Get Your Hands on Clay

Light Bridge for Libra and Libra Rising

New! Libra audio presentation | Link to download | Listen to Light Bridge Audio on your iPhone

[audio:|titles=Libra audio presentation]

This morning I went down to the family-run neighborhood deli next to where I live to get some coffee and to see if the Lincoln Eagle had come out yet. One of the people in the family is named Mo. When I walked in the first thing he said to me is, “Eric, what is kinesthetic?”

Hmm, I thought: that’s a question I don’t hear every day.

“It’s about touching,” I said. Squishing your fingers into a chunk of clay was the first example that came to mind. I thought that would be a good thing for him to do, to help settle his mind.

Turns out that Mo is taking a college skills course at the local community college, and he was having a little trouble keeping up with the work. So I suggested he get his books and I sat with him doing one assignment. It involved learning about modalities: in particular, visual, auditory and kinesthetic. As we sat there in the busy deli doing homework, I knew I was getting a database on the Libra report that I would be working on 15 minutes later.

Libra is one of the most expressive signs. True, you’re usually pretty quiet about it, but anyone who knows you knows that you have lots of creative energy and see the world differently from most; your senses work differently — more like a three-dimensional experience than like a data processing center.

You’re also in an extremely unusual time astrologically. Your sign is right in the mix of all the most interesting astrology of our era. While this is in many ways a sensory experience for you, what’s happening closer to your core is the experience of being shaped by various forces of cosmos and psyche. While most of the other signs are getting this in indirect or slightly abstract ways, you’re getting it in direct, tactile ways. Going back to the roots of the word kinesthetic, it comes from British neurologist Henry Charlton Bastian (1837-1915), derived from Gk. kinein ‘to move’ + aisthesis ‘sensation’.

You are not merely having sensations. They are definitely moving you, shaping you, rearranging and reforming you. Taking your astrology as one experience, the main idea that comes through is that any way you can move from abstract mode (thinking, planning, worrying or critiquing) into a direct-contact mode (shaping, building, experimenting, repairing or rearranging) would be helpful. The more your energy flows, and the more you allow it to move you, and the more you then take that and move your world, the happier you’ll be.

Consider the number of key areas of your life that are coming under direct influence: First is Pluto in Capricorn, which is working through your 4th house — your emotional structure, your family history and your sense of security, your physical home.

Second is Saturn in your own sign, which is an experience of consciously shaping yourself, redefining your boundaries and your limits, exploring your sense of reality and altering the way you present yourself to the world in tangible ways. This is compelling you to literally reshape your self-concept just like a potter shapes clay on a wheel, revealing some underlying form that actually exists in his or her mind before it exists in three dimensions. Indeed, the notion of self-concept is yielding to the deeper experience of self. You’re dropping your outer layers and bringing forth something deeper.

Then there’s your relationship angle: Jupiter has arrived in Aries, expanding your idea of what is possible in a relationship — and in a little while, an even more potent influence arrives, for many years longer — the revolutionary Uranus. In terms of relationship influences, what you’re experiencing is more than most people thought they would ever get in a lifetime, and you’re having it during a concentrated span of your life. As one reputed to prefer keeping things in balance, this is surely an adventure; your skill at the art of balance will certainly come in handy now.

Then we have Chiron ingressing your 6th house — the house that includes the themes of work, daily activity, service, aspects of your thought process and your perception of time. You have Pisces in this house, which suggests you thrive in a creative environment where you either make your own structure, or find a structure that’s highly compatible with who you are. Chiron’s presence here calls attention to these themes, and is influencing you to accelerate your process of building self-confidence and authentic competence in the work you do.

There is one last significant angle to cover: that is your midheaven in Cancer. The midheaven represents your reputation and your drive for achievement. You’ve had events there over the past two years — mostly in the form of eclipses. You also have an odd, rarely used point gradually — very gradually — moving through your 10th house, and here is where you will have to apply some significant focus to go from the abstract to the tangible. The point is called Kronos. It’s not used in mainstream astrology but it includes a key piece of your astrological puzzle, particularly given the potent activity in all the other angles of your chart, but the seeming absence of activity here. While I’m on this thread, I will mention one more subtle, slow-moving point in your 10th, called Varuna; I’ll be coming back to both of these points later.

The implication here is that while in many other angles of your chart, you are getting palpable, vivid and rather bold influences, your way is open in terms of what you do with all of that energy. This is an extremely interesting position to be in — coming under all these truly powerful, simultaneous events, but this one crucial aspect of your life being a wildcard, with several specific conditions that I will get into.

Let’s look at the global picture, with a slightly more technical approach.

