Cats Under the Moon

Cats Under the Moon (Lots of Them)

Cats on the bandstand
Give ’em each a big hand
Anyone who sweats that hard
must be all right
No one wants a fight
No black eye
Just another cat beneath
the stars tonight
               — Robert Hunter

IT’S JUST ABOUT TIME for the annual Leo Full Moon. The Moon will be full in the sign of the Sun. This is a surprisingly workable combination of energies. At any time, the Moon draws all its light from the Sun (as do all the planets, but the Moon is considered a “luminary” of its own), and its placement in Leo doubles the effect. The exact lunation is Monday, Feb. 13 at 4:44 am London time, and Sunday evening in across the United States.

With clear skies, it will be possible to watch a truly exact Full Moon rise. At the time of the Full Moon, moonrise is always at sunset.

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The context of the Leo Full Moon is the Aquarius Sun. The Sun must be in Aquarius for the Full Moon to occur in Leo. This is true of all the signs; when two planets are in an exact opposition, they must be in opposite signs.

The Aquarian foundation of this aspect speaks about the theme of people and the way we behave together. Aquarius, as we’ve been discussing, is a sign that addresses both individuality and lock-step groupthink. Aquarius can represent progress or arrested development. The quest of Aquarius, the tension, is getting to a space where we break away from the crowd and start having individual ideas on our own — then acting on them.

We’ve seen a lot of action in Aquarius in recent seasons, particularly the generation-defining Chiron-Nessus conjunction early in that sign (which actually spans back to May 2005 but is working at maximum power now). As I have said in the past, this aspect is much like the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 1960s. Just because not so many people understand it doesn’t mean it’s not shaping the consciousness of our era in history, and providing a true point of departure to different times.

Are we interested? Another story. Yes, some people are definitely interested.

Closely related is Pholus in Sagittarius, which is in an ongoing, near-perfect sextile to Chiron-Nessus, and is opening up many of the Sagittarian themes we are seeing right now. The best key phrase for Pholus I’ve ever heard is “small cause, big effect.” Sagittarius is the sign that addresses religion, belief, culture and all things international. Does any of this sound familiar?

Aspects to the Moon

A brief mention of the Moon’s place in astrology may be helpful. Evangeline Adams pointed out that it’s about the personality, particularly in a natal chart. That is an astute observation, but Aquarian Evangeline (her birthday was Wednesday) was certainly curious about humanity. The Moon represents an element of human consciousness that has everything to do with life on Earth — how we feel, what we need, how we negotiate our survival, how we are nourished, the basic way we feel (mood) and how we seem to others (affect).

Moon represents mother, the scene of gestation and the body around which our body and emotions were formed, and within which they were initially nourished. So on a symbolic level, this is what the Moon comes to represent in our lives. It’s a sensitive point in any horoscope, and it’s under some intense aspects in this chart. The Moon (part of the Earth-Moon system) is really a stand-in for Earth Mother, but we take this very personally and form our identity around its energy.

The Leo Moon in natal astrology is known for its generosity and for its quality of being magnanimous. Like any fixed placement, it can be stubborn and a bit stuck, but the Leo Moon at least tends to get stuck being a decent person. We could do a lot worse.

The Moon is full at 24+ degrees of Leo and is applying in aspect to both Pluto (by trine) and Mars (by square). So you could say that the more feisty and fiery energies of Mars are being sparked off by the square aspect and the deeper, darker energies of Pluto (now quite close to the Galactic Core) are being released by the trine aspect. The image represents two seemingly separate movements of energy, but really it feels like an engine or fire (Mars square Moon) and a catalytic exhaust system (Moon trine Pluto and the Galactic Core).

Though this is a Full Moon in Leo, the Galactic Core, with Pluto making its closest approach in more than two centuries, seems to be the main attraction, and this will be true for quite a while. We are still on that bridge to the core, which is, in part, the approach of Pluto to the GC. While the Moon’s trine to Pluto is a release of negativity on one level, on another we have a portal of peace and justice, qualities of the Core, pouring into the Earth plane.

Squares act like triggers and trines act like pressure valves. In this chart, we have plenty of both going on. Meanwhile, the Sun sextile Pluto and the Core is a stabilizing factor.

Speaking of sextiles, there is a nice, long, slow 60-degree alignment of Venus, creeping along in Capricorn after her recent retrograde in this sign, and Jupiter in Scorpio. No matter what else maybe going on, we have a true silver lining with this aspect, particularly given how well placed both planets are in their respective signs.

Small Worlds

Now, to make things fun, super interesting, and really confusing, let’s invite in the minor planets. The Moon is in a double conjunction. To one side, it’s conjunct Orcus, one of the Water Worlds (link below). To the other, it’s conjunct Nemesis.

