Sagittarius Full Moon: A Proving Moment

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In tonight’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I look closely at the Sagittarius Full Moon conjunct Pholus and Ixion, exact just past midnight EDT on Friday. In addition to analyzing the chart, I tell stories from the myths of Pholus and Ixion — which relate back to the stories we heard about Nessus last week.

My musical guests are the Avett Brothers and Lucius, from this past weekend’s Mountain Jam festival in upstate New York.

Sagittarius Full Moon set for Kingston but using "natural houses" so that it's easier to see whole sign houses -- house and sign cusps align.

Sagittarius Full Moon set for Kingston but using “natural houses” so that it’s easier to see whole sign houses — house and sign cusps align.

Eric Francis

About Eric Francis

Planet Waves began in 1998 as the home of the Eric Francis horoscope, a prominent feature in our premium service. Going far beyond what most Sun-sign astrologers even dream is possible, Eric brings in-depth interpretations to his work. He is a pioneer in the newly-discovered planets, including Chiron and the centaurs, and is able to translate their movements into accessible human terms, offering ideas for life, love and work. Discover a whole new world of literary journalism in Planet Waves. We offer free trial subscriptions, discounts for students and seniors, and gift subscriptions for veterans and those on active military duty.
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17 Responses to Sagittarius Full Moon: A Proving Moment

  1. Flavia says:

    Pholus is also the protector of knowing through altered states – according to Melanie Reinhard and surely true in my own experience. I have Pholus within a few minutes from an exact opposition with my name asteroid, and Pholus makes significant aspects in synastry with ALL my friendships and relationships that involve altered states as well as in transits on particularly meanigful events. The myth might refer to the risk of crossing the line between recreational and sacred usage.

    Eric, I read German and would be happy to get the book.

  2. Eric, I think I’ve already posted some more extensive versions of the Apollodorus and Diodorus texts that Dieter Koch referenced. Scroll down for the full translations. Here is a good reference page that has many of the Centaur myths directly translated… or at least it appears to be so. This may be useful for your future studies.


  3. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Dieter Koch adds:

    Dear Melanie and Eric,

    Eric, I am sorry that I still have not answered your other mail. Unforutnately, the Centaurs belong to my past life, and it is rather difficult for me to enter into these themes again. I am studying the astrology of the Mahabharata at the moment, in the limited time I have besides work and family.

    There were different versions of the Pholus myth. The main sources are Apollodorus Mythographus, Bibliotheca 2.5.4, and Diodorus Siculus, Bibiotheca Historica 4.12, but there are a number of other text snippets, too, in other authors.

    Diodorus writes (translation by C.H. Oldfather):

    “Pholus was a Centaur, from whom the neighbouring mountain came to be called Pholoe, and receiving Heracles with the courtesies due to a guest he opened for him a jar of wine which had been buried in the earth. This jar, the writers of myths relate, had of old been left with a certain Centaur by Dionysus, who had given him orders only to open it when Heracles should come to that place.And so, four generations after that time, when Heracles was being entertained as a guest, Pholus recalled the orders of Dionysus….”

    Perhaps there is some translation of the whole work available online…

    Melanie’s remark refers to Theocritus, Idyllia 7. A scholion on that text says: “Now that wine was the one that was given by Dionysus by way of thanks for Pholus’ allotting Naxos to him when he (Pholus) had arbitrated in favour of him (Dionysus) against Hephaestus.” (my translation, rather literal but clumsy; if needed for publication, you are allowed to improve it)

    I translated all sources into German in Robert von Heeren’s and my book on Pholus. Eric, do you happen to read German?


    PS from Eric, does anyone out there happen to read German? Dieter and Robert’s book is only in German.

  4. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Melanie Reinhart adds:

    “My understanding was that Pholus was given the jar because he mediated in a dispute between Dionysus and Hephaestus, involving the ownership of the island of Naxos. He favoured Dionysus, and so was given custodianship of the jar. I’m not sure whether this detail is in my book, but in workshops etc I’ve given this ‘back story’.”

  5. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    Ok. Will do. Thanks Eric.

