Me, Myself and I: Note from Aries

Dear Friend and Reader

The Moon reaches full phase in Libra this weekend. A Full Moon dependably shakes up the emotional and psychic energy, and at the moment there is plenty shaking. With many planets in Aries, including Mercury retrograde brewing like a vat of cider, we’re likely to be feeling a bit extra shuffled with an urgently curious, confused and polarized sensation.

Photo by Eric Francis — Book of Blue.

I would remind you how much we’ve been processing all year. It’s like we’re living a month or two every week, and yet time seems to be going by so fast nobody can keep track of it. I’ve been trying to figure out this seeming contradiction for a while, to no avail yet. In practical terms, I suggest you check in for potential exhaustion/depletion and take action to address that. We have all been processing a lot.

I would remind you that we had an indication this would be a very strange year when we started seeing news about birds falling out of the sky in late December and early January. Everyone remember that?

Full Moon in Libra means the Sun is in Aries; the Moon and Sun are always in opposite signs for this phase. Aries is a yang sign — it’s all about action, what we think of as ‘male’ energy. Aries makes statements, takes territory and charges forward. Two of the hottest, most fiery planets of the lot are now in Aries — Mars and Uranus, along with Mr. Hot and Dry himself, the Sun. Jupiter is there, as are Eris and retrograde Mercury.

If Aries is the sign of the self, then all this activity is boldly declaring: who the heck am I?

There’s so much going on in Aries and it’s all so very potent, and now the Moon is going to come along and hold a mirror up to it from Libra. The currently installed mirror is Saturn, which is not so reflective, and it’s retrograde. This may have us feeling like despite all of the self-awareness stuff in Aries, a concept of a relationship seems to be holding us to who we were yesterday. Not just a relationship per se, but rather a concept of who we are supposed to be for the purpose of our relationships, such as an identity designed to meet expectations of acceptability.

Photo by Eric Francis — Book of Blue.

The Moon is silvery and glistens, and it resonates with feeling. In Libra, it will be giving us a kind of projection screen onto which we can sort out all of these feelings and ideas that spend so much time in our heads. This is a fleeting glimpse. The Moon is a fast moving object, so it never keeps one perspective for very long. What we can easily observe this weekend will be obvious only briefly.

While this is happening, Pisces is soaking us in soul juice. The most yin sign, cool and moist, Pisces is about introspective awareness, dreaming, feeling and receiving. It’s the sign of doing bong hits and then painting, making music or writing in your journal till it gets light out. Then your phone rings and it’s your old lover, the one you really dig. You meet up, go for a walk and then crawl into bed. Pisces is now home to Chiron and Neptune, increasing the presence of this sign in our lives. This may be arriving as a rising tide of inner awareness, clairvoyance or dream activity. Strong Pisces is an invitation to accept anything and everything about ourselves.

Have we considered how much better life might be if we didn’t spend so much energy convincing ourselves how pure we are? That’s a form of fear. I am not saying that radioactive rainwater isn’t starting to tumble on roofs across the United States and many other parts of the world; I am saying that we have options other than being uptight. Further, I’m suggesting that uptight is so normal we don’t even know what it is anymore. It seems to offer some proof of purity. This is not a recipe for happiness; it’s a form of torture. Self-knowledge would go a long way to helping that cause. One sure way to self-knowledge is curiosity. It works just about every time. Curiosity is the distinct feeling that you cannot control what you’re about to find out, and you like it that way. Now, turn that on yourself.

I’ve noticed something in the charts lately that I thought I would share with you. A few times before I’ve referenced a book called Esoteric Astrology by Alice A. Bailey. The most recent time was an article last spring called The Greatest Aries Point Show on Earth.

Esoteric Astrology proposes alternate sets of planetary rulers for the signs. Just about everyone knows that if you’re an Aries then your ruling planet is Mars. That’s the kind of thing that makes it into The New York Post horoscope. However, Bailey proposes that there are two other ruling planets for all of the signs. These alternate rulers work on different levels than the traditional one, and help you think of the sign a different way.

