Friday, December 31, 2010

Moonwalk: Capricorn

© 2011 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Until I watched the goofy movie, The Men Who Stare at Goats, I hadn’t realized the vast variety among these practical, climbing creatures—often depicted as four-legged trash mashers who will eat anything and everything, especially tin cans. (This is a myth. Apparently, goats eat almost anything but tin cans and cardboard. I’m disappointed to learn I can’t acquire one to do most of my recycling.)

There’s a scene in the movie where a bunch of goats, being used for some mighty strange military experiments into the paranormal, are “sprung” from their coop and confinement. The mass exodus of goats was a fashion show of coats, colors, and personalities. Further research verified; there are over three hundred distinct breeds of goat.

Is This Moon Made of Goat Cheese or Blue Cheese?

The proud owner of a Capricorn Moon myself, I thought a stroll down my own lunar lane would make this the easiest of all my Moonwalks. Not really! I’m one kind of Goat Moon. There are many others. I decided this was my chance to explore my herd and hope you’ll be as fascinated as I am by these often-comical looking creatures. Some other goat characteristics to contemplate for their application to Capricorn Sun and Moon: Both male and female goats have beards and horns. They are visually androgynous.[1] All breeds have a woolly undercoat in winter for which Angoras are bred. (If you think Cap Moons aren’t warm, you just haven’t gotten to know them well enough for a hug while they’re wearing their undercoat!)  Goats are one of the oldest domesticated species. (Think of the application to long-term relationship potential.)They’re used for milk, meat, hair, and skins over much of the world. In the 20th century, they even gained popularity as pets. Goat milk products, especially cheese, are very “in” where I live, especially among people who have cow milk allergies. However, most people simply prefer the unique taste and texture of goat cheese, often packaged under the French word for goat, chevre. [2]

With apologies to the traditionalists among you, I have never found it helpful to know my Capricorn Moon is in detriment. I don’t want my planets to sound detrimental, to fall down (be “in fall”) and possibly bruise themselves, or to afflict or besiege me. The Moon is our emotional life, mother, our habits and how we nurture. Those kinds of labels depress me, especially applied to such important areas of life. Alas, being Saturn-ruled, a tendency toward depression can sometimes go with the territory of a Cap Moon. However, this must be taken in context with no presumptions made that anyone with this Moon sign needs to run to the nearest shrink for a prescription of Zoloft, Lexapro or the latest Serotonin uplift du jour.

Don’t rule it out, if it’s truly needed, but rely on Saturn to help you make a good executive decision about what feeds and heals your emotional life. Since Capricorn is an Earth sign, explore all the alternatives offered by your own element—herbs, homeopathy, and flower essences, too. Donna Cunningham has some excellent material on this issue and specific flower essence suggestions in her classic book, The Moon in Your Life: Being a Lunar Type in a Solar World. According to Donna, Cap Moons can become depressed as a habit to avoid anger. Another Cap habit worth turning around is working even harder when feelings surface in order to avoid them. [3]

Cap Moon: Chief Executive Officer of Feelings

As I’m sure I’ve shared more than once, my own Moon squares Neptune, Venus, and Sun. Imagine what that does to stir up my lunar life. My Saturn-ruled Moon saves the day by putting some brakes on raw-nerve feelings evoked by Neptune. My Cap Moon helps me put free-floating, constant sensations into some order and context. Without the grounding my Goat Moon brings, I’d definitely need some of those drugs. Even if you need them, long- or short-term or wonder if you do, never fear. Ultimately, Capricorn Moon will teach you how to run your emotional corporation and to sort and stack up your feelings in a way you can bank on. You can become a powerful executive when it comes to managing emotions. Achievements in emotional growth might actually become your forte.

What, you don’t think emotions shouldn’t be “managed?” Think of the trouble they get you into when you blurt things out in the wrong context or blow your top in a way that’s permanently alienating. Or “declare yourself” in a relationship way too soon and scare off the one you want to woo. One of the biggest things my Cap Moon has taught me is to be more cautious about what I share since my Moon square Neptune is likely to blab everything and be more transparent than tule fog is translucent. Tule (too’-lee) is the dense layer of ground fog we experience in and around Sacramento in winter. Hmm, no wonder the opening photo of the Goat more prominent than the fog around him appealed to me!

Baby Goats Are Called Kids

You’ve probably heard that Capricorn tends to be old when young and young when old.  When I think of how that applies to the realm of feelings, this Moon sign tends to be wise before his or her time—and a kid at heart the closer s/he gets to the finish line of life. (Isn’t it odd that our pet name for children, kids, was borrowed from the name for baby goats?) A childlike nature is not a bad benefit to look forward to, since none of us is getting any younger except at heart.

"Only the fool hopes to repeat an experience; the wise man knows that every experience is to be viewed as a blessing. " ~ Henry Miller (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Capricorn) 

What Cap Moon Knows Is for You to Find Out—and Appreciate

What the Capricorn Moon wants most of all is to be respected for either wisdom or authority. That doesn’t necessarily mean s/he’s either a wise guy (gal) or authoritarian. S/he simply wants you to appreciate his or her hard-earned knowledge and how you can both benefit from it. The workaholic tendencies of Cap Moon come from that need to “prove himself” or have others recognize what she has achieved. Capricorn is one of the signs where the native begins to focus on his or her role in the community. The Cap Moon wants to create an orderly, beneficial existence for everyone that relies on one another. We often connect this Saturn-ruled sign with father or paternal energy, just as its opposite sign, Cancer, is considered the maternal archetype. Naturally, variations occur across genders. There are wonderful, nurturing male Cancers and terrific businesswomen Capricorns—by Sun, Moon or other planets. (Cap Sun Dolly Parton comes to mind.) Keeping this to its archetypal “ideal male” energy only, the evolved Cap Moon will fulfill the role of loving father—a provider, a fair disciplinarian, someone to look up to (there’s that acknowledgment), and someone whose wise counsel is sought when a kid is in trouble. Yes, the still-struggling Cap Moon can be a control freak, stingy with emotional expression, and a father who grounds you for months at a time. The coolest thing about being a grown-up is that we can decide how to “run” this energy! The habits for which Capricorn is famous, if not infamous, can be nudged to the side of positive. Habits are habits, and if you have a Cap Moon and knee-jerk routines or compulsions that you don’t like, you can replace the content of your habits or corral them in a different direction. (Capricorn also rules the knees, ergo knee-jerk reactions. You have dominion!)

What to Do Under Cap Moon

Saturn and Capricorn often get bad press, but they are as necessary to wholeness as every other piece of the zodiacal pie. Once you make peace with Saturn, you’ll see how he can be your greatest ally. Foundations, discipline, good habits and order will be imposed upon us (usually at a Saturn transit) when we won’t develop our inner Saturn. Saturn dumps from our lives forms that no longer fit and helps us build on new ground. Even if it doesn’t feel good in the process, these changes are ultimately a boon that keep us going in the right direction on our journey to fulfillment. Here are some ideas to begin to develop that better relationship with Saturn and the planet it’s associated with, Capricorn.

Begin under this New Moon in Capricorn to see the complementary pair of Moon-ruled Cancer and its opposite, Saturn-ruled Capricorn. Just as the Lights can be seen as a male/female pair in Sun and Moon, Cancer and Capricorn also have a male/female and mother/father polarity—better said a complementary nature. If you have planets in either of these signs, begin to notice how they balance each other. Find the “good” that both planets do for you and how each helps the other not to overdo some of the tendencies that can go out of control for either Cancer or Capricorn such as smothering (nurturing to a fault) or overeating for Cancer or becoming a work machine or too rigid for Cap. Capricorn is depicted alternatively as a sea goat and a terrestrial goat—one reflecting its water complement the other honoring its earthy, hooves-on-the-ground nature.

