This is part of a series of articles, beginning here:
Venus Goes Retrograde: The Tale of Eros and Psyche

Venus is finally going direct today.  In celebration, one final post about Eros and Psyche, because we’ve arrived at the end of the story.

The tale of Eros and Psyche might also be called, “How The Soul Got Her Wings” because the ultimate end to this story is not only the restoration of love to the psyche, but also the immortality of the soul.

Upon being restored to Eros, Psyche is fed on ambrosia by his father, Jupiter, lord of all the gods.  This makes her a goddess and she is welcomed to the table at Mount Olympus with the other deities.  This is an unlooked-for benefit of seeking love.  Psyche’s journey, which was only ever intended to bring her back into communion with love, has done so much more.  She has deepened as a soul and finally is rendered immortal.

The message here is clear:  to find true love, you must not seek it outside yourself, but only love truly, and not only love, but immortality is your reward.  This is a true, “happy-ever-after” because it is more than just a fantasy.  This happy-ever-after was earned and is therefore sustainable.  The beauty of a goddess is eternal, but the beauty of a mortal fades, unless she does her soul-work.  Then she takes her place among the stars.

There’s one thing I didn’t tell you as the story was going along.  All that glorious lovemaking couldn’t fail to have an effect—when Eros flew away, he left Psyche pregnant.  In anger, he told her that her child would be mortal, not divine.  Psyche pursued him and did all her tasks while carrying that child, never knowing if she would see him again.  When Psyche drinks the ambrosia, her child is also rendered immortal.  That child is named Pleasure.  And how perfect is that?

Does This Apply To You?

Are you ready to love without bargaining for what you will receive for the gift of your love?  Are you ready to go into your soul’s darkness for love?  Are you ready to sort yourself out?  Are you ready to do the tasks that will restore love to you?  If you are, then even Aphrodite cannot stand in the way of your eternal love.

This thread is dedicated to my husband, who does the work of love as well as inspiring it.

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Categories: Astrology for Non-Astrologers, Venus

Jolly Jupiter has spent the last few months (since July 24) traveling backwards.  Today he turns his face forward and re-covers the same ground.  Why should you care?  If he’s passing through a zone where you have a planet in your natal chart, he’s been bringing you growth and confidence this year.  And he’s not done yet.

This Is A Pivotal Day
If you are one of the millions of people having a Jupiter transit this year, today may be pivotal for you.  Around July 24, you came to realize you were facing a growth period and since then, you’ve been re-evaluating some the area of your life that’s expanding.  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 explore and get bigger 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 where the growth needs to happen and you’re ready to do something with what you’ve learned.  You can now gear up to act on that recognition, sometime in the next few months (between now and February of 2011).

“What is a Jupiter transit like . . .”
Astrologers call Jupiter a “benefic” planet because he tends to bring good things.  He’s kind of like Santa Claus.  When you’re having a Jupiter transit, you tend to feel a sense of adventure, an expansiveness.  This expansiveness and willingness to have fun with what life presents you increases your self-confidence and you tend to approach life with hope and optimism.  Because of that, people feel good around you and they tend to offer you opportunities.  You are more apt to get lucky during a Jupiter transit.  It’s almost like being a “lucky Sagittarian” for a specific time period.  The luck is a side-effect of your openness to growth and expansion right now and your ability to perceive events in your life as opportunities.

I’m not saying nothing bad will happen to you during a Jupiter transit—but I am saying that anything bad that happens is likely to go much better than it would have without Jupiter’s benefic presence.  This is because during a Jupiter transit you are more able to put even bad events to good use, to squeeze those lemons into lemonade by adding your own sugar.

“. . . and how do I know when I’m having one?”
You can find out whether you’re having a Jupiter transit by peeking at your chart.  This year Jupiter is covering the space between 23 degrees of Pisces and 3 degrees of Aries.  This will affect you if you have any planet in the space between 23 and 29 degrees of any of the four Mutable signs (Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius).  It will also affect you if you have any planet in the space between 0 and 3 degrees of Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn).

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 23-29 degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius or in 0-3 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn.  If you do, you are definitely having a Jupiter transit this year.  And knowing that gives you the chance to identify the opportunities when they appear, and to grab them.  You might well ask . . .

What area of my life is being affected?
Good question.  It will have to do with the planet that you find is in that zone I told you about, between 23 degrees of Mutable and 3 degrees of Cardinal signs.  If it’s Mercury, you could be having a period of intellectual expansion, which is great for learning and expressing yourself in words.  If it’s Venus or Juno, you could be having relationship luck, attracting fun partners who take you on adventures or experiencing adventure in the relationship you already have.  If it’s Saturn, you could be facing a career expansion, a time when you exude confidence and grow your business.

“How long does it last?”
A Jupiter transit will typically last for 8-10 months.  Today is just one part of it, a pivotal day in the flow of a months-long period of growth, expansion and opportunity.  In an astrology reading you can find out all this good stuff:
•    what area of your life has “gotten lucky”
•    exactly how long it lasts
•    when it started
•    when it ends
•    what various phases of it feel like
•    how to take advantage of it
The timing of your transit will be personal to you.  That’s why it takes an astrologer to look it up—it’s not something I can just tell you in a blogpost.

“What do I do now?”
Grab the opportunities as they fly by.  You’re on life’s carousel and Jupiter is not going to just give you the goodies.  You have to reach for and grab the brass ring.  It’s up to you to decide which of all of Jupiter’s offerings are best for you right now.  You have to use discernment and you have to take action.  You have to respond.

It’s OK to say no to some of the opportunities.  Jupiter will simply send you more.  Focusing on what you really want can have the effect of shaping what Jupiter sends you.  It’s a great time for a deliberate manifestation practice.

