Friday, September 28, 2012

Harvest Moon: Thunder, Lightning...Apocalypse Now?

The Harvest Moon is exact tomorrow, Saturday 9/29, at 11:19 p.m. ET. (Please note that all times given are ET.) Under more normal conditions this would merely be an important Full Moon, for this stage of the lunar cycle always marks the culmination or climax of something. And the Full Moon in Aries always has something important to say about our relationship to ourselves as well as to our significant others. Under our current planetary conditions, hold on to your seats and take a deep breath: we are all in for a dark, stormy night.

The Full Moon will begin to be felt as early as 3:19 a.m. on Saturday, when the Sun opposes Uranus. Ego clashes and relationship troubles are very likely -- as are electrical fires and bizarre technical malfunctions. Individuals who have heart conditions or are accident prone are particularly vulnerable under this aspect.

We will barely have time to recover from the fallout of this explosive opposition before the Sun squares Pluto (exact 1:54 p.m.). Control issues and resentment over being controlled or exploited will come to a head. The balance of power is unbalanced, and the square indicates a real tug-of-war is likely. On the bright side, real healing can begin at this time -- but it is not going to tickle, because it involves letting go (an anathema to Pluto). Oh, and they also just ran out of anesthesia. You may feel compelled to transform at the same time that someone or something is holding you back; before you lash out at any jailors in your life, first look within to determine whether that holder-backer is, in fact, you.

The Moon in Aries conjuncts Uranus and squares Pluto shortly before the Full Moon, at 9:40 p.m. and 10:34 p.m., respectively. While the Solar aspects earlier in the day concentrated on crises of self-identity and ego clashes, the lunar aspects will home in on your emotional well-being -- how you really, truly feel, and what you really, truly need. With the conjunction between the Moon and Uranus, you may feel hotheaded, headstrong, and determined at all costs to have it your way. You may even run a literal fever. Even the most steady, levelheaded individuals may wind up doing something totally impulsive and out of character. If it is illegal or dangerous, arrest or death may result, as the Moon squares Pluto less than an hour after the conjunction.

This Harvest Moon will bring the notorious Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-15 (which was exact for the second time on 9/19) to everyone's attention in a deeply personal manner, via crises concerning self-identity, relationships, and emotional health. If you have up until now considered the Uranus-Pluto square a collective aspect that is "out there" and does not really affect you, this Full Moon may very well make you start singing a different tune.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

On the Edge of the Autumnal Equinox (a poem)

Last sunset of summer
over the Hudson River
from a Tribeca rooftop
through my wineglass --
a birthday party for
the Virgo girlfriend
of a Virgo ex.
It has been over three years
since I have been here.

My best friend brought a date
who is so rude that he leaves
before he drives her
to push him off the roof
for being hostile and uncouth.

I keep thinking I will leave
after one more glass of wine --
it does not happen.
It is a magical glass
that keeps refilling itself.
But what the hell:
the Moon is in Sagittarius,
which encourages excess.

The party's remnants
move from the roof to my ex's apartment
to smoke and drink. A pizza arrives
and I take a slice to absorb all the wine.
Three latecomers show up
just as I am about to leave --
I wind up staying till the party breaks up
because two are astrologers
visiting from the West Coast
and the other one knows her chart
and makes me feel smart.

Just a few blocks from home
I hold the door of a bodega open
to let in a large black cat with a white chin
that I have seen slinking down those aisles
of canned soups, sodas, and six packs.
A guy passing by exclaims how nice that was
of me to do, and asks me what I think
the cat's name is -- it's gotta be
something Arabic, right?
Without missing a beat, I reply "Halal,"
and as the guy laughs, I still can't believe it's nearly fall.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Moon in Virgo / Uranus-Pluto Square #2 / 12th-House Reflections

The New Moon in Virgo happens tonight at 10:11 p.m. EDT. (Please note that all times given are EDT.) This New Moon kicks off a busy astrological week. The final week of the summer of 2012 will most definitely go out with a bang, not a whimper:

