Notes from Virgo: Use Your Intelligence

Dear Friend and Reader:

At the recent United Astrology Conference, astrologer/activist Caroline Casey noted that Pluto has left Sagittarius, but it seems that nobody has informed world leaders of that fact. What I understood her to be saying is that the Pluto in Sagittarius vibe of obsession over ideology, fanatical religious ideas and true-believership is still going strong, even though Pluto started its transition into Capricorn in 2008.

Front door of the Hermitage, Omega Institute. Photo by Eric.

Sagittarius is usually considered a sign associated with religion and beliefs, and under the influence of Pluto these became relentless influences, infiltrating every area of life. The 15-year Pluto in Sagittarius era (spanning 1995-2009) featured the consolidation of religious power in the United States, as well as the American Taliban vs. the Taliban in the ongoing religious crusade known as the ‘War on Terror’. Supposed ministers of Jesus preached the gospel of war to stoke up their conservative congregations.

What most astrologers don’t know is that there are many other slow-moving points still in Sagittarius. They don’t have the reputation of Pluto, because they were discovered more recently and because fewer astrologers use and write about them. One reason for this is that the newer discoveries are classified as ‘minor’ planets and are therefore considered suspect by most astrologers, particularly those who have not investigated them.

Current activity in Sagittarius offers a descriptive, useful picture of the insanity that we’re currently experiencing in politics, which is in effect a continuing takeover of government by religion. I wish this were an exaggeration, though you can see it everywhere you look. Just this week, President Obama revised the Democratic Party’s platform to include the term “God” and state that Jerusalem is the proper capital of Israel, according to the news website Note that the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits what it calls a “religious test” for suitability for office; too bad the news hasn’t got out yet.

And the Democrats are supposedly the less religiously driven party. It was the Republicans who in the early 1980s turned fundamentalist churches into political clubhouses, and implemented abstinence-only indoctrination into public schools.

Someone’s parody of God at his computer, based on Gary Larson. Now that He’s been included in the Democratic national platform, he will smile on the Earth and finally bless America. Then again, it could be the delete key.

This ban on sex education, resulting in propagated ignorance, has evolved into candidates openly campaigning to criminalize abortion, proposing laws designed to humiliate women who seek reproductive health care, and even to take down the Supreme Court’s famous 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision. That ruling prevents states from banning the use of birth control by individuals within their private spaces. Yes, there was a time recently when a state could ban the sale of condoms on some allegedly moral ground. In our system of law, one Supreme Court decision is a foundation for the next, and Griswold establishes the right to privacy — the foundation on which Roe v. Wade is built. If Griswold goes, so does Roe — and they know that.

It’s too easy to lose sight of the fact that these are values driven by religion, not by ethics, reason, science or good public health policy. Americans live in a country where freedom of religion is enshrined in the Bill of Rights, though that means the right to practice your religion without government interference — not the right of government to impose religious values onto the people. Indeed, that freedom from imposition is the very essence of freedom of religion. ‘Get your laws off of my body’ was in the Revolutionary era about ‘get your laws off of my soul’. This seems to be happening a little more every day, even though slow-moving Pluto has moseyed into Capricorn, where it seems to be delivering into government all the mojo that it collected while in Sagittarius.

As I pointed out last week, Pluto was at the center of a nearly century-long conspiracy to get astrology to use at least one minor planet: itself. Pluto was from its discovery in 1930 through its reclassification in 2006 considered a ‘major’ planet. We now know that it’s one of many objects (there are currently more than 1,000 known) in the Kuiper Belt, the region of space just past Neptune earning it a place in the minor planet catalog as (134340) Pluto.

And it turns out that currently, there are a bunch of those planets concentrated in Sagittarius, including (among others) a Pluto-like point called Ixion, as well as Chiron-like points (centaurs) Pholus and Hylonome. These are concentrated around a deep-space point I mention from time to time called the Great Attractor, which is like an enormous energetic catapult that has the main quality of polarizing things.

This combination of forces describes a real spiritual crisis. By that, I mean things like good and evil trading places, killing in the name of love, and politicians going up to the podium drunk with power, imagining they’re standing at the bully pulpit of the universe. Most of what they spout is some form of hatred of women, or of humanity.

Jupiter and its early Earth-like moon Io photographed by New Horizons in 2008. The New Horizons mission is scheduled to reach Pluto in 2015, and will return the first detailed images of that system, which we have never seen in detail. Photo: New Horizons/NASA-JPL.

