Friday, December 28, 2012

A Plutonic Sea Goat Stellium Carries Us Into 2013

Photo: Willow
As we move through winter solstice and the northern hemisphere officially tips back toward the Sun, the heavily-charged year of 2012 comes to a close with a conjunction between the Sun and Lord of the Underworld Pluto in Capricorn, exact December 30. The End Times hangover starts to dig in here.

Huh. We're still here. And we still have the same problems to deal with on this planet. Imagine that.

As Ascension Fever starts to lift and the pumped-up End Times mania peters out, the stark situation we're faced with on this planet is lit up as 2012 closes, brought right into our current, conscious moment by the Sun-Pluto conjunction. There can be no denying it. We're staring straight into the heart of the beast. And the complexity of the root system sustaining its life is absolutely staggering.

At the same time, we're also quite aware at this time that we're not alone with it. We're possibly more aware of this than ever before. Soul mate asteroid Juno is in Capricorn, taking part in a sea goat stellium with Mercury, the Sun, and Pluto. We know now that there are people who see what we see, who understand what we understand. There are people facing down this beast all over the globe - the others who have not stopped, who have not let up.

We may seem to be physically alone in our travails. We may not see a single living soul around who seems to understand. But we do form a framework and a root system of our very own, one that is ultimately unbreakable, unshakable. We're working toward the same goals, however we go about it.

Turning the vicious plans of the global financiers ass over teakettle. Slipping out of multiple layers of control mechanism driving us into (continued) hell on Earth. Breaking free, one down and dirty Plutonic realization at a time. Freeing energy and re-directing resources toward the improvement of conditions on this planet while moving out of the structures built and reinforced by dinosaurs. (Or reptiles, if you'd prefer.)

Our Juno soul mates can also be of the highly frictional variety right now, getting under our skin, showing us the extent of the obstacles in our way. These people and situations are the thorns in our sides, showing us the type of commitment and the degree of hard work it's going to take to make progress and to achieve goals under these conditions.

There are Juno in Capricorn soul mates out there now who are vying for our spot, ready to knock our feet out from under us, ready to capitalize on our hard work. These soul mates give us the competitive edge now, showing us where we need to fortify, where we need a more honed strategy, where we could use more solid footing, where we need to put in a bit more work.

If there's one piece of advice to glean from our lady Juno in the sign of concrete, hard-won achievement disposited by Saturn in Scorpio, it's this: don't let people climb the mountain you've built. Make them build their own.

We can sidestep most of the crap during Capricorn season if we successfully combine Plutonic awareness of competitors with strategy.

With old school Capricorn, it isn't simply about getting to the top of the heap. It's about staying there once you've arrived. There's often a lot of fear with that sign related to maintaining position, maintaining dominance, maintaining control.

At this point, though, keeping all that fear up is more trouble than its worth.

Goats kept by farmers often have structures put in their pens. Goats like structures and obstacles to climb. If you watch them interacting, one goat will climb to the highest vantage point it can. For a moment, it's the King of the World. Then another goat comes along, a rival, and topples that goat from its lofty perch. Then another comes along and does the same thing. Then the original goat is back in the game, reclaiming its spot. And so on.

The themes here, missing from a lot of the Capricorn of the day, are playfulness, fluidity, a natural organization and re-organization of power and responsibility - even while working earnestly to thwart competitors.

It's really not that big a deal, Cap. You can be the goat at the top of the heap one day and the one at the bottom of the heap the next. It doesn't really matter. You're still the same goat. And maybe you'll realize you don't care about climbing those stinking heaps anymore, anyway.

See, with Pluto transiting Capricorn, the societal definitions of success are slowly morphing. The agreed-upon pinnacles of public prowess are shifting. The things considered prestigious now and in the future are not necessarily the same as they once were.

At a certain point, we barely recognize the old indicators. They become parody. (Weren't they always, when you get right down to it?)

So what, sitting on top of a heap of dirty money is no longer considered the height of success?

Playing every dirty trick in the book as you rise to the top is no longer considered best business practise?

A cookie cutter McMansion is no longer the prime housing situation?

Plastic, fake-tanned Real Housewife isn't the most strived-for look?

Driving your gas-guzzling Escalade to the corner store no longer wins admiration?

Well, it might. But only from people who have their heads wayyyy up their own asses.

As we hurtle headlong into weird and wild Aquarius, the hierarchies are levelling - if we facilitate this. Transformer dwarf planet Pluto in Capricorn is changing the rules of the game. It's changing the Capricorn game altogether.

There's really no need to topple anyone from any mountain if we all have our own to climb. If we're in competition, ultimately, with ourselves. Beating our own best scores and improving on our own best results. The old school Capricorn attachments to "success" and "prestige" and public image and turning the competition into pulp become tiring detritus, easily sloughed off, easily seen through with the Plutonic X-ray vision.

All you have to do is change the rules of the game, and suddenly the hierarchies that seemed set in stone, the dangling carrots that seemed so covetable, the people who seemed so enviable by so many - no longer are.

The Sun conjuncts Pluto December 30.
Mercury conjuncts Juno January 4.
Mercury conjuncts Pluto January 6.
Juno conjuncts Pluto January 14.
Venus conjuncts Pluto January 17.
Venus conjuncts Juno January 17.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Willow's Web Astrology Interview with Antero Alli

I was exposed to Antero Alli's refreshing astrology on the San Francisco-based message board site between 2005 and 2007. His writing and astrological insight are beautifully, coolly atmospheric and smooth as silk. Keeping a vast Uranian mind as grounded and accessible as he has is no small feat. He's an elitist, but he's kind about it.

Some of the few times I've read my own astrological thoughts communicated back to me through someone else's words on the computer screen, I was reading Antero's writing.

