Odds, Ends and Maybe Getting Fired

By Len Wallick | Additional material on the centaurs by Eric Francis

The objective of our Daily Astrology this week is to avoid the disorientation that can conceivably take place when the Sun changes signs, followed the next day by a Full Moon, during the early days of a Mercury retrograde all in the midst of an unprecedented cardinal point T-square which becomes a grand cardinal cross upon occasion. It is in this spirit that your nomad astrologer wishes to begin today’s post by passing on a bit of wisdom.

One of the greatest pieces of wisdom yours truly has ever received was when Eric Francis wrote that fraud exists, in part, because people want to be lied to.

My reflexive reaction was to resist that statement. Thinking prevailed. The truth was always there, covered by a veil of my own making. Yes it is true. Most of us have made up our mind what we want to believe. That’s what we want to hear. We reward people who tell us what we want to hear. We punish people who tell us the truth.

No wonder P.T. Barnum was able to become rich even though he had the decency to reveal his underlying assumption. He knew it would not matter. Everybody believes the sucker is somebody else. No wonder the greatest spiritual figures of history were outcasts, repaid with horrific deaths. They told the truth. That is just asking to be stomped.  Thank you, Eric. You helped a few things fall into place on that day.

What does this have to do with astrology? Well, this after all is a time when Mercury is in retrograde. If you will recall last Thursday’s blog, that’s an illusion. You will also recall that Mercury assumed the role of trickster in Greco-Roman mythology. You may already know that the trickster personified is a pan-cultural concept, part of every pre-industrial human culture. Finally, you may remember that your faithful correspondent averred that for us modern folks, the trickster is located within. The part that wants to be lied to. We simply assign the role to someone outside of us because they are kind enough to oblige.

So today, just like every August for the past seven years, this e-mail gets forwarded to me. It always comes from someone who is more intelligent than the recipient — usually a good friend with the best of intentions — to share exciting news: that Mars will soon be as large and as bright as the Full Moon in the late August sky. After seven years in a row, this forwarded hoax is provoking no small amount of despair and anger. It is just another lie that we, for some reason, want to hear.

So it is that one week ago this date, your devoted servant observed that one of our tasks during this particular Mercury retrograde is simply to think. To clear our mind of that which we can know in the body: the T-square, a Full Moon, which direction is what, so that we can be aware and focus and allow reason to prevail during the time of the trickster and beyond. If we cannot think clearly enough to co-create a future derived from truth then someone else will do it for us, based on the lies we want to hear. Assuming your curmudgeon correspondent is allowed to continue writing in this space, we will continue this line of discussion next week with an offer to you — to participate in an act of sedition. But now, on to tie up two more loose ends.

This last Tuesday our kind blog commenter, Kyla, asked me “to elaborate on Elatus/Chiron.” One will now attempt to do so while telling you no lies.

Elatus and Chiron are among the minor planets known as centaurs. They are a group of small bodies orbiting our Sun, most of them about the size of asteroids, though some are made of rock and others are made of ice. The difference is that they have odd orbits — they always cross the orbits of other planets. Chiron crosses the orbit of Saturn, for example. Looking back in the history of astronomy, the first orbit-crossing planet discovered was Pluto, discovered in 1930 — though not a centaur, it dips inside Neptune’s orbit for a few decades each time it makes its 250-year trip around the Sun. The second was Chiron, discovered in 1977. Chiron and Pluto have many similarities.

Chiron was the first of what became known as the centaur planets. Most of them are named after the centaurs of ancient western mythology (Pholus and Nessus are two you may be familiar with). Centaurs were sentient creatures that physically resembled the result of some sort of gene splicing experiment — upper body human, lower body, steed. In the words of the Finnish astrologer Kirsti Melto, most but not all of them were ‘troublemakers’ from the human point of view. They could not hold their alcohol. They were formidable adversaries. Most took what they wanted without bothering to say please. They were famous for rape and mayhem. Eric’s astrology teacher David Arner once called them the Hell’s Angels of mythology — and that might be true for all but a few of them. Chiron and Pholus were wise and old; Chiron was the surgeon who taught medicine to Asklepius, the god of medicine. Pholus kept the ancient temple given to him by Dionysus.

In astrology, their interpretation is still in development but it seems to be along the lines of what psychology calls shadow material. They are always present for experiences of transformation. Eric’s keywords for Chiron start with raising awareness, which is a key element for conscious change.

So you can see how the myth and the astronomy and the astrology have some common themes for centaurs: profound, beautiful, unpredictable, dangerous mongrels who steer a reckless course between blessed upside and cursed downside.

Most folks who read this space know about Chiron. The phrase ‘wounded healer’, commonly used to describe Chiron, deceives more than it informs. Most of the wounded healers we know (for example, false prophets, paranoid ministers, psychiatrists who molest their patients, and so on) bear no resemblance to the ethical, wise, devoted character of Chiron. In addition to being a healer he was a teacher, a counselor, a warrior. Mentorship is one of the best concepts Chiron offers; he raised a generation of Greek heroes — among them Heracles and Jason. He could see the big picture. He would test you as no other being could. As an immortal centaur (the only, in fact) he served as bridge between gods and mortals just as he intermediated human and beast. He was whole.

