Asteroid 1566 Icarus, orbiting between Mercury and Earth, is conjunct Pluto in Capricorn for the first time since Dec 2015 (see ephemeris below. Icarus is also 'out of bounds'). Taking 409 days to journey through the zodiac, this conjunction can manifest as a desire to take a leaps - right off the edge!
Whatever feels like it's holding you back is your launchpad. Your springboard. From that discontent, you move forward in one, huge, blind leap.
But wait! Isn't Mercury there too, turning retrograde for the next three weeks?
Yes, and even though you may find a creative ‘way out’ of a perceived limitation or obstacle, you'll be rethinking the moves as we roll into 2017.
But that's okay!
You might conclude it was the perfect step to take, or there could be some course correction. Either way, the impulse is to ‘fly free’ will allow your spirit to soar and your life to change for the better.
Icarus was Daedalus’s son who, ignoring his father’s warning not to fly too close to the sun, lost his feathered wings, fell to the sea and drowned. Not a very successful outcome, though he did escape the prison tower they’d been in for way too long. Some people associate Icarus with a kind of crash and burn mentality. He's like The Fool in the Tarot, not looking where he is going, foolhardy and reckless.
I see this energy as freedom. Expansion. Liberation!
True, 1566 Icarus on Pluto can represent some extreme measures, feelings and insights but mainly it represents an attempt to escape intolerable situations. It is the impulse to get out of unfair circumstances, or go for liberating goals that others might say are impossible. Note: It doesn’t have to always end ‘badly’.
Icarus energy set free can be vivid, creative inspiration. Trapped and he is like a wild bird caged. Ever had that feeling?
It’s like an crazy urge to run like hell when all they’ve said is, sign here, or pick you up at 7, or maybe even I do . . .
Icarus with Pluto is a chance to gain a deeper insight on the ‘flight’ side or our fight or flight response. Where do you feel like flying the coop? Is it fear or instinct or healthy self-awareness?
Take a moment to think about it over the next few days and eliminate a toleration or too. Why? Because tolerating something is not always a virtue. It can be a heavy energy drain. (Read more about Granting Freedom from Tolerations.)
Here’s what Jeannette Maw has to say about it:
Toleration: To tolerate something means to “allow the existence of, to permit or endure or put up with something.” This implies that the something (or someone) is less than ideal and tends to drain a person’s energy. Thus, a toleration is often a hindering influence to the vibration.
Leverage the Icarus/Pluto energy and Toss out Tolerations now!
If any of you know where Icarus is in your natal chart, feel free to mention it here. Mine’s exact on my descendant – the cusp of the house of relationship. A freedom lover if there ever was one.
Have a great weekend!
Let's talk about Parallel and Contra-Parallel of Declination aspects.
It's a mouthful, but I have a quick video tutorial to cover the astronomy involved. Don't worry if it doesn't sink in straight away. There won't be a quiz. We'll cover questions in the comments, and focus more on the practical results of having a parallel or contra-parallel aspect.
The Parallel Aspect of Declination is formed between two or more planets with the same declination or distance north or south of the ecliptic. If the planets are both North or both South of the ecliptic, the parallel aspect is read as a conjunction. If they are the same declination but one is North and one is South, then the contra-parallel is read as a 180 degree opposition.
These aspects are strongest when the orb is kept to 1 degree or less, so unlike a square where we allow up to 10 degrees of orb, the parallels are allowed 1 or maybe 1.25 degrees.
Parallels connect planets that may not otherwise be in aspect. They also magnify the intensity of any other aspect between the two planets or points involved. So if you have Mars sextile Saturn AND Mars parallel Saturn, you have a whole lot of Mars/Saturn contact going on.
The best way to get a handle on this is by example so everyone can get out their chart. (You can upload yours in the gallery, if you are a GVA Circle Member or Registered for Open Memberhship, if you want to share, check or discuss.) When you get your chart up you will see a list called 'declination' on the ‘additional tables (PDF)' option. If you are using another program or an ephemeris, look for the list of daily ‘declinations’.
They will look like this: 20°35’27” N (the N is for North. North is also represented by a + and South by a -). Make a list of any planets that are within one degree of declination + or - in your natal chart. If both are + or both – they are parallel. If one is + and the other – they are contra-parallel.
For example I have the Pluto at 23°17’46” N declination and the Jupiter at 23°21′ 7″ N so Jupiter and Pluto are parallel. They form wide sextile aspect by sign, so this parallel is an additional emphasis, pulling them into closer contact. Make sense?
We use the parallel and contra-parallel to discover planetary connections. It's also important in transits.
