Friday, October 23, 2015

Radical Reposts: Holy Scorpio, Pluto!

It’s that time of year when Scorpio’s secret is out and we have to deal with our own dark sides.

There’s a couple of ways we can do that. We can go all psychological and dig into our own depths for a new layer of healing. Or we can have fun with it. The reposts here offer both paths to praising Pluto, Scorp’s ruler, and paying homage to the King of the Underworld. (I’d stay on his good side.)

While most of these posts have been repeated under the Planet reposts and other places, it feels right to have a special gathering while Pluto-Scorpio’s in season along with some of its most delicious holidays such as Halloween and Day of the Dead. Or at least to put them all on the same page to give you a chance to read or reread and be in synch with the season.

We’ve all been dealing with Pluto these past few years in its long dance with Uranus, and many of us are still reaping the rewards and repercussions of that tango/square.  The power of this planet’s process of destruction and rebirth is something many of us have felt personally, depending on the make-up of our charts.

Here’s to better understanding the process of those little deaths that result in our continuous resurrection, to laughing at our own resistance, and—ultimately—to knowing that our lives are fuller, richer and more meaningful for taking these tough and often tricky dance lessons. (The burning rose in the Outerplanetary People/Pluto article is the one in our teeth.)


Not only does this article reprise all the key Pluto posts on The Radical Virgo; it also offers some information about flower essences that may help you navigate them.


These stats about the occurrence of Sun signs may surprise you. They sure did me.

Moonwalk: Scorpio (03-Nov-2010)
Get naked under the New Moon! Even though the Moon in this photo is Full (New Moons are almost invisible and hard to capture), the idea's the same. The Scorpio Moon is time for emotional and physical intimacy. Back to the idea that the Moon in a sign often gives us an even better feel for it than the Sun, enjoy.


Scorpio for a Day (26-Oct-09)
Halloween is the one day a year we can all be Scorpios for a day! It's even expected of us! Then I got to thinking: How would each sign of the zodiac “do Scorpio?” Naturally, some signs might be more predisposed to Scorpio's well-known darkness, power tripping, and sex mania. (OK, to be fair, their extreme depth and natural abilities to transform themselves.) Here’s my best guess on what this masquerade party would look like.

Come late October and early November, my thoughts turn to a good murder mystery and a few of my other favorite Scorpio things. This year I found myself exploring the question: What does an actor draw from in his own chart to enable him to play a convincing Scorpionic character? Explores the charts of traditional and modern actors who have played Sherlock Holmes and what we know of the chart of the character himself.

(14-Oct-2012) Samples:
SCORPIO: “Stinger?” ~ Seductive Scorp, offering cocktail. SAGITTARIUS: Beware of arrowing experiences. ~ Auntie Joyce. CAPRICORN: Don't assume the handcuffs are for play. ~ Narrowly escaped former love interest.

Lore about Halloween and adjacent holidays, including Day of the Dead and Chiron’s Discovery Day (Nov. 1. And in case you haven’t read it, see the Pluto section to learn how much Chiron and Pluto are alike or click here on Chiron and Pluto: The Comet Brothers.)

Boo-ware of angry or cranky zodiacal creatures this Halloween season! They may be dressed as your husband, wife, lover, friend or children, but during this celebration of the dark side, be watchful of what goes bump in the nightor maybe in broad daylight!

Author Liz Jasper asked readers to describe costumes they have made for Halloween. I couldn't resist describing my two favorites, a Christmas tree (talk about holiday mixed metaphors) and The Purple People Eater. Complete with embarrassing photos.


Photo Credit: Hades © Malchev –

Don’t miss the Halloween posts and other fun, fast reads on Facebook: Joyce Mason – The Radical Virgo.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Radical Reposts: Relationships and Their Sky Reps

While the Sun is still in Libra, it seems like a good time to revisit in our repost series the topics of relationships, the sign Libra and the planet Venus. Share the best parts with your significant other!