Elatus we don’t know so much about, though there is one episode that stands out. It helps to understand the story of Heracles going to war with the centaurs, because that is where he appears; that story would take a long article to tell. The scene of mayhem was the cave of Pholus. Elatus had an idea — maybe if we lead Heracles back toward the cave of Chiron, he will calm down in the presence of his teacher. That didn’t work — the battle went toward Chiron’s cave, and in the process Chiron was hit with one of the arrows shot by Heracles.

By some accounts, Elatus was accidentally shot by Heracles by an arrow which passed through him; Chiron was hit by the same arrow. Since Chiron was immortal, the arrow could not kill him. Since the poison was of supernatural origin, the wound could not be healed. The main thing is these two centaurs were linked, bound forever by a single arrow. The path of that arrow is like an axis tracing the opposition of mortal and immortal.

Astronomically and astrologically, Chiron and Elatus are also bound. Their orbital characteristics and periodicity resonate closely in several ways. Discovered almost exactly 22 years apart, their discovery chart Suns are essentially conjunct. There are other chart similarities that one could spend an entire blog on, especially having to do with Uranus. It is their current astrological relationship that matters.

Chiron and Elatus have been holding a pattern of opposition since 2003, oscillating back and forth sort of like Pluto, Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter going back and forth over their respective cardinal points over the last two years or so. There is a powerful parallel for your intuition to toy with there. That tableau of opposition will continue for the two centaurs until 2015.

You don’t have to be Jung to make an intuitive correlation between the flight of an arrow and the axis of an opposition, an axis that currently bridges the early degrees of Virgo and Pisces. There is a powerful implication for you to play with there as well. Especially when you superimpose the Sun and Moon’s opposition over that axis.

Finally, there is the timing and its connection to Uranus. The oscillating opposition between Chiron and Elatus began in 2003, the year Uranus moved from its ostensible sponsoring sign into Pisces. The behavior of water started to become a bit like the behavior of a typical centaur around that time. The opposition will finally drift apart in 2015, about the time the last remnants of the cardinal T-square (Uranus and Pluto) relax and and head for the showers.

So, Kyla, without telling you what to think (no lies, remember) does that answer your question? As to any etymological connection between the name Elatus and the word elation, I’ll leave that to our birthday scholar, Anatoly Ryzhenko.

Finally there are some very interesting number sequences on today’s ephemeris but I honestly, truly, really don’t want to get fired so just call Swami Lenn at fie-fie-fie, fo’,fo’fo’, fie-fo’, fie-fo’ and have your Visa card ready.

Offered In Service

47 thoughts on “Odds, Ends and Maybe Getting Fired”

  1. Eric,
    Thank you, Eric. Beautiful and moving. Being responsible for what i know is something that i’m still growing into at my advanced age. Your inspirational rationale guides me and encourages me to know it is not only worthwhile but crucial.

  2. To affirm consciousness is not to make a generalization about people as a whole; it is an approach to reality. Or, you could say it’s to disallow the most common cop out, which is to pretend to be unaware in the face of obvious influences, evidence and information. But affirming or denying consciousness extends to how we feel about dogs, trees, sticks, rocks, birds, kids and dancing bears.

    In humans, I use a threshold test for “awareness” — is there something speaking in the environment? Did you read an article, get a phone call, hear a warning, experience a change in your body, or have a thought or a feeling? That is a fair-enough, true-enough awareness threshold. From that point the only turning back is denial, or other compelling information.

    In law, it’s called being put on notice. In process, we can just call it awareness. That information came in, or came to the surface. We are responsible for what we know; that is for many a good excuse to know less. “I don’t want to know” is a fairly common expression. I am suggesting that we popularize “I want to know.”

  3. Good morning.

    I should clarify one thing, about Gestalt or any other therapeutic approach.

    I think it can be spot-on when considering one-to-one therapy, or similar, which presumes that someone is aware that something they’re doing could be improved upon, and that they have a desire to change behavior. Or whatever.

    I don’t think that Gestalt specifically is effective when making a generalization about people as a whole, and that is what started this conversation. Unless, of course, we’re limiting that group of people to only those on planetwaves… which also presumes people with awareness and desire to improve. 🙂


  4. Thank you, Eric. I understand better where your foundation lies in your point of view, although I wouldn’t want to hold it as my own. And don’t. I don’t agree with the gestalt view as you describe it; I don’t believe everyone is conscious/aware, though I do believe they can/could be.

    Even before I looked up Gestalt Therapy in Wikipedia, one of my first thoughts after reading your response was that you want to tend to, or do, hold everyone responsible completely for their behavior and/or actions.

    I don’t think I agree with that either. It’s like lying. A person can be telling an untruth and not be aware of it, which is not ideal, but the crime occurs when someone is aware that they’re telling an untruth and does so intentionally.

    Awareness is key. Many people are not aware of what they do.

    A famous line from the Bible, something like: “forgive them, father, for they know not what they do.”

    I don’t deny consciousness, I do deny that everyone is thus fully so.

