Dear Friend and Reader:
Beginning Tuesday and into Wednesday, Mars in Libra retrogrades into a square to Jupiter, an opposition to Uranus and a square to Pluto. This is the perfection of the cardinal grand cross, four planets in an exact X with the Earth in the middle.
That, in turn, is one of the big moments in the Uranus-Pluto square — our era-defining aspect, the one that spans from 2012 through 2015 with several years tacked onto either side. Fast-moving, personality-driven planets like Mars getting mixed up with slow movers such as Uranus and Pluto can bring otherwise hidden events associated with the main aspect out to the front of awareness.
Additionally, the grand cross aligns exactly with the United States Sun, which is at 13+ Cancer. In some way the karma of the United States is involved in this event. The U.S. Sun is in its 8th house, so there is some material around commitments, shared resources and sex that is involved. Thankfully it’s Jupiter that’s conjunct the U.S. Sun rather than Mars, Uranus or Pluto, though one effect of Jupiter is to magnify things.
We are in a big moment, even counted on a scale of decades. The two most potent aspects I remember before this were the Saturn-Pluto opposition of 2001, and the fixed grand cross and total solar eclipse of 1999.
Speaking of eclipses, next week’s astrology is amplified by the fact of a solar eclipse. That happens Tuesday, April 29. So the grand cross and whatever it signifies is vibrating between the lunar eclipse of earlier in the week and the solar eclipse at the New Moon a week from Tuesday. The New Moon event suggests that this time between the eclipses is a seed moment, not just for setting intentions but also for focusing your mind on accomplishing them.
Said yet another way: the planets are aligning in a get-serious pattern. The combination of squares, oppositions, a generational event and a series of eclipses is describing the urgency of our moment and also how much influence we can have if we want it.
Getting serious, however, is usually the thing we like to do the very least, here in our la-la land of adventure films, foamy sugar, iPods and iPhones and where even ‘progressive’ programs consist of one-third television commercials that verge on psychotic fantasies. Americans live in a country where adults are fed dietary fiber in gumdrops and 4.5 million guns are purchased every year.
In the United States there are 90 guns for every 100 people and no obvious connection between that and the more than 11,400 Americans killed by people using guns including homicide, suicide and accidental death in the first year after Newtown that were reported by the media. The actual number of people killed by guns was 33,173.
I’ve said a few times that one of the most serious problems of Western civilization is our seeming inability to connect cause and effect. Cause and effect is the Law of Karma, and the failure to make the connection can breed karma rapidly. And that is exactly — exactly, precisely — what our society does. We breed karma faster than it’s possible to get out of it, by any normal means not requiring a profound spiritual connection or help from friendly extraterrestrials good at cleaning up nuclear waste.
Meanwhile, many people want to wake up, and try to do so diligently. Yet the first thing anyone on a path of awakening is likely to discover is just how twisted their society is, and how driven by dark motives. That fact is not exactly encouragement for becoming conscious. Anyone with a shred of intelligence knows that to approach any aspect of the global crisis, more is demanded than their personal purity; we have to do more than what we deem to be ‘our part’.
Solving problems, whether personal or on a scale larger than one’s own immediate situation, involves becoming aware of the nature of the issue. This alone seems to be an obstacle — many global problems are extremely complex, or they seem that way. Meanwhile, one’s personal circumstances can be more than enough to bear. For anyone sensitive who feels the pull toward considering what we must solve to protect future generations, the pressure can be overwhelming.
Even trying to approach or resolve a relatively simple problem within a community can lead to total frustration. This is often connected to the personalities who are invested in the dysfunction, the underlying politics or encountering those who are committed to things staying the way they are — often for reasons that are entirely opaque.
On a larger scale, a 10-minute discussion of an actual global problem or the motives driving it can be enough to have someone sobbing. For many, denial seems to be an essential survival tool. But denial doesn’t do anything and its effectiveness as a hedge wears off quickly.
Considering the pressure of this astrology, the world seems to be in a fairly ordinary state. Sometimes precision of aspects can lend itself to solutions. I believe they can be used that way; if we are going to get astrology working in our service, it’s necessary to use it as a map to connecting with collective energy and understanding trends that might otherwise defy understanding.
