Sense from Senselessness — Venus, Mercury, Pholus and Ixion

Civilized man tends to be in a state of chronic worry and fear and anxiety, because he is always confronted not with the simple actuality of what is happening before him but with the innumerable possibilities of what ‘might’ happen. And since, because of this, his emotional existence tends to be in a state of anxiety and tension, he increasingly loses the ability to relate to the concrete world as it manifests to him in the actual present in which he lives.
— Alan Watts (from Zen and the Beat Way)

Astrology by Len Wallick

Mercury will encounter retrograde Venus passing through Gemini in the opposite direction tomorrow. The opposing directions of apparent motion will make make this particular conjunction of Mercury and Venus brief but meaningful. As if to make sure we understand just how meaningful, Mercury and Venus will meet while opposed, to the degree, by another conjunction that has persisted to the degree for literally months on end, the Sagittarius merger of Pholus and Ixion.

As complex as it may seem, the combination of contrast, precision and paradox held by the unlikely and ephemeral double aspect of Mars and Venus opposing Pholus and Ixion will pertain to your life as a simple but urgent wake-up call to mindfulness.

Somehow, attending to where you are, what you are doing, and events in your vicinity has become quaint at best, a vice at worst. Yet nothing is more vital to survival than paying attention. What could we be thinking to elect unconsciousness? When it comes to thinking, or lack of it, astrology tells us to look at Mercury.

Mercury is the difference in tomorrow’s double aspect, creating an entirely different dynamic from what existed on April 29, when Venus in direct motion previously opposed Pholus and Ixion, quietly feeling out its options and choices — some of them, perhaps, unthinkable. Now that Mercury will be timing its brief conjunction with Venus to coincide with Venus’ second of three oppositions to Pholus and Ixion, the sky is asking you to be mindful of your great power to achieve what you conceive.

The lack of mindfulness goes beyond the unaccountable habit of texting while either driving, walking in traffic, or (for Pete’s sake) using the toilet. There is a deeper and more pervasive trend that has been developing over a long period of time. It started with a drift away from the natural check and balance on behavior provided by community and cooperation, tending towards isolation within hierarchy. 

In recent decades, the powers that be invested in and relied on automation to the point where the only thing being truly managed is masticated numbers that mean nothing. Isolated within automated hierarchies, a growing number of people have replaced the dearth of community and cooperation with digital interface to indifferent data streams where the wind does not blow and the flowers are not fragrant, feeding a mindless state of anxiety and tension. That trend is diminishing the one human quality which, more than any other, has allowed us to survive: looking out for each other as we would look out for ourselves. Without compassion to guide your mind, you or anybody else become capable of unconscionable things.

The double edged phrase that most frequently resonates with the Neptune-crossing object named Ixion is that anybody is indeed capable of anything. You have the great power of being able to achieve anything you can conceive. For most of human history that power, and responsibility, were held and exercised in community through cooperation. Only recently has that gift been surrendered by many to a few who are devoted only to profit.

When the sheer pain of chronic fear and anxiety finally does awaken an isolated individual from digital doping, the profit-oriented hierarchy readily provides the capability, such as a gun, of terrible things that no mindful person would do. Mercury and Venus opposing Ixion is asking you to think of and feel for others as well as yourself, not to be one of those who pick up a gun and lose their soul. Fortunately, very small actions on your part can have a big effect. That’s where Pholus comes in.

If Mercury is the difference in tomorrow’s doubled conjunction-opposition, Pholus is the saving grace. The expression that often best describes how Pholus works in astrology is that a small cause frequently has a big effect. Although that term is usually applicable as a caution, it can also have a fortunate application, such as when it comes to mindfulness.

Mindfulness is not difficult. It means paying attention to where you are and what you are doing. It entails taking your surroundings in instead of shutting them out. Sure, you can text while climbing a flight of stairs, but do you know how many stairs you just climbed? That’s an example of a small thing that can have a big effect in a positive way. If you start paying attention to the number of stairs, you might become conscious of the number of trees, then all of a sudden birds will start singing out of nowhere and you’ll feel your heart beating and actually taste your food and maybe even notice the fragile, precious beauty of other people. There is no limit to how far you can go with mindfulness, but it does place a limit on what you are capable of — the kind of limit that makes the world safer when we are self-compelled to simply love.