Where does this New Moon at 14 Capricorn fall in your chart? What house/area of life is it lighting up? How do you need to, first, acknowledge yourself in that area of life? How can you bring the positive characteristics of gentle but firm discipline, order, good habits, and new foundations to this area of life? Can you let the business of others appreciating you come to you naturally instead of craving it so much that you are dancing as fast as you can all the time?

Finally, look for other “new visions” of Capricorn. Here’s an excellent start on The Oxford Astrologer.

This Capricorn Moon – January 4, 2011

Click on chart to enlarge
On this New Moon Solar Eclipse, the Sun/Moon and Mars square Saturn in Libra. The pressure’s on to come to terms with the ruler of Capricorn. That way, we won’t feel like Saturn is Sr. Mary Meanie whacking us with another kind of ruler. (My childhood parochial education was so Saturnian!) The tension of this square begs resolution, especially with a whole tribe of planets in Goat facing their archetypal “father.”  If you’ve got issues with parenting, authority, or the powers-that-be, watch yourself face them on the climb to the top of Capricorn’s proverbial mountain for a higher view. Mercury in Sag helps you rev up for the trip and think like an adventurer. Use the strength you acquired in 2010, grappling with the Cardinal T-Square of Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto, to help you deal with any tensions with authority figures and conservative viewpoints.

Back to where the New Moon falls in your chart: New Moons already mark new beginnings. Eclipses add yellow highlighter to the concept of new starts. Coinciding so close to the calendar New Year, a time when many people set new goals, can make this a red-letter month and year for achievement. (Cardinal birds are red; the color often associated with the Cardinal signs, including Capricorn. Seeds planted in the week of the New Moon/Solar Eclipse take on added meaning by mid-year. Sow well.

You’re probably relieved to done with Mercury Retrograde during the holiday season. Mercury will still be in its shadow phase until mid-January, going forward in the sector of the zodiac it visited recently while traveling in reverse. With Mercury square Jupiter and Uranus in the New Moon chart, Mercurial pursuits are likely to be largely unpredictable. You might want to postpone short trips, public presentations, buying a new cell phone or computer until the third week of January, all the better for electronic devices with Sun in Aquarius.

Venus in Scorpio is “channeling the outer planets” this lunar month, [4] all of them except its own ruler, Pluto. Relationships have prominence for now, and they are not lightweight. In square to Neptune and Chiron, deception, escapism, and pain from old relationships are likely themes. We don’t just have a relationship with our present partners. We have relationships with them and all their past partners—and vice versa! While one part of Venus in Scorpio might enjoy that somewhat kinky ménage with its high drama, another part of that planetary combo, the one with the proverbial Plutonian jealousy, would like these other people out of his face or to have her lover all to herself. The trine to Jupiter/Uranus in Pisces pours expansion and excitement into the mix. Relationships can be wildly up-and-down this month with much to learn on the ride. The powers that bring us growth and change are riding with relationship this month, where we can grapple with ourselves most effectively, if sometimes painfully, in the mirror of those we care about most.

The large cluster of Capricorn planets carries a “need to achieve” under this New Moon. If we remember it’s really “seed to achieve” at a time of new beginnings and that the mountain takes time to climb, we’ll have a month in tune with what the sky is hinting.

A Few Closing Notes from My Capricorn Moon

Here’s some “astro-memoir” I hope will help illustrate the positive side of Capricorn Moon and help you put into perspective Saturn’s square to the Cap New Moon this month.

I like rules and am normally not comfortable breaking them, including the speed limit and the law about declaring every ounce of income on my tax returns.  When my fiery niece was just a tot—a stellium-in-Aries—she was all over the place and did not listen to her mother or grandmother. Only me. Her mother/my sister-in-law used to ask, “How do you do that?” I was loving but firm and I stated in an authoritative voice what she could and could not do. I did not yell like grandma. I did not repeat the same thing incessantly, as her mom did, in the same tone of voice, that became easy to tune out. Not only would my niece stop short to listen to me; she looked relieved that someone had finally helped her find the off switch. Setting boundaries is a form of caring, especially from Cap Moon.

My niece showed me a part of myself. As a Uranus square Sun, another part of me wants to chuck all the rules, but my Cap Moon is relieved to know my boundaries. Within this lunar-defined space—that usually does not feel confining—anything goes! I feel free to express my feelings and to nurture others inside this circle.

Another lesson: My first career in social work involved advising parents of children with developmental disabilities how to help their kids reach their maximum potential, despite their physical or mental challenges. The issue of discipline was huge. It is so easy to indulge a child who has limitations and to make their “birth package” an excuse for not being firmer and having reasonable standards of behavior. (Do you see a parallel here for your inner parent if you have an “afflicted” chart?) Of course, lack of behavioral rules only leads to bratty children no one can stand. That compounds an already challenging role as a parent to a child with special needs. (Who would want to provide the respite care these parents often so desperately need?)

We say the greatest things we can give our children are roots and wings. That’s  Saturn and Uranus. The analogy I still love from my child development days: How would it feel to enter to an intersection with no traffic signals?

Enjoy all the signals this month: stop, go, caution. Remember that the yellow or caution light always precedes a change in movement, whether stop or start. Are you as amazed as I am that these rules for safe travel are universal? To disobey them isn’t just to risk a big, fat, expensive ticket and a possibly increased insurance rate; the results could be devastating.

Let this Cap Moon introduce you to your inner yellow light and how it can save the day—or at least get you to where you’re going in one piece. If you have a Cap Moon, know your intuition is especially strong when sensing the need for caution. This is a gift and a godsend, especially in today’s world of chronic change and uncertainties. It's a lot like having a good dad who always has love and protection at the ready.


Photo Credits: Goat in a Fog © Leonikonst  and Corsican Goats in a Field (France) © Bean38 |


[1] Goats, 

[2] Goats, Wikipedia

[3] Donna Cunningham, Being a Lunar Type in a Solar World (Weiser: 1982), p. 98. If you’re not already a regular visitor to Donna’s blog, I highly recommend Sky Writer. For environmental considerations, all Donna’s newer books are e-books and can be purchased from Moon Maven Publications.

[4] The Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People series on The Radical Virgo speaks to the idea that individuals with the outer planets prominent channel change. 

Thanks to Café Astrology for the Henry Miller quote.

Related Post:  In case you haven’t had your New Year’s laugh yet, read ZodiYuks: New Year’s Resolutions from Aries to Pisces

Are you a New Moongram reader? This month’s special, available to people on the New Moongram mailing list only, is $50 off a New Year’s Reading with Joyce. Her normal $150 fee is $100 through February 1. To join the mailing list, click on the icon in the upper right of the sidebar.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Prayer on Winter Solstice

Great Spirit,
You are glue that joins us all
the gravity that binds us,
holds us together
through light and dark— always.

Hold us in the holy darkness of introspection
where we discover you inside ourselves.

Comfort us as we wonder if the Sun will ever return.
Reassure us that with every dawn, a moment of resurrection,
the light is always there
Even when it is not visible.

