Looking Competition in the Eye

If you were the only person on this planet, would you be tall or short? Beautiful or ugly? Without the “other,” many of your qualities would disappear in the void of reflection.

In The Cosmic Serpent, a book about DNA-like images in the visions of Amazonian shamans, we see a picture from Egypt of the double-headed serpent. This serpent, we learn, provides attributes. Attributes need duality.

If you were the only person on the planet, would you be happy or sad?

Without the “other,” you still have feelings. But how many of our feelings are reactions to the “other?”

If you removed all the feelings you have that are reactions to others, what is left? What do you feel that is not a reaction?

Competition

Aries, the first sign of the zodiac is known for its focus on self which includes competition. Its ruler, Mars, figures prominently in the charts of athletes (physical competitors). Aries’ focus on the self brings an independent and headstrong nature.

Opposite of Aries is Libra, the seventh sign of the zodiac known for its focus on others which includes partnerships from friendship to marriage to business ventures. Libra’s focus on others brings a dependent nature as the identity is formed through reflection off others.

This self-other axis seems the energy that produces competition. The reflection off others that forms identity for Libra becomes competition when the response to that reflection is to exceed what that other is doing to increase the Aries sense of self.

Libra may see your shirt, enjoy its qualities then seek one like it or something different that provides the same sense of pleasure. Aries may see your shirt, enjoy its qualities then seek something it sees as superlative to that shirt (more expensive, more colorful).

According to a recent NPR story, it’s around the age of five that kids start playing to win (i.e., become competitive). Interestingly enough, that’s the age where kids begin the socializing process called “school.”

At the age of six Jupiter forms its first natural opposition to its natal placement (because it has a 12-year cycle). Your natal Jupiter’s social awareness is understood through Jupiter’s opposing social pressure. I want to eat lunch at nine; the school wants me to eat it at noon. I’m told to be myself, but I’m also told to stop my many quirky habits.

At age six, at this first Jupiter opposition, you learn there’s a social world out there that’s going to make you its member, willing or unwilling.

Twelve years later, in many cultures, Jupiter makes that same opposition it made when you were six. Now it’s time to face the social world outside of school as we turn 18 and enter higher education or the adult world of home and work.

The NPR story concludes that good competition helps you improve yourself, not merely excel over others. Bad competition, of course, is about winning for its own sake.

The socialization process creates competition both good and bad. Maybe what we need to do is see what Jupiter is up to.

Is Jupiter culture asking you to be more physically fit and studious? Or is Jupiter culture telling you to buy expensive jeans and watches?

Those that are exceedingly competitive are more reactive than average to the culture and others. By extreme reaction, the self is lost as it extends outward to whatever the culture has deemed valuable, to whatever the culture has laid in its path. If the culture has promoted building character, competition becomes “good.” If the culture promotes greed, competition becomes “bad.”

Maybe rather than looking at competition as good or bad we need to look competition in the eye and see what the culture is up to. Then we can look back in that mirror of reflection and ask, “Is this really who I am?”

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28 Degrees of Cancer – Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson

ohioastrology:

When an event happens, it’s difficult as an astrologer not to take a peek as I did at Robin Williams‘ chart upon learning he died. His sun at 28 degrees of sensitive Cancer reminded me of this post. Williams also had moon in a super-sensitive sign as well – Pisces. Unless you have a lot of water in your chart, you may not know what it feels like to be so sensitive that it “feels like you don’t have skin” as a friend recently described. Philip Seymour Hoffman who died earlier this year of an accidental drug overdose had sun at 29 degrees of Cancer. The last degrees of the water signs must be the most sensitive.

We don’t know how these actors felt, only how they made us feel.

Originally posted on Ohio Astrology:

Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson were both Cancer sun writers who were heavy drinkers, loved to travel (and write about it) and committed suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound while in his 60s.

Hemingway had sun in 28 degrees of Cancer. Thompson had sun in 25 degrees of Cancer with Pluto conjunct at 28 degrees of Cancer.

Hemingway’s moon is in Capricorn while Thompson’s is in either Scorpio or Sagittarius. From Thompson’s excess and traveling lifestyle, I would guess Sagittarius.

Clearly both men suffered from depression which led to heavy drinking and later suicide. Both men were under a major Saturn transit at the time of death.

