Dear Friend and Reader:
If you’re one of those people who dares to watch the news, you know this has been a momentous and swiftly-moving week. Health care reform made it to the Supreme Court for three days of hearings, and the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has burst into public consciousness for the trial-by-media of the century — these, among many other stories that are giving our era its science fiction feeling.
Trayvon’s story has developed by the hour, with one strange twist after the next. Mercury retrograde in Pisces is one of the key aspects in this story, with all its confusion, denial and leaks to the press. That reaches a turning point soon enough, when Mercury stations direct on Wednesday.
Along the longer arc of world history, though, the most astonishing event got the least attention: James Cameron making it to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest known spot in all of the world’s oceans. In the firestorm surrounding Trayvon Martin, news of this achievement has been all but lost. Cameron, who directed Titanic, returned Monday from his 35,756-foot (6.77-mile deep) dive to a place 50 times bigger than the Grand Canyon.
In a video we’ve linked to, he said it resembled another world, far from anything we’re familiar with. Many have commented that we know more about outer space than we do about the oceans on our own planet. Only one prior manned expedition has reached this spot, in 1960. [Read more at PC Magazine and on Huffington Post.]
Cameron’s 12-ton craft, which he and his team designed personally (they didn’t rent it from National) is a giant underwater movie camera, with LED ighting arrays and the ability to shoot in 3D; we will soon have the opportunity to take the trip with him, at least visually. Notably, this will be a true life adventure film wherein nobody is shot, shoots someone else, wrecks 30 cars or bursts into flames. Let’s hope anyone is interested.
The public nervous system known as ‘the news’ skipping over Cameron’s dive is the perfect metaphor for how few people want to go deep — though clearly some do. For those scanning the world for events described by Chiron and Neptune in Pisces, here we have the perfect image of that aspect. Yet the flashy, fiery, contentious events get most of the attention. This is a good illustration of how the elements fire and water work differently. Fire happens up at the surface, where everyone can see it. The water is below the surface, where few people want to go, or even dream of what’s down there.
Speaking of going deep — poet Adrienne Rich, often quoted in these pages, died Tuesday at age 82. Her most famous poem is called Diving Into the Wreck, which uses a story of her exploring a shipwreck alone as a metaphor for making discoveries about her gender identity.
This is just a small sample of what’s been happening; there has been plenty of astrology pushing things along. Over the past few days, the Sun passed through the Uranus-Pluto square — on Sunday, the Sun was conjunct Uranus, and Thursday it was square Pluto. Think of this as one event, setting off the energy of the square — which came close on the heels of the Aries New Moon and vernal equinox last week, sparking off what will be one of the most interesting seasons in anyone’s memory. At the heart of the astrology is the Uranus-Pluto square.
Both Uranus and Pluto are close to this mysterious thing called the Aries Point — the first degree of the zodiac, which serves as an amplifier of consciousness, a breach in the false divider between what we sort into private and public spheres of experience. It was in a class about Adrienne that my professor, Carol Smith, discussed the notion of the personal/political intersection, which was a cornerstone of Rich’s work. The way she put it, there is no private life that is not influenced by some larger public life.
Uranus is still in a fairly close conjunction to the Aries Point and will be for a while; Pluto is early enough in Capricorn to be square the Aries Point. Suitably, as the Aries Sun passed through the square, two critical and seemingly unrelated events came to a head this week: a law that would make medical services more affordable and available to all Americans (just like in every other advanced country), and a racial battle that is more reminiscent of the 1950s than it is of today.
Even as the major aspects (for example, Uranus square Pluto) strive to push us forward and help us confront modern problems, we’re being reminded of what remains unresolved from our collective past. While Trayvon Martin may seem insignificant to some and an overblown story to others, racial karma is one of the most significant issues we face on the planet, though in truth the next layer down involves the economic problems we face: the distribution of resources that fuel racial crises and are at the root of many ethnicity-based wars and genocides.
What exactly was George Zimmerman worried that Trayvon Martin was doing? Well, stealing, of course. Stealing what? What else? White people’s stuff.