Enter with us the tabernacle of the dark days
where we can behold the Light Within
and the true magnificence
of joining our love and power
and the word for it—peace.                   

Joyce Mason
© 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Moonwalk: Sagittarius

Artemis the Huntress Shoots the Moon

© 2010 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

There’s nothing like a Sag Moon for contemplating your personal beliefs and how you express them. It’s a great goal for this New Moon, regardless of your natal Moon sign.

I’m still chuckling over the time a friend called a Sag-Moon relative a “blowhard.” He’s not the only Sag Moon I’ve known who could fill the bill of a blowhard at times—boastful and talkative. This is a caricature of a Sag Moon. Like any other astrological energy, there’s much more to it in a range from very likable to seriously irritating. There’s the pontificating, know-it-all Sag energy—and for Sag Moon, that would be especially when s/he feels strongly about something. Then there’s also the gifted teacher and sage who has a very large view of life and the world. I hope that under any Sag Moon, we’d like to bring in the latter archetype and have a good laugh at ourselves when we slip into the former. Heaven knows most comedy is a chuckle about the more annoying or contradictive characteristics of the astrological types.

One thing Sag always has is a point, represented by the Archer’s arrow. And it’s a sharp point. Whether the point wounds or pierces consciousness, as in a wake-up call—just like the Scorpio’s stinger, Sag’s arrow needs to be used carefully and with integrity. My Sag-Moon ex-husband had a wonderful expression that goes with that arrow. “You don’t have to kill a flea with a cannon.” No need to launch an arrow if a nice tap on the shoulder will get someone to listen to what you’ve got to say. Overkill isn’t just sometimes devastating to your “pray,” the one’s you’re praying to get through to; it’s an unnecessary waste of energy.

Believe It—or Not

What a great time to take that BIG Sagittarian view and ask yourself, what is my spiritual and ethical perspective on life? Have I learned anything lately to enhance or amend these core values? Have I ever sat down and identified them to myself? If you belong to an organized religion or school of thought, you already have some sense of your belief system. Nowadays many people are more “spiritual” than religious and may be more “supermarket” in their beliefs, choosing from many traditions and ideas and tossing them into their cart to take home and combine into an outlook. (I have core values from my childhood religion but the rest of my belief system is à la carte.)

Considering that our point of view and spiritual beliefs dictate our behavior, nothing could be more important than an occasional review of where we’re at with this core orientation. Sagittarius is linked with beliefs, religion/spirituality, and worldview. This time of year, we prepare for a season of loving and giving—a time when people want to act on the best of their values. A Sag New Moon is the perfect time to observe your own ideas and behavior as you shop, wrap packages, and encounter other humans during what I call affectionately “the holidaze.” It can bring out the best and worst in you, from Santa to Scrooge. No better time than to see what you’re made of in the philosophy department. I’m convinced Santa was a Sagittarius, renowned for his generosity and jolly nature. Perhaps we can all absorb that ho-ho hilarity and generous giving nature from this month’s Sagittarius Moon.

If you need a little help to unleash your inner child (this is for those without much Sag or Jupiter influence or whose Sag is sagging), try Zinnia flower essence. You’ll love how it transforms you into a kid at Christmas again and helps you keep a balance of light, even if you choose to take a more serious look at your spiritual values under this New Moon that calls for it. If the darker days ahead tend to leave you flirting with depression, Zinnia is also a balm that makes the sun shine inside you.

The Oracle Speaks: Artemis “Shoots the Moon”

I knew when I found this photo for our Sag Moonwalk; it was oracular. However, it took me awhile to figure out what Artemis (Diana) was doing here on our monthly stroll, other than the obvious fact that she’s an archer aiming toward the Moon. When the expression “shoot the Moon” also popped into my head, I knew it, too, was the universe whispering a cosmic hint. Here’s what I’ve sorted from this paired vision and caption.

To “shoot the moon” is an interesting expression with varied meanings.[1] In card games, it means to win every trick or point in a given hand—winner takes all. It has evolved to mean aiming for the nearly impossible, since that kind of hand, much less hitting the Moon with an arrow from Earth, has almost no odds of success. Shoot the Moon has also come to mean, “go for broke” or give it all you’ve got. People also say, “Let’s shoot the Moon” when they want to go all out celebrating and having a good time.

All these things feel very Moon in Sagittarius to me from the long-shot gamble to the overly optimistic belief in making such a long shot, and certainly the desire to celebrate life all-out. What does this tell us?

Aim high to fulfill your desires and goals this lunar month. Shoot for the Moon, and if you hit a star, you’ve still speared a chunk of the heavens. Stay optimistic, even in these times of chaos, as society is in a general state of upheaval and core change. Celebrate life, love, and the fact that we are alive to feel every day. Make every day Christmas.

Last thoughts: Artemis was Chiron’s foster parent, along with her twin brother Apollo. It was Artemis who taught Chiron the skills of hunting and was respected among men for her archery skills. Is the centaur in the symbol for Sagittarius actually Chiron? Some say yes, others no. [2] In any case, Artemis had a direct influence on Chiron who passed the knowledge of archery onto the young men he prepared for their heroic journeys. In ancient Greece, archery was one of, if not the most basic survival skill. That this skill came from Chiron’s maternal figure seems at minimum a role reversal. At maximum, this juxtaposition of female energy into the hunt suggests a more symbolic interpretation. We must hunt not just for what feeds our bodies, but also for what also feeds our souls. Artemis aiming for the Moon is not only a consummate Sag Moon symbol; she reminds us that without aiming for a lunar life, we don’t really live; we just survive.

Click chart to enlarge
This New Moon

The New Moon chart only tells part of the story of a whole lot going on in the sky for the next month or so. Let’s start with it.

Saturn is in close sextile to the Sun/Moon conjunction, suggesting that the optimism of the Lights can be tempered with a certain reality, if we choose to access the grounding energy of Saturn. The balance Saturn in Libra brings can help tame excessive holiday spending or letting our generosity run amuck on credit cards when the economics of the day are nudging us to learn more about the spirit of giving rather than the “stuff” of it. If Sag is the sign that speaks out candidly, is this the lunar cycle and the year to suggest to your family a shift in tradition to gifts more in the spirit of the season? Long ago, people used to give their loved ones something they had treasured and were willing to pass on to them. This tugs my heartstrings as touching and more giving of self than the fanciest new “thing.” One friend’s family, deciding they really own enough and can buy themselves what they honestly need, does something different with the $25 or more dollars they used to spend on each member. They donate it to the charity of that person’s choice. Got the nerve? Shoot the Moon!

The Uranus/Jupiter conjunction squares Mars, also in Sag. While bringing wildly wonderful opportunities in large part, the tense aspect to Mars brings to mind potential for exaggerated tempers and big outbursts. Personally, the additional stress of the season always leaves me a bit edgy. Holidays are high on the stress scale. Factor in that you might feel a bit more tense and explosive than usual. Do whatever you do to take the edge off, but remember the Sagittarian tendency to overeat, over imbibe, and so on, may aggravate the condition more than ease it. Draw on that sextile to the Sag Sun/Moon to find sensible ways to ground and center. Be sure you’re prepared emotionally for some of those family affairs that bring up old hurts. Work on thickening your skin and honing your sense of humor, one of the biggest gifts of Sagittarius. Make a long fuse one of your biggest gifts to your relatives, even if it takes a lot of inner work to accomplish.