The astrology we’re experiencing looks like it could push anyone to the edge. That might be a psychological or emotional edge; a limit on tolerance of a situation. This could also represent a trip to the edge of one’s intelligence — that is often productive, because the edge is where you can go beyond what you knew or thought of before. It’s the place to take the leap.
Yet everything about the current astrology says this must be done with precision.
The Sun in the Chiron Discovery Degree
Speaking of precision, there is an unusual feature of the April 23 grand cross, which has not eluded the perception of Chiron-spotters in the audience. Chiron is a small planet orbiting our Sun that was discovered in 1977. My impression after watching the world go by is that Chiron has been the most influential planet in shaping the ethos of modern professional astrology.
At the moment of the alignment, the Sun is in the degree where Chiron was discovered. In fact, Mars square Pluto happens in a near-perfect synchronicity with the Sun conjunct the degree and minute where Chiron was discovered — 3 Taurus and 9 minutes of arc.
This is one of those connections that’s so strange and interesting and vibrating with meaning that I keep looking at it wondering how it’s even possible. We could translate this into, “Whatever the grand cross is about, it has something to do with the discovery of Chiron.”
Chiron is the planet that represents holistic consciousness. One of the first modern holistic healers, D. D. Palmer, discovered ‘chiropractic’ and did the first adjustment in 1895, the year that the first photograph was (unwittingly) taken of Chiron. Called a pre-discovery photo, it sat in the files till astronomers dug it out in 1977 to confirm the orbit of the new object; its discoverer, Charles Kowal, named it Chiron after the famous healer of Greek mythology. Most astronomers don’t believe in astrology but those who discover and name planets are often very good at it. Kowal gave Chirion its first keyword, maverick — one who stands away from the crowd.
Chiron, the first centaur, was a half-man, half-horse, and was abandoned as a child and raised by the god Apollo, who taught him medicine and surgery. Chiron then passed his skills to Asclepius, who became the god of medicine. Chiron is a healer but also a teacher of those on the stature of a god; he was also mentor to a generation of Greek heroes, including Heracles, Jason and Achilles.
So with Chiron, we get the theme of holistic consciousness, healing and also the vital theme of mentorship. There are many ways to learn things: books, classes, seminars and YouTube videos among them. But for serious, grounded and careful learning, there may be no better way than mentorship.
Chiron itself is prominent in the grand cross chart, part of a grouping of objects in Pisces that includes Neptune, Venus and two other useful minor planets, Nessus (another centaur) and Borasisi (similar to Pluto but a bit further from the Sun). None of these are asteroids; later in Pisces there is a rather phenomenal grouping of those.
Yet Chiron’s discovery degree, 3+ Taurus, can function in many ways like Chiron itself. It is a reminder that relates directly to the moment of discovery, and the era of discovery, when the new planet manifested.
The 1970s were an exciting time, a dawning of the era of hands-on healing, the early acceptance of naturopathic medicine, awareness of the mind-body connection and when actual therapy as opposed to meds was something that had respect.
Notably, chiropractors were entering the struggle for their existence, and did battle with the official medical establishment, which was trying to destroy their profession.
In 1976, a year before Chiron’s discovery, a chiropractor named Dr. Chester Wilk brought a federal antitrust lawsuit against the American Medical Association (AMA) and numerous other allopathic medical organizations. The federal court ruled that doctors had waged a “lengthy, systematic, successful and unlawful boycott” designed to restrict cooperation between MDs, all in an effort to eliminate the chiropractic profession as a competitor in the United States healthcare system.
More interesting, though they had repeatedly attacked chiropractic medicine through something called the “Committee on Quackery,” testimony at the trial demonstrated that medical doctors leading the attack did not even know what chiropractic was or how it worked. After 14 years, Wilk and his attorney Mick Andrews won a substantial settlement that included direct admission of wrongdoing by the AMA and other organizations.
Who could persist this long against such injustice? Someone with Chiron on the midheaven, as Wilk has. The 10th is the house of professional achievement and reputation, as well as one’s relationship to the established power structure. Chiron in that position describes a person who is fearless, and who will go up against the whole system if necessary.