I haven't had contact with Antero's creative stream since 2007, and I'm happy to share this interview with him now, which includes some e-mail dialogue.

Antero lists his birth information online, and I got consent ahead of time to ask questions related to his natal chart.

Antero Alli is an underground filmmaker, a leader and innovator in paratheatre, and a practising astrologer. In that order.

He is the founder and director of ParaTheatrical ReSearch in Berkeley, California.

His films include Flamingos, Dream of Falling Upwards, The Invisible Forest, The Mind is a Liar and a Whore, The Greater Circulation, Under a Shipwrecked Moon, Hysteria, Tragos, and The Drivetime.

Antero has written books and screenplays, and his astrological books include Astrologik: The Oracular Art of Astrology and Letters, Essays & Premonitions: An Astrologikal Journal.

His astrological information can be found at

Antero was born in Helsinki, Finland. He moved to Toronto, Canada when he was three years old and then to Los Angeles, California when he was 10. He has also lived in Colorado, Washington, and London, England.

Antero resides in Berkeley, California with his wife and creative partner, Sylvi.

He has been practising astrology professionally since 1980.

Willow: Location has such a strong effect on a person’s astrology, as well as on his or her niche as an astrologer. I visited California for the first time this past spring, and NorCal seems like a dreamy Neptunian bubble world, in many respects. Even the strip malls are pretty! There are also a very high number of astrologers in that area, per capita. How has inhabiting the particular petri dish of Berkeley influenced your creative development astrologically? 

Antero: The great ethnic diversity spawning from the UC Berkeley campus has made this town into a kind of social petri dish. Just the other day while walking downtown, I heard five different languages spoken on the streets and that's not even including proper British English and American English. There's also this high tolerance for contraries amongst people's beliefs, politics, and religions that fosters an undercurrent, if not of compassion then, of acceptance of differences.

The way all this influences me personally is not so much as an astrologer but as a human being and a filmmaker prone to experimentation and with combining different art mediums into intermedia hybrids. Having lived in Berkeley for over twenty-five years (between 1972-1982 and then again, since 1996), I've definitely become more tolerant of differences in people. There's an intellectual climate here that encourages experimentation and innovation, precisely the kind of climate and qualities I find nurturing and stimulating. 

Though many astrologers live in this area, I am out of touch with that community. Though I do speak at a local conference every seven years or so, I don't hang out with astrologers. I am more like a renegade in that community who makes an appearance once in a while and then vanishes for many years. My friends are artists, writers, actors, dancers, and musicians. I am more like an artist by passion and an astrologer by trade, though I don't really identify with any one self-image.

Willow: How do you think your Finnish roots have influenced the flavour of the astrology you practice?
Antero: That's not something I've thought much about as I don't really identify as a Finn. In fact, I don't really identify as anything. I feel more free to do everything I do when I'm not caught up in any fixed self-image. Though I was born in Helsinki and maintain Finnish citizenship as a green-card alien here in the USA, I feel no national pride either way. Perhaps my Finnish roots can be traced back to a certain stubbornness and sense of humor common to Finns I know personally. Maybe my Finnishness also supports how others see me as an outsider or foreigner. 

Willow: You have what one would call a cult following as a filmmaker. Would you characterize your astrological audience in the same way?
Antero: I would not know if I have a cult following in my astrological audience; maybe I do. This uncertainty stems from my three-reading per lifetime policy. I'm not one of those whose clients continue arriving at the doorstep or e-mail cache over decades of consultation. That scenario rubs me the wrong way. It goes against the principles of autonomy and integrity that I fulfill in my person and, whether they like it or not, that I support in others. Of course, I am grateful for whatever love and passion others have and show for my work. However, if these same people are paying close attention they would know that I would never lead them anywhere beyond their own direct firsthand experience as the primary source of their spiritual authority. I am more like a spiritual anarchist that way. Life itself is the Guru. If we are still capable of still having an experience, we are fortunate enough to be guided by the compass of our own intuition.

Willow: You’ve questioned the trend toward standardization of astrology in the past, as have I, and you suggest it is the outsider’s view that makes astrologers so valuable to those who seek them out. Black Moon Lilith is one of the placements I associate with that outsider or fringe perspective, so necessary for the mainstream to really see and understand itself. You have a prominent Black Moon Lilith in Leo conjunct your natal Pluto. Would you say you necessarily hold a place on the outer edge of even the fringe-dwellers or alternative scenes?

Antero: The thing is, I do not think of myself in terms of fringe this or fringe that. Though that's a label others may find more useful, it's somewhat meaningless to me personally. I also don't consider myself on any edge since what I do is natural and normal to my temperament. It doesn't look like edge to me; it looks like who I am and what I do. If others see some edge or whatever, that's fine. Maybe I am simply missing a chip in my brain that compels me to compare myself with others or with society. I just don't do that. I don't compare myself or my work with anyone else or anything else. It's a waste of time and energy. I prefer a far less dualistic experience of who I am, who I am becoming and the work generated from that vortex... 
I am content with an audience and clientele distilled from maybe 1% of the general populace. Now you might think all this makes me out to be some fringe-dwelling outsider weirdo but in reality, I'm probably one of the more well-adjusted, honest, and "normal" persons you will meet. In my world, I'm not an outsider as much as an insider. I've got an inside scoop on life. Though I am clearly a school failure (barely graduating high school with zero college), I am a life success -- more street smart than book smart...
Willow: I don't mean to seem contentious, but there seems to be a disconnect between what you've written here... 

"We know who we are. We are the dispossessed, the outcasts, rebels with a cause who have upturned the mulch of our dead lives and seeded those fertile fields with incendiary visions of our future selves. Having already subverted the norm, we renunciate dominator culture's status quo of everything and drift happy disconnected - babes in the abyss - wavering in the ambiguity fog of dislocation..."
...and the idea that you do not think of yourself as fringe or on the edge. Maybe the term is not a good one. I don't like being called fringe, myself, but I know what is being referred to when that word is used.
What is the difference among "the dispossessed, the outcasts, the rebels with a cause" and "the fringe, outskirt dwellers, on the edge?"