Sextiling the Lights from the other side is the close Neptune/Chiron conjunction. Healing comes in dreams and visions this month, much as I confirmed in finding the photo and caption for this post. Your spiritual rituals of the season may be more healing than ever—your giving of the spirit more profoundly rewarding.

Pluto and Mercury start the lunar month in a tight conjunction before Mercury goes retrograde on Dec. 10.  This pair is in a soothing sextile to Venus in Scorpio, suggesting a time when we can potentially have deep changes of mind and heart, particularly when it comes to our patterns of loving and giving. With Pluto and Mercury in Capricorn, it’s good to remember that “executive” is a major Capricorn key word combined with Plutonian power. We can be powerful executives of our thinking this month, which directly affects our feelings and their expression. What thoughts do we need to let go of or surrender to in that deep Plutonian way? It’s a month of great outer activity, but inner sorting and regrouping is also insisted upon by Lord Pluto.

Pluto does not suggest; he demands. Our lives work best when we get with the program. Certainly, there is a danger of intense communications and miscommunications with Mercury/Pluto as Mercury goes retrograde. If we work that sextile to Venus to deepen our channels of communication with loved ones, we may find ourselves able to laugh and find the absurdity in many of our misunderstandings.

The trines to the South Node by Neptune/Chiron and Venus really catch my eye. This pattern feels like a prescription for healing past relationship hurts, for letting the waters of the holiday spirit wash away old grievances. Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius are on the Sabian symbol, A Pottery Bowl Filled with Violets. This degree suggests putting something old in new context. The flowers speak to presenting things well. We’ll have opportunities to touch others with lovely gestures. If we can be in the moment (“Then was then and now is now”), we may find miraculous shifts in our perceptions of those with whom we’ve been estranged or at odds. Open to the possibility. [3]

Stepping away from the New Moon chart a bit and commenting on the astro goings-on for the rest of December:

  • From December 12-15, there is an intense conjunction of Mercury Retrograde, Mars and Pluto in the early degrees of Capricorn. Mars will also square Uranus, easing out of influence by Dec. 12-13. There is potential for accidents, miscommunication, and all out bad tempers. If you follow the suggestions built into the New Moon chart, you may be able to transmute a great deal negative energy that could involve conflict and power abuse. Out in the world, this may have impacts at work and require a great deal of diplomacy and lunar navigation to walk without harm through a field of emotional landmines. Alternatively, lie low where you can for this period and know the climate is temporarily volatile. The Mars/Pluto conjunction is waning by Dec. 23-24, and Mercury goes direct on Dec. 29 or 30, depending on your place on the planet. You may welcome Christmas and New Year’s Eves more than usual as they mark cosmic tension release points.

  • Winter Solstice on December 21 boasts a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse at 29+ Gemini. The cusp of Capricorn marks the shift between the wildly outer energy of Sagittarius and the darkest day that asks us to shift toward inner work. I love that this shift happens during a chatty, social Gemini Full Moon. It’s like a last hurrah before we hug the dark and enter the more inner time of year. Look this month not only where the New Moon falls in your chart but also the Lunar Eclipse Full Moon. Both are points of new beginnings. What houses/areas of life are activated for you?

To wrap up, the year ends as a microcosm of a rock ‘n’ roll year where we felt the full wallop of the Cardinal T-Square (Saturn, Pluto and Uranus) and many other omens of big change.

The shake-up isn’t going away. All we can do is evoke the best of the astrological archetypes to help us navigate the river of life as it takes us on a journey to a place of more Oneness, even though the waters may churn on the way. Keep your boat in good shape and your spirits up. A few years from now, we’ll be amazed at who we are, how far we’ve come, and how different the world used to be. We may not be nostalgic.


Photo Credit: Diana (Artemis) the Huntress with the Crescent Moon © Algol


[1], The Phrase Finder

[2] Windows to the Universe, Sagittarius

[3] Degrees of the Zodiac: The Sabian Symbols by Rick Klimczak (1989).

Have you joined the New Moongram Mailing List? The monthly New Moongram complements this monthly Moonwalk with additional features and special offers. This month’s coupon is for $2 off on each of Joyce’s e-books, Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer and Poems to Heal the Healer: The 12 Chiron Signs. Both books are $9.90. There’s a very special offer if you purchases both books. For an extra dime, that’s $10; either book or your choice will be sent to a friend with your compliments as a holiday gift. Join the mailing list on the sidebar now to receive these values!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Planetary Teas – Magical Herbs for Sun Through Saturn

An Interview with Wes Brown

© 2010 by Joyce Mason 
All Rights Reserved 
In Flower Essences and Astrology, I shared with Radical Readers how one form of “energy medicine” can be helpful during challenging transits. On one of my many daily finger walks on Google (more like jogs), I stumbled across a different form of infusion with astrological properties—planetary teas.

Meet The Amazing Wes Brown, as he introduces himself on his website, Herbalist/Thaumaturge, and Master of Vedic Science. Let’s have tea and an interview with this creative, astrological entrepreneur.

Joyce: Wes, I’ll as the tough question first. Since The Radical Virgo is a Western astrology site and not all our readers will be familiar with the Vedic perspective, what are the major differences between them? I know there is no short answer to this question, so feel free to refer those interested to web sites or other sources that can expand their knowledge, if they want to dig deeper.

Wes:  Vedic Astrology is the Astrology of India. In Sanskrit, it is called Jyotish.  There are many differences between the two, so I will just name a few. 

Vedic Astrology recognizes Navagrahas or nine planets which are the seven luminaries (Sun-Saturn) and the lunar nodes or shadow planets  The names, animal forms, and general significations of the zodiac signs are the same as Western but how we measure the zodiac is very different.  Jyotishis use the sidereal zodiac based on fixed stars rather than the tropical zodiac of Western Astrology, which turns 1 degree every 72 years. 

Perhaps the most confusing difference to the layperson is that Jyotish uses the rising sign as the “birth sign” rather than the Sun sign, which is used in Western Astrology.  Jyotishis require the exact time of birth to determine what sign you are, whereas Western Astrology only needs your date of birth to determine your birth sign.

If you are curious to know more about the System’s Approach to Vedic Astrology, Professor V.K. Choudhry has a website that might be helpful linked here.

Joyce: Since Vedic or Jyotish considers only the traditional planets of Sun through Saturn, that explains why we don’t have teas for the outer planets. Still, that’s plenty of turf to tend! Tell us how they work.

Wes: On the physiological level: chemical compounds in the herbal infusions act upon the mind/body complex in various ways medicinally.    
On the sensory level: the taste, aroma, and experiential qualities of the tea are designed to embody the planet that the tea represents.  On the esoteric level: the herbs are selected based on their planetary ruler, ritually consecrated, and the appropriate planetary mantras are invoked.  They are then bagged in unbleached hemp and wood fiber filter bags and tagged with the mathematical yantra of their patron planet, which is also colored appropriate to that planet.  The desired effect is to shift the awareness a little closer to Cosmic Consciousness through the simple act of drinking tea.

Joyce: The question I’ve been dying to ask! Where did you get this fabulous idea? How did it evolve?

Wes:  The idea appeared in my head during meditation one day long ago, just as did the name Planetary Teas.  The knowledge came later, bit by bit, through conventional research and metaphysical channels. 

I was just starting to learn about Vedic Astrology at the time and, in particular, how it could be applied to the diagnosis of physical ailments according to Ayurvedic Medicine. 