Today we take for granted that chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, homeopathy and naturopathy are legal, legitimate and available in nearly any city and many smaller towns. It is true that the AMA and the drug companies attempt to crush anything that might compete with them, but it’s worth noticing that they have not succeeded.
It was not long ago that the word ‘massage’ meant going to a prostitute, and that people bandied around the term ‘psychosomatic illness’ as an insult, translating loosely to ‘it’s all in your head’.
The time of Chiron’s discovery was a time of the roots of the holistic movement reaching deep into the culture. We might lament that the medical establishment and GMO foods and big pharma have way too much power — but imagine a world with no alternatives, with no options.
Let’s consider the relationship of the Sun conjunct the discovery degree. The Sun is the astrological equivalent of the healthy ego. You can describe it as the place people want to shine in life, and seek success and glory. It’s one of the most powerful identity factors in astrology — often, the seat of the idea ‘I am’.
But the Sun can be a baby, seeking attention and wanting something for nothing. Other factors in the chart will describe how the person is willing to work or not work for their success (and potentially, glory); the person’s ability to actually be an adult.
In this chart, the Sun is making contact with the emergence of Chiron as an idea and as a reality. It’s as if the Sun has found its mentor, or connected to a source of higher knowledge.
To me this placement is symbolic of the kind of growing up that we will need to embark upon in order to participate in solving the global crisis. The first step in that is individuals paying attention to their own personal healing, working with role models and becoming functioning adults. We have seen, in the past, many problems with immature people ending up in positions of power — we see the kinds of power games for which the world is so famous.
Grounded, healthy leadership requires individuals who are aware of themselves and of their relationship to their environment. It also requires people who have an actual spiritual connection, that is, whose perception does not end on the physical plane but who have the capacity to think and be sensitive on several layers of consciousness.
Yet this goes beyond the concept of ‘self help’ or being a better person. It goes entirely beyond the notion of what is self-serving, and beyond the idea of doing one’s bit. Inherent in Chiron is the drive for service, a passion and devotion to humanity that you really can’t fake.
There is one other thing. Chiron represents processing some of the darkest emotions and experiences that humans are capable of. Everyone has a little piece of this, and some people have quite a lot. On one level I’m talking about normal emotions but which can, if ignored, get blown out of proportion or acted out in extremely toxic ways. The denial of shadow material — emotions associated with fear, shame, guilt, abandonment and aggression — has led to more war and mayhem than perhaps any other factor, including greed (which is fed by all of the above). The holistic process described by Chiron demands honest awareness of these aspects of consciousness, if only so they can be brought to the light of healing.
Without the Sun in the Chiron discovery degree, this would be a frightening chart, indicative of all kinds of mayhem and violence with no way out. With a bold reminder of Chiron and what it represents, the scenario makes a lot more sense. We have a chart that reveals the problem, and it reveals the way to many potential solutions.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, April 18, 2014, #995 | By Eric Francis
Aries (March 20-April 19) — In every area of your life, you must proceed with caution, especially where your relationships are concerned. Caution does not mean fear. Rather, it means awareness and proceeding with a commitment to having accurate information. Where human relationships are concerned, there are three sources of information: yourself, the person you’re communicating with, and your environment. Because you must direct your own life based on your feelings, you are the most significant source of intelligence. Given that your primary mission in life is to define who you are on your own terms, that means it’s crucial that you actually listen to yourself. Yet others will give you vital feedback, especially about what they want and what they intend to do, though you may need to ask directly. I suggest you be bold and direct about that. As for your environment, observe whether it’s supporting you or not. What are the complexities and wrinkles in the situation? Who else is involved or influencing the flow of events? Where are you, and do you feel like you belong there? The more sincere your inquiries, the more sincere the answers will be.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — In order to think outside a container, it’s necessary to know its shape and its dimensions. Then it will be clear when you’re within a previously defined boundary, and when you’re outside. Once you’re in a larger space, you have the challenge of defining something that is essentially infinite. At that point, constraints can seem appealing, but you also know you’ve outgrown the ones you’ve lived in for so long. But you don’t need constraints; you need workable definitions and approaches to living, one of which would include flexibility. All of this starts with your mind and your imagination. You are accustomed to working not only with rigid concepts but also with limits on what you think is possible, what you’re capable of and what you’re willing to believe. If you start with the premise that anything is possible and some things are preferable, you will go light years toward accessing your deeper talent and sense of purpose. The intelligence source that you are currently tapping into (or that you can if you want) might feel like something ‘other than yourself’. That’s not really true, but if you have that feeling, you’re accessing a source of vital information that you can trust.