, not a deity; he wants a deity. He is the anti-Vesta: sex symbol and closet prude. He probably thinks pussies smell bad, but they’re ‘sacred’, so he won’t say anything. Anyway, he’s unlikely to find out, but he’s waiting for just the right girl; the one from another planet that he read about once in a science fiction novel. The one more powerful than him. You may be that girl, but you have to prove it. It’s just that you’ll hardly ever get the chance.
Add a square to Neptune and this whole thing can go Kamikaze. He will do heroin and get with a hooker to blow off steam. But it won’t be as much fun as he was hoping. Add Jupiter and it’s several hookers plus some alcohol, too much coffee and a bipolar episode.
The Awake Way to Do This
Aspects can and always do have many manifestations — and they are what we make them; they exist on the level we experience or express them. What we make of them is related to who we are becoming, consciously or not. The cautionary side of this story is to remember human nature, and to remember your nature.
Using aspects like this consciously, there would be a matter of choice involved, rater than only compulsion. The key is to be aware of both potentials. The choice would ideally based on one’s true values (Venus and/or Mars in Taurus) and remembering where and how these intersect with those of the larger society (the square to slow-moving planets together in Aquarius). The thing to bear in mind is that we find our values planets together in Aquarius). The thing to bear in mind is that we find our values through a process of experimentation, including testing out norms.
One Chiron connection is to be mindful where one’s sense of lack, injury or craving could cause us express ourselves in ways that are out of balance; remembering that we also have a need to do specifically that. Looked at one way, human existence is about exploring the territory between balance and imbalance.
There is something here about being mindful that we are trying to get deeper emotional needs met while we do things that may be ‘just for fun’ or ‘just because we have to’ — and to be aware what might happen as a result of different kinds of choices. the Taurus connection is about remembering that we make different choices based on our level of self-esteem. Often that process comes into relationship with this thing coming out of aquarius called peer pressure, which often includes the brainwashing to have a low opinion of oneself.
Neptune’s presence in the square is a reminder to be aware of ‘unconscious’ impulses, the influence of loneliness and the tendency to rationalize, and instead to be honest about our needs and desires as early as possible and to explore experience from there. Mars square Chiron warns against going on a purity trip or moral trip while directly indulging in that which one supposedly is against.
The presence of Venus and Mars suggest that we look at how we (for example as men and women) take the same kinds of experiences in different ways: but that we are indeed having common experiences.
Taken together, Venus, Mars and Pluto are about sex and the dance of the genders, and the common forces that influence all gender identifications; internal and external. Chiron in any form is about raising awareness, and some injury, usually in the past, is typically involved. Neptune is about the imagination and, taken in an active, healthy way, it’s about making fantasy experiences real. Vesta is about devotion to a process, a person, an experience or a necessity.
I called up Dale O’Brien today to get his spin on this whole arrangement — of which he sees Vesta as a centerpiece.
“Vesta is more about the Vestal than the goddess; devoting oneself to someone or something,” he said. “She is very big in decision making. Women were chattel in Rome, perhaps worse than in Greece. The Vestal Virgins were taken at a young age [some say as young as seven]. When they came to midlife, they had a decision to make: to rededicate their life to being devoted to the temple, or they could leave the temple and and be free women. They could go from total obscurity to being very powerful. Vesta’s role in the solstice chart is an enormously powerful placement, but its power is missed because its power is understated.
“Now with this solstice conjunct Vesta, there is enormous issue about what people are going to dedicate themselves to, particularly in the face of Plutonic changes.
“I don’t think [Gov. Mark Sanford] is just another sex scandal. It has a larger archetypal quality. It’s like, if there was going to be a nuclear attack in 24 hours what would you do? Most people would make love, no questions asked.
“You know, it could be all over. What are you going to do with your life? Are you living in a strong connection to the life force? This includes conscious sexuality.”
Yours & truly,
The “Dog-ter” Will See You Know
It shouldn’t be surprising that dogs — who can be trained to find missing persons and hidden explosives, among other things — are now being used as early warning systems for medical conditions.
According to Examiner.com, dogs in England are being trained to sniff out low blood sugar in diabetics and warn them about it before their human companions begin suffering the deleterious, and potentially deadly, side effects of hypoglycemia.
The article cites a Reuters report in The Windsor Star newspaper, which says the Queen’s University Belfast concluded a study last December that found “65 percent of 212 people with insulin-dependent diabetes reported that when they had a hypoglycemic episode their pets had reacted by whining, barking, licking or some other display.” Now the Cancer and Bio-Detection Dogs research center, based in Aylesbury, England, is following up on that study by training dogs to detect signs of low blood sugar.