Offered In Service     

Len is available for astrology readings. You can contact him at lenwallick [at] gmail [dot] com.

21 thoughts on “Sense from Senselessness — Venus, Mercury, Pholus and Ixion”

  1. That’s fantastic, Mystes! I’m so pleased for you! Enjoy your lovely new home. And, as I already mentioned here, Arnica (200 ck, I think), is a great tonic for moves.

  2. Carrie: Touche! I have just given my daughter the same advice – she is shifting jobs/home also and she just received the green light on everything. Yes, money is tight for her and I really emphasized that for the next month just spend on basic necessities and be happy and love each other (she is starting a new life with a new man who has completely accepted her daughter as his own – baby’s first word was “Daddy”). And talk about expansion and liberation, this is the first time since the baby was born that she will have her very own room (16 months).
    I drive an old car. It has had an oil leak for over a year, the transmission is going, the dashboard has a life of it’s own (I have learned to sense the speed by which I am driving by timing distance between hydro poles), the brakes need work, etc. I could create a nightmare of scenarios if I let myself worry if this thing dies on me, but I don’t. When people ask “How’s the car running?” I say “Great!! I put the key in her, turn it and she turns on. She gets me where I need to go and back again. I’m very happy with her.” Which I am 🙂

  3. Hey Len,

    Lovely piece. Feels like we could use a little Pholus/Ixion in these parts – some situations in my world have succumbed to Sleeping Ugly mode. Others are slowly, *s*l*o*w*l*y* wending toward transition. A burst of anything-goes might come in handy. Tritrating it correctly would be the issue – maybe Pholus will sing out.

    As for Venus, right now I am baking 3 mango upside-down cakes for various sweethearts who have made my life somewhat-less-hellish over the last 3 months. Including one for my bank (Merc, eh), which just approved a very (veryveryvery) unlikely loan for a painting I want. Venus conj Merc = $ for art. Awesome.

    Next Thurs/Friday I am moving for the 3rd and final time this Spring, bringing to a close the Uranus-slamming-into-my-4th-house phase that began the last week of February. The place is almost exactly what I wanted (short of gas cooking, but my electricity is greener than gas anyway): two story with a loft (kid’s bedroom) upstairs, master bed down, 20 ft ceilings and fireplace. And huge. And central. And affordable.

    And listen… well, I am going to publish a question elsewhere on this blog, it having to do with the past and future Venus transits.

    p.s. I published a poem on FB the day of the Eclipse – May 20. I found it curiously reminiscent of SuzyC’s poem shared here last week. Mine was written in 1986, and has some ‘accelerants’ built in, if you pick up the scent (and yes, you’ll have to rely on your nose, since all binocular vision is owned by Kali). nota bene: Bob Hays was my first writing mentor.

    ~for Bob Hays, written May 20, 1986~

    There is a sudden clemency
    to this struggle
    –the “search for balance”—
    conducted over the shifting borders
    of a life-

    The black-skinned one, white hair shocking
    our eyes, says, “You can’t see a thing,”
    and our belief obeys her,
    blinding us.

    So it starts at the knees, noticing the two of them,
    and then our hands. Sometime later
    the whole face is broken
    into unequal halves; the heart,
    sidling over to the right,
    slams us into this leaning tower;
    and so we started to walk in order to keep from
    falling down.
    It could have been so easy then,
    but noticing became a visual skill,
    confined to increasing the outside,
    and balancing became the act
    of seeing with more and more avidity,
    as the body fell backward into an abyss
    the eyes assured us was ‘time.’

    The black one says: “You can’t see a thing.”
    and the eyes, adept now at adjusting
    to the darkness
    began to argue Socratically on the relative
    merits of blindness, the art
    of darkness, the black bardos
    of the word-in-edgewise, and
    of course,
    The Great Silence.
    (never once realizing that Silence
    is something you do, shaping
    the great Urn with loving hands)…

    The black one stopped speaking. She closed her
    Eye in us. She sank like a thorn into her
    own heart, and scratched obscene messages
    on its tender walls.
    The pain was excruciating, but it got our
    something was looking for us, we were
    its quarry.
    Something was stalking us, we measured
    our steps against its approach, we held
    our breath – which began to feel like moist clay.