When it’s over, it’s over
After this transit ends, your lucky period will be over.  It’s quite possible you’ll have another lucky period in a different area of your life in the next few years (it’s likely in fact), but this one will have passed.  Take advantage of it while it’s happening!

This is part of a series of articles, beginning here:
Venus Goes Retrograde: The Tale of Eros and Psyche

Psyche receives a lot of help in the completion of her four tasks, often at the very moment when she has given up.  Where does that help come from?  It appears as if by magic from resources that are close at hand, but the power behind that help is Eros himself.  He stirs the ants up to help Psyche sort the seeds and he breathes wind into the reeds that tell Psyche the secret of how to gather the golden fleece.  The eagle that fills the crystal goblet is sent by Zeus (Jupiter), who is Eros’ father and is helping him.  And Eros himself shows up to gather up the stygian sleep and cram it back into the box so that Psyche may return with it to Aphrodite’s temple.  Without love to inspire her every move, how could Psyche ever reawaken love?  And so he is her helper, but he cannot do these things for her.

Eros has his own story, which is the negative space around Psyche’s story.  His is the story of how erotic love connects with the soul and matures into intimate love.

Eros represents erotic love.  He is portrayed in Greco-Roman mythology as a mother’s son, a male principle that arose from the feminine.  But even Love had to grow up and leave his mother.  Eros’ journey begins when he first catches sight of Psyche (having been sent to kill her by Aphrodite).  He pricks himself with one of his own arrows and falls in love with her.  This means he must change from devoting himself to beauty to devoting himself to soul.

Instead of killing Psyche, Eros has her carried away to a hidden castle where he lives with her.  But he is a god—love is an eternal principle, a divine thing, and it cannot live forever with that which is mortal.  The marriage between Eros and Psyche is inherently unsustainable as long as Psyche is not a goddess.  Eros has married beneath himself, captivated by Psyche despite knowing that she would age and one day die.  You might say he was hanging around a girl from the wrong side of town.

A story is no story without setbacks.  What did Eros do when Psyche lifted the lamp and viewed him in the light?  He flew away to his mother, Beauty.  Eros’ part of the story is about how erotic love must learn to stop revolving around the beauty (Aphrodite) that gave birth to him and start instead apprehending the soul inside what he loves.

The tale of Eros and Psyche is a tale of converting passionate love into intimate, enduring love.  Passionate love is intense and consuming—if you were to try to live that way on an everyday basis, it would burn your life away.  Enduring love is less intense, but it is what passionate love turns into when it learns to bear the light of day.

At the beginning of the story, the Soul (Psyche) is in love with Love itself, and by the end she has taken a hard look at Love and deepened her soul.  Love is already divine; the soul has to earn her divinity.  At the beginning, erotic love (Eros) is in love with the beauty that aroused it (his allegiance to Aphrodite) and has to sneak around to explore his connection with the soul (Psyche) and even leave her to return to beauty.  Ultimately, the soul wins him over and Eros gets to have, not just sexuality with beauty, but sexuality with soul.  Not just erotic love, but intimate love.

Put another way, the psyche falls in love with love, but love itself is in thrall to the beauty of the beloved and needs to learn to love the beloved’s psyche.  Love is the offspring of beauty and is devoted to beauty, but upon encountering the soul, love is awakened and made conscious.

The message here for the Soul is:  Do your own soul-work. A mature lover will see your depth and not run to Beauty to escape encountering the Soul.

The message here for Love is:  Beauty is enthralling, but connection to the Soul is what’s needed to create the enduring connection that will allow Love’s expression over a lifetime.

There’s one final post in this thread, Psyche Is Made Immortal . . .

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Categories: Astrology for Non-Astrologers, Venus

This is part of a series of articles, beginning here:
Venus Goes Retrograde: The Tale of Eros and Psyche

How heartbreaking it is when a girl first discovers that other girls will sometimes pit themselves against her and compete over boys.  She discovers this in childhood or teen years, so that by womanhood she knows all too well the ways that other women cannot be trusted.  A woman who really knows herself and believes in her own lovability does not have to compete or to make preemptive strikes against other women who might compete with her.  And a woman who understands sisterhood and the primal bond between women is safe for other women to relate with and trust.

In the myth, Psyche has aroused the anger of a goddess, Aphrodite, who insists on attempting to kill her, even though Psyche has no pretensions and wishes men weren’t worshipping her so inappropriately.  Psyche’s business is that of the soul and she would rather leave the business of beauty to Aphrodite, which is where it belongs.

Psyche also has to deal with the jealousy of her two sisters, who poison her against her husband, claiming that he is a frightful monster instead of the finest lover she could ever imagine.  Psyche never asked for all this feminine attack, nor for the beauty that aroused it.  She would rather have been of middling beauty and marriageable.

Psyche’s response to both these feminine attacks is a truly soulful one—she loves and trusts her sisters and she takes on the tasks of Aphrodite.  Because of this response, she is cast on a soul-journey at the end of which is her husband Eros, erotic love regained.

What Does It Mean?
The sisters represent binocular vision.  Because there are two of them, depth can be seen.  While Psyche lives with her husband in the dark, she cannot see him truly.  Her sisters press her to shine the lamp on him and to consider that he may be a monster.  Until she is willing to consider that he has ugly depths as well as divine ones, she cannot truly look at him and thus she remains innocent and in the dark.  Her sisters counsel her to have a sharp knife handy, so that she can cut off the monster’s head.  So she comes to her husband with both lamp and knife, prepared for the worst by her binocular vision, which includes the capacity to see evil in addition to good.  This is no error on her part, it is only what the soul can do, and it’s all part of the greater plan.

