Thursday, June 18, 2009

Progressed Moon in the Last Degree of Aries

It takes approximately two and a half years for one's Moon to progress through a sign, and this often manifests in one's emotional climate--what you care about and need the most.

As of this writing my Progressed Moon is at 29 degrees of Aries, the final degree, and as a Cancerian born with most of my planets in the sensitive water and practical earth elements, what a tumultuous time it's been. Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, is an impulsive, enthusiastic, yet naive fire sign; its worldview is so different from my natal blueprint that it's really had the effect of shaking me out of my comfort zone.

Because most of this progression occurred in my 7th house, the place it's had the most impact has been in my relationships. I have had fiery, exciting romances, yet they have also been selfish (sometimes on my end, sometimes on my partners') and immature. About 8 months ago my Progressed Moon moved into my 8th house, and now I can feel new issues arising, concerning resources, sex, and the occult--but this is business as usual, as the 8th house is ruled by Scorpio, and my natal Moon is in Scorpio.

I am looking forward to my Progressed Moon moving into Taurus right before my birthday next month, because I believe it will be a more peaceful, loving, beauty-filled progression...I just need to make sure, since Taurus has a huge sweet tooth, not to gain any weight.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Full Moon in Sagittarius: Time Travel to 1925

The Full Moon in Sagittarius is a great time to travel and explore, as this is perhaps the most questing of all lunations. And indeed, I spent the afternoon at a place I've never been: Governor's Island in New York Harbor, less than a mile from the southernnmost tip of Manhattan. It was also spent in a time I've never been (except for possibly a previous life)--the 1920s. There was a Jazz Age Lawn Party that encouraged picnickers; the centerpiece was an achingly exquisite band, Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra, that played such red-hot tunes as "Sweet Georgia Brown." There was an actual wooden dance floor on which you could fox-trot, shimmy, do the Charleston, or just kick up your heels while making "jazz hands." Also on the premises were two societies you could sign up for: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker.

I have been drawn to the 1920s ever since age 11 or so, even though my version of the Charleston is more like a Boston, and I cannot wear my hair in a flapper bob because I would look more like Little Orphan Annie than Clara Bow. Yet I find myself admiring and even relating far more easily to such Lost Generation literary luminaries as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dawn Powell (a lesser-known literary giant), and the first generation of film stars, than the hottest names of today, many of whom seem to have little-to-zero class, in my most nonhumble opinion. As for the music, jazz before it was co-opted and homogenized to "swing" makes me want to get on the dance floor and do my pseudo Charleston, and also get more than a little bit naughty, while techno and hip-hop make me want to flee clutching my violated ears.

Astrologically, what put the flame in Flaming Youth and the roar in the Roaring Twenties was Neptune (the collective dream) transiting the fiery sign of Leo (what does the lion say, children?). On an even deeper level, Pluto had entered Cancer in 1914, the beginning of World War I, which effectively ended the Victorian age and began transforming at a very deep level (a Pluto action) what constituted home, hearth, and femininity (Cancer is, bar none, the most feminine sign of the zodiac). The combination of Neptune in Leo and Pluto in Cancer was certainly dramatic and crucial for women. Prior to the 1920s, only actresses and prostitutes appeared in public wearing noticeable makeup; then it became more common to see the girl next door wearing lipstick and other cosmetics, possibly even smoking a cigarette. The ideal beauty went from being curvy (plump by today's standards), with masses of upswept hair, to a thinner, flat-chested "garconne" as epitomized by Coco Chanel, who managed to blend glamour with practicality (she virtually invented costume jewelry and the women's suit). Another stylistic manifestation of Neptune in Sun-ruled Leo: sunglasses, and the suntan, which for the first time became a fashionable symbol of moneyed leisure among people who did not have to toil out of doors for a living. (These days, of course, thanks to the depleted ozone layer, sunbathers are more likely to apply SPF 85 to every inch of exposed skin.) Prohibition of alcohol (another Neptune thing) only served to make "painting the town red" a more daringly appealing mission; speakeasies thrived. Other types of "vice squad" morality were being challenged as well. Car ownership jumped during the '20s, and the backseat of automobiles gave young, unmarried, unchaperoned couples room to experiment. The proliferation of "petting parties" (an apt expression of Neptune in Leo) guaranteed that even young pedestrians could join in on the fun. Puritanical older people fretted over the so-called loose morals of the younger generation, but they were fighting a losing battle. Magazines of that era announced it was "sex o'clock in America." Shameless, nonshockable flappers (so named because they wore their galoshes unbuckled), even if most of them were not as outspoken and articulate as their heroines Zelda Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker, rolled down their garters and rouged their knees, which you could see flashes of as they frenetically danced the night away. Freshly minted Lost Generation argot includes such terms still in use today as "getaway car," "racket," "underworld," "sugar daddy," and "hot pants."

