Sunday, May 27, 2012

Partial Lunar Eclipse In Sagittarius 2012

June 04, 2012
6:12 AM Eastern
4:12 AM Pacific

"The Archer's strategy, in a word, is to live life as an adventure. He must surrender all notions of safety. He must willingly set aside any idea or opinion as soon as he sees himself hiding behind it. He must go unhesitatingly forward, expecting miracles, forever ready to perform that classic Sagittarian masterstroke: the leap of faith."
-Steven Forrest, The Inner Sky

The Annular/Partial Eclipse of May 20th culminates into a Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on June 4th--just one day prior to the Transit of Venus on June 5th/6th. With this strong emphasis in Gemini, we are greatly influenced by the mind--and likely feel a strong impulse toward the acquisition of greater knowledge and information. The Solar Eclipse, square Neptune, also had the potential to plunge consciousness into a fit of existential crisis, confusion, and intense paranoia--and equally, to allow for the expression of deeply rooted emotions, letting it all hang out. Primarily, it seems these symbols offer the opportunity to transcend our limitations, related mostly to ideas and preconceived notions. Venus retrograde conjoins the Sun, in opposition the Lunar Eclipse--pulling us toward the past in all its multitude of forms--"past lives", past relationships, old connections, memories, situations--and also, the uncovering and resurrection of talents and abilities left dormant or long forgotten. We are likely to find ourselves involved in all sorts of karmic time loops, for reasons that are probably beyond all rational understanding.

Mars in Virgo forms a rather prominent T-Square to the Lunar Eclipse, adding a bit of potential conflict and stress. Trying to attain absolute perfection is in itself, a futile attempt--whatever it is. We are imperfect beings in an impermanent and (if you haven't noticed yet) imperfect world. Don't get stuck beating a dead horse--leave it alone, and let it rot. What awaits us here, at the brink of this Eclipse, is the opportunity to see our attempts not as entirely pointless and futile, but rather, apart of a larger co-creative process we may never fully comprehend or understand--and in reality, we don't need to. As humans, we offer our experience, our creations, and ultimately, we offer our awareness to the universe at large. This Eclipse is, needless to say, expansive--it offers the message of needing to be totally open, vulnerable, and naked to the unknown and the unfathomable dimensions of existence. If this Eclipse is prominent for you (mainly by a conjunction to a significant natal placement or angle of the birthchart)--it invites us to take some risks, step out of the comfy and predictable, and to take on an uncharted horizon--and to also find some practical applicability for various thoughts, ideas, theories, or opinions.

In Carlos Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, Don Juan reveals to Carlos the four "natural enemies" one must defeat to become a "man of knowledge". These can be summed up as: Fear, Clarity, Power, and Old Age. It is the first two which concern us here. In Don Juan's own words:

"When a man starts to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty; his intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning."
"He slowly begins to learn--bit by bit at first, then in big chunks. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Learning is never what one expects. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, inyeildingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield."
"And thus he has stumbled upon the first of his natural enemies: Fear! A terrible enemy--treacherous, and difficult to overcome. It remains concealed at every turn of the way, prowling, waiting. And if the man, terrified in its presence, runs away, his enemy will have put an end to his quest."

Carlos asks.....

"And what can he do to overcome fear?"

"The answer is very simple. He must not run away. He must defy his fear, and in spite of it he must take the next step in learning, and the next, and the next. He must be fully afraid, and yet he must not stop. That is the rule! And a moment will come when his first enemy retreats. The man begins to feel sure of himself. His intent becomes stronger. Learning is no longer a terrifying task."

-- "But won't the man be afraid again if something new happens to him?"

"Once a man has vanquished fear, he is free from it for the rest of his life, because, instead of fear, he has acquired clarity of mind which erases fear. By then a man knows his desire; he knows how to satisfy those desires. He can anticipate the new steps of learning, and a sharp clarity surrounds everything. The man feels that nothing is concealed.
"And thus he has encountered his second enemy: Clarity! That clarity of mind, which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear, but also blinds."

Hmm, I wonder how this could apply to humanity at this time, at our current juncture of "evolution"?. As I stated above, this Eclipse occurs the day before the Transit of Venus--which has an indefinite effect on the evolution of our current scientific paradigm. It seems that, intellectually, and scientifically, we have achieved this illusionary sense of "clarity", as the current consensus paradigm seems to uphold this idea that we have somehow conquered our fears of the irrational realms of the psyche and of nature itself. In regards to clarity, Don Juan continues:

"It [clarity] forces the man never to doubt himself. It gives him the assurance he can do anything he pleases, for he sees clearly into everything. And he is courageous because he is clear, and he stops at nothing because he is complete. If the man yields to this make-believe power, he has succumbed to his second enemy, and will be patient when he should rush. And he will fumble with learning until he winds up incapable of learning anything more."

"What becomes of a man who is defeated in that way, don Juan? Does he die as a result?"

"No, he doesn't die. His second enemy has just stopped him cold from trying to become a man of knowledge; instead, the man may turn into a buoyant warrior, or a clown. Yet the clarity for which he has paid so dearly will never change to darkness and fear again. He will be clear as long as he lives, but he will no longer learn, or yearn for, anything."[Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge, 83-85]
Upon reflecting on this Eclipse, I was reminded of this passage from the first of Castaneda's books. I feel it speaks for itself. This Eclipse invites us to keep in mind that we never truly stop learning. Just when we think we've made it to that final point, that end-all higher perspective, we realize that the rabbit hole just keeps on going--and going, and going. Neptune turns direct shortly after this Eclipse, allowing us to peer a little more deeply behind the veil of illusion--to see further into the mechanization of the numinous. Mercury forms a trine to Saturn retrograde in Libra--if we've done the required reading and necessary critical thinking, a lot of things can seemingly come together now. This also lends well to staying practical in the midst of such expansive visionary tendencies.

The sabian symbol for the Lunar Eclipse reads:

"The groundhog looking for its shadow"

I'm sure we're all familiar with this symbol. Traditionally, on Groundhog day, if the groundhog "sees" its shadow and is frightened by it, it foretells six more weeks of cold winter weather. Conversely, if it's cloudy out, and there is no sunlight to cast a shadow--then spring will arrive early that year. Groundhog day occurs on February 2, while the Sun is in tropical Aquarius, a sign associated with foreknowledge and visions of the future. The 1993 film Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, was the story of a man who awoke each morning on the same day (Groundhog day), over and over again--trapped in a ceaseless time-loop. Each day he would retain his memories from the previous day, but everyone else in his reality would go about, the same as usual. Bill Murray's character, Phil Connors, is a self-centered meteorologist, who eventually opens his heart, and is transformed into a compassionate and humble individual. Throughout the film, Phil's darker tendencies escalate, and he even attempts to kill himself several times, which actually works, that is until he wakes up the next day alive. After a while though, the constant repetition gives way to a sort of spiritual awakening and transcendence of his personal perspective and to a greater awareness of the needs of others.

On a spiritual level, the film suggests going through something over and over until one is able to completely transcend it. If encountered with such a phenomena, one is likely to feel like a victim at first, but that will only lead to more and more of the same thing. It seems the movie has a powerful message about life itself as a spiritual journey, and reveals that through repetition we learn to eventually let go of who we think we are--leading to complete transformation. The symbol of Groundhog Day itself, suggests anticipation of the future, of changing events or circumstances, and of planning and preparing objectives and goals. Now, in opposition to the Lunar Eclipse, the Sun's symbol reads:

"Two Dutch children talking"

 Interestingly, the Groundhog day festivities, in Pennsylvania, are spoken entirely in the Pennsylvania German dialect--and supposedly anyone in attendance whom speaks only English has to pay a penalty of a nickel, dime, or quarter for every word spoken--throwing it into a bowel at the center of a table. Perhaps these symbols together suggest learning another language, whether symbolically or literally--or learning to speak a common language. We get a sense of facing one's shadow, over and over until a new dawn emerges. Combined with the other symbols inherent to this Eclipse, we get the sense of needing to expand beyond self-interest and familiarity--and to be receptive to foreign and unknown levels of reality and life experience. Never stop learning, never cease growing, we're all here for a reason--and while it may not make much sense at times, even feeling rather futile--there is a greater process at work here, which is completely beyond our individual imaginary perceptions.

Technical Details

This will be a partial eclipse of the Moon, occurring at 14 Sagittarius and 14 minutes. The Eclipse will be primarily visible from the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii, New Zealand, and central and eastern Australia. Other areas of visibility will include Japan, eastern Asia, and Antarctica--those on the Western coast of the US will be able to view some of the eclipse, however, the Moon will set before it is complete.

