Retrograde: A Review

Retrograde: A Review

I am beginning to think of Mercury retrograde as a sport. It is, at least, a kind of game. In any event, my planned Friday article fell through the cracks of a fast-motion week, though just in time to decide that it would be a better idea to continue the outer-planet discussion with Saturn, before getting into Chiron.

For this week, I’m going to post a little review of the Saturn literature, including Saturn through the past few signs. It works out that I’ve already written quite a lot about Saturn, who I like to keep happy. These are presented in approximate chronological order, following Saturn through Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and Leo.

If you’re an absolute Saturn freak, you will have a brilliant time this weekend reading all this stuff. If you want to cut to the chase, just go for the Saturn in Leo pieces, which summarize all my basic Saturn observations and which also, by the way, fairly well predict the breaches in the New Orleans levees because the one thing my researcher and I came up with as being a really weird phenomenon with Saturn in Leo is dams bursting.

Saturn in Taurus

The River of Night (very long article on Saturn in Taurus)

Gemini Saturn Returns
also, a sidebar:

Saturn’s Homecoming: Saturn in Cancer

Saturn in Leo (part one)

When the Molasses Levee Breaks (part two)

And a Saturn Return Resource

The Polarity Point: This is Now

To understand Chiron, it helps a lot to have an idea of how Saturn works, and how Uranus works. Chiron works as a mediating energy between these two energies, bringing energy into form, and grounding energy into form. It happens to be in an orbit between Saturn and Uranus, crossing Saturn’s orbit and not quite going out to that of Uranus. At different times, it can seem to morph into one or the other.

Chiron likes to form polarities with other planets, making their energy accessible and useful. For example, when used with Pluto, it functions like the conscious side of the equation, where Pluto is the unconscious side. Pluto works like this deep underground or underwater force, and Chiron brings things to the surface, brings light into the darkness, and facilitates conscious change. Whereas Pluto can fairly well leave no trace of the past, Chiron will always leave a paper trail and other documentary evidence.

Here is a little interesting story along those lines. Those of you familiar with the work of Jeff Green may know that in his first book, he talked a lot about the “Pluto polarity point.” This is an imaginary point in the chart that is like the place where we put Pluto energy to work in new ways, exactly opposite the position of Pluto. In this theory, Pluto represents the past life’s evolutionary impulses, and the “polarity point” in the opposite house and sign represents the place in the current lifetime we are doing evolutionary work.

So he identifies Pluto as working as something akin to a nodal axis, activating its own house and sign, and the opposite one.

Now, it turns out that Chiron and Pluto were near an opposition through the late 1950s, for a while occupying opposite signs (Leo and Aquarius), and then made a series of 10 exact oppositions (from Virgo to Pisces) between 1961 and 1965. Here is a list of those exact oppositions:

This drifted as a loose opposition into the next signs, with Chiron at its slowest in Aries, and Pluto occupying Libra for a long time.

I finally got to meet Jeff Green at a conference (whose ex-wife Laurie was the first person to introduce me to Chiron and the work of Barbara Hand Clow), and I asked him my huge burning question: Were you aware that Chiron was out there, all those years, making an opposition to Pluto? And he said, no. I don’t use Chiron.

So, in a lot of his charts and a lot of the days he was working as an astrologer, he was picking up a “polarity point” — an energy point working in the chart (and the sky, and within us) a lot like Pluto, only instead of being associated with past lifetimes, he associated it with the present lifetime’s evolutionary work. And, in a whole heck of a lot of us, that turns out to be a planet. In effect, we can partly credit Jeff for figuring out how Chiron works, without his even being aware that it was there.

Chiron is very much a NOW influence. It is even a now influence when we discover a transit from the past that is still active NOW. In other words, the transit may have came and went when we were 18 years old, but the experiences at that time can still be contributing to our experience in some way now, and are still useful now.

In my Chiron article in this series, I am going to do my best to relate my technique of using Chiron transits as a relatively easy, effective way of unlocking the chart without having a lot of astrological foreknowledge. One thing I have never found are students who are willing to give this a go for some 10 or 20 chart sessions. I can pretty much assure you if you do the basic steps, you will not only get results with your client or chart subject, you will learn a lot about astrology.

News Note: Jonathan Cainer’s 20th Anniversary

In this week’s Astrology Secrets Revealed, I’ve begun with an article about Jonathan Cainer’s 20th anniversary as a daily columnist. One thing I did not say is what an unusual person Jonathan, is within the world of men. I have thought about this many times since first encountering him and beginning work for him several years ago. He is by far the most supportive person of aspiring astrologers I’ve ever met.

In a world where men are taught a particularly ruthless kind of competition in business, Jonathan fearlessly helps people and gives them a chance to do their best work. I know he can do this because in part he is generous and in part because he has quite a lot of self-confidence (I don’t have a copy of the “I Wish I Was a Sagittarius” poem I once sent him, but imagine that coming from a Pisces), but anyway, maybe you get the idea.

Here is the article, “LA Has a Lot to Answer For”:

Planet Waves Weekly by Eric Francis
Weekly Horoscope #600 – March 3, 2006

Note, despite this being Weekly Horoscope #600, this is not really my 600th weekly horoscope. At a certain point to keep things in order and have some clue as to what week it is, we had to come up with sequence numbers, and I started with 531. So today comes up as #600.