    I agree with you very much that we all can think, we all have the capacity, and therein lies the hope. The hope that all people, everyone, will actually have access to and use that faculty we are so mostly blessed to have.

    with adoration,


  5. Hi Patricia,

    You kind of have to be there — it’s the kind of thing you have to witness with your own eyes, and then decide.

    I am not such a big advocate of “the unconscious” — I take the gestalt view that everything and everyone is conscious, and we consciously choose to filter, usually based on what is convenient. It is inconvenient for a family, after having planned for two years for college, and applied, and gotten in, and the big day arrives, and the family drives up from Long Island, and they arrive at the dorm only to find out that it’s contaminated, or potentially so — the choice is not about their unconscious, it’s more often about the parents wanting to leave the kid there and go home. It is based on an agenda.

    In my horoscopes, and all my writing, I take the view that it’s preferable not to deny consciousness. I will never tell you that a rock cannot think; I can only say that I don’t know, and it just may.

    When you say, “Many people do not have the ability to hear something and critically challenge it and make a conscious and objective determination as to whether or not it is actually true,” you deny consciousness. If you listen to people talk about baseball, reciting complex statistics and debating the game, it is clear that people we don’t normally think of as smart have functional mental skills.

    That said, I have met a good few assholes in my time. It’s all the more enraging because I know how intelligent most of them are; I know something about what they know. To think or not to think — that is the question. But we can all do it.


  6. Be:

    Your comment of Aug 27th 10:26pm is superb. It is what I was attempting to formulate all week and here I see you have captured it exquisitely. The dance of opposites this week; of Pisces/Virgo, Sun/Moon, Elatus/Chiron — sobering and challenging energies like two halves of one coin, all mixed together in a pot of stew with a large dash of the oh-so spicy Merc-Retro! The line you wrote: “It means working hard to make ourselves more conscious beings.” Is that ever a call to arms and yes, it is damn tough work. There is no simple waving of a magic wand to make the difficulties around relating to each other blow over. We have to all do our part to be conscious to ourselves and to the greater good and truth and it can feel like sandpaper going over the rough spots most times — big ouch — but that’s what is needed. If we know we are all facing the same discomfort, it can actually ease things. Collective consciousness, collective healing.

    Yes there has been some splitting of hairs re. semantics etc throughout this thread and this notion that we want to be lied to. The word “want” doesn’t exactly work for me either; however the ultimate consciousness around truth that I feel that Eric is raising is that for the majority of us, we tend to live all too easily under shadows cast by the lies we tell ourselves along with the lies we all to readily accept from one another.

    “Oh! what a tangled web we weave
    When first we practice to deceive!”
    Walter Scott.

    Our society overall is sadly woven from lies and deceit and I for one echo Len’s cri de coeur; “….i’m sick of welcoming and rewarding those who tell me the lies i want to hear. I’m going to call a spade a spade and to heck with it.” THAT”S the energy I feel we have to unleash as we lay down our own personal boundaries in order to block out lies and deceit.

    I say let’s not get too bogged down by semantics while at the same time take this effort, at this particular time, to discuss the art of living in truth. This particular discussion seems apropos to this week’s astrology and going by what I experienced this week, where I personally challenged a group of people who seemed all too comfortable, jaded even, in settling for the breakdown and fallout of a fundamental principle of treating each other with respect. A facilitator had not paid attention to her level of irritability one day and I unfortunately ended up at the receiving end of an unprovoked outburst, that a whole week later, she has yet to own up to on a heartfelt level. There have been a few attempts on my part to have the truth of the matter be our way forward, but it was never acknowledged either on her part nor on the part of her team and I was determined to stand my ground and maintain my integrity no matter what.
    — “a spade is a spade and to heck with it”?
    Absolutely and has it ever thrown them for a loop.

    For too long in my life I have compromised my personal energies and heartfelt truths for the insipid comfort of the group, but each time I died to myself over and over. This week, like Len, I said no more and I choose instead to be alive to myself. Yes I am suffering from the fallout from making my challenge and it does suck at times, but overall I am proud of myself for taking my stand; the truth is the truth and it IS setting me free and I would have it no other way.

  7. We may not be wanting to be lied to by other people in the external world, we do lie to ourselves and want to lie to ourselves as a mechanism to deal with harsher realities. Here is my observation. There is a truth to be faced, but I don’t recognize it yet. A very difficult emotion comes up, knowing that there is no one share it with, I go into my mental zone. I blame, I criticize, I feel victimized, feel sorry for myself and then a thought comes up and I mistake that as an inspired thought, I feel momentarily uplifted, righteous and evolved, and then again the same thing comes back again and again till until I tell myself that the problem is not out there but inside you. I knew it all along but did not have the resources like inner Strength, self esteem, faith and self love to face it so I kept lying to mself.
    I know “wanting to be lied to” feels very harsh and strong, but there is a subtle truth to that esoterically speaking!

  8. I must not be expressing myself well if that’s what you got out of what I wrote, Eric. Either that, or you are hearing what you want to hear, because it’s not in agreement with your view, and others are reinforcing your view, because you are Eric.

    Which is, in part, an example of what I am trying to explain.

