Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Aries-Libra Polarity

If we look at the Zodiac as a progression of the soul from a feeling of being a totally separate entity evolving to feeling or “knowing” that we are all one (Pisces), then the start of that journey is Aries. Libra is the halfway point where we begin to be concerned about our “significant other.” This is the polarity of relationships. Aries is “I or me” and Libra is “you.” (Remember that people are ALL combinations of many signs, and it is impossible to find a pure example of any one archetype.)

Commonly, Aries is described as selfish or self-centered. That is a perception based on observation, perhaps, but is not entirely accurate. Many Aries people have important planets in nearby Pisces or Taurus and can be as compassionate as any other person—if not more so. Aries is “self-referencing” and self-reliant. By that I mean they measure everything by their own experiences or imagined experiences by seeing themselves in someone else’s circumstances. For instance, upon seeing a strange hair-do for the first time, their immediate thought is “How would I look in that?” In this way, Aries is a breath of fresh air because the first thought is not to criticize, but to imagine him or herself in the same condition. But, this self-referencing also makes it hard to see another’s viewpoint if they cannot put themselves in their experience.

Aries is the child of the zodiac and often retains an innocent attitude throughout life mainly because it is a sign that lives in the moment. They are neither innately deceptive nor vindictive (although there can be other things in a specific chart that provides those traits), but there can be temper tantrums due to frustrations of the moment. Aries people forget about the past rather quickly and don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the future, much like a child does. For that reason, they are often admired for being able to start all over again any number of times without dwelling on failures. Also, they are self-starters and prefer to do things by themselves without relying on others at all. More than any other sign, this one is more likely to be a sole proprietor, if self-employed, and often remains single without any discomfort or regret. They see themselves as completely separate from others and feel the right to be who they are without any interference. They would probably leave a marriage in which the partner tried to control them, since the primary need of these people is self-expression on their own terms. That is why it is easy for them to be pioneers (another key word of the sign) which can often be a lonely role.

Libra is the extreme opposite. This is the partnership sign. My teacher said once that Librans don’t leave a relationship until they have found a new one to replace it. The need to belong with a partner is so strong that Librans often actually look to others for their identity. The need is not only to connect to one other, but also to belong in society. It is the most uniformed of all the signs… “I’m wearing a Navy uniform, so I BELONG to that service and my identity is a sailor.” For this reason, also, Librans have a very hard time making a decision, since they do not want to make a mistake and therefore be “alone” or to offend. The Achilles Heel in this is the problem with wanting to fit in so badly, that conformity can take over. Having to have the “right” fashions, house, car, etc. can become all-consuming.

This is the halfway point of the zodiac where the soul’s attention goes from self to others. From Aries through Virgo, the soul is building a self… [my body/self (Aries), my possessions (Taurus), my thoughts (Gemini), my family/clan (Cancer), my creations/talents (Leo), my work/skills (Virgo)] but from now on, the soul is noticing that there are others out there not of our clan (actually others of the larger “one” we are part of). When we come to Libra, we feel uncomfortable if we do not have an “other” to complete us. But we are usually born into this sign unskilled at union with another, so we do what we believe we have to do in order to be acceptable. Usually, what happens is we lose ourselves in trying so hard to please the “other.” This, however, is also the sign of compromise and negotiation. What happens when we cannot do that? War. Libra is also the war sign as well as peace. It is simply getting along with others one-on-one without either one losing their individuality, either. That's why its symbol is the scales of justice.

This brings me to another cliché that drives me nuts. When I get students taking my correspondence course, they come conditioned by other things they’ve read, and often in exams I give, they’ll use those bits of knowledge to answer my questions, not remembering where they got that information. One is to refer to Librans as “seeking balance.” This is from the symbology of the scales. That is the most simplistic of all interpretations and I usually ask the student what that means. The scales symbolize justice, fairness, or in other words, the ability to retain one’s SELF while also relating fairly with another person. The scale symbol is not a meaning in itself.

By extension, Libra rules lawyers and diplomats. All are related to the idea that we are evolving to oneness with each other, and along the way we learn little-by-little how to do that without losing our own identity along the way.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Experiment on Solar Returns

[The Mercury Hour was a place where people wrote their views in letter form, and it was published quarterly for probably over 25 years--- up until the editor, Edith Custer's, death. Now we have the same thing in forums online, but this is how we did it before the internet. There were many gems in it, and this was one that I took to heart and used, and still do, in my professional practise. I ran across this recently while cleaning and feel it is worthy of another viewing. The late T. Patrick Davis (the T. stands for Thelma) was first and foremost a researcher, and we all still have great respect for all the hard unpaid work she did for the love of Astrology and accuracy.]

