Magdalena New Moon

The Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci, painted 1495-1498.

Dear Friend and Reader:

Monday’s New Moon is in Gemini. One of its distinctive features is its location in the United States chart on the relationship angle. The suggestion is that there is some news, development or at least the need for attention focused on this aspect of our lives.

Relationships form the primary environment in which we live. While it’s true that we live amidst buildings, cars, airplanes, toasters and a vast computer network, our actual environs are what we experience of humanity.

Image by Barbara A Lane.

Another distinction for this New Moon is that it is conjunct the asteroid Magdalena. Officially (318) Magdalena, it was discovered in 1891 in Nice on the southern coast of France. It is interesting that in the modern mythology of Mary Magdalene, she is reputed to have migrated to France. And along that coast is the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, named for the two most notable Marys in the life of Jesus — his mother and his wife.

I’ll come back to that theme in a moment.

First, some of the astronomical features. The New Moon takes place opposite a point called the Great Attractor, which is a vortex focusing a supercluster of 100,000 galaxies called Laniakea (or “Great Heaven”). Mercury, the planetary ruler of the New Moon’s sign, is in late Gemini, opposite the core of the Milky Way, our local galaxy.

Moon, Sun, Magdalena and Mercury stand face to face with entities far greater than themselves, at least in scale; entities rarely considered by most people and not fully understood even by astronomers. This is a message to keep some perspective. Humans so often get lost in and distracted by what is right in front of us, or more accurately, lost in the maze of how we filter our perceptions.

Square Nessus and Neptune

The New Moon is square the centaur Nessus, and the planet Neptune. Of the two, Nessus is the tighter aspect, though Neptune exerts a wide orb of influence that’s fully in effect. Nessus is asking how we handle issues such as abuse legacy, and the notion of what a “victim” is.

Image by Barbara A Lane.

This is a complex issue that gets lost in popular trends and also a psychological phenomenon of projection. As Anaïs Nin said, “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” This may not be an absolute, though it’s essential to account for perception and projection when we make a claim about how the world is.

Neptune carries a warning about distortions of perception. Nessus carries a warning about victimization and victimhood.

The real work of Nessus begins when someone is willing to take responsibility for their state of affairs. That does not mean the blame for what was done to them, but rather how they respond and what they do about it. We know from a model called the Karpman Drama Triangle that those who perceive themselves as victims are, in the next round, those most likely to take up the role of perpetrator. (Enablers and rescuers become the next victims.)

The work of Neptune begins when one challenges one’s own perceptions. We live in a time when people love the word ‘story’. The thing to remember about story is that it’s a construction. Many of these stories are based on ungrounded expectations. While today we look to story as a solution, in well-established therapeutic traditions it’s been regarded as a thing to treat with caution and awareness rather than automatic acceptance.

Caution is necessary because the human tendency to get caught in our own narratives is so strong. We tend to make up stories about ourselves, and then believe them, and tell them over and over, and convince other people that they’re true.

A Word About Gemini

Gemini illustrates the human condition known as dualism. This takes many forms, though the most elementary is the separation of me from you. That can manifest as seeking completion from others, identifying with them, or counting them as one’s adversary or enemy. The “other” phenomenon also makes projection possible: what I feel in myself, I blame the other for.

Image by Barbara A Lane.

This can also reflect what seems to be a split between aspects of the psyche. This is described many ways: ego versus spirit, various voices inside the mind, inner child and inner adult, true self versus false self, inner male versus inner female, loving self versus hateful self, and in modern thought, left hemisphere versus right.

I would remind you the idea of Marshall and Eric McLuhan: “All war is war between the hemispheres of the brain.” They really meant all wars. This is partially fed by the tendency of people to resort to violence and conflict when they are trying to figure out who they are.

Where there is a split in the mind, people will tend to project it outward, onto others. That suggests (as every careful observer of human psychology has noticed at least once) that outer conflict grows from inner conflict. When we are in the victim territory of Nessus and the story/narrative/illusion territory of Neptune, we need to be cautious about this. There are personal narratives we must monitor carefully. Yes, it’s possible to trot them out in the current environment and get attention, pity, “support,” likes and shares, but that does not make them true, or spiritually productive.