Psyche’s sisters serve an important purpose—the purpose of the shadow.  They force Psyche to wholeness and conscious awareness by making her look at her lover’s dark and ugly side.  When she sees who he really is, and that his wings are not the wings of a gargoyle or a dragon, but the wings of the very god of love himself, she is shocked at what she has done.  In her confusion, she pricks herself with one of Eros’ arrows and falls in love with him again, in full consciousness of who and what she loves.  “It is said that Psyche was the first mortal who ever looked at a god in his true splendor and lived to tell the tale” (from She, by Robert Johnson).

Additionally, in her confusion, Psyche drops hot oil from the lamp on his shoulder, which causes him to awaken and catch her in the act of seeing him.  He knows that he cannot stay, because his allegiance is still to his mother, Beauty (Aphrodite).  He has also not loved in the light of day and so does not know the soul (Psyche) of the woman he lives with.  And so he flies away, as he must, because he is also not mature.  Not yet.

Does This Apply To You?
If you are a woman, do you embrace sisterhood?  Are you aware of the unspoken code among women, the “non-competition clause” that says you should never attempt to seduce another woman’s man and disrupt her household?  Have you ever aroused the wrath of other women by your behavior?

Unfortunately, this is something often learned the hard way, by competing or being competed with.  But for women, sisterhood lives right next door to self-esteem:  love other women and you love yourself.  Every woman deserves to be worshipped—no one woman can claim another’s altar.  And beauty alone cannot hold a relationship together—it needs soul-work.  That’s what Psyche learns.

Read about Eros’ Hidden Task here . . .

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Categories: Astrology for Non-Astrologers, Venus

This is part of a series of articles, beginning here:
Venus Goes Retrograde: The Tale of Eros and Psyche

At this point in the story, Aphrodite is determined that Psyche must be done away with.  So she devises the most difficult and diabolical task of all:  a journey to the land of death itself—the underworld.  Mortals are not allowed to go to the underworld—the only way to do it is by dying.  So this is both task and puzzle.  How is Psyche to go there if she must die to do it, and however is she to come back?  It is impossible, and so her first response is a fit of tears, as it always is.  But help is near and Psyche hears a voice emanating from the very tower she had come to throw herself off of.  The tower itself speaks to her and gives very specific instructions.  The tower tells her how to find a path to the underworld and tells her to take two coins and two honeyed barley cakes with her.  She will encounter a donkey-driver, a drowning man and the three Fates—she is not to help or be distracted by any of them.  Above all, she is to save the honeyed cakes for Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the underworld, because when she throws him a cake his three heads will fight over it and allow her to pass.  She is to put the coins in her mouth, so that she may pay Charon, the ferryman who will take her across the Styx in his boat, for both crossing and return.  And Psyche’s mission is to ask Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, to fill a special box with a magic cosmetic, that she may return with it to Aphrodite.  Aphrodite has definitely given her dirty work to her daughter-in-law.

What Does It Mean?
This part of the story is loaded with meaning.  Psyche must go to the underworld.  She again gets divine help, this time from a tower, which represents solitude.  Using solitude, she is to go into her own underworld and to fetch something from its Queen that will bestow beauty.  When a person knows her own underworld and is master (queen) of it, she indeed has access to a special, mysterious beauty.  To do this difficult task, Psyche must avoid those who would drain her energy and attention:  the donkey-driver and the drowning man, who are forever in need of help and will never be saved by it.  They will always and forever need help again.  Also, the three Fates are a distraction—and who, upon meeting the Fates, would not want to stop and ask the questions only they can answer, such as “what is my future, how long am I to live, will I find happiness?”  But these questions are a distraction from a life of freewill.  Psyche must avoid superstition and pass them by.

Psyche take the tower’s good advice, successfully avoiding all these hazards and is then undone when she is at the very verge of success.  Having distracted Cerberus, paid Charon, avoided those who would steal her focus and obtained the box’s contents from Persephone, she is on her way back up the path when she is seized with curiosity and a desire to use the cosmetic herself.  “Why should I not make myself beautiful for my husband, since I may see him soon?” she wonders.  She opens the box.  Big mistake.  Turns out the box contains a deep, deathlike sleep, which overpowers her and puts an end to her progress right then and there.

Here’s where Eros re-enters the picture.  He’s been watching all these proceedings from Mount Olympus, where the gods dwell.  He’s been hanging with his dad, remember?  He knows Psyche is on the brink of success.  So he flies down to the underworld, gathers up that “beauty sleep” and shoves it back in the box.  This wakes Psyche up and he sends her on her way.  A contract is a contract and upon completion of these tasks, Aphrodite will have to pay up.  Which she does.

Aphrodite ultimately is won over by Psyche’s earnestness and persistence.  She actually dances at their wedding-feast, now celebrated with her blessing.

Does This Apply To You?
I want to point out here that one of the most important of Psyche’s superpowers in all this is her ability to inspire and accept help.  Even the very stones of the tower gain the ability to speak that they may advise her.  By this point in the story she has received help from creatures of the earth (ants) and air (eagle), as well as the plant kingdom (the reeds) and the mineral kingdom (the tower), as if she had uttered the Native American cry, “All my relations, be with me now!”

This task has the nature of Water about it, as underworld journeys always do.  This part of the story asks:
Are you open to this kind of help?  Are you this vulnerable?
Do you have appropriate solitude in your life?
Are you willing to go into your own underworld and do you know how to avoid being distracted by those parts of you that are, and perhaps always will be, needy?
Can you forego superstition, stop seeking for answers from others, when they are best found within yourself?

This brings us to an interesting question about the myth itself—was it a bad thing or a good one that Psyche failed at the last minute?  Perhaps it was a necessary part of the story.  I don’t really know.  This may be something that every person’s psyche needs to decide for itself.

Read the next part of this thread: Psyche’s Hidden Fifth Task, Dealing with the Wrath of Other Women . . .