Photo by Eric Francis — Book of Blue.

Mars as the ruler of Aries drives desire. That, however, tends to become a kind of self-centered ego presence; it’s a notion of self wherein the existence of anyone else seems questionable. Mars in Aries is notoriously insecure. The ‘me’ consciousness of Aries can be so insecure that it gets lost through polarizing into relationship to someone else. In so doing, it can lose its distinct identity, disappearing into that relationship. I mean, think of how often we subvert our own desire for the sake of a relationship.

What is called the esoteric ruler, for Aries, is Mercury. We normally associate Mercury with Gemini and Virgo. Mercury in Aries is a picture of self-awareness, that is, the presence of the mind in the sign associated with self. It’s less about what the mind, or the self, can do, and more about what it perceives. Taking Aries in its Mercury expression, your awareness tells you that you’re an individual perceiving the world from your own point of view. That includes your thoughts and your ideas. On a good day, Aries is associated with originality, and I think we see this described in the Mercury association. What’s also interesting is that Mercury is androgynous, and it can be a relief to have a gender-balanced planet connected to Aries.

Bailey then proposes an additional planet for each sign, what she calls the hierarchal ruler, and for Aries this is Uranus. The quality of the hierarchal ruler is available on a level that’s usually beyond awareness. It’s like those parts of your computer that only programmers are supposed to know about. Uranus does not rule any sign in traditional astrology, though in modern astrology it’s come to be associated with Aquarius. Associated with Aries, it serves like a guiding principle that you can detect if you’re truly devoted to evolving consciousness. It’s like the version of self you get when you see behond yourself.

At times we experience Uranus as inspiration, as initiative and as the power to really stand out and achieve something original. Uranus connected to Aries can offer a sense of self that is connected to the whole rather than merely being ‘an individual’. It will offer confirmation that your presence on the planet is truly unique in the sense that everything created out of the infinite is unique.

Here is the interesting part: All three rulers of Aries are currently in that sign. Mars is trekking across for a while; Mercury is making an extended visit because it’s retrograde there; and Uranus arrived recently for a seven-year spell.

It’s also noteworthy that for the moment, the Sun is present, and in traditional astrology the Sun is the exalted planet of Aries. So we have every planet associated with Aries right in that sign.

Photo by Eric Francis — Book of Blue.

One possible interpretation: every dimension of self is available right now. We are free to access ourselves on any level we want. All our options are open.

This will take some enhanced inner awareness to notice. It helps to declare the freedom of self. It helps to crave self-knowledge.

Here are a few more thoughts:

Mars is saying it’s healthy to want what you want — and to know what that is. Desire has been so co-opted by advertising and social conventions that for many people it seems difficult to discern. Ever ask yourself that question, ‘What am I supposed to want?’ And often ‘what we really want’ or even the feeling of seeking that is corrupted by guilt. Here is a clue — if you desire something and then you feel guilt, that suggests you’ve figured out what you actually want. Address the guilt not as a sign that you should not have that, but rather that there is some interference coming from someone who has tried to control you. The presence of guilt is usually the relic of a control mechanism, not a sign of being wrong. When we’ve done something ‘wrong’, usually we respond with sadness or remorse.

Mercury is saying it’s healthy to inquire about who you are. The retrograde adds the hint that self-awareness is indeed introspective. There is a hint here that there is self-concept at work, as much as self-awareness. The key is to get beyond self-concept, and start asking questions that are framed in such a way that they yield information. The thing about self-concept is that it’s 1) often confused with self and 2) it often comes from others who project it onto us, particularly when we’re young. Mercury retrograde may be taking you on a trip through a sequence of old self-concepts, so that you can let them go and find something that is a little more useful to you now.

Finally, Uranus is asking a few different questions. One is, where do you look for inspiration? What lights you up and motivates you to do something beautiful? There’s also the question, what tribe do you identify with? I mean really identify with, in the sense that you can really be yourself when you’re among them, or at least that you’re drawn in with the desire to give it a try.

