Apple of DiscordThe Apple
The apple is often used in literature as a symbol of forbidden knowledge, temptation and transgression, “forbidden fruit,” and by extension a symbol of love, sexuality and indulgence.  Think of the Biblical Eve, tempted by the apples of the tree of life.  Apples are also mentioned in a sexual context in the Song of Solomon.  Examples of apple symbolism abound in Greek mythology, including the golden apples of the Garden of Hesperides (which Hercules had to fetch as one of his labors).  A poisoned apple even appears in the fairy tale of Snow White.

Venus in Capricorn
The symbol of the golden apple is apt for a blogpost about Venus in Capricorn.  Venus is the goddess of love and beauty.  All things sensual and indulgent are in her domain.  In Cardinal, Earthy Capricorn, Venus likes to be focused and on-track.  With this kind of focus, temptation doesn’t occur much, but a golden apple is the very thing that might distract her and make her “sin,” i.e. “miss the mark.”

Venus in Capricorn is acquisitive, a wealth-builder and a maker of power matches.  In Capricorn, Venus is very aware of status.  The ultimate “First Lady,” this Venus craves recognition and loves to put her ambition to good use to benefit her partner and herself.  With Venus in Capricorn on his arm, a man can climb to any heights.  To this Venus, the ultimate temptation is the Golden Apple of a wealthy partner, a rich marriage, and a life of ease where hard work is not necessary.

But is that what will truly satisfy Venus in Capricorn?

Deep down, what Venus in Capricorn really desires is a partnership with shared goals—goals for each partner and goals for the relationship.  This Venus has ambitions of her own, and putting those aside to support her partner’s career can prove just a distraction from the hard work of pursuing her own aspirations.  Venus in Capricorn needs to know that both partners are building and achieving and that they are doing it together—that’s what turns her on.  And at the end of every rainbow of achievement, this Venus hopes that deeper commitment and love are in that pot of gold.

So while Venus travels retrograde in Capricorn, we need to ask ourselves the deeper questions:  Do I love my partner or his status?  What are my goals for the relationship?  Am I tempted by worldly, materialistic bling or is my love deeper than that?  Are we building love or money–and can we somehow build both?

Atalanta by Guido ReniThe Story: Atalanta the Swift
In Greek mythology, Atalanta was not a typical female.  She was an athlete with prowess to rival (and exceed) that of many men.  She was rejected as an infant because she was a girl, and left in the woods to die.  There she was raised by bears and learned to hunt.  She was strong and swift and eventually was reclaimed by her father as if she was a boy.  He then tried to get her married (because that was just what you did with your daughter).  She couldn’t refuse, but she could make it more difficult, so she set a trial for her suitors.  Whoever could beat her in a footrace would become her husband; whoever failed, she beheaded.  There were many takers and the heads rolled.  Finally, one man (who genuinely loved her) named Hippomenes (sometimes called Melanion) had the bright idea to petition Aphrodite for a solution.  Aphrodite gave him three golden apples and told him how to use them.

The day of the race came.  Hippomenes raced Atalanta and dropped one of the apples along the way.  She, confident in her assured victory, stopped to pick it up.  Further along, he dropped another apple.  Still sure she could make up the time, Atalanta stopped to pick it up.  And then finally, Hippomenes dropped the third apple when almost at the finish—Atalanta stopped for it and thus lost the race.  She had to marry Hippomenes but fortunately was very happy with him.

What it Means:
Atalanta was a lot like a modern career woman—happy in her independence and confident in her abilities. She was going places.  She had finally gotten in good with her father.  She was on a great track and was even able to set the terms for her own marriage (unheard of in that day) and if she’d been allowed to persist, would probably have been able to evade marriage altogether.  But she was overconfident in her abilities and thought she could afford to break her stride.  And she got distracted.  By what?  A shiny golden apple.  Bling.  Temptation.

Is this a good thing?  It depends on what you want.  Atalanta chose the golden apple and ended up with love.  But she lost her independence.  Modern women don’t want to choose between love and independence and fortunately, marriage no longer makes a woman her husband’s property.  I think the deeper question here is, should relationship stop you from the pursuit of your own excellence?  And if it does, how can the relationship adjust to allow both partners to pursue their achievements, instead of turning the woman’s energy towards the man’s accomplishments?  And further still,  does pursuit of excellence have to mean being so strong that you can’t soften for your relationship?