  6. Absolutely excellent podcast Eric, thank you for pulling this together.

    I had reached my end with all the violence going on in the collective, and not just here in the US. Stories in the news lately have been breaking my heart over and over and over again. The flood of children coming up from Central and South America, alone and desperate trying to escape the drug lords and gang violence that is taking over their small villages and depriving them of a future. The utter hopelessness for young black males in these times and how their lives have become fodder for two corrupt systems; the farce that is our judicial/prison industry system or the terror that is the drug culture – these young men are being swallowed up by these two horrific demons and no one seems to care. And the madness that is continuing in the Middle East; Mosul falling, Syria lost, ancient fallen worlds swimming in blood and destruction, and getting worse. And our own gun-crazed, violence crazed culture…
    I am sick in my heart with the pain I feel for all this trauma that is being unleashed. The senseless destruction of so many innocent lives… in my soul I feel as if I am about to collapse with the weight of so much blood, loss and madness. WHY is it happening? Why now?
    Hearing about what the stars are saying helps. So, following your advice and throwing the doors of my mind wide open, I offer up some creative observations about some of the details in the Pholus myth:

    – all of this story begins in a cave. Already we are on notice: this is the realm of the unconscious. We are dealing with primordial forces that will not act logically or reasonably and expecting them to do so will be fruitless. Does this mean we are fated to act this stuff out? It is really difficult to say, but this is big, profoundly difficult and incredibly challenging stuff we are working with so we need to pay attention.

    – the wine in question was a gift from the Divine. It is Sacred, to be respected and protected. Supposedly it has healing properties yet its potency becomes the undoing of the very ones to whom it is gifted and is supposed to protect and serve…. WTF?? What kind of a gift is that? As Amy E. says… it sounds very much like the apple problem in Eden. What it ultimately is is a testing ground of some sort. Understanding what the wine is seems key to me. Of course it could simply represent alcohol, but my guess it has other layers of interpretation that lie deeper. A bit of a Homeopathic mystery, so to speak.

    – the wine is given to a collective. This seems really important. What do we have as a collective that has been given to us as a gift that on one hand can be for our benefit and protection but on the other hand be our own undoing? Many things come to mind. This gift has been given to a collective and yet they are not responsible for its care, only one person is guarding the gift… this again seems foolish or a warning.

    – Pholus has been successfully fulfilling his mission (which was a covenant between his kind and the Diety) until a human shows up. Interestingly, there are two versions of the myth, one saying that the wine should be opened for no one, but in the other version the wine is to be opened ONLY for Herakles. This is an important distinction because in one version Pholus is tricked by Herakles into betraying his oath but in the other version he is fulfilling it by offering the wine. So there is already a cloud over the central figure…again, is this a screw-up or is this fate?

    – That the centaurs go crazy with the awareness that their gift has been violated to me is a HUGE part of this story. How many times have indigenous people tried to rise up as the gift of their land was being taken away by outsiders…. the land that is their gift from the Gods? How many times do we feel we are going crazy as we watch the blood of children being spilled for no good reason? I can feel completely allied with the Centaurs in this moment… there is desecration happening here and it has them pissed off and ready to punish the one(s) who have despoiled that which is theirs and that which is Sacred. The Centaurs are NOT crazy, in my opinion. And yet they are slaughtered for their outrage. Is it this seed that keeps us from rising up against the NRA and their gun-loving kind?

    – that Pholus escapes the initial chaos seems important. He was just doing his job and simply fell sway to coercion or was fulfilling his task as had been assigned to him but either way he somehow escapes the initial chaos and carnage. Even so he cannot escape death which comes to him thru curiosity (again, whiffs of that apple story).

    – all this trouble and chaos is taking place entirely with male characters. There are no sultry females, no jealous goddesses, no enticing nymphs anywhere in this story. All of this drama is fully in the realm of the male, from male god, human male hero, male half-human centaurs (are there any female centaurs? I don’t know of any) of both the wild and crazy kind but also the gifted and devoted kind. (even Chiron meets his end in this myth). I don’t mean to say that this is only for men to sort out and women are not responsible for any of this chaos, but to me, this myth, being devoid of sexual tension points directly to the relationship between the male realms of thinking/feeling/acting and the willingness to go to ultimate death extremes right up to and including genocide. It is a story about rampant violence unleashed by males on males full stop.