Penumbra Eclipse begins @ 8:48:09 UT
Partial Eclipse begins @ 9:59:53 UT
Middle of Eclipse @ 11:03:13 UT
Partial Eclipse ends @ 12:06:30 UT
Penumbral Eclipse ends @ 13:18:17 UT

Friday, May 18, 2012

Transit of Venus 2012

An anthropomorphized depiction of the Transit of Venus June 6th, 1761, conjoined Mercury--By Johann Gabriel Doppelmayr. First published in Atlas von hundert Charten 1712 & reprinted in Grossen Atlas 1716.

A Transit of Venus is a rare astronomical/astrological event which occurs along alternating cycles of 129.5, and 113.5 years. For the most part, the Transits of Venus occur in pairs, eight years apart. For example, the last TOV cycles (I will be using the abbreviation 'TOV' for succinctness), occured in 1874 and 1882. The most recent TOV event occured on June 8th, 2004 at 17 degrees tropical Gemini--the second of the pair will occur June 5th/6th, 2012 at 15 degrees tropical Gemini. So....what is it? Visually, from our perspective, a TOV is when the planet Venus literally passes over the Sun, causing what is known as an occultation--which is similar to what happens during a Solar Eclipse, when the Moon passes over the Sun, blocking out its light momentarily. Unlike a Solar Eclipse, however, Venus is much smaller in its apparent diameter from our geocentric perception, because, it's further away than our neighboring moon--so instead of a large black object blocking out the Sun's light, we see a tiny dot drift by--not enough to really notice without foreknowledge--but certainly unique enough to get Astronomer's and Astrologer's panties in a twist of anticipation. If you're into Astronomy and observing astronomical events, then this is an experience of a lifetime--because the next TOV cycle won't occur until Dec 11, 2117.

Some More Technical Jargon

If you want to get really technical with the TOV and the Sun/Venus synodic cycle, I will have to recommend Nick Anthony Fiorenza's excellent and thoroughly detailed article on the TOV cycle here, complete with excellent visual diagrams.

Only Venus and Mercury will produce this type of phenomena, because they are the only planets to lie within the Earth/Sun boundary. A TOV is the byproduct of a very complex, yet, beautifully precise and symmetrical cyclic process. The phenomena results from the Sun/Venus synodic cycle, which is a cyclic conjunction (alignment) of the Earth, Sun, and Venus. These conjunctions result in essentially two different flavors, known as Inferior or Superior conjunctions--which additionally correlate to the phasal relationship of Venus to the Sun. Just like the Moon, Venus has New and Full phases. An Inferior conjunction is when the Sun and Venus appear to conjoin, and Venus is on the side facing the Earth (New Venus). A Superior conjunction would occur when Venus is on the non-visible side of the Sun, away from Earth's perspective (Full Venus). A quick glance at the following visuals should help make this clear.

 A TOV is a unique Inferior conjunction, because it is additionally in line with the ecliptic--the path that the Sun appears to make as it moves through the sky. Just as the Sun forms the Ecliptic, Venus has its own path, which intersects or is angled with the ecliptic, creating what are known as nodes, which are meeting points along the circle--and there are two--a north and south node.Whenever the Inferior conjunction occurs, and is aligned with either of these nodes, a TOV event occurs--which as I stated earlier, only happens twice within alternating cycles of about 130 and 113 years apart.  In a nutshell.

My pocket astrologer tells me that this year's TOV will be visible in northwestern North America, Hawaii, the western Pacific, northern Asia, Japan, Korea, east China, Philippines, east Australia, and New Zealand.

Image courtesy of HM Nautical Almanac Office
For those in North America, we will not be able to see the transit in its entirety because it will be setting with the Sun while still in progress--for central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and east Africa, the TOV will already be in progress as the Sun rises. For precise viewing times based on your location, click here. Also, for information on safety precautions when viewing the TOV, please visit

The Gemini/Sagittarius Axis

For the past two thousand years, the north node of Venus has been in the tropical sign of Sagittarius, while the south node has been in tropical Gemini--and thus each TOV to occur in the past two millennium have alternated between these two signs. The last occurred in Sagittarius (1847 & 1882). The recent pair (2004 & 2012) takes place in the sign of Gemini, at 17 and 15 degrees respectively. This is because each pair will alternate between North and South Node alignments every century, and will repeat in roughly the same vicinity every 260 years. So, essentially, the last TOV to occur in Gemini was 1761 & 1769. Yea, it's pretty confusing. So before I go any further here, let's "define" the axis of Gemini and Sagittarius a bit:

The Gemini archetype essential deals with information gathering, and governs all forms of communication either verbally or written. Gemini is the acquisition of facts, details, ideas, and knowledge--usually without much attachment to the end result--making Gemini inherently inductive and subjective. Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, is the construct of the "monkey mind", this is the aspect of our consciousness whose job is to make sure everything is in place, that the system is running smoothly, and to let us know otherwise. When given too much command, this monkey mind keeps us constantly on high alert--and we are taken out of the moment, and into a cyclic and seemingly endless mental loop--which has us constantly fixated on whatever stimulus is within our immediate environment, so that it can acquire more information about it, which essentially lets us know that things are all and good, and there's no threat to survival. Gemini primarily governs the concerns of the immediate environment, and its rulerships include: books, teaching, public speaking, writing, analysis, research, primary education, intellect, learning, literature, mechanics, mathematics, studying, translating--essentially anything that can help make rational and logical conclusions about the immediate and apparent reality.

Sagittarius, on the other hand, deals with the dispersion as well as synthesis of information--which makes it inherently objective and deductive. Sagittarius deals with the bigger picture and the larger perspective--taking us out of the immediate, and focused on the more all encompassing point of view. Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, is the construct of the "higher mind", which is a more zen-like state of consciousness expansion--which lends more to experience, that is, being, as opposed to doing. It is from this more heightened and objective viewpoint, in which we can make sense of the information gathering impulsed by Gemini and Mercury. Sagittarius governs expansion, moving beyond the immediate and familiar, which lends its ruler-ship to all forms of travel and exposure to foreign experiences that are beyond, and which challenge, Gemini's rational safety net. Sagittarius rules all forms of "higher learning", which today incorporates "higher education", such as college, and all forms of spiritual and religious institutions--as well as the spreading of ideology on a large and global scale. Sagittiarus primarily governs the concerns of the larger whole--the holistic understanding of the unity and intelligence which pervades our limited and individualistic perspective. Because of this, the Sagittarius archetype is concerned with the essential truth, the final conclusion which sums it all up into a concrete and unified understanding. In our reality, Sagittarius crystalizes itself as laws and legal matters, exploration, faith, foreign affairs, importing and exporting, ideals, philosophy, abstractions, politics, preaching, wisdom--basically anything that can "sum up" the immediate experience and to place it within a larger of more cohesive framework.

Now, in looking at historical events which transpired around these cycles, it is very clear that the theme of Gemini/Sagittarius is undoubtedly fermented.  However, trying to make rational sense of what the TOV actually "means", is a bit challenging, and rather quite mind boggling. Of course, there are a few ideas floating around, but after studying this subject for quite some time, I've refused to confine it to any specific meaning. One could argue that great "discoveries" are unveiled to the world, leading to an "improvement" in our daily lives, and a more encompassing perspective of the world. This certainly seems to be the case. However, I must make something clear here. I don't completely believe in history--well, at least the historical narrative as we understand it, and are given today. But, it is interesting that the cycles of the TOV through these two signs has literally correlated to the creation of History itself. The TOV cycles began occuring in Gemini/Sagittarius around the supposed "birth of christ", around 60 AD.

Interestingly, the TOV of 60 AD took place at the heart, or very center of the Sun (most events skim either the top or bottom of the Sun--so this is an extremely rare occurrence). The time of Christ is said to correlate with the creation of our modern day calender and dating system. We could also look at this time as the beginning of "History" as we understand it, that is--our current linear perception of historical events as plotted along the Gregorian calender. This system began a process which further segregated humanity from the natural timing and rhythms of the planets and stars, confining perception to this sort of synthetic mimicry. History was mainly written by the elite and ruling class of the time--which meant, those who were educated and could actually read and write. So, needless to say, we can assume some sort of bias and a distortion of certain facts were involved here. It is interesting though, that throughout the cycles of the TOV within Gemini and Sagittarius, that these abilities (reading and writing) have become more accessible and widespread throughout the world over. I would argue, however, that the "elite" still control our perception of history to this day--through the creation of a consensus version of the nuts and bolts pertaining to certain events that the majority of the population readily accepts as "fact".

