Event Chart for Notre Dame Fire

April 16, 2019

In the wake of the fire that gutted Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, there have been many articles and blog posts describing the spectacular blaze as well as the tumultuous history of the 850 year old cathedral. I’m going to interpret some astrological data for the event.

I don’t have a time for the dedication of the building, so I’m going to look at general astrological data as the fire started. According to Paris police, the fire was discovered at 6:50 p.m. local time on April 15. The fire could (and probably did) start earlier than this, but since this is an old wooden building, and therefore a tinder box, it is doubtful that it smoldered for long. Moon sign is probably correct.

Events of far reaching destruction and change are generally driven by outer planets – Pluto, Chiron, Jupiter, and (especially) Uranus. Inner planets Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars trigger the timing of the event.

Looking at the outer planets, using sign-specific orb of 5 degrees or less, there is a hard aspect (a square) between a Pluto-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn and the Sun in Aries. Saturn is the planet of karma and slow, difficult growth. Pluto is a planet of transformation, rebirth, and inevitable change. This difficult conjunction reflects uncomfortable events happening in the world in general right now. Again, these planets are squaring the Sun. Squares generate energy through resistance, and in this case the square involves a fire sign, Aries.

There is another square involving Jupiter in its home fire sign of Sagittarius and a Mercury-Venus conjunction. Again, this is triggering conflict, resistance, and energy.

While squares generate energy through resistance, there has to be accommodating aspects for that energy to be expressed. In this case the planet most associated with sudden, disruptive change, Uranus, trines the planet closest to the Earth, the Moon. This is the aspect that facilitated the flames. This, and a trine between Jupiter and the Sun, both in their home fire signs.

An accommodation of destructive energy is reflected to a lesser extent in the sextile between Chiron, an asteroid also associated with deep change, and the aggressive planet Mars. The 9th House placement of Mars is significant, since this house is associated with religion and government. Of course the Ascendant is not completely reliable here, since it is impossible to know exactly when the fire started, but even pushing the time back to 5:00 p.m. keeps Mars in the 9th House.

The astrological data in the event chart is potential, not predictive, since it describes influences on the whole earth at the time in question. Looking at planetary transits in the context of a chart specific to the Cathedral could shed additional information.

Year of the Pig

February 8, 2019

Elephant seals next week.

The Chinese Year of the Pig began this week. The pig in Chinese astrology is a calm, prosperous, gentle animal, generous and focused. Here are some brief horoscopes for Year of the Pig.

A roundup of world folktales about pigs can be found here.

A four-part article I wrote several years ago about the sow in Western mythology is here.

I read once that you’re not supposed to clean the house for the first three days of the Chinese New Year, so as not to clean out the good luck. It seemed like good advice, and I started applying it to the Gregorian new year as well. What a boon to have days when you not only don’t clean, you don’t feel like you should be cleaning. I decided that the no-cleaning days should apply to Halloween (the Celtic new year) and Yule (the Heathen new year). Then I started celebrating Diwali and Rosh Hashana, by not cleaning of course. Now if I don’t feel like cleaning, I can say “It’s New Year’s somewhere.”

The Change in Progress

July 27, 2018

I have a lot on my mind right now, but the astrologers say this is not the best time for sharing, with a super lunar eclipse in progress and so many planets retrograde.

Until next week, Hearth.

A New Moon

January 19, 2018

NASA photo

A new moon teaches gradualness
and deliberation and how one gives birth
to oneself slowly. Patience with small details
makes perfect a large work, like the universe.

–Rumi

The moon has recently turned to its waxing phase. Both the full and the new moon exert a strong gravitation pull on the earth’s waters, but the energies are different. I find that things seem to slow down at the new moon, so that progress being made is difficult to discern. We tend to be detail oriented and to research things at this time, rather than expressing ourselves spontaneously. Next month, at the solar eclipse, this energy will be even more pronounced.

New Webinar for October

September 8, 2017

I’m excited to announce that I will be leading another webinar in October.

MASTERING MOON ENERGY
How the Moon Effects Your Magic

A Webinar with Hearth Moon Rising

How does moon energy enhance (or inhibit) the effectiveness of your spells? What rituals work best for various moon phases? How do moon phases and sun positions interact magically? This class will help you use moon and sun energies more effectively in your practice.

The five week class will cover:

1) Dynamics of the moon’s path. Why does the moon effect life on earth so profoundly?
2) How do moon phases and signs influence a ceremony, spell, or activity?
3) How to handle void-of-course and eclipse energies.

The webinar is open to women and men and is appropriate for all levels of experience. Witches, druids, heathens, ceremonial magicians, and shamans will find this class helpful.

The webinar will meet Mondays October 9 to November 6 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm Eastern Standard Time. Meetings will be recorded and registrants will be able to access the lecture portion of the recording whether or not they attend.