I bring this up now because the mid-Virgo Sun (along with Mercury) is making aspects to these points in Sagittarius. Virgo and Sagg are both mutable signs, so what happens to one happens to the other, though in a different way.

In our era, the Sun aspects all of these Sagittarius planets every time it passes through the middle of one of the mutable signs (which also include Gemini and Pisces). This weekend the Moon passes through Gemini, forming the last quarter Moon, so we will be getting the energy from two different directions.

Virgo is a sign associated with logic, reason and other forms of mental power. It’s also the sign of the goddess, that is, the feminine attribute of cosmic presence and wisdom. At the moment, this quality is clashing with what seems to be some pretty intense (though potentially subtle) conflict, centered just around the corner in Sagittarius.

Now, if you happen to be born with the Sun, Moon or ascendant in Sagittarius, you’re experiencing this on a personal level, and one possible manifestation is as a spiritual crisis. Spiritual usually translates to existential: a question about existence (often signified by your Sun sign or rising sign), which happens to be going around on a pandemic scale. You may not, however, be experiencing personally some of the darker manifestations I am about to describe as being part of events unfolding in Sagittarius, though you could be picking it up as legacy material (ancestral, karmic or associated with past lives).

On another personal astrology note, this configuration may have additional personal meaning if you’re born between approximately March 1-10, June 1-10, September 1-10 and November 1-10. Just remember, this astrology seems to manifest differently in the private realm than it does in the collective or political realm — though there is a connection between the two. For example, a spiritual weakness in an individual or mass of individuals can be exploited by someone looking to gain political power.

Sun Myung Moon was more than a cult leader. He was involved in the cult of capitalism, and his religious operation was a front for a for-profit business. Photo: Reuters.

Let’s go over the points involved one by one. Ixion presents us with the factor of amorality. It’s the embodiment of the idea that there is no such thing as right and wrong. There is, of course, but Ixion acts as if these things don’t matter. I take this a level deeper; I think that Ixion reminds us that anyone is capable of anything. It’s just that some of us make more wholesome choices than others, or do the work of having personal ethics.

When you put Ixion into the spiritual or religious context of Sagittarius, the combination can be nasty, mainly because religion is supposed to be a study in morals. If the religion’s own moral law is that anything goes, all kinds of cruelty can be perpetuated in the name of God. This has often been true, particularly from what we know of the past 2,000 years — though the astrology we have today is a picture of our situation today.

Ixion is joined by two faster-moving (though still relatively slow, therefore potent) minor planets. One is Hylonome (pronounced hy-la-no-me), which sums up the plight of the victims of that cruelty. This centaur planet is also associated with the grieving process, as well as with situations where there is a total loss of individuality, usually when a woman’s identity is subsumed or offered to that of a man. The combination of Ixion and Hylonome feels like people’s own pain being used as a psychological weapon against them.

Then there’s Pholus. This is like adding a high-pressure element that forces the above out of a bottle and sprays it directly at humanity. Pholus also possesses a kind of value-neutrality; it adds emphasis, force and urgency — and a sense of immediacy, but adds nothing at all in the way of discernment or ethical principles (much unlike Chiron that way). Pholus is the ‘seize the moment’ factor that we see being used by these forces — the take any opportunity to get the point across, as long as the point gets you power, money or votes.

Finally, in the background of this, just a few degrees away, is the Great Attractor. This is a deep-space point located far beyond the edge of our own galaxy, and one of its main properties is to polarize people, emotions, events and so on. As if the Ixion-Hylonome-Pholus combination is not reactive enough, the Great Attractor ramps it up a few orders of magnitude, pulsing out of Sagittarius like it’s a matter of do-or-die.

Now does everything make a little more sense?

I didn’t think so.

What’s particularly disturbing is that all of this faux-morality is being pushed on people as the only issue that matters when there is a lot else that needs our attention. Yet it should not be such a big mystery why a program about obsession over the rights of a fetus comes along with denial of global warming, ignoring the mess in the prisons, supporting the death penalty and pretending government has no job. It’s all part of the same refusal to deal with reality. By the way — while I’ve spoken mostly of the United States, it’s not just here. If you live outside the U.S., look around; you may notice many of the same things happening, though perhaps with a little better PR spin.