    I did not say at all people don’t want the truth, as an explicit idea, such as wanting to be lied to. I said that many people have some firmly held belief, somewhere deep down, whether they know it or not, that filters what information they hear, and that will continue to reinforce that belief, and they will naturally lean toward and have this idea reinforced over and over. This is subconscious in nature, and likened to ignorance, as in the buddhist sense: going through life asleep at the wheel.

    Many people do not have the ability to hear something and critically challenge it and make a conscious and objective determination as to whether or not it is actually true.

    So, what happens is, people will take something that isn’t true and hold it as truth, because they don’t know any better. And to challenge this is to rock their little firmly boxed sense of security… and they resist this, also subconsciously.

    That is why you were not able to get anyone to “wake up”‘ to the truth regarding the dioxins. It’s not that they “wanted” to be lied to. It’s that what you were saying was so far from what their idea, and it is just an idea, was of reality that they were unwilling to hear anything different. This is not “wanting to be lied to”, and I’ll reserve any further commentary for some other time.


  9. Be, that is a beautiful statement of what I also got from this.

    Eric, yes I think there is some hair splitting going on.

    Len, man, I am totally with you, not at all meaning or intending to undercut your stance!…..yet there is a part of me that has no choice but to look (for truth, if you don’t mind) in all the places hairs are always being split…..

    and I think what the Dalai Lama was talking about was stuff like, if I know Anne Frank is up there in the attic and a Nazi asks me directly is she up there, it might be the highest truth to lie.

    Not talking about lying to oneself about the nature of events, no.

    thanks all for this……..

  10. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).

    Find a copy of the album “Electric Ladyland”, play the track entitled “…And The Gods Made Love.”.

    Have you been there? Jimi proved he made a visit. As for me, you will just have to take my word for it.

  11. I believe that I now have a better understanding of what Len said Tuesday (8/24) now. “This concurrence of oppositions today is a sobering one.”

    The Sun and Moon have meaningful oppositions every month, but this time they are connected to the ongoing opposition of two centaurs who symbolize bridging the higher consciousness to the established consciousness, and are united by one transforming arrow. This time the opposition takes place across the signs of Pisces and Virgo; the intuitive and the practical, the sign of dissolution and the sign of perfection. This time the Sun and Moon are connected to the giant T-square that dominates this Zeitgeist, by sextile or trine or quincunx. It is part of the big picture as well as a significant opportunity to expand our present boundries of understanding. I believe it’s message is of a time to release delusions and a time to consider the situation in detail. If sobering means looking at reality vs escape then adding the “in your face” practices of centaurs, of getting your attention in order to make you aware, well a breathilizer test just won’t cut it. It means working hard to make ourselves more conscious beings.

    This fascinating discussion seems to be calling attention to a piece of that opportunity to expand and to see something from another’s point of view. So often it is a matter of perspective and how we came to have it. If the Moon in Pisces is all about intuition and feelings and sensitivity, and the Sun in Virgo is all about consciousness and practical solutions it gives us two perspectives of any given topic. For example, honesty vs. dis-honesty. How do we recognize one from the other? From an intuitive sense that we trust or from checking facts that we trust? Are we naive or are we judgmental in drawing our conclusions? Why not both? Very sobering.

  12. Well..hmm..are we splitting hairs when we say, “don’t want the truth” or “want to be lied to”? Functionally they are the same thing. The truth is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And the moment you state that, you will hear people rapidly start making excuses for all the acceptable kinds of lies.

    In terms of the “small” lies, when we stop telling them, at first we piss people off. When we stop living the bigger lies, we can threaten people by being truthful to our own cause. So as it turns out we have to be ready to face into the wind when we cannot live lies any more, and then choose to live our truth.

    This is a broad, complex topic. Deception and self-deception are crucial topics in growth, in therapy and in the practice of astrology. Lies are the primary thing that bind most families, marriages and organizations. By lies, I am talking about lies of commission, lies of omission and denial. It all contributes to one economy, on which a great deal turns.

    Part of why so few people had the guts to stand up to Bush and Cheney is because they, themselves, felt like liars.

  13. “A Few Good Men” with Jack Nicholson as Col Jessep:

    Lieutenant Kaffee: Colonel Jessep! Did you order the “code red?!!”

    Judge Randolph: You don’t have to answer that question!

    Jessep: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?

    Lieutenant Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to them.

    Jessep: You want answers?!

    Lieutenant Kaffee: I want the truth!

    Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!


  14. I still disagree with the premise of “people want to be lied to”.

    Be comes the closest to where I think the problem more accurately lies.

    It’s not so much that people want to be lied to as it is that they don’t want to be faced with the truth, or are just unable to see it, based on their own underlying belief system. Whatever that is. And as such, it’s difficult to shake them out of that imprisoned version of reality, or truth.

    Again, it comes back to having an objective and realistic view of whatever issue we are discussing, whether that be one’s self or anything else.

    My mom might be an apt example. She didn’t want to see that I was really messed up and had an eating disorder, both. It’s not that she wanted to be lied to, and told that I was perfectly ok, it’s that she didn’t want her version of me to be different than it was. So, she was happy to have that reinforced, and that of course would have been a lie, and was, but it’s not at all that she wanted to be lied to. It’s a form of denial; denial of the truth; denial of reality.

