Castor and the Phoenix: Partial Solar Eclipse at 20° 41′ Cancer

What is luxury? As defined by the third decanate of The Mother archetype, it is ‘having more than we need’ [Coppock]. At 20° 41′, The Crab’s third face grapples the dynamics of earthly excess and scarcity in earnest inquiry, as this decanate juxtaposes the advantage and precariousness of both extremes.

In the Rider Waite’s Four of Cups, the tarot card coalesced with this decan, a levitating hand offers a cup to a man perched beneath a tree (already in possession of three cups). The adept’s crossed arms imply the refusal to claim more than he requires, and this card’s ascetic interpretation echoes the ethics of Victorian esotericists accountable for its creation.

Paralleling this decan’s Jupitarian rulership (via triplicity/ parasara), multiple images unravel excursion in search for affluence. In Ibn Ezra, Cancer III depicts “a man… (who) intends to go to sea and bring gold and silver to make rings for his wives.” Not only is this search pertinent to luxurious commodities (in the form of gold and silver), but the concept of excess extends to partner multiplicity. Again, in the Birhat Jakarta, we encounter “a man with serpents… crossing the ocean in search of wife’s jewels.” Both men navigate the sea (Pisces/ Neptune in modern rulership) in search of abundance (Jupiter).

At 20° 14′, fixed star Castor, in the head of the Northern Twin, precisely conjoins the Sun and Luna. Castor, illuminated beside its counterpart Pollux, is a binary star associated with “skill in taming and managing horses.” [Robson p.154] In the Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology, Castor is associated with “guile and duplicity.” According to Brady, Castor conjunct Luna fosters therapeutic use of humor and the involvement in education. In paran with the Sun, Castor promotes “skilled language and professions linked with writing and communication”. [Brady p.146]

Luna-ruled Cancer, beyond its correspondence to the foundational roots of physical home and family (including the maternal womb), refers to the body as habitat for spirit. Therefore, the physical vessel must be honored in the pursuit of earthly work. As the interminable escapade for security unfurls through this decan’s imagery (summoning visions of jewels, luxuries, and excess), we realize that the only authentic source of security stems from within.

Favorably, an earthy grand trine between Capricornian Saturn, Taurean Uranus and Juno, and Virgoan Venus and Ceres fosters the solidity necessary to ground our higher self in the physical sphere. Further support is offered by the continuing Jupiter-Neptune trine, activating all three water signs via eclipse energy, and harnessing the fortitude of our imaginations and sense of initiative.

As eclipses become potent accelerators of transformation and growth via endings and renewals, the Cancerian lunation emotively dismantles, albeit uncomfortably, facets of our lives that neither nurture nor support our core progression. Despite this lunation’s tenebrous facade, eclipse energy illuminates the obscured stagnancy that, under Cancerian influence, beckons intuitive and emotive release.

The exact solar and lunar opposition to Pluto intensifies the transformative potency of this lunation. Pluto stirs an impenetrable force that incessantly functions within the depths of our unconsciousness, as its energies govern both our undercurrents and elevation. Arriving as inconspicuously as a new day’s dawn, its energy transforms from a core, visceral foundation, and alters the self with impervious permanence. As a vehicle for transformative transcendence, Pluto molds the self as a silhouette salvaged from the depths of putridity. In evolutionary essence, its planetary vestige is one of grace and regeneration.

*Note: In our charts, the house near 20 degrees Cancer is the focal point for potential rebirth. Prominent planets on or in close proximity to the eclipse’s degree will manifest change more rapidly. As always, for further insight, we refer to the previous two eclipses (namely, the 1/31/18 Leo lunar eclipse and the 2/15/18 Aquarius solar eclipse, respectively).

The New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse occurs on July 12, 2018, at 10:47 PM EDT.

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Thrice-Greatest: The Transformative Power of Mercury Retrograde

The synodic cycle of Mercury completes a set of movements in approximately 116 days, repeated thrice within the 365-day calendar year. As the sway between Mercury and the Sun reaches exactitude, the triad repetition of this relationship forms an approximate triangle within the zodiacal sphere.

As the pirouette between The Messenger and Helios quickens, two pivotal unions occur, namely, the superior and inferior conjunctions. Firstly, the superius (Latin for ‘above’) or superior conjunction occurs during Mercury’s direct zodiacal sway. This cosmic rhythm starts as Mercury speeds beyond the solar rays, and roams before the Sun. Consequently, it is the inferius (Latin for ‘below’) or inferior conjunction that occurs during Mercury’s retrograde motion. During this union, Helios and The Messenger journey in opposite directions and Mercury rushes past the Sun with even more accelerated momentum.

“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of One thing.” -Hermès Trismegistus (Thrice-Greatest), The Emerald Tablet

Although this famous passage is often misinterpreted to suggest that the causes of earthly events are embedded in the cosmos, there is dual correspondence in momentum (as below, so above and as above, so below). The passage’s implication is one of interaction, accentuating the unraveling of co-operative creation. In parallel, Mercury marks his strongest elongation above the horizon in the western evening sky prior to retrograde, vanishing below the horizon in conjunction with the Sun.

As a visual spectacle, Mercury’s retrograde motion is an act of in-visibility, synonymous with an oscillating odyssey into shrouded or hermetical realms. The transformative power of Mercury’s retrograde stems from its juxtaposition of four probabilities in a condensed time frame of about forty days: above, below, direct, and retrograde.

