I help you identify your strengths and counteract your weaknesses, and together we put them in the context of your life, using your birth chart. Then we look at them in relation to the world around us; and YOU make choices and decisions about what YOU will do next! And that, my friends, is the essence of an astrological reading with me…
No bells. No whistles. No tricks. No “woo-woo” chicanery. Astrology is as much a forecasting tool as barometers or weather-vanes; and with skill and discernment, considerably more accurate; but it is not a crystal ball into the future. Astrologers don’t “tell” the future, but we can describe your nature and the circumstances you are likely to encounter pretty closely—which can come in handy. A useful system—which you can use—or not.
As always, it’s YOUR choice.
2017 will be better.
The old year is dying; and with it, a number of people we have loved—seemingly more this year than ever before. There is a shift—not the much-vaunted THE Shift—a tilt in the axis, a new hollow ache in the heart where optimism used to lodge. It hurts; but it doesn’t stop: just goes on ticking, propelling us through the painful hours, each new dislocation worse than the last.
In a word, 2016 sucked.
So how do we get through? How do we regain our confidence, our hope, our trust in the future?
Thinking about this—after carefully AVOIDING thinking about it in a binge-immersion of Downton Abbey—I thought of Christmas 1916, and the bleak New Year of 1917. The Great War was wiping out a generation; every convention and protocol which had seemingly held the world together had been challenged and then smashed to smithereens. Death and depair were daily presences: nothing was sacred; nobody was untouched; and no one could imagine a future worth living.
Not unlike now.
How did they get through? The mundane rituals of daily-ness: bathing, brushing teeth, breakfast. Walks. Work. Writing letters and journals. Laundry. Caring for others. Volunteering. Filling every beat with something useful, to combat the darkness and the unimaginable void. Celebrating small, domestic victories and finding joy in unexpected places. Deliverance was in the details, until the comforting rotation of the seasons finally released them, much altered, from the grasp of war.
So when I say that 2017 will be better, I mean it. Not because circumstances will improve, but because WE will be more able to handle them. As our birth charts attest, we are multi-faceted beings, stellar solutions waiting to be employed. Like the people of 1917, we are evolving strategies, work-arounds to cope. And—like them—we WILL muddle through, and we will shine. Brilliantly.
Every so often I get a call from a client whose chart is in the throes of a LOOONG, uncomfortable transit—“Make it stop!” is the general sentiment.
Unfortunately, I can’t.
What I can do is to help them understand the nature of the transit to the planets it’s visiting and its purpose vis-à-vis the chart as a whole. Then I can offer up some strategies for riding it out (and even making it work FOR them).
Where do YOU feel hard-done-by? Where you feel that others—and life itself—are out to get you? Where do all the “have-tos” crowd in? Chances are, that’s the theme of your Sedna; and its purpose in your natal chart is to teach you how NOT to be a victim.
Sedna is an asteroid with an orbit of nearly 11,400 years—so it probably shouldn’t affect us here on Earth, right? Wrong. Sedna symbolizes all the things I just mentioned, plus a host of other things we call bad luck—Murphy’s Law—fate (when we’re feeling grandiose about our grievances)—but it all boils down to how we handle it.
When we hear astronomers make grandiose pronouncements on the status of our erstwhile smallest planet, astrologers snort. By transforming societal attitudes, Pluto—supposedly demoted as a planet—defines our history.
Pluto works something like a Kaleidoscope: with a turn of the stem, the pieces shift, creating entirely new patterns and forms. And so it has acted since we’ve known it.
Pluto was discovered in 1930, at the onset of the Great Depression. At that time, it was about halfway through Cancer, the sign which concerns itself with home, family, and domestic economy. Pluto overhauls the affairs of every sign it occupies, so between 1914 and 1939, these domains were altered forever. Mortgages were foreclosed and homes lost; families dispersed, and new tribes born of affinity or necessity came into being; the internal finances of nearly every country in the world were first inflated and then depressed. From the outset of the Great War until the rumblings of the Second World War, Pluto presided over these global transformations.