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Categories: Venus

This is part of a series of articles, beginning here:
Venus Goes Retrograde: The Tale of Eros and Psyche

Aphrodite has another task for Psyche.  This time, she is to fill a crystal goblet from the Fountain of Forgetfulness and return with it to the goddess.  But the way to the fountain is up a high, craggy mountain with no path at all, and guarded by monsters.  Psyche’s first response is overwhelm and panic, just as usual, but by now someone else entirely has noticed her dilemma, and that’s Zeus.  Otherwise known as Jupiter, King of the Gods, Zeus happens to be Eros’ father and by now he’s decided that Aphrodite has taken this whole thing too far.  He decides to step in and sends his eagle to help Psyche gather the Waters of Forgetfulness.  Upon the eagle’s back, Psyche flies to the mountain’s top and the eagle stretches out his wing so that Psyche can climb out on it and safely catch some of the waters in the crystal vessel.  Then she returns with the goblet to Aphrodite who is, of course, livid.

What Does It Mean?
Now why on earth would waters from the Fountain of Forgetfulness matter—and why would it take help from an eagle to get them?  The eagle is a bird with uncanny eyesight—it can spot prey from extreme heights and swoop down to capture with great accuracy.  The eagle, and its extraordinary vision, represent perspective.  With the help of Zeus’ eagle, Psyche gains perspective on her situation.  This gives her access to the ability to forget.

And why, you ask again, would the psyche want to forget?  Because when love is lost, hurtful things are said and done.  We already established in the previous post that aggressive action doesn’t serve anyone.  But what to do with all those hurtful memories?  Forget them.  Yep, that’s right.  Forget.  Saving up a list of hurtful things to throw back in your partner’s face will not bring love back.  But moving on and refusing to dwell on them begins to create an environment into which love can return.

Does This Apply To You?
Are you willing to forget the painful words and actions of your lover?  Are you able to put aside and deliberately forget hurtful things your lover has said or done?  Can you use eagle’s eye vision to gain a broader perspective on the situation, so that you may know what to remember and what to forget?

This task may seem related to Water, but actually it’s related to Air.  The eagle is a bird, a creature of wind and lightness.  The eagle gets the perspective that comes with distance.  This task is about conscious awareness and deliberate forgetting—and these are mental actions.  It’s about getting the eagle’s-eye view of things, a higher perspective.  It’s about consciously choosing where to cut your losses.  It’s about deciding to forget about the stuff that doesn’t really matter.

When you love someone deeply, you see into his soul, right down to the very bottom of it.  And when you visit the bottom of a person’s soul, sometimes things are said that your lover might wish to take back.  Some of those things may be related to their own soul-work, they may predate your appearance in their life, they may belong to him alone.  Certainly it was rude of him to splatter his ancient soul-slime all over you, but it’s just as rude of you to hold him to words spoken when he was in the pit of despair.  Everyone’s pain belongs to him alone and when you have shared another’s pain with him, sometimes the kindest thing you can do is forget.

Read about Psyche’s Fourth task here: The Underworld Journey . . .

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Categories: Venus

This is part of a series of articles, beginning here:
Venus Goes Retrograde: The Tale of Eros and Psyche

Aphrodite is very angry that Psyche has completed the first task.  She sets another, very difficult and this time dangerous task for the mortal woman.  It seems there are some very fierce rams that graze by a river and these are sun-rams, with coats made of pure gold.  Psyche is to gather some of their golden fleeces and return with the shiny wool to Aphrodite.  Psyche is quite sure this cannot be done and takes herself to the river, intending to throw herself in.  There the reeds growing by the river’s bank speak to her and tell her the secret way she can gather the golden fleece safely.  During the heat of the day, when the rams are at their most violent, she must evade them entirely, but follow them at dusk and gather their wool from the thorny bushes where it has been caught.  If she is persistent, she can gather enough this way.  Thanking the reeds for their wise advice, Psyche does this and presents Aphrodite with the wooly gold, infuriating her once more.  “You must have had help!” storms the goddess, but it doesn’t matter, because the task is fulfilled.

What Does It Mean?
Psyche has to face aggression in this part of the story.  She is advised that her best approach to aggression (the rams) is an indirect one.  Do not fight back, she is told, do not make yourself a target.  Instead, wait until the rams have moved on, then take what you need.  Do not let greed and aggression press you to take more.

The aggression represented by the rams is both within and without.  It is the anger one feels at having to repair a relationship and it is the anger one confronts in their partner who feels the same.  ‘Why doesn’t love just work?’ we ask ourselves.  ‘Why does something start out so beautifully and then go so terribly wrong?’  It is an insult to the very instinct of love.  Yet the initial passion is inherently unsustainable and this anger is a natural response to that fact.  Evading the anger, avoiding inflaming it is the way to gain access to the gold it produces.  That gold is the spark that can reignite passion.  Angry words are a misuse of passion.  Evasion of anger allows one to gather the passion and direct into more useful channels.

Does This Apply To You?
It is human to react to love’s departure with anger.  “Why don’t you love me anymore?” is an outrageous question to have to ask.  “You said you’d love me forever!” also comes to mind.  “You took a vow!” might even make an appearance.  But these angry questions are not helpful.  Inciting aggression in oneself or one’s partner does not cause love to spontaneously return.

In your anger that love has flown away, have you become too aggressive?  Love cannot be forced to return, but its gold can be gathered gently.  This task has the nature of Fire about it—how well do you manage your own heat, anger, assertion, aggression?  Can you channel your fire or will it destroy you?  The psyche must understand its own fiery nature before love can be restored.

Read about Psyche’s third task: The Waters of Forgetfulness . . .