Actions Rather Than Words: The Cardinal Cross

As one born under the sign Libra or with Libra rising, your chart is connected to the cardinal cross of the heavens. This includes four signs — Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. This has been where most (not quite all) of the thundering astrology of the past two years has taken place. Nearly every event that has shaped and shaken the world has come up on your personal radar; nearly every major astrological event plugs right into your chart.

This is a chart for the entry of the Sun into Libra. The chart displays all the major planets and a diversity of minor planets. Check the member's contents page for a glyph key.

To put it simply, you are someone born with natural connection points, and lately they have been hot hot hot — and show no sign of cooling down any time soon. The planets that have arrived there, which I’ve introduced above, are some of the most influential we live with every day.

All of this adds up to movement for you, new experiences, what seem like tests, and at certain moments, potentially a lot of stress. Yet I have no doubt these experiences are providing you with the opportunity to take many long-awaited steps in your growth, and to commit to what is the most meaningful for you. When astrology this potent comes along, you have no option other than to step up to the challenges or get crushed by them.

You’re more the type to keep going, to stay up and to land on your feet if you fall or leap. Still, the events of the past year may have you a bit shell shocked, and I suggest you take some time to reflect and take stock of how your life has developed.

In some ways the events of 2010 represent the end of a number of key struggles that will leave your hands and your mind free to do other things. In other ways, certain developments point the way forward when it comes to choosing how you live, how you handle your growth or healing process, and what you do with your remaining days and years on the planet.

Saturn in your sign for nearly two more years comes with the strong suggestion that you simply must come to terms with, and fully be, exactly who you are, dropping all pretense and putting all other considerations into a lower category. Your life is not about your job, or your relationships, or your family. Your life is about you, and Saturn is here to remind you of that simple fact. If you can do that, you are likely to do something rare indeed on this planet: find your confidence.

Yet Saturn often pertains to our sense of duty and the work that we do, and while your life is not about work, in order for you to be happy, your work must be about your life. What you do must reflect who you are — a concept you sometimes hear people talk about but which some people have no idea how to actually manifest. Saturn in your sign is suggesting that one thing that would serve you well is to know yourself better; well, ‘suggesting’ is a bit powder puff. By the time Saturn enters Scorpio in late 2012 you will know yourself.

Yet Saturn takes this a few steps further. Saturn compels us to act on what we know. Far from being the planet of blockage, it represents the concept of conscious structuring, which implies a series of design schemes and actions taken that are based on them. There is a process of shaping and reshaping happening on several layers of your psyche.

At the root of the whole process is Pluto in Capricorn.

Cleaning and Scaling Your Roots

Saturn is the product of Capricorn; astrologically the two are associated. Pluto is now in Capricorn, and it ties directly into Saturn in your sign. Between November 2009 and August 2010, we went through the peak of the Saturn-Pluto square — a rare aspect that put these two influences into direct contact. This is a tense kind of geometry, given that Saturn represents the immovable object and Pluto represents the unstoppable force. You may have experienced this as a series of crises that involved something happening in your home or family environment — some deep emotional force — which came into contact with something about yourself that you needed (and still need) to own.

This is a special chart for the entry of the Sun into Libra. It shows all of the major and minor planets close to the Sun on what's called a 90-degree sort. It shows the planets and points conjunct, opposite and square the Sun at the time of the ingress into your sign or ascendant. Information in this chart will be used in the audio presentation. Some of these points are explained in the "planet" section of Small World Stories. Check the member's contents page for that link.

Yet the square aspect often points to a directly internal process. To my perception, you’ve been compelled by a series of both circumstances and developments in your maturity to create some authentic emotional independence for yourself. Pluto granted that urge for freedom, and Saturn helped make sure you implemented it in some way. Now, you can keep the momentum going.

When I think of Pluto in Capricorn in the 4th house, an experience comes to mind. About 2001, I went to the dentist for the first time in a while and I discovered that I had some issues. The dentist wanted me to come for a complete scaling of my roots. It would take four appointments, and be done with Novocain. Though I wasn’t looking forward to having the roots of my teeth scraped, I agreed that it had to be done, so I made an appointment and came in.

My hygienist was an intense, serious, adorable Asian woman of about 35. That helped. She had a great attitude toward her work — and went about it. On the first day I had a quarter of my teeth cleaned very thoroughly. It didn’t hurt; it was only mildly uncomfortable, and I was very happy to be having it done. I relaxed into the process. It took an hour, during which I watched her focused eyes looking at my teeth and working her true expertise. When I left that day, I felt ecstatic. Part of this was knowing I was doing something really good for myself, and part seemed to be a release of energy.