Regardless of this, however, if one were to merely look at these events through an archetypal lens, we can get the gist of its significance--as a symbol for a shift in the collective consciousness. Looked at quite simply--Venus pertains to our ability to relate to others (Libra), as well as our inherent values and what we identify with (Taurus). It seems that, inevitably, while the TOV occurs in the signs of Gemini/Sagittarius we are collectively focused more upon mental pursuits, and thus verbal and written communication/philosophy/mathematics are placed upon this pedestal, and seemingly have the most influence in shaping the world. We just seem to value these things above all others. Gemini and Sagittarius are all about communication within our immediate environments, and on a larger global scale. Key inventions and ideas are developed and brought to the general public at these times, which have greatly impacted our every day existence in modern society. What follows is a brief and general outline of what are considered significant historical events, as they are accepted within the consensus perception of history, beginning with the 12th century. Many of these events, works, discoveries, or inventions are expanded upon or transformed at a proceeding TOV cycle.

November 26, 1145--11 Sagittarius (conjunct Uranus)
November 23, 1153--08 Sagittarius (conjunct Neptune, Mercury, and Jupiter--opposition Pluto)

The image above is a Bas Relief from the Temple of Ankor Wat, entitled The Churning of The Ocean of Milk

  • The 12th Century brought the onslaught of the Crusades, where Christians and Muslims fought for the "Holy Land". 
  • The University of Paris is founded in c. 1150 (Oxford is founded in 1163).
  • In c. 1136, construction of Abbey Church of St. Dennis, which was the first prototype for the Gothic Architectural movement, is begun by Abbot Suger--and consecrated in 1044. In 1149 Abbot Suger wrote an account describing the building and design of St. Dennis. The visual impression or resonance invoked in the Gothic style of architecture relies upon the interplay of strong dualities or opposing constructs.
  • Abelard wrote Sic et Non (Pro and Con) in c. 1130, which is considered an early manifesto of Scholastic Philosophy. God's creation of the world was seen as a literal fact, and it was believed that true connection to God could only take place through logical and ordered reason, and through the faculty of rationality. This was entirely antithetical to earlier traditions, which saw that connection to the divine was an emotional or somatic experience.
  • In 1150, The Troubadours (lyrical poets) flourished, Leonin is a composer at Notre Dam, and Adam of St. Victor wrote hymms with St. Bernard of Clairvaux. 
  • Zen Buddhism reaches Japan from China
  • Perceval, the story of the Grail, is written by Chretien de Troyes and other French authors--transforming the King Arthur legends into stories of "Courtly love". (Some, however, place both Lancelot and Perceval around 1270).
  • In Cambodia, the city and great temple of Angkor Wat are created by the Khemer dynasty--today, the temple is considered a symbol of Cambodia itself, appearing on its national flag.
May 25, 1275--11 Gemini (conjunct Uranus--opposition Mars)
May 23, 1283--08 Gemini (conjunct Vesta)

Dante and Beatrice, by Henry Holiday, 1884 (Painted just two years after the Transit of Venus of 1882)
  • In the 13th century, at age Seventeen, Marco Polo sets sail on a journey to Asia in 1271, which was supposedly the inspiration for Christopher Columbus. Marco Polo is believed to have greatly influenced European cartography, which paved the way for later explorers.
  • In 1274, The Mongols invade Japan, supposedly fulfilling a prophecy made by Nichiren, a Buddhist Monk.
  • In 1273, Thomas Aquinas writes Summa Theologiae (Summation of Theology), this work is seen as an attempt to synthesize the dualistic Gothic thought presented at the previous Transit of Venus, and is essentially a reconciliation of Abelard's Pros and Cons. 
  • By 1275, Scholastic philosophy is at its height. The scholastic philosophers attempted to bridge the ideas of Aristotle, and the "received" teachings of the bible.
  • On or around May Day of 1275, Dante meets 8 year old Beatrice, just one year younger than himself--she becomes his muse and inspiration throughout life. His courtly love for Beatrice continues until they meet again nine years later. At their second meeting, Beatrice, accompanied by two older women, walk by Dante on a street in Florence, and upon acknowledging his presence, Dante is filled with overwhelming joy--and consequently, inspired to write his first sonnet La Vida Nuova. Many scholars dispute the actual existence of Beatrice, claiming that the numerological coincidences are just too much to be true, such as Dante's life orchestrated by periods of 9 years. From an astrological perspective, Dante would have met Beatrice while Venus was just about the turn retrograde, during the initial shadow period. Whether true or not, this period marks the creative spark that fueled Dante's later works, such as the Divine Comedy. The Transit of Venus would have occured roughly 24 days after their first meeting, and the second Transit of Venus occurred one year prior the second meeting and the creation of La Vida Nuova.  Interestingly, Courtly love was popularized from the works written on the Grail Quests, published by French authors at the previous Transit of Venus. 
  • In 1279 Beijing becomes the Capital of China, and Tibet becomes assimilated into the Chinese Empire. 
  • The first eyeglasses are made in Italy in c. 1286.

November 26, 1388--13 Sagittarius (conjunct Ceres and Juno)
November 23, 1396--10 Sagittarius (conjunct Mercury and Uranus)

  • In the 14th century, the development of mechanical clocks, leads to the precision and timing we schedule our lives around today. Each hour became a fixed and finite construct within a 24 hour period. Today, it's hard to imagine there was a time when, time itself, was less definite and more fluid and mutable--quite a shift in perception. This also presented a major schism, separating our notion of time away from astronomical cycles toward a more abstract mathematical concept. 
  • In 1386, the Salisbury Cathedral Clock is constructed--and still works to this day, it is claimed to be the oldest functioning mechanical clock in the world. 
  • Geoffrey Chaucer, heralded as the father of English literature, completes Troilus and Criseyde, and also begins writing the Canterbury Tales at some point in early or mid 1380's. Chaucer's work is credited with the shaping of vernacular literature--building upon the work of Dante--who interestingly, was inspired at the previous Transit of Venus--and was one of the first European writers to promote literature in the vernacular. Vernacular literature was written for the "common people", in other words, not written in Latin, and was accessible to those who weren't versed in the language. At the time, Latin was the language of the elite, educated, and aristocratic--Chaucer's tales can be seen as a pivitol landmark in making literature, and subsequently, education available to a much larger audience throughout Europe.

May 25, 1518--13 Gemini (conjunct Mercury and North Node--Square Jupiter in Virgo)
May 23, 1526--11 Gemini (conjunct Uranus and Mars--Square Chiron conjunct Neptune in Pisces)

The Storming of the Teocalli- by Emmanuel Leutze, 1848

  • Just prior to these TOV cycles, Christopher Columbus sets sail on his infamous 1492 voyage to "Japan", which incidentally, leads him to the Bahammas Archipelago. Although not the first to actually discover this region of the world, this contact created a permanent connection between Europe and the Americas (or the "New World"). 
  • Magellan, for the first time, circumnavigated the world, proving the earth to be round. This event is credited with finally overthrowing the delusional and fashionable idea that the earth was "flat"--leading to what is now considered a major paradigm shift in western perception and a collective knowing that the earth is actually round. 
  • The Protestant Reformation begins in 1517, led by Martin Luther, and the ideals of the Northern Renaissance. Martin Luther taught that the word of God could be found from the bible itself, as opposed to the Church and Roman Catholic doctrine. This lead to the translation of the Scriptures from Latin, to the languages of the common people (Vernacular scripture)--Luther taught that in order to understand God, one needed to study and acquire knowledge--and believed that "God's knowledge" should be accessible to all. This also led to the vandalism of many churches, and the stripping down and simplifying of Church decoration.
  • Hernan Cortes, proceeding Christopher Columbus, and along with an armada of eleven ships, arrives in Mexico in April 1519. This is indeed one of the most interesting events of this period. The discovery of Mexico introduced to the world a large bulk of common foods we enjoy today, and which made their way into various cultural recipes (tomatoes, cocoa, potatoes, peppers, sugar, maize, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, pineapples, strawberries, persimmons, peanuts, alligator pears, cassava, quinine, copal, balsam, turkeys--and although not edible, rubber). Additionally, the Conquistadors, while of course hell bent on converting the Mexican people to their religion, were also extremely enticed by the large reserves of Gold they found there, which made Spain incredibly rich, well, for a while. The sacred texts of Mexica predicted that Quetzalcoatl would return from the East in the year 1 Reed, exactly when Cortes arrived, and so they believed he was actually a god. Similar to the colonization of North America, the native peoples of Mexico had literally never seen white people, ships, or even horses--imagine what that would have felt like, and taking into consideration the prophecy made, the armored conquistadors would have truly been seen as Gods. This was what brought Catholicism to Mexico, and led to the destruction of many sacred texts and monuments, and a permanent alteration to their culture forever.
  • As a result of Spanish contact with Mexico, chocolate arrived in Spain in 1528 in the form of cocoa beans, or cacao--a substance we would indefinitely associate with the goddess Venus. The Spanish nobility mixed the beans with sugar and spices, supposedly Cortes's own idea, leading to the western ideal of chocolate we have today--it was kept secret from the world until the following Transit of Venus a century later.
  • Around 1518, Baldassare Castiglione writes The Courtier--considered one of the most important works of Renaissance literature, and one of the most widely circulated texts of the 16th century--it was published in 1528. 
  • Roughly four years prior to the Transit of Venus of 1518, Nicolaus Copernicus circulated a manuscript known as Commentariolus  (Little Commentary) to close friends and colleagues--this was the prototype for On The Revolution Of The Celestial Spheres, his master work--which was published roughly forty years later in 1546. This is considered the epiphany which ignited the scientific revolution, as well as the birthing of modern astronomy. The "Copernican Revolution", as it is now known, led to an entirely new paradigm and worldview for the western world. The earth was no longer the center of the universe, and was now envisioned to encircle the Sun, leading to the death of our geocentric worldview--and the rise of the materialist scientific paradigm we know today. This period also signified a significant schism which further segregated astrology from astronomy. For western civilization, this very idea is considered the genesis of our modern world view--completely displacing human perception forever.
  • Some historians also claim that Australia was first "discovered" by a Portuguese expedition in 1521.

