Monday, October 25, 2010

Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People Part 2 of 5

Uranians Spread Stolen Fire with Their Fingers
  © 1992 – 2010 by Joyce Mason
   All Rights Reserved

The reality is that “the Gods” no longer control the sacred fire—we control it, now, as shown by Prometheus.  It is simply power, and what we do with it will determine our fate. [1] 

—Barbara Hand Clow

Astrology is Prometheus’ fire. [2] We carry the torch now. So now what?

In Part 1, we explored the unique role of evolutionary pioneers—people who have the outer planets prominent. (That means one or more—and especially all of the outer planets—in close aspect to personal planets and/or placed near the angles.) [3]  We started with Chiron, the “bridge” between the inner and outer planets; now we’ll stop to explore Uranus.  Of all the outer-to-inner planetary contacts that make  a person astrologically unusual, those to  Uranus often keep an individual the most committed to the process of inner growth and spreading their enlightenment outward to the world.  (If the end result were not freedom and heaven on earth—two of the choicest gifts of Uranus—why bother?)

Uranian: The Paradox of Group Needs and Individual Freedom
What on earth it does it mean to carry a torch for the collective?  For starters, just what that expression implies—to be in love people in general—to look to group needs, and paradoxically, individual freedom.

It’s not really such a convoluted concept.  Uranus rules Aquarius, by modern rulership—but Saturn is its traditional ruler.  Before Chiron was on hand to   bridge the gap between the two planets, positioned between them, there was already a dual flame heating up the Promethean torch.  (Prometheus was bound to be free.)  Puns aside, there is no freedom (Uranus) without restriction (Saturn), or what is there to be free from?  These two energies are forever intertwined.  They do an endless dance, like light and dark. Each is meaningless without the other.

Freedom within society—or any quality, for that matter—exists only to the degree that it exists “for the least of our brethren.”  Police, ruled by Saturn, must uphold the law, the foundation for all freedom. When basic rights and equal treatment are legislated, then society is free, at least in theory, if not always in practice.  This is a simple demonstration of the relationship between microcosm and macrocosm and the fact that we live in ecosystems, where the actions or restrictions of one individual affect everyone else.

The Age of Aquarius and Chiron‘s Perihelion: The Uranian’s Time Has Come

The Age of Pisces is giving way to the Age of Aquarius. The controversy is still raging about just when this earth-shaking change will take place, if it hasn’t already. Because astrology is ruled by Uranus, we need to know, love, and use Uranian energy with great reverence, for as Barbara Clow states so well, it is power; and how we handle it will determine our future. As astrologers, we are in a position to access that power on behalf of others. We must do it with the highest code of ethics or reap the karmic consequences.

This was no accident: As Uranus finally moved forward into its home sign of   Aquarius after a six month retrograde on January 12, 1996, the Internet was catching fire at breakneck speed, doubling annually, showing signs of growing faster than the system could handle. [4] Now a couple of Saturn cycles later, can any outerplanetary person or “proper” PUNC [5]  imagine how they lived without it?

What could be more Uranian than an electronic forum where people can network with the whole world without a formal hierarchy?  This is the Promethean fire at our fingertips.  The Information Revolution promises to have more impact than the last major paradigm shift, the Industrial Revolution.  In today’s world, information is power, and the power is in our fingers.  The Uranian’s time has come, and s/he touches the power to change the world every time s/he strokes the keyboard.

Here’s where Chiron comes in.  As the go-between Saturn and the outer planets, Uranus being the first, the one it  figuratively “touches” on one side of the bridge, there is a close relationship between Chiron and Uranus.  Before Chiron, the extremes of Saturn/Uranus were without an archetype to blend or mitigate them. Since Chiron, we have a hot pad to handle the Uranian fire—to absorb its intensity, so it’s not too hot to handle.  It is also no accident that less than a month after Uranus went forward into Aquarius came Chiron’s perihelion on Valentine’s Day 1996. The events were not only momentous in the cycle of each planet, but their proximity tells us of an important relationship between these energies at this turning point in history.

While we have long held Uranus as the ruler of astrology, I believe Chiron rules the astrologer, just as it does the Tarot reader. [6] The astrologer is the Chironic bridge, the go-between the Uranian wisdom, insight, and brilliance and the Saturn (Earth)-bound being in the counseling room. Chiron is the lead planet, the synthesizer, of the intense energies lived daily by all outerplanetary people. In one way or another, these extraordinary people channel change.

The close proximity of the Uranus ingress into Aquarius and Chiron’s perihelion has incredible implications on how we do astrology from now on. Chiron rules channeling and those who channel information through their physical vehicle, particularly through their hands. The root of Cheiron (ancient spelling), cheir, means hand. Astrologers have always “worked with their hands.” 

Before computers, we drew charts by hand and interacted with them in a very tactile way before meeting the client behind the chart.  We still do, but now, the primary tool is very Uranian—our computers.  (I do charts with a program called Solar Fire. If the Uranian information is the fire and the power, think of the metaphor for personal empowerment at the heart of this well-named software! [7] I believe rather than requiring hand-drawn charts in their testing procedures (at least the skill comes in handy during power outages!), schools and organizations that certify astrologers should assess computer literacy. To refuse to recognize the composite strength of our hands (Chiron) and electronics (Uranus) is to remain in the Astrological Dark Ages. It’s to relinquish our power and potential—worse yet; it’s to refuse being a conduit to the cosmic energy and information flow. Fortunately, the role of electronics in astrology has been more fully embraced now, compared to when I wrote the original version of this article. Still, there’s still room for growth. I’d vote for increased educational opportunities for the everyday astrologer to make the best choices and use of the astrology software that fits his or her needs for touching and transmitting the Uranian fire.

Mythical Keys: The Chiron/Uranus Relationship (Prometheus Unbound)
Prometheus is the mythical representative of Uranus or the collective.  Chiron caused the dramatic resolution of the story—Prometheus Unbound. It was Chiron who traded places with Prometheus, who was chained to a rock for stealing fire from the gods. Chiron put poor Prometheus out of his misery, whose liver was pecked out nightly by an eagle and grew back daily for an indeterminate sentence of suffering.  As a reward for his act, Chiron was released from his immortality, died, and was raised to the heavens in a constellation. [8] This was a win-win solution. Chiron and Prometheus were both miserable, and Chiron’s trade released them both from pain and suffering.