Antero: The above paragraph is not about me. It's written as a call for those who might relate with it, who are courting marginal lives or walking through some bardo zones between existences, and who may find solace in these words. My writing is not always autobiographical; often times, what I say is ore for others than for or about me. Libra rules my 11th House where Saturn/Neptune in Libra reside. I have noticed a certain altruism linked with this in me.
Willow: Though astrology is considered outside the mainsteam, there is still a discernable astrological establishment. Will astrologers labelled ‘fringe’ ever hold a respected and recognized place among the more establishment or Saturnine astrologers?
Antero: I hope not. But then, I don't clamor to become respectable or taken seriously by Saturnine folks who discredit or dismiss me or my work simply because they cringe at fringe. Besides, that's their label, not mine. Like I've said, I'm actually an insider who just appears to be an outsider. Anyone who can see through my outsider front and into the inner workings of who I am and what I do, well, you get my full attention and respect.
When we speak of a tribe's hub and its outer limits or fringe, we can see a spectrum of humanity at play. Those closest to the hub are called to carry the burden and the glory of the tried and true traditions of legacy. Those escaping the hub are called to explore life beyond the borders as frontier scouts of their gene pool where they gather new experience and information, and maybe even create some future myths to live by. These scouts often return to the hub, share their stories, and then head back out to the frontiers to quench their novelty thirst. Every fringe culture has done this, just as every mainstream culture has absorbed and assimilated artifacts the fringe-dwellers bring back.
It's a big wide world with a place for everybody to practice their craft, whatever that might be, and learn whatever they can to advance their skills and knowledge. This includes all the elitist cliques of merchants whose work crystalize around fixed ideas, dogmas, and images of legitimacy. They have every right to practice as much as others have a right to avoid them or try to join them. Obviously, I avoid them when I can - like the emotional plague so many of them are.
Willow: I guess my own experience of this is that it's not always a choice to leave the hub or to exist on its outskirts. It is not always an individual choosing escape from the burdens of traditional life, but a necessary path that is chosen for him or her. There are dangers and burdens (and yes, glories) related to life on the outskirts. It's not just Pan and his flute, tra-la-la, if you know what I mean. The stories coming back from the frontiers are not always thrilling or Sagittarian adventure-filled, either. A lot of times, they're very harsh. My interpretation of Black Moon Lilith is related to this.

The hub often soaks up and utilizes the energy and perspective from the outer edge but then treats it as "dirty little secret." The hub will co-opt this perspective for its own ends and water it down to be more palatable, which misses the point entirely. The New Age co-opting the "darker, edgier" side of things would be an example of this.

I would not refer to myself as a fringe astrologer, but I have been labelled this, and I have also seen how more established astrologers have utilized my work and perspective without giving me full status as an equal. This is another aspect of Black Moon Lilith for me - the interactions between the outsider and the mainstream society. How to go about things without damage to either party, and so that those who are working the outer edges do not get used or abused for their trouble.

Yes, you can come to an empowered place with Black Moon Lilith or any astrological indicator, but to make it to full empowerment takes a great deal of conscious work with tricky dynamics that are usually kept hidden.

Is there anything you would add to this?

Antero: Well, I never said it was a choice to be closer to the tribal hub or the outer fringes. I said it was a calling. When we are called to the hub or to the fringe, at the point we can choose to ignore the call or run with it. I think DNA plays a big role here. My theory is that we are born into certain kinds of genetic castes with predispositions towards certain callings and directions. We also have free will to fight or to go along with deep traits inherited from our ancestors. It's the old fate vs/. destiny game. To me, our fate lies with the cards we're dealt. Our destiny takes shape by how we play them.

I favor your view on Black Moon Lilith and am sorry for your struggles with social betrayal around the abuse (lack of accreditation) of your hard-earned work. You must be careful not to become snagged by the Scapegoat complex which, for me, marks an important research revelation for anyone studying BML. If I knew your chart, I could offer more specific perspective on your BML.

Willow: I don't fall into scapegoat complex. That sounds similar to "victim consciousness," which is another concept I find extremely lacking. I describe the dynamics as they play out so that they can become known and consciously altered or avoided.
That's why I don't give out my birth info - I don't like being astrologically analyzed unless I've paid for a reading!

Willow: What have been the markers of success for you as an astrologer?

Antero: I measure my astrological success strictly by the nature of feedback received from clients since 1980. I would never know how successful my readings are without hearing from those I perform the service for.

Willow: I imagine the Black Moon Lilith influence on your natal Pluto would allow you a special vantage point as far as your Pluto generation, the notorious Pluto in Leos.You also have an Aquarius North Node, which would indicate a great objectivity, an awareness of where things must go, and a general affinity (perhaps hard-won) for Aquarian themes and ideals. The Pluto in Leo generation seems specially positioned for the opening of the astrological Aquarian era. Suns that have sustained in the past are now burning out. There’s the potential for miraculous progress but also for stunning failure. How do you think things need to shift for the established Pluto in Leo astrologers/members of your Pluto generation to maintain the creative relevance they so desire as we move into Aquarius?

Antero: Yesterday's star is tomorrow black hole. What has worked for centuries -- in terms of economic, social, and political realities -- is obviously not working anymore. We are learning to live through an era of dying gods, exfoliating cultures, and collapsing civilizations. Many of us have not heard the news yet and among those that have, many are too shell-shocked to mobilize their resources to evolve themselves...