December 7, 1631--15 Sagittarius (Along with a Full Moon in Gemini Dec 8th)
December 4, 1639--12 Sagittarius (conjunct Transpluto, Jupiter, Mercury, and North Node--opposition Ceres)
Portrait of René Descartes- by Frans Hal (circa 1598-1650)

  •  In 1628 William Harvey discovers the circulation of blood, and along with William Gilbert, publishes Treatise on Terrestrial Magnetism and Electricity.
  • Coinciding within a day of a Full Moon in Gemini on December 8th, the first Transit of Venus of 1631 seemingly foreshadows the dawning of overt rationalism to the western world--one of Gemini's greatest attributes. 
  • Galileo is called before the Inquisition in 1633 for his researches and confirmation of the Copernican theory of heliocentricity--which as we now know, began its quiet circulation at the last Transit of Venus. 
  • Springing from the "scientific revolution", ignited a century prior, this was the first Transit of Venus ever recorded by Western astronomers. 
  • With man no longer the center of the cosmos--the western ideology shifted toward the realization that the world could be understood based on logical and orderly principles--and thus the very forces of nature, once only known through a mystical, subjective, and romantic lens--could now be controlled, calculated, and predicted. 
  • Roughly ten years prior, the Mayflower, carrying British colonialists, lands on Plymouth rock, and similar to the Transit of Venus of the 16th century, results in the colonization of a new land--and the subsequent invasion and slaughter of the native peoples. 
  • Chocolate, which was brought to Spain by Cortes at the previous Transit of Venus, is introduced to French nobility when (according to one theory) Spanish Princess Maria Theresa is bethroned to Louis XIV--this leads to the "chocolate craze" of 1650 in France, influencing eroticism in art and culture.
  • In 1637 Rene Descartes published Discourse on Method--the origin of the infamous phrase, "I think therefore I am", or as he would have actually said, "Je pense, doc je suis". Discourse is seen as one of the most influential philosophical works in all of history. He also publishes Geometry that same year--which is the origin of the Cartesian corrdinate system. 
  • Harvard is founded in Cambridge, Massachussets in 1638.

 June 6, 1761--15 Gemini (conjunct Mercury)
 June 4, 1769--13 Gemini (Square Neptune in Virgo)

The Boston Tea Party- From Young Folks' History of England, Charlotte M. Yonge

  •  In 1759, Voltaire publishes Candide, which is considered his "great work", and is the most widely circulated text in all of French literature.
  • The Transit of Venus in 1761, led to the creation of the AU, or astronomical unit, which derives from the distance of the Earth to the Sun. This opened an entirely new paradigm, in which astronomers could now accurately measure and define the universe.
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau publishes The Social Contract in 1762, which essentially contains ideas similar to those found in the American Declaration of Independence--this also greatly influences later revolutions throughout France.
  • This period correlates to the birthing of the Industrial Revolution, which began just prior to the TOV events themselves. This was mainly ignited by the "invention" of Electricity in 1752.
  •  After arriving to the United States in 1755, the first chocolate factory opens in 1765, leading to accelerated production. Chocolate drinks were associated with intellectual discourse and gambling, and were touted as an alternative to tea due to heavy taxation--drinking coffee and chocolate became a patriotic duty in America, as a result of the Boston tea party in 1774--which, incidentally, led to the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying: "The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment will soon give it the preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain."
  • In 1768, Captain James Cook, sets sail on his infamous voyage to Tahiti, to record the Transit of Venus of 1769--this led to the supposed first contact with Australia and its indigenous inhabitants. (Interestingly, as noted above, some historians claim that this was not the first contact with this region of the world, and that a Portuguese expedition had previously discovered Australia within the time-band of the 16th century TOV in 1521).
  • The United States Postal Service is established  in 1775. 
  • Uranus is discovered in 1781
Dec 8, 1874--17 Sagittarius (New Moon--Trine Uranus in Leo and Chiron in Aries--forming a striking Grand Trine with the TOV)
Dec 6, 1882-- 14 Sagittarius (conjunct Mars--Square Uranus in Virgo)

Image by KMJ
  • In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell is awarded a US patent for the Telephone, and thus a new paradigm of long distance communication is born. 
  • This period is associated with the commercialization of the light bulb--a symbol we now associate with "good ideas". Miniature incandescent lamps, now commonly seen on Christmas trees and suburban housing around the holidays, were first recorded in 1882.
  • In the late 1830's Quantum mechanics begins its pivotal development--and in 1877, one of its founders, Ludwig Boltzmann, declares that the energy levels of a physical system could be "discrete"--this is a pivotal turning point in the development of Quantum physics.
  • In 1878, the Phonograph is patented by Thomas Edison, after its creation in 1877. This was the first invention to reproduce recorded sound. 
  • The refrigerator is invented in 1876
  • In 1881, the California Gold Rush begins (a frenzy and fervor quite similar to what impulsed the Spanish to conquer Mexico at the TOV of the 16th century)
  • Greenwich Mean Time and time zone are established in 1884.
  • The process for creating Milk Chocolate is invented by Daniel Peter in Switzerland in 1875, bringing to symbolic culmination, its transformation from a drink to a confection in the 1830's.
Now, the last TOV occured in 2004, which was the same year that Facebook was launched and made accessible to the public. Youtube is unveiled in 2005, and both Twitter and Wikileaks in 2006. Ever since the TOV cycles of the 17th century, technology has seemingly accelerated in its evolution beyond belief (Uranus was discovered just after the 18th century TOV cycle).  This is quite an interesting realization, in light of the fact that our last TOV of this cycle occurs in the year 2012. There are a lot of theories about 2012, most of which center around the idea of the end of the world--or more abstractly, the end of history. Using the Chinese lunar calendar (the I-Ching), and a heroic dose of psylocybin Mushrooms, Terance McKenna concluded that 2012 was when humanity will be released into this sort of, "Transhistorical space". McKenna developed Novelty theory, and postulated that after 2012 the world would be perpetually saturated in endless novelty and "innovation". Interestingly, in the 80's, McKenna concluded that, at the time, we could have no concept or understanding of what this would look like around the year 2012. Well--now we do. In my opinion, McKenna was the most in tune with what 2012 was all about--it's not the end of the world, but rather, the end of history and time itself, and in a way, the death of accentuated individuality. So far, the most influential new creations are co-created by groups of individuals, and are leading to co-creative processes at an accelerated rate. 