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You currently have the ability to see around corners and deep into yourself, though I suggest you turn your head and look in all directions. Travel home by a different route than you went someplace. Make conscious decisions to alter your routines and to keep your perspective moving. If you can, go to a high place like a hilltop or a tall building and look down on your neighborhood or community. Extraordinary astrology in your 10th solar house, Pisces, is encouraging you to re-evaluate your goals and allow yourself to do so in a radical way. It’s easy to consider what you want based on what you think is the right thing, or what you planned on doing in the past. Your astrology is describing a scenario where you take the chance of considering what you really want to accomplish. That would obviously involve a risk of some kind, engaging with the unknown and unpredictable. When you see the potential to fail as well as to succeed, you know you’re in the right place.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — So many factors now are working in your favor, it would be difficult to list them all — but they include an abundance of creativity, of passion and of curiosity. What you need to keep a handle on is your emotions. The challenge there is that your feelings may deceive you. So your first priority is sidestepping conflict, which is another way of saying recognizing what does not matter, and removing all emphasis from it. Others may try to engage you on that level; your job is to move on. Recognize what actually does mean something to you and place your emphasis there. It will help if you prioritize, especially on some basis other than what you were attached to in the past. That’s one reason I’m suggesting that your own preference and immediate significance are vital to you now. They always were, but one fact of civilization involves all the efforts at conning people out of their true needs and desires. One other thing: Focus on quality work. In this world, you can do just about anything you want, as long as you do it well.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You seem to be facing the ongoing challenge of mental clarity and organizing what may feel like an overwhelming workload. The key to simplifying your scenario is systems design. There are always simpler, more efficient and more effective ways to do things. Success often involves accomplishing more, so the methods you used when you were less successful (or had more modest plans) need rethinking and revision. Begin with a blank template and make an inventory of all you want to get done, all that’s demanded of you by your situation and the resources you have to work with. You can include assets that you would like to be working with but don’t have available yet; one of the most important concepts of the new design is flexibility, and another is the prerogative — clearly stated and kept right in the front of your mind — of creating options. If a system is to be flexible, it has to be designed as such from the beginning. Perceived limits need to be accounted for, and addressed directly as variables — not as mandates. You’re accustomed to being the most flexible aspect of any scenario. Now the time has come to bring everyone and everything else up to that same standard.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — The question, “What next?” is second only in importance to “What now?” One depends on the other. You get to the next place from where you are now. So start by evaluating your exact location and status at this moment. Then figure out how you got here. I suggest you use logical tools such as a chronology, a list of your prior goals, a list of your current goals, and who you are trying to please. It will be extremely helpful if you do an analysis of your financial situation, and study your assets and your liabilities. Note exactly where your money comes from and where it goes. Figure out what you could or would do if you had more money or less debt. I can give you a little vignette that may help make the point. When people say to me, “I would go to therapy but I can’t afford it,” I suggest that they go to the first session and say they want to work on why they don’t have enough money for the things they need. If this moment in your life comes with one turning point, it’s about taking a no-bullshit approach to your finances.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Confidence is the issue. On Earth it’s always the issue, but for now, it’s really, truly, the issue. Keep that in mind every moment, and ask what you would do, if only you had the confidence. Meanwhile, you need to keep in mind when you are reacting, when you’re responding and when you’re provoking. The difference may be sly and subtle; for example, you may be reacting to someone a certain way in order to provoke a response. You may resort to manipulation. In order to be confident, you have to know what you’re doing. You must understand the politics of any given situation, including the most intimate, and proceed appropriately. Chances are that will involve a blend of being real and choosing your words carefully. Doing both will compel you to know your own mind, and to practice stating your desires and your intentions to others. Said simply, you have to stop bullshitting people about who you are and what you want. Withholding your true feelings is not getting you anywhere, and you know personally how many setbacks it’s been responsible for. It’s time to be real and only real.