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Categories: Venus

This is part of a series of articles, beginning here:
Venus Goes Retrograde: The Tale of Eros and Psyche

As her first task, Psyche is presented with a huge granary filled with a tremendous variety of seeds.  Aphrodite tells her to sort each type of seed into its own pile and to have them all separated by sundown, and then Aphrodite stalks out, knowing how hopeless this is.  Psyche confronts the piles, then bursts into tears, completely overwhelmed.  While she is crying, some ants crawl out of the cracks and begin to organize the grains.  Soon a whole army of ants is busily engaged and the piles grow until, by nightfall, all the seeds are neatly separated.  Psyche thanks the ants and awaits Aphrodite’s return.  Aphrodite is infuriated and Psyche is on to the next task.

What Does It Mean?
The ants are a sort of totem-animal for Psyche.  They are industrious, practical and earthy. This task has the nature of Earth, as if to say that the human psyche must manage the practical aspects of life.  Life does in fact go on, tragedy notwithstanding, and so this task asks, Can you get through the day and do what you have to do to maintain your life while you wait for love to return?

Psyche has been asked to “sort herself out,” to separate one thing from another, to put all the like things together, away from the unlike things.  In this way she can be relieved of her overwhelm at the way her life is falling apart without Love in it.  Sometimes you need to just put one foot in front of the other and to do the tasks that are right in front of you, as an affirmation of life and of your ability to cope.  Doing this task frees her to take up the next with a clear head.

Sorting the seeds is like Psyche asking herself, “What are my needs?  What are my boundaries?  What things are essential to me?  What can I tolerate and what can I not tolerate?  What do I want?  What is good and what is bad for me?”

Does This Apply To You?
Is there some part of your relationship that needs sorting out?  A working relationship should meet the real needs of both partners, yet it can be hard to know which “needs” are true needs.  Sometimes what seems like a need is actually a black hole that can never be satisfied, while a true need is fillable, is satisfiable.  Do you know what your true needs are and are you willing to have them be filled?  Do you know what your partner’s are and are you willing to help them be filled?

Here’s another thought:  boundaries are not just external, they exist throughout any whole.  A whole with an external boundary and no internal gradations of boundary is just like a chicken egg you might cook for breakfast:  hard and fragile on the outside and soft and defenseless in the middle.  A healthy relationship has boundaries throughout, some soft and some hard, to protect aspects of the relationship from spilling over into other spaces.  You yourself are a system and you need these kinds of boundaries too, or else your private life would be spilling over into your work-life and vice versa.  The Sorting of the Seeds is a sorting-out, a distinguishing, a separating of one thing from another.  It is the first task to do when a relationship needs sorting out.

Read about Psyche’s Second Task, Gathering the Golden Fleece . . .

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Categories: Venus

Scorpio, thank you for keeping the darkness at bay!  Scorpio is that side of us that stores, protects and keeps our painful experiences and memories safe, and manages the instinctual side of our life.  It’s a sort of holding-place for all the dark things in the soul.  Scorpio holds all this stuff in a secret corner of our personality, and because we all have at least a little Scorpio within us, we don’t have to look in that corner every day.  Here are just a few of the things your inner Scorpio is protecting your conscious mind from having to deal with:

1.    Your addictions and compulsions.  These are the things you must have or control.  They may be things you get fetishistic about or regard as “special.” (ever seen a drug user grooming his paraphernalia?).  They are also things you use to control your experience of life (perhaps to feel better or to feel ok).  Here’s a clue:  if you can’t imagine life without it, you might be too attached.

2.    Your inner demons, the sides of you that come out when you feel overcome and are compelled to behave badly.  You know, sometimes you feel taken over and find later that you’ve done or said something you regret, and it almost seems like somebody else did it, using your body.  That one of your demons coming out to play.  Everybody’s got ‘em.

3.    Your sensitivity to other people’s demons.  Yep, like attracts like and other people’s demons will mirror your own.  Scorpio is the side of us that senses that mirroring.  It can be hard to stop pointing the finger at others and to instead look inside oneself, but that which is inside oneself is the only stuff we can hope to change.

4.    Your trauma, or stored pain.  Every time you ever got hurt, the Scorpio in you took note of it.  Scorpio still has your inner child in that holding area.  Your inner child is still completely intact because Scorpio is protecting you from the demons.  You can retrieve that tender innocence anytime you want.  It will always be there, waiting to be retrieved and brought back into the light.

5.    Your deep desires and your capacity for intimacy.  Your longing to merge with others.  The side of you that joins, connects, shares.  This is your Scorpio side, and it is rich and deep.  Say hello to your desires, greet them with a smile.  Welcome them and make a place for them at your warm hearth.

Brave Scorpios of the world!  You look at this stuff inside yourself on pretty much a daily basis.  That’s a challenging way to live, but you like being on your own edge, don’t you?  Face to face with death and living more fully as a result.  Thank you, Scorpio, for reminding us how good it is to be alive, and for keeping our darkness (and the light that’s hiding there) safe until we’re ready to look at it.

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This is a repost of an article originally posted in the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal.  You can read the original here.

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Categories: Signs: Scorpio

Neptune and Chiron have met on a cliff overlooking the ocean.  Neptune is a lovely lady in sea-green, aqua and deep blue colors, with a long, flowing skirt.  Chiron is a centaur, rustic-looking and worn, but kind.