From this perspective, our world is going to become more and more saturated with technology and inventions--and will be created and manufactured faster and faster. Today, right in synch with the TOV cycles of 2004 and 2012, global communication happens in the blink of an eye. Back in Chaucer's day, it was a breakthrough that the common person could read a book, none the less write one--and now your average Joe has merely to turn on his I-pad or Nook. The fact that I am able to publish my own material here, and share it with thousands of people instantly on my personal blog, reveals just how complex this process has become. Of course, this whole perspective is not just described by the TOV cycle itself, and there are many other astrological factors involved here (specifically the mutual receptions of Uranus and Neptune). So the next question would be, where is all this going? I can't really answer that exactly. While these inventions have certainly made life "easier", they have equally segregated humanity from nature, and have eradicated our awareness of functionality. I would say, ideally, 2012 marks a synthesizing point--a clash between our primal ancestry and the emergence of transhumanism. If we continue at this pace, it seems that human beings will, inevitably, become machines. Most people these days are plugged into some device, and since the recent invention of smart phones and ipods--everyone is completely immersed in this technological feast and orgy.

The Transit of Venus Horoscope

It seems we are entering a collective backlash to this accelerated process, and interestingly, the TOV of 2012 squares the planetoid Chiron, forming a rough T-Square involving Mars. Now, Chiron was discovered in 1977; and a lot of interesting things occurred around that time. One of the most interesting, was this greater collective awakening to the earth, to the body, and to the cosmos. Chiron holds the "key" to the system--that is, the physical matrix which supports and sustains us. It represents the tending to the basic needs which nourish the system so that it functions properly. Chiron is also the threshold between the organic & "inorganic" worlds--between the living and the "dead". The outer planets, those beyond the Chironic point, are the layers beyond the seen or visible world. Uranus, the first archetype we encounter beyond this threshold, is the vibration which begins the mutation of organic matter into inorganic material (what all natural systems within the Chironic point would perceive as toxic i.e. radiation, synthetic drugs and chemicals, microwaves, wifi, GMO foods, etc.). 

Wherever Chiron transits in the horoscope it tends to pierce open our "wounds" or vulnerabilities--to bring our attention dynamically to what needs nourishment and support based on its needs. To do this requires knowledge of the system, how it works, and how it functions based upon its design and intention. This system thus creates stability and reaches gradual homeostasis through time--through repetition and consistency governed by Saturn/Kronos. The square from Chiron indicates the existence of a blind spot at our current juncture of "evolution", indicating that the origin of these collective wounds will be difficult to trace--especially if we include Neptune in all this. Pallas Athena conjoins Uranus in Aries, square Pluto conjunct the Moon in Capricorn. There will be many new ideas and solutions that will be conjured by the "common" people, that will have the influence of completely altering the very foundations of the entire system and structure. Mercury, ruling the TOV, sits in an exact opposition to the Galactic center of the galaxy--perhaps indicating a higher dimensional transmission is taking place.

Lascaux cave painting-Image by Prof saxx

Transpluto at the anaretic (29th) degree of Leo, forms a T-Square with Juno in Scorpio and Jupiter conjunct Ceres, and Lilith in Taurus. The most influential paradigmatic shifts of this era will center around the uncovering of the true relationship between mind and body--and the secrets of health via proper nutrition which is rooted in an understanding of an expanded knowledge of natural intention, and revelations pertaining to our ancient ancestry. These signatures have a wild and primal feel to them, connecting us to our most raw and natural roots; these will have a great influence, surprisingly, upon many paradigmatic works as well as the creation of art. The Moon conjunct Pluto reveals our current potential to completely destroy the very foundation of the earth, and we are, in a way, given a choice to return to the wisdom of Gaia, or you could say--emerge into another form, not in this dimension. Essentially our choice is to return to the wisdom of the body and the planet, or become assimilated into the inorganic realms--so I guess you could say, that would be our gradual "Ascension" into the 4th density. At this time in history, the ideal would be a collective synthesis of scientific rationalism and archaic primal mysticism. The sabian symbol for the TOV reads:

"A woman suffragist orating"

This is quite an interesting symbol, perhaps the woman is the Earth herself, demanding our collective attention. Suffragist derives from suffragette, which is a 'female supporting the cause of a women's right to vote'. Orating relates to Oratory, which is the art of formal public speech. This symbol suggests the image of a woman, demanding attention and focus through a formal verbal dialogue. 

Personal Application

Please see my article on Venus retrograde for an expanded understanding of the Venus/Sun synodic cycle, and it's impact on the individual natal horoscope. Basically, the Venus retrograde cycle has the most significant impact, individually, when it is either stationing retrograde, or stationing direct over a significant natal placement. So, what happens if the Transit of Venus itself takes place at a significant planet or point? Well, a similar principle would equally apply--only it is likely to be much more "paradigmatic" than just the retrograde influence. This could involve the processing of immense "karmatic" issues in an individuals life, leading to extraordinary shifts and changes of perspective. This could also involve a process of making highly influential new relationships with others who indefinitely play a significant role in all of this. The specifics of this process will, of course, vary based on the individual, and their unique natal configuration. The events are likely to unfold over a peroid of several years, whenever there is some kind of trigger by either a transiting, progressed, or directed planet. Below are some examples in regards to the 2004 Transit of Venus:

*Due keep in mind, however, that the Transit of Venus in 2004 occured in wide opposition to Pluto in Sagittarius--which greatly amplified its influence. In other words, in these examples, the positions in which the TOV occured, were simultaneously activated by Pluto, which lends quite a bit to transformational changes--especially if occurring on a major angle of the horoscope. With that said, it is also apparent that significant events transpired whenever the TOV position was activated, and so for me, it undoubtedly played a significant role beyond Pluto itself.
Mel Gibson- Roden Rating: B

The TOV of 2004 conjoined Mel Gibson's South Node at 17 degrees of Gemini, also situated on the midpoint of Jupiter and the Part of Fortune. That same year, Gibson released Passion of the Christ, which raked in over $600 million during its theatrical release, stirring up quite a bit of controversy along with it--it is credited as the highest grossing non-english film ever made--and at the time, the highest grossing R-Rated film in history. Interesting how this film connects us to the past (The infamous and paradigmatic story of Christ), when we consider his South Node, and the TOV/Venus retrograde symbolism. The same month that Venus crossed this area again, in July of 2006, Gibson is arrested on DUI charges (Driving under the influence=Gemini South node?) which led to his infamous anti-semitic statement that "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world". Now, that sounds more like the Gemini south node. Interestingly, on the exact day of the incident (July 28th), the transiting Moon in Virgo was square the nodal axis. Take note that Transiting Pluto in Sagittarius (1994-2008) had recently crossed his north node, which was a time of considerable religious and political ideological tension in the collective media.
Oprah Winfrey- Roden Rating: A

Oprah Winfrey experienced the TOV conjunct her natal Jupiter at 16 degrees Gemini (Involved in a Grand Air Trine with Mercury and her Midheaven). In September of 2004, she ended up giving away 276 brand new fully loaded Pontiacs to her audience members, priced at $28,000 each. On the day the show aired, on September 13th, the transiting Moon was Square the Jupiter/TOV position. Jupiter is all about expansion, and sometimes, grandiose generosity. When she unveiled her surprise, Oprah was jumping up and down screaming: "Everybody gets a car! Everybody gets a car!". That same year, Oprah films an episode of her show entitled, Oprah's Christmas Kindness, where she traveled to South Africa to raise awareness of young children stricken with poverty and AIDS. Visiting schools and orphanages, Oprah gave Christmas presents to 50,000 children. From this, Winfrey invests $40 million to establish the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. The show ended up raising over $7 million from supporting viewers around the world. Additionally in 2004, Forbes international rich list announced Winfrey to be the world's first black women billionaire in world history, and also from 2004 to 2006, she was listed as the only black billionaire on the planet.
Tiger Woods- Roden Rating: AA

The TOV of 2004 conjoined Tiger Wood's natal Mars retrograde in Gemini. In November of 2003, he became engaged to former Swedish model Elin Nordegren. In October of 2004, they were married in Barbados, with transiting Vesta Square Mars. In November of 2009, The National Enquirer publishes a story that Woods was having an affair with Rachel Uchitel, a New York City night club manager--a claim which she denied. Transiting Mercury was in opposition to Mars, and the secondary progressed Moon was within one degree of square to the same position. Two days later, Woods crashes his Cadillac into a firehydrant, a tree, and some hedges--on his own street. In late November, Woods announced that he would not be playing in any other tournaments in 2009, due to his injuries. In December 2009, Woods releases a statement admitting to "transgressions", and over the next several days, over a dozen women claim to have had an affair with Tiger. On Dec 11, 2009, he released a statement that he would be "taking an indefinite break from professional golf"--the secondary progressed Moon was now at 17 degrees of Pisces. Over the course of several months, various companies withdrawal their sponsorship with Tiger including Gatorade, AT&T, and General Motors. On August 23, 2010, Tiger and Elin officially divorce--transiting Mercury retrograde is at 18 degrees Virgo, square his natal Mars retrograde--and Solar Arc Neptune is within orb of an inconjunct with Mars as well. Mars retrograde, in symbolism, has an indefinite "burn out" effect, with which things begun under its influence eventually fizzle out.
*Additionally, Tiger began his professional career as a golfer in 1996, the same year that his secondary progressed Mars turned direct.