Let’s not forget the elemental equation that informs so much of what we think of as politics: lighter-skinned guy thinks darker-skinned guy is trying to take the stuff of lighter-skinned guys. Sadly, this sounds more reductionist than it is. You can look at almost any national issue through this filter and suddenly it makes more sense.
For example, one of the reasons that so many conservatives object to expanded health services for everyone involves resentment that darker people might get some of what the lighter people “worked so hard” for. This is the basic formula for how economics translates into racial issues. However, this is a divide and conquer tactic, which is designed to pit the very wealthy against the very poor. If you want a quick history lesson, check out the lyrics to the Bob Dylan song Only A Pawn In Their Game.
The Castle Doctrine
Our discussion of Trayvon Martin starts with the Castle Doctrine. When I heard this term I thought I might have missed an important Supreme Court ruling, but it turns out to be a concept from an English law book published in 1628. The concept is, “An Englishman’s home is his castle,” which means you have the right to kill someone who comes into your house to harm you or, more probably, to steal some of your stuff.
This was imported with the colonists to the New World, where it became, “A man’s home is his castle.” A castle, remember, is a place where aristocrats live, and the intruder is presumed to be a poor person. The Castle Doctrine was translated from Common Law (that is, ancient English case law) into American statutes in the form of laws that allow people to shoot intruders in their homes with impunity. Currently, about 17 states have some version of a Castle Doctrine law, otherwise known as “no duty to retreat at home.”
Six states and DC have “duty to retreat” provisions, which means that you have to make an attempt to get out of harm’s way before you use deadly force against an intruder inside your home. If you are cornered and cannot retreat, then you have the right to use deadly force.
This was evolved by clever lobbyists into the The Stand Your Ground laws. The controversy is swirling around this concept, which extends the concept of ‘castle’ to your car, your office, or anyplace you legitimately belong. According to Florida law (and the laws of other states with this provision), if you reasonably feel threatened, you don’t have to retreat — you can stand your ground. In the elegant language (and distorted thinking) of Guns.com, “People should not have to retreat, they should not have to run and hide and hope the bad guy will leave them alone. They should not have to live in fear of being raped, beaten, robbed or murdered because they have been told to call the police and let the crime happen.”
Currently, 16 states have some version of the Stand Your Ground law, which is being lobbied for by the NRA and guided by a conservative legislation mill called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). We all know the NRA — all guns, all the time. ALEC is less familiar: it’s a conservatively-themed organization that writes legislation designed to be adopted by state legislatures. These organizations, rather than serving the public good, “assist politicians in developing what it considers model laws serving the economic and political aims of its members.”
Thinking like the NRA for a moment, what good is a gun if you can’t use it? If more states pass more laws that allow people to use their guns for self-defense, manufacturers will sell more guns. Notably, six of the Stand Your Ground states were part of the Confederacy — states that went to war to defend slavery. A seventh is Indiana, historically a hub of the KKK. In my view, this is a racial thing.
These laws feed the fantasies of American vigilante justice, much of which has its roots in racism. And the pile of bodies is growing higher; “justifiable” homicides have tripled since Florida adopted this law. Anyone who thinks it’s wise to keep a gun in your house should watch the film Five American Guns. But there is a huge, gaping question at the center of the Trayvon Marin case: is Stand Your Ground even vaguely applicable, or is it being used as a license to kill?
Neighborhood Watch, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012
One body in the pile is that of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman one month ago while he was out taking a walk to 7-Eleven. The incident begins when Zimmerman, who was on Neighborhood Watch patrol in Sanford, Florida, a small city near Orlando, sees Trayvon (who was walking home from the store) and calls the police dispatcher on the non-emergency line.
This happens at about 7 pm — and that’s going to be the time of our chart, since that’s when the sequence of events is set in motion. This transcript is one of the few primary source documents that provide a baseline of what Zimmerman was thinking as he made his choices. It reveals his state of mind and what was motivating him.
Where there is a corpse and an accusation of murder, the motive is the thing you want to know about first. This is in the movies, and it’s also true. It takes significant motivation to kill another person.
