When Standing Out May Be the Only Real Option

Dear Friend and Reader:

When everyone around you is wounded and hurting, if you initiate and pursue your own healing it will probably make you stand out. I suspect countless people have had this thought before, but it came to mind as I was thinking about tomorrow’s conjunction of the Sun and Chiron in Aries. I don’t know how many people think of that possibility consciously before starting (for example) a therapy process; even if present unconsciously, however, I imagine it holds some people back.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

Sun conjunct Chiron occurs at 2:38 pm EDT Friday (18:37:51 UTC).

And although it’s not in the very first degree of Aries, it is in the second degree, which is still Aries Point territory (the nexus of personal and political).

Whatever tomorrow’s astrology describes for you personally, it will likely resonate with issues that are prominent in our collective social environment right now.

This is the first conjunction of the Sun and Chiron in Aries since Chiron left Pisces for good on Feb. 18. As far as I can tell, it is the only conjunction these two bodies will have in the first five degrees of Aries for this particular journey of Chiron in Aries (though next year will come close; that one happens in the sixth degree of Aries).

My guess is that this means this year’s Sun-Chiron conjunction may ring the personal/collective Aries Point bell the loudest — though I don’t know for certain if it works that way. And who knows: maybe we will be able to hear the signal better once we’ve all gotten more used to this energy next year? After all, we’re also adjusting to Uranus in Taurus and wading through Mercury’s retrograde in Pisces, both of which seem to be having a slightly destabilizing effect on many people. Then again, when is there not something in the astrology describing things being off-kilter, or provocative, or confrontational, or energizing in some way?

At any rate, the Sun coming into contact with Chiron like this symbolizes something to do with our wounding, our healing, and possibly the idea of teaching, coming into our consciousness. But it’s coming through the Mars-ruled sign Aries — an expressive sign that astrology relates to the concept of ‘masculine’ (with receptiveness associated with ‘feminine’); every person on the planet, regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation, possesses symbols of these two concepts in their chart.

Several years ago, Eric wrote, “One thing that stands out about Sun-Chiron in Pisces is how as part of this process, men must make contact with their feminine side and their emotional nature, but without sacrificing their maleness.”

Referring to that column, I’d added in a piece a few years ago that, “You could say the challenge for women is to recognize the strength inherent in their feminine, emotional nature. Then you use that recognition to reclaim the sense of purpose and achievement associated with your inner masculine side.”

Fallen Angel; photo by Amanda Painter.

Now that we have this aspect happening in Aries instead of Pisces, what shifts about this dynamic?

It occurred to me that while I do not consider the work of making (and staying in) contact with our respective feminine/emotional sides to be done — some people may be right in the sweet spot, some perhaps have swung a little too far with the pendulum, and some still don’t get it — there seems to be a need and a readiness to focus on healing our collective masculine/expressive nature.

The thing is, we can’t heal the collective all at once — no matter what sign Chiron is in, or what aspects it’s making. Healing is an individual job, first, foremost and always.

Yes, there seem to be events that help many people to move forward together at once in this regard; but even then, something has to be happening inside each of the individuals in that group. And it might look a little different for each person; they might use different words to describe it; the same event might feel more like a beginning of a healing process for one person while for someone else it feels like closure.

The more people we have consciously engaged in owning and processing their pain — the more people on this planet who are making their way toward healing and wholeness — the healthier our societies can be. I say that with the understanding that not everyone has access to the tools, support or other resources that facilitate the pursuit of psychological, emotional, energetic and even physical wellbeing and awareness in the way it’s often discussed on Planet Waves. Some people are very much in a place of needing to meet basic survival needs. I think healing can still happen, but it may look very different.

That said, when I consider the collective or political side of the Aries Point nexus, it’s clear that western (particularly U.S.) society has much work to do when it comes to how we deal with the themes of Aries, and thus of what often gets called ‘masculine’. We have big problems with violence, with sex, and with sex used as violence. Some of those problems have been given names like ‘toxic masculinity’ and ‘rape culture’.

Those terms, though they have become problematic in some of the ways they’re being used, do point to one side of very real social problems. The tricky thing is, they don’t necessarily point to all men in equal measure (though we all have something to learn). They also don’t take into full account the convoluted ways ‘femininity’ has developed and contorted itself in response — often due to the need to survive.

Nothing Safer; photo by Amanda Painter.

In spite of movements over the decades oriented on getting women to claim their sexual desire, their agency and their ambition, we’re still faced with the false ‘Madonna/whore’ duality; our media glorifies ‘sexiness’ while our churches fight to undermine laws protecting women’s sexual health. Likewise, though women claim to want sensitive, caring men, we’re still gobbling up visions of hyper-masculine movie heroes — strong, violent, driven — like candy.

So where does that leave us? As far as I can tell, right back where we started — or, rather, where I started in this discussion: a willingness to stand out, even just a little, as someone who is doing your work to recognize and reckon with your inner masculine shadow material. As you may have read before, the discoverer of Chiron, Charles T. Kowal, offered the first keyword for this centaur planet when he looked at its orbit and called it “a maverick.” Mavericks don’t behave like everyone else.