I shy away from generalizations whenever possible for several reasons. They tend to grossly over-simplify inherently complex dynamics and foster a false sense of certitude about what might be happening. With that said, for better and for worse, I find that each generation tends to lay the groundwork for future generations. For the Pluto in Leo group, it's now out with the old and in with the new. Their fixed fire quality is probably there for a reason. Their heels digging in, they don't want to go, don't want to give up their Leonine crown. Yet, as ancient mythology shows us, the King must die. Hence, we have before us an era of The Dying Kings giving way to more egalitarian socialist principles.

Willow: Many of the established astrologers I’ve interacted with seem to want a level of deference and ego-pampering that I’m not willing to offer. I understand mutual respect, but this goes beyond that. Many seem to carry a list of previous accomplishments around like a set of luggage. It might be a set of gorgeous, vintage luggage, but it’s still baggage. With the coming of stronger egalitarian Aquarian impetus, do you see established astrologers ever just dropping the bloat and working as comrades? 

Antero: Like yourself, I have low tolerance for what I call delusions of entitlement. Whether they're attached to astrologers or non-astrologers, it doesn't matter. Like you say, it's still baggage. I also know that if there's going to be any lasting change in people's attitudes, it must come from within. There's nothing I can do or say to make the bloat go away, unless it's my own bloat. And since bloat sinks the boat, I prefer to stay on top of that tendency which can happen to anyone who's not paying close attention. 

Willow: You refer to astrology as your day job but have also said you keep up an astrology practise in your spare time. What purpose does astrology serve in your life these days?

Antero: Doing readings for over thirty years has resulted in enough mastery to be paid well for my skills and talents. For the last fifteen years, I have chosen to work part-time to allow more time for my artistic activities and more astrology-free time simply to think, live, and dream. I'm not one to consult the astrological ephemeris every morning to decide what will happen that day. The purpose of astrology is in its use as a tool that can be put back in the shed when I'm done using it. To use astrology also means to be free from astrology. Its purpose is to refer us back to life itself.

Willow: Usually, people work day jobs they aren’t entirely thrilled about to pay the bills so that they can do what they really love. Has astrology become that sort of day job for you?

Antero: No, astrology has been good to me. Even though art is my passion and astrology my trade, it's a trade I find mutually useful. I learn as much about myself with every reading I do for others. I also never give more than one reading per day and often times, the workload is much lighter than that. That completely eliminates the danger of burnout for me. I also teach an annual 6-week course online in Autumn, a crash course in Horoscope interpretation featuring my own "tricks of the trade" approach.

Willow: The possibility of that is upsetting for me to think about, as your astrology was always so thrilling, so refreshing, so dynamic and fluid to me. I know professional astrology can be a grind, but do you still derive any enjoyment or a sense of satisfaction from your practise of astrology today?

Antero: Oh sure I do. If I didn't derive satisfaction or meaning from it, I would quit. I have Moon in Virgo in the 9th House, fercrissakes. And I did quit for two years back in 1998. I only decided to return under the condition that I'd raise my rates and only work part-time. Practicing astrology also serves as a kind of reality check for me, insofar as I feel I can only discuss those issues with others that I have first faced myself. Astrology practice also balances my artistic life which depends more on right-brain processes and not explaining anything. Between my work with astrology and cinema, I feel like I have a whole brain!

Willow: You have Saturn conjunct Neptune in Libra in your natal chart, and this placement is very visible in your work. Paratheatre seeks to erase the divisions between performer and spectator, and this erasing of divisions seems characteristic of your work in all fields. The interplay between dream life and waking life, making them as close to ‘one and the same’ as possible, is also a theme, including in your most recent film. This Saturn-Neptune conjunction is very prominent and strongly aspected in your natal chart. Do you still find yourself disappointed when physical forms or people do not live up to what is imagined? 

Antero: I have only experienced disappointment when I was unconscious of my expectations or the limitations of a given form or group or a person. That was more the case throughout my twenties and thirties. As I mentioned before, I love bringing my dreams into manifestation. I've been able to do this through a hard-earned, time-intensive process of trial and error to gain real knowledge of my given strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and talents. In doing so, I can more accurately assess the given strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and talents in those I work with and calibrate my sights accordingly. My forties and fifties have proven to be the most prolific eras of my life so far as a result of this calibration process. 

Willow: What perspective do you have on the other side of your second Saturn return (October 2011) as far as any illusions you have chased? 

Antero: It's become clearer to me that I zero time or energy for senseless drama and pointless suffering. I prefer all my drama onscreen now -- my films have become increasingly dramatic. 

Willow: Saturn-Neptune contacts in Libra can indicate a longing for love and romance to live up to their full promise and potential. How has this Saturn-Neptune in Libra undertone played out in your personal relationships?

Antero: Ain't love grand? Since turning forty, most of my romantic longings and experiences have been grist for the Art mill. The transformation of love into Art is where it's been at for me. I am just another love slave to the Muses. I have also been living with my lover, friend, and main artistic collaborator, the beautiful and monstrously talented Sylvi, for 17 years now. some days, it feels like we're just getting started. 

Willow: The Neptunian pining is well-documented with singles and in cases of unrequited love, but how is the Saturn-Neptune conjunction and the element of the ‘grand ethereal longing’ translated into a long-term marriage, like yours?

Antero: The couple that plays together stays together. We're both the same age with the same Saturn/Neptune conjunction and carry the knowledge of manifesting our dreams and fulfilling our fantasies. We collaborate extensively. She composes music for all my films and sometimes, she acts in them. Sylvi is also my harshest critic and biggest fan. She is a composer and singer in her own right who also teaches voice. Our charts share multiple quincunxes, which keeps things very interesting over the long haul. At the start of our relationship things were difficult but once we figured out a few things, like when it's best for the other to get their way and when it's best to assert ourselves, things flow swimmingly. Our relationship has always revolved around a trinity. Sylvi, me and the Art we create together.