Now, obviously, we're not all wired like celebrities--and planetary cycles only set off, or push our natal potential into motion. Here are two private case examples:

Jenine experienced the 2004 TOV just one degree from her descendent (7th house cusp) at 18 degrees Gemini. At the time, she was living in Maryland, with a well paying teaching job, and a relationship. She explained that although her life was stable, she felt stagnant and unhappy with the way things were. That summer, right after the TOV itself, Jenine's life completely changes direction. After living on the East coast her entire life, she lands a job in California, and relocates where she currently resides. She ended her relationship shortly after. Everything happened all at once, and she said that things just worked out and it all just came together. Jenine describes this time as the most pivitol turning point in her life, and the start of an entirely new chapter. She met her current husband roughly a year later, and they were married in June of 2007. On the day of their wedding, transiting Jupiter and the Moon conjoined her Ascendent, striking an opposition with the TOV placement.

Ann experienced the 2004 TOV conjunct her Ascendent, within one degree, at 16 degrees Gemini. Early in 2004, Ann decided to close a mini spa she had operated for 12 years, explaining that the work lacked meaning for her, and that it had become boring and frivolous. In May of 2004, she gave birth to her daughter. She decided to move in with the man who fathered her child, and so ended up selling her house that August, and moving her three children (she has two boys) 2 1/2 hours away into the city. She has since left her daughter's father, and now lives in the country with her children and two cats. She equally describes this time as a significant turning point and new chapter.

*In all of these cases, there were, of course, other significant astrological factors activating these horoscopes, but again, it is obvious that the point in which the TOV occurred was a sensitive zone thereafter.

Related Articles:
Venus Retrograde In Gemini 2012
Solar Eclipse In Gemini 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Solar Eclipse In Gemini 2012

Annular Solar Eclipse @ 00 degrees Gemini 21'
May 20, 2012
4:47 PM Pacific
7:47 PM Eastern

I've really struggled writing this article, in fact, I've gone through about three different versions. This eclipse feels really significant--it's not the most powerful eclipse, based on the rules, but it is quite interesting and unique. I found myself, in previous versions of this article, attempting to articulate the whole "2012" transition we're about to embark upon, because this Eclipse connects us to the Transit of Venus event (in June), which I believe, was a major factor in the Mayan calender prediction. I've since realized that I don't know anything about 2012, or the Mayan calender. Sure I've read some books, articles, listened to lectures, and all that--but I don't really understand it. I've never taken to a serious study of the subject--and while I've spent many hours contemplating the whole thing, and have had some "mystical" revelations about it at various points in my life--I can't say that I really feel confident in explaining what it's all about. Every time I started writing, my process led me into making some kind of conclusion about it all--and I've realized that I can't, I don't think anyone can. That's a major theme to this eclipse--it's this complete disintegration of our ideas, beliefs, and delusions about what we 'think' reality really is--and a simultaneous expansion and awakening of entirely new realities and possibilities.

I guess here I go again, coming to some, maybe a part of 2012 is just what I said. We're entering an era where it actually becomes less certain about what we know. In our current modern paradigm, we're led to believe that science and technology has led us to this pinnacle of knowledge and awareness--but actually, in many ways, it's entirely the opposite. It would take an entire book to elaborate on that statement, so I won't. In the mainstream New Age, we're led to believe that were embarking upon the "Ascension" of the planet--bathing us all in this sort of abstract notion of love and light. I don't know, I guess if that's what you want to believe, and it works for you, then there it is. In the mainstream "consensus" ideology (if you can classify it as an ideology), we're told it's the "end of the world", and la de da--that whole doomsday apocalypse thing again. And then we succumb to this sort redundant comparison of it all to Y2K, and then most people sort of shrug it off as some crazy media hype, or just another way for people to sell some books, produce sub-literate films, and make lots of money--which, in way, is partly true. Still, for me, there's something really significant about it, something really, actually, quite profound--and it's pretty damn elusive.

The truth is, nobody knows what 2012 really is, because it's mostly an experience, not really an ideological construct. I think Terence McKenna was probebly the closest in getting some idea actually. Apparently, using the Chinese lunar calender (I-Ching), McKenna concluded that 2012 was a significant marker in time, or rather, that it somehow symbolized the end of history, and in a way, time itself--prior to even knowing anything about the Mayan Calender end date. As someone who studies and practices astrology, it's a bit hard not to take notice, we're witnessing some of the most profound astrological configurations in recorded history. So is it the end of the world, the end of time, or the Ascension of the planet? I suppose, in a way, it's all of those things--and it's all a matter of perception. I don't really believe the masses are going to become enlightened, whatever enlightenment is. I see, well, the opposite--I see the world, like McKenna said, slipping deeper into "novelty", and so for me, that's likely a deeper sleep than has already taken place--as we become increasingly more saturated with the distractions of technology. For the general populace, it is unfortunately, a seemingly ugly prospect and future in many ways--there's nothing really too spiritual about it. These are challenging times, and no amount of love and light is going to change it. I have to ask the question though. Who are we to change it? Really? What if all the woes and sorrows of the world were merely apart of the process, a process that's actually, working in our favor. From our limited and narrow perception, we can't see the bigger picture--we just see the shadows. We have also lost our faith in the universe, in the concept of a higher power--since we're surrounded by so many examples, historically, and currently, of the corruption of authority and power on so many levels.

In Buddhism we learn that "all is impermanent, all is without a self". What that means is that, whatever we attach ourselves to, will eventually get taken away. This is a world of impermanence. Everything around us is dying. Now, for some, that might sound depressing--so love and light is a more appealing prospect. Upon deeper inspection, actually, it's quite liberating. It liberates us from our attachments to the impermanent. In really understanding this concept, we are freed from the "wheel of suffering", we escape the confines of the illusion of life and death--and thus, the inevitability of sorrow. When we look at pain and suffering, we see only the illusion, but we don't see the bigger picture--that really, for whatever reason, it's apart of the divine unfolding--it's actually a step in the process of reaching enlightenment. From this perspective, we can see that whatever is falling apart, decaying, and dying, is simply in the process of moving toward a more authentic state of being. In other words, the universe is taking care of it. In all ancient mythologies, there's this notion of descending into the underworld, and returning on the other side renewed.

Many of these myths often involved a goddess, such as Ishtar or Innana--which are all references to Venus. This process was also transposed upon the Solar cycle, such as at the Winter Solstice, when the Sun disappears for three days in the extreme northern latitudes. When Venus reaches an inferior conjunction with the Sun, which occurs during the Transit of Venus this summer, she also disappears for three days. This process was symbolized as a death and resurrection--not really on a literal level, but more so in an archetypal, and even psychological way. What it symbolized, as Joseph Campbell often described, was the "shattering". It was this realization that in order for one to reach their true authentic state, and thus, truly become enlightened and experience the bliss of all existence, they had to be "torn apart"-- broken open. All the external decor has to be stripped away, completely. This process, the opening the psyche, the softening the ego, is also mirrored in the classical shamanic mythos--of the shaman entering the underworld, and becoming dismembered.

There's this deeply ingrained human desire to create the perfect utopia on earth--it was, obviously, the root of the "American Dream"--but, the American dream, like all delusions, must some day be shattered, torn apart, to reveal the true heart of the matter--the truth of existence. For me, 2012 is sort of like that--it's a collective shattering--which, you could say, leads us eventually to bliss. We can't create a utopia here on earth, it doesn't exist, and even if it did--it wouldn't last. All is impermanent, all is without a self. The ideals we aspire to aren't really in this dimension, they're somewhere else, and solidifying them is not really what being here is all about. We're here to become apart of the unfolding, apart of the process. We're here to get torn open--and any pain we experience is our resistance to the truth--the truth that nothing is real, and everything is an illusion. So if 2012 signifies anything, it is, for me, a collective ego death of sorts--which could be beautiful and ugly, depending on where you stand. So there it is, I have succumb once more to making a conclusion of 2012--I suppose that's my mind's inability to accept the unknowable--at least a collective ego death still makes things concrete and definable.

