One House at a Time

Dear Aries:

You were born a fighter, and you live in an excellent time in history to have that particular trait. I am fortunately not a psychiatrist, but I am coming around to the observation that we live in a time of mass cultural depression: of the human spirit held down, held back, its options cut off, its sense of freedom not only limited but declared something unworthy of our attention, effort or love.

Ovis Aries. Photo: Wikipedia.

On one level, none of it matters. But that particular assessment is related to a value, which is the purpose of the human experiment. If we are nothing else, we (and I mean as a species) are survivors, we are warriors and we are industrious. We’re also eminently susceptible to being enslaved, mainly because we tend toward laziness.

If we could speculate about there being any one corner of the zodiac that may be able to rise above this problem, it is yours. If there is one place where everyone returns for initiative, for derring-do and chutzpah and the naïve belief that anything is possible, your sign and, by extension, you are the go-to guy or girl.

Finally, I don’t have to be describing the entry of Pluto into Capricorn in future terms: it is here, and though it will cross your crucial midheaven angle two more times this year (career, reputation, achievement), you have begun to feel the calling. Not only that; you have begun to make your mark, and the world may have even begun to feel your impact.

With transits of outer planets across the achievement angle of one’s chart, the results can be diluted by two things: a lack of self-esteem, or some limit — held as a belief — on what is possible. Sadly, I have found that, most of the time, people fall short of the potential indicated by transits because of these two factors. Though Aries has plenty of fighting spirit, there is often a surprising lack of confidence in its natives, and this is where you need to work from first. All the brilliant transits in the world will do nothing for you if you lack the courage to dare, to believe you might succeed, or worse, cannot connect with the notion that you deserve success.

This is complicated right now because one could easily make a case for the world being a conspiracy of failure. The very places in your chart that are being illuminated in that deep, dark but robust Plutonian way are the ones where the world is the most deeply entrenched in struggle — Capricorn: the sign associated with governments, corporations and their agendas.

Another complication is the need to think simultaneously in collective and individual terms — that is, to simultaneously consider your own needs and those of the world, not as competing factors but as two halves of an equation that must work together.

The fact that defeatism (largely in the form of denial) seems to have taken over is something you must confront directly, because nobody accomplishes much of anything alone, even if you count the people who made the shoes of someone who walked from New York to San Francisco. If you’re in “go it alone” mode, I suggest you slip out of that gently and start gathering people around you who are committed, not just to cooperation, but to learning the trick of cooperation.

Most of the interesting transits right now occur in the signs at the end of the zodiac — Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. From the vantage point of your particular sign, that indicates many ideas, processes and developments in a highly advanced stage. This fact is suggesting that you know more than you think. The catch is that all of these transits involve outer planets; that is, planets discovered since the advent of science and reason. They are calling on you to apply science, psychology and a sense if industry to what you are doing.

It might make things easier to take this sign by sign, and then I will add with a PS about Saturn and Eris. I also suggest you look through back issues of annual horoscopes, in particular Parallel Worlds and Spiral Door, because I was doing my best to prepare you for NOW in those editions of the Aries horoscope.

From Parallel Worlds (2006):

What you are becoming inside will shape the reality around you, in every conceivable way, indeed far deeper than the “specifics” of love, work, and play, and deeper than any immediate circumstances. The discovery will be that your ideas affect others; your interpretation of life and of yourself shapes how people around you see, feel and experience their lives. We do not live in little bubbles, or like Oscar the Grouch in a garbage can, no matter how weird our neighbors, co-workers or boyfriend’s parents are. It’s as if the very ground of reality is moving not just under your feet, but by the energy from your feet, and so this is a time to tread both lightly and consciously. You are far more powerful than you think, and this will prove to be no idle discovery.