Chart showing planets in the mid-mutable signs. Some of the Sagittarius planets are at the top right of the chart, including Pholus, Ixion and Hylonome. The planets opposite those, in Gemini, are Jupiter, the Moon and Vesta. In Pisces, to the left, are Neptune, Chiron and Borasisi (another point related to religion and belief). Finally, in Virgo are Mercury and the Sun. The point in late Leo is Transpluto, about to enter Virgo after spending about 80 years in Leo.

Here in the States, religiosity is going to have a bigger impact than we think on the November presidential election. In the days before the election, Mars comes through the alignment in Sagittarius, stirring up these issues and getting ‘the base’ all fired up. Juno, associated with marriage, social justice and the bone of contention, is right there as well, and that’s likely to show up as the ‘defense of marriage’ (which means homophobia).

And Mercury stations retrograde in Sagittarius that very day, another indicator of the influence of religion on this particular election, amidst what looks like a total meltdown of the electoral process, as one of my astrology study buddies describes it. The thing is, for quite a while, religion has played a bigger role in government than most have noticed.

A few days ago, Sun Myung Moon died. While he’s widely believed to have been a cult leader, he was much more — with tentacles enmeshed in politics and business on many levels, who owned land in all 50 states and around the world, and who would do things like fund movements to legitimize the use of chemical toxins — all while claiming to be the messiah. His mass marriage rituals were pure stagecraft to perfect his image as cult leader. You could say that this is the role of religion, in many other contexts.

Novelist Alexander Chee summed up his game in an email to me this week: “He was, no doubt, a canny operator, and his opposition to North Korea is ironic: both he and Kim Jong Il claimed messiah-like statuses. So he was really a sort of anti-Communist reflection to Kim — the Moon as it were to his Sun — we see two Korean men trying to claim God on Earth status. In a strange way, Moon’s seemingly batty religious antics was the cover for a powerful political machine that was in turn a cover for a profit-making core that benefited him more or less alone — much the way North Korea is run.”

In an article I found this week, described a 2008 “coronation ceremony” for Moon in the Senate Office Building that was attended by 12 members of Congress. Here is how described the affair:

On March 23 [2004], the Dirksen Senate Office Building was the scene of a coronation ceremony for Rev. Sun Myung Moon, owner of the conservative Washington Times newspaper and UPI wire service, who was given a bejeweled crown by Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill. Afterward, Moon told his bipartisan audience of Washington power players he would save everyone on Earth as he had saved the souls of Hitler and Stalin — the murderous dictators had been born again through him, he said. In a vision, Moon said the reformed Hitler and Stalin vouched for him, calling him “none other than humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.”

To many observers, this bizarre scene would have looked like the apocalypse as depicted in “Left Behind” novels. Moon, 84, the benefactor of conservative foundations like the American Family Coalition — who served time in the 1980s for tax fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice — has views somewhere to the right of the Taliban’s Mullah Omar. Moon preaches that gays are “dung-eating dogs,” Jews brought on the Holocaust by betraying Jesus, and the U.S. Constitution should be scrapped in favor of a system he calls “Godism” — with him in charge. The man crowned “King of Peace” by congressmen once said, according to sermons reprinted in his church’s Unification News: “Suppose I were to hit you with the baseball bat to stop you, bloodying your ear and breaking a bone or two, yet still you insisted on doing more work for Father.”

People actually fall for this shit — and I don’t just mean Moonies. I mean a lot of politicians around the world who played the game with Moon, and who will keep playing the game without him. Part of this game involves religion being a ruse, cloaking over the concentration of raw power and money. It just happens to be an especially powerful one — tapping into people’s deepest fears, their confusion and sense of mystery about life, and most of all, their guilt and their apprehension around authority.

At the moment, we have another influence: the Sun and Mercury in Virgo, which are saying: use your intelligence.


Friday, September 7, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #916 | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Virgo Birthdays This Week

It’s essential that you understand how your experiences early in life have shaped you into the person you are today. In these years of your life, you’re closer to those experiences than you’ve been any time since they originally happened. You have the ability to see what it is that exists deep in your psyche as the source of your intensity. The goal of your life at this time is making sure that you don’t project your feelings, which include your insecurities and your passion, onto others. If you can interrupt that fairly typical human experience, two things can happen. You will be able to take full ownership of how you feel, and why you feel that way. And you’ll open up space for people you care about to express how they feel, which is different than what you presume they feel.