Orcus is not an asteroid; it’s a planet in Pluto’s region, in a similar orbit (called a Plutino). Deep space astrologer Philip Sedgwick says this planet can symbolize “a person of one’s word, [one who] challenges broken promises, is aligned with a spiritual creed, [and is] accountable for personal thought, word and deed.” On the more difficult side, he suggests, “hypocritical, fault finding in the ways of others, blame assigning, ducks responsibility for word and actions, unable to keep promises.”

I think the need for the first kind of Orcus-type is clear, and the dominance of the second type is painfully obvious.

Nemesis is the Greek god whose role is to be the messenger of divine retribution. However, asteroid delineations are different than the exact nature of the entity they are named for, though the name does play a role. Martha Lang Wescott gives the following keywords for Nemesis: the Undoing, the Achilles Heel, the bete noir; seeking to place blame; “scapegoating”; finger-pointing; identification of “the enemy,”  fault, or source of a problem.

The Sun, meanwhile, is in an exact conjunction to the asteroid Requiem. The song “Let it Be” is a requiem in the classic sense. It suggests what we need to be at peace with; there is the feeling of the “cessation of struggle,” according to Wescott. It’s like the Sun in Aquarius is watching this whole scene involving the well-meaning, dramatic Leo Moon and all it can do is stand back and accept what is going on.

But Aquarius always works according to a plan. And I think that Sun-Requiem is saying: watch this unfold. It’s going to be intense, but it’s going to be worth it. The Leo Moon, alternately, says participate. Open your heart and be part of the world, give what you can, do what you must.

Okay, so let’s get a subtotal: the Moon is conjunct Orcus, a planet that at its best involves being taken at one’s word (which we can interpret as “literally”) and another, Nemesis, that is a messenger of retribution. The Moon is square Mars (an angry feeling aspect) and trine Pluto and the Galactic Core, releasing a lot of pent-up energy.

Sounds like…the cartoon uprising.

This is a moment of high drama and uncertainty in the world, but more than drama, a real turning point, with the ongoing protests erupting in a fury across the Muslim nations. Many are calling for retribution on behalf of their defamed prophet Mohammed: even killings of people on the streets within nations where the cartoons have been published.

But it would seem, based on both astrology and common sense, that the “cartoons” are entirely a ruse or a veil thrown over the real issues. With Neptune and Jupiter in a close square, and many other Neptune, Jupiter and Sagittarius factors involved, there is plenty of room for delusional thinking and common sense getting lost in the sauce. And we have a media that’s obsessed with superficialities and has trained us well to accept them.

As absurd as this seems, the Cartoon Rebellion is developing as a major watershed of the “post 9/11 world” because it’s the first time we’re seeing massive uprisings by the religious community that was scapegoated for the 9/11 incident. We in the West have blamed and bombed Muslims consistently in reprisal; we have put their faces on wanted posters; we have turned the mosque and the turban into symbols of warfare, conspiracy and attack.

I am not suggesting that the terrorists and insurgents who are kidnapping aid workers and journalists in Iraq are decent, kind folk. But whether the Western powers take responsibility for their crimes against humanity is another story, and the prevalent images of insurgent and terrorist Muslims are explicitly designed to create the image that they are all criminals.

This is not a new campaign. It reached its first extremely disgusting peak during Bush War I in 1990 and 1991.

From the direction of things in recent years, I would propose that Muslims really do have legitimate fears that their systematic demonization is grounds for fearing some kind of widespread holocaust. It must be frightening how easy it was for the US and UK to get away with tricking their populations that the Iraq war was justified, that the Afghanistan war somehow made sense (it seemed to at the time, but now Afghanistan is worse than before), all in the context of the high probability of an attack on Iran.

The media continues to repeat that the current protests are about cartoons, which is what’s known as a red herring: a bullshit issue that confuses everything. We get an image of that in the asteroid Photographica in an exact (as in very very exact) conjunction to Neptune in Aquarius, then squared by Jupiter. Photographica is an asteroid that shows up where images and the power of images are a theme. It quite literally represents photographs and illustrations. Neptune in Aquarius is the mass media trance to the hilt; squared by Scorpio Jupiter is a huge life-or-death exaggeration.

Has anyone else been picking up on the fact that these protests are not about a bunch of cartoons? You cannot get that many people that angry about some dumb drawings in that many countries. There has to be some energy coming from underneath — a lot of energy, in fact, and releasing it is a turning point. We have yet to see what a turning point we’ve really arrived at — it’s still developing and it’s developing at a time that the astrology is moving really fast.