    So much different than wanting to be lied to. And it’s not just semantics.

    It may be very Plutonian – a belief set that keeps one imprisoned in deception, in what is not real.

    Len, what lies are they that you want to hear that you are now committed to rejecting? If it’s a lie that you say you want, which is what you have indicated, then it’s something that you are aware of, no?

    It’s imperative to be objective and realistic, and open to other ideas. Even about one’s self. I’m very careful about this. I do not give someone’s opinion of me any weight, whether it is good or bad, unless that person is someone who knows me to some degree, and/or who has spent time with me, and/or has been able to observe me, and therefore might have a valid opinion to offer about me. It’s part of being able to think for one’s self rather than simply (ha!) absorbing whatever it is that someone else is saying that “sounds good”, strokes our egos.

    I hope I have explained my view adequately. I appreciate the topic and discussion. Now I’m off to study “communicating effectively”. 🙂


  15. Kyla,
    Thank you and with all due respect to you, His Holiness and the lesser precepts, please no more of this for our own good stuff.

    Evolution time, folks. Pluto in Capricorn. Uranus coming back to Aries after flooding your basement one more time.

    We “children” need to evolve and make it clear we do not want to be “comforted” by lies while war continues to kill real children out of sight, out of mind.

    And speaking of the Titanic, there’s a lie for you. If 20 of the richest people in the world died in an airplane crash tomorrow, would you really believe that was an accident? Whenever there is a sudden and huge transfer of wealth, it is no accident.

  16. I think that is a question to live inside of for a while. I have been revisiting Buddhist Dharma teachings lately, and noted in one piece I am re-reading (Dalai Lama on the Bodhisattva vow and instruction etc….) that it is considered appropriate to break a lesser precept in favor of a greater, for example, to lie if that will bring about the greatest good.

    However, it is left to one’s individual development of wisdom to know when that is! and to determine what the greatest good is! In moments of great extremity, one will naturally fall back on one’s habitual tendencies and I suspect, unless one is already quite thoroughly trained not to go into denial and, if you will, “falsely comfort the children”, that is exactly what one will do because of the innate wish to avoid suffering if at all possible.

    But too, there are degrees of this. I believe that many people are unfortunately pretty deeply invested in a structure of seemingly comforting lies and do not yet see the value in discarding them. Eric’s tremendously instructive story about the dioxin dorms is truly a classic example and one to take to heart.

  17. Kyla,

    Interesting thoughts! Thanks for (picking up on the idea of) using this “lying to comfort the children” symbolism for discussion.

    (Aren’t we all children in need of comfort at some level? Or at other times the nurturer or adult or authority who is also or actually the one in need of comforting – as you point out? And how does that evoke itself? How and why can we each raise our awareness to this important habit-that-betrays-us so that we can free ourselves to call a spade a spade?! 😉


  18. Len, good for you!

    aword……. I think a lot of it was the mother creating comfort for herself. Mmmm… the lie is to believe in that comfort at all at that time……. and for her to believe she is comforting the kids when really not so…… there is just not a lot of genuine comfort for the mortal self in a moment like that, is there?

  19. be,
    Thank you for your suggestion (and a goood one it is). Very much in the spirit of resolving hard aspects.

    Nevertheless, i’m going to stick to my guns and continue to call a spade a spade.

    Lies and liars ans my own culpability.

  20. What if we call it incredulity instead of not wanting to hear the truth? It takes the consciousness a while to grasp truth and in many cases, the defenses react with incredulity in order to preserve the being’s consciousness from breakdown. Instinctive self preservation if you will. Kind of a Pluto thing it seems to me.

  21. Yes, e.
    Thanks for clarifying.
    The part of the story we are shown in the film is the mother creating comfort for her children.

  22. Patricia moonrose,
    Just as with hypnotic, i firmly believe in the contribution of dissenting voices. Thank you. By speaking up you bring us all to do a little self-exam.

    Neverthess, i have been an active participant in my being fooled too many times. i’m sick of welcoming and rewarding those who tell me the lies i want to hear. i’m going to call a spade a spade and to heck with it.

  23. I feel compelled to pull two words out of Eric’s words as I think it helps to recognize them in this discussion: lies and denial

    we are lied to when we wish to be in denial.


    we allow ourselves to be lied to because a non-truth makes us superficially feel better, or even sabotage what our intuition tells us is true.

    Our need to “feel safe” is not about being “stupid” or “dumb”. Surely it is another “awareness” concept or tool — where in our lives are we using “lies” to feel safe when what we need to do is recognize the not-truth we are relying on for that “safety net” and become truly “safe” because of Truth? (a safety net can equally be a be trap, yes?)

    I have never shaken from my mind a scene from Jim Cameron’s “Titanic” film. A (fictional of course) mother realizes that she will not be able to leave the sinking ship with her two young children. She takes them back to their cabin telling them that “it’s nothing”, tucks them back into bed and begins singing a beautiful lullaby. (cut).

    A lie? of course. In this fictionalized case, one that put young minds at ease for a transition (to the “other side of life aka death by drowning) that otherwise would have been terrifying.