One last thing: the lunar apogee is in Aries, and it will be for a while. It’s currently conjunct Uranus. That suggests that the fears that come up, including the actions of the inner censor, will be revealing. It’s not so much that the inner censor is a bad thing, as much as it is something we will get plenty of good information from observing. What exactly gets blocked, and who does it feel like is doing the blocking? If you follow those clues in, they will inevitably lead you to the very thing they would obscure.

Eric Francis

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, April 15, 2011, #856 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Aries (March 20-April 19) — If you focus on one specific goal now, you’ll have a better chance of accomplishing much else besides. Choose what you want to do the most, the thing you want to express, initiate or complete, and pour your energy into that. It is the sensation of applying your creative power directly to an idea that will connect you to your inner source. You may not personally feel all that focused; in fact you may be getting a sense of just how multifaceted you are, and be experiencing various challenges collecting yourself in one place. Setting a seemingly external goal will allow you to access a level deeper than the confusion you may be feeling, and demonstrate that you can draw out your creative power and use it to make something happen. Yet it will help immensely if your motivation is desire, blended with a touch of obsession.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — The Sun is about to enter your sign, and in these last few days before that happens you may be feeling particularly edgy. For example, I see an image in your chart of being angry but not understanding why; uncertainty about whether you’re making progress; and an exaggerated sense of your (often typical) feeling of shortcoming. I have an idea: try to not take it seriously. Watch it go by without letting it take over your mind or your identity. The whole sensation may be exaggerated, so this provides the opportunity for a useful mental exercise in detachment. There is plenty in your environment rich in scent, color and feeling. You will be surprised how quickly your mental drama evaporates when you tune into the sensory world and indulge in the rich nourishment you find there.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You may find yourself in a complicated social situation this weekend, though the complexity originates from some form of misinformation, gossip or deception. Jealousy appears to be at the root of the issue, and it is toxic. Once started, whether haplessly or by intent, the matter might threaten to run out of control. Now I have a question for you: when will the world, the people of the world, and you, get sick of this kind of nonsense? This really is a conscious choice, when it happens. That choice will often come with the simultaneous discovery that not only is something else possible, but also necessary or inevitable. One way of being shuts down creativity; the other opens it up. One way of being is about tearing apart the fragile tapestry of society. The other way is about weaving integrity and sincerity into our social interactions. The choice is yours, and people are watching your example.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Play along with how things are going for you professionally, including the various mix-ups and the contradictions. Make your moves slowly, based on available information, and as you make each decision keep the door open for the next opportunity. For example, I suggest you not make any ‘permanent’ agreements that would prevent you from making another commitment in a couple of weeks. Don’t get lost in the temptation to think that you’re not getting your message out, or that you’re not visible. Actually you’re being noticed more than you think; you’re in a blind spot where you can’t quite see that. So keep your performances sharp, check your facts and proceed at what seems to be the natural pace of things. Once things start coming to fruition after Mercury has stationed direct on the 23rd, you will be happy you did — and you’ll see the connection to doing things well these very days.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You may feel so caught up in the moment that you cannot even think of making long-term plans. Yet if you’ll notice your thought patterns, you’re actually in a reassessment of your plans, and as you determine that certain things are not working, you’re likely to discover some things that you know will work for you rather well. I suggest that you focus on removing from your agenda that which doesn’t suit you; the obvious benefit of that will be having the sensation of room to move, and a clear enough space to leave you free to include new ideas. Once this process picks up energy you will discover that there is a lot of energy behind you, and that will provide a sense of both power and freedom to make decisions that anytime sooner you might have feared would upset not only the apple cart but the whole fruit and vegetable aisle.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You may be tempted to renege on an agreement or break a commitment during the next few days. If you’d be doing this because of a sense of injured pride, or if you’re angry about something, I suggest you cool off for a while before you make a move. Once you get your mind in order and the situation sorts itself out in a week or two, you will see that you were upset over what will seem like nothing. You may decide that you gave up some excellent opportunities in the process. Making a decision from a calm place is not the same thing as selling out. Being true to your promises is not the same thing as being a slave. Being authentically who you are does not mean asserting your individuality with a tinge of rage blended in. Indeed, you don’t even need to ‘be yourself’; you already are yourself.