Photograph by Aaron Favila/AP Photo

So, after that digression, let's take a look at the horoscope of the Eclipse. The eclipse falls at 00 degrees of Gemini, conjoined the central star of the Pleiades, Alcyone. There are actually two New Moons in Gemini this year, another in June, at 28 degrees, the day before the Summer Solstice. With Venus Retrograde, and the Transit of Venus in Gemini, there's a lot of emphasis on Gemini here.  The Gemini archetype essential deals with information gathering, and governs all forms of communication either verbally or written. Gemini is the acquisition of facts, details, ideas, and knowledge--usually without much attachment to the end result--making Gemini inherently inductive and subjective. Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, is the construct of the "monkey mind". This is the aspect of our consciousness whose job is to to make sure everything is in place, that the system is running smoothly, and to let us know otherwise. When given too much command, this monkey mind keeps us constantly on high alert--and we're taken out of the moment, and into a cyclic and seemingly endless mental loop--which has us constantly fixated on whatever stimulus is within our immediate environment, so that it can acquire more information about it, which essentially lets us know that things are all and good, and there's no threat to survival.

Gemini primarily governs the concerns of the everyday environment, and its rulerships include: books, teaching, public speaking, writing, analysis, research, primary education, intellect, learning, literature, mechanics, mathematics, studying, translating--essentially anything that can help make rational and logical conclusions about the world and the environment itself. We can anticipate all these themes to be prominent at this moment, and especially as we enter the beginning of Summer. This is a south nodal eclipse, which means that it occurs near the South Node of the moon, roughly 5 degrees away. There's a difference between a North Nodal, and a South Nodal eclipse--one deals more with accumulation (North), and the other deals with emptying and releasing (South). In Gemini, what this essentially means, is that we are receiving a collective transformation of past mental constructs, ideas, knowledge, information, and all that Gemini inherently is. Don't be surprised to find yourself redefining what you know about the world, and letting go of what no longer fits right, or what's been keeping you from seeing things clearly. We felt this similar impulse with the Pisces New Moon back in March--and this Eclipse signals a major shift, challenge, and transmutation of those issues we were introduced to then.

The Solar Eclipse forms a T-square formation with Neptune in Pisces, and the North Node in Sagittarius conjunct Juno in Scorpio. This is a time to really challenge our perceptions, to essentially shatter various delusions, and to get really clear about which direction we're taking, or where we're essentially heading. Eclipses bring about powerful changes and transformations--mostly for those of us who are personally effected by it in our natal chart--or also, if you happen to be a Gemini Sun sign, you're likely feeling it deeply on some level--I know I am. Jupiter and Mercury in Taurus are also widely conjunct the Eclipse. This Eclipse has a lot to do with letting go of limiting perceptions about what's really possible in our lives, allowing ourselves to become more flexible and open to new horizons--to expand our awareness of what we're able to do. On a collective level, this Eclipse has the potential to be extremely creative, inspirational, and rather spiritually liberating. On the negative end, the more resistance one has to "the way things are", or the "way they see it", the more darker shadow material will get revealed, creating more confusion, and possibly intense paranoia--feeling hopeless and directionless.

The best advice: embrace the mutable nature of Gemini--which is inquisitive and open to new ideas, concepts, and information. Again, on the collective level, look out for misleading information, propaganda, and delusional ideologies fermented with a spiritual overtone. There's a powerful possibility of getting swept up by various causes and movements which are really directionless and lack perspicacity. Passion is generally a good thing--it brings greater depth and meaning to our lives. When one allows passion to take control, especially misguided passion--one misses the forest for the trees, and inherently lacks the bigger picture. When it comes to this Eclipse, think before acting, speaking, and coming to solid conclusions about the way things are--there might be more to this whole thing than we initially assume. That's a critical understanding for the world right now, because of so much political and economic tension in the air--which is only going to increase this Summer all the way through 2017 with the Uranus/Pluto square getting ready to explode (June 24th).

This is a time for "revolution"--but as I always say, the real revolution starts with the individual, and a powerful process of de-conditioning ourselves from what isn't real. There's no better time than this Eclipse to receive powerful insights and new ideas about how to go about that--so, remain open and mutable--the Gemini way! These signatures, also, unfortunately, foreshadow a lot of collective delusion in regards to this "revolutionary" spirit. It's not that people aren't justified for wanting change, it's just that, well--it's really hard to see whose running the show right now. In other words, trying to get clear about "the man behind the curtain", is a bit like playing with Russian dolls--there's just endless layers leading to more dead ends. Just when we think we've found the answer, that is, the "root" of the problem, there's just another layer, hiding in the blind spot. But, with that said, people will do what they need to do. In fact, if there's one thing I've learned about life in my mere 26 years or so of living, it's this: We don't get what we want, we get what we need. Everyone is getting and doing exactly what they need to, because it's all apart of their own process. The less attachment there is to any kind of end-result, the easier it will be to remain flexible and open to the unfolding. Allow this to be more of a heuristic process, that is, a gradual and slow unfolding of awareness over time. This is a time to challenge our personal and collective perceptions, and to keep on searching for that elusive, yet powerful hidden truth.

Now, as I mentioned above, the Eclipse is in alignment with the Pleiades star system, specifically Alcyone, the central star. I'm not an expert on the influences of the fixed stars in astrology--it's kind of sad really, since the word Astrology conjures images of stars. That's sort of the way it is, or well, the way it's becomes. Tropical astrology, the art I'm practicing here, is pretty devoid of stars--which is actually changing, and will likely re-emerge with the help of pioneering practitioners and researchers. Hmm....maybe this Eclipse has something to do with that? When I think of the Pleiades, I think of the Pleadians--I don't really know any, personally--well, that I'm aware of. Pleadians are supposedly beings from the "5th dimension", that is, two steps above our own. According to The Pleadian Agenda by Barbara Hand Clow, and Bringers of the Dawn by Barbara Marciniak--these beings are assisting us in this current transition, and "Ascension" process somehow--helping to essentially wake up and activate our dormant DNA and, thus, human potential. I can't say that what the Pleadians say is true or not--it sounds good, well some of it. Anyway, it's interesting though, because the Pleiades was pretty significant to the ancients, particularly the Maya. It's not even really that bright--it's actually quite faint. You need to really look for it to see it. Along with the Transit of Venus, this Eclipse, for me, brings in more of this "2012" type energy, which as I "concluded" above, is this sort of collective ego death and resurrection thing.

Alcyone, the central star of the Pleiades, means: the central one. Simple and logical enough. The Pleiades star cluster as a whole, are also known as the "seven sisters", or "weeping sisters", since, while there's actually nine stars, only seven are visible to the naked eye. The Pleiades forms part of the constellation of Taurus, the Bull. In Greek mythology, Alcyone was the daughter of Aeolus, God of the wind. She was married to Ceyx the king of Thessaly-- son of Lucifer, the light-bearer. Alcyone and Ceyx we're pretty happy together, they were madly in love, and never spent any time apart. Suddenly, however, Ceyx decides to leave Alcyone, for a while, and set sail across the sea. Alcyone begged for him to stay or to take her with him--but, although deeply moved, he persisted in pursuing his purpose (whatever that was). The following night after his departure, an intense storm breaks out, and ends up sinking the ship, killing all on board--including, dear Ceyx. Meanwhile, Alcyone awaits back at home, counting down the days of her lover's return. She apparently prays to the goddess Juno, who, out of compassion, decides to help Alcyone by gifting her with a dream which would reveal the truth of Ceyx's death. Juno ends up contacting Sommus, God of Sleep, asking if he could send a dream to Alcyone--who then, refers to his Son, Morpheus due to his innate skill of, well, morphing into any form he wished. Morpheus then pays a visit to Alcyone, in the form of Ceyx, and explains what happened--that there is really no more hope for him, and that Alcyone must weep and let him go.

 Overwhelmed with grief, Alcyone decides she can no longer live, and so attempts to kill herself by jumping off into the sea, to meet the same fate which struck her beloved.  But, suddenly, instead of falling to her death, Alcyone finds herself in the air, with wings, and the realization that she's been turned into a bird. She flies up into the air, higher and higher, and meets Ceyx, who is also turned into a bird as well, and off they go and live happily ever after--always seen in the sky together hence forth. In another version of the story, Ceyx and Alcyone took to calling themselves Zeus and Hera, which apparently didn't sit right with Zeus, who actually threw a thunderbolt at Ceyx's ship. As Alcyone mourns the loss of Ceyx, it's Zeus who turns them both into birds, after feeling bad about the whole thing. Both Alcyone and Ceyx were turned into Halcyon birds in the latter. Interestingly, this is the source and origin of the now outdated phrase, Halcyon Days, which correlates to a time of peace.