Chiron, then, is the key—the shape of its glyph, actually a skeleton key, the kind of key that opens all doors.  Prometheus Unbound—the best of Uranus—is personal freedom, collective progress, and win-win solutions.  This is what’s “behind Door #1,” the amazing door we have opened in these Years before and after the Millennial Shift.

If Chiron represents the astrologer, how do we figuratively “trade places with Prometheus” and get to Heaven?  (You are an astrologer whenever you use the fire, either personally or professionally.)  The secret is in the Potholder   Principle—tempering the Uranian fire with Chiron’s mentoring skills. Chiron was a composite being and he suggests compound solutions. The following discussion of the extremes of Uranian expression pivots on tempering Uranus with Chiron and focuses on Uranus in today’s world where information is power.  

Negative Uranus—Cold Science, Head Without Heart
Some astrologers say Uranus is the “higher octave of Mercury.”  Yet, there is a low-down way of conveying Uranian information.  The delivery is Fire with Ice.  The style is bolts of so-called wisdom given without the context of the person’s life experience—or delivered without personal warmth and openness to the full range of possibility.

There are thousands, maybe millions of ways any astrological metaphor can play out in a person’s life.  Although the meanings are related, there is no way short of becoming God to know which one belongs to a given individual at a specific time. If we did—if life were 100% predictable— we’d not only be stealing people’s fire, but taking away the magic in their lives. Astrology is both a science and an art, and when we err on the side of science, we steal their fire and people’s most precious gift—freedom to choose—what we Uranians are supposed to be all about.  Oddly, this is one of those areas where the other extreme— Saturn—can slip in.  It’s authoritarian astrology.

Astrologers are linguists who translate celestial metaphors.  Not only can sky poems lose in the translation; they are also highly archetypal with multilayered meanings like dreams.  We must check ourselves constantly for the Sin of Pronouncement—presuming to have the ultimate interpretation of the image.  The exaggerated scenario: A cloud hangs over the client, darkening, and with a bolt of Uranian lightning, the astrologer declares, “Saturn is in your 1st house. You might start to feel your age or lack self-confidence.” These are possibilities, but some others are a time when the client restructures an ailing self-image; a period she lays new foundations for the way she interfaces with the world; or becomes her own authority for the first time in her life.

I don’t believe we should give overly Neptunian, upbeat and glossy readings with no regard for the possible hurdles in any given transit or natal configuration. But it is unconscionable to wield such power without showing the client at least some representative examples of the universe of possibilities.  Talking in ranges of meanings helps, then asking, “Which of these seems to be happening—or has happened most for you?” Put the client in the driver’s seat. (Whose life is it, anyway?)  Let him or her tell you his or her experience with this Pluto Square or that Venus conjunction. You are together to dialogue about action and archetypes in the Play of Life.  You are not a critic.  (Critics talk about how they interpret a play—what they get out of it.  What’s more important here is what the client gets out of it or could get out of it with a broader perspective the astrologer can hopefully offer.)

Granted, this approach makes you less of a guru and more of a guide.  Back to Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People, Part 1: You are Chiron mentoring this hero and freeing the Uranian fire to be expressed in its full potential. The penalty for ignoring this most basic tenet of conscious practice for keepers of the Uranian fire is the self-fulfilling prophecy.  You put the idea in your client’s mind that he or she is doomed in some way, and s/he lives to tell you about it.  This is scary stuff—mind rape at its worst.  The power we yield is the life force itself, and we must treat it with extreme respect. Prepare people to deal with challenges, but better to err on the side of the potential positive outcomes than the other way around. Then your worse self-fulfilling prophecy will be a happy ending. The first rule of mentoring people toward all they can be is to cheer them on toward making a home run or a touchdown—or finishing the race first, choose your favorite sports metaphor.

The hardest part of avoiding negative Uranus is constant self-vigilance. After all, channeling lightning bolts of information from the sky, we sound omniscient—sometimes even to ourselves.  For many people, all this goes without saying, but knowing the ideal and living it are often two different things.  When you see eight out of ten Saturn transits to the 1st House expressing in a variety of difficult ways, it is easy to emphasize the trend and not the tremendous variables, including the positive possibilities.  (Besides, it’s shorter and easier, and you only have an hour or so.)

If we are truly to mentor clients to fulfill themselves, they need a lot more than the negative implications of an astrological energy.  They need to know the most positive expression they are aiming for. This also goes for ourselves as when we’re acting as astrologers to ourselves.
Positive Uranus—Humanistic Astrology
The positive expression of Uranus is the flip side of the previous discussion, where an individual’s freedom and potential are at the heart of applying astrological information.  It is astrology reached via Chiron, the bridge between Saturn and Uranus. Chiron was discovered at a time when we were ready to shift to a more humanistic astrology, championed by Dane Rudhyar and others. 

Chiron’s naming for the mythical, wise centaur suggests a composite approach where the parts of the centaur merge: head (the human half) and instincts (the horse half). The practical application of this merger is an intuitive astrology. We sense how astrological metaphors work for people and share data from both heart and head, admitting we don’t always get our signals right, even if openness and humility combine to make us on target more often than not.  We rely on the client’s experience as the ultimate authority.  This is astrology from a fallible mentor, one who is not yet completely healed him- or herself, like Chiron. 

It is the astrologer’s humanity combined with wisdom (having been there) that makes him or her so believable and helpful.  If one expression of Uranus involves erratic blasts of enlightenment, we also need Chiron’s earthiness to ground the charge.  As already hinted, this astrology is, above all, practical.  It uses the Uranian talent for networking to refer people to all sorts of resources—acupuncturists, psychologists, past life regressionists—and so on.  The astrologer who expresses Uranus positively isn’t into competition, but rather lives by cooperation.  S/he knows there’s more than enough work to go around, and s/he knows that each actualized individual increases the quality of his or her community.  S/he supports other astrologers and practitioners of the helping arts and is willing to contribute to the collective by writing, speaking, referring, and generally making a good impression for astrology in the world.  

