Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times


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Diotima

Diotima

Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas. In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally. She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina. Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at www.uraniaswell.com

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b2ap3_thumbnail_154494_10151337343351322_1797131129_n.jpgTake your ordination in the rains from heaven and the winds of change that have gathered around us. Let it come, this new world. As I have written before–these are the times we are made for.
~ Byron Ballard
 
The Virgo New Moon happens tomorrow, August 25th — you can find the chart here. Before I get into the analysis, I want to emphasize again that lunation (New and Full Moon) charts can be worked with on an individual level to bring out the most positive characteristics of the planetary alignments, even if the chart has numerous difficult aspects. On a wider, country-wide level, however, on the larger social/political/economic stage, we are likely to see the difficult aspects manifesting in difficult ways more often than not. When a chart is cast for an entire country — as I do with these lunation charts, which are cast for the USA — you’ll see the issues highlighted in the chart reflected in the news, in the national conversations, in your life and the lives of those around you, but in differing degrees and in different ways.

Obviously, not everyone is going to be equally affected. For instance, in my post on the recent Full Moon, I said there would be widespread flooding in the country, as indeed, there has been — widespread and record-setting. But not everyone has been flooded out, and some people are more strongly affected by these events than others. I also spoke of the need to deal with anger in that same post, and you may have experienced feelings and/or incidents  of anger in your life, or seen it manifest in the lives of those around you. Certainly anger has been at the center of the national conversation around Ferguson, MO, entrenched racism, and the militarization of the police. Much depends on the birth chart of a person, or even a town. (The incorporation chart of Ferguson, MO, for instance, is being strongly aspected by current transits and lunations.)

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b2ap3_thumbnail_zodiac.jpgWe need not feel ashamed of flirting with the zodiac.  The zodiac is well worth flirting with.  ~D.H. Lawrence

I find that a lot of people shy away from astrology because they believe it is based on incorrect astronomy, and so cannot possibly give accurate information. Perhaps they’ve seen a video by Bill Nye or Neil deGrasse Tyson taking about how the constellations don’t line up with the signs anymore, and that pesky “extra” constellation (or two). Unfortunately, both Nye and Tyson are clearly ignorant about astrology — a great deal more ignorant than most astrologers are about astronomy. We are not only fully aware of the positions of the constellations, the precession of the equinoxes and the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun (OK, I’ll try to tone back the sarcasm) but astrology is divided into two major branches based on how we deal with the constellations (groupings of stars) and the precession of the equinoxes.

I’m not going to address the different types of sidereal astrology, of which Vedic astrology is one. Sidereal astrology carefully makes allowances for the precession of the equinoxes, because it works with the positions of the signs relative to the constellations. I’m going to explain the basis of Western astrology, a tropical astrology, which determines the position of the signs relative to the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun around the Earth. I find that a number of astrology students worry about learning the “technical” side, but while the math of astrology can get complex, the basic astronomy really isn’t very difficult to understand, and understanding it will give you considerably more insight into the craft than you could possibly have without it. So I encourage you to take a deep breath and jump into the learning — I’ll make this as easy as possible. Ready? OK, let’s start.

Meanwhile, back on Earth…

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Robin_Williams.jpgLike many astrologers, I took a look at Robin Williams’ chart last night, because I found myself wondering what sort of a man he was underneath the tremendous talent, what pressures he was currently under, and also to consider — again — the personal and cultural realities that can drive people to take their own lives. (If you want to follow along, the chart is here.)

The first thing that jumps out from his chart is the preponderance of planets at the top of the chart, a southern hemisphere emphasis (yes, when you are looking at a chart, the southern hemisphere of the chart is on top. Just put yourself in the center of the chart, as if you were going to cast a circle. Face East, toward the Ascendant. Now face South. Yep, there you are.) A large number of planets in this area of the chart generally indicates someone whose life is inextricably entwined with the collective, often to the point where their personal will is subsumed in the needs and desires of others. This is, of course, often the case with celebrities, especially those who, like Williams, tend to be deeply emotional and empathetic. And that’s the second thing that jumps out at us about this chart.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    You are more than welcome, Gabriel. I'm glad the post was meaningful to you. Thanks for commenting.
  • Gabriel Moore
    Gabriel Moore says #
    I have always been a big Robin Williams fan and always will be. Thank you Diotima for writing something that celebrates him as a p

b2ap3_thumbnail_spiral_dance_cropped.jpg “Not for ourselves alone are we born
~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Full Moons are not in effect for long — usually just until the next New Moon — nor are they generally as powerful as New Moons, but this one, happening Sunday, August 10 at 2:10 pm EDT, looks to be more powerful than most. The chart (cast for Washington, DC, and so predictive for the entire USA) shows an emphasis on the ninth house of legalities, religion and foreign policy. Problems come from two difficult planets (Mars and Saturn) conjunct in an often difficult house (the twelfth),  in the fixed — and often difficult — sign of Scorpio. The focus of this Full Moon is on balancing the needs of self – or Self – with the needs of others, or the collective.

