Friday, March 26, 2010

What is it with April?

The "shot heard around the world" which started the Revolutionary War was fired on April 19, 1775. The shots at Fort Sumter which started the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861. Does April 19 ring another bell to you? Well, that was the day of the final attack at the Branch Davidian Ranch in Waco in 1993 and it was also the day of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. The Falkland’s War started in April. Abraham Lincoln was shot in April. Heck, Adolph Hitler was born - and died - in April. For a month of new life and new beginnings it can be a bit on the violent side. Why? Blame in on Mars, the ancient god of war.

Mars is the ruler of Aries, the constellation in which the Sun enters at the Vernal Equinox, March 20th. So April is the time when the Mars archetype of male, aggressive warrior energy is at its peak. This year, I am particularly concerned with the march on the D.C. area by the radical right wing. These people are announcing that they are coming with their "guns loaded but they won't shoot first." Gee thanks. With the increase of right wing violence and the threat of more, what we do not need is a gun march anywhere!

Here is a biwheel - the chart of the United States combined with the transiting planets over Washington, DC on April 19 - at high noon. I figured that would be a good time. At the time of the its' birth, America's Mars was in Gemini in the 7th house - no wonder we can't help getting involved in other people's business - 7th house is the house of partnerships. At the time of the March - the Moon will be opposite Pluto - a time when hidden emotions will come to the surface. These two planets are making a square to the US's Neptune - so reality won't be the order of the day. Neptune is all about illusion and confusion.

So this will be a highly charged - electric day but what about Mars? Mars will be in Leo in the 8th house - the Sign of Fire and "me first" in the house of power. More importantly, this year Mars is moving VERY SLOWLY - and is in retrograde. (A planet is retrograde when it appears to be going backwards in the sky.) A retrograde slow Mars in Leo - a fire sign.....Can you see the scenario? Rising emotions, illusion, confusion -and Mars surrounding by fiery power . It could get tense.

Fortunately, there is little to intersect with the major planets in the chart of the U.S. so it doesn't appear to be destined to be a memorable date in history - any more than it already is.

Just everyone please remember, we don't need any fuel added to any fires in April - Mars is taking care of that himself quite well.

More to come on the outlook for the rest of the year for the US and President Obama,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Equinox and the origins of the word Easter.

Tomorrow is the Vernal Equinox, a time for renewal and resurrection. Astronomically and astrologically it is when the Sun is at zero degrees in the constellation Aries. Astrologers call Aries, the baby of the zodiac, the first sign of the twelve...the beginning of things anew.

I remember being shocked at the first Passover Seder I attended when I saw hard boiled eggs on the table. Eggs? Isn't that for Easter? How little I knew. We all have the same concept- eggs, fertility, rebirth and resurrection - they are all celebrated at the Equinox.

It is all about eggs - The Druids dyed eggs red - the color of the "returning" Sun. The Celts dyed their eggs blue in spring and the Ukrainians started dying eggs thousands of years ago. Spring is the time when the Earth comes back to life. It is symbolized by the goddess at her youngest - sowing seeds that will bloom in a few months.

In fact the word Easter comes from the Anglo Saxon goddess Eostre. Now there are two stories about Eostre. In some parts of the ancient Saxon world she was a goddess in the maiden stage who wandered the country side with her hare sowing seeds. This is also the beginning of the Easter bunny legend. In other parts she was a goddess who transformed herself from maiden to hare as she brought the return of spring and promoted the growth of crops. However, you get the general drift - spring is the time for renewal and growth.

The concept of resurrection was not new to the Christians - check out Osiris and Isis for the Greeks and Oden for the ancient Norse. Sorry, but there just is nothing new under the Sun - in any season.

But be a part of the ancient tradition, dye some eggs, plant some seeds - it is SPRING!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dolley Madison - A Total Taurus.

Recently, the local PBS channel ran a biography of Dolley Madison, a woman who ruled Washington, D.C. in her day and still lives in our folklore (and kitchen cabinets in the form of cupcakes) to this day. This First Lady, married to one of the most reserved and bookish of our Presidents, transformed the White House and Washington society both physically and psychicly, twice.

While watching the show I chuckled when the spoke of how she scandalized her Quaker family by wearing dresses that were low cut and revealed what they felt was too much of her bosom. "Taurus" I said to myself. "She had to have a lot of Taurus in her." Taurus rules the chest and many people with Taurus ascendants and Suns have strong well-developed bodies and chests. When I looked at her chart, I was stunned at how strong was the Taurus influence on her!

Born May 20 1768 at 3:45 AM at Guilford, North Carolina - we see the first taste of Taurus in her Sun Sign, which was in the first house of her chart. In addition, her rising sign - the sign on the first house cusp - was also in Taurus. Remember that the ancients paid much more attention to the rising sign (or ascendant) than the Sun Sign. So even had her Sun been in another sign, they would consider her a Taurus. In addition, her Mercury, Ceres, Venus and Uranus were all in Taurus and all clustered around the first house and first house cusp. She could not help project Taurean qualities!

Taurus rules the second house, the house of possessions and how they relate to our self worth. Taureans seek comfort and warmth in their homes -- the key is comfort. Think of the Bull (the symbol of Taurus) sitting in the pasture on the comfortable grass just soaking in the beauty of life and nature.

