Not for everybody. In fact, in many cases, the way a person falls in love is quite different from how they commit to marriage. This leads to difficulties, as most people will fall in love with the sort of person that turns them on, but who isn’t suitable to marry. After a patchy relationship history, they may give up on love and decide to marry for sensible reasons, but find it impossible to light a spark in their marriage. What to do? The solution lies in honoring both sides of ourselves—the side that falls in love and the side that commits—from the very beginning of the process. But how do we do that, if we don’t know which sides of us those are, and what they want? Astrology can help, because your style of falling in love and your style of committing are shown clearly in your chart. Your chart shows these two sides of you, what they need and how to keep them satisfied.
Venus is the Lover in You
Venus is the romantic, erotic side of you, the side that falls in love. It’s your Venus that feels all those yummy hormones and brain chemicals that are swimming around in your system when you meet somebody attractive. And it’s Venus that suffers when you “fall out of love” or are rejected.
Venus In Your Chart Can Tell You:
- What qualities to look for in a lover
- What “true love” feels like for you
- What’s in the way of your finding true love
- And how to maintain love over years and years
But Venus is by no means the whole story, because . . .
Juno Is The Mate In You
Juno is an asteroid in the asteroid belt that runs between Mars and Jupiter in our solar system. Juno represents the archetypal mate and in your chart she represents your capacity to marry or commit. She is also the Queen of Heaven, a consummate people-person and matchmaker.
Juno In Your Chart Can Tell You:
- What qualities to look for in a mate
- What you value in a marriage and how you behave when you’re committed
- What you need to be able to hold onto a committed relationship over time
- And what’s in the way of commitment for you—as well as how to solve that.
When Relationship Worlds Collide
For a few lucky people (about 11%), Venus and Juno are in harmony in their chart and sliding from romance to commitment—and maintaining romance while committed—is pretty easy. But for most of the rest of us, there’s some kind of conflict between the two, resulting in situations where:
- You meet somebody you love to date, but the idea of marrying them is inherently repellent, so you have to teach yourself to be attracted to “mate material.”
- You love dating and cannot stand the idea of marriage or . . .
- You would love to skip the awful dating process and just settle down with somebody.
- You keep finding yourself with someone you love and want to marry, but they don’t want that with you and you string yourself along, wasting your time and theirs.
- You feel like a refugee from a movie where the main character has a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. Venus whispers one thing in one ear and Juno whispers something completely different in the other.
It’s enough to drive you crazy. What to do?
How To Integrate Them
Begin by saying a nice hello to both Venus and Juno. Thank them for giving you a way to connect to others at all. Then ask them what they want. When you find out, accept that this is a real need for you and give it to yourself. When Venus in Gemini whispers to you “I really like dating smart people,” you’d better listen, because dumb-but-pretty will not hold your attention for long. When Juno in Sagittarius whispers, “I need somebody adventuresome and free,” don’t go for Mr. Moneybags—he’s too busy worrying about the bottom line to take you traveling.
There is a trick to this, though. When they ask for stuff that’s bad for you (like enticing you toward that really sexy person you know will be a train wreck to date), don’t listen. Instead, figure out the healthy version of that thing and give Venus or Juno that. Instead of getting lost in a codependent mess because Venus in Cancer whispered “I need to be needed,” try looking for someone nurturing and caring but also emotionally independent. You could get lured into an abusive relationship with someone because Juno in Taurus whispered “I want presents!” and you got distracted by bling. Instead, settle down with someone solid who likes to cook with you and takes you shopping at sensible intervals.
I’ll be devoting my next two blogposts to what Venus and Juno might want, according to the sign they are in. You’ll find out what this means for you.
Mercury retrograde epiphany day has happened—have you had your epiphany yet?
If you’ve read my blog much, you probably know by now that Mercury moves in cycles lasting four months, or three cycles a year. Mercury moves retrograde (or backwards) for about three weeks of that cycle, and forward for the rest. Twice during each cycle, Mercury crosses (conjuncts) the Sun, once while both are moving forward, the other while the Sun continues forward but Mercury is moving backward. Those days when Mercury conjuncts the Sun are days of epiphany.
The Sun, by the way, is always moving forward, never backward. If an astrologer ever tells you that you have the Sun retrograde, they are pulling your leg.
The Mercury cycle is great for working on projects. It is a cycle of nature that has a flow that is good for various parts of a project; using the Mercury cycle can be like getting on a ride that helps your project get done. Mercury’s retrograde period is a reflective period, during which it’s best to slow down and meditate on your project or do research, but to not expect to meet deadline or sign contracts. It’s also a good time for cleaning up a project in anticipation of beginning a new one. During Mercury retrograde, deep thought builds up pressure and insights can break through in the right timing. The day Mercury conjuncts the Sun is a day when clarity has a good chance of descending on those who are watching for it.