It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself to be a man, a woman, transgender, or non-binary; it doesn’t matter who you want to have sex with (if anybody). What matters is that you as an individual take an honest look at how you relate to your ambition, your motivation, your sexual desire, your violent impulses, your anger. How can you claim those, while still retaining whatever acceptance you’ve come to of your more sensitive, receptive, Piscean side?

Who are you now? Does the sense of purpose you feel inside match your current outward reality? In what ways does your sense of yourself not fit ‘normal’ patterns? How are you feeling called to express that?

I’m going to leave those questions there for consideration; for a little more about today’s other aspects, you can check the Written in the Planets post. Here’s to learning whatever it is Chiron has to teach us; and here’s to being mavericks — being willing to stand out — in the service of wholeness.

Yours & truly,

Monday Morning Horoscope #168 for March 18, 2019 | By Eric Francis Coppolino

Aries (March 20-April 19) — There’s something you don’t know, and you need to figure out what it is. The chances are, you’re looking right at it. There are a number of reasons that the situation might disguise itself or fade into the background where you may not notice it. For example, the implications of making a discovery might include something that you don’t want to know about or deal with, or the potential for such. However, that’s not really an option. By the time the Sun reaches your sign on the 20th, a veil will come up and you’ll see everything you were ‘missing’ previously. Before you get there, you might want to map out the territory, based on what you know or what you think might be true, founded on some evidence or data. Once the Sun enters your sign, events are likely to feel compressed and like there is no room for you to think or make rational decisions. Soon after, Mercury begins to go direct, and that will add to any confusion. So focus your mind and do your homework early.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You have some bold ideas, though it would be wise of you to present them as ordinary ones. Rather than hype innovation, demonstrate that you have a grasp on the fundamentals. Show you understand where any partners, colleagues or collaborators are coming from, and do not run ahead of them. It’s your job to learn and speak their language, not the other way around. This is an important adaptation with Uranus in your sign, and it will be helpful to you and others if you honor it. You may think you know more than you know; you may think an idea is better than it is. One measure of your knowledge is your ability to explain yourself to someone with little to none, and not skip relevant steps. One measure of assessing the quality of an idea is whether it solves practical problems, even just one. The “practicality test” will be your best friend. And especially during the forthcoming Mercury station, try to avoid solving problems that don’t exist.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — We’re still over a week away from Mercury stationing direct, though this is one you’re going to need to plan for. Mercury, a planet that (in the microcosm of astrology) signifies you, will be conjunct Neptune for 10 days, from late March into early April. I suggest that you take special precautions beginning now, particularly as you guide your professional activities. This is the time to apply all the most basic rules of Mercury retrograde, in a similar way that competent air or sea pilots follow stringent guidelines. Those include avoiding making any new commitments, signing contracts or making major purchases. There could be tempting opportunities. People may make offers or promises that seem enticing or too good to be true. You might be inclined to do the same. Under this astrology, it’s a near certainty that your plans will work out differently from what you intended, so making as few plans as possible will be helpful. But don’t just get blown around by the wind; pick a destination or modest goal and keep your focus.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This week, the Sun moves into Aries (well, the Earth moves, but the Sun looks like it does). For you, that means visibility, and it means aspiration. However, to these ends (if you’re interested), I suggest you do less rather than more. Your astrology has considerable momentum, and the thing you need to do is keep your rudder in the water, and pay attention to conditions in the environment. There are times to take an offensive posture, meaning to go for it, and times to take a defensive posture, which means to be responsive. Now is the time to slow down and observe. You have most of the information you need to navigate through these waters, and being born under a water sign will help. What you need to get accustomed to is the principle of magnification: that the combination of the Sun, Chiron and other factors joining forces in Aries raises your profile considerably. Remember that, even if you think you’re laying low. It would be wise to make an extra investment in whatever you consider the spiritual aspects of your life through this time.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Two things are going on at the moment. One is that the Sun is about to enter your fellow fire sign Aries, and make a whole bunch of aspects to planets in Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. While that is happening, Mercury will be making the most unusual station direct that I’ve ever seen, forming an approximately two-week conjunction to Neptune. All of this cautions against thinking you know anything much for certain. You are about to learn a lot; some will be from seemingly inner sources, and some will be from seemingly outer sources. Yet as it turns out, all knowledge and learning ultimately comes from within you, and that is the place to focus. Here’s one image I suggest you remember, as the Sun seems to make a lot of aspects: the Sun is in the center, and everything in our solar system is moving around it. This places you in a central position, and if you remember that, you will have considerable influence over your affairs. Keep your perspective, listen to the music, and watch everyone dance around you. Remember to tap your feet.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Remember that you’re in new territory on a number of different fronts. Be aware of the extent to which you strive to find yourself in others, through intimate relationships. If you can be aware of that, you can move through the territory of intimacy without getting lost in the other. However, since your ruling planet Mercury makes a two-week conjunction to Neptune (the potential for confusion galore), in your house of relationships, you will need to pay attention. You would be wise to get alcohol entirely out of your intimate life, if it has a role. Under this influence, you will be a different person on a single glass of wine. This could distort your perceptions, intensify your emotional reactions, or get you to say things you don’t mean. Other substances could have a similar effect, and the insidious part is you might not notice until you’re already being carried by the current. I suggest you be real with yourself that your relationships are about you. My mantra for that is, “It’s not about him/her/them, it’s about me.”