Happy Birthday Pisces!
Mercury stationing retrograde so close to your birthday suggests you need to keep a balance between past and future goals. On one hand, you may need to go back in time and retrieve personal ambitions that were deeply important to you in another period of your life. But much other astrology suggests you’re in an exciting new phase of life that will offer you anything but what you’ve experienced before. This will require some courage, as well as making certain that the influences of others don’t guide you away from your adventures. This will take some courage, but most of all will require trusting yourself, your desires and your choices.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You may desire progress and change on a scale so massive, you have no idea how you could possibly make it happen, or even how to envision it. Remember that the specifics of your plan, to the extent you even know them, are subject to revision. In fact, you’re missing quite a lot of information that will both fill in the picture and provide a sense of inevitable movement. This phase of your journey is the one to let your imagination run free, but not necessarily wild. There is a difference between going beyond your previous limits and being an anarchist.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You may feel like you’re asking for too much from life, but in truth you ask for far too little. Recent events have pushed you to drop your ideas about the kind of person you want to spend time with. True, you’re more open than most people on this score, but you do have your guidelines — all of which seem to be tossed from the roof. This is a happier development than you may imagine, because social freedom, casting away any trace of prejudice, and working your way into a world of greater possibilities are the best things to live for these days.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Take it easy. Okay what could that possibly mean? Basic things like: remember to look before you cross the street; don’t operate a chainsaw on no sleep; drive the speed limit. You need to be able to trust how you feel, which means slowing down just long enough, and well enough, to know what it is. That won’t stop you from changing your mind, from pushing toward progress at a pace you haven’t experienced for years, or actually experiencing that excellent thing known as an appetite for life, including ideas and adventure. Just remember, knives are still sharp and it’s a good idea to chew your food.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You seem to be breaking free faster than the people around you. The Pisces New Moon a few days ago was a true point of liberation, when you seemed to leap over an old idea like a deer jumps an old fence. Keep leaping and bounding, and don’t worry if everyone else is looking at you like it’s 1952. There is no accounting for the slow pace of human progress until it finally decides to light a fire under its own rear end. At that point, the meek and mild just may surprise you with something you were not expecting at all.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
We do seem to struggle with love on this planet, and often when people back down it has something to do with not wanting to experience the full spectrum of human emotion: including pain, grief and the desire to nurture other people. Somehow, these things defy the self-centered quality that people are taught as a twisted survival skill. This knot is unraveling in someone close to you. You could say this person is getting over him or herself, and will soon take a big step toward joining the human race. Just wait quietly because they will be more surprised than you.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Big change is unfolding inside of you, and you may feel like part of you is dying; or like you’re giving up some aspect of yourself that you’ve long clung to. If you’re just feeling pressure and confusion, consider it in that light; if you’re overwhelmed with emotion, a possibility in any case, let it flow through you. You’re trying to access a deeper part of yourself than your mind, your feelings or your identity. The intensity and stress, or sense of longing, are all designed to get you above the storm, above the clouds, above the typical battleground of life. There, you will see you have very different priorities.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Venus is ready to complete her retrograde cycle, which goes back to December. Around that time, you came to the brink of a new idea, a creative breakthrough and possibly a new space in a love affair. You were on the edge of some great adventure and really willing to take a risk. Then you pulled back, because you needed to get your emotional house in order. You were feeling a lot more complicated then than you are now, and you’re working your way back to the edge. It is true, there’s a lot of intensity, which is like a barrier you need to cross to get to the other side. This time, you will do it.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You have thought through a particular situation enough times. When you do think about it, the whole thing becomes exceedingly complicated. In fact, really, too complicated to have much fun at all. What you seem to finally be able to do is live in the present, and the thing about the present is, you can always come closer than you were yesterday. You are now making your closest approach, and this is going to change how you feel and experience people, particularly one close person in your life. The shift may be subtle; there may be one point of contact only; but it seems you’ll finally be able to feel one another.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Be mindful of the pressure you’re under — and not let it get to you. Actually, it seems more likely that you’re taking on the pressure of others, who are having a response to your current rather overwhelming strength and sense of direction. You’re basically compelling them to shift something inside themselves and this is causing a bit of turmoil. You’re good at practicing detachment in such situations, however, I’m not suggesting you distance yourself or sever your feelings in any way. To the contrary, you seem determined to notice and feel, and this will be great practice in remembering whose feelings are whose.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Most creative ideas never get past the ‘thought’ phase. You have had a lot of time to think about something in particular, an idea or a project, and now is the time for action. The thing about action is that, once you take that first step, sometimes there’s a crisis and you can get the message that the universe is telling you to stop and go back. Push past that one; get past the energy threshold, even if it’s super chaotic. Take the plunge and make something you’ve pondered and meditated on forever into something real and tangible. Come through with that promise to yourself. You will be happy you did.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
In late December (ages ago, I know), you had a revelation; you came to a point where you truly felt like you were waking up. Yes, it may have been overwhelming, too, but you were definitely feeling the cosmic spark plug go off in your brain. Not a lot of time has passed, and in truth you’ve accomplished an enormous amount — and none of what you’ve done counts for a digression from your true purpose. Nor is it exactly what you would be doing; and as Venus gets ready to make its return to your sign, you get to reorient on your deeper desires, your precise needs and take a little bath in divine nourishment and pleasure.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Certain partners and loved ones — generally, those who are more difficult to figure out rather than those who are a bit easier — are going through quite a lot right now, and though they may not speak about this, you may be able to feel or sense their situation. The fact that these are the kinds of developments with which you are personally familiar doesn’t exactly make it easier for them. But knowing that you can identify with their transitions provides a sense of reassurance. What you can trust is that a solid and enduring process of change is underway. You cannot rush it, but neither can you slow it down.

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