I will re-publish the salient piece of the conversation between Zimmerman and the dispatcher. [Here is the full transcript if you want to read it.] Zimmerman starts off by saying that “we’ve had some break-ins in my area,” adding that “this guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”
Zimmerman: Yeah, now he’s coming towards me.
Zimmerman: He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male.
Dispatcher: How old would you say he looks?
Zimmerman: He’s got a button on his shirt, late teens.
Dispatcher: Late teens ok.
Zimmerman: Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out, he’s got something in his hands, I don’t know what his deal is.
Dispatcher: Just let me know if he does anything ok.
Zimmerman: How long until you get an officer over here?
Dispatcher: Yeah we’ve got someone on the way, just let me know if this guy does anything else.
Zimmerman: Okay. These assholes they always get away. When you come to the clubhouse you come straight in and make a left. Actually you would go past the clubhouse.
Dispatcher: So it’s on the lefthand side from the clubhouse?
Zimmerman: No you go in straight through the entrance and then you make a left — uh you go straight in, don’t turn, and make a left. Shit he’s running.
Dispatcher: He’s running? Which way is he running?
Zimmerman: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.
Dispatcher: Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards?
Zimmerman: The back entrance — fucking [unintelligible, possibly ‘coon’]
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Dispatcher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.
So much for standing your ground. Trayvon runs — he runs away, that is — and then against the direct guidance of the police dispatcher, Zimmerman pursues him, stalks him, confronts and kills him. One witness said that there was the sound of crying, and after the gun fired, there was silence. Clearly those were not the anguished cries of George Zimmerman.
Transcripts are beautiful things. They reveal so much that you don’t usually hear, if you’re just listening. Nothing has happened yet — but Zimmerman is angry. Before he knows anything, he has tried and convicted Trayvon as one of the people burglarizing houses; Zimmerman believes that Trayvon, whom he does not know, is on drugs and believes that he’s about to be attacked. There is a word for this: paranoia. I don’t mean this in the sense of schizophrenic, but rather the personality disorder. Paranoid people make up scenarios that have nothing to do with reality, and then pretend they’re real — and often act them out.
Now, let’s see how this looks as an astrology chart and maybe get a look behind the scenes.
First, note that this is an event that took place a month ago, back when the Sun was in early Pisces. Things in mutable signs can be slow to develop, though as the Sun approached Aries and finally crossed the Aries Point, Trayvon Martin became a household word and the story ran wild. True enough, it filled the new void left by the petering off Republican primary, but clearly this issue is touching something deep in the American psyche.
Our story begins with a chart with Virgo rising. There is a planet rising at the moment this all goes down — Mars. See it there on the left side of the chart, in red? It’s rising at the speed of the rising Sun, just above the horizon, tucked into what’s called the 12th house. It’s in the ascending sign so it has a direct manifestation, yet because it’s just slightly above the horizon, it has a veiled or invisible quality and is not fully connected to reality.
This is an odd thing about the 12th — planets in the 12th can actually be visible, but the interpretation of the house is that they are veiled. This is characteristic of the contradictory nature of the 12th; how this works deserves a whole article, but I wanted to point out the issue in case this has been bugging anyone all the years they’ve been studying astrology. (One clever interpretation is that the 12th represents the ‘waking dream’ or ‘trance consciousness’ that so many are caught in nearly all the time. I will come back to this theme.)
Mars retrograde in Virgo in the 12th is angry and paranoid. The 12th blows things out of proportion; it can represent either something that has gone missing, or a scenario in one’s imagination or dreams that takes over and becomes larger than life — and it’s often based on fear. There’s little sense of proportion or realism with the 12th, and in that rising Mars we have a picture of all the things Zimmerman is making up about Trayvon. We have a picture of Zimmerman himself.
Now let’s do something a little fancier: what house does Mars come from? That is to say, where do we find Aries, and where do we find Scorpio, the signs that are ruled by Mars? Those two places in the chart will tell us more about what Mars is doing and thinking. Look around the outside of the wheel till you find the Scorpio glyph, which is purple. That’s on the 3rd house cusp — the 3rd is the house of ‘the neighborhood’ (local activity, brethren, neighbors), and Scorpio in one elegant phrase describes it as a scene of death (a Scorpio topic).