Mercury is now retrograde, and crossed the Sun on September 19, 2009: that was Epiphany Day. Sometimes the light dawns on Epiphany Day itself, other times it happens up to 2 days early or late; yours may be past or it may still be in the works. Whether you’ve had your moment of clarity already or whether there is more to come, there’s just one thing to do: ruminate on it, let it all come together in your mind. Let the wave break and carry you to the end of the Mercury retrograde period and the fruition of your project.
Remember that old TV show “The Odd Couple,” with Oscar and Felix, two bachelors living together in the 70’s? When we think of Virgo, we may well think of Felix. It’s easy to imagine that Felix is a Virgo type, because he’s so fastidious. After all, Felix vacuums during poker games, while Oscar leaves pizza crusts under the bed and his room is always a mess. The two of them continually snipe about order around the apartment. But I have a new idea for you: Oscar is Virgo too. Do you want to know why?
People think Virgo is naturally orderly, tidy, clean, meticulous and so forth, but that’s just half of the story. It’s not that being organized and clean is easy for a Virgo type. What is actually going on is not that Virgo is clean, it’s that Virgo has a sensitivity to order. When things are messy, Virgo notices. But not every Virgo has the wherewithal to live up to that sensitivity by creating the degree of order they’d like to have in their life (much the way a Gemini secretly wonders if they’re smart enough or a Leo wonders if that last cool thing they did got noticed at all). The Virgo who is overwhelmed is a sad creature, never getting the tidiness that their soul loves. And what does that result in? Oscar.
Oscar represents the Virgo who has given up. Underneath the disorder, Oscar still cares very much about where things go and how they are kept. But he just doesn’t have what it takes to maintain that kind of environment. Felix does, but Felix overdoes it. Felix, left to his own devices, would live in a hospital, with hard, cold surfaces wiped down regularly with antiseptic and cheap fluorescent lighting. No beauty or warmth—only stark efficiency. It’s like they are 2 extremes of a single personality. And that personality is Virgo.
Every Virgo type starts off life with a predisposition to enjoying clarity, clean lines, empty spaces, tools staged ready for use. Virgo loves a clean, empty surface and a to-do list with everything checked off. Virgos who persist against the entropy this world has to offer also learn to love not only the product of order, but also the process of getting there. They learn to reward themselves (even with just a mental pat on the back) each time they check an item off that list.
But if you take Virgo too far, it splits into two types: one who is endlessly industrious in an effort to create an impossibly perfect order and one whose standards are so high that they never do anything at all. This explains something that was a mystery to me for years: the fact that Virgo is a Mutable sign. Mutability suggests a built-in duality and ambivalence which the other 3 Mutable signs all clearly have: Gemini is the Twins, Pisces is the Two Fish, Sagittarius the Archer is a centaur, half man and half beast. But where is the duality in Virgo? Finally, all is clear: the Perfectionist has two faces after all.
More about Virgo here.
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A time of change and upheaval is upon us. Saturn and Uranus have been pulling in opposite directions since November of 2008 and they won’t be done until the end of July in 2010. In previous posts about this theme, I’ve described Saturn as the conservative side of human nature while Uranus represents the tendency to create chaos on the way to a new level of order. This month (Sept of 2009) there is a peak in this transit’s themes as Saturn and Uranus come into exact opposition. Here are some more ideas on how it could go:
Saturn and Uranus are having an argument.
Saturn: I’m in favor of self-governance.
Uranus: And I’m in favor of innovation. That may look like chaos at times, because innovation requires breaking down the old ways.
Saturn: It looks like brattiness sometimes too!
Uranus: Yeah well, what you’re doing looks an awful lot like doing things the old way just because it’s the old way.
Saturn: You not only don’t want to do things in the old, established ways, you can’t. You’re not even capable.
Uranus: I count that as a benefit. It’s true that I can’t stand rules-for-the-sake-of-rules, but rules like that are oppressive. I prefer progress to entropy.
Saturn: You mean you prefer disruption to consistency. You couldn’t use an established procedure if you tried. Stupid Pisces-dwelling planet.
Uranus: Yeah, I’m in Pisces—what of it? Are you calling me lazy? Are you saying I’m not willing to do the work?
Saturn: Yeah, you’re lazy. You don’t want to work right here, right now. You want to escape to the next level where the work in front of you is no longer pertinent.
