Monday, February 20, 2012

Pluto Rising Astrology at Your Service!

If you live in the NYC area or just plan to visit, I just thought I'd mention that in addition to being available for private astrological readings, I also do parties (with brief "Kamikaze" mini-readings for guests), and give private astrology lessons for those who are fascinated to learn about this ancient art. Please check my references on my homepage and contact me at PlutoRisingAstrologer@gmail.com for my rates.

I am a particularly good astrologer for Plutonic individuals who believe that change is not only possible, but necessary.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sun Conjunct Neptune: Don't Dream It, Be It

Remember the Mercury-Neptune conjunction on Valentine's Day? Were you able to communicate all the dreamy, inspiring thoughts swimming through your mind? Well, if the challenging Venus-Pluto square occurring at the same time kept you from feeling the universal love that Neptune is capable of, you have another chance today...except that it is far more visceral in nature than the Mercury-Neptune conjunction.

The Sun symbolizes one's life force and ego, and linking up with Neptune at 0 degrees of Pisces, this is an auspicious day for dreaming what and who you want to BE into reality. You need not be an artist or mystic to take full advantage of this aspect, but you will need to be open to the mysterious, inspirational nature of Neptune in its own ruling sign.

Meditate. Listen to music (right now I am playing ELO's El Dorado). If the spirit moves you, do a watercolor painting, or write poem or a song. Take a long bath. Allow yourself fantasize or daydream about your ideal self, with two caveats: Resolve to do something about making this dream come true, and also recognize that if your fantasy is so over the top that it could not possibly come to pass without jail time, eviction, or being chased by butterfly-net-wielding doctors, after the conjunction passes (3:42 p.m. EST) try to dial it down a few notches. Neptune is not moderate, has no boundaries, and can sometimes be downright delusional; if you do not temper its visions of what could be with a dose of pragmatism and awareness of reality, you can become dangerously swept up in its siren song.

You might also find yourself feeling lost or "at sea" today about who you really are; Neptune tends to dissolve or diffuse whatever planet it contacts. Such dissolution is particularly beneficial if you tend to be rigid or overly controlled; Neptune can open you up to new possibilities. However, if you are a Neptunian type to start with (i.e., your natal Neptune is heavily aspected or you have planets in Pisces), this feeling of not really knowing who you are might just be business as usual.

Neptune, which rules Pisces, is highly emotional and inspirational. Let yourself go with this Water-element flow, but at the same time, remember how to breathe underwater, and be sure to respect the undertow. (These instructions are not necessary for the Water signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces, but other signs may need them in order to navigate today's waves.)

Good cess in finding your own "Rainbow Connection."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pluto Rising Privacy Paradox

As you may have surmised by now, I have Pluto Rising. I do not shy away from the so-called dark side of existence, engage in a fair amount of profanity and perversity, and try to bring order out of chaos.

Pluto on the Ascendant is supposed to be the signature of a Highly Private Person. If the Ascendant is one's front door, mine presumably should lack a "Welcome" mat; more fitting would be a sign that reads "I'd Turn Back if I Were You" or simply "Go the Fuck Away."

However, I tend to get highly personal in many of my posts. While part of this self-exposure may have been due to Neptune's fourteen-year transit of Aquarius (see my first post of today), it's still perplexing to me. After all, I have a journal. I could write my deepest, darkest, dorkiest thoughts in it instead of here.

Here is what I have realized: I am not "above it all," and do not pretend to be. I definitely have a mystical streak; I have embraced the art of astrology for over twenty years. But I do not live in a cave apart from humanity (though sometimes I would like to do just that). I am an introvert, yet still crave meaningful connections with people, whether face-to-face or via this blog or a published poem or a performance. Planetary transits affect me just as profoundly as they do you. So my sharing may go against the Pluto Rising grain (and let's not even get into my Moon in Scorpio desire for secrecy and mystery), but if even one person reading one of my sad, mad, bad posts feels less alone or freaky as a result, I am doing part of my job as an astrological healer.

For astrology is indeed healing. As screwed up as I can feel, I know that I'd be much worse off if I didn't know my natal chart and the current transits. One of the most important tenets of astrology (which separates astrologers from astronomers) is "As above, so below." Astrology is not a crutch; it's an ever-changing map or blueprint. Knowing that I have Pluto Rising does not give me a license to be a lawless, ruthless asshole; it does, however, give me an excellent opportunity to study all traits associated with Pluto and become the best Plutonian possible. If it takes me the rest of this incarnation, that is what I intend to do. The examined life truly is the only one worth living.