Magdalena and the Role of Women

What we know about Magdalena we know from scripture, from lore and from fiction. We also know something from Leonardo, who painted Magdalena into The Last Supper, sitting at the right hand of Jesus. The Bible provides religious sanction; Leonardo’s depiction gives her street cred, because we regard him as an erudite genius and a fair person.

In scripture, Mary was said to be a woman of means, who is thought of as financially helping Jesus with his ministry. She was at the crucifixion, she was there when the crypt was opened, and she was the first to attest to Jesus as one who had resurrected.

She is a witness to the faith. It is incredible, then, to consider the ways in which the Universal Church has trea

Image by Barbara A Lane.

Where sex is vilified, women are vilified, and this is very much in the tradition of Christianity, though (as typical) has nothing at all to do with the life of Jesus and how he treated women.

Among the delineations of (318) Magdalena that we’ve seen are themes such as commitment to a group or collective cause. This point can represent an inner change in direction after intuitively noticing small signs or miracles in everyday life.

We can think of Magdalena as a shaman, “one who takes on the responsibility for the soul of the tribe.” This is a very high (meaning difficult and challenging) calling to service, leaving no room for ethical or moral ambivalence.

We might do better to consider women as people. We are all just folks. There is misunderstanding in our current “story” about the role men play in society. A perception is being woven of all men as patriarchs who collaborate in whatever the patriarchal narrative of the day is all about. This is just more polarization.

Confronting Our Sense of Powerlessness

Most men do not feel powerful, or even meekly influential. Most men are doing our best to get by, to be useful, and to take care of the people in our lives as best we can — many of whom are women. The perception of all men as influential patriarchs throwing around their weight and mongering violence is a raw stereotype.

When you hear the term “patriarchy,” the first question to ask is, “How do you feel about your father?” (That’s the real patriarch.) While we are evaluating how men treat women, we might also take a close look at how women treat other women — and how women treat men.

All individuals, in the process of attaining maturity, growth and the cultivation of personhood — which is almost always a lifelong struggle — must confront our sense of powerlessness, our lack of a voice, our failure to “be heard,” our seeming lack of any influence over the flow of events. How real is any of this? We must go beyond the stories we tell ourselves and one another.

Image by Barbara A Lane.

Women on our planet face special challenges and easy exploitation due to the biological role of bearing and nursing children. This is why any effort to remove women from power of choice over their reproduction or any physical expression is about not just stripping personhood, but in truth, turning women into reproductive slaves. And this is very much a question that is relevant in our present moment.

Consider that situation, where members of a society squander or hand over their rights and privileges in what seems like a voluntary act. Men and women are involved because all of society is involved. Wilhelm Reich described a much more sinister problem, which he attributed to the “little man” — by which he meant everyone. Reducing one’s own worth means doing the same to the world. This, he called the “emotional plague.” For those mystified by what is happening in our society right now, consider this:

“It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries, great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principle. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don’t believe you really want an answer.”

Today, we could add that what has been done to Jesus has also been done to Mary Magdalene. There is a rather direct answer to this frightening thought in A Course in Miracles. I leave you with that.

“There is a deep responsibility you owe yourself, and one you must learn to remember all the time. The lesson may seem hard at first, but you will learn to love it when you realize that it is true and is but a tribute to your power. You who have sought and found littleness, remember this: Every decision you make stems from what you think you are, and represents the value that you put upon yourself. Believe the little can content you, and by limiting yourself you will not be satisfied. For your function is not little, and it is only by finding your function and fulfilling it that you can escape from littleness.”

With love,

Daily Birthday Readings from Planet Waves

As a brand new feature on our Monday Morning pages, we’re adding our If Today is Your Birthday readings for the week ahead. To all readers whose birthday falls this week, we wish you many happy returns.