    A different use for “lying” – for better or worse? But I thought this “sample” might help shed perspective symbolically on the idea of how we use lies in our daily lives to feel safe and add to the useful conversation we are having here.

    When we juxtapose lies with personal denial, we can raise our awareness of where we are deceiving ourselves for the purpose of momentarily feeling better rather than address real issues and feelings and work at healing them for the long term.


  24. Oh. I know this edge so well, it is a painful one indeed. I do have to agree that there is a desire to hide from the full blaring truth, and I also have to acknowledge that I have been more than once taken aback to find exactly that pattern in me when I always proclaim myself a truth lover. Which is why I remarked earlier that often (and perhaps sadly) we need to follow the lie to its inevitable dead end before we become truly 100% willing to perceive the truth….. often the lie or lying is indeed an attempted (if misguided) defense against blows and perceived dangers and memories of traumas, and I also have to say I have long felt that the “cards are stacked against us.”

    Nevertheless, I also observe that people (including myself sometimes) want to be lied to.

    And it is not a new observation, that humans want to be lied to. A fairly recent statement is rather famous:

    “Humankind cannot stand very much reality.” — T. S. Eliot

    For myself now, having my Sun, Ascendant, and natal Uranus clustered in a fairly close opposition to good old Pluto, this is an edge I am spending lots of time exploring.

  25. This is my observation. It is the simplest answer to why there is so much lying (by politicians, corporate leaders, advertisements, individuals) and why we do so little about it. I began to notice this, after considerable struggle, when I finally had to put my mind to why both parents and students were so dismissive of the contamination of the SUNY New Paltz dorms — and I mean close to 100% of those people, who could be so profoundly affected and where the remedy is so simple.

    By “lie to me” I include phenomena such as, “Just tell me it’s safe so I feel better.”

    We could look through a wider lens and say that we live in a society based on lies and denial — from our conduct with slavery and the Indians on forward — but let’s focus in on individual situations where, apparently, the truth holds no currency. There has to be a power source; and like a haunting, a substantial part of that power source is the haunted individual. In the past decade we could make a long list of situations that demanded truth and search for why the truth, when it surfaced, had no effect — from the stolen election of 2001 to Sept. 11 to Afghanistan and Iraq to the stolen election of 2004, on forward.

    The desire to be lied to comes in the form of not wanting one’s beliefs challenged, not wanting to face the inner truth associated with an outer lie (people who hate Muslims, gay people and Mexicans have issues they are obviously not addressing).

    Lie to me also includes why polyamory is controversial even though all studies on cheating fall into the 40% to 80% range. The difference is that in polyamory the truth is transacted and in cheating it’s acceptable to lie: “fuck who you want, just don’t tell me.”

    I am not saying this is how the world has to be. I do think we have to call this problem what it is, if we want to see the way forward.

  26. “people want to be lied to”???

    I couldn’t disagree with this statement, used generally, more. It implies a conscious choice and awareness but it is not so simple and I dislike seeing the idea propagated here on PW. Frankly, I’m surprised to see it.

    There is a leaning people have, especially those who are unaware or unconsciously navigating through life, to hear only what they already believe is true, and to listen to only reinforcements of those ideas or thoughts. Sometimes this is false information and could in someone’s eyes be labeled a lie but it’s very subjective and not that simple.

    It’s like someone with a weight problem hearing only that they don’t, and letting that idea be reinforced because that’s what they also believe — because they don’t have a realistic and objective view of themself. This is not the same as wanting to be lied to.

    People’s filters are often faulty. There is an awakening process that I’ve gone through myself that brought me out of the mire of deception and trance-like living… I liken it to unplugging from the matrix, as in the movie. Before that time I would say I was only hearing what was reinforcing what I already believed about myself — which was simply an idea I had developed in my head. I was not objective nor did I see clearly.

    No, people don’t want to be lied to. Maybe some do, like in the Cheryl Crow song, but as a general statement — no way.

    I do check in occasionally still and I miss bantering and commenting but my life has become a whirlwind of forward motion – new home, a housemate after 7-8 years of living solo, new location (about 20 mins from the old but a world apart), new community, going to college (first week!), and opening to dating again. It’s really wonderful but I have not the leisure time I’ve enjoyed the past several years.


  27. hypnotic – thank you for sharing how you found yourself (evidently) confronted by today’s blog. That is very helpful and makes a good contribution to the discussion here. First and foremost, your feelings are valid and valuable. Keep that in mind.

    Interesting how you introduced the word “dumb” to the discussion. A word which was not used in the blog or in any of the comments thusfar. Also very important is your feeling that the subject of centaurs was over your head today.

    You have given us all something to look inside ourselves and think about. Your comments are a great gift for us to treasure and make use of. Thank you so very much for taking this to another level.

  28. Well, a lot of humans are “dumb”, as it is we are all on a very dense level existence.

    Whether we all want to be lied to, is a question. I see it more as people attempting to thwart all the negative messages we are constantly bombarded with. We all know the earth is poisened, but perpetuating that thinking isnt helping either. And neither are all the mixed messages about what is good to eat and what is bad etc, etc. the “tower of babylon” at its height.