The article quoted Chief Executive Claire Guest, from an interview with Reuters TV, as noting, “Dogs have been trained to detect certain odors down to parts per trillion, so we are talking tiny, tiny amounts. Their world is really very different to ours.”
But before you get your hopes up at the idea of a pooch being part of your next doctor’s visit, it’s worth noting that Guest doesn’t actually think this will lead to dogs in hospitals. Instead, she hopes electronic sniffers can be made that will match the abilities of dogs’ noses. However, such technology is still about 15 years away, she predicted.
Missouri Road Becomes Unlikely Battleground
An interesting debate encompassing fascism, religion and public service has taken shape in recent days outside Springfield, Missouri.
That’s where the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi organization, applied to adopt a half-mile of Route 160as part of the state’s adopt-a-highway program, where groups volunteer to keep public rights-of-way clear of trash. A June 20 article in The New York Times outlined the reaction of state lawmakers, who were displeased by the group’s application but could not legally deny it — in fact, Missouri had lost a court case years earlier after turning down a Ku Klux Klan application to adopt a roadway.
This time, it seems, officials thought they’d respond by renaming that road for someone they felt the National Socialist Movement would disapprove of: Jewish theologian Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who escaped Nazi Germany and eventually became a leading figure in the Civil Rights movement here.
However, on Monday The Times reported that Heschel’s own daughter, Susannah Heschel, who teaches Jewish studies at Dartmouth, has raised an objection to the tactic. According to the article, “she appreciated their intentions, but attaching her father’s name to a road cleaned by neo-Nazis would be ‘vulgar’ and would ‘dishonor’ him.”
In all, an interesting situation that raises some surprisingly deep questions, which writer Brad Hirschfield delves into this week at the On Faith section of WashingtonPost.com.
Sri Lanka arrests astrologer for gloomy predictions
COLOMBO (AFP) — Sri Lankan police say they have arrested an astrologer after he predicted serious political and economic problems for the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Chandrasiri Bandara, who writes an astrology column for a pro-opposition weekly, was taken in on Thursday, police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara said.
“The CID (Criminal Investigations Department) is questioning the astrologer,” Gunasekara said Friday, adding that they wanted to find out the “basis” for the prediction.
The astrologer had predicted that a planetary change on October 8 will be inauspicious for parliament and the government may not be able to arrest rising living costs — a prediction already made by private economists.
The opposition United National Party condemned Bandara’s arrest and accused the government of heading towards a dictatorship.
“The crime which Chandrasiri Bandara committed was publishing an astrological column which was adverse to the government,” UNP general secretary, Tissa Attanayake, said.
Sri Lankan politicians take astrology seriously and most have their own personal seers who decide the auspicious times to launch any new programme or work.
The government’s popularity is at an all time high after the military crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels who fought for nearly four decades to carve out a separate state for minority Tamils from the majority Sinhalese community.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, June 26, 2009, #772 – BY ERIC FRANCIS
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Set aside the seeming issues of fault and blame. I know that once those circuits in our brains are turned on, they are difficult to turn off. However, if you care about the truth, you need to move to a different conceptual framework. There is indeed a cause to your present situation; and it’s more complex than you may be imagining. Someone close to you is also involved in sorting out a very similar matter, and the relationships are similar, but the effects appear different. For example, what has mainly served to shut you down has served to open up someone close to you, or someone you want to be close with. You have something to learn from this person, and how they respond to their environment and inner movements of energy. Let them decide if they have something to learn from you.
Taurus (April 19- May 20)
You’re entering mysterious territory that may at once feel dreamy, lonely, fulfilling and empty. You may be wondering how one cluster of experience can have so many different properties. Let go of any doubt that there’s something off within your own perception — this is indeed a strange dimension you’re at the edges of, and you’re not going to come out the same person. What will mainly be challenged is your notion of stability, which on most days tends to be wound up a little too tight to do you much good. You’ll feel better, learn more and be more productive if you allow yourself to be a different person every day and perhaps from hour to hour: with a changeable concept of what you want and need, of what hurts you, and what will heal your soul. Or simply, a mutable concept of who you really are inside.
Gemini (May 20- June 21)
You have a rare opening to dialog with yourself and others about events that have hurt you the most. Few people like to have this conversation; they think it’s an admission of weakness. You are intelligent enough to know that keeping things shut away doesn’t help you or anyone close to you. I suggest you remember that you’re not a bad person because you were treated a certain way. To the contrary, what you can now address is the fact of having been made to feel bad about yourself. Start with the simple acknowledgement that something was done to you, over which you had no control. That admission will open up a world of positive ideas in response: in other words, mental and emotional movement; creativity; confidence: simply, the opposite of paralysis.