Willow: What is one thing that never ceases to annoy you?
Antero: Self-denial - in myself and in others.

Willow: What's one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?

Antero: I can play the piano with my eyes closed.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays From Willow's Web Astrology!

The Sun entered tropical Capricorn at 5:12 a.m. Central Standard Time this morning, marking winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. We now officially tip back toward the Sun and daylight hours start to increase. Always a nice day to observe.

I'm taking a break from doing readings next week for the holidays. 
All the best to you and yours for the holidays and for 2013 from the winter wonderland that is Saskatchewan! And yes, these pictures were taken during broad daylight.

 The faeries are hibernating

Hoar frost on the cottonwoods

  Winter landscape painting
Winter farmscape

Photos: Willow

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Avoiding the Mindfuckery Hangover of the Mercury Square to Neptune and Chiron

Photos: Willow

The Mercury in Sagittarius square to Neptune in Pisces was the dominant aspect during the most recent Mercury retrograde (November 6 to 26). This aspect was exact at the Blood Moon Full Moon in Taurus on October 29, at the Alpha Snake New Moon eclipse in Scorpio on November 13, and again on December 11, just before the Sagittarius New Moon and the events in Newtown, Connecticut.
This is Mercury (the mind, communication, information, media) in hard aspect to Neptune (deception, illusion, permeation, confusion, fog), and we are seeing a hyped-up manufacturing of reality through mass media channels.

I don't care what the foo foo astrologers are telling you. Neptune can be one of the nastiest influences in astrology. Conjunct wounded healer Chiron, its influence is even more potentially devastating. Mercury can be a little bastard itself, and the combination of Mercury in Sagittarius in hard aspect to Neptune and Chiron in Pisces has been screwing with our heads for a good while now. The long retrograde in Scorpio helped us to disentangle some of the dynamics, but it also held the strong possibility that we would become straight-up obsessed and consumed by them.

From a previous post:

"The wacky, dominance-hungry occultists will be drawing all sorts of nasty energy onto the planet through this [Scorpio] New Moon, all hot and bothered over the serpent imagery. The myths talk about a period of snake-worship secretly brought to Earth. Under worship of the God of the snakes, this period brings evil, crime, unhappiness, bad weather, and death. Stirring up hell for the people.

Detrimental trajectories will be set by some coming out of this New Moon, and with a Mercury-Neptune square strongly colouring the proceedings, there is a tendency to be unknowingly drawn in.

Mercury in Sagittarius will be exactly square Neptune in Pisces on the day of the Taurus Full Moon (October 29), and it will retrograde into this exact square again on the day of the Scorpio New Moon (November 13). This one is working us over a bit...

The Mercury-Neptune squares have "glamourous, media-driven mindfuck" written all over them. But it's more than that. It's psychic media. It's messages sent through those channels. Manipulation of mass psychic energy and impressions. The power of suggestion, particularly from those considered glamourous, star-like, special, heroic, truth-telling - but also in our day-to-day interactions. Communication that attempts to slip things by us. Chatty deception.

Watch the stories and narratives being furthered at this time. The mass media drones on in new frequency, as does the pseudo-alternative media. Diversionary "exo-political" stories supposedly telling us what's really going on on this planet open into new chapters. New Age gurus shape shift into something more hip to the now. Snake oil alchemically transforms into something delicious, tantalizing, and **NEW**.

That's what people are always searching for, isn't it? Something **NEW**?

**NEW** and improved versions of fascist spiritualism, including in the political realms, will be "trending," to use the vernacular. "Swallow this very old product with the exciting new flavouring down whole."

Neptune is stationing to go direct November 11 at zero Pisces, permeating the atmosphere with its wool-over-eyes themes and ensuring the Kool-Aid is especially potent. People can be very impressionable over the next few weeks, very easily led and misled. Ideas can be planted en masse. Things can be slipped by. Consensus reality is particularly malleable and can be manufactured and shaped to benefit certain factions."

The events of Newtown, Connecticut, like those of Aurora, Colorado, are being projected through mass media into the minds of the people, permeating the collective psyche with images, impressions, emotions, trauma. And fog. Lots of fog.

We've had those socked-in grey-white skies that have become so familiar, along with fairly dense fog since the Sagittarius New Moon. Fog is not often experienced here. Definitely not for almost a week, and definitely not in December. It's something I intuitively pinpoint as a man-made effect related to frequency.

It's like a smoke machine. Like the smoke machine that is filling the collective psyche right now.

At the tail-end astrological Piscean era, we're tired. Our empathy, our sympathy, our emotional and psychic faculties are pretty much tapped at this point. They've been beaten up and over-stimulated by all the horror that has gone on and continues to go on, piped into our living rooms and into our minds via mass media channels. On top of all the 2012/End of the World stuff that has been implanted over the past few years, we're at the saturation point. We're at December 21.

And the people who direct the media channels know this.

The constant bombardment by dead children, shocked and grieving parents, and traumatized Newtown citizens is a media display designed to permeate our minds so we can't think about anything else. It's designed to overload, to burn out the last of our empathy and sympathy on this one over-saturated, sensationalized event. It's designed to create emotional catatonia and burnout - a very malleable state.

I'm not downplaying the horror or the tragedy of Newtown. But the truth is, some similar horror goes on, and is intentionally brought down, in some area of the world on a weekly basis.

The events going on now are tied in to the Alpha Snake New Moon conjunct unfortunate fixed star Unukalhai (Alpha Serpentis). That New Moon triggered Adam Lanza's highly-stressed natal Pluto in Scorpio, and it ushered in another wave of ruthless violence and murder.

Events like those in Newtown and Aurora might be going on in seemingly random places in seemingly random ways, but they really aren't. These events are tied to the same root as violence  being brought down all around the world. It's tied to the same interests, to the same people, to the same money.

