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Musings on Fate and the Progressed Chart

A reader writes that her birthchart is giving her a lot of trouble and she would rather chuck it away in favor of her progressed chart. I wish it was that easy! The birthchart is where we find our inescapable fate. The planets and their configuration around the space of the universe that enfolds us form our destiny on Planet Earth, and it is our mission, whether we choose to accept it or not, to engage in a process of experience that maximizes the potential of this fate.

How we pursue this process is where our free will comes in. We can resist the hand that has been dealt to us, which in my experience is a losing battle. Or we can embrace it and learn how to find the gift that lies within the burden of our challenges.

Kat Starwolf has written a about her own horrific early life that was filled with abuse of all kinds. I copied and opened the image of her chart which shows a twelfth house of Fate packed with six planets. Whenever I hear a history that is fraught with abuse I always think Pluto and sure enough, there he is on the exact degree of Kat’s ascendant, linking the dark side forever to Kat’s destiny. But there is another side to Pluto: Empowerment. Pluto sends us into the Underworld where we must face death, rage, abusive experiences, and ultimately we have to let go just as we do in death. But when he brings us out of the Underworld, Pluto bestows a mantle of true Power.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is very Plutonian in nature. The Ring sends those that are faint of heart, such as Gollum, into […]

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By |2007-08-09T11:43:00-04:00August 9th, 2007|Fate, Favorite posts|Comments Off on Musings on Fate and the Progressed Chart

Karma, Responsibility and Magic

Sometime people write me asking for a reading, saying they want to know what their karmic lessons are in this lifetime. One gentleman wrote me saying he wanted a “straight” reading, with no attempt to frame the difficult in positive language. He referred to in which scientists have proven that humans have no free will:

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, as Einstein paraphrased it, that “a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants.”

Einstein, among others, found that a comforting idea. “This knowledge of the non-freedom of the will protects me from losing my good humor and taking much too seriously myself and my fellow humans as acting and judging individuals,” he said.

How comforted or depressed this makes you might depend on what you mean by free will. The traditional definition is called “libertarian” or “deep” free will. It holds that humans are free moral agents whose actions are not predetermined. This school of thought says in effect that the whole chain of cause and effect in the history of the universe stops dead in its tracks as you ponder the dessert menu.

At that point, anything is possible. Whatever choice you make is unforced and could have been otherwise, but it is not random. You are responsible for any damage to your pocketbook and your arteries.

“That strikes many people as incoherent,” said Dr. Silberstein, who noted that every physical system that has been investigated has turned out to be either deterministic or random. “Both are bad news for free will,” he said. So if human actions can’t be caused and aren’t random, he said, “It must be — what — some weird magical power?”

People […]

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By |2018-11-19T21:15:17-04:00July 13th, 2007|Favorite posts|Comments Off on Karma, Responsibility and Magic

Neptune: The Quest for the Divine

We’ve talked in these pages quite a bit about Saturn over the past months as Saturn and Neptune have danced through their opposition, but it’s more difficult to discuss Neptune. Defining Neptune is a delicate task; by its very nature it is mysterious and confusing. Neptune calls on us to blur the boundaries of reality; to go beyond the mundane world and embrace that which is beyond.

Neptune in its highest form is the call to experience the divine. Through music, art and other creative endeavors we channel divine inspiration into craft. Through meditation, song or chanting we go beyond the mind to achieve a state where we merge into oneness. Mystics of all faiths, following the path to a divine experience, have heard the call of Neptune. Neptune calls us into a limitless expansion in which only the present moment exists. Early 20th century philosopher Augustine Poulain writes:

Then the spirit is transported high above all the faculties into a void of immense solitude whereof no mortal can adequately speak. It is the mysterious darkness wherein is concealed the limitless good. To such an extent are we admitted and absorbed into something that is one, simple, divine, and illimitable, that we seem no longer distinguishable from it. . . . In this unity, the feeling of multiplicity disappears. When, afterwards, these persons come to themselves again, they find themselves possessed of a distinct knowledge of things, more luminous and more perfect than of others. . . . This state is called the ineffable obscurity. . . . This obscurity is a light to which no created intelligence can arrive by its own nature.” In “The Heart Sutra” what is apparently the same state is expressed as follows: “And no feeling, thought, impression, understanding, and no eye, […]

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By |2007-06-15T09:37:00-04:00June 15th, 2007|Astrology, Favorite posts|Comments Off on Neptune: The Quest for the Divine

Saturn: Both Beast and Prince

Saturn beast and princeSaturn is well known as the Celestial Taskmaster, and very few of us relish the idea of being called into the principal’s office. However, there is another side of Saturn that is truly wonderful if we get to know him for who he truly is. Liz Greene says, “[Saturn’s] face as the Beast is well-recognized but [his] alternate face as the Handsome Prince is not often considered; however, without both of these, the symbol cannot communicate its meaning.”

As Saturn and Neptune approach the third phase of their opposition cycle, it may be useful to delve a little more deeply into both gods as we strive to balance the two forces. Saturn is the architect and builder of the structures which give form to our lives. Saturn gives us rules and boundaries to keep society functioning smoothly, and confers on us the discipline and ability to work hard and seek achievement. Saturn’s influence also builds strength of character that helps us withstand the storms of life, a characteristic not often recognized.

It is this quality of building inner strength that I value most about Saturn, but in order to obtain this gift we must follow his rules. When we have Saturn prominent in our charts or affecting us by transit, Saturn demands certain things of us. He wants us to spend time alone in introspection. He wants us to evaluate what we have done with our lives and what we have accomplished thus far. He demands that we seek nothing less than perfection and is ready with criticism when we fall short of our goals so that we will work to correct our errors. He restricts us from enjoyable pursuits unless we have achieved […]

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By |2007-06-05T10:43:00-04:00June 5th, 2007|Astrology, Favorite posts|Comments Off on Saturn: Both Beast and Prince

Burst Bubbles and the US Chart

image from Worth1000.com

Despite a 6.5% decline in the Chinese stock markets, the Dow Jones and S&P averages relentlessly rose to a new high and the Nasdaq index went up 21 points. Americans are unique in their unabashed optimism and the apparent belief that what goes up need not come down. In that belief we have forgotten the lessons of Icarus, who constructed a pair of wax wings so that he could fly to the Sun. You might remember what happened as those wax wings flew too close to the Sun!
Ever since the birth of the US Americans have doggedly sought expansion (Sagittarius rising in the US chart) with a compulsive need to acquire more and more possessions (Pluto in the second house). Originally it was a land expansion as settlers moved westward in the late 1700s and early 1800s, obliterating native populations in the desire to append more and more land to the burgeoning new nation. One in ten pioneers died making the trek across the country.
Later a telegraph fever swept the country in the mid 1800s, laying more telegraph lines that could possibly be used. Thousands of eager investors lost their life savings. In the late 1800s railroad fever swept the country. Again, more railroad tracks were laid than could possibly be used, and one out of four railroad companies tanked causing a multitude of bankruptcies. In the 1920s credit fever swept the country: now you could buy anything you wanted “on time” with no money, including stocks! Speculation rather than investment fueled the stock market, and when it crashed many people owed their brokers more than they had invested.
In more recent memory, the “new economy” of the dot-com bubble (facilitated by the entry of transiting Pluto into Sagittarius) drove tech stocks to […]

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By |2007-05-31T10:35:00-04:00May 31st, 2007|Favorite posts, Money and markets|Comments Off on Burst Bubbles and the US Chart