Uranians, the Internet, and Astrology’s New Image

The Internet is distributed by nature . . . no single entity is in control, and its pieces run themselves, cooperating to form the network of networks that is the Internet. [9]

 --Robert Orenstein

The Internet is the most Uranian thing on Earth.  All you need is a computer and an e-mail address, and you can write directly to anyone, anywhere in the world, from the powers-that-be to unknown new friends who share a common interest who find you on a bulletin board or social networking site.  The Internet has expanded my world beyond description. It would be easier to say where The Radical Virgo blog does not have readers (Greenland, China and much of Africa, but just about everywhere else!). I have cyber friends all over the globe and often wake up with a message from Australia, where it’s already tomorrow. How leading edge is that?   

Astrology magazines and organizations have joined the Information Revolution communicating with their readers and members online in the form of web sites, blogs, and e-mail marketing. There are hundreds of astrology bloggers, and we “talk amongst ourselves” constantly on Facebook and Twitter. The day I was updating this article, I was invited to an astrology bloggers group on Facebook.
This is our opportunity to spread the freedom fire all over the world and personal empowerment we have gained through astrology. There is no time like the present for putting our best foot (fingers?) forward and hot-wiring our knowledge and integrity to the global communications highway.  How we do astrology is no longer strictly private.  Word has never gotten around faster!
Our time has come, and the tool is here to make astrology so accessible, in a few years, the Astrological Report could be on CNN with planetary positions cited just like atmospheric conditions in the Weather Report. (Can you envision it on the scrolling text at the bottom of the screen? Glyphs and positions?) As much as we complain about Sun sign columns not being “real astrology,” thanks to them, nearly everyone on Earth knows his or her Sun sign and some basic key words about it.  Imagine something a million times more powerful than the old newspaper horoscope column, accessible by the touch of a finger all over the world and growing rapidly. My latest vision is a cable network that runs astrology classes, talk shows, astro-drama and astro-comedy 24/7. If you’re a Jeff Dunham fan, imagine a ventriloquist with 12 puppets representing the signs and their interactions. The Sesame Street puppets did so much to teach kids; why not use them to teach astrology to the inner kid in newcomers to the subject?
In this series, I emphasize that outerplanetary types have been groomed to lead global change.  It is up to each one of us to join the Revolution, tempered by Chiron to be Rapid Evolution (slightly less scary). We need to jump in whatever way we can, and to make sure that someday soon, astrology magazines, websites and TV shows will be read and understood by the general public. Imagine this material as faithfully watched and read as your neighbor checks his horoscope in the paper.

And by the way, we’d better hurry up. Newspapers are going the way of the dinosaur, as are paper books. Amazon sold more e-books than hardbacks for the first time this year! It’s predicted that e-books will outsell paperbacks, too, by year’s end. Start putting those program proposals together for TZN, The Zodiac Network.

It’s closer than you think.


Photo Credit: Candle in Hand © Oriontrail Dreamstime

Next -- Part 3 -- Neptunian: The Best of All Possible Worlds (and The Magic of Dis-Illusionment)

We’ll be taking a short break from the OPP articles for some other posts, including our Moonwalk: Scorpio. The OPP series will be back in mid-November.


[1] Barbara Hand Clow, Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets, Llewellyn (1989), p. 218.

[2] Richard T. Tarnas, “Uranus and Prometheus,” Spring 1984, p. 84. This groundbreaking essay has appeared in a number of places, most recently in the book, Prometheus the Awakener (Spring Publications: 1995, 2008). In it Rick Tarnas clearly establishes the link between Uranus and the myth of Prometheus, rather than Ouranos for which the planet was named. This is unusual, as the other planets we know so far have mirrored the characteristics of their mythological namesakes. Just like Uranus to rebel!

[3] I would also consider outerplanetary anyone with four or more planets in the signs the outer planets rule: Aquarius, Pisces, and Scorpio. If you resonate to my theory that Chiron is associated with the transitional signs from Self to Others (Virgo through Sagittarius), that would also include an emphasis of the signs Virgo, Libra, and Sag. (See Wholeness and the Inner Marriage.) That’s the entire second half of the zodiac! Why? Because outerplanetary people are more focused how they relate to others and society. The first five signs primarily focus on self-development. Virgo is the transitional sign of self-to-other with its focus on service.

[4] Robert Orenstein, “Internet Statistic Generator at Anamorph,” Internet © 1995.

[5] If you’re just joining this series in progress, PUNC stands for Plutonian, Uranian, Neptunian and Chironic.

[6] Clow, p. 10.

[7] Solar Fire is produced by Esoteric Technologies and sold by most astrological software vendors.

[8] There are two versions of this part of the myth: one places Chiron in the constellation Centaurus, the other in Sagittarius. I believe the variance on these points allows different people to identify with the story. The Centaurus version is for people with strong Virgo resonance, the other for people who relate more to Sagittarius.

[9]  See Note #4.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People Part 1 of 5

Living with the Outer Planets Prominent

© 1996 - 2010 by Joyce Mason

Author’s Note: This is an update of a five-part series originally published in the 1990s in Mark Lerner’s astrology magazine, Welcome to Planet Earth. The Outerplanetary (OPP) People series has been a timeless favorite that has been housed on the wonderful Australian archive, A Place in Space, for most of the intervening years. I’m ever grateful to Candy Hillenbrand for making me such a vital part of her magical website. With the posting of the OPP articles, I will have completed the migration and update of all my articles to The Radical Virgo that still remain on A Place in Space in their original forms.

Extraordinary Times

We live in extraordinary times. I call them Outerplanetary Times, marked by the discovery in 1977 of a new outer planet, Chiron. Chiron is trans-Saturnian. It acts like any other outer planet with a similar level of impact.

Chiron’s discovery heralded a helping hand for human consciousness. (Hand is what the “chir” in Chiron means. I love that someone whose birth name is Hand introduced me to this fact. As Barbara Hand Clow declared in her book title, Chiron is the Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets. [1] In its orbit between Saturn and Uranus, Chiron signifies transitions and the process of evolution, both as individuals and as a collective. The rainbow refers to the seven colors of our invisible energy centers or chakras. Evolution at the personal level takes place in the etheric or energy body. As the kundalini life force rises, it causes amplification of energy. As we grow, we literally get a "tune Up." We vibrate on a higher frequency. The goal, ultimately, is to be on the same frequency with All That Is—why people have chanted Om for millennia. Chiron’s discovery, complemented by other major planetary alignments in the years since, kicked off a major evolutionary cycle in human consciousness.