Uranus: Working smarter instead of harder just makes good sense. But you are like a crazy person who works when you don’t have to.
Saturn: What—do you think I’m not lazy? Why do you think I like automating things so much? I’m in Virgo, for god’s sake—I’m focused on all the ways I can put habits into place so that things automatically become easier over time and I don’t have to think about them as much. I’ve been in Virgo for 2 years now, and I really know what I’m talking about.
Uranus: Yeah, that’s Virgo, always tweaking and perfecting, can’t ever leave things alone.
Saturn: Now who’s talking in favor of entropy? Hm?
Uranus: Hey look—there’s a little human down there on Earth. He’s being transited by us.
Saturn: What, you mean he’s paying attention to our conversation?
Uranus: Not necessarily, but he’s feeling it, whether he knows it or not.
Saturn: Let’s whisper our messages in his ear. Maybe he’ll hear them.
Uranus: Yeah, maybe he can figure out how to help us stop fighting and get into agreement.
Saturn and Uranus turn themselves into a fine mist, which shoots down to Earth and burrows into the ears of the little human that’s there. Saturn goes for the right ear while Uranus goes for the left. Each whispers their message before dissolving into nothing.
Saturn: Self-governance is the high road to success and leadership. He who governs himself will be asked to govern others.
Uranus: The change you seek for the world starts within you. Follow your conscience and progress will be inspired by your dream.
Human Being: Whoooah.
“Is This Affecting Me?”
If you have any planet at all in 24 degrees of Virgo, Pisces, Gemini or Sagittarius, you will be feeling this. If your birthday is Sept 15-16, March 13-14, June 13-14 or December 14-15, this definitely means you.
A Brief Historical Note
The last time Saturn and Uranus battled it out in the sky like this, the tension of their opposition led to impeachment of USA president Bill Clinton. Uranus was in Aquarius and Saturn was in Taurus. And while Uranus may have won that tug-of-war (Clinton was impeached by the House), Saturn had the last laugh (the Senate did not agree and so Clinton was not removed from office). Uranus, when reached for comment, said: “When your president isn’t making progressive change, perhaps you need to change your president.”
Yup, Pluto is showing up, right on schedule, to take out the garbage. Today Pluto turns direct, ending his yearly backwards journey. Pluto has traveled several degrees backwards and today turns his face forwards again. He will now retrace forwards the same steps he made backwards during the last few months, bringing a death-and-rebirth experience for everyone who is having a Pluto transit this year.
This Is A Pivotal Day
If you are one of the millions of people having a Pluto transit this year, today may be pivotal for you. Around April 4, you came to realize you were facing a big life-change and since then, you’ve been re-evaluating some the area of your life that’s changing. You’ve been examining it and mulling it over. Perhaps you’ve been researching it. Basically, you’ve been asking yourself, “What is this part of me that wants to transform right now? How have I lived this part of me in the past and what is it turning into for the future?”
Today (and I mean this loosely—it may happen as soon as 2 days before or as late as 2 days after today) is pivotal. Today may be the day you realize your internal quest for understanding is over. You’ve come to clarity. You’ve recognized the change that needs to occur and you’re ready to implement what you’ve learned. You can now gear up to act on that recognition, sometime in the next few months (between now and January of 2010).
“What is a Pluto transit like . . .”
A Pluto transit is distinct, because it feels like dying. You may feel at times as if you are in meltdown and you don’t know what you are doing in the area of life (i.e. planet in your chart) that’s being affected. Pluto is asking you to let go in this area, to let something die so that it can be reborn. Pluto is asking you to search underneath the surface for the essence of this part of you. And Pluto is demanding that you let go of the old ways, so the new ways can emerge, regardless of how uncomfortable (sometimes very uncomfortable!) that might be.
“. . . and how do I know when I’m having one?”
First of all, you know by feel. If what I’ve described resonates for you, it’s likely you are having a Pluto transit. (If it resonates, but only a little, you may be having a transit, but by a planet other than Pluto.) Transits are almost always accompanied by real-world events, which are woven into your experience of the change. Transits feel distinct when they are happening, and the sensation distinctly fades as they end. When a transit is over, your preoccupation with its themes quickly fades as your attention becomes grabbed by a different transit. Occasionally a person will have no major transits at all for a time period (weeks, say, or months), but that’s pretty rare.
