Friday, April 22, 2011

"Easter" Musings

Recently I asked a group of people where the word Easter came from. Didn't that name always seem out of place? Not surprisingly, no one knew. Easter - it has no correlation to the day. Right? Well, if you dig back into the history of it all it clearly does. Easter is named for the Germanic and Celtic goddess Eostre. Depending on the tribe telling the story, she was either a young maiden who travelled the country side with her rabbit spreading eggs in your garden or a magical woman who transformed into a rabbit in Spring. Virgin, rabbit, eggs - yes, fertility and rebirth - they weren't subtle back then. (Actually, there were many variations on the theme but these were the general avenues of interpretation.)

To celebrate the day of Eostre one would bake breads with the cross of the rising sun which have become translated into hot cross buns and dye eggs. Who said human beings have original ideas?

Interestingly in Sweden they celebrate Easter by celebrating witches! The children dress as the up as the witch Blakulla, make drawings and then go door to door exchanging the drawings for candy. Sounds like a take on Halloween. Interestingly, in Italy, the witch Buffana comes to the children on Christmas Eve. Witches, girls, maidens, they all find their way into someones celebration.

Anyway, back to Astrology and Easter. However, the celebration it is important to remember it all starts with the stars. The Spring Equinox, when the Sun is at the mouth - zero degrees - of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac - the sign that starts the wheel of life again - is March 21. Easter takes place on the Sunday after the first full Moon following the Equinox. Who can guess whether I was taught that little tidbit during eight years of Catholic school? Easter linked to the Equinox - linked to the Moon! Shock.

Passover too starts a day or so after the first full Moon after the Spring Equinox.

This year the full Moon was April 17, so Passover started at sundown on April 18 and Easter is April 24. 

And they both have to thank Aries the first sign of the Zodiac for it. Speaking of Aries, it is still in full force. We currently have Mars, Uranus, Lilith, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in an Aries stellium (that is, more than five bodies in one sign.) That is a lot of raw, dynamic change energy circulating in the universe. Using it to harness change in your life, new ways of expressing yourself, a new search for love and new way to open new doors. Those people who aren't aware of themselves or their natal planets could be feeling very angry and restless because they embody the shadow of Aries. So that potential for anger, violence and just raw emotions is still very high.

In any case, dye your eggs, plant your gardens and tip your hat to Eostre this weekend!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mary Todd Lincoln - Can We Find the Real Person?

This April is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and while some people think of the battles and the military strategy, I am always more interested in the people involved. One of our more fascinating historical figures is Mary Todd Lincoln, a woman who I feel we will never really get to know because she has been defined through the prism of so many others prejudices for more than a century.

The closest we can get to the “real” person is to look at her birth chart but even that is shrouded in some mystery. Most astrologers use 6:00 PM as the time of birth. When I researched it the closest I got was an entry in a Bible stating it was a “rainy early evening.” For sake of discussion, I will use the 6:00 PM time but keep in mind, the fast moving bodies, Moon, Mercury, Venus – can move a lot in fifteen to thirty minutes.

This chart shows her Moon in Moon Child in the 12th house. I would tend to think this is off, because Moon in the 12th would be someone who would keep their feelings to themselves. Mary was not known for this! (This is another reason I think she was born a bit later.) Moon in Moon Child people are often ruled by their emotions. Added to this is that her rising sign – how she presented herself to the world – was also Moon Child. Her Moon and her rising sign were both Moon- driven so I am sure that the stories that she was highly emotional and given to outbursts followed by depression were correct.

What grabs my eye even more than that was the Stellium (five or more planets) in the 6th house. (Again this could have straddled the 6th and 7th if her birth time is later.) She clearly had many planets in the 6th house the house of health. Mars and Uranus both in the fire sign of Sagittarius in the 6th points to someone who has mercurial rages. You are mixing male fire energy and Uranian lightening – that is combination for flare ups. The theory that they were driven by headaches and other medical conditions is proven by this sixth house placement.

This Mars/Uranus conjunction is sitting right on top of her Sun/Neptune conjunction. Sun and Neptune makes us unaware of our true selves. Neptune is the great obfuscator and gives everything have an air of unreality. When Neptune is tightly conjunct our life force, the Sun, a person has a hard time learning or facing who they are.

