Thursday, October 23, 2014

Entering the Scorpio Zone

It happens every October 23nd (sometimes on the 22nd), but trust me, you ain't seen anything like this particular Sun-in-Scorpio ingress. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, grab the Dramamine; if you are susceptible to jet lag, break out them melatonin pills.

We're not talking about subtlety here. When you went to bed last night, the Sun, Moon, and Venus were all in Libra. As of this writing, the Sun has entered Scorpio, Venus is in the last gasp of Libra, and the Moon is just behind Venus in very late Libra. So right now, we are straddling the astrological equivalent of the International Date Line. Within three hours Venus and the Moon enter Scorpio, almost instantly come together in a conjunction (5:12 p.m. ET), and the Solar Eclipse occurs just before 6 p.m.

This very rare stellium at 0 degrees of Scorpio may serve as a much-needed renewal trigger for water-sign individuals (or those who have many planets in the water element), as Scorpio is all about transformation and regeneration, the phoenix rising from the ashes. Since Venus is involved (and catches up with the Sun this Saturday at 3:31 a.m.), this need for renewal specifically focuses on love and sex -- the latter, of course, is a Scorpio specialty, but the former can be tricky to handle in the sign of the Scorpion, as jealousy and possessiveness can get in the way. The main challenge is to allow yourself to love and desire intensely without trying to own or control the object of your love...if you freak out, your love is sure to object. However, this could be a great time to experiment with BDSM or roleplay in a safe, intimate environment.

Libra can never decide what it truly wants; it swings back and forth on its scales. Scorpio, by contrast, tends toward a starkly black-and-white philosophy and cranks its amp to 11 (that's a Spinal Tap reference, in case you didn't know). For Scorpio, it's yes or no -- "maybe" is for suckers. It's good or bad, right or wrong, stay or go, now or never -- not "it depends." It's all or nothing -- there are no half measures. As you might imagine, this attitude runs into a lot of trouble in situations where compromise and conflict resolution are called for (school, work, family, relationships, friendships, politics -- am I leaving anything out?) and just like shit, ambivalence happens.

Scorpio is a paradox in that it is so stealthy yet also tends to apply its desires with a Vulcan grip; it is perceptive and far more sensitive than its badass rep would suggest, yet its will to not merely survive, but to come out on top cannot be denied. However, the way Scorpio rolls can come in very handy in competition, war, and survival-oriented shit. Scorpio is indeed a survivor (as is the sign Cancer, albeit using a very different tactic).

Such dramatic, whole-hog intensity can also shine through in the arts: think of Pablo Picasso and art nouveau master Theophile Steinlen (both Suns in Scorpio) and Rembrandt (Moon in Scorpio); Maya Plisetskaya, considered one of the best ballerinas of the 20th century; John Keats, Dylan Thomas, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Fydor Dostoyevsky, and Kurt Vonnegut. On a personal level, I credit William Steig (Scorpio, Moon in Pisces) perhaps most of all for my deciding at a very tender age to become a writer and artist. It reached me on that primal a level. (Primal is another Scorpio domain.) And the first time I heard Scorpio Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane sing in her piercing, challenging voice:

When the truth is found
To be lies
And all the joy
Within you dies
Don't you want somebody to love?
Don't you need somebody to love?
Wouldn't you love somebody to love?
You've got to find somebody to love...

It wormed its way inside my angst-filled, Moon-in-Scorpio teen soul and drowned out all the '80s pop pap that I had been ingesting every time I watched MTV or tuned my "box" to Z100 or WPLJ (including, sorry to say, recent offerings from the Jefferson Starship -- "We Built This City on Rock and Roll" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" both made me want to vomit). The late 1960s-era Jefferson Airplane was packed with talent, but it simply could not have flown so high, nor delved so deep, without Gracie.

Just to make life more interesting, the dramatic shift from Libra to Scorpio is occuring with Mercury stationing direct and Mars at the end of Sagittarius -- so two more shifts are in store for us. When Mercury appears from Earth's perspective to be stationery, this is an excellent time to meditate, focus, and also to find things, people, and feelings you'd lost over the past month, especially in mid-September. Don't overthink it -- chances are very likely these lost things will turn up unexpectedly.

As for Mars leaving Sagittarius and entering Capricorn in a few days -- stay tuned for that; I think I've given you Dear Readers quite enough food for thought for one post. Now go out and find somebody to love -- starting with yourself.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sun-Uranus Opposition: Like Mairzey Doats, Jangly and Jivey

Though it was more of a gray night than a white night, as I managed to sleep a little bit here and there, it was such a restless, scattered night I might as well have not slept at all. This is pretty much to be expected on a Sun-Uranus opposition (exact today at 4:58 p.m. ET) on an upcoming Lunar Eclipse (exact at 6:51 a.m. tomorrow).

The signs involved in both oppositions are Libra and Aries, so we must all contemplate who we are in relation to others, especially significant others, while not shelving our individual selves. This challenge can result in a pretty heavy identity crisis, especially because Mercury is currently retrograde in Scorpio; it is hard to know exactly what to think, and neither Libra nor Aries is able to truly feel, albeit for very different reasons. As a sociable air sign, Libra's MO is communication, harmony, and partnership, yet is uncomfortable dealing with dark, messy intimacy and knowing what it truly wants; by contrast, as an aggressive fire sign, Aries knows exactly what it wants, must be the first in line (just as it is the first sign of the zodiac), and if that means stepping on others' toes, so be it. Aries personifies the rugged invidualist, the polar opposite of Libra's "you complete me" orientation.

Do keep in mind that I am not claiming all Libra Suns are pretty party people, nor are all Aries Suns pushy me-firsters; I am talking now about the purity of each sign's expression, not an entire chart that includes the Moon and all the other planets in our solar system. Depending on all these other planetary placements besides the Sun, it is entirely possible to be an antisocial Libra or a meek Aries.

Perhaps too much emphasis is given to eclipses, but if you know that the upcoming Lunar Eclipse falls near your Sun or Moon, other planets, or the angles of your chart, it will certainly be more significant than a regular Full Moon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pluto: Back by Popular Demand?

How on earth did I miss this particular news item? Apparently, on September 18 (with Pluto stationing direct and the Sun within a degree of my natal Pluto), the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics brought in three experts to debate the status of Pluto, which had been demoted as a planet by the International Astronomers Union in 2006 (but not by astrologers, many of whom felt, as I did, that dissing the likes of Pluto was not the wisest of ideas, akin to attempting to put the genie back in the bottle or locking a problem child in a closet).

The event, entitled "What Is a Planet?," was webcast. One expert, Gareth Williams, stuck with the IAU definition that booted Pluto out of planetdom (as it shares the far-off Kuiper Belt with other orbiting objects), while a second expert, Owen Gingerich, defined the term as continually shifting, one o' dem cultural constructs, which implies that Pluto at the very least should be put on planetary probation if not fully reinstated. But it was third expert Dimitar Sasselov's definition of planet that was voted by the vast majority of the audience in the auditorium as the way to go: "the smallest spherical lump of matter that formed around stars or stellar remnants."

Naturally, this most popular definition could open the planetary floodgates, as it is not limited to our our solar system. The Milky Way alone could account for a mind-boggling number of planets.

But far better to invite more celestial bodies to the planet party than ban Pluto. After all, any gathering that lacks a major-league badass is no party at all.