We find Aries on the cusp of the 8th house — the house of death and also the transference of property. In any death chart, the contents of the 8th house, and the location of the planet associated with the sign on the cusp, are critical planets. Aries is the sign — it points to that angry, paranoid Mars rising. This chart fits the scene (always important to check that out before proceeding); that congruence argues that it’s trustworthy.
Now look at how much activity there is inside that house — there are five points in the 8th, and a sixth right outside the house (which gets a ‘close enough’ rating). That other planet is Ceres — the grieving mother. If the 8th is about the cause of death, this is a complex situation; we are talking about the motive here, since when someone is killed, the motive is the ’cause’.
Venus Conjunct Eris in Aries
There’s a conjunction glaring out of the 8th house: Venus conjunct Eris in Aries. This is chaotic, angry and self-centered; Eris is all about psychology, and her mythology is about getting revenge. This is an extremely telling aspect. See if you can follow this: the judicial system and the laws of the land are represented by the 9th house, which has Taurus on the cusp. Therefore, Venus (though located in Aries) represents law itself (and in Aries, it is a self-serving version of the law) — and it’s conjunct Eris. The cause of death is legal chaos — a bad law that basically allows for murder. Zimmerman, I believe, knew he could get away with killing Trayvon by claiming self-defense.
The Moon is in this house, located in an eerie degree — the one with the Sabian symbol, “A widow at an open grave.” While this degree is often about leaving the past behind, it’s still a fitting image of the whole situation. Jupiter is there, lending a sense of scale — this is going to be big. And then there is the Black Moon Lilith, which is another dark psychological point, magnified by Jupiter — another image of a contaminated sense of justice.
Said another way, there is a lot going on in the house that stands for the nature and cause of death, and it’s all embodied in that angry, paranoid Mars rising — who represents Zimmerman. Note also the number of points: many things in the 8th can illustrate a lot of dead people (all the ones who were killed under the excuse of ‘justifiable homicide’). And finally, disgusting as this is, the 8th is about financial interests (an idea deriving from the ‘inheritance’ theme of death) — and a lot of money is at stake. The arms trade in the United States is positively huge, and any restriction on guns cuts into profits.
While that packed 8th house represents the nature and cause of death, it also represents money — that is, the money of others, shared resources and wealth of some kind. Zimmerman fancied himself a protector of his neighborhood’s value — he was patrolling for burglars. It’s a complicated house, and the planets in that house reverberate in aspects all over the chart — look at the diagram in the middle. The cluster of blue lines to the right show some of the aspects being made by 8th house planets.
Once he kills Trayvon, he knows he has a problem. Florida loves its death penalty, so he could be next. So he has to come up with a story, claiming he was really defending himself when in truth he was stalking someone. He’s an older, heavier guy with a semi-automatic gun; he’s not going to get away with this unless he claims it was self-defense. This is his only chance to walk away — and to make that claim, he has to make up some lies on the spot, and that is why his alibis are so ridiculous — getting his head slammed into the ground repeatedly, and his nose broken, and being threatened with death by an unarmed boy.
Activity in Pisces: Mercury, Sun, Chiron
Mercury is now retrograde in Pisces. You’ve heard me refer to the term ‘Mercury shadow’ or ‘Mercury echo’ before — that’s Mercury getting ready go retrograde. It does this when it enters the degrees where it will soon be retrograde — and that’s one thing that was happening the night that Trayvon was killed. In this chart, Mercury is at 23+ Pisces. When Mercury goes direct on Wednesday, it will have come all the way back to 23+ Pisces, and something is going to happen as a result. In this chart, Mercury represents Trayvon (the planet that rules the Virgo ascendant). Trayvon knows the truth.
To me this rather amazing sequence of events looks like what remains of Zimmerman’s lies coming unraveled. This is already happening fast — this week, among other things, video from inside the police station came out, with Zimmerman all fresh and perky, not looking like he was beaten within inches of his life minutes earlier, as he claims.