I was also learning about the application of astral remedies through various material mediums such as colors, yantras, mantras, metals, and gems.  Then something just clicked, “Why not herbs?”  That’s when I started doing intense research and working out the formulas. 

It took several years to look at the physical and metaphysical (Magical and Ayurvedic) properties of the herbs-to create blends that are potent and safe as well as delicious.  My goal was to create teas that could be enjoyed on the merit of their flavor alone with the planetary remedy and medicinal benefits serving as pleasant side effects.  

Joyce: There’s a section on your website called Personal-I-Tea, which explains how you make custom teas that are magic talismans for individuals. Tell us more about that.

Wes:   All of our teas are talismanic in addition to being medicinal.  However, most medicinal teas are designed to treat specific symptoms or particular ailments in the body. Our teas are designed to address the root cause of all suffering, which are individual karmic influences. 

The Personal-I-Tea option is an in-depth analysis of the natal chart.  First, we determine your rising sign based on your birth information.  We then look at each planet individually to diagnose problems in life and prescribe teas and other astral remedies to address those issues.

Joyce:  People have to prioritize their spending more than usual these days. Is there a way to try the teas in small volume to test how well an individual resonates to them before making a larger-scale commitment?

Wes:  Part of my reason for creating Planetary Teas was to make astral remedies affordable, accessible, and practical to Western society.  Traditionally, an astrologer might prescribe certain gemstones to wear or ceremonies to be performed in order to address problems found in the chart.  While those recommendations are valid, for most people, they are simply out of depth either culturally or financially.  I tried to do smaller sizes and free samples when I first started out but the amount of time and energy that it takes to analyze a chart and make a batch of tea is immense. 

I value my work very highly and personally believe the benefits of the product to be priceless.  How much should one pay to receive the blessings of Heaven and Earth?  I would love to be able to just give tea away free but everything has a cost. Right now, we are offering one size: 28 bags for $22.00 (plus shipping)—a little bit expensive for tea but for an astrological remedy, it is very affordable. 

My fees for astrological consultation are separate from the cost of the tea and are on a sliding scale between $30.00-$120.00 depending on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go.  Consultation is not required but I do strongly suggest my services, if you want to maximize the metaphysical benefits of the product.

Joyce: Where can we purchase them?

Wes:  Well, a lot of exciting things are happening in the company right now and with change comes both opportunity and obstacles. 

This month we are teaming up with Organo Gold to launch Planetary Coffee, a retail distribution outlet for coffee products containing ganoderma lucidum extractOrgano Gold products are not mine exclusively but they will be used to replace my Saturn Tea formula. 

Most of the herbs attributed to Saturn (other than coffee and cocoa) are either deadly or somehow unpleasant which made Saturn Tea the most difficult for me to formulate.  I was never really satisfied with the results of my efforts but Organo Gold has achieved perfection in both flavor and medicinal quality with their products and I am proud to be able to offer our brand of magical enhancement to this healthy coffee.

Our website is currently being upgraded accordingly and new orders are on hiatus until after the winter holidays.  We are projected to re-launch the website and begin taking orders through it again on January 20, 2011.  Soon you will also be able to purchase all of our products and services through our Facebook page as well. 

To inquire about a consultation send an e-mail with your name and “consultation” in the subject line to: 

Please include your date, time, and place of birth in the message if you want your natal chart cast and analyzed.  If you do not know your birth information then let me know and we can discuss other possible forms of divination.

Joyce:  Any closing comments or additional information you’d like to provide?

Wes:  I would just like to say how grateful I am to The Radical Virgo for giving me this opportunity to share my vision and to wish all of your readers perfect health, peace of mind, and prosperity.


Wes Brown's Bio
“The Amazing” Wes Brown (Vaksiddha Yogacharya Suryadevananda Puri)
Direct Disciple of: Viswaguru Mahamandeleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshswarananda Puri
Time of Birth: 6:49 am
Date of Birth: July 19, 1978
Place of Birth: Crossville, TN

University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1996-2002)
BA in Religious Studies, BA in Broadcasting/Cinema
Maharishi University of Management (2005-2007)
MA in Philosophy/Vedic Literature

Research Assistant: MUM Center for EEG, Consciousness, and Cognition
Sanskrit Teacher-AGAMA Language Institute
Adjunct Faculty: Maharishi University of Management-Vedic Science Department
Lecturer on subjects pertaining to Vedic Literature and Neurophysiology
Instructor: Astroview’s Introduction to the System’s Approach to Vedic Astrology
Teacher of Yoga-in-Daily-Life-Sarva Hitta Asanas (Postures for All People)
United States Representative for Yoga-in-Daily-Life: Ayurveda Academy
Disciple Trainer: Heavenly Body Chi Gong for Fitness and Health
United States Representative for Yoga-in-Daily-Life: Ayurveda Academy
Founder and CEO: Planetary Teas and Planetary Coffee

Photo Credit: Celestial Brown, 2007

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People Part 5 of 5

Chiron and Life's Purpose—Spirited Living

© 2000-2010 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved 

The importance of Chiron to outerplanetary people can hardly be overstated.  Chiron is the thread that weaves together the tapestry of the outer planets as a living aggregate in our charts. Chiron is the glue that makes outerplanetary people solid and capable of handling the strong energies that they are asked to bring down to Earth day by day—first for ourselves, then for others. Chiron helps us to inspire others to enter courageously into their own encounters with Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The centaur planet's bridging influence to the outer planets is reason enough to want know your Chiron, for if you do, the outer planets and their combined meaning will simply fall into place in one grand “got it!”

Barbara Hand Clow called Chiron a rainbow bridge between the inner and outer planets. Even if it’s only a one-lane bridge, a bridge is a construct that allows us to go to and fro, to cross over something and return—to travel in both directions. Chiron doesn’t just help us amp up our resonance to handle the high frequency of the outer planets from an energetic perspective. The Chironic energy also helps us bring Uranus, Pluto and Neptune back—to slow the vibration of the outer planets and ourselves, as we return across the “rainbow bridge.” On the return trip, we bring the outers down to earth (Saturn) for practical application.

The Power of Fifty

Since my Chiron Return, I have deepened my understanding of the Chiron archetype and the possibilities of its 50-year cycle by transit through a natal chart. My great-nephew was baptized on Pentecost Sunday, the Christian celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit fifty days after Easter. I knew this was no accident for Zachary—or for Auntie Joyce. The parallels between the lives of Chiron and Jesus are legion. [1] Chiron is an earlier, Greek mythological version of a similar, archetype —a set of universal ideas rolled into one representative teacher that so many cultures venerate as the spiritual ideal.

At Zach's christening, I felt like I was living Chiron's progressed chart—the Pentecost as the 50th day after the death of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles is a metaphor for the 50th year of life and the Chiron Return. [2] As Zach was anointed with holy oil on his crown, I thought about the tongues of fire over the apostles' heads at Pentecost. The flames were a living symbol of spirit and inspiration, hovering over their crown chakras. Watching our family's new baby become initiated into his spiritual life, I saw his godparents as Chiron and his wife Chariclo, now entrusted with his God link. I was moved to tears, as I realized that by our 50th year, the descent of Spirit must be upon us—we must be aware of it, if we are to have enough time to accomplish what we came here to do.