Hemingway

Hemingway with sun in Cancer and moon in Capricorn – opposite signs indicating he was born close to or during a full moon. Cancer is warm, clingy and extremely sensitive and needs lots of affectionate love and constant reminder and feedback on…

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High on Neptune in Pisces

The current discussions about legalizing marijuana might end sooner if we could all just get honest. Let’s admit to each other and ourselves:

We all like to get high in some way.

Ok, not all of us. Statistically we can never assume 100 percent of anything and astrologically we know there are Saturnian characters out there that derive more pleasure from discipline and denial than a shot of whisky followed by a brownie while sneaking a peek at someone’s private parts.

I try to stay away from this “one percent.”

Neptune in Pisces

The funny thing about Neptune, and smoke and fog, is that is doesn’t have boundaries. As in the old days when restaurants and planes had a “smoking section,” any non-smoker could tell you that smoke does not limit itself to a “section.”

Neptune will be in Pisces until 2026, so we have some time to work this out. Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, water, and dissolving.

It’s possible that in the next 12 years we’ll all be smoking/drinking/taking something that will dissolve the world in front of us and it won’t matter anyway.

Luckily for us with corporeal form, there is a Saturn which holds the “world” together.

When we wake into our new world as Neptune transits Aries in 2026, we might have more than one head (as Aries rules the head) or we might find we have a whole new way of being a “self.”

The funny thing about some drugs is that they alter your way of perceiving. If we are not all on the same drug, we can’t share perception and share a world.

In 12 years, will we all be on the same drug?

Today’s technology has focused our vision on our palms, laps and other locations 24 inches in front of us. We are microscopically aware of what others are doing (and small pieces of information) yet unaware that five cars are honking behind us because the green arrow has lit (true story).

Pisces looks at the source of the universe while its opposite sign, Virgo, looks at the palm of its hand. A generation born with Pluto in Virgo is today aged 42-58. Some of those also have Uranus conjunct in Virgo.

No surprise this Pluto-in-Virgo generation is looking at its own hand (and putting on hand sanitizer). Because they care about cleanliness and order, they do want to clean up the planet which is where they meet Pisces and consider the whole.

In 2026, will we be looking at our palms or at the sky?

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Ohio Political Fight Club: Astrologically-Aligned Scandals

As OHA expected, the heat began for Ohio governor contender Ed FitzGerald as Jupiter moved into Leo from Cancer in July.

The “FitzGerald Scandals” have begun. If you have children hovering over your shoulder as you read this, please turn their innocent eyes away from the screen.

FitzGerald, Democrat running against Republican incumbent John Kasich, has not one but two scandals looming over him as the gubernatorial election is just 90 days away.

Scandal 1: Two years ago FitzGerald was seen in the wee hours of the morning in a car with a woman-not-his wife. Cleveland.com now writes there are witnesses claiming they were seen in the backseat.

Scandal 2: FitzGerald didn’t possess a driver’s license for ten years.

Will FitzGerald survive these scandals?

He might, as few around me have even heard of FitzGerald. If this is representative of the state, FitzGerald has some time.

These scandals are, how shall we say it, not the stuff of a prime time TV show. We may need something more, how shall we say it, interesting, to bring FitzGerald to the attention of an electorate still planning last-minute summer vacations and the beginning of the school year.

By the way, the real scandal, pointed out months ago by OHA, is that we don’t know where FitzGerald was born. Astrologers demand an answer. There’s your scandal.

New and Improved Scandals

If I was an evil astrologer, and I swear I’m not, I’d recommend a few tweaks to the scandals to be in line with the heavens. Back in the day, you know, the Middle Ages, astrologers helped politicians with stuff like this all the time. We even got PAID.

Astrology, of course, is nonsense so let’s have some fun making up scandals so that the Ohio governor election in November is both fun and national-news worthy.

FitzGerald Scandals

This writer is always happy to see women more involved in politics, but has a little disappointment that the involvement includes only one portion of the female anatomy. While backseat trysts generally make good scandals and remove men from political achievements, we can think outside the vagina.

FitzGerald has sun in emotional Cancer and moon in cold Capricorn or possibly equally-cold Aquarius. Yes, Capricorn moons have passionate love affairs (I hear), but it’s not often you find any Capricorn energy with its pants down.

