Saturday, September 26, 2015

Munchies for Astro-Thought: The Dual Signs

Munchies © 2015 by Joyce Mason

When we think of dual signs, Gemini comes to mind, the Twins. Not far behind are the two fish of Pisces.

The other two dual signs are a little more subtle and take a bit of extra thought to recognize. Sagittarius has the dual centaur as its symbol, part man and part horse.

Virgo, on the other hand, is a sleeper when it comes to recognition of its duality. That’s in large part because its original depiction is not seen as often anymore. The Maiden in early art has wings, a commentary on her combined earthy and heavenly natures. The mental earth sign receives transmissions through her mind and uses them for practical purposes. She is a cosmic bridge and earthly builder.

Today’s Munchie asks you to examine the dual signs in your chart. If you don’t have Gemini, Virgo, Sag or Pisces planets, work with your dual houses, the ones they would “rule” in a natural, Aries-rising chart (3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th).

Isn’t it metaphorical perfection that the dual signs are mutable?

Your question to munch on: How does the duality of these signs and/or houses express itself in your life? Quick personal model:

Uranus in Gemini (2nd house): My inspirations come as a package deal bearing both sides of the story or a continuum on which a principle travels. For example, early in my Astro-writing career, I suggested we quit talking about polarities and start talking about continuums. I saw that opposites have a smidge of each other, like the yin-yang symbol.

Sun in Virgo (5th house): This one’s easy. I’ve spent my whole astrological career studying and sharing what I’ve found out about Chiron. Chiron is the epitome of assimilating a dual nature and how humans are also divine, represented by Chiron’s horse and human halves.

Your dualities might come in much different ways, but the principle is the same. On the downside of my Uranus in Gemini, for instance, sometimes I see both sides so well; it’s hard to discern where and how I need integration along the road from one to another. My dual Sun in Virgo sometimes has difficulty with staying too long in the heady and heavenly side of the split instead of heading back home, down to earth, fast enough. Ironically, that’s a Pisces characteristic—accenting my point about the bit of the opposite in every duality.

Let us know what you discover in the Comments!


Photo Credit:  Virgo Astrological Sign © Toni Allen –

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mercury Retrograde Autumn

Poem © 2015 by Joyce Mason

Moon and Ceres kiss in Capricorn:
I look back to see how 
and what I have nurtured—fed.
Sun, North Node and Juno
Travel together in trio
opposite Vesta.
How have I held the flame,
my Olympic torch
toward new directions?

Autumn and the shift
from summer growth
remind us:
What we harvest depends on
what we plant and feed
and the direction we are headed.

So many planets in trine:
A symphony of weaving past, present
and future

Loud as falling leaves
No one time/space more important
Than the other—
Time Dancing as


Photo Credit:  © margarette -

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Radical Reposts: Virgo Old Home Week/Month

Dear Radical Readers,

I have been taking care of personal business these past few months. I did some short trips and got my first respites since February and caring for my husband full-time. He’s doing much better, and my two getaways have been rejuvenating. I hope to get back to this year’s round of reposts … and I’m going a bit out of order here to reprise some great articles about the Virgo energy before it’s Libra already. Perfect for Mercury Retrograde, no?

Also, I wanted to share that the Munchies for Astro-Thought have been quite popular, and I plan to intersperse some of these appetizers, as well.

Happy Cusp of Autumn,

Exploring the Sign of Virgo and the Cusp of Autumn. Many of you already know that this blog was named after an article I wrote in The Mountain Astrologer in 1992 called “The Radical Virgo.” Judging by its popularity for more than two decades, the original “Radical Virgo” is timeless. I have received many positive comments about it over the years, housed on this website and in the Australian archive, A Place in Space. The enthusiasm of one reader about the article was the impetus for creating The Radical Virgo blog in 2009.

Information Synthesis and Global Service. This is a continuation of The Radical Virgo, an article I wrote in 1992 that inspired the name and creation of this blog. It’s an update and an expansion, and if you haven’t read the timeless original yet, I recommend as a prequel to this article.

My mission to re-envision the public image of the sign Virgo was written in my birth name, an irony I only realized in writing this new article. Before I was adopted by the Mason family, I was born Maria Teresa during the last hours of Virgo on the cusp of autumn. I was literally the Virgo Maria or the Virgin Mary. Along with a full-impact Catholic upbringing that I took very seriously, there are certain aspects of the assignment to see the sign of Virgo in a new light that come to me naturally.

The Virgin Myths (11-Sep-13)
To understand the sign of Virgo more deeply, I wanted to research the Virgo myth and ponder its connection to our modern times. The constellation of Virgo has been a cosmic stage with many mythical characters, but they all reflect the same themes of maidens, purity and fertility. In India Virgo was Kauni, the mother of the great god Krishna. The Babylonians linked her with the goddess Ishtar. You’ll recognize the Greek parallel: When Ishtar descended into the Underworld to reclaim her husband Tammuz, god of the Harvest, the earth went dark. Nothing grew.


Photo Credit: Zodiac Sign Virgo © baksiabat -

Friday, September 4, 2015

Munchies for Astro-Thought: Your Astrological Extremes

© 2015 by Joyce Mason

We all know the expression, food for thought. This feature is more like a snack. It’s a prompt for thinking about some astrological idea and how it works for you. 

If you’ve studied astrology for any length of time, you know that every planetary energy—planet, sign or aspect—has an expression along a continuum. Most of us tend to think of the road as one from negative to positive expression, according to our cultural context—but being as nonjudgmental as possible, it really boils down to which qualities of, say, the planets and signs are likely to bring us joy or painful melodrama. The more we grow, the more we know that’s our choice.

Today’s munchie is an invitation to experiment with the extremes of each of your planets in their sign.

I’ll model from my own chart, and you can take it from there. I’m going to call the polarities at each end of the continuum Best and Worst. I’m starting my chart with the ASC and going around the wheel, but not all the way—just enough to give you the idea. Here goes:

Ascendant in Taurus

Best – Love of the Earth and nature, sensuality, food and luxury

Worst – Too much food, luxury regardless of means, and during my youth – indiscriminate sensuality, too.

Uranus in Gemini

Best – Love of connection, the Internet, technology, brilliance and ideas from the leading edge, love of the unique
Worst – Live-wire energy, tamed only with saging; when younger, enjoying shocking people; again, earlier in life—saying whatever I felt regardless of how it alienated or shocked. Feeling different, like I don’t fit in.

Mars in Cancer

Best – Very nurturing, protective of family, doing for the world as One Family

Worst –All of the above to a fault (all others, no me), holding onto anger that’s hard to express when you’re such a nurturer.

Now that you’ve got the idea, why not give it a try with your own chart? What do you learn about yourself and your Astro-journey? If you’re willing, please share in the Comments.

I learned I’ve come a long way with rounding out the Worst to accentuate the Best. But then, I’ve had so many years to practice! :) I've also learned I can still slip into the worst side of my planet/sign combos, especially when stressed. Maybe I don't fall as far, but living on the upside of the zodiac takes constant vigilance.


Photo Credit: Angel and devil © elenabsl –