Venus in Capricorn can be distracted by the Golden Apple of becoming a powerful man’s First Lady.  Adorning his arm, schmoozing on his behalf and managing his social calendar can look much easier than following her own ambitions.  But her own ambitions will not stop calling her until she follows them.  Find the balance, because at the end of day—or at the end of life, really—you need to know that you did what you came here to do.  And that you didn’t give it up for love, nor did you give up love to do it.

This  2-post begins here:  Love vs. Gold

I just got a call from a first-time client named Erika who told me in our initial call that she “doesn’t want to know the future.”  I think this is wonderful.  It tells me that she wants to be in the driver’s seat in her life.  She doesn’t want to be stuck with a fate she didn’t choose, and she doesn’t want to buy into the psychology of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  She doesn’t want to have negativity in her mind to battle with as she moves forward into a hopefully brighter future.

la-la-la-la I cant hear youI’m in complete agreement.  When you’ve come to an astrologer to get help in understanding your life more clearly, superstition can cloud the conversation and I’m no spiritual authority.  I don’t even want to be one—frankly, I don’t want that much responsibility.  And I’m not alone in that view—many, if not most, Western astrologers feel the same.  I don’t want to tell you something negative or frightening that could happen, that might happen, only to see you worry it into existence by focusing on it too much.  What I do want to do is show you the path ahead, so you can choose the high road.

Your own spiritual authority is you, or better put, You—the greater self that created the life-plan you are living right now, which the smaller, everyday you has forgotten.  I’m your link between “you” and “You.”  All I do is read the Owner’s Manual of your life.  You make the decisions; you walk the path.  Hopefully, you choose the positive path and then persist in walking that path, even when it’s hard.  Certainly you’ll do your best to create a wonderful life—and that’s a good thing because I can’t do that for you.

When I get an “I don’t want to know the future” call like this, I know that it’s going to be a great session and that I’ll be able to help this person.  Which makes me happy because helping people live their own lives in a better way is what pleases me most.

So thank you, Erika, and all the smart, grounded people like you that populate my practice and will in the years to come.  You’re why I do it.

December 21, 2013 to January 31, 2014

scales heart goldIf you had to choose, which would you rather: Love or Gold? Sometimes in life we are faced with that choice, but it’s not usually very obvious.

Would you pretend to like or even love somebody for their money or their earning power? How would you explain that to your conscience?

Would you pretend to love a job because it pays you more than another job that makes your heart sing? How much “team spirit” can you raise for a well-paying job you secretly hate?

And how much self-worth are you willing to give up for money, power or status?

These are heavy questions, and Venus, which has just turned retrograde in Capricorn, is asking them right now.

Venus Retrograde in Capricorn
Venus is the astrological ruler of love, attraction, magnetism and relationships, both romantic and generically social. Capricorn, a Cardinal (driven and motivated) Earth (pragmatic and worldly) sign is goal-oriented, materialistic, practical, and willing to experience less in the present so that more is available in the future. Venus in Capricorn in a natal chart signals someone who may mistake worldly symbols of affection for the real thing.  When Venus turns retrograde in the sky, she takes us on a six-week journey to discover the true meaning of love.  In Capricorn, that meaning may be tied to worldly values.

What’s your price?
In the movie Indecent Proposal, the lead female character is asked to prostitute herself for a million dollars. It’s the kind of movie plot that’s bound to lead to a let-down, because part of you wants her to say no, and value her marriage more highly than that million dollars, while part of you wants her to take the money and bring it into her marriage, with the chance of having it all. But that is fraught, because both choices bring hidden costs. Either way, whatever she decides, you-the-viewer are going to wonder, “what if she’d done the other thing?” Almost any plot-line is doomed to disappoint, because our culture doesn’t have a myth about money and love coming together naturally.