To demonstrate, here is a list or outer planet declination right now. Check to see if these are in aspect (1 degree orb) to any of your natal degrees.
Also, check your declination list for natal parallels and contra-parallels. They also progress and can be used in return charts, horary, event charts, etc. If you use them in your synastry chart comparisons, you'll find connections otherwise missed.
Give a shout if you want some help. I or other declination savvy GVA'ers will lend a hand.
You can take a screenshot of your declination list from astro.com and post that in the gallery too.
See you in the comments.
Today we’re looking at Chart Patterns, a really interesting way to look at how your planets are grouped in your chart.
They are seven arrangements or patterns the planets form within the circle. We call them bundle, bowl, seesaw, bucket, splash, locomotive and splay.
Marc Edmund Jones first described these patterns in the 40s, associating them with distinct personality types (in natal charts) and prognostic indicators (in transit, progressed, returns or horary charts). Let’s stick with natal charts for now and play with this a little.
Only the ten planets are considered in determining the chart pattern. Leave out the Nodes, POF, asteroids, trans-Pluto etc. to get to the core pattern. If you add too many elements, everyone becomes a Splash!
Seesaw - Planets occupy two opposing areas of the chart. Focus is on binary opposites requiring objectivity, awareness and balance.
Bowl - Planets all within 180 degrees. Self contained and strong core values. Focus on the activated hemisphere.
Bucket - Bowl pattern with one planet in the opposite arc--the 'handle to the bucket. A strong focus with much energy pivoting around the singleton planet.
Splash - Planets evenly distributed around the chart - scattered interests, diversity, flexibility and wide range of interests.
Bundle - Planets all within 120 degrees. Focused interest in the houses occupied. Intense, determined, relentless.
Locomotive - Planets occupy 240 degrees of the chart, the remaining 120 is empty. Emphasis is on the first and last planet to rise. Much drive, energy and enthusiasm.
Splay - Planets create three points of emphasis - highly individual, grounded and confident. Focus on occupied houses. If grand trine, the element dominates.
For the discussion, look at your chart, discover the pattern and think about what it might mean to the focus you have you in your life. What lights you up, how you approach your aims and goals, what has the most importance?
Let’s look at a few different chart patterns and what they might say about the personality type. Will Smith, with a BUCKET chart pattern, is a great example of a person of intense focus. He came from ‘nothing’, built his life from the ground up, and has a work ethic that would impress Saturn. Clearly it does impress Saturn! Check out some of his core value statements:
I strive to be like the greatest people who have ever lived. – Will Smith
I’ve always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation. -Will Smith
Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions. Will Smith
Can you see from his Chart Pattern ONLY why he might have this level of focus and determination?
Check the “handle” of the Bucket. What does that say?
Another Libra, and a wonderful example of the LOCOMOTIVE Chart Patter is Ursula K. Le Guin.
She’s a powerful woman, born in a time when gender equality was not the norm. She’s dared to be different in her craft and in her life, excelling at taking her forward thinking ideas (Uranus) and bringing it into a tangible form for others to enjoy (Saturn). Note the “engine” and the “caboose” of her Locomotive.
My imagination makes me human, and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it. - Ursual K Le Guin
When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow. - Ursula K Le Guin
The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next. - Ursula K Le Guin
Check out Robert Downey Jr’s SEW SAW Pattern. The focus is powerfully placed in the occupied houses, and there can be a constant contrast and opposition.
Where do you think his oppositions would come from? How might they be integrated, or do they always remain “either/or”?
If I could eat whatever I wanted every day, I would have Domino’s pizza with pasta carbonara inside every slice. And at night, I would have Neapolitan ice cream until I felt absolutely toxic. And then I would drift off telling myself, ‘It’s going to be O.K… It’s going to be O.K. you’re going to train in the morning.' -Robert Downey Jr
I guess the issue for me is to keep things dynamic. -Robert Downey Jr
Do I want to be a hero to my son? No. I would like to be a very real human being. That’s hard enough. -Robert Downey Jr
What's your chart pattern? Let's talk about it in the comments.
Hi Everyone! For those just starting out, this Video Tutorial will show you the four basic Astrology Building Blocks , the constructs of the horoscope or natal chart. This includes groundwork on the planets, signs, houses and aspects - in under 3 minutes!
Think of Astrology as a symbol system where the planets are the actors. The the signs are the their costumes they wear. The houses are the stages, the sets they act upon, and the aspects are the scripts they’ve been handed. How they are scripted to interrelate.
Remember, YOU are the director, and you call the shots, decide when to say Action and when to say cut!