Cost is $80.

More information here.

Solar Eclipse 2017

August 18, 2017

Photo: NASA
Fear around eclipses has been recorded since Babylonian times, and in fact many of the Babylonian advances in mathematics and astronomy were inspired by a need of rulers to anticipate and prepare for eclipses. What’s so bad about an eclipse? It’s a stressful time on the planet, where health, mental health, and relationships can break down. Violence can also be a manifestation of this breakdown. Maintaining stasis is difficult.

Another way of looking at the stress of an eclipse is that some things do need to be leveled. Both the violence in Charlottesville which occurred last week and the subsequent groundswell against white supremacy are manifestations of an eclipse. Decisions to step up the leveling of statues glorifying the era of slavery in the United States are also influenced by the energy of the eclipse.

A solar eclipse is a clearing energy, so working to clear bad habits or uproot problems in a relationship is a way of working with this energy. This is not a time for starting something new, not until the clearing energy of the lunar/solar eclipse combined with Mercury retrograde exhausts itself by the next new moon in late September. It is a time for taking extra precautions regarding personal safety: people are driving a bit crazy right now.

In my own life, the eclipse window has coincided with dental problems, the flu, and an irrepressible compulsion to literally clean house. If you have anything you wish to clear out, literally or figuratively, this is the time.

Retro-Spective

April 14, 2017

Photo: NASA.

Both Mercury and Venus are retrograde right now, along with Jupiter and Saturn, but don’t freak out just yet.

“Retrograde” simply means that from our Earth perspective the planets are going “backwards” in the sky, although in reality they are tootling along like they always do. The outer planets are retrograde a good part of the time, so Jupiter and Saturn retrograde seems like business as usual, nothing to remark upon. Jupiter, for example, went retrograde in February and will go direct in June before going retrograde again in March of next year. Venus is more significant, as this planet goes retrograde every few years for about six weeks. Venus will go direct in a few days, so that retrograde is about done until June 2020.

So what about Mercury? That’s the retrograde people have learned to fear. I have written before on this blog how retrograde Mercury is a shift in attention, usually toward an area that has not been getting much focus. I recommend taking another look at this post.

My understanding of retrogrades, and particularly Mercury retrograde, is undergoing another transformation. I am especially taking exception to the admonition frequently given that the problems of Mercury retrograde are “your own damn fault. If you’d just been conscientious about your diet/maintenance/bookkeeping you wouldn’t have anything to fear from Mercury retrograde.” I don’t like this perspective because, for one thing, we can’t focus everywhere at once: our lives are too complex. The shift in attention may be needed, if unwelcome, but it’s not necessarily a punishment. You may have to take “lessons” from what happens at this time or you may not, depending on the situation. Whatever happens, you will find yourself preoccupied with things you don’t normally think too much about, though they will (probably) not be bizarre or highly unusual things.

But my thinking has evolved a bit further, to the point where I actually look forward to Mercury retrograde. Yes, it can be a wonderful time! This is when problems are addressed and often resolved, usually problems dealing with health, communication, finance, commerce, construction, or machinery. They can be hidden problems rising to the surface, which is the aspect of Mercury that is frustrating, or they can be longstanding problems. It’s a great time to proofread, revise, revisit, and reflect.

Take advantage of these next few weeks to problem-solve and resolve issues, especially the niggling kind that sap your energy. This may be the time you admit that you’re over your head in certain areas and go the doctor, hire a bookkeeper, or ask a friend to help you organize a project. This is a good time to use your magic for solving personal problems that seem outside your control.

New Moon, New Values, New Country

July 8, 2016

Chart calculated by Astro-Dienst www.astro.com
Chart calculated by Astro-Dienst www.astro.com

 

I was told by my personal astrologer over twenty-five years ago that when you have a new moon on your birthday, that means a new life. My own observations have born this out. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, a solar return is just a birthday chart, a chart of how planets are aligned at the exact time of a yearly anniversary. Obviously a new moon solar return, while not a rare, is very infrequent, so it’s worth a careful study when it occurs. The new moon solar return I went to look at is that of the USA, which occurred this past week. A solar return is ordinarily a forecast of the year to come, but a new moon occurring on the same day means that events in this year will have a very long shadow.

I have used the origin date, place, and time given in Carolyn R. Dodson’s Horoscopes of the U.S. States and Cities (American Federation of Astrologers, 1975). You may see other charts for this solar return that look much different, if they are using a different time or place of birth.

At first glance this looks like a scary solar return, with the stellium of inner planets opposing Pluto. Astrological charts for countries and politicians have a reputation for being formidable, however, so hard aspects are not that unusual. Analyzing the astrological charts of countries is a highly specialized area, and I’m probably in over my head. I’m an Aries, though, so I’m not going to let that stop me.