They say everyone has a price. During Venus Retrograde in Capricorn, you might well ask, “what’s yours?” Would you rather love or gold and why? And what makes you think you can be so clever as to have both. . . with no cost?

In the next few weeks. . .
While Venus is traveling retrograde in Capricorn, I’ll examine some well-known stories about the balance between love and gold, beginning in the next post with a woman who got distracted by gold—and what it cost her.

 

Imagine a cozy domestic scene, in a kitchen filled with good smells.  Jupiter (a large matronly lady with an infectious warmth) is whipping up something nice at the stove while Saturn (a stern-looking but determined fellow with a beaky nose) gathers tools for a construction project.  They are both humming at their work.  

Jupiter:  Ready for some muffins?
Saturn:  Almost.  I’ve got to fix the plumbing first.  (rifles through his tool box)
Jupiter:  We’re going to have the best housewarming ever.
Saturn:  The house will certainly be warm if I have anything to say about it.  And not at all wet.  (he gets down on the floor, opens the cabinet under the sink and applies a wrench to the plumbing)
Jupiter:  You’ve inspired me—I’ve created a new recipe.  Here, try it—(she puts a morsel in his mouth).
Saturn:  (mumbles around the mouthful)  Wow, that’s really good!  I have no criticism to offer.
Jupiter:  You?  No criticism?  That’s really saying something.  Thank you.
Saturn:  You are open to my criticism, which makes me feel relaxed.
Jupiter:  Well that’s because you get it.  You get it about the importance of a happy, relaxed home life.  When you provide for our home, I feel supported.  It makes me want to do even more nice things to make our place more comfortable.
Saturn:  Which in turn makes me want to do the same.
Jupiter:  Right now I’m wondering why we ever argue.
Saturn:  We represent very different principles.  I’m about structure, accountability, diligence and achievement.
Jupiter:  And I’m about fun, growth, and being open to possibilities.
Saturn:  You do sometimes make promises you can’t keep, but I’m not really noticing that right now.  Right now all I want to do is fulfill on your promises, because I’m enjoying the way you make me grow.
Jupiter:  That’s nice to hear.  And you sometimes can be a real stickler, making demands about the bottom line, and pressing me for deadlines.  I’m not very good with deadlines, but when you provide the structure and integrity, I can meet them.  Together we produce less than I’m capable of promising—
Saturn:  —but together we produce something real, and it’s better than what I’d promise on my own.
Jupiter:  Exactly!
Saturn:  And thus real, concrete growth is possible.
Jupiter:  Instead of just hot air—  (wink)  
Saturn:  —and pessimism!  (wink)
Jupiter:  I think it’s because right now you’ve decided to trust me.
Saturn:  More accurately, I’ve decided to trust my own instinct about you.  And my instinct tells me to relax, because everything you do tells me you respect my needs for restraint and competency.
Jupiter:  And everything you do tells me you value the enthusiasm I bring and the growth I long for.  Thank you for that.  Big hug!
Saturn:  You know I’m not really into the huggy thing.  But I’ll submit to it anyway.
Jupiter:  Mr. Crankipants!
Saturn:  Madam Thing!
They share a brief squeeze, during which Saturn tears up and Jupiter pretends not to see it.  Then each goes back to what they were doing, feeling supported and appreciated and with a good will.  

Is this conversation happening in your home?  Perhaps it should be!

This friendly alignment between Jupiter and Saturn can allow us all to pause and appreciate the structures we often take for granted and the good things they bring into our lives.  Speaking that appreciation aloud to the strong-but-bristly providers in our lives (you know—the ones who build the structures that make life run) can relax their bristles and also open up everyone in the situation to experiencing more joy, happiness and emotional connection.  Spread the love!