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Who is being narrow minded? Any time you are inclined to point the finger at someone else, take a step toward opening your own mind. Don’t blame yourself — just open up. Look at the world a different way. There is a lot to look at. It is true that we live on a planet where most of our brothers and sisters insist on being psychologically myopic with the same care they put in their contact lenses each morning. It’s true that when you’re open, it takes someone else who is open to even notice, and that can be discouraging. But psychological narrowness is the next best thing to rigor mortis. It is consciousness contracting in the opposite direction of the life force. Oil your hinges. Stretch your body’s muscles. Think new ways, and new experiences will come to you.
Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
You are now in the usually hidden dimension of how you really feel about your relationships. What’s the most helpful is that you can see them for what they are; you can see people for who they are; and this way, when you love them, you know you’re loving the real person and not your own image of them. This is perhaps the greatest step we can take on the way to being someone devoted to truth. It is the essential thing that divides romance from relationship. As part of this process, there is the necessary recognition that in addition to love, we are joined with people by those things that are sometimes called the ties that bind. The way of the lover is to see those for what they are, and to keep loving.
Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
You need to depend on your popularity as much as your message. You spend your life taking care of people, or so it seems. Many of the people you have nourished and helped to grow have become strong in their own right, and you can depend on them to help you. If you are struggling to take leadership of a situation, take a step back. You need to work specifically with a feeling of ease. You need to spin psychologically difficult, or difficult to grasp, subject matter in an easy way. If you do this, you will be able to help people open up in a way that frees their energy and by extension wastes less of yours. The truth is that most of us don’t know how much we have, which is why we’re so reluctant to share. Get clear about this one yourself.
Libra (Sep. 22 – Oct. 23)
You seem to be working to reconcile your two different concepts of sex: one as something recreational, playful and creative; and the other as something deep, dangerous and transformational. Your psychic chemistry is just about right for this experience of reconciliation. Is one of these aspects a lure into the other? Are they really the same thing, but divided by a world that loves to put everything into categories? The thing that gives all of your experiences meaning is specifically you. You are the one thing that they all have in common. So this process of reconciling two ‘concepts’ is really about allowing aspects of yourself to make friends with one another, and also about recognizing how diverse you truly are.
Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Move carefully through the relationship territory of the next week or two. A partner may seem more willing to experiment, to dare or to be thrown wide open than you are. This may be unsettling, particularly if you are in the mood to be cautious, to weigh every emotion and to doubt your right to feel passion. If you’re not fully conscious (which is an abundant possibility), the differences between you and others could result in an actual fracture or split. You can help by maintaining your flexibility, and knowing when you’re reacting instead of responding (that is easy — reactions are fast and responses are more gradual). Take the opportunity to follow instead of lead.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 22)
Think of all the things that were done to cram you into your gender role. Yes, there are nice things about being a girl, and nice things about being a boy. But I don’t think they should be compulsory, the conditioning should not start when we’re fetuses, and it would be nice of someone to mention the damage that being treated this way causes us. Most of your healing process at the moment involves working out various aspects of your gender identity. As a Sagittarius you are a natural at bridging the gaps between very different things, and it’s entirely natural for you to draw wisdom, energy and ideas from many sources. Open up just a little and you will have a rare opportunity to give your male and female sides equal rights within your own life.
Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
There would seem to be some titanic inner struggle between your desires and your sense of security. This is often the case, when real desires enter the picture. I suggest you take the opportunity to ask yourself why exactly you might be having this response. Is there actually something threatening about what you want or need, or are you hyper-sensitive? Is it possible that you’re feeling guilty? And if so, why would that be? Remember how much of your psychology is determined by the stories that you tell yourself. Remember how much of your inner nature was inflicted on a child who was told things about himself or herself that simply were not true. To the extent you are in conflict, you are believing very old lies. This is the perfect chance to cast them off.
Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Good art is usually born of conflict; that is, the process of resolving conflict. You have just enough of the right kind of emotional turmoil to give you something worthwhile to say, or to show, the rest of us — and there is a very wide door open to being able to express yourself in precise terms. I would not worry if you don’t feel like you’re actually coming across, should you attempt to describe, write about or illustrate your experience; the essence of what you are feeling will come across clearly. It may take you a little time to catch up with your own message, too. If the process is unsettling, embarrassing or seems dubious, you’re in the right place at the right time. It just may take a few weeks or months for you to catch up with yourself.
Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
This continues to be a time in your life when you can visualize your way into reality. There is a message coming through about your relationships. Usually when creating a relationship, we envision the kind of partner we want. I suggest you take a long moment and envision the kind of partner you want to be. Reach for something beyond what you may be capable of today, but which you aspire to. Consider your best traits and how they can be nourishing to others. Use role models if necessary. And remember, since this is an experience of imagining, the rules and limitations of the past do not apply. Along those lines, this is not about who you’re supposed to be, but who you want to be; in truth, who you really are.