    “You can’t see a thing,” she sang, and the flesh
    began to struggle, rising and circling the
    tree of blood. We called this vertigo,
    though it’s really only laughter, her
    soft laughter rising like bubbles in a spring.
    We stopped calling it anything when it touched
    what we couldn’t see, washing over the stone
    of our sex, that is, where we begin: touchstone,
    lodestone, polar star, swinging in and out of us:
    “Arriving wave of the Other is the door to the self;
    but that Other only opens
    with the vanishing of the self…”
    was the last thing we heard.

    mark the spot
    where the sun broke through . . .

    © Mysti Easterwood, 1986

  4. Thanks Len for keeping things on the right focus. I am excited about our consult this next week and look forward to it.

    MandyM: My husband has been saying “don’t focus on the mnoey because people who do suffer.” I see that all around me. My dad focused (and still focuses) on the money and he is suffering every day with pain and bad health. My Grandmother focused on the money and she lives alone and has no one she trusts to take care of her should she become unable to do so (we live too far away). My brother focused on the money and suffered terrible pain and died early from toxic levels of pain meds. My younger brother focuses on the money and his kids have lots of emotional and legal problems. My mom focuses on the money and she is never happy and has health issues. The message is clear; focus on loving one another and on helping each other just as Len said.

    Right now Dave and I are facing another financially hard time because he is between teaching contracts and unless he gets a teaching job, it will be extremely tight for all of us. We have been focusing on each other and our children and helping others so we have good health and excellent family relations with each other and our kids and our friends. Those are things money can’t buy. Sometimes it is hard trusting the universe to provide for us but I have become better at it. The last Venus eclipse of the sun in 2004 and the subsequent very hard times taught me to trust it.

    I look to next week’s many eclipse events and realize that the folks Dave interviewed with said they will decide next week. How interesting.

    No matter what they decide, life will be amazing for all of us. “Just keep swimming…just keep swimming…” ~Dori the fish on Finding Nemo.

  5. “Without compassion to guide your mind, you or anybody else become capable of unconscionable things.”
    I promised this story a while ago, I think it exemplifies the energies that many of us are not conscious of – karma, cause and effect etc. It’s also an example of how not to disrespect your spirit guides.

    The Coyote and the Deer

    I have spoken before of my Gemini friend (who I will now refer to as Gem). Gemini: Mercury/Trickster/Coyote. We have had many discussions where she has tried to convince me that, in her words, “Money is the most important thing in life”.
    We have a farmer neighbour who used to keep his cattle here. They made a mess of the property, breaking the fences and such, he wouldn’t fix the damage etc., they didn’t pay their rent so Gem ended the deal.
    Gem sold many acres to “Bill” last year. Signs were put up “No Hunting”. The farmer has worked for the township all his life.
    Around the time of the last Mercury retrograde, I asked Gem to claim $200 rent that I had paid her on her income tax (this would have resulted in her paying $26 in tax, which I offered to pay. She refused saying it might put her into a higher tax bracket. By the end of the conversation she told me that she regretted helping me.
    A week or so later I took the dogs outside. I was sitting facing south when a movement to my left caught my eye. About 200 feet away was a coyote and his path was coming my way. I was concerned the dogs would attack him so I got up and put them in the house. As I moved he changed direction and headed south through “Bill’s” field (there was still snow on the ground). He kept looking over his shoulder, I assumed he was checking to see what I was doing. Then I realized that he wasn’t concerned with me, he was running from something. Just with that, a pick up truck came down the road. He stopped and I realized he was what the coyote was running from. I walked out onto the road hoping he could see me in his rear view mirror, because I was sure he was going to shoot from the road (illegal here). He spun his tires and took off. I thought “Great, you know you’re being watched and will leave the coyote alone”. Nope, he entered the field and chased the coyote down and shot him from his truck (both illegal, as is having a loaded weapon in your vehicle).
    I grabbed my camera, jumped into the car and went down and parked on the road where he would come out. I took pics of him right behind the no hunting sign (it showed also that he was not wearing the neon orange clothing – another law broken). As he approached the entrance I snapped his truck and license plate. It was then that I realized it was the cow farmer.
    What he said to me is too disgusting to put here, just know that it wasn’t pretty. As we both started home, he parked at the end of my drive (blocking it somewhat). I just drove over the grass and he left.
    When I told Gem about it (she grew up farming cows too), at one point in the conversation she said “I don’t care about the coyote, I just don’t like the way he spoke to you.”
    A few days later, there was a snow storm with really high winds. The farmer’s barn was demolished. 55 cows and 6 horses, not a scratch on any of them, but half the barn was gone. (I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!!). A few days later I heard he was fired from his job (I don’t know why, but during our encounter another neighbour saw the whole thing).
    Gem then got her income tax return done – a $2000 refund. I was actually in the middle of telling her about my brother’s friend dying (the one that protected me), when she cut me off to tell me this.
    Coyote hunt deer. With all the hunters killing the coyotes the deer population is unbalanced. Lo and behold, Gem is driving home one night and collides with a deer. She is absolutely astounded with the fact that she was in the middle of about 10 other vehicles and none of them were affected by her swerving or the deer flying. Damage to the car – $2000. Creator giveth, Creator taketh away.
    The she walks in one night and says “I found something in the garbage you might like.” I open the bag and inside are TWO IDENTICAL dreamcatchers. And what is on them? Of course, a wolf and a deer.
    Yes, mindfulness is a good thing right now.