The question is, will the additional revelations make a difference? I think so, but it may take another week or two — starting when that Mars in Virgo goes direct. Note that it does so in an opposition to Chiron (a force for awareness and healing). Mars was retrograde at the time of the incident, and it’s proceeded retrograde into an exact opposition to Chiron, and a close opposition to Neptune (which can represent delusions and also what comes out in the wash). The paranoid fantasies and lies of that Mars are not going to withstand the opposition to Chiron, though there is still a long way to go here. I see another turning point when Mars leaves Virgo and enters Libra (making an opposition to the Aries Point) on July 3. If the injustice persists, this is when it will explode.
We also have collective issues. This chart has a Sun-Chiron conjunction. You can see this located below the horizon line, to the right side of the chart — the Sun is a yellow disk and Chiron is an orange key. This conjunction is square the lunar nodes, which provide a kind of spiritual guidance and sense of orientation. What is square the nodes is something that we will have to deal with one way or another, and that something is collective in nature. Sun-Chiron, as we said at the time, is about a maturing process — in particular, around maleness.
On the Planet Waves blog that week, we wrote, “We’re really great at creating warriors, who possess qualities which we then conflate with male maturity and extol as heroism. When you add Chiron to the Sun, by aspect or by transit, that hero can take a fall or be exposed as something less. Consider all the scandals involving corrupt cops and politicians previously venerated as heroes. For psychology heads, this is where the concept ‘shadow material’ comes into the picture, and the question of how we process it.”
And: “When the Sun contacts Chiron, we can make contact with our true solar nature, but often this implies something much deeper — an initiation that puts us in contact with our soul.” And this is really what we are getting here: a mass experiment on whether people are in contact with their soul. It’s also a mass experiment on how people respond to obvious injustice.
Rather than going away, I believe that this story will keep developing. That’s because it brings to the surface a festering spiritual injury that we desperately need to heal. The gun lobby and gun nuts are making a big mistake by hitching their wagon to this issue, though that may be necessary for their downfall. This is not a 2nd Amendment issue or a self-defense issue, not even close.
The core theme is the value that we put on life, no matter who is doing the killing. It’s time for a revolution on this one — and from this week’s astrology, we can see that’s connected to the Uranus-Pluto square. The Trayvon Martin murder has been tried in the media the same week that the health care reform law was tried before the Supreme Court. Both situations reveal the blood lust of a segment of American society. The same emotional wounding that would want anyone to die from their injuries because they lack health insurance is identical to the emotions behind approving of the stalking and shooting of an innocent person. The common thread is that they are likely to be poor, which often amounts to black — often but not always.
While Trayvon Martin may be revealing how far we have to go as a society, and indeed how far back we have slid, to me it represents a painful healing process. The thing that is most lacking in American society is compassion. We find compassion in individual people, but as a society we must learn to adopt empathy as a collective virtue.
Trayvon’s death is a teaching moment. The sooner we learn the lesson, the easier it will be.