According to the myth, Aeolus, God of the wind, keeps the winds stable and calm so that Alcyone can nest and lay her eggs for seven days. Halcyon days also refers, in popular culture, to looking back at the good old times--coated with a sense of idyllic nostalgia--conjuring images of warm and fuzzy summer days, filled with carefree joy and relaxation. So basically, Halcyon days refers to a peaceful, calm, and idealistically memorable time. I feel this is an important symbol in understanding this Eclipse, because it seems to say that, "the good old days" are over. Now, on a collective level I feel this has tremendous significance for the shattering of the American Dream--the energy of this Eclipse holds with it, the awakening and realization that things will never go back to the way they were, or the way we imagined it was. In our own lives, we can perceive this in different ways. Obviously, for those of us who are personally effected by this Eclipse in particular, this is likely to be a prominent theme, of leaving the past behind. For me, it also seems to say that we need to move on from our idealistic memories of the past--because, it's our attachment to these memories which keeps us stuck in the present. By opening oneself up to different and more expansive possibilities, new memories can thus be created or experienced. This isn't to say that good times are over in general, but just that our definition and perception is about to dramatically change--and that we need to leave certain things behind now.

There is also, however, an inherent contradiction to this Eclipse. The ruler of the Eclipse, Mercury, is in Taurus conjunct Jupiter, and in mutual reception with Venus retrograde in Gemini. Venus, is also in a very tight trine aspect to Saturn in Libra. If we follow the north node in Sagittatius (which, by the way, is joined by Juno), we are shown that, well actually, we are invited toward a different perception of the past--we are guided to a more primal, and perhaps, more authentic essence of the past, as opposed to our mental perceptions or ideas about it. On a collective level, this seems to say, that the solutions to our problems actually come from connecting to a more authentic, natural, and grounded understanding of the roots of existence--and if we trust our intuition, we are likely to be guided to a new understanding which connects all the pieces and puts things all together, in a seemingly effortless flow of movement. The chart seems to say that there are critical missing steps that we have overlooked collectively, and we need to go back, and look deeper before we can go any further. This Eclipse has the power to allow us to truly bridge and bring together mind and matter in a beautiful coalescence and synchronicity.

The myth of Alcyone and Ceyx is pretty interesting, and I suppose we could conjure up all sorts of ideas about what it could mean in terms of the 2012 transition. If we look at the sinking ship, as, well, our current modern dilemma, it seems to offer some hope of a powerful transmutation, and "Ascension". We could also look at this another way, that perhaps the human race needs to die and become resurrected into a new realm of being. Hmm....that's quite possible. Alcyone and Ceyx were transformed into an entirely different species altogether, and completely released their attachment to their previous human form. For me, the whole Ascension idea isn't rightly understood, and I don't think it's really what many people think of it. There is actually much we can gleam from this story about the supposed Ascension process---but, I'll let you use your imagination to come up with more insight on your own. One thing is clear though, the horoscope shows that this is an era where we need to learn more about the natural laws of nature, and the way things were intended to be--as a species we have become disconnected from the truth of our existence, and now is a critical step in returning to our roots--and working with reality the way that it actually is.

Now, speaking of synchronicity, it seems that this is also going to be greatly heightened in our lives now, especially with Venus retrograde. The more we trust and follow this synchronicity, the more we'll be guided to our true and authentic path--and also, toward highly significant meetings with others who will have a very significant impact on our lives. Many of these connections may actually be with individuals from the past, that we have already formed relationships with--and it could relate to a rekindling of those bonds. So, it seems, this Eclipse offers a breath of fresh air, in many ways--and after moving out of most of the retrograde confusion over the past few months--we can, at least, feel that new life is on its way, but only if we're open and receptive to it. The more resistance we have to this "shattering", I guess you could say, we'll likely experience more of the painful and confusing side of this Eclipse. The Eclipse gets an expansive activation on June 13, 2012 (my birthday, hint hint). Aside from being rather quite significant for me, it also shows that the energy potential of this Eclipse is ripe and ready to go--it shows a lot of momentum building and getting ready to explode. The Eclipse also gets an activation from Saturn from December of 2014 through September of 2015. We can see that the potential of this Eclipse is going to expand now, that is, blow open and take us beyond the horizon--and whatever changes we experience, are likely to carry on for the next few years, receiving a critical challenge and solidification later on.

Many of these symbols also point to a critical need for collaboration with others, and exposure to foreign ideas and experiences--we must open our minds to the varying perspectives and values of other interests, and to begin a process of synthesizing these ideas slowly over time. Both Mercury and Jupiter are in a sesquequadrate with Pluto in Capricorn, square Uranus in Aries. Many of these ideas will have the power to greatly alter our current systems and structures--there is going to be a radical, and sudden shift and change of direction, leading to entirely new forms. With the upcoming Transit of Venus, we can look at this time as very critical for the development of new solutions for the world, and entirely new ways to live and experience our lives. Like I said earlier, this process is most effective when we release attachment, and thus, when we allow ourselves to simply experiment and test things out. Neptune could potentially create confusion when we blindly follow the herd, or if we simply just believe what we're told. The truly creative and inspirational effects of this transition, will come as a result of a conscious combination of intuition, imagination, critical thinking, and skepticism.

Solar Eclipses can also be viewed as a powerful release of built up energy, which takes place in multiple dimensions simultaneously. This effect is believed to greatly alter and influence natural forces within the earth, expressing itself in anomalous weather and even earthquakes. In my experience this depends entirely upon the strength of the eclipse--but I have always noticed an increased emotional and even psychic shift within myself around the time of the eclipse, as well as a heightened sense of awareness. This eclipse will culminate in a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on June 4th/5th--just one day prior to the Transit of Venus event, on June 5th/6th. This summer indeed proves to be quite an eventful time, both for the individual and the collective. We can anticipate many changes to occur both within ourselves, as well as around us. Ground yourself firmly, and reach for the stars. If you set intentions around the New Moon, then Solar Eclipses are extra potent in their effects. Equally, this is the most propitious time to begin new projects, and to start pushing things into motion that you want to be successful.This eclipse also greatly favors new intellectual pursuits, and embarking upon new fields of study--or, most likely, adding deeper knowledge and understanding to what you've already been pursuing.

Sabian Symbol

The sabian symbol for the Eclipse reads:

"A glass bottomed boat in still water"

This image suggests transparency, and seeing through into other realms, unhindered. We get a sense of effortlessly peering into the deep, into a world which is usually hidden from perception--but due to the technology of the boat, one is able to experience what would be normally completely inaccessible. The ocean can also be looked at as symbol for emotions, and the unconscious realm, and could relate to the ability to use thoughts (air) to understand and comprehend this foreign reality. Here we get the sense of exploration, and of discovering new dimensions of being, and new aspects of reality. With the assistance of a window, the awakening of a new faculty within the psyche is catalyzed, allowing it to witness what was only seen from the surface dimension.It's interesting the repeating themes with the ocean, and calm peaceful waters--with the myth of Alcyone. Hmm....things to ponder.

Technical Notes & Viewing Locations

This will be an Annular Eclipse of the Sun, which means that as the Moon passes over, there will be a small ring of light, kind of like a Halo, visible. For the US, this will be the first central eclipse of the 21st century--meaning that the central line of the umbra will pass through the continental United States. In addition, this is the first annular Eclipse in the US since May of 1994--which, incidentally, coincided with the conjunction of Neptune and Uranus. The Annular phase will be visible here in the United States, on the west coast--as well as the Chinese coast, southern Japan, and western Canada. Tokyo, Albuquerque, and Guangzhou will be on the central path. Most of Asia, Russia, and northwestern North America will be able to view a partial eclipse--and the maximum will occur in the North Pacific and end in the western United States. This Eclipse is apart of Saros cycle 128, series 14, which began in August of 984 AD.

May 20, 2012

Eclipse begins--20:56.1 GMT
Southern limit of penumbra begins---21:42.4 GMT
Southern limit of umbra begins--22:07.4 GMT
Central Eclipse begins---22:09.0 GMT
Northern limit of umbra begins---22:10.6 GMT
Central Eclipse at local apparent noon---23:59.1

May 21, 2012

Northern limit of umbra ends---1:34.8 GMT
Central Eclipse ends---1:36.4 GMT
Southern limit of umbra ends---1:38.0 GMT
Southern limit of penumbra ends---2:03.1 GMT
End of Eclipse---2:49.3 GMT

Image courtesy of Sky & Telescope