Mercury enters Libra tomorrow (Sunday) at 7:22 p.m., leading up to the argumentative, confrontational aspects of Mercury opposing Uranus and squaring Pluto. Although both of these aspects occur on Thursday (6:24 p.m. and 7:19 p.m., respectively), we will get a taste of it tomorrow evening between 8:33 and 8:42 p.m., and it is likely not to taste good. Although the Moon transiting Libra normally indicates two and a half days of harmonious, diplomatic relating to one another, it has quite a different flavor in our current Uranus-in-Aries and Pluto-in-Capricorn era. The Moon-Pluto square and Moon-Uranus opposition marks the beginning of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year; I am very concerned of above-average incidents of anti-Semitic-induced fanaticism, clashes, and violence. If there are any rabbis reading this, please put in a request to double your temple's security.

Pluto turns direct at 1:05 a.m. on Tuesday; although outer planets' stationing direct or retrograde tend not to be that noticeable on an individual level, we will certainly be feeling this shift collectively, as it precedes the infamous, revolutionary, hotheaded yet cold-blooded Uranus-Pluto square -- two down, five to go. I am just now realizing that this summer is literally bookended by the Uranus-Pluto square, as the first one happened on June 24, just three days after the solstice, and #2 occurs on September 19, just three days before the equinox. Unless you have been in a coma, or in a spot of the world with no newspapers, TV, or Wi-Fi, you know how much unrest and jaw-dropping indignities have been going on in the world. (A lot.)

On a personal level (knock wood) I feel much better now, in just about every area, than I did in lateish June -- yet I admittedly have a sense of foreboding that I cannot seem to shake off. It's not so much the "be careful what you wish for" syndrome, but the feeling that all my heart's desires are balanced precariously atop a house of cards, or a fountain whose height and force are beyond my control, and I could lose it all in a heartbeat. In part this is a reaction to Neptune opposing my natal Venus, which will not be over and done with till early next year, but even the most stable, settled, successful souls cannot rest on their laurels under the Uranus-Pluto square. Any challenging aspect between these two outer planets -- Uranus the volatile, iconoclastic visionary that alternates between genius and madness; Pluto the cruel Godfather of the underworld with an equally strong potential for healing others' pain, but always the never-say-die phoenix rising from its own ashes -- turns the world and all its inhabitants upside down. No one can take anything for granted, even if it (and the possibilities are limitless -- a law, a lover, a career, a coastline) seems like A Sure Thing. Those who not just survive but thrive will have fast reflexes and be uncannily cunning, creating their own niches and, if necessary, their own rules. The most recent challenging aspect between Uranus and Pluto was the conjunction back in 1965-66; before that, a square back in the early 1930s. If you were not alive during either of these Uranus-Pluto eras, talk to those who were, watch some documentaries, read some books, and reflect on Mark Twain's observation about history: it may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

If roller coasters are not your cup of tea, you probably do not much care for the Uranus-Pluto square -- but unlike an amusement-park ride that you can politely decline in favor of the more sedate merry-go-round, you cannot sit this square out. Maybe by the third or fourth go-around you will get the hang of it, even if you would rather go home and go fetal. If you happen to adore roller coasters, it is also worth considering that the Uranus-Pluto square is not a ride that you have to stand on an endless line for and that is over way too soon; it is nearly three years of Real Life.

Speaking of Real Life, I wish I were a middle-class European, in order to be able to remove myself from the workaday fray each and every year between approximately August 22 and September 18, when the Sun transits my 12th House. With the exception of a few souls who are firmly ensconced in my heart, this is the time of year when the sound of an incoming text or phone call makes me wince, and work (the kind of I get paid to do) is the last area I want to focus on. If it were up to me, I would've spent the past three weeks (and the next three days) drifting, drawing, writing, inhaling movies and museums, daydreaming, beaching, sleeping, making love, lolling, recharging. All of these activities would make me a Very Bad American indeed, since the aim of most U.S. citizens is to take pride in being not merely busy, but monumentally, balls-to-the-wall, about-to-go-postal, blood-vessel-popping busy. This New Moon happens two degrees behind my Ascendant (and 1.5 deg. from my Pluto)...so close and yet so far away from the astrological time zone known as the 1st House. Oh well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What Happens When I Take My Eye off the Astrology Ball

Short answer: It's not pretty.

