In the Nature of a Square

Dear Friend and Reader:

The prevailing aspect of our moment is the square. Long misunderstood, this is an aspect of high integrity, of durable structure, and of action — though admittedly, it can be a little stressful. Like, especially if you’re a federal employee who didn’t get paid on Friday.

I was doing some research in the vast Planet Waves library this morning (I am well into the writing of a book, and I’ll have news about that soon), and pulled A Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologer off of my shelf. This is a classic work by Michael Meyer, which has all kinds of bits that will take you out of astrology’s dark ages. Many astrologers are trained to treat squares like a case of the measles.

Of the square, he says that it’s about “the exteriorization and actualization of relationship. The giving of concrete form. Crisis and the need to take clear-cut action. Confrontations and their results. Creative tension. Solid power.”

Wow, I bet you’ve never read anything like that before. OK, maybe you have. Some astrologers are onto the advantages of squares (Robert Hand and Barbara Hand Clow, to mention two hands clapping).

Presently, the main superstructure that surrounds the Earth is a compound square from Aries to Capricorn. Take a look at it — anyone can see it. All those red lines are individual square contacts between planets. In Aries, we currently have, in order, Mars, the Moon, Eris and Uranus. Lurking right around the Aries Point is the Kuiper object Salacia.

In Capricorn we presently have Saturn, Mercury, Pluto, the Sun and the South Node. Lurking right around the Aries Point (its Capricorn leg) is the centaur Pholus.

The backbone of this whole seemingly complicated business is Pluto square Eris, which we will be living with for years.

Over the past few days of federal government mayhem, the Sun has been passing through this square. There’s lots and lots of tension that’s looking for tangible expression. You will feel better if you take action on something important that you need to do. Squares want something to happen. Nothing is more annoying than doing nothing under potent square energy.

Then, there is the square between Jupiter way at the top of the chart, and Neptune, the little blue trident, toward the lower left. Look how exact that is — within three minutes of arc. Jupiter-Neptune squares are pretty rare. This one is exciting because it’s in the signs both ruled by Jupiter (from classical astrology); and the sign where Neptune is the modern ruler (Pisces).

Jupiter square Neptune is about focusing your ideals. It’s also prone to idealization, but if you skip that part, and make contact with what you really and truly hold out as the vision for your life, you will be happier. If you’re in doubt, cancel your social plans, disable your gadgets, and spend the evening with your notebook. The kind where you hear the nib or pencil scratching along on the paper.

A Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologer associates the square aspect with the tetrahedron, not a cube. I found this illustration that shows how the tetrahedron, which has four faces and six edges, fits inside of a cube. I still don’t understand the metaphor.

Of note, Jupiter is conjunct the Great Attractor, the core of the Laniakea supercluster. This is one of the defining features in the whole zodiac. If you tap into this, you will be unstoppable. Read more about it here (and don’t miss the video).

With these two squares going so boldly and so beautifully, I thought it would be a good time to offer a little more information. I used to hang out with an astrologer up in Vancouver named Ani Black. If I could, I would buy her a sushi dinner at least once a month (hi Ani!). She handed me this and a few other good ideas that I leave right on my desk and never put away.

In practical terms, a square presents an either/or situation. But it’s an “either/or” where you have a need to prioritize both items. One arm of the square represents one set of priorities; the other side of the square represents the other.

So, the tendency is to work one side of the square for a while, and do as much as you can, often neglecting the other. Then the other side gets your attention, and you focus on that. Then you go back to the first side, and so on — and as you do this, you gradually integrate the aspect pattern, and your actions begin to support the whole.

This is how integrity is cultivated and built. This is how busy people get so much done. This is how strong people become strong. You weave, you build, you align yourself, you cultivate strength.

One last thought, re: squares. The approach variously known (in different times and places) as Uranian Astrology or the Hamburg School or the Witte School or Cosmobiology has many clever ideas that fly in the face of classical astrology (but which also curiously endorse it). One of them is to fold up the chart and treat everything on the same axis like a big conjunction. Imagine you fold up the paper and those squares lay on top of one another, which concentrates their power.

One last bit. Sally Brompton called the tune on Jupiter square Neptune when she said to stick to your decisions.

This is a good week to get shit done. Make sure it’s what you want to do the most.