There is a close grouping of planets, called a stellium, mostly in the second house opposite Pluto in the ninth house. I read this as conflicts involving legal institutions, formal religious structures, and other nations. These conflicts will touch the way the country communicates and will change some core values. There is a lot of energy in this opposition, striking deeply held emotion. The result will be a change in the way the population of the country sees itself as well as other nations. The grand trine between the stellium, Chiron, and Mars suggests that the change in values will not meet with much opposition: it will be the result, not the cause, of political struggle.

There is an interesting phenomenon in this chart known in astrology as a magic square, which is not the same thing as the magic square in alchemy and mathematics. This magic square is the geometric square in the chart, in this case aspects with Chiron, Mercury-Moon-Sun-Venus, Jupiter, and Pluto, forming a square. This is a harmonious and powerful combination, but so rare I have no experience with it.

There are some hard aspects with Venus in this chart: Venus square Uranus and Venus opposite Pluto. As a feminist I like to see conflict with Venus in a group chart, since Venus often represents women. Advances in women’s rights always come with social disruption. In this chart I see women speaking out about secrets (Uranus in the twelfth house) and attempts by legal or religious institutions to act in opposition to women’s values. There’s no assurance on whether this will result in more or less freedom for women, only that there will be a conflict in this area.

Though I see conflicts with other nations in this chart, it doesn’t look to me like any great escalation of armed conflict. I think conflicts will be in the area of trade, possibly an urge toward protectionism since they involve a second house in the sign of cancer.

Okay, but what people really want to know is, who will win the presidential election? Astrologers who know more than I answer this question by looking at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s natal charts. However, I will say that looking at this chart my money is on Clinton, since conflicts are pointing like an arrow toward Venus. Also there is what’s known as a T-square in the right side of the chart, the squares involving Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto. Jupiter being in the fifth house of children, with Venus in a harmonious sextile, says to me that there will be a focus of energy and opposition involving children. Concern for child welfare has remained a steady source of interest for Clinton throughout her political career, despite intense right wing opposition to monetary investment in children and a tepid support for children’s issues within the male-led liberal/left political spectrum. Political conflict related to children would most plausibly be initiated by Clinton.

Nap Time’s Over: Mercury Goes Direct

October 9, 2015

samhain_inbasket

Mercury retrograde (when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backward in the sky from our Earth perspective) is a time for taking care of things we’ve been neglecting. Often that thing that’s been neglected is sleep. Mercury goes direct October 9th at 10:57 am Eastern Time (14:57 Universal Time), so it’s time for things to start moving forward again. What a relief!

Thoughts on Sunday’s Eclipse

October 2, 2015

Photo taken from Tampa Florida by Patrick Murtha.
Photo taken from Tampa Florida by Patrick Murtha.

This week was my first opportunity, believe it or not, to view a total lunar eclipse. Times when I might have theoretically been able to witness the event, the sky has been overcast. I watched the eclipse from the parking area in back of my house, a rather unromantic spot to commemorate a great occurence but one that afforded clear unimpeded observation. I had to stay up rather late to be visually present, but I was still very alert, and I can corroborate that the moon at first seemed to disappear bite by bite, and then to be present in a greatly diminished state. At first I was incredulous, despite intellectually understanding and accepting the event, as the immediate impact was surreal.

Of course I have been present for every partial and total eclipse in my lifetime, whatever the time of day or atmospheric condition. Without access to a spaceship there is no other choice. I think this eclipse has been unusually impactful, and I mean that in an uncomfortable karma-as-teacher kind of way. A lot of unbalanced accusations flying, with less self-aware people reacting to internal conflicts in a projected manner. I don’t know whether this heightened eclipse syndrome is related to this being a supermoon (moon at its closest orbit to earth), the eclipse occurring so close to the equinox, or Mercury retrograde adding communication problems to an already difficult aspect. Usually I do not do any magic around the time of an eclipse. I find the spell dampened or ineffective and prefer to wait for a more productive time. Beginning a day or two before the solar eclipse and continuing until the lunar, I try to affect my will magically as little as possible. Sometimes other events make this policy impractical, such as the Fall Equinox/Harvest holiday occurring smack in the middle of the two events. Even in this situation, however, I tend to keep the focus on worship rather than tangible goals. I have been taking a vacation even from larger writing projects and spending more time in the woods. I had to come out of retreat temporarily last week nonetheless to use magic to aid someone in a crisis that needed immediate intervention.

For me the eclipse seemed to be winding down even as it began, since I am an Aries and we tend to experience transits before they happen. I think this has to do with the Aries attraction to novelty manifesting as recognition of new vibrations in their prodromal phase, giving way to boredom with them as they develop. In fact, I’m surprised I’m even interested in debriefing this recent astrological event. It was, however, an exceedingly powerful one.