From The Spiral Door (2007):

One of my old astrology teachers, Barbara Hand Clow, commented once in a workshop that a big problem with the world as we know it is that people try to jump to the 10th house without doing the work of the 9th house. I am not talking about the ones who drop out of high school and become remarkable successes, mainly because they understand themselves and have a sense of how the world works. They probably have the 9th house down to an art. I mean the ones who skip over their inner growth and promptly set about conquering the planet: the ones who skip over ethics and take power. The ones who use morality as a weapon against the weak. Currently they are the ones in charge, and it’s going to take a busload of faith, moxie and intelligence to make the world any different.

From Small World Stories (2008):

Pluto is about to enter your 10th solar house, Capricorn. This is movement out into the world, the drive to achieve and even conquer. But it is formative. You will want to jump ahead of yourself. What you need to do is test the waters gently, and see what effect you actually have, or what results you notice, rather than plowing into reality with all your influence. Your job is to notice your power, not to express it. Noticing is enough; it is more powerful than applying what some call “intention.”

So — in this spirit, let’s notice.

Sagittarius, your 9th solar house: Ixion and Quaoar. Mikhail Gilmore, brother of the late Gary Gilmore, once wrote a long essay in Granta called “The Family: They Fuck You Up.” The 9th house is about your beliefs, including what you think is possible, and it is about the hidden psychological legacy of one or both parents. The two are connected. It’s also about your metaphysics and your sense of ethics. Ixion and Quaoar here are sounding a warning knell to assess, somewhat brutally, the influence of your parents on you in this respect. You need to understand your mother’s psychology better than Dostoevsky understood Raskalnikov. You need to witness the impact of your family’s religion on you, no matter how watered down they made it seem.

Capricorn, your 10th solar house: Pluto. You have the power to change the world, and to tap into that power, look for evidence that you have changed the world already. The current placement of Mars indicates that you’ve been in some power struggles lately, and the root of these struggles is your own doubt about your security or safety. Start there. Start with the home angle. You can change the world, but do you feel safe inside your four walls? How have recent events influenced or impacted you? Do you have a sense of authority in your own home? Do you have mastery over your own fears? You have no business having power in the world if you don’t have some sense of mastery over your insecurities. The more power you feel, the more these shadow elements will come to the surface. Worldly power evokes fear and fear evokes power struggles. Therefore, address the fear first, so you know what to do when more of the stuff comes up.

Aquarius, your 11th solar house: Neptune, Nessus and Chiron. This is the struggle between sleep and waking. This is the struggle based on what is good is bad and what is bad is good. It’s also the eternal human paradox, well, eternal for about 250 years, about what it means to be an individual in the context of a much larger society. In one of those annual editions I gave a rant about becoming a scholar of group dynamics. This will come to the fore over the next 12 months as Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune make an exact alignment and just about everything positive in your life depends on your ability to navigate through group psychology. You still have time. To do this well, you need to understand the influences of those people who seek only to divide, deceive or abuse group power for their own selfish ends. If you spot these tendencies in yourself, you will be able to set yourself free of the tendencies of others who do this professionally.

Now, for what is developing in your own sign. Sometimes it seems like all the interesting astrology was in the past. I often refer to great alignments of years past. Why they are meaningful is obvious in retrospect, because what happened already happened — we have evidence. With a current alignment, we can pretend it does not matter or does not exist. However, I have recently made note of the alignment of newly-discovered and newly named Eris, and 1992 QB1, which I call Radharani. These two slow-moving points are aligning for the first time, farther back than our most brilliant ephemeris geek can calculate. They are aligning in Aries, right now.

This is the story of the massive-scale identity crisis that our society and most individuals in it are experiencing. For you, it is about threading the needle of identity, or rather, threading the many needles with one filament. If you don’t know who you are, go beyond the need to know; relate in the moment, as you are, without judging yourself. In many ways, identity is theoretical and we are taught to make a big deal out of it. Life is for learning who you are, not achieving an abstract concept of who you are. Let your awareness do the talking. Notice, and notice who is noticing — that is who you are.

Eric Francis

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