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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The Stellar Sword: New Moon at 22° 44’ Gemini

The Gemini New Moon accentuates the fortitude of ideas and language as potent creators of reality. The renewing energy of the New Moon summons self-reflection, thriving on The Twins’ ability to view situations through boundless perception. However, at 22° 44′ of Gemini, it also heralds the final zenith of The Twins’ polarization. The scope of internal and external bifurcation demands a choice, dissolving the incessant duality of Castor and Pollux.

During this lunation, eight fixed stars Bellatrix, Mintaka, Ensis, and Alnilam, Capella, Phact, El Nath, and Al Hecka) in four constellations (Orion’s Belt, Auriga, Columba, and Taurus) join the Sun and Moon (from 21-25° Gemini). Essentially, this lunation is positioned in the most active section of the sky pertinent to fixed stars. While the New Moon remains unaspected, aside from a minor quincunx to Pluto (at over 2° orb), it perches precisely between fixed stars Mintaka and El Nath, at a mere distance of 0°10′. According to Robson, in Orion’s Belt, Mintaka is a fixed star of fortune and protection. Conjunct the Sun and Moon, Mintaka promotes enduring happiness (as well as notoriety) while influencing discretion, caution, and (an oscillating) yet sharp and alert business sense. Fixed star El Nath, positioned at the tip of The Bull’s horn, is associated with the destructive potential that either annihilates or bestows life. As noted by Brady, in paran with Luna, El Nath indicates a fighter acquainted with the violence (or ‘cruelty’) of life. The brightest of the eight stars is Capella, associated with nurture and ‘free-spirited flavour’ (Brady). Linked to Artemis, goddess of the hunt, Capella embodies action and movement. In paran with the Sun and Moon, fixed star Capella seeks freedom and independence while improving quality of life (Brady).

The Moon’s ruler, Mercury, resides with maternal Cancer in mutual reception, heightening emotional intelligence and merging depth of knowledge with cerebral analysis. In communication, tone takes precedence over content, encouraging the intuitive capacity to extrapolate the core-centered message of language. Verbal expression is best exercised compassionately and empathically, as the mutual reception of Luna and Mercury can propel defensive reactions and overt sensitivity.

Reactivity is further accentuated by Mercury’s tight square with Chiron at 2° Aries and its opposition to Saturn at 6° Capricorn (reaching exactitude on 6/15/18), constituting a tense T-Square. Mercury-Chiron can strain communications, including the use (or perception) of injurious words. Underlying doubt regarding the efficacy of problem-solving may surge, misunderstandings are probable, and the meaning of communication may be challenging to decrypt. We are wise to be conscious of the power of language to either harm or heal. There is potential for resolution of past injuries along with reclamation of personal authority if we choose to confront pain with courage. Additionally, the Mercury-Saturn opposition echoes the severity of conscientiously determined decision-making (Saturn) relative to the notion of home, family, and personal relationships (Mercury in Cancer). However, as Saturn casts its gelid cloak of fear upon potentially overt critical thinking, hesitation, and cyclical thought-patterns enshrouded in negativity, there is opportunity for awareness. Saturn’s illusory veil of impossibilities also grants freedom if the willingness, labor, and persistence exists to recognize (and rectify) destructive patterns. As Time Keeper and karmic debt collector, Saturn provides the psyche’s liberty through maturation, hard work, and perseverance.

As the chart’s final dispositor, out-of-bounds Mercury, journeying beyond its usual scope of declination (from 6/6/18-6/24/18), heralds expansion past the usual boundaries of perception. The broadening of the mind’s eye, transcending the limits of orthodox stagnation, invites visionary insights that pierce through quotidian perimeters. Energetic portals to pioneering creativity are further amplified by Mercury’s electric sextile to Uranus (at 1° Taurus). Authentically voicing the virtue of our thoughts with empathy and compassion strengthens the coupling of Mercury and Uranus through the vehicle of transcendent communication.