    – the only bright spot in this story is the regret that Herakles feels at the end of all the carnage. Apparently regret is given to the two centaurs who are not from the Ixion swarm, Chiron and Pholus. Pholus gets a mountain chain named after him. As for Chiron, Herakles feels terrible that his teacher and mentor Chiron got caught up in the chaos and he pleads with Zeus for redemption which is finally granted in two ways: Chiron is given the gift of mortality (a highly significant moment) and is eased out of his pain. And, the second gift he is given is his place among the stars as Sagittarius, which is after all, a centaur, which brings us around full circle and for me makes this full moon teaching time especially profound.

    Since these energies are bathing the entire planet now we need to keep watch on all available fronts for clues as to how to heal this terrible male on male wounding. Violence is not the answer but at the moment we seem unable to come out of this cave and stop the madness.

  7. A couple of translations from ancient Greek texts to further our collective study of Pholus. Posting them because there are some significant conflicting details between these two versions so perhaps both need to be kept in mind while we make our observations.

    – Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 12. 3 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
    “About the time that Herakles was performing these Labours [the hunt of Erymanthian boar], there was a struggle between him and the Kentauroi (Centaurs), as they are called, the reason being as follows. Pholos was a Kentauros (Centaur), from whom the neighbouring mountain came to be called Pholoe, and received Herakles with the courtesies due to a guest and opened for him a jar of wine which had been buried in the earth. This jar, the writers of myths relate, had of old been left with a certain Kentauros by Dionysos, who had given him orders only to open it when Herakles should come to that place. And so, four generations after that time, when Herakles was being entertained as a guest, Pholos recalled the orders of Dionysos.
    Now when the jar had been opened the sweet odour of the wine, because of its great age and strength, came to the Kentauroi dwelling near there, it came to pass that they were driven mad; consequently they rushed in a body to the dwelling of Pholos and set about plundering him of the wine in a terrifying manner. At this Pholos hid himself in fear, but Herakles, to their surprise, grappled with those who were employing violence. He had indeed to struggle with beings who were gods on their mother’s side, who possessed the swiftness of horses, who had the strength of two bodies, and enjoyed in addition the experience and wisdom of men. The Kentauroi advanced upon him, some with pine trees which they had plucked up together with the roots, others with great rocks, some of with burning firebrands, and still others with axes such as are used to slaughter oxen. But he withstood them without sign of fear and maintained a battle which was worthy of his former exploits. The Kentauroi were aided in their struggle by Nephele (Cloud), who sent down a heavy rain, by which she gave no trouble to those which had four legs, but for him who was supported upon two made the footing slippery. Despite all this Herakles maintained an astonishing struggle with those who enjoyed such advantages as these, slew the larger part of them, and forced the survivors to flee . . .
    A peculiar thing also happened in the case of him who was called Pholos, the friend of Herakles. While he was burying the fallen Kentauroi, since they were his kindred, and was extracting an arrow from one of them, he was wounded by a barb, and since the wound could not be healed he came to his death. Herakles gave him a magnificent funeral and buried him at the foot of the mountain, which serves better than a gravestone to preserve his glory; for Pholoe makes known the identity of the buried man by bearing his name and no inscription is needed.”

    – Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 83 – 87 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
    “[Herakles] passing through [Mount] Pholoe [in Arkadia] was entertained by the kentauros Pholos, a son of Seilenos (Silenus) by a Melias [Melian or Malean] Nymphe. He set roast meat before Herakles, while he himself ate his meat raw. When Herakles called for wine, he said he feared to open the jar which belonged to the Kentauroi (Centaurs) in common. But Herakles, bidding him be of good courage, opened it, and not long afterwards, scenting the smell, the Kentauroi arrived at the cave of Pholos, armed with rocks and firs. The first who dared to enter, Ankhios (Anchius) and Agrios (Agrius), were repelled by Herakles with a shower of brands, and the rest of them he shot and pursued as far as Malea. There they took refuge with Kheiron, who, after the Lapiths had driven him from Mount Pelion, settled on Malea. Thence they took refuge with Kheiron (Chiron), who, driven by the Lapithes from Mount Pelion, took up his abode at Malea.
    As the Kentauroi cowered about Kheiron, Herakles shot an arrow at them, which, passing through the arm of Elatos , stuck in the knee of Kheiron [Pholos in the Peloponnesian account]. Distressed at this, Herakles ran up to him, drew out the shaft, and applied a medicine which Kheiron gave him. But the hurt proving incurable, Kheiron retired to the cave and there he wished to die, but he could not, for he was immortal. However, Prometheus offered himself to Zeus to be immortal in his stead, and so Kheiron [Pholos] died.
    The remaining Kentauroi (Centaurs) fled this way and that, som to Mount Malea, Eurytion to Pholoe, Nessos to the Euenus river. The rest were taken in at Eleusis by Poseidon, who hid them away on a mountain. As for Pholos, as he was pulling an arrow out of a corpse, he marvelled that such a little object could destroy such enormous adversaries. Just then it slipped from his hand, fell on his foot and instantly killed him. When Herakles returned to Pholoe, he found Pholos dead, so he buried him and proceeded on to find the boar.”

  8. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    we’ve had no other punters with issues; maybe let the whole file load, then play. I am aware that I use slightly heavier files — 240 KBPS — for better sound. Also it’s in stereo, not mono, mainly for the music.

  9. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    Breaking up again – about 10 minutes in..
    Buona notte fiorellino

  10. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    Tried again before turning in. Seems to be working…!

  11. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    Am unable to listen to this edition because it keeps breaking up. Wonder if it’s me or if anyone else has problems. Frustrating.. time for bed this side of the world…

  12. Amy E says:

    Eric, when I listened to you describing the Pholus myth, I started to wonder why Dionysos entrusted the wine to Pholus (who would then have the wherewithal to open it) and then thought the story sounds curiously like the Garden of Eden myth.

    You can eat any fruit except of this tree I AM PUTTING RIGHT HERE. Right, bye and don’t touch the fruit now, will you…?

    The curiosity-as-downfall concept is also dealt with in the Psyche myth, as well as the echo of Obey Me Cos I Say So.

  13. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Right, if it puts food on the table, or makes one rich, it’s good. That’s really the first problem. And the more desperation is pushed as a product, the less ethics will matter.

    As for Kantor, there are few people whose face I will be more thrilled to never see again, however, not conservative enough? I wonder when someone is conservative enough.

  14. Elizabeth Michaud Elizabeth Michaud says:

    Oops, sorry, typo: exponentially higher, not highere. But you all knew that. :)

  15. Elizabeth Michaud Elizabeth Michaud says:

    First of all, great music. Yeah, “I and love and you” are hard words to say in our world. I think that relates to today’s daily astrology with Moon opposite Juno.

    In regard to the moral framework that seems to be a huge issue in our country right now– I don’t understand why the conversation is still so polarized in a political way, when our kids our dying. I read a statement from Obama yesterday after the Oregon high school shooting, where he said “The Unites States does not have a monopoly on crazy people. It’s not the only country that has psychosis. And yet we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially highere than anyone else.” It seems to be a point lost, though. Have you seen the blockbuster movies that are coming out for summer? A good friend of mine who works for a major video game producer posted just yesterday a proud article about the release of their latest project– another war game. When I pointed out the poor timing considering the latest mass shooting, she said she understood and agreed with me, but she loved her co-workers and was proud of their work. So is our morality linked to our income/security/success, even when we know violent video games simply cannot be helping our violence problem? Hell has broken loose, and it takes all of us to be committed to healing it. In my opinion, that also means boycotting war video games and promoting a healthier worldview. No, we may not be able to get the genie back in the bottle, but can’t we address the toxic shit that has escaped, rather than promoting its spread?

  16. smileandrelax says:

    Wow… Eric Kantor loses! Is this perhaps Pholus? “On Capitol Hill, Cantor’s defeat will create enormous uncertainty in the House. Cantor, 51, had been considered the next generation’s GOP leader, who would take over for House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) when Boehner, 64, retired.”

  17. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    I love the Avett brothers. Look forward to listening to this this evening.

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