In the 7th House of the Thema Mundi

Good Morning:

I have noticed the squeeze of this approaching simultaneous Mercury stationing direct and annular (not annual, rather annular) solar eclipse. I bet you have, too. Using a fairly basic set of planets, there are 11 of them concentrated in Capricorn and Aquarius, including Mercury and the eclipse; plus Jupiter, Chiron, Neptune and Pluto. This whole setup is stretched across the two Saturn-ruled signs, Capricorn and Aquarius. One addresses psychical structures and the other, psychic structures. To illustrate the point of how this feels, in case we need to look at a chart for information, Saturn is square Pluto, which feels a little like a train making a 90-degree turn.

The Thema Mundi, or chart of the world. This is probably a fictional horoscope, used as a teaching tool and reference, handed down to us from the classical era of Greece. Unlike the current chart, it’s light and airy and all the planets are exactly in their proper places: that is, each planet is in the sign of its rulership. Notice that the chart has Cancer (ruled by the Moon) rising, whereas we usually associate Aries with the 1st house.

As part of this, Venus, the Sun and the Moon are all precisely aligned for Friday’s eclipse, to within one degree. So this is an eclipse conjunct Venus in Capricorn; which is a whole book chapter because Sun-Venus alignments are pretty special and got a lot of love from Mayan astrologers. There is big one coming up in June 2012, and this is a signpost on the way.

In case that’s all not enough for you, there’s also a “near Earth asteroid” called 2010 AL30 going by, which the space-type blogs are saying might be a piece of debris. This morning one of the world’s leading astrophysicists said in an email that his best guess (the word ‘guess’ was written in all caps, which I will spare you, because we’re all feeling a little jumpy) is that AL30 is a hunk of spacecraft debris, of which there are many orbiting the Earth, and in near-Earth orbits around the Sun. “Give it a few days and I bet it’ll be pretty clear,” he said.

I would agree. Assuming the world doesn’t crack open on Friday (I read a report recently that earthquakes are indeed associated with planetary alignments, and the alignment we now have is the perfect specimen) we will all feel better Saturday. Mercury stationing direct at the time of an eclipse has the feeling of significant, specific information coming out: it could be personal, and this week is one of those distinct personal watersheds where it’s possible to make some actual, deep decisions about ourselves and our lives that stick.

In Capricorn with stuff dancing around the Aries Point, it could be another one of those huge revelations about what is happening in the banking world that nobody seems to notice because the information gets snowed under by the kid with the underpants bomb. Or, you could turn on your TV and be treated to a debate about whether Buddhism or Christianity is the better path to redemption for Tiger Woods. (Note that the notion of redeeming one’s soul does not exist in Buddhism, to my knowledge. For that, you definitely have to go straight to the Christians.) With the eclipse conjunct Venus in Capricorn, we learn something about values and what we hold dear; we learn something about how deeply our values are ‘informed’ (putting it politely) by corporate culture. Learning is, of course, subject to one’s interest level; but other factors suggest that there will be reason to pay attention.

Closeup of Friday’s eclipse of the Sun, which takes place at 2:11 am EST. Nearly a dozen points and planets are in Capricorn and Aquarius, including Pluto, the Sun, Moon, North Node, Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron — and Mercury about to station direct. Jupiter is in the last degree of Aquarius, about to ingress Pisces on Sunday.

That’s as much prediction as you’ll be getting out of me today.

Now for a little analysis. As you can see from the diagram to the left, there are lot of planets concentrated in one part of the sky. Notably, the Earth is opposite all those planets; they are in Cap and Aquarius and the Earth is in Cancer. So all that energy — big planets a thousand times the size of the Earth, and small potent ones — are pulling on us; pulling us in one direction. What direction would that be?

From time to time, there has been discussion or speculation about a chart for the world. It turns out that such a thing exists; from the Hellenistic (classical Greek) era of astrology. The chart is called the Thema Mundi, and I’m a big fan. Since discovering this chart a few years ago, it’s informed my study of the houses in particular, which are the basis of astrological interpretation. This chart has Cancer rising; 15 degrees, to be exact. Yes, the chart of the world has the maternal, feminine sign Cancer on the ascendant, rather than aggressive, headstrong Aries.

This is interesting because it puts all those planets that are going by into the two relationship-oriented houses of the Thema Mundi — the 7th (Capricorn) and the 8th (Aquarius). By relationship I mean partnership, conjugal, marriage, contractual type of relationship: direct and straight on. Note, in the chart of the world, the two houses associated with relationship are both ruled by Saturn. This confirms the joke about lesbians bringing a moving truck to the second date. We already know about everyone who gets married by Elvis in Las Vegas and the only ads I see on TV these days are for dating websites and Girls Gone Wild; I always want to marry those girls, straight away.

That joke is on me. The 8th house (marital contracts) of the Thema Mundi is Aquarius — the sign of groups.

Note that in a high federal court in San Francisco right now, a trial is underway (as of yesterday) that will in part determine the constitutionality of banning same-sex people from marriage. We will know these laws are really fair when a bisexual person can marry a man and a woman; or when five people can get married.

So this whole traveling space revival is shaking up the marriage and relationship angle of the world horoscope. Isn’t that funny? Well, I guess not if you had to call the cops on your boyfriend last night, but the rest of us can afford to have a sense of humor about it. There is a lot, and I do mean quite a lot, of stress on our concepts of relationship, and on our actual relationships, to get in step with the post-postmodern world of constant change.

Full chart of Friday’s eclipse of the Sun in Capricorn, conjunct Venus. This is a few hours before Mercury stations direct on Friday.

It does often seem that everything about our lives changes except for our ideas about what a relationship is. We have many sources to thank for that reinforcement, but what we really have are our own ideas, our own fear of abandonment, our own obsession with control (which we call jealousy), denial of our sexual reality and that of our partners, and a lot — a lot — of religious conditioning. Which shows up as supposedly secular social conditioning, generally as marketing, all of which is under pretty severe stress to drop the whole charade and get real; which is, in turn, calling on us to take new approaches to relating that most people, for whatever reason, dare not consider: for example, relationships not based on the notion that we own one another.

The Chiron-Neptune conjunction, approaching full focus, is suggesting that we clear the fog and look at the world through some lens besides the ideals that have proven themselves to be untrue. Mars retrograde in Leo (opposite all that Aquarius) is saying we need to do the one really, truly brave thing that we are here to do in the world, which is to be an individual. When you do all the relationship calculus, no matter what one is or thinks they are in terms of lovestyle or lifestyle or preference or sexual orientation, there remains the first and final project of being a self-aware individual no matter how zonked out anyone else is on trying to make their lives as perfect as an advertisement.

And there remains the fact that the antiquated expectations that we were given by our grandparents and our parents need to be carefully assessed. We need to question every single one of the assumptions that were handed to us from the past. The group pressures coming from the direction of Aquarius, which is the sign of conformity, among other things, need to be seen for what they are — and I trust that Chiron-Neptune will offer anyone who wants to break free the clarity and resolve to do so.

Mars retrograde in Leo has been reminding me of the Abraham-Hicks material, which tells us to focus on what we want, because that is usually what we get: the key being to apply that powerful manifesting force called desire on that which is actually in our own best interest.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

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