If the moon is in Capricorn, we have a nice T-square of moon, Venus (in Cancer) and Saturn (in Aries). That suggests some trouble in love through lack of ability to assert the self. Cancer is family so if we really want to juice this up, we can claim:

FitzGerald in Backseat Tryst with Distant Female Relative.

Uranus will transit FitzGerald’s natal Saturn in Aries after the election, but is currently squaring his natal Mars in Cancer.

What’s a good scandal involving fiery Aries and watery Cancer?

FitzGerald Throws Homemade Soup at Journalists, Misses, Hits Senior Citizen. FitzGerald Refuses both to Apologize and Divulge Recipe.

That has Aries aggression coupled with Cancer love of cooking.

We know FitzGerald didn’t renew his driver’s license, suggesting he has absent-minded professor Aquarius as his moon (this is truly bizarre). Maybe we can go Aquarian and say:

FitzGerald Produces Star Trek Federation ID Instead of Driver’s License.

That makes him weird, a big no-no in politics.

Lastly, with four planets in water we can add:

FitzGerald Responsible for Toxic Algae in Lake Erie.

Kasich Scandals

With Jupiter, Venus and sun in earthy Taurus and moon in earthy Capricorn, all scandals lead to one place with this chart – money.

Money, assets, property, investments – all lead to productive, albeit somewhat boring, scandals. Kasich has already been involved in one money “scandal.” The Jupiter-in-Taurus period of summer 2011 to summer 2012 is the best time to look for expansion of money in Kasich’s recent past.

How can we make an interesting money scandal for Kasich?

With natal Pluto square sun (mark of a politician), we can add payments to Plutonian-underworld figures. I don’t know if we’ve ever had that kind of scandal in Ohio. With casinos sprouting like algae, maybe that’s the tie-in combined with Taurus’ practical approach to spending:

Kasich Rigs Slot Machine Then Buys $5000 Worth of Storage Containers from the Container Store.

I’m guessing Kasich is frugal so maybe something along those lines might add a little color to the money stories. Let’s try:

Kasich and Political Friends Order $5,000 Meal, Split Bill and Leave $3 Tip.

For politicians, money troubles usually involve taxes. Saturn is transiting Scorpio and is opposite Kasich’s sun so it’s rather a good time for this type of information to emerge.

Kasich Avoids Taxes by Cashing Checks at Always Payday and Stuffing Cash in Mattress.

Transiting Uranus square natal moon in Capricorn might bring women out of Kasich’s backseat as well. But a little twist might be to involve a Capricorn-authority character. We’ll add a little of the natal Mercury-in-Aries outbursts, which will continue to increase for Kasich as transiting Uranus moves through Aries.

Kasich and Female Officer Found in Backseat After He Calls Her an Idiot and She Finds She Likes It.

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The Libra Lunchbox

The Indian film The Lunchbox is a story of reflection as symbolized repeatedly throughout the movie and even noted in the dialogue at one point.

Set in Mumbai, the storyline involves a woman making lunch for her husband and it being delivered to the wrong person. As I learned from the movie, in Mumbai there is a “lunchbox” service where either family or restaurants make fresh, hot lunches for office workers that are delivered by a sophisticated network of deliverers.

The wife realizes the mistake when her carefully-prepared food is not acknowledged by her husband and she writes a note to the office worker. The office worker writes back and they begin a dialogue and, you might say, a relationship.

It’s also delightful to see paper notes! I can’t imagine this beautiful movie with email as the communication method.

If you haven’t seen the movie, this article has spoilers.

Libra and Reflection

Libra is the sign of “the other” and because of that is viewed as the sign of relationship. But “other” and relationship is more than romance. If you were alone on the planet, would you be tall or short? Would you be beautiful or ugly?

Many of your qualities seem null and void with no “other.”

Can you be funny if there’s no one to laugh?

In The Lunchbox, we see the woman talking to her emotionally-distant husband while her reflection is shown in the mirror, the most obvious imagery of reflection in the movie.

We also see the wife talking to a neighbor upstairs whom we never see. Through the disembodied voice of the neighbor, we learn about the wife and sense the camaraderie of an older wife helping a younger wife through the travails of marriage.

The office worker who erroneously receives the wife’s lunch is retiring and through his relationship with his replacement, we learn more about him. Later through his notes to the wife, we learn even more.