Mercury enters its shadow zone on July 7th, stationing retrograde on the 26th at 1:02 AM (EDT). This inferior conjunction (retrograde) will occur in fixed Leo. Although the Lion/ Queen/ King/ Child is adventurous, considering the entirety of the current cosmic screen, there is little confidence in risk-taking. Instead, this pathway is an opportunity for reassessment of our basic human needs for individuality/ self-expression, spiritedness, instinctive knowledge, and optimism. As part of the fire trinity, retrograde Mercury in Leo begins to re-evaluate current sources of creative fuel and inspiration, while blazing beyond the accumulated detritus of life in order to purge falsity.

Just as Mercury moves counter to its usual navigation during retrograde, the Jungian shadow contains features of our nature that move counter to the traditions and moral compasses of society. As per Jung, the nigredo, albedo, and rubedo is the concealed structure beneath the seeming chaos that accompanies Mercurial retrogrades, the passage to three worlds or the three primary aspects of the psyche: the tria prima of the Self.

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The Sea Goat’s Descent: Full Moon at 6° 28’ Capricorn

Update: The video segment for this lunation can be found here or by clicking the image above.

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At 6°28′, Capricorn’s first face plunges into the earth’s bones with impervious density. Forced to contend with the depths of primal matter, the subtle layers of perception are pulverized. Here is Akephalos, The Headless One, with sight in his feet, but also Asklepios, the god of healing. As The Bull proliferates and The Virgin refines, The Sea Goat’s illimitable descent into earthly consciousness seeks to ameliorate the physical vessel.

The Capricorn lunation is domineered by The Gate Keeper, Saturn, via potent conjunction. Its gelid cloak is cast over Luna, enshrouding the luminary with the sobering importance of emotive obligation. In nature, Saturn’s vibration is cohesion: it binds in order to wield stability. Its glacial rings (up to -203° C/ -333° F) symbolize boundaries (within a certain radius), precisely structured to establish gravitational foundation. Symbolically, when Saturn’s rings approach the mutable Moon, we are required to analyze the underlying cause of loneliness, isolation, and general pessimism, particularly relative to domesticity. Adding a deeper layer of introspection, retrograde Saturn can force us to confront internal discord between self-perception and idealism.*

At 6°19′, fixed star Kaus Borealis conjoins the Moon. The northern star in The Archer’s Bow, illuminated by the spirit-blaze of Jupiter-Mars, is associated with promoting mental stimuli, enterprise, and a sense of justice. Likewise, this star influences the promotion of idealistic and humanitarian endeavors. At 8°18′, Facies, The Archer’s Eye, also conjuncts Luna, a nebula charged by Jupiter-Pluto, which traditionally holds violent cosmic symbolism. Indicative of penetrating action, Facies can manifest as either fortuitous leadership or ruthless tyranny. Conjunct the Moon, Facies cautions against ‘violence or turmoil’ and indicates the potential for embodying either ‘the sadist, or the humanitarian’ (the latter benefitting children or minorities). [Brady, p.167]

In Aries, Chiron’s challenging square to the Sun, Moon, and Saturn
stirs injuries of courage and assertion. Repressed anger surfaces as Mars (ruler of Aries) is retrograde and conjunct the karmic South Node. While retrograde Saturn activates guilt stemming from the past, retrograde Mars-South Node revisits emotionally charged scenarios having lacked the necessary fortitude of self-support amidst adverse conditions. However, Chiron’s strengthening trine to Mercury in (anaretic) Cancer and the Leo North Node provides opportunity to compassionately voice our truth.

As final dispositor of the Full Moon in Capricorn, retrograde Saturn internalizes lessons that structure the equilibrium of the Cancer-Capricorn axis. In order to solidify the foundation of our domestic and vocational spheres, Saturn’s vibration implores that we analyze the condition of our personal goals relative to our intimate lives. If this axis is imbalanced, we can expect Saturn’s uncomfortable presence to dispel, by any means necessary, aspects of our lives that either neglect the importance of our inner worlds or compromise the pursuit of worthy goals. Realize that Saturn does not function through the emotional lens of Cancerian nurture: The Time Keeper imparts lessons through detached discipline. Instead, Saturn rewards laborious diligence, maturation, stoicism, and the solidity of our life’s structures. Use the Saturnian sway of this lunation to re-structure areas of your life that no longer align with your potential, intimately and in unison with the fulfillment of honorable work.

*Technically, Luna trines Uranus, although weak in influence due to its wide orb (4°33).

The Full Moon in Capricorn occurs on:

  • June 27th, 2018, at 9:52 p.m. PST, day of Mercury and hour of Venus.
  • June 28th, 2018, at 00:52 a.m. ET, day and hour of Jupiter; 4:52 a.m. GMT, hour of Venus.

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Moon Square Mercury in the Natal Chart: The Emotive Hostage

When the Moon squares Mercury in the natal chart, the intellect is essentially hijacked by Luna, the emotive sphere of experience. While the mind finds it challenging to cease repetitive thought patterns, it incessantly assimilates information through an emotional lens. I discuss the unraveling of this aspect, it’s relation to the native’s mother, and offer a few recommendations for its amelioration here.

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