Somehow, it all goes back to the fact of our birth and the spiritual connection baptism and Pentecost both represent. Our mission is merely to realize that we never lost that connection with All That Is when we left pure spirit for a physical body. We brought our spirits with us. In Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets, Barbara Hand Clow reviews the symbolism of the number 50 from many sources. Fifty often symbolizes attainment of a difficult task. Learning to live spiritually in a material world for half a century sure qualifies! In the end, it’s our spirits that will get us through the rest of our lives and the continuous challenge of these rapidly changing, end-beginning times. We are being asked to evolve at near light speed.

But we'll get to high-speed growth later on in this article. For now, let's slow down to focus on Chiron's meaning.

Life's Purpose

The Chiron cycle provides the underlying framework for developing our spiritual awareness and putting it to work (literally) by discovering and living our life's purpose. Of the many things Chiron represents, I want to focus on this one in this article, because Outerplantary People (PUNCs) [3] have a very special general purpose, in addition to the more specific purpose suggested by their personal placement of Chiron. That general purpose has been mentioned many times in this article series—to lead the way to global change and spiritual awakening. They go together, because the global change called for is spiritual awakening, where recognizing our living spirits in our bodies is the rule, not the exception.

But as we seek our more personal style and methods for expressing our life's purpose, there's something important to remember. Just as we often look for love in all the wrong places, we sometime dredge for years, looking for purpose in deep ruts where we'll never find it. For one thing, we tend to have lofty ideas about it—to connect purpose with a fabulous, famous, or at least highly satisfying career. This misunderstanding can cause us a lot of grief on the path to "living light."

Sometimes our purpose can be as simple as to inspire, to learn to give and receive friendship, or simply to “be there” for others. Besides, not everyone can do the sexiest, most exciting jobs. Someone has to collect the garbage or deal with the disgruntled customers at the department store return window. Chiron teaches us to find the sacred in the most mundane and never to forget that finding the spiritual in everyday life is to live in a spirited way. Finding purpose moment by moment ultimately leads to living big, as in fully.

Purpose is much more pervasive and cumulative in an incarnation. It's too big to confine to just one area of your life (career) or house in your chart. To sample the life's purpose of people you have known, think of the last funeral or memorial service you attended. The eulogy and testimonials tell the story of why that person came to Earth. You'll notice that while careers are mentioned, the qualities of character and capacity to love are the focus of this bittersweet ceremony.

The good news is that you don't have to wait to die to discover your purpose. While you may express your purpose in an interesting, influential, or high-profile career, the context doesn't matter as much as the content. We look for fulfillment, to feel we are giving our gifts in a way that matters. This releases our inner light and shines it like a beacon to everyone around us. It feels good to sit in that lighthouse. Often we have opportunities right in front of us that we overlook because they don't seem glamorous or big enough. 

"We can do no big things, only small things with great love."  ~ Mother Teresa

Purpose is reflected in our careers, but also in every role we play and every thing we do in life. It is an ongoing cumulation of our small deeds. Because of Chiron's strong connection to life purpose, Chiron is about being here now—living in the present, completely incarnated in this moment. The present is the present (gift). In every moment, you have the opportunity to shine your light into today's proceedings.

From a mythical standpoint, Chiron the hero maker taught us that if you work with what you have, day-to-day, honing your gifts to become true skills, when they are needed by society, you are there for the people—and the people are there for you. To live life in that fully spirited way is to become our own heroes, being our best, and trusting spirit to deliver what we need to know through our open minds in every moment, our heaven-to-earth link intact.

The Chiron Cycle

Imagine our souls have the astro-spiritual equivalent of genetic material. At birth, our soul is encoded with the pain, loss, and longing for wholeness that suits each of us best to reach total ensoulment — remembering who we are, even in physical form. This code is contained in the placement and sign of Chiron in our charts. 

But before we focus on the microscopic view, let's start with the big picture. Much like the familiar lunar cycle, there are four quarters or significant turning points to Chiron's movement by transit through your chart in your lifetime.

Birth - The Starting Point

Here you receive your Chironic imprint, the circumstances into which you are born physically, culturally, racially, religiously, socio-economically, or psychologically that will work as a bio/spiritual feedback system catalyzing your inner growth. You are imprinted with it, like genetic code, and its purpose is to remind you that pain can only be transcended with the right spirit—and spirit is what you have to keep coming back to, both in and out of the body.[4]

First Chiron Square

When Chiron squares itself the first time, you will begin to have either an inkling or actual awareness of the Chironic wound and its impact on you. With Chiron's erratic orbit, this can happen anytime between ages 6 and 24, [5] so your maturity and ability to handle the message may vary widely. You might get anything from a moderate wake-up call to a devastating shock, as your pain can no longer be denied. At the base of it, this pain always, at some level, has to do with feeling disconnected. The Chironic wound in its most generic sense is the separation from spirit we feel when we incarnate.[6] Your specific wound only triggers this existing birth trauma. Mine was the stunning shock at eight years old of finding that I was adopted. [7]

Chiron Opposition

Chiron's opposition to itself will often replicate the original wound in some form, piquing awareness of the mechanism that will nag, if not force you, to grow. At my Chiron opposition, my adoptive mother — my "real" mother in the sense of bonding — died. This loss replicated the original Chironic wound and began to trigger the need to resolve the unconscious abandonment issues that contributed to a nonstop cycle of pain and suffering in my relationships.

Upper (Second) Chiron Square

When Chiron squares itself the second time, if the preceding cycles have nudged you to do your spiritual work, you'll begin to realize that you can reinterpret the crucifixions you create for yourself. You begin reframing the areas of your life impacted by the wounding, and you start using a different spiritual perspective to catalyze a new pattern for handling your chronic discomfort. You begin getting positive feedback as you change the action/reaction patterns. The wound starts to heal, and it becomes less knee-jerk.

Chiron Return

By the time Chiron returns home to its natal position, again, if you've been learning from your life’s journey, the preceding years of viewing your old wounds in a new way will have taken hold. You will be a more spiritual and spirited person—older, wiser, ready to take on the rest of your life with the assurance that divine intervention is there for you whenever you need it. You'll have found your "holes"—what's missing in your life—so you can patch them up and experience wholeness and fulfillment. (Sometimes words are so literal!) Your Chironic wound has become more of a sore spot than an open sore. It will always be there for biofeedback, but you have learned to live with it like an old war injury—and that its purpose is truly divine. This can only be good news in these days of increasing longevity. You might get to repeat the whole cycle all over again if you live to be 100!

Personal Pain and Group Benefits, Down But-Not-Out Heroes

The climax of the Chiron myth is near the end of the story, when the wise centaur offers to trade places with Prometheus, the mythological character associated with Uranus, symbolizing society or the collective. In Outerplanetary People 2, I talked about how Prometheus was punished for stealing fire from the gods. He was tied to a rock daily, where an eagle pecked at his liver—which regenerated each night for an endless cycle of suffering.

After his own years of suffering without let-up (Chiron was half-immortal so he couldn't die, but the mortal half could feel pain!), Chiron offered to trade places with Prometheus. Chiron reasoned that since he was suffering anyway, why not do it for Prometheus, and at least make something productive of his misery? Prometheus is unbound/freed, and the gods are so impressed with Chiron’s unselfish act, they free Chiron from the bonds of his immortality. He is allowed to die and ascend—to become a "star" (part of a constellation). All of this, again, is parallel to the later life of Jesus who sacrificed his own life to "die for our sins." Jesus was the sacrificial lamb, another phrase for scapegoat, upon which the sins or pains of many are offered up ritually. 