I came back the next week, ready to work. We did another session, and once again I felt amazing when I left. For the third session, she did twice as much in the prior two, perhaps because I found the process so workable, easy and fruitful. The staff in the dental surgery — a truly impressive business in Seattle, owned by a friend’s brother — didn’t quite grasp why I was so happy every time I left, but I’m sure any dental staff anywhere is grateful to see a happy customer. We are very fortunate to have the quality of dental care available, if we can afford it — but availing yourself of it is a sure way to add quality and time onto your life.

This is how I suggest you think of Pluto in Capricorn in your 4th house. The roots indicated by the 4th can be anything that goes deep, from the contents of your basement to the foundations of your home; from the history of your family of origin to your ancestral past going back any number of generations — 10 comes to mind. The concept is that by reaching deep and cleaning out the crevices of your past, you will free up energy in the future.

I would remind you that the object of this process, so far as I understand it, is to set you free of unhealthy dependencies on others, and unhealthy dependencies on your own past. You can relate to the past in a friendly, enriching way; you can depend on others in wholesome, productive ways, and that is what this transit points to. As you go through this your opinions about your past may shift and evolve.

You may make discoveries that change how you thought about people, even if your opinion of them hasn’t changed in 20 years. You may dig up some old bones down there; if you live in Bath or York, you may pull up the basement floor and find a goblet from the Roman days.

And along the way, you may discover that sincere curiosity about your past is one of the best ways to get free from the trapped energy that is held there. I would propose that a subscription to would be a lot of fun, as would going to talk to old relatives while you still have them available. Ask them anything. Listen for their perception of life now. Explore the world a little bit with them and give them a window into what it’s like to be young (as in actively participating) now.

Consider this a longterm research process; a kind of life mission. Along the way, you are likely to discover many things you’ve lost, many gifts from the past, many reminders of what life is about. And you are likely to discover that you can give up the things of old that don’t work for you and never did — religious guilt, doing things merely because that’s how they were done in the past, and so on.

Oh and speaking of religious guilt, if you were to succeed at getting rid of one thing through this discovery process, that’s the one. That’s the thing. Guilt is an emotion that freezes all of the other emotions; it’s the barb that catches one’s skin, one’s dress, one’s feelings, one’s mind. Watch this process and observe the way in which much of what you do by encountering and making peace with the past is dismantling the value of guilt in any, and I do mean any, form.

Before I leave this topic for now, one last thing: try to remember what you learned about your family, your past and your concept of security between 2001 and 2004. If you can’t remember, dig out your diary, blog archives, day planners or any other artifacts of the past that will prompt your memory. For that era in the early 2000s, physical, photographic or written evidence will be extremely potent. You are learning some things for the second or third time. Save yourself some work and claim what you’ve already learned — you’re ready for the advanced lessons anyway.

As you experiment with these various things, your relationship to what you thought of as the past will change, and this will have an indirect way of changing you. Indirect, but significant.

Speaking of Chiron

The reference to 2001-2004 was about when Chiron was in Capricorn. Now, Chiron is in Pisces, in your house of work and wellbeing. For you this transit boils down to: Your emotional health is your physical heath. This transit, which took a firm hold in early February, is an extended reminder that you need to manage your stress carefully, and keep yourself in a cozy, creative and moreover beautiful environment.

This is a special chart for the entry of the Sun into Libra. It shows all of the major and minor planets located in your sign or ascendant at the moment of the Sun's entry. This is taken from what is called a 360-degree sort — a listing, in order, of all the planets and points in the whole zodiac. Information in this chart will be used in the audio presentation. Some of these points are explained in the "planet" section of Small World Stories. Check the member's contents page for that link.

Libra has a strong emphasis on beauty: I do mean strong; beauty gives you strength and is an expression of strength. Your work simply must be an expression of that beauty, which includes some peace and solitude. I suggest you carefully review the work you’re doing, where you’re doing it, why it gets done and what your motive is to participate. If you’re emotionally involved in your work, and I mean that in a healthy way, you’ll tend to prosper that much more.

Chiron will put an ongoing focus on your relationship between work, your emotional state and your physical state. Work includes any form of service, including in personal relationships, working relationships, volunteer work and professional work. Your work must nourish you, a fact that will grow increasingly apparent as this transit develops.

This is something that would serve everyone, and it’s something only a few people figure out. However, between Pisces in this house and Chiron arriving there, it’s information that will serve you well.