With love,

Monday Morning Horoscope #159 for Jan. 14, 2019 | By Eric Francis Coppolino

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Do not allow yourself to be led astray; at this stage in your life, there can be no such thing. If you find yourself making choices based on belief, or hope, pause and make them based on known facts. You do seem to have considerable responsibility on your shoulders at this time, though you are not alone. You can take on the weight of the world, or you can form bonds and associations with others that help you get the job done. That would seem to be your role more than doing all the work yourself, which will require cultivating the art of collaboration, engaging in negotiation processes, and sharing credit for any achievements. Yet you can still be a guiding force for any major work that needs to be done, whether in a professional context or that of your family. Even so, you also have the ability to mislead with “good intentions” or spiritual platitudes. Make sure that all actions are grounded in some practical necessity, and a confrontation with the facts.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Keep your focus on the practical — what you need to get done, and why. Gradually, you will assemble the parts of a much larger picture. Use time to your benefit, and take the flexibility that you have. If you’re feeling squeezed, evaluate whether certain deadlines can be extended for a short time. Others may lend themselves to postponement. The moment you’re feeling stressed by deadlines, get out of your head, break down your schedule, and do a reality check with your colleagues and collaborators. It’s true there are certain pressing matters that must be attended to, including a few things you need to wipe off your slate. Be eager to resolve or dispense with any project or task that is toast, or that you’re ready to move on from. Greater accomplishments await you, and when the Sun changes signs to Aquarius in about a week, you will be engaging some bold new plans. Therefore, clear the stumbling blocks from your path.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You must count on yourself to attain the goals you’ve set for yourself. Any help that comes your way will be nice, though you must be the editor-in-chief, the reporter and the production manager. Only you understand not just the brass tacks of the situations, but also the many commitments that are involved. Beware of anyone who talks a big game, or who makes a claim without having specific facts and figures to back themselves up. Do not be afraid to ask the hard questions, and to size up in cold terms who is committed and who is not, based on their behavior, and whether they back up what they have promised. Your chart suggests you’re at a moment of truth, where you must confront the reality of a situation you might prefer to overlook. Be willing to face the bottom line, and to move on from anyone who has proven to be unreliable or has let you down. In our times, we’re supposed to run in circles, hoping people will wake up. Save your time and energy.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Recent events connected to the Capricorn solar eclipse may have shaken you up and altered some of your plans, though you have made a fast recovery. Now, you must keep nearly all of your focus on financial issues, and safeguarding your long-term security. In many ways, you’re at the point of making a clean break from the past, and clearing your accounts. That is the spirit in which to proceed. While you’re doing this, you will have an opportunity to focus your priorities and ensure that what you’re doing is in tune with your most deeply held values. Make this a high priority: now is the time to refine your life plan and pull yourself into alignment (or closer alignment) with what matters to you the most. There will be opportunities for collaboration, including potential contact with investors. The right people to work with are the ones who are the most deeply connected to, and impressed by, your adherence to a life code that you live by every day.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You must balance a long-range approach to the important questions in your life with taking care of immediate needs. This may seem impossible, as you toggle between one and the other, trying to gain some balance, or to integrate these two levels of priorities. For a while it may seem like you have to emphasize one, and give up the other, then run back to the other and so on. Eventually you will integrate the two processes. But you can start now. Obviously, immediate concerns must take priority over long-term, yet there is a way to take care of your day-to-day responsibilities that involves consciously setting yourself up for the future. This is about being aware of how every step you take in the moment sets you further on your path, or serves as a digression. So the way out of the toggle is the mindfulness to focus each choice and each task in alignment with your greater plan and your greater good. Tune in to your guidance; tune in to your vision; you will find your direction.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Make sure everything passes the sniff test, particularly offers or proposals from others. Try things in the short run to see whether they might work in the long run. Meanwhile, you need others far less than you might imagine. At this stage, you’re like an artist working diligently in your studio, who does not need an assistant. The dregs of yesterday’s coffee will suit you fine, if it means not being interrupted. Only you understand what you really need to do, why you need to do it, and how to do it correctly. At a certain point soon, you’ll want to work with others, but don’t rush it. You are onto something, and in order to accomplish what you need to do, you are, in a sense, the content of your own work. You are the sculpture, the poem, the book, the painting, the project that you’re working on. Allow yourself to be obsessed. Check the mail every day and make sure your electricity doesn’t get turned off because you forgot to write the check.