Long answer: Because I was unusually harried and pressed for time on Saturday afternoon, I failed to look ahead on my trusty astrology software program for the exact timing of two doozies headed my way: transiting Neptune opposing my natal Venus and transiting Mars conjuncting my natal Moon. I knew they were coming; I just didn't know how soon. Like, on Monday. And I was away from my 'pooter for the rest of the weekend.

Oops.

Part I: So Venus Walks into a Bar and Spills Her Drink on Neptune...

I raised a sensitive issue with my sweetie ca. noon yesterday instead of holding my water till the next time we got together. Pobody's nerfect, and a few hours later I made an effort to set things right by articulating myself better, and I think I succeeded. But try telling that to my mortified Venus in Virgo as Neptune exactly opposed it. It was a perfect storm of bad timing, hurt feelings, and yes, opposition. At the very least, I should've taken the Moon in Cancer into account before saying anything; emotions run pretty high during this lunar transit.

Part II: Moon-Mars Meltdown

The Moon may soothe an angry Mars, but the reverse just ain't so. As a Lunar Scorpion, I have no halfway feelings: I am either scaling the heights of ecstasy or plumbing the depths of despair; Zenning out or really pissed off; in hard-core downtime mode or wanting not just to connect, but to merge. Scorpio is an emotional Water sign, yet its Fixed quality makes it far more stubborn than its cousins Pisces and Cancer, and its ruler, Pluto, is a tough negotiator that dwells in the realm of extremes: birth, death, sex, taxes. It's the power behind the throne, not the performer in the spotlight. Mars in Scorpio is all about power and magnetism, and its capacity for getting shit done is truly amazing -- but when it's under stress, front and center is the last place it should be.

So what did I do when, upon returning home and perusing my astro software, I clearly saw that Mars was due to cross over my Moon shortly after 9 p.m.? Under the fog of Neptune still opposing my Venus, I went ahead with my plans to read at a performance series that I already had plenty good reason to think was no longer working out for my particular set of sensibilities -- in fact, with these misgivings in mind, I had already discouraged my sweetie from attending the show. I did not want to attend either, yet I decided that it would be a chicken-poop move to cancel unless I were truly ill, and feeling sad and worried did not count as such in my book. As my little crew of friends were not going to show up till later in the show, when the curator of the show asked me when I wanted to go on, I requested a late slot (which meant very, very close to the exact conjunction between Mars and my Moon). Most of the show went fine; unlike last month, most performers stuck around after their slot to shine; the venue was even air-conditioned (though it wasn't necessary, as NYC had cooled down considerably by sunset).

Then a dyed-redheaded woman, who looked to be smack in the middle of middle age, got up there and sang, then flat-out yelled, incoherent verses while banging a wooden spoon on the table closest to the stage. She reminded me of a mental Ethel Merman (Menthal Merman? Ethal Mental?). Like the Journey song "Don't Stop Believing," she went on, and on, and on, and on...till she managed to clear most of the room. With her bright red hair and headache-inducing racket, she may have been a manifestation of Mars on my Moon; my reaction was quite unusual for performance-mode me. When people understandably began jumping ship, I hot-footed it over to the back of the room to ask the curator of the show if he was planning on yanking this woman off The Gong Show anytime soon. He pointed out that I'd asked to be put on late; I thought, but did not reply, that this preference had nothing to do with the fact that Menthal Merman was causing a mass exodus. I myself nearly fled the venue without reading, but stuck it out and seethed during the next performance. I was most assuredly not "feeling it" when I was finally standing at the mic and peering out at several rows of empty tables and chairs. I apologized to the curator for my Moon-Mars meltdown, but I don't think I sounded too convincing.

And I think I know why.