  6. Pholus and Ixion are conjunct my natal Venus (and Mars to a lesser degree). Venus and Mercury are in opposition by transit. The moon is in Scorpio, my natal placement; the lunar full moon eclipse on the 4th will conjunct my natal Mars; Mars is to the degree conjunct my natal Pluto & Uranus, and in opposition to Chiron, which is conjunct natal Saturn to the degree

    There is moulding process under way here, and I am determined to have a say.
    Len: thank you for illuminating the path of mindfulness!

  7. Argh. I feel compelled to add…

    The in-depth and several explanations of both my “hard” aspects and “easy” aspects – and a whole view of the entire damn natal chart … Seeing it and feeling it multi-dimensionally… Has been an extreme revelation. A wee bit scary at first. And then… Ahhhhhhhh.

    I’m kind of happy it happened slowly over the last two years. Not sure I could have managed insta-revelation. But the slow learning of my natal chart in um… freaky yet digestible pieces… has helped me immeasurably.

    PW introduced me to myself. (OK. If you look at it as a coming-out ball, PW was that initial location. I should probably hit the bath now. SO doing the nervous babbling for no reason.)

    I am imagining that when this bit of ordeal is over I will be able to devote myself to expressing this more coherently!!!!

  8. “It started with a drift away from the natural check and balance on behavior provided by community and cooperation, tending towards isolation within hierarchy.” And this: “That trend is diminishing the one human quality which, more than any other, has allowed us to survive: looking out for each other as we would look out for ourselves. Without compassion to guide your mind, you or anybody else become capable of unconscionable things.”

    All of that, and the consult with you (man, that seems like years ago… but it steadied the bedrock… you know…??)

    Tomorrow I face “the nemesis” in the Supreme Court. My “thing” has taken a life of its own. I have the support of my communitty — by which I mean probably most of my city. Where I was losing it and freaking out two months ago, even a month ago, a quiet has settled over me. The issue has become part of an agenda in many areas. It’s in the territorial legislative assembly this week. I’ve heard a rumour that it may hit national press. I’m not even speaking to the press anymore. My activation has activated other. I’m not only experiencing this on *this*issue… I am also experiencing this in my work life. (Hee. And in other areas.)

    I was truly discombobulated at first. But “power” — the true sort of power… Has been working its way through me… And I have the great good fortune of having extraordinary people (you included) emphasize my capabilities. (I have yet to write that ode to the consult I had with you at the crazy height of the issue!…. I will get to that. It was instrumental in grasping the big picture.)

    Blah. I just wrote a very succinct statement for the court and now I’m babbling.