Chiron:  Who are we healing today, Neptune?
Neptune:  All of them.
Chiron:  What?
Neptune:  You heard me:  all of them.  All human beings.
Chiron:  How are we going to do that?
Neptune:  By getting one person to stand in as Everyman.  Or Everywoman.  Doesn’t matter.
Chiron:  So one human being gets healed and the whole human race benefits?  Sounds like a Jesus complex.
Neptune:  He was one of my own.  He was very good at standing for everyone.
Chiron:  How are we going to find someone that. . . cosmic?
Neptune:  All I have to do is this.
She waves her hand over the waters and drops rise up and become a mist.  The mist flows over the land, leaving dewy sparkles on the trees and rocks.  Soon a Human Being stumbles forth from the trees, climbing the cliff to the place where the gods wait.
Human:  You called?
Neptune:  You’re one of mine, aren’t you?
Human: (nodding)  Can’t really help it.  Everybody calls me a flake, but it’s because I’m lost in one of your dreams all the time.  I can’t seem to stay alert.  I have what’s called “an active imagination.”
Neptune:  That’s right.  Now try this!
She sprinkles fairy dust all over the Human, who begins to appear as a sort of shiny blur.
Neptune:  Your turn, Chiron.
Chiron:  Don’t mind if I do.
Producing a bow and arrow from somewhere, Chiron takes careful aim and shoots the Human in the heart.
Human:  Ow!
Neptune:   You should thank Chiron for that.
Human:  What on earth do you mean?
Neptune:  That’s a primal wound he just gave you.  It’s a gift.  It will make your soul evolve faster.
Human: (sarcastically) Gee thanks, just what I always wanted.
Chiron:  I just can’t get any respect.
Neptune does something funny with her hand in the air, and then the Human appears as even more of a blur.
Neptune:  (to Chiron) Oh, by the way, you’ll need these.
Neptune hands Chiron some special glasses.  They have a rose tint to them.  Chiron puts them on.  The Human Being now appears entirely different, and in fact is hidden behind a huge pink cloud that’s where her heart should be.  That cloud gets wispy around the edges, then tendrils start to form, which curl outward and reach in every direction.  The tendrils multiply until there are tens, hundreds, thousands, then millions of them.  The Human Being has become a nexus of love, a heart for everyone who is alive.  There is a look of deep peace on the Human Being’s face.
Neptune:  Ok, I’ve connected this one with all other humans.  Your turn again.
Chiron rummages around in a bag he’s wearing on his back.  It seems to be filled with medicines, remedies, herbs, medical equipment and other stuff.  He pulls out a small bottle.
Chiron:  Stick out your tongue.
The Human Being obediently does so.
Chiron:  This will sting a little.
Using a dropper, Chiron allows one drop of the stuff to land on the Human Being’s tongue.  The Human Being begins shaking from head to toe, and a change in color cascades down the giant pink aura surrounding her, filling it with a stormy grey, which is just as quickly followed by a restoration of pink, now a deeper, richer hue.  The grey cascades out the tendrils, finding its way into the heart of every person alive, and is followed by the warmer, deeper pink.  It is as if the whole planet shudders.
Neptune:  Wow—that was cool!
Chiron, proudly:  Thanks!  You’re pretty cool yourself!
Neptune:  What now?
Chiron:  I think we can leave this to cook for a while.  Our work here is done.
Neptune takes Chiron’s arm and together they walk off over the water.

Chiron and Neptune have been traveling together in our skies for 18 months, bringing spiritual healing and community in their wake.  Now it is November of 2010 and their conjunction is coming to a close.  Here are some posts I’ve written about it:
May’s Triple Conjunction of Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter
Neptune and Chiron Ask You To Bridge Heaven and Earth

This is part of a series of articles, beginning here:
Venus Goes Retrograde: The Myth of Eros and Psyche

Upon first discovering that Eros really has gone, Psyche panics.  We know this because the first being she encounters after her husband’s flight is Pan, the woodland goat-god.  The word “panic” is rooted in Pan, because he is a god of madness.  Psyche finds herself talking to Pan because she is nearly mad with grief and confusion.  Pan gives Psyche good advice, however—he tells her to go straight to Aphrodite and apologize.  Psyche is afraid and wanders around visiting a bunch of other gods’ temples before she finally ends up at the temple of Aphrodite.

Naturally, Aphrodite is very annoyed that Psyche is still alive.  “Why didn’t that good-for-nothing son of mine kill her as he was supposed to?” she wonders.  But a true supplicant cannot be ignored, and Aphrodite cannot just do away with Psyche in her own temple.  So she sets about giving Psyche four impossible tasks, hoping that she’ll die before completing them.

That Psyche meets Pan is fortuitous for another reason:  she needs to understand how to handle panic, because she’s about to experience a lot of it.  Aphrodite has nothing but trouble planned and Psyche will have to cope with her first panicky response to each step of this difficult journey.  It’s better to learn it sooner rather than later!  And what Psyche learns is “have your panic, but don’t be attached to it.  Let the feelings move through you and help will be near.”

Psyche’s Four Tasks, Four Duties On The Way To Reclaiming Love
Psyche must complete four tasks before she can be restored to Eros, or true love.

The First Task is Sorting the Seeds
The Second Task is Gathering the Golden Fleece
The Third Task involves the Waters of Forgetfulness
The Fourth Task involves an Underworld Journey

(. . . because what tale of lost love would be complete without an underworld journey?)

Watch for more about these tasks coming next in “Sorting the Seeds“. . .

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Categories: Astrology for Non-Astrologers, Venus

Neptune has spent the last few months (since May 31) traveling backwards.  Today she turns her face forward and re-covers the same ground.  Why should it matter to you?  If she’s passing through a zone where you have a planet in your natal chart, she’s bringing you a powerful opportunity to vision and re-dream your life this year.  And it’s still in progress.

This Is A Pivotal Day
If you are one of the millions of people having a Neptune transit this year, today may be pivotal for you.  Around May 31, you came to realize that some area of your life is crumbling, eroding, falling apart, or that that area of your life is, shall we say, less than ideal.  Since then, you’ve been re-evaluating that area.  You’ve been in some confusion about it, feeling perhaps that it’s muddy or blurred.  Something may be in suspended animation.  You’ve turned inward on yourself to feel into it, either because you want to or because circumstances have forced you to seek clarity.  That area of your life is in suspense and you’re waiting for the right moment to act.  That moment is not today (Nov 6, 2010), but today is when the seed may be planted that will lead to the right moment happening in the next few months.  This day is pivotal in the process of you coming to clarity in your vision.