One layer deeper is that connection between emotional and physical health. If you’re one of these people who gets mysterious maladies that doctors cannot figure out, you might want to look at this connection. Any time you are feeling even vaguely sick, consider your emotional tone at that time in your life. If you address the emotional tone you will find it that much easier to heal yourself. By the way — there is a branch of medicine I suggest you investigate, which is homeopathy. It’s the first truly holistic method of healing, and it works largely on the basis of how you actually feel. Any subtle form of medicine is worth trying, for example, acupuncture. You’re energetically sensitive, which means that modes of healing that depend on energy are your first line of both defense and maintaining your wellbeing.

Varuna, Kronos in Cancer: From Caretaking to Authority

Earlier in this reading I mentioned one angle of your chart that wasn’t going to happen automatically — but which would require your focused vision. This is about your career and achievement angle.

These are subtle placements and could be the topic of a whole article for your sign. I will summarize here, and set a theme that I will come back to. All of the other placements I’ve mentioned are about powerfully compelling forces with which you’re in a dynamic relationship.

But your career is different. In a sense it always has been, because you relate to your goals so differently from how others do, and they tend to run in cycles rather than feeling like scaling the ladder of success and setting up a corner office on the top floor.

If I had to describe your professional evolution, it would be from taking care to taking authority. Now, authority is a kind of care, and it needs to be compassionate. Yet what is different is that you are growing into your ability to make decisions, to command respect and to have some control over resources — and all of this is a function of self-respect.

That, in turn, is about seeing yourself as equal to others. This topic is controversial because when many think of ‘seeing themselves as equal to others’ that means supposedly lowering themselves; others think it might be arrogant to honor their equality to a leader in their field; still others might lack the self-esteem to consider their true potential. I suggest being careful who you take your career advice from. And I suggest that, following the proposals I made when describing Chiron in Pisces, you navigate by the feeling you experience when setting your goals or choosing mentors. There is a reminder that part of what determines your highest calling is who you want to be with when you get where you’re going — so you might keep that in mind from the beginning.

Your most significant goals are all going to have a sense of family around them, a sense of belonging and of mutual nourishment. What you do must be deeply personally relevant to you, and you will thrive when you experience the ways this energy spreads into the world around you. This is not going to happen automatically; of all the areas of your life, it’s the one wherein you need to create your options the most consciously.

Uranus in Aries: A Relationship Revolution

At this juncture, I would like to speak about relationships, which are perhaps the most unusual and exciting angle of your chart. Earlier I was describing a process of researching and purging the dysfunctional relics of your history. One of them is the concept of security that was given to you by your parents, which in turn came from their parents, and so on.

At its worst, this shows up as a mindless adherence to the ways of the past, even if they lead to no happiness for anyone at all. Yet within any external behavior or day-to-day conduct are assumptions that underlie your notion of what it means to be secure in the world, and this often involves a concept of relationships that is basically codependent.

I acknowledge this can be a challenge in our world, where codependency is not only the norm, but encouraged and enforced like a law. I mean that in the clinical sense of the word, and the common usage as well. In the clinical sense, codependency is about spiraling toxic relationships, often based in addiction, with one or more people playing the role of enabler.

In the more common usage, it’s about people who don’t feel secure or complete unless they have the constant affirmation of another person, as if a person does not exist without others constantly reminding them that they do. This sense of incompleteness can lead to the constant obsession with relationships, which merely conceals the deeper issue of insecurity. Where these things are considered the baseline, it’s difficult to see there is another way. But ‘another way’ is the theme of your life at the moment.

I think it’s healthy for everyone to do a longterm assessment of the way their family patterns play out in their relationships. As you become more conscious, these unconscious patterns will become more painful and insist you do something about them. To sum up, I believe that in the mode of ‘normal’ relationships we’re influenced, usually unconsciously, by three things.

1. We believe we’re supposed to do what our parents and/or grandparents did, no matter how badly or happily it worked out, and regardless of whether their choices are relics of another era.

2. We fall for guilt. We confuse love and guilt, and this is most of what tortures us in our relationships. It is based on longterm family emotional habits that we inherit, generally before the age of two, which are then reinforced the rest of our lives unless we figure out what is going on.

3. We fear being alone, we fear endings, and we don’t account for the ‘unconscious’ influence of the fear of death on our relationships. One of the translations of ‘have someone to be with the rest of my life’ is ‘so that I don’t die alone’.

All three of these factors add up to what we typically think of as ‘security’. Money is also a factor; it influences and is influenced by all of them, particularly in the chart of someone with a strong Libra influence. When you think of Pluto in Capricorn, these are the subjects you’re burrowing deep beneath. Just in time, too, because your circumstances are poised to give you plenty of opportunities to explore something new while you’re busy resolving things that are rather old.