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You seem to be in an emotionally heavy or cluttered situation that you want to rid yourself of. I suggest you figure out what that’s made of. Once again I would point you to the emotional source of any seemingly physical disturbance; you are under some pressure, and you may be reacting to a new presence in your environment. The question to ask yourself is whether you consider it a helpful or toxic influence, and why you come to the conclusion that you do. You will need to make this assessment rather than pretend you don’t care, though the good part is that you have some new tools at your disposal for contemplating this kind of subtle question. One of your lifelong missions is to learn how to respond to your own feelings, and by that I mean make decisions and get some control over your environment.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — This weekend’s Full Moon has the look of an event that starts unsettling or uncomfortable and then slips into a more emotionally grounded and satisfying state. The discomfort is likely to start as a sense of pressure, but the odd part is you’re not likely to notice that pressure till it’s already started to pass; it has a ‘what was that?’ kind of feeling to it. What you may not have figured out yet is how much you have available in the way of emotional resources that were not there a few months ago and for that matter had gone missing for a long time; and now a new well has opened up. You may feel hesitant about tapping into that depth; you may not have trust that it’s there, including the fear that your imagination is going to run out on you right when you need it. Nothing of the kind, Scorpio.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — I think I may have already written the horoscope about those happy creative accidents; you know, the seeming errors that lead to the stroke of genius. Even if so, I’ll say it again, a different way: take a chance on being wrong. Try the idea that you think might not work, but which seems appealing anyway. You might reverse your position spontaneously or based on a frustrating experience; if so, go with it and see what happens. True, there are risks, but the rewards of tapping a deeper level of creative mojo make it more than worth the risk. By deeper level I mean closer to who you are. You may be figuring out that your identity is a creative process, and that your creative process is intimately about who you are. The quality to follow is that slight sense of risk, taking everything on a dare.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Your insecurities may be at an all-time high, coupled with moments of feeling like you’re on emotional steroids. They are the same thing; this is one of those ‘the brighter the light, the darker the shadows’ moments. You have a few choices, one of which is to take the manic ride, enjoy the high and then deal with the anger and guilt you might feel on the other end; or ground out (literally, sit on a big rock somewhere and make some skin contact with the thing); or work out (something aggressive, but be careful of your head and neck). You’re likely to confuse mental and emotional impulses right now. I would say focus your mind and your feelings will follow. Focus your mind on what? I suggest you write an autobiographical essay about the most troubling aspect of your childhood. Tell the story — leave out the judgments and stick to the plain facts.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — What is original? There is such a thing, but it’s not what most people think. One helpful version of original is applying an existing thing or idea to a new situation or problem. Another is seeing a longstanding problem a new way, and the shift in perspective advances your thought process in an unexpected way. Another kind is considering what the world perceives as a problem, and figuring out a way to turn it into a benefit or resource. Would any of those possibilities fit your current situation? One thing I suggest is that you’re pushing too hard against a seeming obstacle. If that is true, then a version of original that would help you quite a bit is the kind where you figure out you were looking at an easy solution all along, and you just happened to notice it was right there.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — One of the top issues of your chart at the moment seems to involve finances, but the question is really one of resources, and in truth it’s not so much a question as it is about conducting an assessment. I sometimes call this a resources inventory. The more you stoke the awareness of what is available to you, the less you will emphasize what is not available. The more you will then utilize what you have rather than strive to acquire more. That said, you do seem to be in a tight spot; however this argues well for focusing on the positive, which by the way includes people who affirm themselves and their purpose. Anyway, this whole endeavor is likely to yield some surprising results, and the discovery that the whole amounts to far more than the sum of the parts. Or to borrow another old expression, it’s not what you have; it’s what you do with it that counts.

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