Pardon my multiple postings of today, but Plutonians can get a bit obsessive at times....

Peace.

My Apartment Now Looks a Lot Emptier

So it's done. Ex-boyfriend officially moved out on the Moon-Venus square, with Moon at my Midheaven squaring my Pluto and Asc. and Venus approaching an opposition to my Pluto. Translation: It is indeed possible to know rationally that a domestic situation ending is for the best, and still feel like utter shit. My stomach hurts.

I am already jonesing for Zephyr, the little zebra handmade in Kenya I gave to my ex for Christmas 2010. I realize how neurotic this sounds, but it's the truth. I am not sure what astrologically corresponds to a love of stuffed animals (not indiscriminate love, mind you). They're not exactly toys (which I would consider a Gemini-Mercury / Leo-Sun thing) although you can play with them; they can be a comfort and a springboard to one's imaginative capabilities.

Anyway, in the spirit of defensiveness I shall include some photos of Zephyr so you can see for yourself that he is the most adorable zebra in the world and worthy of missing with all of one's heart. The scarf he is wearing is a going-away present; I cut it down from an old cashmere scarf I no longer wear. You can also see him flipping (one of his two favorite activities, the other being camouflaging, which he is also doing with my striped sheets) next to his rolling best friend, William, who is being far more stoic about Zephyr's departure than I am.

Thank god the ex and I never got the brilliant idea to get a dog.


Last Call for Neptune in Aquarius

It is time to bid farewell to Neptune's transit of Aquarius. Are you ready for a moment or two of silence and reflection as I raise a metaphoric chalice and try to be articulate and eloquent?

Ladies and gentlemen, players and pervs: I for one am more than ready to say sayonara to Neptune in Aquarius. In 2000, transiting Neptune formed an easy-peasy trine to my Uranus in Libra (which manifested in the publication of my first novel, thanks to POD publisher Xlibris), but after that early high point, transiting Neptune formed only two other good aspects to my natal chart--the trine to my Gemini Midheaven in 2009 (which manifested in the publication of my first eBook on the now-defunct Paper Bag Press), followed a year later by the trine to my critical-degree Jupiter in Libra (another eBook and the start of my ascent on the NY poetry-performance circuit).

On second thought, given these undeniably positive manifestations of Neptune in Aquarius, perhaps I am being too hasty to want to write off the bulk of this fourteen-year transit, in which Neptune formed mainly squares and inconjuncts to my Scorpio, Cancer, and Virgo placements. Still, as a "mud" individual (except for Uranus and Jupiter, all my natal planets plus Asc. are in the Water and Earth elements), it has not been the easiest Neptune transit for me to understand and groove with. (Not that Neptune at 0 degrees of Pisces, which we experienced last year between early April and early August, was smooth sailing--Neptune came within half a degree of opposing my Venus before turning retrograde).

Neptune is the planet of the collective unconscious, the collective imagination, the collective soul, and All Things Pisces (including the arts, sacrifice, sleep, the seven seas, dreams, drugs, passivity, prison, hospital, retreat, and the Achilles' heel of the Fishes: self-undoing). It takes fourteen years for Neptune to pass through a sign, and whatever sign Neptune passes through has a huge influence on ideals and culture (understanding that not all cultures are identical--far from it). Neptune glamorizes all things associated with whatever sign it is transiting, but by the end of the transit, much of the glamour has dissolved (another Neptune effect) into disenchantment (ditto).

Aquarius, the Water Bearer, is not a Water sign as many people naturally assume; it is an Air sign, ruled by revolutionary, reform-minded, rebellious Uranus. Aquarius also rules large groups and friendship. Although Air signs have the reputation as being friendly and easygoing, there is nothing whatsoever "chill" about Aquarius. This sign manages to be both stubborn (due to its Fixed qualitity) and erratic (due to the influence of ruling planet Uranus). Actually, there is one chilly aspect to the sign: its ability to detach emotionally from everyone and everything, which can make more sensitive, sentimental signs shiver (interestingly, the Aquarius time of year, where we are now, is midwinter).