This written relationship (as well as his relationship with his replacement) revives the office worker, a melancholy widower, who considers a deeper relationship with the wife until facing a reflection of his own. Through the smell of his bathroom and a passenger giving up a seat for him on the bus, our widower receives a reflection of his advancing age, which humbles him.

In several very beautiful scenes, we see the worker’s relationship to the wife’s lovingly-prepared meal as he opens the carrier and smells the food like a child returning to his mother’s kitchen. It’s sensual and we can also imagine him breathing in the essence of the wife. The wife, we learn early on, is attempting to appeal to her husband through his lunch and has developed great cooking skills.

When the worker inhales deeply the aroma of a wonderfully cooked meal, we get the reflection of a better time, a time of home-cooked meals, of comfort, of satisfaction, of love.

The other cardinal signs

Libra is the cardinal air sign. The other three elements also have a cardinal sign: Cancer (water), Capricorn (earth) and Aries (fire).

Called The Lunchbox, you might think there were themes of Cancer, the sign of mothering and cooking and belonging (such as family life).

The food is there, also a reflection of family life as exhibited by the lonely widower watching a neighboring family enjoy a communal dinner.

The opposite sign, Capricorn, represents work, which is also part of the story. Our worker is retiring, but doesn’t seem to want to go as he has no “Cancer” life to go to.

And what about Aries, the headstrong cardinal fire sign?

At the end, I believe, we see the Libra reflection leading to Aries self-assertion and realization. If we don’t have self-assertion and realization, what is the point of reflection?

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What Sign is Brick Heck?

Brick Heck, character name for the youngest child on the show The Middle (played by actor Atticus Shaffer), is a character we’re seeing more often in television. Brick is a quirky intellectual who prefers interactions with books to interactions with people.

In a Halloween episode Brick dresses as Sergeant Charles MacKenzie, a Scottish World War I hero. In frustration at being mistaken for a host of other characters, he laments “Doesn’t anyone on this block read?”

Does this remind you of another TV intellectual who prefers ideas to people?

In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, character Sheldon dresses for Halloween as the Doppler Effect, his sound-wave stripes being mistaken for a zebra.

As with Sheldon, those around Brick desire that he learn to “socialize.” Clearly Halloween is an important socializing event.

In a brilliant episode of The Middle, we see the difference between Brick’s character and the socialized character. Brick and his small band of misfits (one who can’t get his socks dirty, one who imitates cat behavior) are banned from the library and forced onto the playground at recess to “have fun.”

Brick and his eccentric cohorts hide under a slide until Brick comes up with a plan of escape that proves that while he doesn’t care to socialize, he does understand how it works.

The first foil is to interrupt the ball game of his peers. That disturbance creates some discord, but not enough to move the door guard from his post. Brick then, in a demonstration that he understands the social order even if he doesn’t follow it, throws candy at the group of ball players who then in a frenzy dive for the candy on the ground creating mayhem. The playground monitor must now intervene while Brick and his cohorts escape.

What sign is Brick Heck?

Those going against the grain bring to mind, for me, the sign of Aquarius. While Aquarius is known for its rebelliousness, it actually is the sign of group and group ideals. The rebel, then, is quite aware of the crowd, too aware actually. Dysfunctional rebelliousness is then an extreme reaction.

Aquarius is an air sign and air signs need to know what’s going on around them. That could explain Brick’s curiosity, but not his lack of desire to communicate with others, communicate all those ideas he reads in books.

Brick does, however, communicate with himself. One of his eccentric quirks is to whisper to himself words from the end of his sentence. If he says “I like crackers,” he may then look down at his chest and whisper “crackers” or “I like crackers.”

What’s that about?

My Internet search indicated this habit is known, is called palilalia and is considered a nervous tic indicating anxiety.

Brick does openly display nervousness regarding social situations such as when he and his cohorts stranded on the playground fear the dodge ball game (who wouldn’t?).

The nervous tick and anxiety bring to mind three signs, two of them water and one earth: Cancer (water), Pisces (water) and Virgo (earth).

Virgo is associated with health and worry. When extreme, nervousness erupts in “symptoms.” Brick rarely complains of illness so we’ll kick that sign out.

Virgo’s opposite is Pisces. While Pisces is highly empathetic, its high sensitivity can create high introversion like Brick’s due to the need to re-charge lost energy from social interaction. While air and fire signs might jump out into the playground filled with energy and leave filled with even more, it’s the water signs that discharge energy and feel drained from the experience.