The New Moon at 22° Gemini is atypical via decan, triplicity, and the multitude of retrograde planets journeying during this lunation. While New Moons traditionally encourage the birth of new endeavors, this Moon focuses more on the power of discernment, nurture (or amelioration from past wounds), and preparatory measures aligning with adequate timing. Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, currently retrograde, will be followed by Neptune and Mars (on 6/18/18 and 6/26/18, respectively). Therefore, adjusting existing trajectories via internal reflection is paramount during the Gemini New Moon. As ruler by triplicity, Saturn reminds us of the severity behind choices. At decan III, The Twins’s polarity must mitigate in order to achieve unity. Proceed wisely, as Luna’s effects echo well into July’s (partial) solar eclipse.

The New Moon in Gemini occurs on June 13th, 2018, at 3:43 PM (ET)

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Spirit-Blaze: Full Moon at 8° Sagittarius

At 8° Sagittarius (decan I), the full Moon is emblazoned by the fiery ferocity of Mars. Sparked by spirit-blaze, this lunation ignites the psyche’s potential liberation from varied realms of restrictive experience.

Forming a grand (fire) trine with Arian Chiron and the Leo North Node, this lunation has the power to pulverize façades, erupting the healing properties of truth. By aligning one’s inner guidance with devoted vulnerability, the ameliorating potential of this trine is activated.

At 9° Sagittarius, fixed star Antares conjuncts Luna, further accentuating the Mars-Jupiter energy of this scorching lunation. Antares, the royal scarlet star of Persia at the core of Scorpio’s constellation, consists of the words Ant and Ares, where the “former means against, or in opposition to, and Ares is the Roman name for the planet Mars and Aries” (Carey). ANT-ares refers to the de-structive energy of Mars, also known as Ta Who, or the Great Fire. Mythologically symbolic of extremes, Antares cautions against self-sabotage via unresolved obsession. However, thematically, this star generates success via transformative regeneration, and, in paran with the moon, a willingness to confront penumbras. In parallel, Jupiter (Sagittarius’ ruler, now retrograde in Scorpio), proposes that the ferocious fire of this lunation is suitably steered into illuminating the psyche’s shadow. Jupiter encourages the expungement of antiquated belief patterns. It facilitates the release of repressed growth by confronting fears and liberating the Self from mental impediments.

The Full Moon is one of speed and erupted vision, birthing ideas through the imagination’s velocity. This decan stirs scenes of physical and mental swiftness, potently swaying in accordance with inner vision. In the Yavanajataka, the imagery presented is that of “a man whose bow is drawn and whose speed is as violent as a horse’s. He has a knowledge of chariots and weapons…” The bow, vehicle for the body, transports swiftness toward its intended target. Analogous to the arrow or bullet, dissuasion is futile once the will’s motion is set, although mobility must eventually cease. Despite the planetary urge for swiftness, Mars’ conjunction to the Aquarian South Node cautions against over-exertion and the necessity to regenerate one’s vitality by adjusting trajectories to a measured pace. Augmenting the internalizing influence of Jupiter retrograde, Mars, ruler of Scorpio, is in retrograde shadow (as of May 12th). Instead of reliance on external acceptance, the preferred path fully aligns with heart-centered authenticity.

The blazing lunation’s journey is cleansed by the brilliant billow of a grand water trine (perfected the following day as Venus reaches 15° Cancer). Jupiter’s trine to Piscean Neptune evokes the potential for potent spiritual expansion, perforating portals to higher consciousness. Cancerian Venus, occupying a third water sign, fosters compassionate grace and altruistic love with depth of emotional expressiveness. Expanding concordance, the Full Moon sculpts a Mystic Rectangle, fortified by the lunar nodes at 7° 33′ of Leo and Aquarius, accentuating elemental fire (Leo and Sagittarius) and air (Aquarius and Gemini). The Fire-air combination is an exceptionally creative pairing that harmonizes ideas, inspirations, and plans with the capacity for execution.