Chiron’s transitional role is marked further by a common thread in its mythology and astronomy. For years, astronomers could not definitively classify Chiron as either a comet or a small planet (asteroid/planetoid). They kept changing their minds. Eventually, Chiron was determined to be both. Like the mythical centaur after which it was named, Chiron the planet was half-comet and half-asteroid. This dual nature parallels mythical Chiron’s makeup as half-man and half-horse. During the what-is-it period, some of us used the composite term cometoid. Ultimately, the American Astronomical Union came up with a new classification for Chiron and objects like it. The AAU called them centaurs in mythical Chiron’s honor. (I call Chiron a planet when speaking of it in generic terms, since planet means wanderer.)

Astronomers subsequently discovered that Chiron is the first of perhaps thousands of similar centaurs beyond Neptune, previously unknown to us, thus the need for a completely new class of planetary objects. Clearly, Chiron became the precursor of what was beyond our grasp and astronomical knowledge at the time of its discovery. Chiron gave us a glimmer of deeper space, literally and metaphorically, in terms of our own capacity for inner growth and evolution.

Prophets like Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce foretold that the cusp of the Third Millennium would be a major turning point. Since the outer planets are traditionally linked with major cultural shifts, understanding the planets beyond Saturn has never been more important. As a huge hint of the important role Chiron would play in these turning-point times, there was an exact conjunction of Chiron and Pluto at the Turn of the Millennium. Symbols of pain, healing, death, and rebirth merged like conjoined twins at 11+ Sagittarius on January 1, 2000. The conjunction took place on the Sabian symbol for 12 Sag: A flag turns into an eagle, the eagle into a chanticleer saluting the dawn.

After much study of this Sabian, I feel the flag refers to our traditional allegiances to country and intimates, those people we’re willing to fight to defend. The eagle is known for its larger view, its ability to see the big picture from high up. The eagle expands the scope of our loyalty to all humanity. The chanticleer is a kind of medieval rooster whose loud cry heralds a new day. This Sabian and the powerful pair of Pluto and Chiron on it portended a new and larger perspective, the evolving Oneness consciousness. (For more on this planetary pair and their similarities, read Chiron and Pluto: The Comet Brothers)

Most recently in 2010 Pluto and Uranus have aligned in a T-square including Saturn. And outside the T-, Chiron and Neptune have been traveling as a pair, essentially making all the outer planets and their ambassador Chiron prominent in the sky shouting, Change!)

For the past several decades, there has been one agenda—rapid evolution. Chiron was discovered, and we became aware of it, when the time was ripe for us to see the personal influence of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, the outer planets for which Chiron is a go-between. Chiron came to our consciousness to give us the heads-up on how the outer planets will change us at a cellular level to become, quite literally, a new species. This is why I call Chiron the harbinger of homo improvement. The improvement we’re called to make is to mirror Chiron’s composite nature—to merge our intellect and instincts, which Chiron’s human and horse halves respectively symbolize.

Saturn is a heavy energy, and, therefore, represents dense substances, like the Earth and the physical body. If Chiron is the Bridge to the Beyond and its discovery heralded our readiness for change, the Neptune/Uranus conjunctions of the early 1990s further signaled the time for a quantum leap in consciousness, as the Earthbound crossed the Bridge to new dimensions.

While Neptune and Uranus were in Capricorn (1988-95), we were preparing for this change of consciousness in our institutions and day-to-day reality. When the Saturn/Pluto square overlapped during this period, added to Chiron’s decade-long dance of opposition with Saturn, this brought all the trans-Saturnian planets into some form of dialogue with Saturn, Capricorn, or Scorpio. Symbolically, structural transfiguration was being set up on a grand scale. When everything familiar is yanked out from underneath us (the economy, the American dream, the family as we’ve known it, old encrusted forms of government, the patriarchal health care system), at long last new paradigms have room to move in.

Next the energy shifted (1995-2004) with Uranus is in its home sign of Aquarius and Pluto in Sagittarius (1994-2009). Changes from the Saturn/Capricorn groundbreaking and the Pluto square Saturn ground shaking prepared the reconstruction site. (The metaphors of excavation and demolition teams are only too real, remembering the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, when Pluto stationed before its retrograde dip back into Scorpio.) [2]

As individuals, we may have tense aspects to any one of the outer planets that make their meanings very personal to us, but being an "outerplanetary person” means much more than that to me. It means that through our individual struggles and victories with these archetypes, we experience microcosmically, usually just one step ahead of everyone else, what's coming in the macrocosm of changes in awareness. I call this "channeling the outer planets."

Extraordinary People

I finally realized "why I am the way I am" and the source of my own complexity the day I got the implications of having a close square between each of the outer planets and my Big Three: Pluto square Ascendant, Neptune square Moon, and Uranus square Sun. Add to the configuration Chiron’s sextile to my Moon and square to Pluto. In astrological circles, I am hardly alone with this type of contact with “outer space.” More likely than not, if you are reading this article, you have intimate natal chart contacts with these planets. We are what I call outerplanetary people. We channel change.

Not long after my own epiphany about the outer planets, I heard a woman with Uranus conjunct Ascendant say that the outer planets were personal to her. She couldn't understand her Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars until she studied Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. This makes sense, for people with these planets prominent are the ambassadors for the collective to these exotic places. (They go where others dare not tread.) Outerplanetary people are the ones who directly experience and take Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto personally. They are not only in constant change, unlike their “normal” change-resistant counterparts; they are also messengers, running ahead to get information. People with strong outerplanetary emphasis bring news from the fringe, back to the rest of the community. They also hold out their hand to others as they cross from Old to New over the deep abyss of the Unknown.

Being outerplanetary is not an easy job (it's lonely out-front), but someone has to do it. The good news for OPP types: Our time has come and our life’s purpose is to act now on the knowledge we have gained by constantly interacting with tomorrow. If we do, we will literally change the world.