Enjoy, and see you in the comments for Q & A.
There are a lot of beliefs floating around out there about what aspect patterns in the chart may mean. Some definitions are misleading. I'm here to set a few things straight.
First up, aspect patterns are still just ASPECTS - planets and points connected by mathematical degrees. And aspect pattern ties together three or more planets into a geometrical shape. They are CONNECTED to each other. Scripted to interact.
Planets are energy - the actors.
Signs are expression - the costumes the actors wear.
Houses are environments - the stage on which the actor struts her stuff.
Aspects are the scripts - the dialog between actors who are connected.
Second point, think of aspects like table legs. If you pick up one leg of a table, all the others come up with it. In a T-Square aspect pattern between Moon, Venus and Mars, if you activate the Moon (pick up that leg of the table), Venus and Mars (the other table legs) ARE ACTIVATED TOO. This applies to all aspects, recognized patters or not. I learned this from the amazing astrologer, Richard Idemon.
Third, aspect pattern are neither good nor bad. They are energy, just as it is. How we utilize the energy is what matters.
Fourth, aspects patterns are not immutable fate. Even the YOD! They are the default. With awareness, you can used them for your own well being and abundance. They don't 'use' you, unless you let them.
Fifth, do consider the Ascendant and Midheaven in the aspect pattern, as long as you remember they are not planets/energies as such but modes of expression/environments. If the Asc is part of a T-Square, you will likely use it, or the Descendant, to express the two planets that are involved. The Asc becomes the conflict resolution or filter for the energy.
Summary: ANY aspect between two or more planets means they are scripted to dialog with each other. They are connected so that if one is active and 'doing something' the connected one wakes up too. They are partners, of sorts.
Let's look at some real life examples. I won't go through all the patterns as once you get the idea, you can work out the meaning yourself. I will cover three favorites of mine: the Grand Trine, T-Square and Yod.
I'm choosing examples that are famous and infamous, to give you contrast and bring home that the patterns don't mean 'good or bad', they are energy for use to put to use.
The Grand Trine consists of three or more planets trine to each other to form an equilateral triangle. The Trine aspect is 120 degrees of the circle, connecting planets and points of the same element. The orb (leeway) is 10-12 degrees. * NOTE 28 Aires is trine to 28 Leo Trine to 28 Saggo, Trine to 28 Aries creating a Grand Fire Trine, BUT, it might be 28 Aries, 3 virgo, 22 Saggo. Aspect patters that include different elements are said to be out of sign.*
People think the Grand Trine is all kinds of karmic money in the bank. They use words like lucky, fortuitous and abundant. If it's a Grand Fire Trine they are super creative visionaries, Grand Earth, incredible with money and finances, Grand Air Trine, eloquent writers and speakers, Grand Water Trine, sensitive, psychic healers. Lucky Lucky Lucky.
Sometimes this is absolutely true when the individual is raised with love and fostered to develop their many abilities. What the Grand Trine can also mean is THEIR vision of the world is so beautiful that the reality of their life is a devastating contrast that crushes them psychologically. It happens. Best leave the notions of luck and good karma out of the equation when reading a chart with a grand trine, until you sus what the client has 'done' with it. Trines are slippery slopes, and inherently lazy. There isn't much to get the energy moving, unless the person feels the ecstasy ... or agony of how it fits in their life. Mahatma Gandhi has a Grand Fire Trine and his creative vision and charisma changed the lives of millions of people.
But then there's Peter, Kürten, aka the Vampire of Düsseldorf, who was a serial murderer, rapists and, well, bad guy all around. Behold his beautiful Grand Earth Trine involving the Asc/Neptune, Uranus and the Moon. He used the energy in very macabre ways. He was the 3rd born in a poverty stricken family of 13 children where he witnessed his father beat and rape his mother and sister. I won't go on. Just imaging how this 'heaven on earth' grand trine, Neptune on the Asc, Venus ruled sensitive child handled it. No DoCS to the rescue. He would run away from home and be dragged back. The unfairness of the world would have been crippling psycholoically. And it was. He murdered his first victims when he was 9 years old. Kürten was executed on 2 July 1931 by guillotine in Cologne.
Not all Grand Trines are heavenly.
The point is we don't idealize aspect patterns. They aren't magical indications of greatness, or even difficulty. They show how planetary energies are connected. If you have a terrible home life like Kurten, and your Moon (home, mother family) is connected to Uranus (unusual, innovative, genius) connected to Neptune (longing for reunion with the divine/madness) on the Asc (outer expression) you might just find pleasure and nurturing in bizarre ways that control life (by taking it away).