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 heard the message the universe is sending to you and you’re almost ready to act on what you’ve learned.  You can now gather yourself to take that action sometime in the next few months (between now and March of 2010).

“What is a Neptune transit like . . .”
During a Neptune transit you feel more sensitive than usual.  There is an awakening of your intuition, a blurring of the boundaries between the world of everyday physical reality and the unseen realms that interpenetrate this one all the time.  Feelings spill over lines into inappropriate places; dreams loom large and the imagination beckons.  Sometimes you have psychic openings as well.  All this is very non-physical because a Neptune transit is subtle and has more to do with internal than external experience, so it could glide right by without you noticing it tugging at your sleeve.  But you don’t want to ignore it because it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of your expanded imagination and to dream your life into existence on purpose.

“. . . 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’re having a Neptune transit.  (If it resonates, but only a little, you may be having a transit, but by a planet other than Neptune.)  Also you should know that while transits of most planets are accompanied by real-world events, Neptune’s transits can be so subtle that they are hard to notice or distinguish from the rest of your life.  What you’ll generally notice during a Neptune transit is a sensation of life in suspense or a sense of confusion for the duration of the transit, followed by increased clarity after.  It’s great to find out about a Neptune transit while you’re having it, so you can use it while it’s happening, because otherwise it could go by and you’d be in a trance.

You can find out whether you’re having a Neptune transit by peeking at your chart.  This year Neptune is covering the space from 25 to 28 degrees of Aquarius.  This will affect you if you have any planet in the space from 25 to 28 degrees of any of the four Fixed signs (Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio).

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 25, 26, 27 or 28 degrees of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio.  If you do, you are definitely having a Neptune transit this year.  And knowing that gives you the chance to see the opportunity that’s in front of you, instead of being so lost in a trance that you don’t even notice it happening, much less benefit from it.

“How long does it last?”
A Neptune transit will typically last for 1 to 1-1½ years.  Today is just one part of it, a pivotal day in its flow.  The timing of your transit will be personal to you.  It takes an astrologer to look it up—it’s not something I can just tell you in a blogpost.  In an astrology reading you can find out the timing of it and how to move through it consciously, instead of spending this valuable time in a fog.  You can also find out which part of you (i.e. planet in your chart) is being affected by this spiritual change.  Is it Relationships (Venus)?  Career (Saturn)?  Home (Moon)?  Or it could be something more subtle.

“What do I do now?”
Neptune is the Dreamer, the Visionary.  When she comes knocking at your door, she is asking you to re-dream a specific part of your life.  She has activated your imagination and called you away from the world of everyday things into the dream-world, the place where you imagine things before they come to pass.

View this time as a vision quest.  It’s a great time to influence your own future through what you focus your hope on and also to call on your spiritual guidance.  Call your ancestors, your spirit guides, your angels, your totem animals—whatever feels right to you.  Use that imagination of yours, which is so active right now.  Sit in meditation.  Imagine, dream, fantasize.  Notice the subtle currents that are all around you all the time—you are equipped to notice them now more than usual.  Let the images grow blurry around the edges—images without bounds have larger possibilities.  This is an excellent time for a manifestation practice, to make use of the Law of Attraction and bring something into your life that you’ve wanted for a long time.

Also take care of yourself.  Recognize that some part of you has been spirited away but that your body still needs stewardship.  Feed yourself properly, even if you feel like you are sleepwalking through life these days.  You want your body to be in good shape when you come back to it.  In particular, when I say this is a time for dreaming and re-dreaming, I mean that literally:  get enough rest and sleep, especially if you are in the habit of sleeping too little.  Keep a dream journal if you can—your dreams may have messages for you and it may be hard to recognize them until later.  Writing them down will preserve them for understanding at a later time and the process may well sharpen your intuition.

Neptune transits are wonderful for Neptune types, and even if you’re not a Neptune type, this period may make you into an honorary Pisces for the duration.  Neptune types are often flaky and wander through life as if in a dream.  They have a faraway look in their eyes, are distractible and resist the hard lines of the physical world.  They frequently overrun other people’s boundaries without noticing it and tend to have a poor sense of boundaries themselves, especially when they’re young.  They prefer their world of dreams and visions to the world of material concerns and they do best in life when they find a way to bring their dreams into the material world to share with everyone.  So they make great artists and filmmakers.  While a Neptune transit can draw a grounded person into their dream-world, paradoxically it has the effect of drawing a dreamy Neptune person into the physical world, of grounding and strengthening them.  During a Neptune transit a Neptune type can blossom.

Neptune’s Gift
Neptune’s curse (if you can call it that) is the same as her gift:  access to the land of imagination—whether you like it or not.  You’ll have an increased sense of the spiritual meaning behind everything you do.  Everything becomes infused with meaning and spiritual power.  This is a great time to ask questions, to direct them to your spiritual guidance and attend to the answers that emerge.

Your increased sensitivity is a gift from Neptune, goddess of the ocean.  Make friends with Neptune and you will find yourself able to pay attention to the physical world even as your awareness of the non-physical grows.  Oceanic Neptune may be sweeping you away into her vast depths but you can learn how to swim in her waters and that way you don’t have to drown.  And maybe—just maybe—you’ll emerge with a really big fish.

When it’s over, it’s over
After this transit ends, your period of spiritual awakening will be over.  It’s quite possible you’ll have another transit like this in a different area of your life in the next few years (it’s likely in fact), but this one will have passed.  If this period is frustrating to you, be at ease, because it will end, and soon (between now and March).  But also, and more importantly, take advantage.  Use this spiritual opening while it’s happening.  It doesn’t happen every day.