But what about the influence of Uranus, the closest of the outer planets? Well, Uranus happened to be in Pisces for most of the 1920s. Uranus is revolutionary by nature, and I believe its flowing trine aspect to the sign Cancer, where Pluto was transiting throughout that decade, further helped women's rights; fittingly, women in the U.S. were finally given the right to vote in 1920. Uranus in Pisces also translated into new technologies (Uranus) such as radio to disseminate such Piscean phenomena as music and the first soap operas (soppy, never-ending stories literally sponsored by soap manufacturers). Silent film (a perfect representation of Pisces, since this water sign rules film and the water element is not verbal) peaked; not so coincidentally, the first "talkie," The Jazz Singer, was released in 1927--the year Uranus entered loud Aries. The square between Uranus and Pluto was not exact until the early 1930s, which signified the Great Depression as well as a "New Deal" in the U.S. and the rise of Fascism in Germany; that is really a whole other blog post. But during the late '20s, this fiery placement of Uranus ensured that youth would still flame...yet like its unofficial poet laureate, Edna St. Vincent Millay, it was burning its collective candle at both ends, and finally burned out altogether (another Aries trait) in the wake of the Crash (a Uranus action) of 1929.

Uranus has an 84-year cycle, spending 7 years transiting each sign of the zodiac, and reentered Pisces in 2003/4. Right now Uranus is at 26 degrees of Pisces; the last time it was in this degree was 1925. Neptune is now in Aquarius, and Pluto is in Capricorn--both, in other words, directly opposite from the signs of the outermost planets during the 1920s. So I can say without entirely joking that the 2000s have been the 1920s turned upside down. Alcohol is now legal, yet so many other prohibitions or severe restrictions are in effect it is easy to forget that they were no big deal in the U.S. back then (e.g., marijuana was legal until 1937) or even very recently (e.g., security measures). Indeed, I was irritated yet unsurprised that I was not allowed to carry my St-Germaine cocktail (an enticing mix of champagne and St-Germaine liquor, made in France from elderflowers, served on the rocks with a twist) I'd purchased back to my picnic blanket--drinking was restricted to the area where cocktails were sold. And of course, everyone had to flash their ID before they were allowed anywhere near the makeshift bar.

With Uranus once again transiting Pisces, nostalgia for the 1920s has gained momentum over the past five years--at least in New York City, the capital of the original decade-long party. Such regular or semi-regular '20ish events as "Shanghai Mermaid" and "Dances of Vice" are popular; BAM has recently been showing silent films with live music, the way it was done when these films were new. Retro cocktails, albeit legal for those of drinking age, are now more fashionable than Cosmos and Appletinis. As today proved, interest in the decade that roared is strong enough to draw hundreds of people--many of whom dressed in vintage apparel for the occasion--to a Jazz Age Lawn Party. I myself had such a swell time hanging with friends and hepcat strangers on a sun-drenched lawn that I didn't want the day ever to end. For many reasons, I was definitely not in the mood to take a 10-minute ferry ride back to the present.

"In the meantime, in between times, ain't we got fun?"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gemini at the Midheaven Musings

Traditionally, this means I should have two careers. Ideally it would be three, but at the moment I'm earning more money as a writer as I am as an astrologer, which is terrifying to contemplate. Still, it makes me feel good to know that I have my eggs distributed, albeit unevenly, in more than one basket. Especially during Great Depression II, it's a strength to be flexible in this way.

Plutonians, however, are not noted for flexibility, and my own Pluto exactly squares my Gemini Midheaven from the Ascendant. I have indeed clashed with authority figures on more than a few occasions, and yes, like nearly everything, it started in the home. If I ever become an authority figure, I sure hope not to run into power struggles with myself. It's actually something to which I've given much thought, just like the mock interviews I used to conduct with myself, even though I am still only a legend in my own mind. Perhaps this "training" I've put myself through means I am conscious enough not to become a power-abusing tyrant if I manage to get the kind of break that really matters in the real world.

Now I have to get back to the job at which I'm almost earning a living, even though I'd much rather be writing.