There's an inevitability related to what's going on, and if you see the events of Newtown and Aurora in context, side-by-side with other violent events going on around the world, you see that they are not really random at all but rather, par for the course.

Thirty Palestinian children were killed by Israeli bombs in one week in November coming out of the Alpha Snake Scorpio New Moon.

Twenty U.S. children have just been killed in a school shooting following the Sagittarius New Moon.

The children from Newtown are memorialized on mass media channels by weeping parents. We see the children's pictures, their sweet faces. We know their names and their favourite things to do. But the Palestinian children, and the children like them, remain the nameless, faceless. These are tragedies of equal measure in my mind, but not in the minds of most these days. And they're connected.

There is a strong "as long as me and mine are OK, everything's fine" ethic in the Cancer Sun nation of the United States of America. A grand case of "look the other way-itis." It really doesn't work that way. You can't perpetuate horrific violence and horror in certain areas of the world but claim other areas off limits. This is a Pisces lesson it would behoove the masses to grasp at the tail-end astrological Piscean era: If one area's in the shit, we're all in the shit, and it's only a matter of time before certain events start erupting that are tied in to the dynamics.

Events like Aurora and Newtown.

As the Neptunian Newtown fog machine keeps chugging along, leading every news program, the masses are diverted, perhaps, from a few other events going on on the planet. The LIBOR banking scandal. The mobilization of the United States for more war. The New Great Depression, still isolated to a relatively small test group. All this is connected.

You're being played. We're being played.

And the only way to see through the fog is to use our own eyes, our own minds, our own intuition. Sharing information and collecting the pieces of the puzzle together.

Don't feel guilty about shutting their media display off (though bits and pieces of the puzzle can be gleaned from it). It's a mockery. We're being mocked, and the innocent dead are being mocked.

We can do better on our own.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Adam Lanza: Another Pluto in Scorpio Overloaded

NOTE: There is now good evidence that the Sandy Hook shootings did not happen. You can take the article that follows as a commentary on the very real pressures on the Pluto in Scorpio generation. It's possible Adam Lanza died one day before Sandy Hook.

On December 14, coming out of the Sagittarius New Moon, a 20-year-old male named Adam Lanza reportedly entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and shot and killed 27 people, including 20 children, and then himself.

Lanza's mother was a teacher at the elementary school and had also been found dead in her home.

Adam Lanza's birth date has been listed as April 22, 1992. According to news reports, he was an honour student, and a family member has told media he had been diagnosed with a form of autism. One of his old classmates told the press, "You could tell he was a genius." Lanza's parents divorced in 2009 when he was 17.

When an event like this happens, people always say, "I don't understand how someone could do something like this."

I can.

I don't like it. I don't justify or condone it. I know it's wrong. But I understand how a person could be pushed to the point where they hate society so much that they could do this. And I think the mainstream has to start looking at this if we're going to change things.

There are obviously a lot of factors involved in shootings like these. The underlying culture of neverending war and violence in the United States, so implanted in the psyches of citizens from birth on, is part of it.

For me, it also comes back to the way "outsiders" are treated by the mainstream society. An outsider who has autism (some form of "neurological diversity") along with an above-average intelligence level, for example.

I know how cruel people and society can be toward people who don't fit in, and I know what that can do to a person. If you don't feel that you belong or that you can ever enjoy the benefits of "normal" society the way other people can, it's easy to dissociate from it, to hate it, and to even want it destroyed.

Especially when you're in your teens and twenties. And especially when you have a highly-stressed natal Pluto in Scorpio.

Pluto in Scorpio and Black Moon Lilith Under Pressure

Both the Aurora, Colorado theatre shootings this past July and the most recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut were reportedly committed by young men of above average intelligence who had stressful Pluto contacts, both natally and by transit. Both men were under extreme pressure on many fronts, actually, indicated by the transits to their natal charts.

Shootings like these ones often have a Black Moon Lilith flavour, and this can also be seen in the astrology of both.

The Aurora, Colorado theatre shooting happened just as the transiting Moon in Leo formed a conjunction to Mercury retrograde in Leo, which conjuncted shooter James Holmes' natal Black Moon Lilith-Vesta in Leo and squared his natal Mars-Pluto in Scorpio. Leo is the sign related to actors, theatre, and drama, and the shootings occurred at a theatre during the opening night of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. Transiting Pluto Rx in Capricorn was exactly conjunct Holmes' Neptune in Capricorn at the time. Pluto relates to death, and Neptune is the planet most strongly associated with Hollywood, glamour, and illusion.

James Holmes natal chart with Aurora shootings - no birth time
Click to enlarge

The recent shooting happened just after transiting Jupiter and the mean calculation of Black Moon Lilith formed an exact conjunction in Gemini (December 12). Gemini is the sign most often related to elementary education, and the shootings took place in an elementary school.

We will also see the dark side (BML) of the media (Gemini) here with sensationalized, round-the-clock coverage that will still somehow manage to miss the point.

The Jupiter-Black Moon Lilith conjunction in Gemini squared Lanza's natal Jupiter and Vesta in Virgo.

Transiting Saturn in Scorpio (8 degrees) was also forming an applying square to Lanza's mean Black Moon Lilith in Aquarius (10 degrees), at its most pressurized point just ahead of the exact aspect. Transiting Saturn in Scorpio was also loosely square Lanza's true BML-Saturn in Aquarius (at 15 and 17 degrees Aquarius), and the Part of Fortune in Aquarius was conjunct these points.

Adam Lanza natal chart with Newtown shootings - no birth time
Click to enlarge
Lanza had contacts going on with both natal and transiting Black Moon Lilith placements.

He also had contacts involving both natal and transiting Pluto underway, and these were extreme.