We don't necessarily have to become scapegoats in the most negative sense of the word to live the message of Chiron, but his teaching is to benefit others by our pain. In fact, it’s our responsibility to do so. This is a good time to review the meaning of archetypes, since both Chiron and Jesus are variations of a similar archetypal theme. Archetype is defined as … an original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype. Archetype is derived from two Greek words meaning first molded as a pattern or exemplary.[8]

Beyond that, an archetype is a universal principle that keeps repeating itself, because it’s an expression of the human psyche that longs for fulfillment. Periodically, representatives of a specific archetype crop up to give us a booster shot of this particular human psychological imprint, especially at times when it is most needed. For most humans, suffering is inherent in change, because we fear the unknown and the disorientation and disconnection we associate with it. A planetary body was discovered and named after Chiron, so that we could rediscover his story and face these rapid-fire, turning-point times with wisdom and his tools for training heroes. What does that mean in everyday, down-to-earth terms? Chiron in your chart has to do with being heroic by being your best for the collective, but that also includes learning to overcome your pain—to make lemons out of lemonade and to give a big gulp of it to fellow travelers on hot days. Just a few modern examples of inspired wounded heroes who have made gifts of their pain to all of us include: 

Christopher Reeve, Actor — Our fallen Superman, (Ch)ironically wounded in a horse riding accident, dedicated the rest of his life to raising funds and awareness about spinal cord injuries. He directed movies from his wheelchair and dealt with his quadriplegia hopefully. Chris's wife, Dana Reeve, became the new standard for women who stand by their man. She did so with grace, dignity, humility, and incredible class. More ironic that she died not long after Chris, as though they were rejoined as a mutual reward for their service to humanity by how they dealt with their suffering and shared it for the greater good.

MADD Moms, Crusaders — Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded by a small group of California women in 1980 after a 13-year-old-girl was killed by a hit-and-run driver. He had been out of jail on bail for only two days for another hit-and-run drunk driving crash and had three previous drunken driving arrests and two convictions. Because of this organization, drunk driving laws have been tightened, drinking and driving is now socially as well as legally taboo, and countless other mothers have been spared the pain of losing their children in senseless accidents involving alcohol.[9]

Itzahk Perlman, Violinist —Would you believe that this man has a physical disability, if you didn't see the crutches with your own eyes? To quote one biography: Perlman is collaborator and friend to countless young musicians, he is an invaluable ambassador for the human spirit. That he has accomplished so much with a crippling disability is a source of amazement and admiration for all who come in contact with this remarkable man. For musicians everywhere, he remains the "fiddler's fiddler".[10] (Like Chiron is the healer's healer.)

Heroes don't have to be famous. Heroes are everywhere. You know them, I know them, and if we aren't already, we have to become one of them. It's what Chiron calls for. It's can-do in spite of it spirit. It was the mythical M*A*S*H* doctors, making jokes with— and comrades out of— torn-up soldiers in Korea. It's laughing and loving each other, even in the face of what seems totally senseless. It is the Special Olympics athlete, the formerly battered wife who staffs the domestic violence shelter, and the painfully shy individual who overcomes his or her fear to become a speaker or actor in demand. It is the stuff that has spawned one of the most popular phenomena of heartwarming books ever written in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

If we can be heroic and happy despite our pain, how great can our lives be, and how much might we actually accomplish, when we're not hurting? This truly is the key to heaven on earth and Chiron's bridging function between the two planets that represent them (Uranus/Heaven and Saturn/Earth).

Your Chiron: Your Special Brand of Heroism and Help

Purpose by Chiron Sign

Mythological Chiron was an amazing teacher who made heroes out of young misfits. (Talk about lemons from lemonade!) [11] As Chironic types, we bridge Saturn and Uranus through step-by-step changes that encompass the best of the old and new. This is the alternative to the extremes of authoritarianism and revolution that Saturn and Uranus represent. Given this role of "weaver," Chiron is a very creative and mitigating force—ever changing.

Consider these capsules only as starting points of possibility as you go on your own hero's quest to find Chiron's special curriculum for you. Consider house placement and aspects with other planets. In each case, the help you need is the help you need to give.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People Part 4 of 5

Pluto: The Reason for Suffering and How to Put Passion to Work
© 1997 – 2010
by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

Pluto asks more of Outerplanetary People than any of the trans-Saturnians. He asks to let go and trust while everything we value is ripped away from us, often down to the barest bones: home, hearth, spouse or lover, job, family. By definition, an outerplanetary person has Pluto prominent, and this means we have a very special relationship with the issue of attachment. While non-attachment is a goal many people strive for, I think Plutonians have a different mission—to be passionately attached, yet as willing to trust that God knows what s/he's doing when it's over, whatever it is—to trust that love, home, job, and family will come again, bigger and better than ever before, no matter how long it takes.  This, indeed, is a tall order from a tiny planet with the force of an atomic bomb and the same root word as plutonium.

Let's Not Pretend This Is Fun

There’s no euphemism in the world that can possibly turn this into a lightweight experience.  For those of us who are practicing astrologers, I'm not sure we do our clients or ourselves any good pretending otherwise. I remember how amused I was when a fellow astrologer told me that some of her clients now call challenge the C-word, as if it were profanity. In other words, we aren't fooling them a bit when we sugarcoat what's coming.  We might as well not fool ourselves, either, when Pluto is tightly woven into our astrological profile. In fact, one of the most memorable readings I ever had was many years ago, when my own astrologer gave me permission to admit just how much pain I have experienced being Plutonian.

What's the Point?
Extraordinary people have this mission for the P-part of our PUNC acronym [1] : to offer up not just our suffering to the collective but to live as glowing examples of survival—to help our fellow humans focus on the resurrection, not the crucifixion, and a few other essential elements that go with the Pluto's territory.  They have to see not only what we went through, but the marvelous new model of ourselves we have become because of it. 

What makes this hard, of course, is that we can't do this without exposing at least some part of our very personal agonies. No one is more private at core than the Plutonian person. Yes, this is asking a lot. But it's the deal you cut when you incarnated as a PUNC. You “came in” with an agreement to live on the leading edge with all its intense joy and sorrow. 

Suffering is the flip side of joy. That which we cherish and lose we mourn deeply. Sorrow is a stopover to pay our respects at the graveside of past attachments, a step in the process of opening our hearts to greater love and opportunity. Never was it said better than in the old adage: "Better to have
loved and lost than never to have loved at all."  Even loss expands the heart's capacity for feeling emotion, especially love. Often it is only in the face of real or threatened loss that we open up to accept and let in all the love around us, feelings people more willingly express when they share your Plutonian experience.

You Can't Fight It

Whatever the lesson is that your particular Pluto is insisting upon—you must let go or else.  The or else is this: If you think you're suffering now, you haven't seen anything like the suffering you'll experience if you try to wrestle with Pluto to win.  Pluto is like the Mafia, and there are thumbscrews, if you don't cooperate, a juice man to break your legs if you owe money, and not to forget the St. Valentine's Day massacre, where entire groups of the uncooperative were wiped in a single shooting spree.  Am I exaggerating for effect?  Of course, but death might seem the lesser of two evils by comparison to defying Godfather Pluto.

It's all about resistance—or not. Passion in the sexual sense is itself a dance of resistance and surrender. The friction of those two forces is what causes ecstasy. (To resist completely is to be raped.) This is a good a thing to remember, for it applies to all Plutonian dilemmas.  Some degree of resistance is expected to make the process work, but you will not resist this force, so if you won't give up some of your will, you are in essence letting yourself be violated.  Your choice.