My sense of humor revolves around word play. For years, I’ve was unable to resist calling myself and others who share a powerful and close relationship with the outer planets PUN people (Plutonian, Uranian, and Neptunian). Once I got into Chiron, outerplanetary people became PUNCs with both a healing and healer dimension. Considering how Saturnian fogeys often criticize “young punks” with their far-out ideas, and the PUNC pun has always seemed perfect to me.

Of course, evolutionary consciousness can happen for anyone who is one outer planet prominent, but my observation is that the PUNCs—people with close aspects to them all—are hanging off the leading edge— out on a limb.

PUNCs have the strong accent on change and an assignment to catalyze it.
Any close aspect to Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto could mean a tendency to sense the tide of the times. I am sure that trines, sextiles, and minor aspects "count," but the tension of squares, the awareness (like it or not) of oppositions, and the sometimes overwhelming power of a conjunction between the inner planets and the outers tend to produce the most extreme cases.

What's it like to live on the edge when the whole world's on edge and on the brink of change? Just what are we precursor types to homo improvement supposed to be doing to ease these transitional times and offer that helping hand?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Chart of HAIR ~ Why We Should Care

The American Tribal Love Rock Musical

© 2010 by Joyce Mason

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius!

—From Hair by Gerome Ragni and James Rado

Have you noticed? The peace sign is back—and not just on The Radical Virgo logo. The peace sign celebrated its 50th anniversary and Chiron Return in 2008, the same year as the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. The psychedelic movement has weathered its midlife transits!

That’s not all. October 17 is the 43rd anniversary of Hair: The American Tribal Love Rock Musical. After attending a local production in Sacramento of Hair three years ago, just as I was working on a book about my own experiences during the tribal love rock era, I felt compelled to write an astrology article about the musical. I’ve been cobbling together this article, off and on, ever since.

In a larger context, there is a huge synchronicity in the maturation of the peace symbol and these events. History has repeated itself. Dissention against an unpopular war, the topic of Hair, drew the same placards and picketers in recent years to my city. The protestors flashed the two-fingered peace sign to onlookers as they did in 1967, the year in which this musical debuted. Rebellion was the fabric of my own coming of age in the ‘60s at the University of Wisconsin, the “Berkeley of the Midwest.”

Much has been written about the Pluto/Uranus conjunction in Virgo in the late 1960s. I want to write about what happened when people started singing about its themes. During my two hours at Hair, living astrological symbols flashed in front of me in the characters and action. The overall astro-awakening made up for the technical inaccuracies in the lyrics of The Age of Aquarius. While the Moon in the 7th House and Jupiter aligned with Mars are unlikely signatures of the turning of a new astrological Age, by seeding awareness of its “coming,” Hair is profoundly significant as a cultural and astrological icon.

The first time I saw Hair was in 1970 in Chicago. I was 23. The most recent time on the other side of the country, I was 59 rounding 60. In fact, the original Broadway production, which rocked much more than the sensibilities of the day with its four-letter words and nude scene onstage, is of great currency. Not only have we had recent unpopular wars, but the baby boomers, who flocked to the performances and played the grooves out of their vinyl LPs of the music, are undergoing another rite of passage. In the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, it was the transition to young adulthood. Now baby boomers are in transition to elderhood. Some of us are already collecting Social Security; others aren’t far behind. Hair has something to tell us as our generation’s theme song—even as many of us lose our “long, beautiful hair.” Hair is an astrological awareness vehicle, even an instruction booklet. And let’s not forget Biblical Samson and the pairing of hair and power as a metaphor. Our hair may fall, but our memory of Hair the musical, and all it stood for, lives on in all its power and glory.

One last note before I launch into the chart. Why is music so important? In one way, the answer’s obvious. Music is rich with images of its day—cultural history in song. But there’s an even more important reason. As a chronic sufferer from earworms, those songs that get stuck in your mind and won’t stop singing themselves, I finally did a little research to find out how songs “bore” into the brain. The answer explains the potency of a cultural icon that’s musical.

I have been bewildered for years by how the most innocuous word or experience could trigger the full memory of a carpet company’s commercial I first heard when I was five years old. Or for Hair, Godspell, Tommy, or Jesus Christ Superstar: How can I still remember the lyrics of an entire rock opera at a time when I’m sometimes starting to forget what I ate for breakfast yesterday? The answer is simple. Rhyming song lyrics act as mnemonic devices, formulas or rhymes that assist memory. They tap into the power of rhyme, which imbeds itself and becomes unforgettable. The lyrics of most songs rhyme.

Rhyme is a fierce teaching tool. The Hair musical is upfront about its astrological orientation with The Age of Aquarius as its opening and closing number. Hair turned on an entire generation to astrology and planted the seeds for astrological awareness to continue growing.

The chart I use for Hair is the first Broadway performance on October 17, 1967 at the Public Theatre. A review in the New York Times mentions the 8:30 PM start time and gave the musical its first mention in print. That moment represents the birth of Hair in our consciousness.

Click chart to enlarge

Peace Will Rule the Planet

Hair has a Mercury-ruled chart with Gemini rising. I think that shows how the music “spoke” to so many people at the time. But I want to go straight to Mars in its position at the Galactic Center (GC) at 26 Sagittarius. (The Galactic Center was actually discovered in the late 1960s.) Mars, the God of War, got a lot of attention in this era. Then there’s the Martian connection with sexuality, action (activism), and trailblazing. Mars sits at the focal point of a T-Square in this chart, squaring off with Pluto/Uranus on one side (sexual rebellion) and Chiron on the other (wounding, healing, and wholeness). Mars also completes a Grand Fire Trine with Moon/North Node and Jupiter. Mars is the centerpiece in this chart, the T-square pointing to action in the 7th House of relationships, cooperation, and justice.

Some astrologers consider the GC the second most important point in any personal chart, next to the Sun. Focal in the chart of Hair, the GC points us beyond a planetary perspective to a galactic one. No wonder this musical carried to the cultural consciousness the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” a galactic event. Hair set the alarm clock, even if no one was sure just when it would go off and the dawn would arrive.