Aries (March 20-April 19) — This is a good time to consider your situation from a spiritual perspective. To do this you will need to explore not just the concept of ‘spiritual’ but also your relationship to the unseen world, and the way that your beliefs influence how you experience this. What I see in your chart is that there are some false beliefs that you accepted, or that were foisted on you, that bear no relationship to your true sense of God/the cosmos/your higher self. Well, none except that they stand in the way. So this process starts with an inventory of what you believe, which in turn can lead to an inventory of what you know. You can also make a list of all of the properties you believe God has, and then investigate how this contrasts with what you walk around telling yourself from moment to moment, or better still, what beliefs prompt you to take action. Here is a simple equation: What you act on is what you have faith in.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — It’s about time you made that decision to feel good about yourself, which translates to feeling like you actually belong on the planet. To do this, you’ve had to take a chance on something, though you’ve also had to be honest with yourself about some darkness that you’re struggling with. From the look of your charts, the moment you made contact with that honesty, you felt the potential to meet — or actually did meet — someone who was willing to match your energy, which has led to an experience of what seems like your real potential. If you keep doing this, which will feel like opening up a little more every day, you will see that the path you’re on is leading you in the direction of your true potential. Yet as you experience that, keep looping back around into the awareness of your deepest fears, your most distasteful attitudes and that part of you that just refuses to let go. The more you look right at these things, the more power you will have over them, and the less you’ll feel like a victim, whether of yourself or of anyone else.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You may be wondering what you have to give up in order to make someone happy, though I would ask whether any such arrangement can succeed at making anyone happy. I suggest you also do a little self-investigation and see where this is coming from. Everything has an origin, and this particular thought form is not an exception. One way to consider what you’re experiencing is an investigation of your relationship to authority. Any sense that something must be so, that is, the idea that anything is compulsory or will be enforced, relates to how you perceive authority. On this topic, there seems to be quite a bit of confusion coming through, seemingly from outside sources. If that’s true, I strongly suggest that you focus on your own needs, feelings and creative fire. Temporarily subtract everyone else and their agenda (or what you think their agenda is) from the picture, and see what you’re left to work with.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Current aspects provide the perfect environment for making substantial progress on anything that involves thinking, organizing and problem solving. If there are any writing projects you’ve been wanting to do, this is the moment not just to start but to fully engage yourself. You have access to at least two distinct levels of your mind, that I suggest you consider individually. One involves what you can think of as ‘everyday’ material, perhaps related to business functions and creative writing you would have others see. Another level offers you access to some of your innermost secrets, and this is readily accessible right now. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to say that you could not, or that you’ve struggled to get clear, try again in earnest now. I suggest you explore this particular dimension with no thought of the censors, and with no concerns that it might be read by someone else. The point of this experience is an unfiltered, direct expression of who you are and what you have to say.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Your financial situation is now intimately linked to your creativity, and this may have you on edge. It’s always easier to assign success or lack thereof on external conditions, such as ‘the economy’ or whether your particular talent is the thing that people are paying for these days. That’s a consideration now, though it’s a relatively minor one. Even in ‘good times’ most people have to put their best foot forward, if they want to be rewarded for doing something that really matters to them. I don’t know anyone, no matter how talented, for whom this is not a delicate spot. Fortunately, your deepest personal resources — your intelligence, your ability to come up with ideas and your gift for communication — are directly connected to your revenue stream. Cast off the idea that you get paid a fixed amount for an hour of work. Consider that the quality of your ideas, and your gift for applying them to real-life situations, is what will translate into greater abundance, and satisfaction with your work.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You may be feeling like your whole childhood is in your face — your raw emotions, your cosmic questions, your expressive enthusiasm for life. Mommy, daddy, siblings, aunts and uncles, the babysitter — the whole lot of them — may be showing up like ghosts haunting your bedroom or your most sensitive inner spaces. This notion of the past occupying our lives is one that never gets enough consideration, though these specters and memories from ancient history can be looming presences. Sometimes you cannot see them; you can only feel them. At the moment, they may feel like fear — in particular, the fear that nobody in the world is actually trustworthy. You may be concerned that if you concentrate too much power and/or talent in your own hands that you too will cease to be worthy of faith. You may be concerned that if you’re too happy, others will be envious and take advantage of you. I suggest you figure out where these (or any similar) thoughts came from. I don’t think you made them up, and I imagine that you don’t want anything like this getting in the way of your happiness and your peace of mind.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — One reason most people stay out of public view is insecurity. The mere thought of people being able to see them, or see the work they do, is enough to inspire nearly anyone to hide in the house. You don’t have that luxury now; you’ve stepped into a kind of spotlight, even if this is only among your closest friends and associates. You may be feeling some tension about what people find out about you, and how being noticed and observed will change who you are. When you’re making adjustments, I suggest that you err on the side of being a little more real. While cloaking yourself or retreating may seem to work to alleviate temporary discomfort, consider the longterm effects. Anything you choose to conceal now you may have to reveal later, and until you do, you’re likely to worry about it. Therefore, I suggest you be yourself — and get used to the feeling of gradually opening up and exposing yourself to the minds of others. You have more going for you than you think, though you have some progress to make developing your confidence in that fact.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Do you have this feeling that your life is balanced on one extremely delicate self-doubt? It could be anything, though I suggest you get out your microscope and see if you can find any traces of self-doubt that are influencing your life. I can name two potential (as in likely) categories: one is the lack of approval by a parent or parental figure (likely to be father), interfering with your sense of what you’re capable of, or whether you’re respectable. The second (and potentially more complex one) may involve doubts about whether you’re in fact ‘suitable relationship material’. If you’re working with that one, remember that it didn’t come from nowhere. You didn’t make up the criteria against which you’re attempting to reconcile your self-worth. However, you did take it on at some point, though if you want to let it go, it’ll be helpful to know where it came from, in part so that you can assess the credibility of the source. You’ve begun a phase of your life wherein you will be carefully considering your past tendencies in relationships, whether they serve you now and what to do about them. At the moment, some very telling information is available.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You’re your own best ally and your own worst obstacle. I suggest you notice when you trip over yourself, and make a point of getting out of your own way. Part of how you do this is by going through your goals and working out any conflicts that may exist between them (such as time conflicts, priorities of what to do with resources, and getting clear in your thoughts about what’s the most meaningful thing to do first). I suggest you monitor the way that any delays are related not to something logistic but rather to an emotional hangup of some kind. You’re at a point in your life where asserting yourself in a bold way may seem dangerous. You may be wondering whether you’re perceived as a person of solid character. You may be thinking about what others think of your motives. I suggest you put that all out of the way and focus on staying clear with yourself, and knowing what motivates you and why. There is one other question, which is this: on what ground do you build your self-esteem?