Perhaps the most important cultural phenomenon associated with Neptune in Aquarius is Facebook and other social network sites such as Twitter. I myself delayed opening a Facebook account till relatively late in the game (i.e., mid-2009), but for a couple of years before that it seemed to figure in nearly every conversation I overheard (as a writer, it is my job to eavesdrop) or took part in (i.e., having to explain that no, I still hadn't joined the Facebook party). "Friend" became a verb during this time (as well as "defriend"), and indeed, the entire definition of friendship became more fluid (Neptune). It used to be that a friend was someone who essentially knew you and had your back and vice versa; a close friend was someone you could also call at 3 a.m. or break down in front of when your world was falling apart. Now a friend could be someone who sat behind you in tenth-grade Social Studies, or someone you didn't even know but wanted to friend you because you had mutual friends (many of whom you also had zero to slight actual contact with). As of this writing, I have "only" 151 friends on Facebook; most of them are just acquaintances, and only a handful are from my checkered past (I was so unpopular in high school and college that I've rarely had to deal with old chums wanting to reconnect on Facebook--although it was just my luck that the creep who bullied me from fifth grade through middle school found me on an online dating site and then sent me a friend request). More gregarious individuals have anywhere from 300 to 2,000 friends on Facebook. (I wonder if there is a formula for figuring out how many of one's Facebook friends are actual friends.)

The mass e-mail and the Evite, both of which were born with Neptune in technologically driven Aquarius, foreshadowed the status update and the event invitation on Facebook. Neptune rules masks; paradoxically, as Facebook has enabled millions of individuals to make their most secret moments, thoughts, and feelings public, there is also a sense of distance and charade. Similar to online dating site profiles (which had lost its "only for losers" reputation and become a socially acceptable fact of life by the time Neptune was midway through Aquarius), many people craft their Facebook persona, especially as the need to privacy has become more important at the end of Neptune in Aquarius (thanks to the Internet and Google, plus ill-considered Facebook posts and photos, many of us can never run for public office). Status updates that receive the most comments tend to be witty, sarcastic, politically oriented "preaching to the converted" opinions, or involve cute or hip YouTube clips. "Popular" people on Facebook will get tea-and-sympathy comments for woe-is-me status updates, probably because the odds are in their favor that at least twenty of their so-called friends will be online (especially with the rise of smartphones--another Neptune in Aquarius happening) and care enough to comment at that moment.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Facebook and other social network sites as Neptune transits Pisces for the next fourteen years. Personally, I predict the fever has broken, and that one's privacy will become far more important now. Also, TV and film may improve enough in quality to succeed in pulling people away from social networking in favor of watching something really good either alone or with honest-to-god friends. There will probably be an increased need to unplug from the sights and sounds not just of the cyberworld, but the so-called real world (whatever that may be). Retreats, spas, hydrotherapy, and spiritual quests will all capture the popular imagination; and despite the presence of Pluto in authoritarian, conservative Capricorn, I predict that decriminalization of "soft" drugs such as marijuana will continue, especially for medical purposes (the Virgo-Pisces axis). And recently a study was released detailing how psilocybin (aka "funny mushrooms") can be used to treat depression. Roughly midway through Neptune's transit of Pisces, Uranus will move into Taurus, which may spark a "pleasure" movement leading to outright legalization (but I wouldn't hold my breath--i.e., don't inhale just yet).

Since 1998, global culture has been profoundly affected by terrorism--in particular, terrorist "cells," fanaticism, and use of technology, all Aquarian specialties. To be sure, Pluto is intimately linked to crime, but in the case of terrorism Pluto is more associated with the "power behind the throne," secret strategies, and the result of terrorism (mass death). Also, during most of the time Neptune was in Aquarius, Pluto was in free-range Sagittarius (the sign associated with, among many other things, long-distance travel, dogmatism, religion, philosophy, and the "culture wars"). Neptune, ruling both dreams and glamour, has assisted in giving untold numbers of individuals worldwide nightmares and delusions of grandeur regarding terrorism. I do not think terrorism will die with Neptune out of Aquarius, but it will definitely go underground, and biochemical warfare (particularly involving the water supply) will be of concern.

Well, I see that Neptune has officially entered Pisces, so I should wrap this up. My ex-boyfriend will be showing up any minute with the movers. Yes, he is moving out this afternoon. Coincidence? I think not.

As always, stay tuned...