From “The Mercury Hour”
By T. Patrick Davis October 1996

Trying to rid my home office of black holes swallowing up stuff, never to be seen again, I came across an experiment I conducted years ago on SOLAR RETURNS. You published the result on p. 36 of the October 1979, 23rd edition of Mercury Hour. A copy is enclosed.
The original account does not dwell on it, but the experiment was carefully conducted. I was a neutral observer whose primary interest was merely in learning what methods worked best. The astrologer was experienced and volunteered out of personal curiosity. Methods were being tested, not the astrologer.

So many new astrology students have entered the scene since then that I was wondering what you would think about reprinting it? The astrological “system” set up to educate students demands the student waste so much time “reinventing the wheel.” Perhaps this will be of some aid along the way.

Reprint from 10/79

The lure of my new computer’s keys promising quickly calculated solar and lunar returns finally generated an interest in this facet of astrology. But the contradictory advice found on whether to use the longitude and latitude of the birthplace or the location of the person at the time of the return was confusing. As a result, I set up an experiment to see if the problem could be resolved according to the advice given me by someone who has specialized in this field. At the present time, this advisor wishes to remain anonymous.

A number of people were selected who had moved a considerable distance from their birthplace so that the solar returns would be quite different in appearance. Solar return charts were then constructed for the place of birth and then the location at the time of the return. Each chart had full details written on it of the significant events for that year—but the information on whether it was for the birthplace or the new location was left off.

The specialist in solar returns, who had been taught to use the new location and had never tested using the birthplace, then studied and compared each set of charts. The chart felt to reflect the circumstances of that year was chosen. IN EVERY CASE, the chart for the birthplace was selected over the new location! The specialist was dumbfounded and quite perturbed at the discovery. My only interest was in trying to discover which one to use to begin my study of solar returns. With the convenience of computers now in so many more people’s possession, perhaps others can replicate this study, report their results, and clear this matter up once and for all.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Retrogrades…those ending and those beginning

Retro-gradation of planets is a mystery that astrologers often ponder. I am a little dismayed at how often we blame retrograde planets for anything that goes wrong while they are in that state, but through many years of observation, it does appear that they have some kind of influence—mostly giving us time to reflect, review and change direction in our lives, if necessary.

We just had Mercury retrograde in the early degrees of Aries and late Pisces. Through mid-March it conjoined Uranus—perhaps contributing to restless sleep for some people and hasty decisions by others. And tomorrow it goes direct at 23 degrees Pisces at 6:07 am EDT. That doesn’t mean that all its dire meanings are lifted. There is the “shadow” that some consider, which is the time it takes Mercury to get back to the point where it started to retrograde, in this case, 6:49 Aries, which will happen on April 23rd. This is a time of review, and if one insists on using it to push ahead (using it as it was not intended) then most of the time, events get confused or snarled-up and you are forced to stop and unsnarl them. That forces review anyway.

The best way to use Astrology is like a clock. When it’s time to pay attention to various things, you will know ahead of time what they are. Wherever early Aries and late Pisces is placed in your chart, this was a time to pay attention to those things…i.e. get rid of what isn’t working, re-check work that has been done, prepare, but not initiate, plans for the future. Mine is in the 11th house, so I have been looking at long range goals, planning a couple projects, and nurturing friendships—even looking into joining groups. Where is it in your chart?

At the same time this year, Mars is also retrograde in Virgo. It has been in Virgo since November 11th 2011 and will remain there until July 4th this year. Every two years Mars remains in one sign for many months and can be a real irritant for those signs. This time since it’s in Virgo, it’s also affecting Pisces, Sagittarius and Gemini by challenging aspect (90 degrees or 180 degrees away). That means that when Mars in its journey gets close to, or in difficult aspect to, a planet you have in those signs, you will feel it stimulated in some way. Usually, it is an irritant, but if your Mars is well-placed, it can be a surge of energy you could put to good use.

When Mars got far enough away from the Sun (actually vice versa), it turned retrograde (January 24th) and will remain so until April 14th. When you are unaware of the energy, you can act hastily without forethought and regret it later. Again, it is a time of review, not a good time to start anything new.

Soon, on April 10th, Pluto will begin to retrograde. It will begin at 9 degrees Capricorn, and although it is not as personal in its effects as the planets closer to us, it will be felt very keenly by people born at the very end of December/beginning of January, end of March/early April, end of June/beginning of July, and end of September/beginning of October. Many other people may have planets at 9 of a cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), but those dates above are for people who have the Sun near that degree. Tremendous forces are at work for these people to help them clean out of their lives all things that are not working for them, or to revise whatever has become habitual so that life can proceed on a better level. It’s as though a pressure cooker lid is blowing off, and they have had enough of whatever they have been repressing. It may be an intense process while it’s happening, but the result can be liberating later. Pluto will go direct on September 18th.

Meanwhile, Saturn has been retrograde at the very end of Libra since February 7th. It will go direct at 22-23 Libra on June 25 and finally enter Scorpio on October 5th. Anyone with planets between 22 to 29 Libra, or those degrees of other cardinal signs listed above, are probably not satisfied with the aspect of their life where they are located. Things will start moving in a better direction after late June.