That doesn’t mean the water signs Pisces and Cancer don’t care for social situations. The type of social situation that feeds water energy is specific – for Pisces, shared beliefs feed its hungry soul and for Cancer, family or shared community events that create warmth inside.

Neither Pisces nor Cancer in pure form may fare well in the rough and tumble of the playground, but put clerical robes on Pisces or put Cancer at the head of the Thanksgiving table and you will see the social aspect of these sensitive signs.

So is Brick a Pisces or Cancer?

I’m leaning toward Cancer because of Brick’s favorite item – his backpack. Backpacks carry things that provide comfort, much like the crab carrying his home around on his back. We also know that Brick has read Moby Dick more than once, a tale of water and sea creatures.

I still think Brick may have a little Aquarius hanging around or at least Uranus (which rules Aquarius) in a prominent position in his chart. Brick is not openly rebellious but can defend his own as when the school librarian (complements of actress Betty White) tells Brick he can’t go to third grade unless he returns all those missing library books.

Brick’s repartee with Betty White earns him an Ohio Astrology Emmy Award as our brilliant little eccentric outsmarts the librarian, who, we discover, also has a little quirk of her own.

Why so many Brick Hecks?

While Brick Heck has more social skills than Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang Theory, the brilliant but socially awkward character is arising more frequently in entertainment.

Monk, the OCD detective and House, the brilliant socially inept doctor, seem to fall within the range of some of the new anxiety or social disorder labels.

It’s difficult to tell if there is a rise in anxiety disorders or if we’re simply more aware of anxiety disorders. Or, ironically, does increased awareness of anxiety disorders lead to increased anxiety?

The reign of the Baby Boomers, born with Pluto in Leo, are giving way to the Pluto in Virgo generation who seem to have collectively decided to tackle the Virgo issue of anxiety as well as other Virgo concerns such as diet, health and work.

It’s the Pluto in Virgo generation’s children that are receiving the plethora of anxiety labels. Some of the children from this generation were born during a conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn. For a couple years, Saturn was also involved.

Uranus, Neptune and Saturn all in Capricorn indicates that technological, spiritual and material concerns all focus on the social order. I’ve wondered for years if this conjunction of outer planets in Capricorn (and then Aquarius) doesn’t represent a different way of perceiving. How this group perceives the three-dimensional world is different and so they receive labels.

The drive to “socialize” these individuals is Capricorn talking. The abundance of Capricorn puts socializing above other values (such as unique self-expression) and suggests that these individuals might be collectively working toward finding the balance of social and personal expression.

Following that generation is one born with Uranus and Neptune transiting Aquarius. This is Atticus Shaffer’s generation and reflects the movement from Capricorn social order to Aquarius shared ideals which create spontaneous and organically-developed communities.

Transiting Pluto is currently in the sign of Capricorn until 2024 then it moves to Aquarius for 20 years. As Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, a few structures of the social order collapsed including government and banking. As they are their own controls, they remain.

Brick Heck and his band of eccentric individuals with their odd ways and strange habits are the generation that will create a new social order. While not all of these Uranus/Neptune in Capricorn and Uranus/Neptune in Aquarius individuals are receiving anxiety labels, to those of us in the Pluto in Leo-Scorpio generations, the increased use of technology appears to create cyber connectedness but physical disconnectedness.

To older folks on the planet now, even those younger folks considered socially normal are odd to us because of their intense use of technology and frequent disregard of physical environment. The most obvious case is texting while driving which is a time when your physical sensations are extremely important.

Each generation evolves us forward in some way while older generations long for the way things once were. Brick Heck is the new generation.

Brick, my hero, Semper Fi, Semper Fi.

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Jupiter in Leo

Originally posted on Ohio Astrology:

Have you paid attention to Jupiter lately? Jupiter, my friends, is our Greek God Zeus renamed for Roman palates and he demands attention. For the last year he has been raining and mud sliding his dramatic tears onto the planet while transiting Cancer. For those who have ignored the mold in the basement, the leak in the roof and the muffled sobs of the person lying next to you, he will speak more loudly this July.

[Image from Wikipedia]

jupiter

This July Zeus will have a megaphone, a spotlight and maybe even a TV show. It will be like giving an arsonist a match, like providing a self-absorbed 19-year old affluent a six-figure book contract to write his/her memoirs, like giving executive power to a cop.