    We are all dense, its the nature of our corporeal existence on earth, with all its dualities and debates and while at the same time as trying to reveal our true purpose here on earth, which comes, I believe from Imagination.

    To say that people want to be lied to doesnt really help the situation. It is as cycnical as I tend to be 65% of the time. So I write this now to encourage my 35% to grow.

    As for the astrology part and the centaurs, its way over my head in scholarship, so I’m not commenting on that.

  29. I’ve also read from a couple of Googled spots that Elatus was also called the “Fir Man” because he would pull up fir trees from the ground and use them as weapons. He was associated with the “woodlands”, so the animal (or natural) side seems the predominant side.

    From this I assume he was a pretty big guy and/or pretty darn strong. I take it also that he was a fighter and never far from something to defend himself with. He was one of the “common variety” of centaurs, so nothing attributed to him that would make him a nice guy, rather the rough and tumble, drinking, fighting type and just plain uncouth. Uneducated, unsophisticated and uncivilized, but could probably take care of himself without help.

    (This was the centaur conjunct my Sun as I headed off to learn how to take care of my helpless and dying mother. With the help of Hospice personnel I did too.)

  30. My info on Elatus comes from Robert von Heeren, co-author of Pholus: Wanderer Between Saturn and Neptune. The translator of the myths out of ancient Greek was Dieter Koch, co-author of Pholus a good friend of Chiron pioneer Melanie Reinhart. I spent some time with Robert in Munich in 1998, and my then lover Maria and I read from is book translating the German into English — so I learned a bit about Pholus and other centaurs from a good source. By the way, for those curious about the topic, lots of stuff from this “study session” ends up in Melanie Reinhart’s To The Edge and Beyond: Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs.

    According to von Heeren, the original Elatus candidate was 1994 TA (discovered the year after Nessus). That has since been renamed Pylenor, though this seems unofficial. I cannot even find a Minor Planet Catalog (MPC) number for 1994 TA and the issue may be that it was not spotted enough times to confirm the orbit. Tracy is on vacation this week, so we’ll have to wait till next week for a definitive answer on that.

    So it seems that 1994 TA went from being the unofficial Elatus candidate to the unofficial Pylenor candidate. Here is a bit from Zane Stein’s website. Note that in any Centaur myth (among other kinds of myths) there are going to be several renditions of the story, with details and sometimes big facts/scenarios changed. For example, in the version Zane is giving, Pholus is helping Elatus when he gets hurt. In the story related via Dieter Koch, Pholus is merely curious about how such a small arrow can be so potent and gets hurt that way — leading to the theme of idle curiosity, and the danger of idle curiosity, associated with Pholus. Remember that the most apt key phrase for Pholus is “small cause, big effect” — which is all over that group of myths and also all over astrology itself.

    Stein’s description hints at but does not elaborate on the longer story that assocaites Pholus, Chiron, Elatus and Nessus.

    Note that in any centaur story, death stands in for transformation and the details surrounding the death describe the process of change that is involved. All the centaur myths involve death; all centaurs involve deep processes of change and transformation.

  31. Better late than never category. You will note that Eric is co-creditied on this blog regarding the centaur material. That is information Eric go first hand, actually sitting down and talking with some of the greatest astrologers of our time (among whom Eric is a respected peer). That’s how he gets information you can’t find in books or on Wikiwhatever. That’s why i’m in service to his gig. The only person i have ever gotten a personal centaur tutorial from is the wino down at the bus stop who has met a few centaurs personally.

    Anyway, thanks to Eric for the invaluable contributions today.

  32. Len, LOL! ( hope that one is intelligible….. ) I believe I am congenitally and always attuned to sedition but thanks for the ETA and also for the reference to serennu.com for the numbers…..

  33. carrie – No gig of my own because still a lot to learn. You would be shocked at how inept i really am as far as the technical stuff is concerned. First i gotta learn how to play the horn, after that the other stuff.

  34. be – Thank you for such a rich and instructive reflection on your transits. You never fail to improve my education.

    kyla – Stay tuned for sedition on Monday (unless someone implements the kill switch first). As to the numbers on today’s ephemeris, gotta keep my necktie on but you could go to serennu.com to see what i saw. Thank you for catching me up on the acronym lingo.

    everybody – if you have not checked Kirsti Melto’s “Lunations” lately, she has done some dynamite work on the Moon and minor planets.

  35. Len, Well then, I would LOVE to be able to read “your gig” if you have one that you post to. My name is linked to my blog, if you do blog could you share with us? If not, I will understand because blogging was a leap of risk for me and I know how scary that leap felt.

  36. Len I agree about the path less taken. Apologies for my internet-ese: IMO means “in my opinion.” YMMV means, “your mileage may vary” which is another one I like to use meaning, I am speaking only for myself here and your experience may differ.

    I am very curious also about the “sedition” comment. And about the mystery numbers in the ephemeris which you did not feel it appropriate to comment on???? I did not get the reference even so much as Carrie did, and have a probably terminal case of curiosity-itis.