Lanza's natal Moon is in early Capricorn, one of the more difficult placements for the Moon in the sign of its detriment. At the time of the shootings, the transiting Moon in Capricorn had just conjuncted Pluto in Capricorn (8 degrees). This Moon-Pluto conjunction was conjunct Lanza's natal Moon in Capricorn, as well as his natal Pallas Athene in Capricorn. This marked Adam's monthly lunar return. Very harsh.

Transiting Pluto was bearing down on Lanza's natal Moon in a long-term conjunction, stirring a notoriously tough Moon-Pluto contact. This pressure was increased by the transiting Moon in Capricorn. These transits could easily bring emotional resentments, psychological trauma, and resulting hatred (Pluto) from the early upbringing, home life, or family (Moon) to the surface.

The combination of Moon in Capricorn contacted by Pluto indicates the potential for resentment related to the mother's (Moon) career or workplace (Capricorn). It also indicates the possibility of the mother having to act as both parents, with resulting overextension and emotional difficulties for the child. The Moon-Pluto conjunction on Lanza's natal Moon makes this an astrologically textbook case of death (Pluto) of the mother (Moon).

At the time of the shootings, war planet Mars in Capricorn was conjunct Lanza's Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, creating a potential mix of violence, genius, rebellion, disillusionment, fantasy, and possible mental illness. Mars had just moved out of range of its conjunction to Pluto November 27, which occurred conjunct Lanza's natal Moon in Capricorn, as well as conjunct his Capricorn North Node.

Lanza's natal Pluto in Scorpio was at 22 degrees, which is conjunct unfortunate fixed star Unukalhai (Alpha Serpentis). You might recall that this fixed star (along with Lanza's natal Pluto) was highly activated by the November 13 Scorpio New Moon solar eclipse, referred to here as the Alpha Snake New Moon. The fixed star Alpha Serpentis, associated with suicide, insanity, accidents, love problems, loss, and earthquakes, has a very dark imagery and was strongly influential during the most recent eclipse season.

There was a strong possibility of dark energy slipping by at that New Moon.

From the post:

"Ensuring we're leaving detrimental influences on the other side of this portal is going to take some steel-willed concentration and focus. Mercury Rx is backing into its second square to Neptune in Pisces, clouding our vision, and some fairly unpleasant things could be slipped by us if we're not vigilant.

We all, ultimately, have to be responsible for what we bring through this New Moon portal. For what we mix into our own Scorpionic alchemical soup. There are certain dynamics, people, and situations we should just not be playing with now."

The school shooting happened just after the December 13 Sagittarius New Moon, which followed the Scorpio New Moon eclipse.

It appears Lanza's natal Pluto in Scorpio was stirred to the intolerable point at the Alpha Snake New Moon. The triggers were then continued by transiting Venus in Scorpio (28 degrees) conjunct the Scorpio North Node (25 degrees), which were both conjunct Lanza's natal Pluto in Scorpio at the time of the shootings.

From the Aurora post:

"Astronomically, Black Moon Lilith is the point of lunar apogee - the point where the Moon is furthest away from Earth in its orbit. Astrologically, it relates to a point of deep, dark feminine awareness and life experience, as well as marginalization from the mainstream.

This point involves a theme of being put out of society, being put out in the cold, being isolated, alone, forced to fight for bare survival. It relates to a society that would prefer an individual dead rather than accept what he or she represents into its folds. As part of that, Black Moon Lilith can be a raw, potentially volatile point, with sudden, extreme, and even violent trigger points.

Pluto is the dwarf planet named for the Lord of the Underworld and involves a state of living beneath the surface, seeing in the dark, being aware of what others who live above ground are not. Pluto involves a process of bringing up to the surface issues which remain detrimentally denied and suppressed in the collective. It is related to Hades (hell), death, and destruction and can also be volatile, highly-triggered, and violent.

Both Black Moon Lilith and Pluto involve extremes - emotional and psychological extremes as well as life-and-death scenarios. Both placements indicate depth and "dark" awareness, involving the seeing and experiencing of things the mainstream does not see or experience.

Both placements can indicate a level of marginalization and forced isolation from mainstream society. This can be for legitimate reasons or it can be simply because the mainstream society cannot face or accept what the individuals know or represent. The disruption to consensus reality is too great.

Due to the forced isolation/marginalization of those with strong Pluto or Black Moon Lilith placements - either physical or emotional/psychological/psychic - both placements can indicate the development of a level of misanthropy or hatred of mainstream society. These are not often taken to the extremes to which they were taken by the Century 16 shooter...but it would be rare to find these feelings completely absent in individuals with highly activated and influential Pluto or Black Moon Lilith placements.

Often individuals with these strong placements natally would wish to remove themselves from society or from the planet altogether as a reaction to levels of corruption, dishonesty, denial, injustice, or suffering intolerable to them - less commonly would they turn those feelings outward in a shooting spree like this one."

Lanza's natal Black Moon Lilith in Aquarius is a placement related to the genius of the extreme outsider. This placement, conjunct Saturn, can involve challenges related to "neurological diversity." A mind that doesn't work like most other people's and structures that don't know what to do with the person. An individual who is shunned or considered an oddball because of this. Black Moon Lilith in Aquarius indicates an extreme level of detachment possible, easily shifting into complete dissociation from mainstream society if pushed past its limits. This placement indicates a person who can take the seemingly cold and emotionless qualities of Aquarius to extremes as a matter of survival, but can then go beyond the point where survival is even possible.

Mercury Retrograde Activations

The pressure on Lanza's natal Pluto in Scorpio was added to by a recent Mercury retrograde period over this point (November 6 to November 26). Mercury moved back and forth over Lanza's natal Pluto from late October to early December. As Mercury relates to ideas, communication, logistics, transportation, and the mind, this was likely when the plan was hatched. Mercury re-entered Sagittarius December 10 and had just left the retrograde shadow, squaring wounded healer Chiron in Pisces at the time of the shootings.