American Idol aired its first episode on June 11, 2002 as Jupiter was in the final degrees of Cancer. Jupiter moved into Leo two months…

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Art, Education and Astrology

A friend posted this article on Facebook about art in education. The premise of the article is that the lack of emphasis on arts education:

…came about in a frame of increased emphasis on test scores and utility—the market economy becoming a marketing society. Everything is about what you’re going to get, in readily quantifiable terms.

This article, as well as others I found on the subject, tries to create a link between art education and how it can aid in other, non-art related, subjects.

We’re talking about a way of educating that involves artistic sensibilities—artistic habits of mind. The ability to re-assess and to imagine. To be in a science class and not think it’s about memorization entirely, but to imagine its applications.

In order to convince the powers-that-be that art should be considered an important subject, it must prove that art supports business and science.

But does it?

While our ideas of education might evoke Aristotle and Plato and higher thinking, to my perception modern education is about teaching trades, values and the ability to work with or in corporations and large institutions.

Traditionally the 3rd and 9th house axis is about thinking, perception and education. The 3rd is learning about your environment (Gemini) and the 9th is making meaning of that environment which involves philosophical and abstract thinking (9th).

Art in astrology evokes images of Venus and the primary sign it rules – Libra. Libra enjoys art and pleasure in a way the school system definitely does not promote – i.e., it’s a beautiful, sunny day so let’s skip our school/work and have a picnic. Why are we alive if we don’t enjoy ourselves?

From the arguments for arts in education, I don’t believe it’s Libra energy that concerns the education system.

To my perception, our education system is now an 11th house construct of group expression and the challenge of art is 5th house self-expression which takes one away from the group into the self.

Dangerous stuff.

The 5th and 11th house axis

According to Isabel Hickey in Astrology: A Cosmic Science, the 11th house in the horoscope is about:

  • Goals and objectives
  • Friendships
  • Social relationships
  • Hopes, wishes, projects and ambitions

Its opposite house, the 5th, Hickey writes is about:

  • Self-expression; any effort put forth to distinguish yourself from others – children you create, books you write, affections you display, anything that bears your personal stamp
  • All emotional and romantic tendencies coming from the heart.
  • Speculation, amusement, dramatics, theater, schools.

Because the 11th house is ruled by Aquarius, I tend to think of it in Aquarian terms – rebellious, revolutionary, off-beat and individualistic. Yet group and community expression by its nature is not individualistic. Aquarius as a fixed air sign is extremely stubborn about its ideas and with co-ruler as Saturn, will do much in authoritarian ways to implement its ideas.

Aquarius is different than Capricorn in that Aquarius is fixed on the idea; Capricorn in contrast is fixed on order which creates a controlling and authoritarian personality.

To my perception, our education systems are not appealing to higher mind and ideas but to practical applications and shared community value systems. Today it’s called socialization.

In that way, it is okay to be a football star. Your personal achievements are 5th house creative self-expression. However, your self-expression creates 11th house community feeling so is allowed.

In contrast, a person alone in the corner of an art room pulling emotions from the depths to put in concrete form in no way supports the 11th house group expression. Therefore, the group rejects it. American society is extremely suspicious of introverted activity.

Creative expression can be shared but can involve spending time alone with your thoughts and feelings. If you do this, you might find yourself questioning what the group is doing, which could take you away from the group. You might even question the education system itself.

Why would public education support individuals questioning public education? Why would it support people leaving the system?

Art and astrology

Astrology in my part of the world is considered stupid and superstition. While young I balked against this but now see it as a great gift. The gift is that I can learn astrology from those with great minds and true passion without the government setting the curriculum.

Astrology is free market – I have to figure out for myself who to read and who to reject. The government isn’t regulating the good blogs from the bad blogs, the good astrology teachers from the bad astrology teachers.

Art education might want to do likewise – stop looking for government support. While art may support the community, it may also tear down the community. You just don’t know – that’s art. That’s also freedom.

 

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The Bulls Won

Many years ago upon returning from a trip abroad, I spent a few weeks in Chicago. While in a diner the day after landing, the waitress brought my tuna fish (smothered in cheese which is when I realized Americans smother everything in cheese) and said to me casually, “thebullswon.”

My Chicago drawl translator separated the words for me and explained them: “The Bulls won,” which meant the Chicago Bulls basketball team had won the NBA championship.