Friday, March 30, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #897 | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions
Aries (March 20-April 19) — What you learn about yourself over the next few days will surprise you — though there are several more layers to go. It’ll also take a few weeks to put your discoveries into action, which will happen around the time that Mars stations direct. To the extent that the past few months have felt frustrating or been complicated by setbacks, you will be reassured to know that your environments — inner and outer — are gradually shifting. Use this time to get closer to the root causes of your questions, issues and frustrations. Don’t assume you’ve reached the bottom of any issue or situation; just keep going, the more gently as each day passes. Maintaining a light touch really is one key to working out what’s happening for you. Another is a balance between what you think of as opposites: for example physical and non-physical; logic and emotional; details and impressions. Gently work both sides of whatever equation you find yourself involved with, and give yourself time to arrive in a space of clarity.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Venus is about to enter Gemini, where it will be until August. Plenty of history is going to go by between now and then, both for you personally and for the world around you. However, at the commencement of this trip, it’s as if you pass through a series of gateways. Think of them as pressurized chambers. The first one involves coming to terms with something you were in denial of, which may clue you in to your tendency to pretend certain things don’t exist. A corresponding discovery may come in the form of learning that you prefer the very thing you were in denial of. The next one involves the way you compensate for a past hurt by an excess of some kind. If you can tamp down the excess as an experiment, you may be able to reach the deeper material. This in turn will help you shift your relationship to pleasure, in essence helping you make it a more honest pursuit for its own sake rather than for an ulterior purpose.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You may not know why you’re feeling uneasy, though that doesn’t mean there’s a good reason for it. Still, you have little to lose by being just a little extra cautious over the next week or so. Apply that to all the usual modes of honoring the precautionary principle. If you notice a smoke detector has a low battery, put in a new one. Regard the low-energy nightlight as one of the great electrical inventions ever. Rest when you’re overtired, especially if you’re driving or doing anything potentially hazardous. These are just good habits to be in, but there’s something else offering benefit, which is being mindful of your environment. I suggest you do this as a zen-type exercise. Notice everything. Clean or put back into place everything you touch. Patch leaks and tighten up anything loose. Finish up any projects that you left for a later date. Do this for its own sake, though I assure you, you will learn more in this process than you ever learned from a book.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — What are you the most devoted to? You can measure partly by way of noticing what you do every day — and by what you want to do every day. Both are dependable metrics. Yet I would put the question another way as well: what are you willing to give up everything for? For what activity, mission or purpose would you trade it all in? I mean this mainly as a thought exercise: if there is indeed something that would be so amazing, so much fun, so incredible, that you would ‘sacrifice’ everything in your known life, you should know about it. Then, once you know about it, you might want to find a way to get moving on that aspect of reality without having to give up everything — just what you don’t really want. You might want to make a list of what you would gladly give up just for its own sake. I recognize the time pressures we’re all under, and how inflexible life seems to be here at the dawn of the Age of Aquarius. Yet change happens. We do create goals and sometimes we even get there. Remember that.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You’re figuring out that you have to take initiative when it comes to manifesting the life you want, and one of the ways you can do that is to make space for it. I mean actual physical space: clearing out a room or a corner of your apartment; a table dedicated to something; striking the set on a prior project and leaving it empty for something new. You can do something similar with time: leave free time for yourself rather than scheduling everything down to the tenth of an hour increment. Open space and time represent potential, and I can tell you from experience that this can be intimidating. There is that sense of facing potential that can feel like confronting an abyss. Yet it’s exactly this sense of openness, a kind of blank page in life, that you need to help you create something new for yourself. That something is waiting to meet you, as long as it has the space available, and the time. This is not something to rush. Start slowly and build a little at a time, gradually letting it take over your life.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Over the next two weeks, two different inner planets station direct, both of which influence you directly. The first of the two is Mercury, your ruling planet, which stations direct in Pisces — a region of your chart associated with your intimate relationships. There is an additional theme associated with agreements and contracts in those relationships, and it looks like you’ve slowly, too slowly for your taste, been working out some deep question here. Then on April 13, Mars stations direct in your birth sign. What you worked out as an idea you now get to express in action, gradually at first, then with more determination. The charts describe a picture of you building your resolve, from the inside out. You come to a deep understanding, perhaps not sure what to do about it — and then you gradually put it together. What you start now you’re likely to complete in the first week of July, when Mars finally leaves your sign. I would say there’s no rush and no excuse to waste time.