If you don’t have your chart, or don’t know how to read your chart, you might want to order your own personal Astrology Chart Decoder. This is a special tool I’ve invented that puts your chart’s details in English, instead of astrology symbols. Your Decoder tells you where every planet in your chart is located: the sign it’s in, the house it’s in and the exact degree it occupies. When you’ve got your Decoder in front of you, check to see if you have anything at all in 0, 1, 2, or 3 degrees of Capricorn, Cancer, Aries or Libra. If you do, you are definitely having a Pluto transit this year. This would account for the feelings of meltdown.
“What do I do now?”
You can ponder on it and get into alignment with the change that’s happening. This way you can take advantage of it while it’s happening, and not feel like a victim of it. Transits are not fatalistic events that happen to us—they are our greater Selves reaching out into life and drawing toward us the events and experiences that will help (or force) us to grow beyond our old selves. These changes are always the next thing you wanted to experience at the time and the more you regard them with appreciation, awe and a willingness to take them on, the better your experience will be. Even at the 11th hour, you can turn around even the harshest transit into something that leaves you in a better place.
For more insight on a transit, you can schedule a reading of it, which will help you get very clear about what this change is that’s happening in your life, how to handle it and make it turn out well, how long it will last, how various phases of it will feel and (not least!) when it will be over. You might have several changes going on at once and if you do, this could help distinguish one from another. The best thing you can get out of a reading is how to align with the deeper meaning behind the surface of your changes and accept the gift Pluto is bringing you.
Pluto’s gift changes according to the planet it is transiting of course, but one theme always remains the same. Pluto offers the knowledge of essence—the heart, the center of this piece of you, its essential nature. Pluto does this by stripping away all that is not essential and shows you that you will be ok without all that stuff. Pluto says, “you don’t need that garbage!” and takes it away before you are ready because, left to our own devices, we’re never ready. That’s ok—Pluto will always show up eventually, to take out the garbage.
Art by Betelgeux.
Why do Virgo types often end up at the top of their profession? How exactly do they succeed so wildly while operating behind the scenes and fending off showy praises? And exactly why should you be afraid of that unassuming worker in the corner who actually is going places—and how can you be more like him? This article explains the reasons why Virgos succeed, and how you can do it too. By the way, there’s a lie in the title of this article. By the end of the article it should be clear which part it is.
Virgo Success Secret #1: Be meticulous. Virgo’s obsession with perfection is an asset at work. The tendency to groom, sculpt or craft something until it’s perfect may be Virgo’s greatest strength. God is in the details, as Virgo is well aware and when a Virgo focuses on the very small aspects of a project, she is showing love for it. When you put that kind of love into your work, others can’t help but notice.
Virgo Success Secret #2: Don’t care about the credit. Virgo knows that their own egotistic gratification is never as important as performing the task that actually needs to be done. All that Leo flash and glitz is so last-sign. Virgos focus on doing the task, and doing it well, rather than showing off their prowess. Virgo values competency over complacency and avoids looking desperate for praise.
Virgo Success Secret #3: Serve the actual need. Smart Virgos serve the need at hand and particularly smart Virgos watch the person they are attempting to serve for even the smallest sign of what they need next, so that the Virgo can fulfill it immediately. A Virgo doesn’t mind being a cog in the machine—in fact, a Virgo takes pride in service well done. For some useful philosophy on service (both the plusses and the minuses), see the films Gosford Park or Remains of the Day.
Virgo Success Secret #4: Habit is your friend. Clever Virgos know that habit is like a software program—once you install it, it goes on working for you and you can stop thinking about it. Figure out which habits will forward your success the best, then put them into place and simply “run program.” This handles the form of your work, the structure. Then you can turn your attention back to the content, or details, of it.
Virgo Success Secret #5: Be whole. When you are whole, you bring all of yourself to your work. You have good boundaries and can make an accurate assessment of what you can do and what is impossible for you to do. You make clean contracts. You don’t complain about what isn’t doable, but go about the business of doing what is. You are neat, tidy and collected, a self-contained human being. That’s Virgo.
And there you have them—the reasons why Virgos are going places. The lie is that these “secrets” are secret. There’s nothing secret about them. In fact, they are so obvious as to often go unnoticed. The old saying “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” was probably coined by a Virgo type.
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The Federal Reserve Bank has been having a hell of a time since the beginning of 2008. This is reflected in its astrology chart. Pluto in the sky has come opposite its position in the Fed’s chart. This is something that few human beings get to experience in their lifetime but which the Fed gets to experience because it’s over a hundred years old.
Every entity that comes into existence has a chart and the Fed is no exception. I’m no expert in mundane astrology (that’s the branch devoted to world events, politics and the charts of leaders and nations) but the Fed fascinates me, so I thought I’d apply what I do know—which is the astrology of individual personality—to the Fed. So what happens when I read the chart of the Fed as if it were a person? It might go something like this:
Me: Hello, Fed, how ya doing?