Monday, June 3, 2019 (The Day of Fluent Expression)

Today’s New Moon on your birth anniversary is a reminder that to leave the past behind you, it’s necessary to consciously work through what has been holding you back. We live in a culture that encourages denial, which is easy enough to slide into. Yet that denies the rewards of growth, and the benefits of experimenting with new ways to approach your circumstances. It has been said that problems are opportunities, which is only true if you make the choice to use them for all they are worth.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 (The Day of Critical Expertise)

You may need to let certain important situations play themselves out much longer than you would normally think is reasonable to get the best outcome. This will require a particular kind of trust that does not come naturally in the world. Therefore, delay important decisions till you have full confidence that you really understand what is happening. For this to work, you will have to know when you don’t know; you must be sensitive to when you are traveling through a fog. Awakening is a very different feeling from sleeping.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 (The Day of the Brilliant Path)

This year will bring tests of your true priorities. You already know what they are; the question is whether you will exercise them like options. It’s too easy for people to subvert their most cherished desires to what they think is the will of others. Yet when one takes the chance and dares to stand up for oneself, there can be considerable pain and confusion. This is a temporary stage in the growth process, and one that at a certain point we must learn to push through. If you want to call this experience your life, that’s the necessary project.

Thursday, June 6, 2019 (The Day of the Visionary)

You may feel like you’re being tested at every turn — though the only real question is whether you’re being honest with yourself. There are times when self-doubt is debilitating and even toxic. There are times when, if used with focus, it can be the best tool you’ve got. So keep asking yourself: am I being real with myself about this? Then go to, why or why not? Be open to ideas that contradict what you believe. If you have a defensive reaction to something, pause and ask yourself why. You will find this empowering.

Friday, June 7, 2019 (The Day of the Entertainer)

You can gain considerable momentum this year, though you could also get caught in a kind of psychic whirlpool. Make sure you consistently apply the self-honesty test (“am I being real with myself about this?” Then go to, “Why or why not?”). And then notice your direction of travel. To do that, you need to check where you just were, where you are now, and what looks like it’s straight ahead. Plot your course on a regular basis. It will help to have a clear destination in mind, even it it’s not the place you ultimately intend to get. Just know where you’re going next, and why you want to be there.

Saturday, June 8, 2019 (The Day of Influential Individualism)

What drives you? What is your true motivation? Is it creativity? Or is it the need to survive? That’s the question to keep asking yourself this year. If you find that you’re leaning heavily on survival instinct to get by, you might want to reassess that and take a bolder and more adventurous approach. Your life is an experiment, though for you these days, it’s an experiment in being real. How bold can you be about calling the events of life as you see them? What are the limits on your ability to be truthful?

Sunday, June 9, 2019 (The Day of Mental Insistence)

One interesting fact of literature is that it’s the fictional books that last the longest, and the factual books that seem to fade into obscurity long before their pages go yellow. What is memorable about life is what we learn from story. This can have mighty power, and it can be equally toxic, as people abuse the power of narrative to convince themselves of things that ultimately do not serve them. From day to day and year to ear, you tell stories about your life. Make sure those stories are ones that actually support your growth, and put you into contact with your deeper being. Listen carefully when you speak.