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Don’t allow yourself to be too distracted by family or partnership matters. Yes, that may be like saying “ignore the traffic jam on the Cross Bronx Expressway during the evening rush hour,” which you can in fact do if you break out a map and find your way around the bottleneck. Indeed, matters are not so urgent as they may seem, and the most helpful approach will be to keep your sense of humor handy. It will also help to take a natural approach to endings, and make a point of welcoming specific ones into your life. Certain situations have run their course, which you will soon see is a positive thing. However, these days it’s trendy to live in the past and cling to what you have. I would describe that as a bad habit, and one that blocks many other possibilities from your view. Thought of another way, clinging to the past gnaws away at your confidence. Keep your mind on the future and on your considerable potential and you will feel bold and assertive. Let things happen at their own pace.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Be careful to regulate your finances carefully over the next few weeks. Don’t overestimate your cash reserves, and don’t take chances speculating. You will want to spend on luxuries, but you can keep it down to a dull roar and still have fun. Yet you need to watch the numbers carefully, including short- and medium-range income, your bank balances, and the pace at which you spend. Use credit with extreme caution (zero interest rate preferred). But the real matter seems to be making sure your immediate priorities are in line with your long-term vision for yourself. If you’re going to make an investment, choose from a list of things you’ve had in mind for a long time — more than a year or two. Now is not the time to be spontaneous but it’s a good time to gradually engage your more important plans, particularly if they involve putting you in a better position to produce whatever it is you make. That said, there is a very good chance you already have everything you need — so check before you spend.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Check at every turn that you’re not deceiving yourself, whether consciously or ‘unconsciously’. The deception could be sly: such as feeling like you have more confidence than is appropriate, or like something is undermining your confidence. The one thing you must not do is set your expectations too high, whether for the amount of a return on effort, or the timeframe involved. The place to invest your energy is in the willingness to do the nuts and bolts work of getting your result. Do not expect anything to happen by itself, as if by magic. You know this from long experience, though you might be especially inclined to forget this week. Stick to a core set of priorities and focus on them. The current exact square between your ruler Jupiter and its close cousin Neptune requires you to be realistic about everything, particularly matters of scale. Get a small thing working well, then expand it. This is preferable to starting huge and having to cut back.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You have a lot going on in your life, as if some process more complicated than you anticipated has been set in motion by the recent solar eclipse in your birth sign. The thing that’s essential to remember and put into practice is that this is about inner work. You may be inclined to focus on your image, which means how you present yourself or some facet of your appearance. This would be guiding your intentions and your focus in the wrong direction; the correct direction is toward your challenges. Yet there may be so much going on that it seems helpful to have a diversion of some kind. You have your options open socially, though I suggest you place yourself in environments where you can “come as you are,” with no changes to your appearance, no thought of impressing anyone, and a thoughtful atmosphere rather than one connected to partying. Yet this is still secondary. Right now it is your inner world that counts, not your outer one.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may feel like your mind, and your desk, is a very busy airport, where the traffic controllers are being expected to come to work for free. You will benefit from putting your feelings and your plans into writing. This will help you clear your mind and maintain your focus. You feel like you’re under more pressure than you really are. This is particularly true if certain fears seem to get your attention more than your potential does. You will benefit from staying on-task. This is an approach that seems to have fallen by the wayside of modern digital life: knowing the difference between being busy and being productive. For you, productive means maintaining your focus on what you need to do next, based on what project is due the soonest. However, for the more complex, long-range tasks, you will benefit from setting up the project well in advance, so that when you come to it, you will not be looking at a blank page. So take a look ahead at what is due over the next three months, and set up your workbench or your work files sooner rather than later.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This week’s contact between Jupiter and Neptune may be challenging for some, though for you, it’s providing remarkable assistance in focusing your vision. You will know when something is the right thing to do, or a particular direction is the right one to take. If it is, you will seem to be drawn in its direction, and if it’s not, you’ll feel like you’re bumping into an invisible barrier that’s preventing you from moving forward. Meanwhile, Venus joining Jupiter in the bold Sagittarius midheaven angle of your chart is reminding you to keep the human touch. It is you and not your accomplishments or goals that will speak the most credibly. Present yourself as you are. Stay positive, stay visible, and be bold about your vision for your life and for the world. It’s true that we are in some very strange times at the moment, though you are uniquely situated to be able to handle the weirdness, deftly and elegantly. Fear no one. Let them be a little intimidated by you, then reveal how friendly you are.

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