Fed: Not so good in the last few years. In fact, I feel like I’m in meltdown.
Me: Yeah, I can understand why. You are experiencing an opposition of Pluto to your natal Pluto. And because your natal Pluto was already opposite your Sun, that means the transiting Pluto is conjuncting your Sun. See?
Fed: Not really, but go on. What does it mean?
Me: It’s a time for you to metamorphose into something better, from the core outward. During this time you’re likely to feel a sense of uncertainty about who you are and why you’re here. You’ll feel lost in the dark, out of control, a ship at sea without a compass. During a time like this, your secrets are likely to come to the surface and be seen by everyone. You’ll feel exposed and vulnerable. You’ll be forced to let go of things that seemed essential but really are not. It’s a time of death and rebirth, a time of shedding your skin. The caterpillar you were is becoming the butterfly you could be.
Fed: But what if I turn into something completely different?
Me: You’d best be open to that possibility. Your past ways of maintaining control are up for change and this is a time of testing for you. What can you let go of and how gracefully can you do it?
Fed: That sounds like a lot of work. I’m pretty complex and change is hard. What happens if I don’t want to change?
Me: If you’re not willing to let go of the old ways and trust what you are becoming, this could be a pretty painful process. Your natal Pluto is in Cancer, which is about emotional ties and the ways they can be used to control and manipulate. Pluto in the sky today is in Capricorn, and he has a message for you. He’s asking you to let go of inappropriate codependency and to instead embrace independence.
Fed: What does that mean?
Me: I’m saying that your dependence on the government to bail out the banks is not going to fly anymore. You’re getting the whole nation deeper in debt—to ourselves and other nations—with your monetary policies which were created in the first place by wealthy people who wanted to stay wealthy at the expense of the common man. It’s just not sustainable.
Fed: But it’s worked this long. And I resent your implication that I exist to prop up the rich! This is America and wealth is available to anyone who wants to work for it.
Me: Has it really worked? Are these boom-and-bust cycles symptomatic of a healthy monetary system? You keep overextending yourself in ways my financial advisor would tell me not to. The FDIC has propped you up, but how much longer can that continue?
Fed: But the nation’s economic structures depend on my health. I need those periodic infusions of money to keep going.
Me: Exactly my point. This Pluto thing you’re experiencing is showing you the ways you’ve become codependent and unable to stand on your own two feet. Many of your banks have failed this year. You need restructuring at least, perhaps even replacing.
Fed: But I don’t want to die!
Me: Maybe, if you’re willing to be flexible and start serving the actual needs of the people, instead of the comfort of a few, you can change instead of dying.
Fed: This is scary.
Me: Fortunately for you, your transition is mostly over. What’s happening this month is just a small aftershock of events associated with your Pluto transit, which happened from January through November of 2008.
Fed: Whew! So, no worries?
Me: Actually, yes-worries. Pluto will make one more pass conjunct your Sun. That will peak around November 10th or 11th this year. October and November will likely be very challenging for you. Sometimes illumination of a current transit comes when we look at the previous milestone in its larger cycle. The last time Pluto transited your Sun and Pluto was in 1971. You remember what happened then, don’t you?
Fed: Um, what?
Me: Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard. Without gold as an anchor, inflation went through the roof. You’ve been trying to keep your balance ever since, without an anchor.
Fed: What can I do?
Me: Learn from it. Actually change. From now through November is the chance to make it better, not worse. Are you up for that? Are you willing to see the truth of it if your monetary policies are just not standing the test of time? Are you willing to try what does work, instead of making adjustments to keep bad policies in place?
Fed: I honestly don’t know.
Me: I guess we’ll see, won’t we?
The Fed didn’t like this news very much. Somehow I get the idea that the Fed is not very personal-growth oriented. The good news is that when things get bad enough to grab attention, that’s when change can begin. The Fed is unwell—perhaps the events of 2008 and 2009 are exactly what is needed to bring this country back to financial health.
For interesting background on this, see:
Financial Reform to Address Systemic Risk
(speech by Ben Bernanke, March 2009)
Friedman Scandal Illustrates Need For Federal Reserve Reform
(article in NY Libertarian Examiner, May 2009)
Obama’s Regulatory Reform Removes The Punchbowl From The Fed
(financial astrology blogpost on wallstreetweather.com, June 2009)
August 15, 1971: Inflation Unleashed
(explanation of the woes of fiat currency on www.financialsense.com)