Lanza's natal Mercury placement was also highly triggered at the time. Uranus (shocking trauma) at 4 degrees Aries (war/aggression/violence) had just stationed direct at the time of the shootings in tight conjunction to Lanza's natal Mercury in Aries at 5 degrees. Extremely violent Uranian ideas were flooding the neural pathways as Uranus sat nearly motionless on his natal Mercury.

Again, as with Black Moon Lilith and Pluto, Lanza had stressful Mercury contacts underway involving both natal Mercury and transitting Mercury. He was being double-teamed on multiple fronts.

As stated, Mercury was also highly prominent at the time of the Aurora, Colorado shootings. That time period, too, involved a station, when the energy would be more potent than usual. Mercury had just stationed retrograde in a conjunction to James Holmes' natal Black Moon Lilith and Vesta in Leo, which squared his natal Mars and Pluto in Scorpio. This would have kept the extremely dark ideas of Black Moon Lilith, deepened and further triggered by Mars and Pluto in Scorpio, firmly on his mind. The Moon seems to be the exact trigger point, as it was in the Sandy Hook shootings. It formed a conjunction to Mercury Rx at the time of the Aurora shootings, indicating roots to the early upbringing, home, family, mother, or general emotional state.

The events of both Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut are horrific, tragic, and heartbreaking. But we can see the energies and themes prevalent as well as similarities in both scenarios when we look at them through an astrological lens.

Like Holmes, Lanza seems to be a case of a young Pluto in Scorpio male with a potent, unconventional, and perhaps out-of-control mind that had been overloaded. The pressure and frustration built until horror and violence blew the lid off, drawing attention to things that had been simmering beneath the collective surface.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Myth of the Apolitical Astrologer

From a previous post:

"There are belief systems, allegiances, motivations, and traditions underlying anyone's practise of astrology, and Saturn in Scorpio is a time to be very clear on that."

It's important to realize at this time that the personal is political. It doesn't matter if you don't vote, if you can't tell left-wing from right, or if you prefer Big Bang Theory reruns to the nightly news. The decisions people make on a daily basis about what to do, what to say, and how to live their lives are political.

Astrologers are no different.

There's no such thing as purely objective astrology, just as there's no such thing as purely objective journalism. There are always forces shaping the information and perspectives that are put forth, as well as determining which information and perpectives are not put forth.

An astrologer who chooses not to touch the controversial sociopolitical issues of the times is making a personal political choice just as an astrologer who chooses to write and speak about them is.

Though I'm sure most professional astrologers, like me, are careful not to infuse paid readings with heavy personal politics, how an astrologer interprets certain placements or transits is most certainly political. There is a basic foundation for astrology, but beyond those basics, it's open to interpretation.

There's a lot of hiding and glossing over of personal politics and true personal perspective going on in the astrology of the day.

Part of this comes about due to the strong New Age beliefs running through much of it. The idea often promoted by the New Age is that "politics is unenlightened."

"Poverty, war, social justice issues - those are all 3D, man. That's density. We're 5D! We're so beyond all that, it's not even a part of our reality."

Yeah. Right.

Any astrologer who wants to keep up their New Age herd will be careful to tiptoe around sociopolitical issues that could be considered "negative," "dark," or "a bummer" by the brethren.

Even among non-New Age astrologers, though, there is a lot of whitewashing of personal politics and perspective. A lot of astrologers choose not to say how they really feel about things so as not to alienate their followers, supporters, or paid customers.

Others take a middle-of-the-road stance so carefully crafted to be benign that it basically says nothing. This is especially the case with astrologers who attempt to sustain "The Astro Empire" - mass popularity among the relatively few people interested in astrology.

The fact of the matter is, personal politics influences astrology, as does the whitewashing of personal politics, and this is true for even the most cookbook of astrologers. This has been somewhat hidden, but with Saturn transiting Scorpio, things hidden beneath the surface will be drawn out into our concrete, in-your-face realities.

Underlying personal politics, beliefs, allegiances, motivations, and alliances strongly influence the astrology of the day, but as long as that influence remains hidden, we're working with a very skewed astrological landscape.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Beautiful Resurrections

Venus transiting Scorpio has resurrected (Scorpio) my jewellery-making mojo (Venus) after a substantial hiatus, which has been surprising and very nice. You can see some of the new pieces along with the old at Weeping Willow Designs.
I also discovered that my silver company - which announced its closure due to the high price of silver last year - has been resurrected and is back in business after a move to California. This is a very nice expression of Saturn in Scorpio: the resurrection of businesses once thought dead. The turbulence and changes we're going through certainly have the possibility of kicking up surprising reversals of fortune.

So after thinking the jewellery factory that is me had been officially retired, there is the possibility of a continuance. I won't be getting back to Art of My Heart-style factory output, but a little retirement gig here and there would be nice.

Mercury is currently moving direct through the final degrees of its retrograde shadow in Scorpio, just past a conjunction to the North Node. The jewellery is handmade (Mercury), and I'm using other people's resources (beads) to do it (Scorpio). I've also been using beads that were given to me as gifts, which is always special.

Uranus is stationing direct. We're heading into the Dark of the Moon in Scorpio ahead of Thursday's potent, post-eclipse season Sagittarius New Moon. Jupiter is conjunct Black Moon Lilith in Gemini. And we have those Yods making things a little edgy and a lot weird.

Finding a productive outlet for the jingly jangly energy is important. Keep your hands busy whenever you can, and stay out of Mercury in Scorpio worst-case-scenario thinking. Touch things. Nice things. Like pretty rocks or crystals or other things that can take a charge.

The tensions break a little coming out of the Sagittarius New Moon December 13.