November 27, 2022

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Lunar Ruminations, with Mars Retrograde Opposing Mercury and Venus


Alexander Baker

Lunar Ruminations, with Mars Retrograde Opposing Mercury and Venus

Long has Saturn been its home signs of Capricorn and Aquarius.  Since December 17th of 2017, in fact.

Our present Moon in Capricorn, Saturn-ruled until Thursday, is amidst a 48-hour stretch ‘void of course’ in Hellenistic terms, meaning it makes no classical aspect to the traditional planets before leaving its present sign and entering the next.  This VOC Moon, following Wednesday evening’s potent New Moon at 1° Sagittarius, lulls at the doorstep of some dynamic planetary oppositions across the mutable yang axis.  It’s given me extra pause to reflect on the mix of momentum and drift felt since.

Mercury and Venus in Sagittarius approach their successive oppositions to Mars from Monday to Wednesday, the red planet retrograde in Gemini having promised every Sagittarius planet a pointed if not fleeting stare.  The ‘opposition’ aspect itself is traditionally held to be of the nature of Saturn, as Saturn’s domiciles of Capricorn and Aquarius naturally oppose Cancer and Leo, home signs of the Lights.

A split of saturnian oppositions, promising tensions between messenger Mercury, a vivacious Venus, and ardent Mars-turned-cool in doublethink momentum like an arrow against bowstring given pause — all in double-bodied signs — tells me that something in our mental polarity playgrounds is asking to be steadied.  Perhaps there are some inner contradictions to be reconciled, imaginal obstacles to be tended.

Sagittarius is the end of fall’s exhalation, fire’s last true bastion in the natural year.  Jupiter’s diurnal home aims high; different from the yin matrix of expansion the big planet is given in its nocturnal home of Pisces.  Sagittarius is the question of hope, faith, aim, focus, and fulfillment against all odds — it is a place of risk, reach, and reverence made mobile.  But its pomp knows the court jester and heretic as much as the judicious figure or sage; it both prophesies from a perch and burns down without hesitation.

Our present Sagittarius stellium of Sun, Mercury and Venus, ruled by a Jupiter now direct in its nocturnal home of Pisces, and we’re reminded of grace, growth that arises not just from aim and manifestation but from release and the emptying of our cups… stilling the chatter with carefully cultivated listening, knowing that the cup is not just for running over, but for an emptiness that asks the ‘yes’, asks division for the sake of reunification.  Mars does rule not only the first decan of the zodiac, but also the last.

So what is asking to be steadied?  With so much restlessness across the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, given to philosophical pomp, mental masochism, high hopes and darings to fail, and with Neptune in Pisces still engaged, there can be hyper-distractibility, escape, flutters between ‘true alignment’ and frivolous fancy.

Well, it’s helpful to feel out the archetypal differences from the Archer’s first ‘face’ to its second.  The first face, that is decan or 10°, of Sagittarius has seen a lot of action in the past few days, with the Moon meeting the Sun at its outset, and Mercury with Venus conjunct there at the commencement of this lunar cycle.  While the Sun still marches through this decan, Mercury and Venus have zipped well into the second.

Sagittarius I, called ‘Swiftness’ in The Book of Thoth and Mercury-ruled by way of the Chaldean order, is a place of vehement pace towards the mental, philosophical, or physical object of desire.  If something comes to thwart our aim, if the target is obscured, the response can be one of irritation, anger, or even violence — erratic bodily responses or a vitriolic tongue can be subtle if not overt significations.

The second decan of Sagittarius, when faced with failure, seems to express wider, sometimes less fleeting expanses of existential woe.  Jupiter-ruled placements have the capacity to plummet to almost manic depths if their ideals are not met. From Sagittarius, compared with Pisces, this plummet is from a much higher perch, cruising altitude, or soaring place of uncompromising idealism… it’s important to reconcile these with the external ‘object.’ It’s not just that what goes up must come down, or what pushes forward will encounter resistance — it’s that what fiery piece of spirit becomes enfleshed will necessarily deal with sickness, disillusionment, negation and death as part of the soul’s journey across earthy contours, across all the bits that shape your will and force adjustments in one’s vision.

Just some themes to look out for and dynamics to keep in mind:

*a mix of momentum and drift, of passion and derailing distractibility

*the difference between vision and precision

*a competition between that Tathātā ‘suchness’, Kantian ‘thing-in-itself’, and the idea or ideal of something

*something in our mental polarity playgrounds is asking to be steadied, perhaps the contrast between confidence and self-doubt

*hope for hope’s sake can be a beautiful thing; if you start debating whether hope is a moral virtue or just a theological one, you may be too good at the Mercury-Jupiter foil

*that said, hopefulness can be oblivious, and unbounded momentum towards our visions even tyrannical when unchecked

*the first two decans of Sagittarius in particular can epitomize the tendency to run roughshod over others in pursuit of essentially ‘positive’ vision

*what intends to be affirming of both self and other cannot be so if it doesn’t make any room for listening, or for gentleness

*what with Jupiter in Pisces’ “soggy” rule of these Sagittarius planets, dignified in its nocturnal home but in all kinds of loose mutable t-square crossfire (thanks to Elodie of @9th_house_astrology for that key adjective in quotes), we may find ourselves darting or meandering in and out of focus or sense of fulfillment

*if more than one of the Moon, Venus and Mars are in the mutable yang axis of Gemini and Sagittarius, there is an empirically higher occurrence of flash-in-the-pan relationships whether for reasons of high passions eventually fizzling, inability to focus beyond initial periods of stimulation, boredom as an excuse to not do deeper work

*some Sagittarius placements, at their worst, are ready to punch the person next to them at an amusement park of life if a ride is closed

*if an opportunity passes you, assess whether you were best poised or even wanted to take advantage of it for the right reasons

*it’s okay to shoot your shot, to try and fail — if it’s any consolation, people tend to remember the glitter of your successes more than the volume of your failures

*what is the one thing you’re dancing around for lack of the single-mindedness necessary to really nail it?

*what distractions or diversions have been our subconscious sabotage, the thing we crave that knocks us off-course or obscures the big picture so that our appetite for the big picture or personal ‘highest’ paths is sated once again

*how badly over-stimulated are you right now?

It’s important to live in the narrative, to experience its suchness on a visceral level, instead of falling prey to abstractions.  It’s not a poor time to throw oneself into things so as to soothe the paradox or pull in multiple directions.  But Mars is retrograde ‘for a reason’ (oops… silly Jupiter talk) and giving pause so we don’t pull back on the arrow too quickly.  That said, a sedentary nature feeds mental fugue and anxiety, particularly with the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, and raises the risk of overstimulation in one arena or another — a sure recipe for course derailment.

The language of astrology, more than it gives us answers, helps us ask the right questions.  Should you find this particularly resonant, reflection will feed the truest aims in you.  Book a session to go deeper in dialogue, or become a member at the Patreon for more offerings, with contribution nurturing the creation of further content.

Swim well stargazers ~


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