Yes, she was a sparkling hostess but look deeper. What was the first thing she did as First Lady? She charged James Hoban, the architect of the White House to redesign all of the public rooms. It was she who made the Blue Room blue - the Red Room red -etc. and who decorated them to ensure the best use for socializing and the comfort of her guests. Do you see the Taurus influence? She was not just a great hostess who made her guests at ease and then introduced them to her shy husband; she transformed the possessions around her. She changed the surroundings.

When the War of 1812 broke out and the British were marching toward Washington with torches in hand, Dolley reacted in a total Taurean way. She ordered the dinner table set with the finest of china. She was not going to appear afraid and harried. According to William Seale's "The President's House", "Several kinds of wine in handsome cut-glass decanters were cooling on the sideboard; platters stood by the fireplace, filled with dishes and plates awaiting immediate use; everything in short was ready for the entertainment of a ceremonious party." No matter how terrified she was of capture, Dolley Madison would not betray those fears to the British and reminded them that this was a home of comfort and grace.

Of course, before she left the White House, she had the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington taken from its frame and removed. That was the most prized possession of the White House - and that good old Taurus knew how to save it! She had a sixth sense about what had value. (Of course, she also stuffed silver and china in the carriages before they escaped but hey, a girl has to have her bling.) That too was Taurean- she was not saving papers or mementos -- she was saving the good stuff.

When the War was over, and the White House just a shell, she and Hoban started from scratch and redid the interior. Could we have had a better-equipped First Lady to do the job?

Sadly, Dolley would lose all of her possessions to an unscrupulous son and his gambling debts. She lived long enough to see the invention of photography and in all of those shots, she is wearing the same dress and blouse -he literally took the clothes off her back. She has an intercepted fifth house, which vibrates to creativity and children. That means that the sign on the cusp of the house does not extend through the whole house and another sign cuts the house in half. That is always a pause for karma. She has Leo intercepted in the fifth house indicating in past lives she was placing her needs about others and always got what SHE wanted regardless of how. There was no idea of WE it was all about ME. Sadly, her son chose to pay back that karma in spades. I just hope they do not continue on that cycle.

With her Moon in Cancer, the ultimate sign of mothering, gave into him and smothered him with a love that did neither one of them any good. It was not until the very end of her life when her friends in Congress passed legislation to pay for her memoirs on the condition that he could not get access to that money did she wise up. Her son was furious about losing the gravy train and when he attached her verbally for it, she finally had enough of him. I just hope that at some point they get over this tit-for-tat anger and stop following each other in lifetime after lifetime playing the game of give me your money!

Dolley’s North Node (the indicator of where a soul should progress) is in Capricorn in the ninth house and boy did she progress into it. Capricorn is the sign of the government power – power structures in general – and the ninth house is all about reaching out to people beyond our immediate environs. Stories are legendary about her diplomatic efforts. Again, I quote Seale. “Washington life was greatly spiced by the diplomatic community…the diplomats entertained frequently…touches of foreign finery came to characterized Washington interiors.” She brought the world to Washington and Washington to the world – bingo –North Node Capricorn ninth house.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Rise of Ceres and the Feminine

Hi there - Happy March!

You know that I always look at the four "girls" - the asteroids, Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta. Well, now Ceres is a dwarf planet because of her size and gravitational pull. While this brings back bitter memories to me of the downgraded of Pluto from full planet to dwarf, I will put away my rage for a few minutes to praise Ceres.

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, which lies between Mars and Jupiter and appears to have some water frost activity on the surface. We won't know much more about what is really going on until the unmanned Dawn Mission arrives there in 2015. Launched by NASA in 2007, the mission will also explore sister asteroid Vesta in 2011!

When the Greeks ruled the Western world, they prayed to Demeter, the Goddess who is the equivalent to Mother Nature. She made the trees and flowers bloom and the crops grow and when she went into the underworld to rescue her daughter, the blooming stopped and winter was born. In a deal to get her daughter released from the God of the Underworld, Pluto (boy they always picked on Pluto even then!) -- she would return once a year thus bringing the winter every year. The Romans swiped the concept and renamed her Ceres.

More than two millennia later, the asteroid named after this archetypal mother energy is being elevated to planet just at the time the concept of the sacred feminine and the balancing of the male energy so dominate for so long. What a "coincidence." The interesting part to me is that we are discovering a planet that deals with rather traditional female roles - that of nurturer and mother. That would seem to be incongruous with the rise of the power of the sacred feminine. However, think about how the power women have as creators, as those who keep life flowing, has been (and continues to be) undervalued. Indeed, it has been the fear men have for this ability they do not share, that has lead to the marginalization of the female for so long. You know the old joke that if men could give birth it would be done in the town square with cheerleaders- but because it is a female task, it has been consigned to scary dark rooms. Remember the days when a pregnant woman was not seen in public?

As the power between man and woman - yin and yang balance on a universal scale, woman must be mindful not to lose or themselves diminish that power which makes us so separate from the male. We don't need to become men or lose what makes us uniquely female.

Karmic Astrology by Joan's Fan Box