The Transparent Moon

I trust that the Leo Full Moon, a rather authentic feeling aspect, will make the world a little more transparent. News broke yesterday that former presidential and vice presidential aide Scooter Libby said his higher-ups in the White House had authorized his smear campaign against Former Ambassador Joe Wilson (in the spy-outing incident). I think we will be seeing more of this.

Pluto is very close to an exact station retrograde on the Galactic Core, which occurs at the same time as two very significant other events: a total solar eclipse on the Aries point, and the presidential inauguration chart going off.

This is a true match in the fireworks shed. The Aries Point has been extremely dependable as an indicator of developments, and they seem to carry the theme, “The personal is political.” The last big event in the inauguration chart came with the indictment of Scooter Libby.

And as these events develop, I’ll bring in more astrological details — there are many interesting ones. But combining the three developments adds up to quite a potent synergistic effect pointing to some vast event at the end of March that, once again, changes everything.

The involvement of Pluto and the Galactic Core, which has never happened in the duration of American history or the modern United Kingdom, says something very clear, which I will type in capital letters: SEE THE BIG PICTURE. We get, and are made to get, so caught in the details that we lose sight of the planet for the trees.

Because life has increased far beyond the frenetic pace pointed out by many philosophers in the 60s and the 70s, and because the economic situation has made the lives of so many people a struggle, part of the trap is that we don’t even have time to consider anything but our most immediate needs — if we even have time to do that. The responsibilities of life often cut us off from life and the experience of living, and in that environment, deception and tyranny can fester, and are doing so.

Since this Full Moon is a kind of transparent moment, let’s take a look at the presence of two more Centaurs (planets in Chiron’s class), both female Centaurs. The first is Hylonome in Scorpio — which the Sun and Moon both square. Hylonome made an appearance in the Scorpio New Moon that came exactly with the funeral of Yassir Arafat. A key phrase for Hylonome is “the cry of the people.” Square the Sun and Moon, and exactly opposite Mars, is this cry falling on deaf ears? Or are we hearing it?

Another theme of Hylonome is a self-inflicted injury. In world events now, these words could easily sum up the theme of our era. And it is painful to see.

Last is Chariklo. She is at 23+ Libra, in a close trine to the Sun and sextile the Moon, as well as sextile Pluto and the Galactic Core. She seems to be the voice of reason in all of this. Chariklo is a planet with a theme of overwhelming loyalty. It is true that sometimes she is loyal to her own detriment, but she’s rarely a martyr. Her specialty is to abide with the suffering of the world, and to offer compassion, and assistance where she can.

She knows her role. It’s not heroic. That’s a job for other people, but she is setting an example for us. We are seeing again and again that heroism leads us further into war and violence, and self-centered misunderstanding. There is another way, but we need to agree that this is true, and we need to find it.

An aspect in this chart I have not mentioned is a conjunction of Mercury and Uranus in Pisces. That feels like a revelation, and surely some revelation is at hand.