You Are Powerful

Although most of us learn about power through having our own sense of power ripped off (Pluto's specialty), this is all for a purpose, like that stripping to the bare bones—to learn that power is not external but entirely an inside job.  (They can evict you, leave you, beat or even kill your body, but no one—repeat no one—can get your soul unless you give it away.)  We must learn not to sell our souls to the devil, no matter how powerful the outside forces appear. Hold this important thought: When you are out powered or outnumbered, they may win the battle, but don’t forget that one battle is not the war.  Children mature and so do adult humans.  What we cannot fight when we are young or less experienced, we can come back to resolve later on. This is why Pluto rules rebirth, resurrection, and the full life cycle.  Plutonians have an issue with completion.  

Understanding the Astro-Basics at Work

I find Pluto easiest to understand by considering its rulership of Scorpio and the 8th House, and how by location in a natural chart, it opposes the 2nd House, ruled by Taurus/Venus. What we value, what gives us our sense of security and self-worth, that which we build upon in the physical world is in a duel with Darth Vader. The only thing that is going to save our little asteroids (each of us as a small planet) is Yoda and our training as Jedi Knights.  This is putting metaphysics where your mouth is, because physical resistance simply doesn't work.  We are out powered.  It takes magic to work with the power abusive, and being Plutonian helps us become magicians.  It is about Sourcery, aligning with Source and All That Is—the only Real Power. Our opponent—Negative Scorpio, Pluto, and the 8th—keeps secrets, and misuses power and sexuality, those forces that used badly can devastate us in the physical, but used well, bring us all the force for good and all the magic dust we could ever use.  


I have often quoted Australian astrologer Brian Clark's talk at UAC '92 on the 8th House, because no one has said it better. Eighth house and Plutonian issues (both are related) take us back to the original abandonment of our birth process. Mother is our first love, and from this first bonded bliss we are unceremoniously ejected from the womb by the contractions of birth.  If that isn't enough, adding insult to injury, one day we wake up on the other side of the birth canal to realize she's in love with someone else (father).

From this early process on a psychological level stems the abandonment, jealousy, rage, and disempowerment that goes with the Plutonian turf.  Where is Pluto in your natal chart? For example, mine is in the 4th House (conjunct Saturn, no less): I have lost every relationship that constituted meaningful roots, starting with original mother (literal abandonment by being given up for adoption).  This abandonment often leads to passionate attachment in the area represented by that house (to say I am "rootsy" would be the  understatement of the millennium).  Jealousy and other Plutonian emotions, at their extremes, are a form of obsessive attachment. Wherever your Pluto "lives," it is here that you are being asked to let go.  (For me, another concept was true.  Whatever I let go came back to me willingly when the time was right for each completion.)  

Negative Pluto
High Drama.  Plutonians are the drama kings and queens of the zodiac, especially those with Pluto in Leo or Scorpio. We exhaust ourselves and others, our support people most of all, with our soap operas.  We keep getting into impossible relationships and situations that lead to one uprooting and upsetting event after another.  We decimate our lives with that same force that goes into plutonium.  We are intensity junkies, and we are compulsive until we learn to catalyze the death/birth/rebirth cycle to completion. 

Buying Out of the Secret.  One thing that's important to know: Pluto operates in secrecy, and if you tell or uncover the secret, you end the torment or imbalance of power. This is tough to do, if you are a physically or sexually abused child, where a real big/little power imbalance exists, or if there is some other skeleton in the closet where you honestly believe that worse harm will come to you if you tell.

But as an adult, there's little reason to continue to buy into this. We are so lucky to live in the Era of the End of Secrecy of most kinds. Today, kids hear about personal boundaries and that they can trust telling teachers and other adults if they are abused in some way. In earlier eras, parents didn’t talk about such things, as if avoidance were a booster shot of immunity to their children from the darker side of life.

Those Heavy Emotions. One of the most difficult aspects of being Plutonian is dealing with its emotional load: resentment, guilt, jealousy, and rage.  Being PUNCs, we often feel responsible to be positive, leading edge-role models.  It's hard to incorporate these emotions into our act as evolutionary ambassadors because they are—well—so "negative."

But incorporate the darker emotions we must, and we must find and share with others positive ways of handling them.  Donna Cunningham's Healing Pluto Problems is my Bible in this regard, full of exercises to banish resentment or guilt, for example, and other suggested tools such as flower essences for Pluto transits or natal issues.  In fact, this most difficult task of allowing others to see that we have these emotions and ventilate them in an effective manner is one of the most important role model duties an outerplanetary person performs.  It’s hard, inner work and it cannot be minimized or glossed over. In fact, it might be the hardest work the PUNC performs, because with it, s/he releases his or her power instead of suppressing it. Through this journey into our own darkness, we emerge with the gifts of the underground—healing and magic.  

Positive Pluto
Magic. Magic comes from harnessing your own positive power and aligning it with All That Is. Then miracles result. Magic comes from your own inner depths, from trusting that the powers of the universe are friendly. This results from walking through darkness with no clue but your own inner light to get you to the end of the tunnel. The initiation is to align your own light with the Greater Light through dark experiences.  This is why Pluto is the great teacher of coming into our own power.
Survivors. Plutonians are survivors. I believe more than anything, this is the purpose of prominent Pluto. Ultimately, we can even become navigators of those murky Plutonian waters. I had a friend whose life was Happy Days normal.  He said to me, once, "You live in all the pathos, the poignancy, of the ups and downs of life.  You know that when things go wrong how to work through them.  You are a survivor.  I've never had anything truly bad to deal with.  I don't know what I'd do or if I could survive." This was my first glimmer in my twenties that there's something good to being Plutonian, an up side to all that painful work and high drama.  
Rebirth and Resurrection
Going back to where Pluto sits in your natal chart, where must you be reborn and resurrected? Again revealing my own private process as PUNCs must do to help others: I had to find all my lost loves, everyone who abandoned me in my 4th House, starting with my original mother.  Here's where I had to put passion to work using my Plutonian detective skills.   The healing of a lifetime stemmed from my reconnection with my mother in 1986, a major man in my life in 1987 (the one who ultimately took me 26 years to get over, talk about Plutonian attachment!), and in 1996, my very first love (ages 12-14).

Not everyone's path may be as literal as mine in terms of resurrecting cut-off relationships (Pluto's surgical severance from umbilical cord onward). But whatever your own chart calls for, here is where you must have completion in order to resurrect to the core of your soul.  Plutonians must regenerate in some form whatever has been severed from their lives, and Plutonian passion gives us the intensity to seek out these opportunities with a fanaticism that will not let go until it has been satisfied.

My first love turned out to be my last. No one before or since has been as right as the precocious original for either one of us.  If I hadn't had the practice of two high drama finds before him, I might not have easily found my final 4th House severed relationship. (He was my foundational, root relationship in the boy/girl, man/woman sense.) After 35 years of separation, we had the opportunity to resurrect and take our love to completion. During our 12 years of marriage, our reunion has brought us healing and partnership neither of us ever thought possible.  It was not only worth the wait, but worth the suffering, too.  This is the magic of Pluto.  This is why PUNCs have to share their success stories.


Photo Credit: Passion © Noxire Dreamstime

Other Posts on Pluto


[1]  In case you are joining this series in progress, that stands for Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, and Chiron, and PUNC people are Plutonian, Uranian,  Neptunian, and Chironic.