Leo is the sign of glorified Self-Expression. It is also the sign of kings: and after Pluto’s transit, from 1939 to 1957, very few monarchs still retained their thrones; and those that did saw vast changes in the scope of their influence and power. Leo rules children, education, sports, speculation, and the arts: in this same period all of these spheres were amplified and transformed. Children born during these years, particularly after WW2, are called Baby Boomers and are accused of self-indulgence and indolence; but it was the first time in recorded history that children were accorded respect and preferences.
Pluto’s transit through Virgo—1957-1969—was shorter, due to Pluto’s erratic orbit; but it was no less dramatic. Joined by revolutionary Uranus for much of the period (particularly the turbulent years from 1963-67), Pluto ushered in changes to healthcare and nutrition; the roles of women, particularly in the workplace; and—significantly—civil rights and freedoms. All were radically transformed.
Relationships are the preoccupation of Libra; and during Pluto’s transit (1970-1982) every form of connection among human beings was explored, exposed, and exploded. New awareness of possibility shifted previously rock-solid societal assumptions about what was acceptable; and alternate styles of relating sprang up and became mainstream.
Scorpio’s scope is mystery, sexuality, crime, and obsession: in its own sign, Pluto is especially powerful, as it was between 1983 and 1995. Exposing the underpinnings of chain reaction—another specialty of Pluto—and conspiracy were very much in vogue; and sexually-transmitted diseases and deviance dominated the headlines. Pluto raises issues and then attempts to resolve them: so research and political reforms as remedy ensued all through the period.
Pluto in Sagittarius intensified our curiosity about the world around us. From mid-1995 until the end of 2007, we became fascinated with all things foreign to our experience and culture. Unfortunately some of that fascination sparked and expanded domination and exploitation—and then exposed them, as Pluto tends to do. Sagittarius is preoccupied with justice and freedom: the spirit, rather than the letter of the law; but Pluto in Sagittarius brought in flagrant and unprecedented manipulations of all matters judicial, which led to their systematic dismantling and reform.
Which brought us to Pluto’s current sign, Capricorn. Capricorn is associated with government and institutions: it rules rulers and rule-makers, so to speak. Not since the days of the American Revolution have we seen such utter revisioning of the structures of power. NOTHING is sacred among what Auden called, “the laws we accept to school our post-diluvian world” since 2008: corruption is rampant; stock markets totter; politicians and media are mistrusted almost uniformly. We can expect a complete reckoning in global economies and ethics, brought on by exposure of brutalities and dishonesty in the years before Pluto moves on into more humane and humanitarian Aquarius in 2024.
What Pluto touches, it changes. In Yeats’s words, “A terrible beauty is born.”
Woke up this morning and realized there are no planets in air signs right now. In fact, no planets in air (except the Moon—fleetingly) until the end of August.
What does this mean? Well, there are four elements in western astrology: earth (practicality); water (emotion); fire (enthusiasm); and air (intellect). We are suffering from a dearth of intelligence—all month. Sure, we can think: but mental processes won’t come easily, so we’ll have to build workarounds, as with any shortage. If we throw enough money, intensity, and passion at a problem, we can probably solve it—but without any pretense of elegance or simplicity. Rational thought is a stretch right now: we are in a period of what my father liked to call “nae brains”.
So, instead of an ill wind that blows no good, we have no wind at all. What a perfectly telling backdrop to one of the nastiest elections in recent history…
Eclipses. Retrogrades. Full Moons. New Moons. People react to these cyclical events, occurring with predictable reliability, with groans or glee, depending on their attitudes to change. And change, invariably, begets growth. And growth is almost always painful, at least in part, for it inches us that much closer to death—another reliably inevitable development.
So every astronomical event is a harbinger of eventual death. But not just yet. In the meantime we have stuff to do, and each astral phenomenon deepens our ability to do it. We create strategies and work-arounds to lessen pain or difficulty; we find deeper meaning in joy when we have suffered for it. When life’s events shake us up, and we survive, it is a triumph: another day on which we’ve cheated death.