— By Eric Francis

Monday Morning Horoscope #179 for June 3, 2019 | By Eric Francis Coppolino

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Make all of your words supportive. If you find yourself criticizing someone, dial it back, and invent a way to be wholly constructive in what you’re saying. With Mars so active in the sky right now, it would be too easy to take someone down a few notches without intending to do so. You have the power to be a positive influence on others, which will help you drive your own life in a beneficial and productive direction. The question I would ask is, are you truly engaged in what you’re doing, or are you going through the motions? The better question, though, is how do you feel when you start to make the kinds of choices that open up your experience and take you out into the wider world? How do you feel when you make any decision based entirely on your own desires, even if it’s something simple like stopping for ice cream on the way home from work? If you feel any guilt at all, note it carefully — and remember it’s neither necessary nor helpful.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You’re a person of considerable resources, though you’re not likely to feel that way unless you put them to work. By resources, I mean everything from your pots and pans to your personal talents and abilities to whatever wealth you’ve accumulated, no matter now modest. For our purposes, they all count equally. They are all part of your workbench, your toolbox, your bag of tricks. One key to success in life is knowing which tool or resource to use at which time. For some circumstances, your labor gets the job done. Other times, your ideas get the job done. Then there are days when you give someone your jumper cables as a gift because you’re in a hurry and they need to get their car started. One does not need to be among the rich, the mighty and the one percent to make the world a better place; in fact, you’re much better positioned as someone of ordinary means, a loving heart and sincere generosity.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — When you can, stick with people through the whole process of whatever you might be assisting them with. Offer any support you can, whether it’s verbal or financial. You will have many opportunities to engage with others, notably, in a time when we’re being taught to avoid and mistrust one another. Be aware that to offer a positive influence comes with some vulnerability. You have to open up in order to be helpful, which is probably why it’s not as popular as it might otherwise be. We tend to grow to love whatever we take care of, whether it’s a person, a plant, an animal or a project. Pay attention to any mixed feelings you might have, and see if you can work them out. It’s not healthy for you to both love and hate, or want to help and harm, or admire and want to compete. Others have far less power over you than you may imagine, though their influence will seem exaggerated if you give up your own. Whatever you are doing, you’re living your life, not that of anyone else.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Your inner reality is quite different from what you’re letting others perceive about you. It’s as if you’re living in two worlds at once — one that you experience inwardly, and one that you see and express outwardly. Yet your inner realm is the filter for everything you see and hear in the world around you. Therefore, pay attention to yourself first. Notice how you’re feeling, and pay attention to what kinds of pressures you seem to be under from day to day. Your chart is set up in an unusual pattern now, which is giving you the ability to push back on your environment in ways that are often out of reach for you. You’re in a position to have an impact, though it will help if you moderate your energy carefully, and think for the long run rather than a short-term gain. There will be moments when you will feel called to assert yourself; if you do, press gently, like you’re doing acupressure: direct, with awareness, and just enough emphasis.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — These could be some of the most interesting days of the season for you socially, as Gemini’s New Moon on Monday calls you out into the world and among the people. The planets describe you as someone who is curious about life and seeking new experiences and adventures. Therefore, get off your street, get out of town, go someplace new, and be among people you’ve never met. Yet at the same time, your solar chart has a pensive quality to it, as if you’re expecting some kind of confrontation or conflict to develop. It’s possible, though before it’s inevitable, you have a series of interventions you can take that will turn matters in a positive and fruitful direction. These opportunities will not be as dramatic or as blatant as throwing down or creating a standoff, but who needs that? You don’t have to agree with everyone you meet, though you can have fun disagreeing in an engaging way. Use your abundant charm and sense of humor to draw people out of their shells.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Certain factors in your environment are creating a distortion that you need to be aware of. While it’s tempting, it’s not possible to take everyone and everything at face value. You must be discerning about who you trust and why, and for what purpose. It will be helpful and even essential that you not come to snap judgments about people or situations, and instead, allow the layers to come off or the fog to clear. Most people go through life making one assumption after the next, to a degree where it’s not even conscious. You may be planning some bold moves, particularly where your professional life is concerned; you’re being called to bigger and better things, and more ambitious achievements. As you respond to these influences, you will need to be careful that you’re really understanding the conditions of your surroundings. Do not guess, and know when you’re doing so. If you catch yourself speculating, dial that back and look for tangible facts that both support and subtract from your point of view. Be open to new information and new approaches.