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Categories: Neptune

If what follows looks familiar to you, it’s because this is my post from last year when Chiron went direct.  Chiron goes direct every year, so the post continues to be useful, but the dates will be slightly different every year.

Chiron the Wounded Healer has spent the last few months (since June 4) traveling backwards.  Today he turns his face forward and re-covers the same ground.  Why should it matter to you?  If he’s passing through a zone where you have a planet in your natal chart, he’s bringing you a powerful healing opportunity this year.  And it’s not over yet.

This Is A Pivotal Day
If you are one of the millions of people having a Chiron transit this year, today may be pivotal for you.  Around June 4, you came to realize (or perhaps you were forced to realize) you were facing a big life-change.  You’ve been confronted with a part of you that feels deeply broken, maybe even unfixable.  Something wounding has happened to you this year and you’ve been preoccupied with it.  It all really began earlier in the spring and by late May you realized you couldn’t really avoid the pain.  If you decided to accept the discomfort and seek healing, kudos to you—you’re doing the right thing.

Today (and I mean this loosely—it may happen as soon as 2 days before or as late as 2 days after today) is a pivotal day in this process.  Today may be the day you come to clarity.  If you really look at the situation you can see your chance to resolve some old, unfinished pain along with resolving the present situation.  And you’re gearing up to do that sometime between now and February of 2011.

“What is a Chiron transit like . . .”
During a Chiron transit, something painful usually happens.  It feels like you’ve been wounded to the core.  You may feel that you’ve been victimized, that what’s happened is beyond your control and never should have happened.  And you could well be right about that.  But there’s something deep going on here that’s not apparent on the surface.

The pain you feel is not really about the present at all.  It’s about the past.  Chiron has sent you a wakeup call, using an event in the present moment to remind you of a part of you that has gotten stuck in woundedness.  Chiron wants you to heal that part of yourself and he knows that it will only happen if he reminds you that it exists, because human nature causes us to bury pain unless it is acute.

Whatever you’re dealing with in the present is connected with something in your past.  If you heal it here and now, that healing has echoes into the past, healing it retroactively.  That may be good news but there’s also great news and that is, it works both ways:  focus on healing the past and the present will be healed too.  You can work it from either end, whichever is easier for you.

Here’s an example of just one way this could look.  Let’s say your boyfriend does something that hurts you and reminds you of your abusive father.  Cleaning things up with your boyfriend is an opportunity to heal the inner child in you that’s been stuck at the age of greatest wounding.  And if you take a break from fighting with your boyfriend and instead focus on healing your relationship with your father (which you can do inside yourself, whether he’s actually available or not), voila!  Your relationship with your boyfriend improves, almost magically.  That’s because they are connected.  And who drew the connection?  Chiron.  And because Chiron connected the past with the present via a wound that feels the same in the past and the present, you get a heal-2-for-the-price-of-one deal.  Not bad, actually.

“. . . 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 Chiron transit.  (If it resonates, but only a little, you may be having a transit, but by a planet other than Chiron.)  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.

You can find out whether you’re having a Chiron transit by peeking at your chart.  This year Chiron is covering the space from 26 degrees of Aquarius to 0 degrees of Pisces.  This will affect you if you have any planet in the space from 26 to 29 degrees of any of the four Fixed signs (Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio) or in 0 degrees of any of the Mutable signs (Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius).

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 26-29 degrees of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio or 0 degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius.  If you do, you are definitely having a Chiron transit this year.  And knowing that gives you the chance to see the healing for the opportunity it is, instead of being victimized by it.

“How long does it last?”
A Chiron transit will typically last for 9-18 months.  Today is just one part of it, a pivotal day in the flow of a months-long healing opportunity. The timing of your transit will be personal to you.  It takes an astrologer to look it up—it’s not something I can just tell you in a blogpost.  In an astrology reading you can find out the timing of it and how to move beyond hurting to surviving and ultimately to thriving.  You can also find out which part of you (i.e. planet in your chart) is being affected by this wounding-and-healing opportunity.  Is it Relationships (Venus)?  Career (Saturn)?  Home (Moon)?  Or it could be something more subtle.

“What do I do now?”
There are 2 responses that are crucial to know about.  If you can manage these, it will go so much smoother for you!

One is: don’t play the victim.  While you sit around bemoaning the fact that you’ve been hurt, you’re throwing away your own power in the situation.  If you can accept and own that you had a wounded place long before this moment came along and give thanks for this opportunity to heal yourself, you are way ahead of the game.

And the other is: don’t get distracted by healing others.  When a human being begins to gain competency in an area where they feel wounded, the first tendency is to offer assistance to others.  This is a beautiful thing, but it also comes with a possible pitfall, which is that you can get distracted from your own healing path by the sense of superiority you feel towards others that are not as far along as you are.  It can be very comfortable to congratulate yourself that you’re doing fine compared with all those folks that are not doing as fine as you are.  But that’s a way of avoiding your own healing work.

Chiron’s Gift
Chiron’s gift may be painful to receive but it is profound:  it is the gift of getting your own wholeness back.  Were you split?  Now you can mend.  Were you wounded?  Now you can heal.  Was your past unresolved?  Now you can resolve it.  This is your chance to become more whole, more of your own complete self than ever before.

When it’s over, it’s over
After this transit ends, your healing period will be over.  It’s quite possible you’ll have another healing period in a different area of your life in the next few years (it’s likely in fact), but this one will have passed.  Take courage, because this will soon be over.  But also, and more importantly, take advantage.  Use this opportunity for healing while it’s happening.  It doesn’t come around every day.

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Categories: Chiron

Astrology blogger since 2007

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