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — This could be one of those times when everything suddenly comes out in the wash, catches up with you or seems to come unraveled. You can avoid that by staying ahead of your truth, by which I mean backing off from that oh-so-modern kind of denial that seems necessary at our time in history. It’s usually the first two minutes of a sensitive topic that are difficult to talk about, if you don’t count the days, weeks, months or years leading up to them. Chiron and other factors in your opposite sign Aries make it inevitable that your most intimate relationships are reorienting. That suggests strongly that you need a point of orientation within yourself. You remember what this is: the many times you’ve come back to yourself, back to your inner sanctuary (which has always proven to be easier between relationships rather than during them). I suggest that you focus your inner orientation on two qualities: one, how you feel every day, and two, what you make every day. Notice how you feel; notice what you make; note the connections.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You seem to be taking the long way around “figuring something out” when really, the whole matter is one of desire. What do you want? What does someone else close to you want? Who wants whom? How do you know? Imagine that’s the whole issue right there, spelled out. Who wants what? If you can admit that, you have some power. If you don’t, you have none. You want other people to be upfront about this as well, so encourage them. Use your influence to get everyone around you to make affirmative statements of their desire. I know that in some quarters and in some sub-cultures this might be like throwing a bomb, however, political correctness never saved a life. The person to focus on the most assertively is yourself: detect and evaporate any trace of denial you find in yourself. Forget trying to impress anyone with your purity; the notion that you are pure is laughable, and it’s not what you want to be. You want to be a blood-sweat-and-tears human.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You can take a cautious approach, or a creative approach. Taking a creative approach usually means trying something you have not done before, which will carry you into some new and unfamiliar experiences. In theory, this is what you want, though it would seem you’re hesitating in some way. It’s likely to involve what you believe a relationship partner would think about you if you exceeded your own expectations, or even chose to shake up your personal world. However, this has nothing special to do with a partner; rather, it’s your own inner trip, dressed in the garb of a relationship. Said another way, what you’re really needing to address are your own ideas, which will come in the form of ideas that you think other people have about you. This is a little like a mode of dream analysis, where you recognize every facet of the dream (including inanimate objects) as an aspect of your voice. What you think people think is what you’re thinking.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — The primary exercise of your life in these years is about developing clarity of thought. You have this in one sense of the word: you tend to think you know when something is true. Yet this is different from clarity, which is the ability to see a question or situation from several different viewpoints, and then identifying the specific distinctions. Be mindful if you find yourself certain that something is true — whatever it might be, whether deeply personal, something about the world, or an idea you’re developing. Learning how to be circumspect takes training and practice. It requires the cultivation of thought habits. For example, once you’ve identified a problem and solved it, start over and do that a second time, using a different approach. The positively urgent thing I suggest you do in the coming few weeks is make sure you leave detailed notes in the margin. Leave your arithmetic where you can see it, so that you can observe how you came to any given conclusion or certainty.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — This week, Venus in your sign forms a square to Mars in Taurus. This aspect presents a question: what do you want to express? Have you got something you need to get out of your system, to say, to do, or otherwise communicate? First, though, check inwardly for any motive involving anger, jealousy, guilt or fear. If you detect that’s what’s driving you, address that first. Address partly means understand, and mostly means finding an outlet for your energy that’s healthy and that won’t hurt anyone. If you’re inspired by some other impulse — love, creativity, curiosity, or friendly lust, to name a few — get some of that going. In our world, it’s usually more acceptable to stick to the rage/frustration side of the spectrum. All that pretty stuff on the love/creativity side of things tends to be fragile, not just in ‘the world’ but in consciousness. I know you have a lot on your mind, and you’re doing a good job keeping a positive attitude. Make sure you do some of what you’re really into.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — One of the most unusual Mercury-goes-direct moments I’ve ever seen is now in progress, and is taking place in your sign. You’re probably aware Neptune is gradually making its way across Pisces — a gas giant that at times orbits more slowly than Pluto. Now Mercury, the fastest of all the planets, is moving retrograde into a conjunction with Neptune, and then stations direct on March 28. (I’ve detailed this in the article above.) The result is that a planet associated with your sign, and sometimes with you, will be in a long conjunction with the planet (Mercury) that rules your opposite sign, Virgo. This represents a point of contact — a dialog, a meeting, a revelation that unfolds slowly. It represents a transformation for you and possibly for a relationship, though you will need to pay attention. That means two things: making sure you and people close to you understand one another; and that you keep track of your money. You are in ‘don’t sign/don’t buy’ territory to the max.

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