    I just want to say that everything written here on PW, the consult with Len, the gifts coming from the most unexpected placed, the support on another site… All has contributed, I think, to what will be some rather unexpected and long-term changes to very important issues in my territory.

    I had no clue. A very small thing has become a very big thing. A little person has become many people.

    Wish me luck for tomorrow.

    Gratitude. (Oh I should note that mixed in all of this is the twin/sexuality etc stuff. I’ve just not found the words for all of this and I desperately need to take a steaming bath and get a bit of sleep.) Much love. xm

  9. The effect of the full moon had to be felt clarifies more accurately the location of asteroids has points strategic .the symbolic of ixion I well felt it tonight. I have seen the light of nature mercury, Venus and it is after ixion came into scene. “For Pholus I’m not really a enter it, so I found the PDF that I had read it a ‘ benefactor of humanity” I’d like it better. Initially I was refractory then I have on me and I made the effort to understand this a what I had been invited but it was after I did not like the turn of the event and I lost interest I had at the beginning. Ixion was certainly something. It is said in my book on ixion: one of the great criminal of Hades, having insulted Hera his punishment was to be bolted to a wheel which continues to turn. It was question of crime in what he shared my summer.

    Micro-astrology is an inexhaustible source of human revelation

    Thank you Len

  10. Thank you P. Sophia, for sharing your dream with us. Your white shiny shoes reminded me of Paul Simon’s song. . . she had “diamonds in the sole’s (soul’s) of her shoes”. Your dream shoes with “wedge heels” makes me think you are in a time of “high healing”.

  11. Have been a bit overtired in the last few days, so went back to bed today and took a long nap. When I got up to finally start my day, I felt a bit discombobulated, not knowing where to start, so I spent a few minutes grounding myself in silence and prayer asking for help to remember my priorities of health and recovery. Then I did some writing. Now, it is time to be productive. Thank you Len, for this beautiful blog.

  12. I respect some PW here may not be spiritual, but if not, maybe from the aspect of all is connected/one, may I take the liberty to add,  I find it interesting the timing of this conjunction is on the heels of this last Sunday’s Feast of Pentecost.  
    One of my biggest adversaries, thorns in my side is sadly my son’s father.   (And even though I chose to never marry him, I still of course have had to deal with him and unfortunately his very, negative thinking, patterns crys for battle where in the end the only way through is  in forgiving of his hellish behavior, ways)  He was on yet, another one of his fear/blame/threat/attack rampages which started Saturday night.  At one point he responded to me in a text saying “Speak English!” as clearly he wanted a fight, and I would no go there.  It came to me Sunday, (Pentecost) his meaning although put out  as insult, was actually a true gift from the spirit, precisely as I understood as this, on this particular day.
    I had a dream among several last night, and this morning  the piece that remains so vividly is this vision:  I had a pair of very, shinny, white tennis shoe/ wedge heals.  They were being sprayed off with water by a fireman, with like, fire hose,  I would have thought, as if to clean.  Yet interestingly, they were already gleaming white. Woke up feeling good and when recalled on morning walk, just made me feel incredibly blessed in this moment/day.

  13. Thank you Len for your Sense from Senselessness piece, perfectly interpreting this double aspect which clearly reminds “… a simple, but urgent wake-up call to mindfulness”.

    Yes! The present is a gift. Ego is the opposite. ‘Mindfulness’ – Mind accepting the Holy Spirit’s invitation to what is real.

  14. Len I don’t know how you do it but you always pretty much most of the time lift up my heart.
    Sometimes its real low too!
    Your mixture of grounded observations and planetary wisdom is such a refreshing cocktail!
    Thank you, I think Ill have a good day now or at the very least a mindful one.

  15. Once again Len, you have given us a masterpiece through your observation of the symbols as they interact with one another in the constantly changing panoply above. Once again, it is a call for balance; this time with the emphasis on consciousness via the mind and the heart. Today, the Moon trines them both from Libra, the thinking air sign about love. I believe that she well represents your offering today.

  16. Absolutely awesome Len, thank you. And in the spirit of Pholus, one small thing:
    They are NOT the powers that be, they are the powers that WERE.
    YOU are the power that IS.
    WE are the powers that ARE.

Leave a Comment