4 Morning Stars

May 24, 2009

With the recent interior conjunction of Mercury behind us, he will soon be rising in the East as morning star and joining the ranks of Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Only Saturn remains as evening star amongst the visible planets.

This brings to mind the dangers of an excess of yang energy. The Tao Teh Ching warns us constantly about the dangers of too much masculine emphasis…

To hasten the growth of life is ominous…to be overgrown is to decay.

The storing up of too much goods will entail a heavy loss. To know when you have enough is to be immune from disgrace.

There is no calamity like not knowing what is enough. There is no evil like covetousness.

With so much morning star/yang energy available there is much assertive energy available for actively engaging with life. Yet it might also be wise to heed the Saturnine voice of wisdom which the Tao provides.

A Crowded UnderWorld

January 15, 2009

As Mercury stationed retrograde on the 11th he was also disappearing from view. What most people don’t understand about Mercury Retrograde is that the chaos comes as much from Mercury’s invisibility as his backward motion. When a planet is invisible we have no objective celestial mirror for that function.

The good news is that Obama will be inaugurated on the one day during Mercury retrograde when it is a good time to start something -on the day of the Mercury-Sun conjunction when the “seed message” of a new cycle is impressed upon Mercury.

So, now that Jupiter and Mercury have joined Mars in the invisible realm of the Underworld, it is getting a little crowded down there -and a little crazy up here!

The Moon joins these 3 from Jan 24-27 -leaving only Venus and Saturn visible as celestial emissaries.  this suggests that healthy boundaries and compassion are our only defenses against the feelings of being lost and alone which come with half the sky being invisible.

Eventually Mars births back to visibility on Jan 27, Mercury on Feb 1, and Jupiter on Feb 12.

Until then the long nights of winter may seem just a little longer than usual.

Jupiter is swallowed by the Sun

January 3, 2009

Since the dramatic alignment of Jupiter in the evening sky with the Moon and Venus on Dec 1, he has been seen lower and lower in the western sky at sunset. Now he is about to disappear into the Underworld.

As the Sun’s apparent motion moves him within 15 degrees of a superior planet, that planet disappears in the western evening sky. As the Sun then moves to conjunction and separates 15 degrees -the planet is re-born into the eastern morning sky.

Jupiter will be invisible to us from Jan 4 -Feb 12. What this means is that we have no real objective mirror for our Jupiter function. So if you are feeling a bit lost, confused or uninspired this might have something to do with it.

The “seed moment” or conjunction w/ the Sun happens Jan 24 at 5 Aquarius.  The sabian symbol for this degree is “a council of ancestors.” How appropriate for an Underworld conception of a new Jupiter.

Jupiter’s birth back into visibility comes Feb 12 at 9 Aquarius. The sabian symbol for this degree is a flag turning into an eagle. Perhaps this means we will see some real leadership this year instead of just nationalistic flag waving.

An Invisible Mars

December 19, 2008

Because of his proximity to the Sun, Mars is currently invisible to us and does not appear at all in the evening, night or morning sky.


The Sun & Mars are both essentially the planets of the Masculine identity. The Sun can be seen as the “higher harmonic” or mental/rational element of the masculine function while Mars represents the instinctual/survival impulses and/or desire nature. A dialogue between these two functions becomes necessary for the healthy expression of each. This dialogue can be illuminated by exploring the phase aspect made between these two planets. This gives us the archetypal relationship which symbolizes the holistic masculine function –and which thus points the way toward experiencing Campbell’s “monomyth” –the Archetypal journey of the Hero.


A closer inspection of the Zodiac reveals that recently Mars was being chased down by the Sun – began to fall within his grasp –and was finally swallowed into the invisible Underworld. In the Underworld, there was a conception –which occurred at the seed moment of the New cycle –the conjunction of Dec 5.


In the June/July ‘08 issue of The Mountain Astrologer, I explored the concept of the Hero in terms of the 4 Astrological elements. Those of you who have seen delineations of Jung’s four psychological types according to astrological elements can probably see where I am going. There are four basic paths the hero may take toward self-knowledge and spiritual awakening. These are warrior/fire, martyr/water, wanderer/air and magician/earth. The warrior is the traditional figure we have come to almost exclusively identify with the hero. The warrior fights, slays or conquers and learns through competition. The martyr appeases or sacrifices and learns by taking care of others. The wanderer rejects what some would call safety–and flees it –learning instead by autonomy and independence. The magician seeks to incorporate and affirm all paths and learns through peer relationship.


As we noted before, the Sun and Mars are both by nature fiery –and with Mars in the fire sign of the Sagittarius –it seems Warrior/Hero has “seeded” a new Hero.  This can be seen via the relationship between Sun/Mars that the Warrior/Hero is initiating a “seed moment.” This seems to be the crossing of some threshold which has as yet invisible yet extremely powerful consequences.


Mars in Sagittarius was the conception of a new 26 month Journey –a new collective Mars. His conjunction with the Sun is analogous to the conjunction of Sun and Moon at the New Moon. The conjunction is the time the “seed message” is impressed upon Mars at the beginning of his cycle. Like the seed planted in a human womb, this union occurs in secret –as Mars is invisible from view in the Underworld.

The transit of Mars thru Capricorn will bear a special significance as this is where he will make his heliacal rise or Birth back into visibility. But for now, during the long nights of the Winter Solstice, Mars remains invisible within the Womb of Tartarus or the UnderWorld. Yet, something is definitely growing inside the womb of the Earth.

Can you feel it?

Guiding Stars: The Wandering Sojourners

December 17, 2008

Behold, Magi came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His Star in the East [or at its heliacal rising] and have come to worship Him. 

-Matthew 2:1-4

The wise men of biblical lore are judged by scholars to have been Zoroastrian priests who practiced the secret knowledge of astrology before it was divorced from astronomy.

I was extremely fortunate to have been shown one of the most important alignments of our time (the transits of Venus) in a Dream. So, like the Magi,  I practice a form of Visual Astrology deeply connected to the cyclical appearance and alignments of the wandering Stars or planets (the word planere meaning: “wanderer”) against the backdrop of the Zodiac.

Like everything else on Planet Earth, these Star journeys have a life cycle -a beginning, middle and an end.  The visual birth, or heliacal rise of a planet was called “phasis” by Hellenistic astrologers -this means “an appearance that speaks.” This oracular quality of the rise gives a tone and purpose to the entire journey or cycle -and so I will pay special attention to these moments here.

Also, I will identify which planet is “speaking” to us via passing a particularly important landmark on its journey. This allowing of the Living Sky to speak  is an extremely valuable tool in determining what on Earth is most worthy of your attention at any given time. I will also try to give celebrity examples and anonymous client examples of this process from time to time.