This lovely trine between Jupiter and Saturn began in July of 2013 and finishes in May of 2014.  Enjoy it while you can!  Especially if your birthday falls into these dates:
Capricorns born:  December 25 through January 8
Pisceans born:  February 22 through March 8
Taureans born:  April 24 through May 8
Cancers born:  June 25 through July 10
Virgos born:  August 27 through September 10
Scorpios born:  October 27 through November 10

For more about Jupiter and Saturn in Water signs this year, check out these posts:
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice—Saturn Enters Scorpio, part 1
Jupiter in Cancer—Endless Summer
And if you want to read about the last time Jupiter and Saturn trined, here’s a post about that too:  Effectiveness Can Be Fun—Jupiter Trines Saturn in Earth Signs

By Erica Bridgeman, Pandora Astrology Intern

By the time I saw my first episode of Star Trek on TV, the show had been off the air for 15 years and was, instead, relished as Saturday night reruns. Like almost everyone who experienced the program as part of their childhood and adolescence, I was impacted by the dream and the drama of a futuristic world where humans and aliens grappled with issues of power, domination, diplomacy, negotiation and, hopefully, peace. Star Trek was more than a television entertainment show that brought a message. It was a cultural and technological time marker.

Star Trek Went Where No One Had Gone Before

In 1969, the same year of the last broadcast episode of Star Trek, the U.S succeeded in landing the first humans on Earth’s Moon. Although I was never into the “technical” aspects of rockets like circuit boards and cooling systems, I was taken by the notion of traveling and living among celestial bodies. With the announcement that Roddenberry’s cremated ashes will be put into orbit around the Sun in November 2014, along with the remains of his wife, Majel, and James Doohan, who played Scotty, the chief engineer on the Starship Enterprise, I started thinking about the creator of Star Trek and what his birth chart might reveal.

Gene Roddenberry natal copy 4Roddenberry, A Creative Leo

Television writer Gene Roddenberry helped to usher numerous generations into the humanitarian Age of Aquarius with his legendary characters from the Starship Enterprise. As creator of Star Trek, Roddenberry’s natal chart shows a man with enormous creative energy who could penetrate deeply into imaginative worlds with profound passion, spirit, and energy. Amazingly, four planets and two asteroids reside in the playful and performance-oriented sign of Leo – the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Pallas Athene, and Ceres (circled in red) – indicating a strong, creative personality with strategic initiative and drive and the ability to communicate in a down-to-earth manner that affirmed his personal purpose and mission. In fact, I venture to say that taking strategic visionary action was also a very important way to heal past life trauma that was incurred in the area of career as indicated by these celestial bodies in Leo trine both the South Node and Chiron in Aries in the tenth house (circled in blue).

Watery Nostalgia, Uranian Rebellion

Roddenberry was born with Pluto in Cancer.  The Pluto-in-Cancer generation (b. 1913-1938) had an enormously strong identification with nostalgic images of the past (“the way it used to be”), the childhood home environment, and rather provincial, if not entrenched, social and family roles and responsibilities. For Roddenberry, however, his Pluto conjunct a Cancer rising ascendant in the first house (circled in green) trine to a Pisces Moon conjunct Uranus (also in Pisces) in the ninth house (circled in silver), suggests that Roddenberry felt a strong emotional urge to rebel against the status quo and mainstream for a greater life philosophy that was inclusive of all kinds of people, not just those found at home—and the harmonious trine between these Pisces and Cancer planets assured he would give himself permission to act on those urges.

Adventures Far From Home

Uranus conjunct the Moon in Pisces in the ninth house also indicates that Roddenberry had an imaginative spiritual depth blended with an instinctive urge for autonomy that led him on travels through different cultural world and cosmic perspectives. It was Roddenberry’s sense of adventure and love of the unknown and unexpected, along with a sense that “all is one” that allowed him to be able to portray his diverse characters, both human and alien, with enormous respect, care, and dignity. The theme of relating what is “home” to what is “far away” is repeated again in Roddenberry’s Cancer rising ascendant (circled in pink) trine his Moon conjunct Uranus in Pisces in the ninth house.

A Teller of Archetypal Tales

Finally, Roddenberry’s Pisces Midheaven (ruler of movie and television film and circled in yellow) ensured that his deep emotional sensitivities and capacity to imagine terrestrial and cosmic worlds would combine with his fiery creative passionate self-expression to enable him to give birth to fictional characters that would become archetypal heroes and heroines in universal stories. Roddenberry lived out his potential with panache and flair and, in the process, created the first major television franchise by endearing millions to his timeless creations.

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Astrology blogger since 2007

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