By Len Wallick
Appropriately, the Moon spends Thanksgiving Day in the sign of Cancer, encouraging the fortunate among us to enjoy the blessings of home, hearth, family and dining table. But if we remember this year’s American holiday for anything, it will probably not have to do with any lunar aspect. For the auspicious details, we should look at some relationships between the planets.
Mercury squares Jupiter today to bring what we know of the world to the dinner table, possibly cooking a goose or two in the process. Hopefully just warming a few buns. Geometrically, a square is 90 degrees of separation between one point and another on the circumference of the zodiac circle. In terms of the ancient elements of western natural science, a square is a relationship between either fire and water or air and earth. In terms of the qualities, squares are most often associated with the cardinal signs. Psychologically, the aspect is expressed as synchronizing with tension internally felt, requiring individual action to resolve.
In order to put this particular aspect into perspective, we need to go back about a month.
Ever since Mars took up with Eros and skipped into Sagittarius late last month, things have shifted. By leaving Scorpio, one of the signs it rules, the red planet subjected its expression to Jupiter which traditionally rules two signs — Sagittarius and Pisces. Mercury followed Mars into Sagittarius, the final fire sign, also disposing itself to Big Jove. Thus as a combination of position, direction and influence, Jupiter assumed hegemony in the sky. Venus returned to Libra on the same day Mercury departed Scorpio through the other door and served to keep the scales from tipping overly much. On the whole however, the shift we felt was from the personal to the trans-personal as expressed through conscious experience. Somewhere along the line, November has born witness to a little more of ‘we’ and a little less of ‘me’.
Underneath that trend there was a complementary current that invoked an ‘us’ carrying with it the polarity of ‘them’. It has to do with a series of aspects and the prototypical example of same. Remember the gauntlet of successive Gemini-Sagittarius oppositions that Luna had to run earlier in the week? That line-up has been there for a while. Mercury and Mars have also been part of it and subject to it as well, emerging into the latter third of Sagittarius as if into a new chapter. Lagging further and further behind the red planet it is Eros’ turn, but the quality of the experience has changed. Not because the opposing asteroids have changed, but because of what identity Eros itself is bringing to the table. Now it’s not so much a gauntlet as a hall of mirrors.
Yesterday, Eros conjoined its alter ego, its own self if you will, the asteroid Cupido. Tomorrow it will oppose the the asteroid named after the love of Eros/Cupid’s immortal life, Psyche. The first question she might have for him is what he was thinking about when running off with Mars like that? For the rest of us, it is a different question. If it were any other body forming a conjunction with Cupido followed by an opposition with Psyche, would the import be the same? The answer is no. When we come to the table at Thanksgiving, the person seated next to us is not some shirttail relative or imperious in-law. It is a reflection of our selves. Likewise, the person seated opposite is not just someone to pass the potatoes to, it is a living, breathing other, finding in our eyes a reflection of their own soul. The only variable is who occupies the seat that we find ourselves in. The most important thing we bring to the table today is our own person and our repast will consist as much of what is within as what is without.
Actually, there is another variable that can matter. It can make a difference where we are sitting. Being at the head of the table can often confer some power and/or obligations. Sitting near the door can facilitate a quick escape if things get dicey. The seat closest to the kitchen is often the last to accept a tired backside. Over this weekend there will be a switch of seating positions in early Capricorn when the North lunar node moves to the outside and Pluto slides towards the inside. While this passing may have no heavy astrological baggage or traditional interpretation, it is worth noting as a milestone of sorts. With the exception of a centaur on the cusp, this is the last conjunction the augury of dharma will make before an auspicious return to Sagittarius after nearly two decades. It is also an indication that Pluto is now fully of and about Capricorn for the long haul.
So. How does this all connect back to Mercury and Jupiter? Well, Mercury can be said to be in Jove’s house for the holiday. The square relationship of the two planets is an indication that each has something going on inside themselves, even though they are physically slightly distant with Mercury in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Pisces. Both planets have a personal history that precedes the immediate inner tension. That personal history consists of some meaningful and formative conjunctions and oppositions. For Mercury, these personal historical events are fresh from recent days. For Jupiter, they go further back and are no longer in development. In both cases the personal history is not what they have in common but it sure can get confused with what they share now. A day, a house, a relationship; that’s what they have in common here and now and that’s where the focus should be.
When celebrating your Thanksgiving, whether host or guest, be where you are and with whomever you are with. That’s what the astrology of the day seems to tell us. Appreciate this space where you find your physical body in the now. Be present to those who share this space and time. Because you know what? In a few days, cousin Mars is coming over to watch football and you just might find yourself wishing you had another chance at today. Live to have no regrets and let the rest take care of itself.
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