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You may feel lost or powerless when the exact opposite is true. What you’re experiencing now is a perfect example of the distinction between perception and reality. Of course, if you feel lost, you’re likely to act that way, and that will be real to you. The main challenge you face is twofold. One is that you have an overwhelming sense of responsibility, to someone or something — I suggest you direct it toward yourself. The other is denial. It’s easy for you to pretend that what is, is not (in a diversity of forms.) Over the next 10 days, you will have a number of orientation points that will help you determine where you stand with yourself. Some of these may emerge in moments of conflict. If you are in a situation where you are triggered or where you strongly disagree with someone, that is a point of orientation. You will be able to see clearly what your opinion about anyone or anything really is — and that is the very thing you want to navigate by. This means that all emotions, negative and positive and seemingly neutral, will be useful — in truth, everything you feel and learn must go to productive use. That is the nature of your moment.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — This is not the time to make or break contracts — you’re under too much pressure, there are variables you don’t know about, and it’s essential that you figure out what you want before you commit to anything new. I suggest you hold to your current course as the grand cross and solar eclipse do their work, though obviously if you encounter something interesting to do, do it if you want, as long as you don’t sign away any portion of your future longer than an evening or weekend adventure. The very most significant thing you can do is to see your options. This really is one of the great challenges facing humanity, even in this time of so many alleged choices. Most of the usual options don’t apply to you; they are too trivial. Your astrology suggests this is a time of authentic, deep decisions for you, and to make such decisions you need some idea of what is available. Your fiery nature usually likes to jump into things headlong without considering what might develop. Your current astrology is saying you need to be a clear thinker, an analyst and a visionary to make the most out of your options, many of which you don’t yet know exist.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You know who you are and where you’re going. You know — but I don’t suggest you say a word to anyone else. Rather, begin to slip into the life you’re embarking on like a hand gently wiggling into a well-fitted glove. As I’ve suggested before, your astrology seems, on one level, to be pushing you into making radical decisions, particularly where your career or business is concerned. I am suggesting that you make subtle decisions, choices smaller than you may think matter. Most of them involve people and how you relate to them. In terms of your business life, everything you do right now comes down to the most intricate fabric of your human contacts, and the conscious cultivation of trust. Yet at the same time there is also a matter of appearance involved. You must be careful about ever using appearance to deceive. Rather, use the magic and power of presentation to convey the underlying truth of who you are. Present your real talents in the most elegant way, coming right from your soul. Most success is not built on this — yours will be.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You can feel everything that’s happening, and it’s essential that you do. Those who are close to you may have no idea the extent of your sensitivity or how tuned into your personal world or the larger world around you, you are. The information that’s coming to you, and that will continue to come to you, is entering your awareness for a reason. I suggest you stay out of the fray; that you not leap into the center of the action, or involve yourself in anything that is only peripheral to your life — it would be way too easy to get distracted. Part of the deeper purpose of what you’re observing and — by direct extension, learning — involves an ongoing project in leadership training. One key to leadership is knowing when to get involved in a situation and when to back off. In this case, discretion is definitely the better part of valor. You seem to be in a grooming process for a very specific purpose, one that calls on you to have solid knowledge and many contacts, and that will make itself known when the time is right. Pay attention because the timing will be significant.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Remember, Chiron is in your sign. Given all the astrology that is surrounding us, if I had to tell you one thing, in one short sentence, I would say: Chiron is in your sign. Therefore, embody the healer. Be the place of sanctuary, the mind that is open to wisdom, the one who participates in the eternal chain of knowledge passed from teacher to student, one generation to the next. Tune your mind to the interconnectedness of all things. As you notice the connections, do your best to have patience with those who don’t see them, or who seem committed to not noticing. Remember that you have not chosen the path of sacrifice. There may be certain circumstances and things that you must renounce, but that is for the purpose of being open and available to that which is exponentially better. Remember, finally, in any situation you may encounter, to ‘seek not outside yourself’. Seek within for what you need — be it knowledge, resources, strength or awareness. You are not the source, but at this time in your life, a deep connection within you is opening up to the source. Ask sincerely and be willing to receive.