The Planet Venus 

Many of these posts were already reprised in February  this year on Radical Reposts: The Planets – Venus. Take a ride on a love rocket to the Planet of Us! Guaranteed worth the ticket/click …


 “Mature” relationship, by the very use of the adjective mature involves making peace with Saturn. There is a good reason why Saturn is exalted—best placed—in the sign of Libra. We all want relationships that endure ...

While it’s also listed under The Planets – Venus, this article is worth the double billing. It’s Everything I’ve Learned about Relationship in Six Decades as a Venus Girl. While this article focuses on love on or after the Chiron Return, I think you'll find the insights are universal and timeless.

Speaking of relationships, don’t miss The Radical Virgo on Facebook! You’ll find much laughter and sharing with an astrological bent, plus links to every post on this blog. Like me! Really like me!

Your relationship with astrology is a long-term love affair. Like any long-term relationship, astrology needs to be nurtured and its place in your life is likely to change over time. 

This seminal article covers my theory of how Chiron rules the portion of the zodiac from Virgo through Sagittarius. It addresses how good relationships, one of the keys to wholeness, are formed through progressive developmental steps: Virgo to Libra to Scorpio to Sag.

The Sign Libra

Moonwalk: Libra (04-Oct-2010)

We often learn about the soul of a sign when we explore it as a Moon placement. While this article covers a specific time the Moon was in Libra, I think you’ll find many insights into Libra worth balancing on your own inner scales. For those who think Libras are only dimpled sweethearts, let me share from the opening paragraph:

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.

Perhaps a good explanation why love can be both heaven and hell at times?

Happy Birthday, Libras!


Photo Credit: © Шпорт Олександр –

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Munchies for Astro-Thought: Moving/Changing House Systems

Munchies © 2015 by Joyce Mason

 Cut each of these pieces in half and
you’ve got the 12 houses of the zodi-yum.

This munchie follows the last one on Chart Tinkering like a tag team. It involves a form of chart tinkering, too—changing house systems.

If you haven’t tinkered lately with a different system from the one you normally use, put out the For Sale sign and move from wherever you are to a different house: Placidus, Koch, Porphyry, Whole Signs or Equal Houses. Better yet, "move" to another country (India) and check out your chart in the Vedic system which will shift it about 23-degrees.

As usual, I’m going to do a self-demo here because I don’t have to ask permission or worry about anyone’s privacy but my own. And the best part is that I can learn or relearn along with you.

But first, a bit of Astro-bio. I started out my astrology studies with the wrong chart. As a Virgo, I was horror stricken to discovery this inaccuracy! I found out that I was born during an era where Illinois births, by law, were required to be recorded in Standard time even though Daylight Savings was on the clock. My discovery was so long ago (the early 1980s) that I was still hand drawing charts from a complex formula using a calculator, taught to me by my first teacher, Gavin Carruthers. (Meet Gavin on his website or low on the sidebar of this blog.) Even my first foray into casting charts by computer was not helpful, as the software I used did not prompt for this wrinkle. I don’t remember how I found out the truth about my birth time. Originally ignorant, since Daylight Savings Time was on the clock, I calculated my 7:31 PM birth time in Central Daylight Time (CDT). It looked like this in Placidus, also the original chart system I used.

Click to enlarge

As you’ll see, it has Aries Rising, a crowded 6th House and Moon on the Midheaven. I think the original hand calculations were a little off on the house cusps, compared to today’s very precise software, as I seem to recall the Moon pushed a bit past the MC into the 10th itself.

When we finally uncovered the time zone truth, I rechecked my birth certificate and found out it said, literally, CST—Standard time. To complicate the issue, not all hospitals followed the rule about recording in Standard. I was lucky to have verification that mine was recorded as though Daylight Savings Time did not exist. Here was my new chart:

Click to enlarge

Note I actually have Taurus Rising, still a crowded 6th but Moon clearly in the the 9th rather than the 10th House. This made a big difference. Explains my bent for philosophy, publishing and love of travel.