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — It’s time to update your resume and portfolio. This counts if you’re the CEO of a multinational company, a sophomore art student or anything in between. I suggest you focus carefully on what you’ve accomplished since 2009. Speaking of that particular year, you may have done more than you think; it was not a ‘lost year’, as you may be inclined to think — though I suggest that you do a careful, month-by-month review and see what changed. Meanwhile, the process of updating your resume will provide a forum for you to track everything you’ve achieved and accomplished. The first draft of this list needs to be in long format, including such activities as helping others with their career or business ventures, any activity that raised your public profile, and people you met who had an influence in your life. Then, tighten it up for public consumption. I think there’s a good possibility that in this stretch of time, you ended one volume of your professional history and began another. Now, as you proceed, you need this organized inquiry into what you’ve accomplished as a foundation to stand on, and as a reminder of what is possible.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — It’s less than one month before your ruling planet Saturn embarks on its journey across Scorpio, your solar 10th house. That’s the one associated with responsibility (both personal and public), reputation and honoring your true calling in life. This is indeed the time to review your past goals, and consider what your new objectives are. Yet I suggest you focus, and be discerning. They just about all fall under the general heading ‘easier said than done’, so I suggest that you reduce your plans down to the ones that motivate you the very most. You will need the extra energy provided by the desire to do whatever you’re doing for its own sake. When the time comes, that always provides more drive than the obligation to do something. Also, I would share with you one rarely stated fact about success. When you do succeed, you’re going to be doing a lot of whatever you’re succeeding at. So choose from among those activities that you wouldn’t mind doing 12 hours a day for a while. Usually, that translates to what you want to do, rather than what you’re allegedly supposed to do.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You have a reasonably clear view — and a clear understanding — of who someone in your life is, and what they represent to you. Listen carefully over the next few days as information comes out that provides additional depth and a sense of the life path that this person is on. Meanwhile, what I suggest you track carefully are the ways you notice you have some influence over both the person in question, and the ‘space’ that is created by the encounter, and how this interplays with your deeply personal interior space. Be aware that you need a room of your own, a place within yourself that belongs to you and you only. I mention this now because at the moment, you’re susceptible to some infiltration, right when you need the most influence over what happens within what I will call your sacred precinct. There are things that you can share all the time, there are things that you can share sometimes, and there are a few that are meant for you alone. Be aware of which is which.

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