This is a classic definition of the historical Mary Lincoln – highly emotional, prone to rages, someone unaware of their public persona – out of touch with reality of the day. However, there is much more to this very complicated chart. In my next blog we will explore her Capricorn Venus – do you see the attraction to the Saturnian, dour looking Lincoln? However, it is her Moon and Lilith conjunction and her Aries North Node in her intercepted 11th house that I believe will give us a more rounded look at this highly complex woman.

Her ninth house (the house of spiritual seeking) is also jammed packed and highly charged with Chiron, Pallas Athena and Saturn there all in Pisces, the sign that connects us to the cosmic consciousness. Today she might be a spiritual leader. Then she was ridiculed for having séances in the White House.

Few people in the 19th Century looked beyond the flighty, emotional woman. Why bother, she was after all just a woman? Worse, she was a woman with a rebellious streak and a calling to be a leader at a time when those traits would be castigated. How easy to use her emotional short comings to keep her inner drives from being realized.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Michelle!!

I can't let this auspicious occasion pass without a few words. It is Michelle Bachmann's birthday! What do you get the queen of the Tea Party? First thing I can think of is a good American History book since she seems to screw that up repeatedly. In lieu of that how about a chart? I am sure she would LOVE nothing more than an astrological chart. 

Alas and alack we don't know the time of her birth but we can cast a chart for April 6, 1956 in Waterloo, Iowa.  (Is she really younger than me? Really?)  The Moon was in Aquarius. Let's see what comes to mind when I think Moon in Aquarius? How about erratic, disruptive, fickle, stubborn and a little peculiar? Yup, that fits.

However, it is her North Node in Sagittarius in the 5th that is more interesting to me.
A North Node in Sagittarius in the house of creativity certainly gives her the drama gene. This is someone seeking the creative arena to speak her truth and with a North Node in Sagittarius it is very easy to assume even demand that your truth be the truth for all.

Sitting right next to her North Node is Saturn, the epitome of authority. Someone born with Saturn conjunct the North Node is seeking to join with traditional authority groups. She is seeking paternal, authoritarian approval. Of  course, with Saturn retrograde it is hard for her to do this to her satisfaction so she has to out tradition the traditionalists. "See, I can be like you. I can be the most traditional, flag waver on the block."

Conversely, Venus, the feminine symbol of love and creativity, is conjuct her South Node in Gemini- where she is coming from karmicly. She has used her femininity to get her voice heard before.  So this lifetime she is using her "good girl" feminine energy to get the approval of very traditional masculine authority groups.

Fueled by the eccentricity of Aquarius it isn't hard to see how she can take on this persona of Mom, Apple Pie and oh yeah everyone who isn't exactly what the traditional, white, straight, paternal power structure decrees valuable should be marginalized.

So I guess I shouldn't mock dear Michelle, she is in a way a victim of her Nodes.  And anyone who believes that should check my chart.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Everyone please breathe!

courtesy or

My friend Arlene - whose paintings and photos you see here has a tag line on all her emails which reads, "Take care and breathe."  I tease her about going Los Angeles on us but I think we should all listen to her right now.

First, we have the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Lilith and Uranus all in Aries right now, the sign of unbridled male energy. It is a great time to start new projects and chart new courses. However, it is a also a time where we can make impulsive and wrong headed decisions on the spur of the moment. Think of it as all of these planets experiencing road rage. So if these planets are falling in your 7th house you might suddenly decide to make changes to your business or marriage relationships. They might sound good at the moment but after thinking about it for a day or two you realize those changes are disastrous. 

Also on April 5 and 6 the Moon will be void of course. When a body moves from one sign to another  - when it is 27 degrees in one sign to 3 degrees in the next - it is considered void of course - a little off kilter. Because the Moon moves so quickly it is void of course a few days every month. This is a time when our emotions may be a little hinky.

If you couple void of course Moon with all of this male Aries energy flying around it could lead to some serious mistakes. So please everyone for the next week or so - breathe first act second!

Karmic Astrology by Joan's Fan Box