Last May in Spain when three bullfighters were gored by bulls at a festival, I could hear again the waitress saying “the bulls won.”

The story of the San Isidro Festival and three-fighter goring appeared on May 21 as the sun was in 29 degrees of Taurus (the bull). No other planet was in Taurus.

How did the bulls win?

First glance at our three toreros shows a preponderance of Capricorn and Aquarius energy. Those two signs are good for the cool detachment and focus needed to fight the intense fixed, strong, impersonal Taurus energy generated by the bulls.

Taurus doesn’t gore you because it’s angry; it gores you because you finally intruded too far into its peaceful world and it’s simply re-negotiating its space. Scorpio, the sign opposite Taurus, however, will gore you from emotional offence, for that glance at another woman.

The bulls might have won from the interference of Scorpio.

Antonio Nazaré

Antonio Nazaré is Libra sun with moon in Capricorn. He also has Jupiter in Capricorn.

Libra and Capricorn in combination make for a fine diplomat with bulls or with people. Libra sun is charming and fair, Capricorn moon authoritarian and firm – what could be better for international relations?

In May, transiting Pluto was goring Nazare’s natal moon while transiting Uranus in Aries was making a square. Meanwhile, transiting Saturn in Scorpio has been making its return in Nazaré’s chart.

My guess is that Nazaré is having some problems in love and relationship which led to loss of focus. Saturn returns, the first which occurs around age 30, are turning points in life, points where you know that you can’t turn back and that certain options no longer remain.

For Nazaré, this event may be a turning point in how he wants to spend the next Saturn cycle (i.e., 30 years) of his life. We may not see him change from the bull-fighting arena to another type of arena.

David Mora

David Mora is the most detached of the three men with four planets in Aquarius (Venus, sun, moon, Mars) and three planets in Libra (Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto). Aquarius and Libra are air so Mora lives in the world of how things should be and may be clinically orderly.

Aquarius and Libra like to rebel and with Saturn and Jupiter conjunct, Mora has probably chucked a few rules of partnership and religion aside – this conjunction challenges society in the realm of partnership. This conjunction brings home the partner that mom and dad never expected.

Although he may have chosen an usual partnership with an individual of different social or political class, he will be the one in the relationship making up the rules, which, incidentally, may be more conservative than you’d expect.

Like Nazare, transiting Saturn in Scorpio is affecting his life. It’s close to crossing natal Uranus in Scorpio and square natal Mars in Aquarius.

The preponderance of air suggests a great dislike of unpleasant emotion which is the realm of Scorpio. The pattern that emerges is of someone who consistently denies and rationalizes negative feelings until they erupt and bite him and others in the ass.

The feelings have erupted. His loss to the bull may have been due to unrealized anger that he brought with him to the ring.

Jiménez Fortes

Detachment needed in the face of the bulls for Jiménez Fortes comes from five planets in Capricorn (Uranus, Neptune, Mercury, Saturn and sun) with Venus in Aquarius. I’d consider him detached beyond ability for intimacy if it weren’t for Jupiter and moon hanging out in Cancer helping Pluto in Scorpio.

Well, well, it looks like transiting Saturn in Scorpio is to blame again as it was passing over Pluto at the time of the fight.

Scorpio as fixed emotion is opposite Taurus as fixed sensation. Sensation is what is needed to monitor the bull, not obsession with someone that hurt you causing Capricorn’s favorite feeling – resentment.

The abundance of Capricorn requires a constant flow of respect which may have been lacking and now is under threat.

Pluto transiting Capricorn will affect any Capricorn energy in anyone’s chart. For Fortes, however, it will feel like a full frontal assault as most of his chart is in Capricorn and its opposite energy Cancer. The feeling that occurs with this type of transit is that the ground has given way and you have no where to stand.

It’s a personal earthquake.

With transiting Pluto currently tucked between natal Saturn and sun, there are major problems with authority – having authority and dealing with authority. Fortes may be living a life planned by a strong father which he’s re-evaluating. Warning: Dad won’t like any change that involves removing oneself from public life.

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Mercury Retrograde – Manipulated Perception

Mercury retrograde (apparent backward motion) signifies difficulty in communication from misdirected communication to missed communication. Like a letter lost in the mail (or in today’s mode, stuck in a spam filter), you may not know about it for a while.