The Yod is the name for an astrological aspect between three (or more) plants or points where two planets are 60 degrees sextile and both 150 degrees inconjunct (or quincunx) to a third. This is one of my favorite patterns, not just because I have two. They combine planets/energies that are a different modality, polarity and element. ie, nothing gets along easily, at first. Check out Will Smith's yod.
With the Yod, you want to note where the 'finger' is pointing. In Will's case, it's to a 10th house Saturn. Ambitious man. REALLY ambitious, and competitive. It's where all the energy is headed, pulling from the fuel of Jupiter in the 3rd (words that impact LARGE arenas, and Neptune in the 5th, the illusion of the theater/creative drive, imaginations, deception (acting). There is contrast! Saturn is grounded in the real world. Jupiter is all about the vision. Neptune, the ideal. What Jupiter and Neptune 'see' is perfect, imagined without flaw. When it is manifested in reality, aka Saturn, the vision is no longer infinite and perfect. It becomes real, hence flawed. The only way to deal with this dichotomy is to find a balance. Allow both imagined perfection and 'reality' that falls short.
The cool thing about this Yod is that it pulls in Mercury by opposition, so will can achieve his ambition by LEARNING (Mercury). He actually says, 'I have a moderate amount of talent. But what I do know about is skill development. That's where I excel with ridiculous amounts of time/work.' He claims to have a 'sickening work ethic.' Can you see it? Can you imagine what he would do if he didn't have the creative outlet he has gained?
To sum it up, the Yod means that three or more planets are in dialog with each other and it's up to the pointing planet to harmonize the energy. It's called the finger of fate or God/gods because for most people this is a default. Wherever it sits in the chart, (what houses or areas of life are activated) describes where a pattern of behavior or external events occur. More on the YOD here ...
In this pattern, three or more planets (of or near the same modality) are 90 square each other and two, or more, are 180 opposition. The orb is 10 to 12 degrees. There is often tension, and contrast in this aspect, but it MOVES energy. There is a feeling of 'forced growth,' unlike the trine.
We hear that T-Squares are trouble, right? Meet Oprah Winfrey, according to Wikipedia, the "Queen of All Media", the richest African-American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and is currently North America's first and only multi-billionaire of African/American descent. Several assessments regard her as the most influential woman in the world. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard. Harvard!
Yes, she has a Grand Air Trine with an exalted Mercury trine Jupiter trine Neptune, but check out the T-Square. Mars square Pluto (god of war and god of death, opposite Mercury square Mars. That could be a whole lot of anger, aggression and darkness. She grew up in extreme poverty, born to a teenage single mom, was molested by family members from the age of 9 and had a baby who died shortly after birth when she was 14 ... but unlike Kurten, she didn't become the Vampire of Mississippi.
Whatever your feelings towards her, she overcame incredible adversity both personally and culturally, to be something 'more than' in the world. Note the Grand Air Trine (communication) is in Earth Houses (money, work, career). She was not lazy with this aspect pattern and the T-Square helped her there.
Focusing on the T-Square, the third house Mars can suggest anger/violence and square Pluto in the 12th can bring a whole collective of prejudices, race, gender, creed ...opposite that exalted Mercury. It's like she was a true alchemist, turning a mix of mud, s**t and old carcasses to gold.
When you look at the T-square, note the 'empty' leg (where if there WAS a planet there in Taurus, it would be a Fixed Grand Cross). T-Square people will often attract the empty leg in some way, in Oprah's case Taurean types people, or 9th house things, (like an honorary degree from Harvard!)
And below is the infamous Mata Hari. Her chart shows, like Ophra's, a Fixed T-Square and a Grand Trine, this one in the element of Water.
She was an exotic dancer and courtesan, convicted of spying for Germany in the first world war. The trial was over before it began, and she was executed by firing squad in France at age 41. The idea of an exotic dancer working as a lethal double agent using her powers of seduction to extract military secrets from her many lovers made Mata Hari an enduring archetype of the femme fatale ... I included her in the discussion to support idea that aspect patterns do not dictate a persons reality, but they fuel it in whatever direction we point.
Here are more aspect patters to look at. Don't go nuts with them, but do familiarize yourself with the names and how they tie energy together.
Check your chart for aspect patterns like the Grand Trine, T-Square, Grand Cross, Yod, Kite, etc. Explore the example charts too, if you like, or any family, friend, or celeb charts you have. If you can post the chart here, or link to it, all the better for discussion.
This is great practice in spotting aspects with your eye, a skill that will help you in chart reading as you connect with the geometry of the circle.
See you in the comments!
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