Oddly enough, both charts worked at a certain level. Gavin had a theory that still resonates for me. We sometimes get the “wrong” chart to learn things about ourselves that the “right” chart doesn’t illuminate. It sure made sense to me. I’m a real doer and starter, so Aries Rising worked for me—but I look much more like a Taurus Rising, and I’m clearly a Venus Girl, not very Marsy in many other ways. I chalked up people seeing a lot of fire in me that doesn’t exist to a great degree in my chart—and also my tendency toward action and starting new things—to my dominant Cardinal modality.

I won’t bore you with the details of each new chart, but I had an astrologer I much admired for a while who used Equal Houses. This put Moon in the 8th and also explained a lot in terms of losing my original family by adoption and a boatload of other abandonment issues. (Of course, that theme was found elsewhere in the chart, too.)

But it was when an astrologer I admired swore by the Koch house system that I converted to it because I loved the results: Sun and Venus conjunct in the 5th, not the 6th House. This was the only thing that ever explained my constant creativity and how I totally live to create things. It also explained something else—how I’d rather be a typical behind-the-scenes  Virgo, but life keeps putting me front and center on stage in front of God and Everyone. I have kept Koch for that reason, because it feels most like the real me …

… but I’m always willing to look at a new system. The older I get, the more my Vedic chart makes sense. It’s back to Aries Rising—but get this—a Sag Moon in the 9th! People are forever guessing that I have a lot of Aquarius and Sagittarius in my chart. With Sun square Uranus and a very prominent Jupiter (trine Mars and conjunct the South Node), the flavor is there from another angle.

And that’s just it. Chart systems just allow us to see ourselves from another angle. I always think of horoscopes as pizzas. Some Virgo types cut their pizzas into perfectly even proportions, others are more freestyle with the cutter wheel and you might get more pepperoni on some pieces and not enough olives on others. Imagine how salty the pieces with a lot of Spanish olives would be compared to those with a few or none.

That’s the idea. Taste your astrological data in different ways and be amazed at what you learn about yourself. I just don’t believe there’s one true house system, but I do believe you’ll know the one that explains you best to you … which is why we started this star stuff, isn’t it?

And once you’ve figured yourself out a little bit better, once more, I hope you’ll share what you find out.


Photo Credit: © Lukas Gojda -

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Munchies for Astro-Thought: Chart Tinkering

 Munchies © 2015 by Joyce Mason

There used to be a cartoon feature in The Mountain Astrologer where a doctor performed surgery on charts to take out a temperamental Mars for a hothead or a mushy Ascendant for people who tended to get walked all over, as examples. Have you ever wished for a do-over on parts of your chart?

Today’s munchie invites you to create your dream chart. Draw a circle, divide it into 12 houses and get creative. Don’t worry about how well you draw glyphs or straight lines. Use equal houses to make it easy. Unless you like complexity; then do your thing!

It doesn’t matter if you draw a configuration that’s impossible in your lifetime, such as outer planets that won’t be in that position for another 200 years. As John Lennon sang, imagine. This exercise is purely to get you thinking about your astrological challenges and whether they’re worth wading through or tossing for a different set of ups-and-downs.

Once you’ve drawn this ideal chart, make some notes for your journal about why you want this particular line-up. After that, rethink it. Is it still better than what you’ve got?

This time, I can’t give you a personal example, because my answer to that last question is no. I actually went through a period of time where I did not want to be a Virgo, radical or otherwise. I thought I would have liked to move my chart up 7 hours to have Libra Sun. I even went so far as to calculate the chart for the Sun’s first moment in Libra after my birth. It left me shuddering as I saw a new set of headaches.

For me, I think it amounted to the old saying, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. I saw as many new problems as fixes. But who knows? You might feel otherwise.

And if it’s true that we get to be part of a committee process on The Other Side for determining our lessons and the precise moment of incarnation for working them out, you might be preparing in advance for your next lifetime. Better to do it now while the experience of being human is still alive and fresh! Just one caution: All trines and sextiles would actually make a dull life. To gain pearls of wisdom or to become one the sages that share them, it takes a little grit for polishing.

As always, I’d love to hear your experiences or reactions to this Munchie in the Comments.


Photo Credit: © kamenuka -