The galactic perspective reminds me of the distant, big picture that our first astronauts would get, less than two years after Hair’s debut. What a sight they were soon to behold, coming and going from their first Moonwalk on July 20, 1969. We can’t see what we’re too close to—or what we’re too much a part of. Once we can get a distant perspective, we can see the beauty of our Earth and the interconnection of everything on it. If you can see that from the Moon, imagine the view from the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Mars, the God of War, is transformed by that Grand Triangle of Fire. The fire trine represents expansion (Jupiter) through doing what’s new and what’s now (North Node and Moon in Aries), sparking a bonfire that ultimately tempers Mars with a passion for peace. While squaring Pluto/Uranus speaks to a period where war and sexuality created social tensions, ultimately, the sexual aspect of Mars, too, would burn itself out from a blaze to something smoldering and somewhat tamer. Sexuality would never again be as repressed as in the Victorian era—nor is it likely to be taken as casually as it was in the ‘60s.

With Uranus and Chiron tightly square (minutes) to Mars in the “T”, these things were inevitable: sudden, radical, and ultimately healing and integrating changes. The songs carried the seed energy. If you literally knew the score then, chances are, you “know the score” on these topics now. This is especially true if you can still sing the tunes near-perfectly. Imagine those messages working in your mind all these years. You may not remember the names of some of the characters, but you’ll probably never forget the messages in the songs they sang. I would be hard put, personally, to say how deeply those songs changed me, because so much of Hair lives in my subconscious. I do know from the way the music keeps playing in my head; the impacts were profound.

I suspect Hair influenced me to become an astrologer. My natal Uranus-Sun square resonated to it! I knew next to nothing about astrology back then, but within two years of the opening of Hair, I was throwing zodiac-themed costume parties. You can see me “in the day” in my Virgo get-up on the left of the Radical Virgo masthead. Even people who knew little about astrology learned that the Age of Aquarius had something to do with “harmony and understanding … sympathy and trust... no more falsehoods… and the mind’s true liberation.”

I’ve never met an astrologer who believes that relatively frequent occurrences like a Jupiter/Mars alignment, much less the Moon in the 7th House (of what chart?), would have anything to do with the momentous turning of a new astrological Age. (The recent ingress of Uranus to the 0 Aries point earlier this year is a better candidate.) [1] Yet, the writers of Hair had an intuitive hit. Mars and Jupiter were temporarily aligned by trine at the debut of this amazing musical. Jupiter, the great teacher with his global perspective, was in harmony with Mars aligned near the center of the galaxy, making the curriculum of this cultural university in song “bigger than the sky.”

If Hair ignited a mass cultural awareness of the of the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” the Jupiter aligned with Mars words were accurate to the role the musical played, even if it wasn’t predictive of the arrival time of the Age of Aquarius. Hair was a time capsule that carried an entire cultural shift within its haunting yet, at the same time, upbeat music.

There is much “teacher” symbolism in the focal Mars T-Square of this chart. Mars is in the sign of Sag and higher education. Sagittarius learns through interactions and experiences with “foreigners” (the Vietnam War). Chiron, the planet, was named after the mythological teacher who helped heroes find and hone their true vocations, developing their unique talents that others would rely on in crisis. Heroes save the day, and by mentoring their special skills, Chiron made sure that those abilities were available to his tribe (society). In this chart, Chiron is putting pressure (square) on the Mars in Sag teacher to find balance and educate though high principles in trying times.

Just like college, Hair “graduated” many individuals in its baby boomer audience from the naïveté of their Happy Days childhoods to a more sobering reality. Many of them went to the other extreme as rebellious, counterculture twenty-somethings. A good many of those emotionally hybrid baby boomers (Chiron!), who were raised conservative and came of age as bleeding heart liberals, are only now finding and integrating the lessons of those contrasting times in their youth. They are becoming “cool sages.”


Hair’s four planets in the 4th House suggest this musical had a large impact on the collective consciousness. Here is where the Pluto/Uranus conjunction resides—the aspect that defined the baby boomer generation arguably as much as those born under it by coinciding with its coming of age. Venus and Jupiter join Pluto/Uranus, doing work of the heart and educating the masses in a very Jupiter in Leo way with this dramatic yet life-affirming musical as a generational calling card. Astrologer Eleanor Buckwalter writes that “patriotism is a fourth house matter” and that the 4th represents “the tribe.” Hair helped bring to public awareness the idea that true patriotism isn’t necessarily defined by the military or powers that be. For some people, burning a flag could be just as patriotic as saluting it. Hair provided my first aha that questioning what my country does might be more loyal, caring, and patriotic than blind allegiance to it.

Let the Sun Shine In

The chart of the musical has Sun in Libra in the Fifth, inviting us to partner and shine our love in a circle that’s a living peace sign. Libra Sun in the 5th is an invitation to balance our self-centered Aries Moon feelings (Moon opposite Sun) by being ourselves (fifth) in a way that encompasses our concern for others (7th House Mars, 11th House Moon, Saturn and North Node.) Together we could join our individuality toward new creative expressions of all kinds. During this time, the subject of birth and creativity was expanded to include creations other than children. For the first time, to be single and childless was no longer “weird”—or to be single with a child. These options simply became other relationship choices. Libra Sun likes many choices and has a hard time making just one. Variety is the spice of life and giving birth/rebirth to ourselves became the work of the only generation with “baby” in its name, the one born with Pluto in Leo, a symbol of fiery regeneration.

The Work of the Love Generation Rocks On

I have such a deep affinity to Hair, I wanted to share my thoughts, get your feelings about its influence—and celebrate its Solar Return with you. This article doesn’t begin to say all that could be said about this chart and Hair. I’d love your ideas, so please comment!

While this is more intuitive than astrological, I feel that the work of the Love Generation Hair represents has only just begun, as its original audience takes its rightful place in society as tribal elders. This is an indigenous concept that needs reclaiming. The way modern society treats seniors, overall, is shameful and needs radical reorientation if we are to become whole as a people.

"The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members."