Another candle we can blow out, on that cyclical event.
In the light of eternity—of life and death—even the dreaded Mercury Retrograde has its gifts of epiphany and humour. Thinking backwards helps us get it right, so that we can go back and fix the things we rushed over in the first place. And each 3-week hiatus makes us understand and appreciate how well things work in DIRECT motion—and we get this opportunity 4 times a year.
Eclipses come in pairs (with the occasional threesome) twice annually. Lunations and full moons, every 4 weeks. Solar Returns—birthdays—once a year.
And in every event, a milestone. We made it this far….
I wrote the other day about spring cleaning, and about the importance of reviewing our inner assignments; and about the usefulness of using Sabian imagery to do that work. What I did NOT do in that post was explain (for those who are not familiar with them) what Sabian Symbols are, and how they came to be.
Sabian Symbols are a collection of received images, one for each degree of the Zodiac. They begin with 1• Aries (0.01 degrees = 1 degree) and run through 30• Pisces—360 in all, as in any circle. They were channeled by Elsie Wheeler, a gifted Californian medium, at the request of the visionary astrologer Marc Edmund Jones. On some unnamed day in 1925, Mr. Jones bundled Ms. Wheeler and her wheelchair—she was badly crippled by arthritis--into his Model A Ford and whisked her off to Balboa Park. Over a 3-day period, during which he showed her blank flash-cards and she described the images that came to her, they managed to generate the basis for Sabian astrology. Marc Edmund Jones wrote a book--The Sabian Symbols in Astrology—and thus was created an invaluable tool for modern astrologers.
Jones’s friend and astrological colleague, Dane Rudhyar, asked permission to expand upon the Symbols, which he laid out with Jungian overtones (he was himself a Jungian therapist of some note) in An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and Its 360 Symbolic Phases. This is the earliest--and to my mind, the best--of the many tomes seeking to build on Jones and Wheeler’s research.
Fast-forward to now: why use them? Because they work. Take any astrological chart and analyse it according to the nature of the planets and the Sabian degrees at which they fall, and you will have a remarkably complex and accurate understanding of the meaning of that chart—the thrust of its potential, as well as its pitfalls. And when it’s your own? Knowledge is power.
In addition to washing windows to let in the spring sunshine, and raking lawns to wake the frozen ground, I was thinking about annual astrological tasks the other day. What do I mean by that? Well, each planet embodies a sphere in our lives. The Sun’s our basic personality; the Moon reflects our inner nature; Mercury’s how we think and communicate, and so forth. This is the stuff of conventional astrology. But why do we need to know the degree at which each one occurs? Why is Sabian imagery so important?
Because it answers questions about what is asked of us in this life.
Sabian Symbols set out precisely the themes animating the areas in our lives described by the planets. It’s not enough just to recognize ourselves in these images. We need to ponder WHY this particular collection of themes showed up in the heavens when we were born, and what—taken together—we are asked to DO with them; and how we—as individuals—can make them truly our own. And spring is a PERFECT time to do that.
I love psychic fairs. I really do: they’re wonderful. Sort of bizarre bazaars. Aisles of colourful tables manned by people one hasn’t seen in ages—practitioners of a wide array of crafts and arts, dressed to entice or impress. The vibration in the hall from devotees striving to share their particular mantic or healing lore is thrilling, to say the least, tho’ sometimes the psychic hangover is intense. The spectacle can be enchanting. And there is always something to be gained from esoteric cross-pollination: one just might learn a thing or two in the process.
That said, I’ve also grown wise in the ways of what NOT to expect from a psychic fair:
As merchants, we certainly don’t expect to get rich at psychic fairs: but the exposure is priceless. And for the public? One can meet, greet, and bookmark practitioners for later. And that’s always worthwhile.
(Note: I can be found at the Cole Habour Place Psychic and Holistic Fair, February 20-21, 2015. See y’all there!)
Ariel Harper Nave
“I believe that there is NOTHING sent us that we cannot handle if we know ourselves well enough and that’s why I do what I do.”