  37. Len,

    I really want to thank you for pointing out that the opposition between Chiron and Elatus started in 2003. When you first mentioned it I had wondered about the meaning of its long duration, as that was a very pivitol year for me; I took early retirement and left my home to care for my mother in another state in 2003. It wasn’t a snap decision, and it was the basis of a long debate between my married brother (who lived in the same city as Mom) and me. The short of it was that my mom and my sister-in-law had had a giant falling out that appeared irreconcilable so I finally agreed to end my relationship with the company I had worked for for 29 years, uproot my life as I had known it, to go do something I felt almost totally unprepared to do.

    As it was about this time of the year when I had made my decision, I checked the ephemeris for today’s date in 2003 and discovered that Elatus was conjunct my Sun and my brother’s Moon. Chiron was in my 10th house opposed my Sun and my brother’s Moon.

    I had been well aware of the Uranus change of sign in December of 2003, and had an idea of how it related to my situation, but this new knowledge has expanded my understanding of how it came to pass and why. It will take some contemplation of this knowledge, which I welcome and appreciate, to fully digest its meaning, but it looks like I’ve got plenty of time to do that! These 2 planets have moved on and Chiron will at least reach a trine to my Sun by late 2014, so presumeably Elatus will, in opposition to Chiron, reach a sextile to my Sun.

    As I am rarely moved to share details of how astrology maps the events of my life, I write this with the hope that it will give illumination to others who have or are experiencing some connection to this opposition in their own charts. Perhaps we can learn something new (Uranian?) about the meaning of the messages from the cosmos.

    On a totally different note, in your column from Tuesday, I had added some late thoughts about a possible manifestation of this same opposition in which I referred to Chiron and the Moon both being in Pisces. Of course that wasn’t the case, and only the Moon was in Pisces at the time of the Full Moon. So with Chiron being in Aquarius, if you happened to have read that comment, adding the keywords “mankind” and/or “groups” does not detract from the meaning of my thought.

    In gratitude,

  38. Carrie – yes, a joke that seems more lame now than during the late hour when it was written. As to getting fired, well, this place is not my gig so i have to observe the dress code.

    sarah and martha – The sedition part is not a joke. Tune in.

    Kyla – thank you for your responsive affirmation. Perhaps it is time for the path less taken? Also – what is “IMO”, please? Not up on that sort of thing.

  39. Dearest Len,

    Yes. Thank you. I see now why you found the opposition “sobering.”

    The story of Elatus, Heracles, and Chiron is indeed sobering. If Elatus, (here comes my story unfolding to meet yours) could be seen as the “spiritually committed” mortal human (I know Elatus is a centaur and thus a hybrid, but bear with me), attempting to “lead” the misbehaving, warring aspect of humanity (Heracles) toward the cave of the Teacher (the fully integrated, thus immortal Chiron) and becoming a sacrifice in the process…….. Yes, sobering indeed. And the Teacher itself takes a wound.

    That wound is actually, to me, the hopeful part of this story because it provides the opportunity for the very integration (between the aspects of being which are exemplified, perhaps, by Elatus and Heracles) we all so sorely need.

    And this really is, in my view, the central theme of all that is occurring on the planet. Your comments about the Trickster within are apropos to this central drama as well, of course. And I deeply appreciate your not wanting to tell me or anyone what to think. You hold that stance quite gracefully, IMO. x.

    I do want to make a little note about the Trickster, as it seems one of my roles in life is to defend that character. While I agree that the inner trickster is the movement of wanting to be lied to, I find always the double edged aspect going on and there is the integrated version of this also, which is the fact that it is so often the case that only by going down the “lie to me” path that we are able to fully encounter the next truth. And that is the deeper role of the Trickster, to guide us along that perilous path. IMO.

  40. Len,

    Thanks for another excellent piece. I am confused about your last paragraph. Who would “fire” you and what’s with obscurely posting the number to LDSGetaway?

    Or is that a joke that I am (again) not getting? ::::Laughing:::: Sometimes I am slow on the uptake.

  41. Len – this is a delightful recap as I head off the grid for a few short days to a place in Maine where I can actually see most of the stars at night, unlike New Jersey where the ambient light from all the intense density of humans makes it hard to see anything but the Moon and a few of the big guys and gals in the night sky. I so greatly appreciate your gentle repeated reminders to contemplate, to clear our minds, to act – when appropriate – with deliberation and thoughtfulness, to move from outer to inner, to trace the sky in our bodies and feel the resonances at a non-conceptual level. So I’m taking this piece from Tuesday off with me to meditate on, way Down East.

    “Everything we do every day carries weight and contributes to the process. Never has the responsibility been heavier. Never has the opportunity been greater. It is in how we practice our relationships that the final shape of the future will be determined.”

    And I look forward to that act of sedition on my return! Blessings to you, and gratitude, as ever, for your clarity as I learn.

  42. An act of sedition? Ooooooh, I’m intrigued, Len!

    Thank you for your vivid description of the centaurs. Things are becoming clearer to me …

    Also, I was thinking about the term “wounded healer”, and it occurred to me that, really, it is moot. We’re *all* wounded healers, aren’t we? We’re just at different places along the scale. A false label to justify not taking responsibility for ourselves, perhaps?

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