~ Author uncertain, sometimes attributed to Mohandas Gandhi

In my own life, I see amazing integration occurring of everything I have learned up to this point from living through times that are so “strange” in spots, someone landing here from another planet might think we were making up the stories behind our history. My highest values still involve peace, harmony, understanding, freedom of self-expression (“the mind’s true liberation—Aquarius!”) and the power of the media of all kinds, especially entertainment, to help us find who we are.

I can’t close without mentioning what’s perhaps my favorite song in the entire show, the one where the earworm bored in and planted a taproot. That’s Frank Mills. One reviewer felt that the song doesn’t really fit in with the other songs in the show, which, on the surface, is true. Crissy sings about meeting Frank, falling for him, losing his address, and wanting him back. One of my favorite lines, which embodies my feelings about being a suburban young American who espoused hippie values is, “I love him but it embarrasses me to walk down the street with him.” Frank looks like a Hell’s Angel. The song is a sweet, melodic ballad with the final heartstrings punch line, “Tell him Angela and I don’t want the two dollars back—just him.”

I think this song says what the ‘60s were all about—an openness to encounter, experience, and perhaps even love people very different from ourselves. By extension, we’re offered the possibility of making peace with those opposites and diversities inside us. This part is very Chiron in Pisces, the cycle we are in the process of repeating that played out last in the ‘60s. [2] My own inner integration involves my Doris Day/Ding Dong School childhood coming to terms with my college days where I couldn’t leave home for the tear gas and protestors surrounding my apartment building.

Crissy loved Frank for who he was, not for what he could give her or repay her.

If that isn’t the Age of Aquarius, I don’t know what is.


Photo Credit: Senior Man Making Peace Sign © Scott Griessel


[1] To get a sense of just how much disagreement there is on the arrival time, read the Overview in The Age of Aquarius in this Wikipedia article that cites research by astrologer Nicholas Campion.

[2] Chiron entered Pisces on April 20, 2010 but is currently retrograde in Aquarius until late January 2011 when it returns to Pisces to complete a nine-year transit of the sign.


Buckwalter, Eleanor, The Fourth House

Hair the Musical Official Website

Hewitt, Paul O., The Galactic Center

Libra Rising, The Galactic Center


Don't forget the Chiron Poetry Reading Conference Call on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm PDT. Click here for all the details and to sign up!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Moonwalk: Libra

© 2010 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

The opening image in this post is the epitome of calm and balance. But when Libra Moon is upset, s/he seems more to me like an angry Aries with a Gemini split personality. (The duality of the two Scales surely contributes to the potential for two Libras—one Up, one Down.) While temporarily “loony,” the Libra Moon possessed by anger dips high and low in a way that can feel frightening. Think of a pair old-fashioned scales jerking up and down wildly, no balance in sight. You might even find it hard to believe that Venus rules this normally sweet Moon sign when its native is temporarily enraged.

Yet there is often a good reason for that anger. It’s outrage that leaves Moon in Libra clamoring for justice. During this month’s moon cycle, hone your sensitivities to things that “just don’t feel right” from the perspective of fairness. Is it time for you to speak out or take action? If sweetness doesn’t work, is righteous anger the only thing that will get the attention of those who can change the status quo? I can’t help but remember Jesus in the temple with the moneychangers. If the Christian model of peace and calm could “lose it” for just cause, maybe a just cause is the one good reason for any of us to lose it.

While I’m in the Bible anyway, one of my favorite quotes from The Good Book was made popular in a ‘70s hit tune by The Byrds called Turn, Turn,Turn:

“To everything there is a season …and a time for every purpose under heaven.”
~Ecclesiastes 3:1

Let’s talk about the season that just turned!

Autumn Equinox

This autumn kicked off in a showy way with Jupiter visible in the sky (he always tends to take things over the top) and the Full Harvest Moon just hours after the Equinox as the Sun entered Libra. I love that Libra, the sign of relationship and peace, is the Welcome Wagon for the Season of Harvest, Bounty and Gratitude. When our life is truly working, our relationships are in balance and we feel at peace with the world. A lush autumn reminds us in living color of the rewards we reap from the hard work we just did during the summer growing season. In the larger cycles of our journey on this planet, the autumn of our lives contains rich gifts and the creative burst before we slowly go back to the earth. This extravagance before things die or go dormant always leaves me with a haunting sadness intermixed with pure joy. It’s my favorite season. I love to celebrate the culmination of my daily gratitude at Thanksgiving and to become a kid again, thumbing my nose at fear and death during Halloween, Day of the Dead, and All Saints Day.

On October 7 when the Sun and Moon conjoin in the New Moon moment, it almost feels like a second equinox to me, as the Lights in Libra double the cornucopia symbolism that comes through the door with autumn.

Where does the New Moon fall in your chart—and what do you want to do with it?

This Libra New Moon

The first thing that struck me in this month’s chart of the New Moon Moment is how Libran it is visually. Just as someone with Libra Sun or Moon loves relationship, no planet is solo in the chart of this month’s new beginnings. Traveling as pairs are Venus and Mars in Scorpio, Pluto and the Moon’s South Node in Capricorn, Neptune and Chiron in a tight conjunction in Aquarius, and Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces. The Libra Sun and Moon are joined by another conjunction of Mercury and Saturn in the sign, traveling like quadruplets—or two couples on a double date!
Speaking of relationship, much has been written about Saturn in Libra, which has now made its way to the 8th degree of the sign. If you haven’t already, this lunar cycle would be perfect for reviewing your relationship history through my two previous posts, Saturn in Libra: “Form” Your Love Life, Chart Your Relationship History and More Saturn in Libra Exercises to Understand Your Relationships. These articles were part of the International Astrology Day Blogathon on Spring Equinox 2010. Saturn in Libra (the first of the pair) has been the second most popular post all year on The Radical Virgo. With Mercury in a close conjunction to Saturn in the New Moon chart and both at the focal point of T-Square with Pluto and the South Node, it’s a good time to ponder how this part of your life is working—or not. A review and letting go of whatever no longer works with an eye toward rebirth is a loud cosmic suggestion. Besides, it might be fun. That Venus/Mars conjunction in Scorpio could add a lot of passion to the project! Jupiter traveling with Uranus, both retrograde, add the potential for unexpected blessings, particularly by taking an inner look or a look back. Chiron and Neptune offer healing and transcendence. Is there a past relationship you need to revisit mentally and emotionally—perhaps even actually? (Check out my post Revisiting Day for more on this idea.)