— with additional research & interpretations by Tracy Delaney


Water Worlds by Eric Francis

Martha Lang Wescott

Melanie Reinhart

Philip Sedgwick

Planet Waves by Eric Francis
Weekly Horoscope # 597 – Feb. 9, 2006

Happy Birthday Aquarius!
Doors that have long seemed closed or locked are now starting to open up, though you may not trust your own instincts. If you’re finding yourself plagued or even mildly annoyed by doubts, I suggest you use them in your favor: see if they add up to anything, such as a picture of your state of mind; an image of the expectations you’ve come to have from the world; or a map to something better. The approaching Full Moon in your opposite sign Leo will be lighting your way to better places, but once you can see the way ahead, you will need to go forward and not waste time and opportunity hesitating.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You don’t need to push as hard as you think to have a breakthrough. It’s true that certain factors seem to be preventing you from acting with your usual spontaneous approach to existence, but others are opening entirely different pathways. You may be wondering what is at the root of a particular struggle regarding a personal relationship, and as it turns out, your own personal development is at the moment trumping partnership concerns. Take advantage of it while it lasts. Meanwhile, it’s abundantly clear that you need new ideas about your personal relationships — ones that define commitment in a reasonable way, and that allow for a lot more of your individuality than you’re accustomed to experiencing.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
For a while there it really did seem like a question of how long you could hold your breath in a cave, but it’s nice to see you breathing again. You may be surprised at the extent to which you have room not only to breathe but also to stretch out and feel. Just remember that the problem with feelings is that they break the rules. You can’t really control them, and they may be pushing you to open up a lot more than you’ve been accustomed to the past couple of months. But think back to a time not so long ago when you discovered how good it really feels to experience yourself in a spontaneous way, and that you don’t need an excuse for doing so.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Get ready for a series of fast changes, though you’ll be the one in the driver’s seat if you take note of an idea that arrives over the next few days and put it into action. I recognize that you’re in something of a birthing process, and approaching a critical and potentially scary moment of transformation. Your level of fear will rise or fall inversely with your level of creativity. But the surge of energy associated with Mars entering your birth sign later in the month will call for a high level of awareness and dedication to your own cause. Just remember, you’re the one making the decisions.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Stay tuned for financial news, as someone decides it’s finally time to open up the coin bag. Who knows, it could even be love news, and if it is, this will be a development that comes directly on the heels of your stunning breakthrough in conscious self-respect; which came on the heels of a huge crisis of self-respect. If it somehow seems that others are more than you, or have more than you, forget it. What matters now, however, are all questions relating to the willingness to share, and whether the people around you notice the value of something called community. If they don’t you’re free to leave them behind.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
There has been so much pressure and movement around you that you may have forgotten what it feels like to be yourself. That old sensation comes back for a time with the Leo Full Moon, but remember, this is not an opportunity to move back to your old hometown, but rather to visit and take care of some old business. The movement and onrush of progress is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Given this fact, it will be necessary to feel every day for the new person you have become. You are, however, likely to feel like a new person tomorrow and the day after that, so get used to it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Has it occurred to you that you are what you have been resisting? If you don’t have irrefutable proof of this within the next week, I’ll eat a copy of the Full Moon chart. You tend to define yourself by insisting that you are not something, and then fairly steadily morphing into exactly that. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this, but you could make your life simpler by allowing your goals, examples or role models to be that, in the positive sense of the action rather than by pushing away. It’s really the difference between seeing the world as a child or an adult; that is, with or without the conscious power to choose.

(Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You have far more in the way of emotional resources than you’ve been allowing yourself to believe the past couple of months, as they seem to have slowly dwindled and left you living in rather Spartan conditions. But the thing that you discovered at the bottom of an empty cup was an endless wellspring. Try it out and see. But to do this, you’ll need to open up and share. You will discover what you have by offering it to others, which contrary to the usual laws of economics, will give you more for yourself. It’s just that this works better in practice than in theory.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You’ve had to get over the notion that something can’t possibly be true. This is quite a long way from having it actually be true. The same process is working with an idea. It’s a really brilliant idea, but it’s still a long way from being real, because you’re the one who has to give it life. Cultivate enough faith on the emotional level to feel safe in a certain domestic situation, and you’ll have enough faith in an idea to actually put it into action. The two situations are not only related, they are one and the same thing. Note that moving toward success will feel like taking a risk — but one too good to let pass by.

(Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You’re always one to dare the unlikely. That seems to be your personal invitation to take action. If it’s easy, or likely, or typical, why bother? We usually end up working just as hard for the things we don’t like as much as we do for the things we really do like. You at least have this figured out. Over the next few days a situation will present itself to you. It’s not anything that you would typically ‘go for’ but I suggest you give it a close look before remotely considering passing it by. It’s not only what you really want, it’s something you would be unable or unlikely to pursue or conquer otherwise.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Something or someone is having an effect on you, and you’re beginning to open up. You do this in stages, and the forthcoming is a peak in a cycle of progress that has gone around and around for perhaps two years. Think back about that far and consider how you would have responded to the current offer, situation or development. Consider how you are responding today. The difference is something called change, but this is deeper than the usual concept that gets attached to this word. You seem fully aware that beyond a certain point, there is no turning back, and that’s precisely the point you need to grasp mentally, and reach physically.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Next week’s Full Moon in your opposite sign Leo will help you see another person’s point of view, and show you how much you’ve been caught up in your own world. Given the intense concentration of planets in your own birth sign right now there is nearly no way you could avoid being fully self-absorbed, and I’d be concerned if you were not. But what you’re about to discover is that the feelings of a person close to you are not nearly as limited or as negative as you may have (rightfully enough) suspected. You’ve been busy; they have been quiet. When they start speaking, make sure you’re listening.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The rapid series of developments that moves through your life over the next week or so will more than compensate for anything you’ve felt has been missing in your life. It’s true that your friends have been a little out of sorts, and it wasn’t just an act. This has put you under a lot of pressure to be self-sufficient, if only because nobody could really see your point of view. Not only will others be able to see your perspective, it’ll seem a lot more obviously desirable to indulge. Besides which, with one set of pressures or burdens lifted from your shoulders, you’ll have a lot more energy available to enjoy the vastly improved pace of progress.

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