The main factor here is Uranus in Aries. Aries is your relationship house. Placing Aries — the sign of self — into the house of relationships (that is the configuration for Libra and Libra ascendant), is an illustration of the famous association with relationships inherent in your sign; the math is self = encounter with other. You can have an unusually deep sense of identification with people, and the boundary between oneself, another person and the relationship itself can at times be a house of mirrors.

You’re about to step out of that house and into a much more adventurous world — or let’s say that you’re certainly being invited to do so. I can take the transit of Uranus in Aries two ways: one is that your concept of relationship is being revolutionized, because Uranus is the planet of innovation, rebellion and invention. The second is that your sense of who you are in relationships is being revolutionized; wherever it may land in a chart, Aries represents a sense of self. So these two potential interpretations amount to the same thing.

To many, Uranus feels like mere disruption. It has a way of opening up narrow thinking or situations that are too tightly wound. Uranus will shift thinking away from the past and into what I’ll call the ‘present future’ — the moment where we decide what we want based on unexpected options. For most, particularly in the current version of the world, Uranus is the last thing they want in their relationships; we are so conditioned to seek the illusion of permanence and stability. For you Uranus in Aries is about immediacy and adventure. It’s about loving that getting to know someone is an ongoing discovery.

Meanwhile, we are given exceedingly few options for how to do relationships. We think we’re making all the decisions, yet in fact, nearly all roads lead to marriage. Even in the once purportedly immoral gay and lesbian scene, today the whole public face of that movement is about the right to get married. We don’t see how strange this is, given the incredible diversity in all other areas of human interaction. Just as a quick test: can you name other relationship options besides marriage, marriage-styled partnerships, or being single in hopes of finding one of the other two? It’s difficult, because they all either have a stigma attached to them, or we’re told they’re impossible.

One thing I’ve discovered recently is a singles’ rights movement. They make an interesting point, in terms of how much discrimination there is against single people, and how much pressure there is not to be single. The privileges for being married include everything from tax breaks to the right to be president. We don’t stop to question why only a married person could be considered for the presidency. Marriage is the unquestioned reference standard of relationships, despite its need to be carefully reviewed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

With Uranus working your 7th house of relationships for the next seven years, you have a choice of disruption or innovation. Innovation is about inventing options for yourself. Let’s consider some of the more basic ones.

Being single and happy would be one option.

Being polyamorous is another. If you happen to be someone who has the capacity to share deep intimacy with more than one person during the same extended time period, or even in the same room at the same time, then polyamory is an option. That word means ‘multiple loves’, and hopefully we all get to love more than one person — but usually those other relationships are veiled in a kind of denial. We deny they count, we deny what we might feel, and we deny what we might do or want to do with others. Uranus is all about waking up from denial and claiming and owning our real tendencies in relationships. Many people are polyamorous trying to fit themselves inside the box of monogamy.

There are many models to choose from; I describe some of them in the article The One and the Many, and others in this newer article called Be My Valentine.

Expanding the rules of what’s allowed in your current primary relationship is another option. Many monogamous relationships are so strict that the woman cannot go to community college, and the man cannot be friendly to an attractive waitress. Granting one another the freedom to have opposite sex friends — often a big no-no in relationships — could be a way to expand.

Another idea might be open sharing of fantasies, attractions and ideas. You don’t necessarily need to act on them, but giving yourself and your partner the freedom to explore the content of your imagination can provide a great sense of expansiveness and relief from the boxed-in feeling.

What I suggest, though, is that what’s being expanded is not your relationship modality, but rather your experience of who you are, which then needs to find a place in the world. Generally, that’s outside of a structure that might have worked last week or last year — or that never really worked so well at all.

I think that a good start, in any event, would be raising the standard in your relationship encounters to what one author, Brad Blanton, termed radical honesty. In most relationships, we are expected to exist as a shrunken version of who we are; we compromise. Most of those compromises come as, or are facilitated by, withholds. These are the lies that are not blatant but rather the choice not to mention something so as not to ruffle feathers. Withholds are such a normal part of what we call ‘intimacy’ that it can get to the point where the concept is totally meaningless. You cannot be intimate with someone from whom you withhold vital information about yourself. The point of intimacy is that you reveal who you are. The real meaning of cheating is trying to be intimate without doing so.

If you’re willing to let go of some of your expectations of what a relationship is supposed to be, you can have a lot of fun with Uranus in Aries. Part of that fun will be stretching the boundaries of who you are, and seeing who in your life rises to the occasion. As you do so, you will find out who your true friends and lovers really are.

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