I hope the Saturn in Libra exercises are eye opening, and whether you get an A+ or a C-, knowledge is power! It’s easy when things “need improvement” to form a plan and work on your relationship. What a time to start under the New Moon stellium in Libra! When things are going well, we often forget that we need to work to keep them that way.

A relationship that ticks more often than it ticks us off calls for celebration!

My beloved and I came out of a rough patch this summer to a place where things are better than ever between us. (Remember that cusps are thresholds to get you to the next sign, attitude, or state of being.) I’m not just relieved; I’m elated!

We say we never want to take our relationships for granted. This month would be the perfect time to combine autumn’s season of gratitude with your relationship life and create some routines and rituals that reinforce your appreciation of one another, if you’re in a relationship. If you’re not, bless the parts of being single that are true gifts —and ask for the right relationship to be drawn to you, if you want one. If you’re partnered, bring home flowers to your loved one, and if you’re between relationships, bring them home for yourself. Don’t forget you’re actually your primary relationship and a healthy love of self draws the best kind of Other to love. My husband and I aim never to let a day go by without saying “I love you” or something we appreciate about one another. These are good Saturn habits to establish under this Moon cycle. As we like to say about a partner that’s a real find, these habits are keepers!

Let’s end month’s Moonwalk with a poem that speaks to why the symbol for Libra is a balance or scales. Libra is the only sign with an object for its symbol. All the others have people or animals. Perhaps Libra is symbolized by an inanimate object to reflect how challenging it is to find perfect balance—an ideal or momentary state that shifts constantly, rarely attainable for long periods by mere mortals. When we feel in balance, overall, when we can find as many of those moments as possible—they become our touchstone of “normal.” We can recognize the imbalance of living in the fast lane in what feels like a crazy mixed up world and make sure we monitor how much time we spend in the whirlwind.

Moon in Libra


The space in-between
breathing out and
breathing in

the nurture

No words
in the way
the current
of consensual silence

The momentary pause
in the seesaw of life
the deep drink
of stasis


Say this several times a day, especially first thing in the morning, during this lunar month. Enjoy the difference it makes.


Photo Credits: Balance and Alignment © Paul Moore; Golden Scales © Mopic; Autumn Leaves - MS Clipart; Silhouette of the Woman Meditate © Ivan Polushkin

Holiday Gift Certificates @ $50 Off! As announced previously, special offers are now available only to readers on my e-mail list. The monthly New Moongram e-mail complements the Moonwalk posts with additional information on the Moon’s Sabian symbol and a mini-meditation for each New Moon. In addition, you’ll get discount coupons and the latest behind-the-scenes scoop on what’s happening at The Radical Virgo. Between the Libra and Scorpio New Moons, I’m offering my lowest price on holiday gift certificates and personal readings for early shoppers. If you’re not already a subscriber, sign up at the top of the sidebar to get the Libra New Moongram for more info!

Chiron Poetry Reading Conference Call
October 19, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chiron Poetry Reading Conference Call

Dear Radical Readers,

You’re invited to share an online adventure with me, a reading of Poems to Heal the Healer: The 12 Chiron Signs. There's no charge to participate. Your only possible cost is to call in to Free Conference Call. (No charge for the conference/reading itself, but the access number is not toll- free.) Many of you have long distance bundled into your mobile phone or landline fees, so there’s no additional charge to you in those cases. Here are the details:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010
6:00 pm Pacific, 7:00 Mountain, 8:00 Central,
9:00 Eastern

By reservation only. Sign-up here with Chiron Poetry Reading in the subject header. Please state your name (at least your first name), location, and Chiron sign. (If you don’t know your Chiron sign, send your date, time and place of birth. I’ll look it up for you.) With this information, I can e-mail you follow-up materials and everything you need to participate. By knowing how many people are attending with each Chiron sign, I’ll have a hint in advance how to allot time for discussion. Here’s your chance to comment and ask questions about your Chiron sign and Chironic experiences!

Recommended reading
Poems to Heal the Healer: The 12 Chiron Signs

If you purchase the e-book beforehand (see sidebar), you’ll have the option of reading along and seeing the artwork for each poem.

Not sure yet if you want to buy the e-book? Here’s your chance to hear the poems and then decide if you’d enjoy having all 12 on separate pages with beautiful graphics, each suitable for framing for yourself or as a gift to a friend.

Instructions for call-in will be given to those who sign up along with the final conference agenda. The poetry reading call and discussion will last 1.5 hours. The abbreviated agenda:

• Introductions and brief discussion of poetry as a healing art

• Reading the first six poems for the Chiron signs (Aries through Virgo)

• Discussion of first six

• Reading the second six poems for the Chiron signs (Libra through Pisces)

• Discussion of second six

• Wrap-up

Time Zones Outside the US

The vast majority of Radical readers come from the US, but our readership is global. Currently, the top ten countries or regions of our readers by frequency of visits are the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, India, Netherlands, Sweden, Romania, and New Zealand.

It’s not logistically possible to cover all the time zones across the globe in one call, since it will be an odd hour for a large part of the world. (If you’re willing to call in the middle of your night at the currently scheduled time, you’re welcome!)

This first poetry reading will be accessible on a weeknight for most of our readers in the USA, Canada, and South America. If we have enough interest in other countries, I’ll do another reading at a time convenient to other time zones. If you’re interested, e-mail me with the header Chiron Poems – Outside US. Please indicate your country and time zone, and I’ll keep you posted on whether there are enough takers to arrange another conference call at a time that works in the main for those who express an interest. I think we should be able to find enough support easily for a second call for the countries +/- an hour or two of GMT/Europe. Please also state your preference for time, such as weekday evening or weekend (Saturday or Sunday?).

I look forward to sharing these poems with you—and sharing our voices with each other! This is an intuitive and creative way to learn more about Chiron. I hope many of you will join us.

Blessings All,

PS – If this works well for us, I may offer classes online through conference calls.


Photo Credit: Hands Holding the Sun © Dumitru Andrei ~ and Red Telephone © Alfonso De Stefano