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Venus, the planet most often associated with your sign, is about to enter Gemini, where it’s going to become a star player in this thing we’ve been calling 2012. Speaking in broad terms, you’re in a transition phase that will take you through August, and which will have a peak in early June. There are many surprise encounters along the way, enough that it would be wise to not take any dilemmas you currently may face, or that you encounter, too seriously. Just notice them for what they are. At this point you cannot see the whole picture; it’s likely that you’re not defining the problem in a way that matches reality, hence my suggestion that you wait for further information. The resolution to any issue you may be dealing with will arrive in the form of a ‘third option’ that you haven’t identified yet, and this will open up a new dimension of what you believe is possible in the future. In the time between now and then, one growth project you can involve yourself with is making a note when you discover that you possess conflicting beliefs. Those are a lot more problematic when you don’t know about them; once you spot them, they lose most of their power. Yet you might want to figure out where these differing viewpoints came from.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — One key theme of your life right now involves what you believe, and why you believe it. You seem to be figuring out that many people live inside a cage of their own assumptions, which you have discovered in the process of gradually escaping from such a place. Yet the process of freeing yourself is ongoing, one illusion at a time; one belief at a time. Today’s subject is glamour, or the art of appearances. Or rather, the art of false appearances, which are rooted in false beliefs. And: what are they? Have you been figuring out how they influence you? Yet there’s a much better question with a deeper answer. What is false is generally designed to conceal what is true, and what’s true is your friend. As you peer through the mists and wash away the layers of what is starting to look obviously, ridiculously untrue, you’re discovering something about yourself. It’s starting as an idea — and it’s about to evolve into a decision and ultimately into action. Yet while you’re here, I suggest you look for the motives for the cover-up.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — In her book Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey draws a distinction between intuition and instinct. That contrast gets clearer every time you think it through, though at first it deserves some explanation. Instincts include things like the urge to defend yourself, to avoid ‘dangerous’ neighborhoods or to hoard food. Certain levels of sexual feeling could be called instinctual, because the body is doing its thing without much guidance. Intuition, on the other hand, is a subtle incoming message. It’s something we receive, rather than something we already are. For example, if you have two possible routes you might travel, you choose one over the other because it feels right — that’s intuitive. If you’re trying to solve a complex set of problems and you have one idea that influences them all, that too could be called intuitive. AAB suggests that part of the evolutionary path is to gradually grow from being instinctual creatures to intuitive ones, and your charts suggest that’s the process that’s being accelerated for you in the coming weeks.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Keep a close eye on any developing situation involving a contractual matter. Delay committing to any agreement not only till both Mercury and Mars are direct, but also until you feel like you have a true understanding of the situation and where everyone is coming from. I suggest you use the ‘know when you don’t know’ principle in place of any shade of false certainty — that may take some extra self-awareness. We humans tend to paper over when we have missing information, though just like wallpaper covering a hole in the wall, there’s an obvious weakness palpable to the touch if not the eye. As regards contracts, I suggest you make sure you actually can deliver anything you’re expected to promise — and if you cannot, say so as soon as possible. If you’re hesitating on any commitment, I suggest you investigate why — there may be a good reason, and if there is, you want to know what it is. The current astrology is perfectly arranged so that you’ll get to the bottom of any shaky situation. Proceed with the faith that you’ll be told everything you need to know.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — It’s not how much money you have, it’s what you do with it. You do know this. I would add a reminder that your real focus must now be on resources in total, not merely on one kind of resource that has come to take the place of God (specifically, cash). I suggest you get clear about your agenda — that is to say, figure out what it is that you’re trying to do and why you want to do it. Once you have that down, I think you’ll quickly see that any plan you create calls for a diversity of resources, which would be true no matter how much money you have available. Pay particular attention to the things that money cannot buy — such as knowledgeable, helpful people; sincerity; the availability of a contact network. Over the next few days you may also come to some realizations about recent disruptions in a situation involving intimate partners. What you learn is not the end of the discovery, though it may point you toward an understanding of how procreation, and creativity in general, can scare the pants back onto certain people.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Mercury stationing direct in your birth sign next week is likely to come with some deep insights into what is motivating certain people around you. You’ll find this information useful, yet even more valuable will be what you discover about your own motives. There will be that crucial moment when you seem to have a complete understanding of where you’re coming from, only to discover that you have a parallel set of feelings, ideas and values. Which one is true? That question is based on the idea that both cannot be true at once. Yet that seems to be the very issue: you’re reconciling these two sets of seemingly contradictory values — but there is a solution set. I don’t suggest you try to reason it out, or hold yourself to a standard of strict logic. Rather, what feels right and has an elegant intuitive quality will eventually reveal its logic to you, and teach you plenty about yourself in the process.