This lunation’s precipice, forming a potent yod with the Gemini Sun and Leo North Node, is governed by Saturn, the final dispositor of this Moon’s chart. The Timekeeper’s somber lessons echo an inner serenity of surrender and wisdom in knowing that the highest possible outcome is naturally embedded in the essence of experience. While Kronus’s cold rings may stir fear in attempts to control life’s natural oscillation during this Full Moon, elevated potential is accessed through the soul’s relinquishment of boundaries from barred experience.

The Sagittarius Full Moon occurs on May, 29th, 2018, at 10:19 AM ET.

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Water in the Natal Chart

Bestiarius apocalypsi. Etching, dry point, mezzotint, 17x14cm, 2004

The Water Element in the Natal Chart: Understanding the Four Elements in Astrology

Water: General Qualities and Associations

Water is the element ascribed to the nocturnal, feminine triplicity of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. In Plato’s Timeaus, water is represented by the icosahedron, and considered to be both cold and wet. Likewise, in medieval astrology, the qualities of the phlegmatic temperament are ascribed to the water element.

Water: Its Function and Expression

Water’s fluidity alters from active movement to the impenetrable stillness of an iceberg amidst the sea. While it embodies the form of any object that contains it, water itself cannot be grasped. It’s oscillating current expresses the full spectrum of human emotion: serenity, ferocity, harmony, and melancholy. From birth, water natives intuitively know just how poignantly the intagible world forges reality.

Water Equilibrium in the Natal Chart

Those with a balanced water element in the natal chart intuitively know how impressionably the intagible world influences reality. The water native possesses keen insight into the nuances and subtle undercurrents of emotion and human experience. An awareness of the subconscious mind’s power is activated, as is the intuition and empathetic response to the human condition.

Water-Void in the Natal Chart

Water-voids can find it challenging to contact the emotive realm via empathy and compassion. Difficulty is also applicable to understanding one’s own emotional requirements. While this does not imply a lack of sensitivity in all cases, it does suggest difficulty with understanding and acknowledging the native’s emotional health. The emotive realm can appear as a foreign world of hazard, one more perilous than fruitful. Consequently, this void can lead to dependency on others who are emotively expressive.

In some examples, a water-void can manifest as an innate suspicion regarding intuitive knowledge. Often, the fundamental issue is rooted in self-distrust coupled with the dismissal of one’s feelings as trivial irritations. Water-voids can foster a degree of emotional equilibrium by slowly allowing sensations to reach the surface, releasing the denied, accumulated threshold of suppressed suffering. This void can also delineate a fanatical fear of pain, resulting in a disregard and abandonment of emotional needs. Unfortunately, this only ensures the cyclical experience of repressed trauma.

Excessive Water in the Natal Chart

Those with an over-abundance of water emphasis may feel intensely directionless. Usually, they are easily influenced and highly impressionable, exhibiting a pattern of emotional uncertainty and lack of stability. This water imbalance generates extreme sensitivity to any experience, which can lead to either profoundly piercing intuition or an unnecessary degree of over-reaction. Individuals can become debilitated by subconscious fears and phobias if the emotions are uncontrollable or the person habitually functions in a state of apprehensive, overt self-protection. Overwhelming timidity, negative reaction patterns, and debilitating fears can paralyze the daily life of individuals. Ultimately, one may feel unable to cope with external and internal stressors, prompting withdrawal into an inner sphere of escapism.

Physical Correspondences and Remediations

Externally, water voids are revealed through physical disruption associated with excess toxicity. Since water is cleansing, healing, and a method of energetic release, a lack of water can accumulate toxicity in the corporeal body. This condition of toxicity manifests as a variety of symptoms and ailments with the same general requisite for amelioration: absolute physical and emotional purging. Dietary practices should be precariously administered and one can benefit from periodic cleansings and moderate fasts.

Conversely, excessive water can benefits from incorporating exercise regimens with cardiovascular emphasis into their daily routines. Consistent exercise is a natural remedy for the lethargy, melancholy, and slower metabolic rates associated with excessive water. Additionally, excessive water signifies that the body is constantly eliminating poisons, both physical toxins and emotive residue. Efficiency of this cleansing process is, however, highly dependent upon the individual’s emotional maturation.

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