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Know what you’re taking on faith, and what you are taking based on the facts. This should be a hotter topic than it is these days, as half the world seems to be walking around in a fog of superstition and wishful thinking. You have important decisions to make, and both you and others are counting on your leadership. If you want to make good choices, you cannot afford to guess, to speculate, or to hope for the best — you need to know exactly what you’re doing and why. You need to tap abilities other than emotional instincts to govern your life, and to guide the people around you. You surely have those resources, though you need to access them consciously. It would help if you were more methodical in your decision making. For example, know the steps you need to take to arrive at a confidence level about any particular issue. That might include having certain reliable people you check in with; doing a web search on the topic, in a setting where you have space and time to organize your thoughts (i.e., not from a phone in an Uber); and stopping long enough to ponder a question from a few different points of view.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Your relationships have been anything but stable lately, though you may not be fully aware of the benefits this is offering you. One of the more insidious problems of the way we’re conditioned to relate to one another involves having to be the same person every day, so that you don’t scupper the expectations of others. This tends to place people into roles, and if they digress, friends and partners are entitled to get upset because someone is “not being themselves.” Uranus moving through your relationship house is an ongoing shakeup, making both roles and expectations not just useless but destructive. In fact, every day is different. Every hour is different. People are constantly changing. Relationships and agreements are being negotiated ongoing. Give people room to evolve, explore, and present themselves to you as they are. Take the space to do the same thing. Follow your attractions and your curiosity. Be bold about asking yourself challenging questions and taking the adventure of finding even better questions.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You may feel as if someone is trying to reduce an important concept you have to an oversimplified statement. The question is whether there is a seed of perceptiveness or even truth to that statement. An even better question is whether someone else’s idea gets you thinking, and spurs additional reflection. It helps greatly if you’re not attached to your ideas, but rather see them as water in a stream, with ripples that add interest but which are also transient and temporary. It’s too easy to graft yourself to one concept or outlook to the exclusion of all others. The search for truth is in part about discovering what is not true, and also seeing parallels from another perspective — as the Deadhead J.J.H. put it, spiritual truth is about the many shores of one lake. Therefore, keep your point of view moving. Be bold about going deeper into the ideas of another person, and seeing where you come out on the other side. Very little in life is ever proven, and from our point of view, in bodies traveling in space and time, reality forever changes.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Keep yourself busy with important practical matters. There are plenty that you want to attend to, and with Gemini so active in the sky right now, it will be easy to get distracted. Therefore, set your priorities carefully, and take care of the most important ones first — those that are time sensitive, those that are more complex, those with greater impact on your life. If you find yourself getting distracted or caught in a bog, in delays or drifting aimlessly, stop and re-evaluate. Be sensitive to these mental conditions, and wake yourself up sooner rather than later. Your solar chart has a solid and dense quality at the moment, which may be reflected in your consciousness. And when your mind gets like that, you tend to escape into idle thoughts and fantasies. This may seem creative, but it’s the opposite of true creativity, which is an energy source harnessed and connected to something that changes the world a little. Keep your awareness on that linkage. Know when your vehicle is in gear and when it is in neutral.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Most of the action in your chart is in the 12th house — and the combination of factors (Saturn, Pluto, the Moon’s south node and the 12th) can add up to unseen and unconscious forces running your life. The whole issue with the 12th is that what’s happening there can be so easily dismissed, denied or ignored, if it’s even noticed at all. Monday’s Gemini New Moon takes place in an angle of your chart that’s almost as intriguing — the 5th house, which has many parallels to the 12th. Think of your life as a test. You express yourself, and then see what happens. You say something, and notice how people respond. You take a chance, and notice the results. Think of these things as experiments. Try not to be expecting of, or attached to, the results. You may feel like you’re under a lot of pressure right now, though most of that sensation is coming from the density level of your consciousness. Density equates with negativity, fear, and the expectation of bad outcomes. Expand your awareness and you will see more possibilities, and you will understand your particular place in the flow of events.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — For the coming week, place your emphasis on improving your home. Organize your space, take care of what needs maintenance or repair, and purge yourself of what you don’t really need. Let this be a creative task. I know Marie Kondo and other schools of decluttering are all the rage right now. My impression is that Ms. Kondo is onto something when she says to keep what gives your heart joy and pass on the rest. Doing this is an experiment on two levels, the first of which is your own sensitivity. The second is using that sensitivity to move toward a goal, objective or purpose that you want. You are going to be doing a lot of questioning along these lines, and you can develop and refine your methods on seemingly small matters and then move on to the more encompassing ones. Your movement through the universe is propelled by the decisions you make, and in that regard they are all the same thing. The important thing is less the topic of the decisions and more your basis for making it. Start with one drawer or one closet.

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