Mercury went retrograde in water sign Cancer on June 7 and goes direct in air sign Gemini on July 2. Mercury will then go back (forward) through Cancer from mid to late July.

Mercury has been on my mind for much of the retrograde period. The Hero Twins story brought to awareness some deeper levels of Mercury which is sometimes misunderstood as superficial conversation.

Mercury seems to be about perception itself and its reputation for trickery simply the trickery of perception. Two stories on the BBC demonstrate the trickery of Mercury well.

Facebook Emotion Experiment

We learned just before this Mercury retrograde that for one week in 2012 Facebook conducted an uncommunicated test on 689,003 users. According to the BBC story which quotes a report:

The experiment manipulated the extent to which people were exposed to emotional expressions in their News Feed.

Using the date of February 4, 2004 when Facebook was launched at Harvard (according to Wikipedia). That chart has sun in technology-oriented Aquarius and moon and Saturn in emotion-oriented Cancer. Mercury is in the late degrees of Capricorn (and possibly opposite the moon).

Saturn in Cancer is a sense of not belonging or lacking home life and emotional security. According to The Astrologers Handbook by Sakoian and Acker, Saturn in Cancer:

. . . may cause the inhibition of the expression of emotion, which is likely to result in estrangement from family members; such emotional isolation in the domestic scene can lead to neurotic reactions.

These people hide their inner feelings from public view in order to preserve their dignity. Emotional sensitivity and the need for approval sometimes force them to build a shell around themselves, which can inhibit the expression of true warmth in personal relationships.

The Facebook research was published online June 2, 2014 with Mercury at two degrees of Cancer (five days before it went retrograde) and Jupiter at 20 degrees of Cancer. Transiting Mercury and Jupiter (which has a 12-year cycle) were in between Facebook’s natal Saturn and moon.

Cancer is about personal emotions and the research in an undisclosed week of 2012 was meant to gauge unconscious emotional response (“emotional contagion“).

Our perceptions of others through their Facebook feeds could probably fuel a psychological textbook. Our reactions to those friends may be no different than when we meet them in person; but how often do you meet with all of your friends, past present and somewhat unknown, in one room at one time?

It’s emotional overload that creates Mercury in Cancer type perceptions – do I belong? Do they like me and my posts? Have I offended someone? Why are are my friends more [fill in the blank] than me?

Mercury in Cancer perceives through the personal emotions. This is a wonderful placement for your spouse who you want to read your emotions as you walk in the door. This is also wonderful for a writer or other creative person.

Where this placement can be difficult is when you need emotional detachment to make decisions or where you respond emotionally to everything thereby weakening your nerves draining those around you.

When Mercury in Cancer visits Facebook (which is voluntary, by the way), it may respond more strongly to the images and words created by friends than would Mercury in an air or earth sign.

Pickpocketing Your Perceptions

In this interesting article on pickpockets (from the land of the Artful Dodger), we learn that pickpockets take advantage of a limitation of your mind – the inability to multi-task.

. . . According to neuroscientists our brains come pretty much hard-wired to be tricked, thanks to the vagaries of our attention and perception systems. In fact, the key requirement for a successful pickpocket isn’t having nifty fingers, it’s having a working knowledge of the loopholes in our brains. Some are so good at it that researchers are working with them to get an insight into the way our minds work.

The most important of these loopholes is the fact that our brains are not set up to multi-task. Most of the time that is a good thing – it allows us to filter out all but the most important features of the world around us. But neuroscientist Susana Martinez-Conde, the author of the book Sleights of Mind, says that a good trickster can use it against you. She should know: as a researcher at the Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience in Arizona, she has studied how Las Vegas stage pickpocket Apollo Robbins performs his tricks.

“Trickster” is a word used in the article and a word associated with the sign Gemini which is ruled by Mercury. Gemini is the sign of the twins which means while the rest of us focus on one object, the Gemini can focus on two which is a perceptual advantage. Gemini and Mercury are also able to think and move quickly.

Distracting our focus is the key to finding the loophole in perception. From the BBC story, it also appears, from the woman who was pickpocketed by a man carrying flowers, that creating a perceptual “story” is also important. A man walking toward a woman with flowers evokes lots of images from greeting cards, movies, songs and poetry. It feels “nice.”

Pickpockets are rightly ruled by Mercury which understands perception. And pockets. And everything else – quickly.

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