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Do you remember the story of Odysseus, who had to navigate his ship between the six-headed sea monster, Scylla, and the whirlpool Charybdis? I suspect quite a few of us will be feeling that energy in our lives soon, if we aren’t already, and, as with Odysseus, the only option is to make a choice. Figuring out what action to take means we need to take time to reflect — but not too much time, because events will call us to take action. You’ll need to steer a careful, attentive course through the choices that are presented to you in the upcoming weeks.

The planetary alignment that is energizing these navigational hazards is the station of Saturn and Uranus within less than half a degree of an inconjunct (150 degree) aspect with each other, July 20-21. Saturn in Scorpio is stationing direct, Uranus in Aries, retrograde. The inconjunct is not one of the most powerful aspects, but it packs a punch, and this close, with these two powerful planets almost motionless in the sky and in tight aspect for over a month, I expect it to shake things up a bit. Jupiter will also have moved into Leo a few days before the planetary stations, and Mercury will be out of its shadow from the last retrograde, joined by Venus in Cancer.  So the overall energy is going to change fairly dramatically in mid-July.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_1280px-Van_Gogh_-_Starry_Night_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg"I would venture to warn against too great intimacy with artists as it is very seductive and a little dangerous."
Queen Victoria

The Wheel of the Year has turned past the Summer Solstice, so Friday’s New Moon is in Cancer, just a few days before our Mom, apple pie and fireworks patriot-fest on July 4th here in the USA. I suspect there will be all kinds of fireworks in the upcoming month, both literal and figurative. But given the Mars-Uranus opposition in this chart, I strongly advise taking extra precautions if you are working with anything flammable or explosive! Here’s the chart, as usual cast for Washington, DC, and predictive for the month ahead for the country. It’s also broadly predictive, on a more personal level, for those of us living here.

(And yes, I know I said I’d send my newsletter out on the New Moon, but that will be the *next* New Moon, so if you signed up and you’re wondering where it is…well, this blog post is all you get for this one. :-) And if you didn’t sign up, you can remedy that right here)

This is a chart of Water and Air, and if you’re an artist, you should get to work. There’s a lot of creative energy floating around this month, but — artist or not — keep in mind that trying to be too clever and bright can work against your emotional and spiritual relationships. Cleverness tends to be ego-driven, and you’ll want to watch your own ego this month, remembering to, as Steven Covey put it, “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” There’s lots of emotional, connecting energy you can draw on this month, but you are also likely to see plenty of people in full look-at-me peacock mode, demanding attention and respect. Get clear now on just how much posturing and nonsense you are going to put up with, and have a plan to deal with it politely but firmly when you find yourself in the middle of someone else’s drama. If you can get past ego needs — your own and others —  the chart also offers lovely opportunities for deep connections with family, friends and tribe.

There’s a strong illusionary, trickster vibe in the air this month, a tendency to distraction, and to deception. (Astrologers will note the strong Gemini influence in this chart — it is the Ascendant, and holds both Venus and sign ruler Mercury. Mercury has a strong Trickster aspect, which is more obvious when it’s retrograde, and Venus in and ruling the twelfth, square Neptune is quite seductive and dangerous, keeping whatever it can low-lighted or under wraps). There are also patterns that support strongly transformative, life-changing emotional experiences. (Water emphasis, Sun and Moon trine Neptune, oppose Pluto. Venus-Neptune square). Magical/meditative work to develop the Observer, monitor your thought patterns, and deeply connect to your personal spiritual foundation will benefit not only you but those around you.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_monarch-emerging.jpgThe Summer Solstice this year happens on June 21 at 6:52 a.m. EDT. This is the moment when the Sun touches the Tropic of Cancer, and enters the sign of Cancer. Astrologers refer to this moment as the “Cancer Ingress” and cast a chart as the Sun hits 0 degrees of that sign. The chart is predictive for the upcoming three months. Here is this year’s chart, cast for Washington, DC, which is predictive for the entire country. Here is the ingress chart in a bi-wheel with the USA’s chart.

We’ll definitely be hearing from revolutionaries of all stripes over the next three months, particularly related to foreign affairs, higher education, religion, government, and big business. Even the economists will be calling for change, and undoubtedly the Tea Partiers will continue to wave their “Don’t Tread On Me” flag and use rifles as fashion accessories while random shootings by insane people become a weekly news item. So far, the Cardinal Cross has heralded a lot of destructive upheaval in the world — wildfires, civil wars, kidnappings, floods, earthquakes, transportation disasters, mudslides, shootings — but the main message of this celestial pattern, which is anchored by the profound and life-changing Uranus-Pluto square, is that we have reached criticality in the health of the planetary web of life. It is the under-reported changes and collapses within ecosystems, the rapidity of climate change, the insanity of those in power who ignore the crisis and conspire with their corporate cronies to extract every last drop of fuel from the body of the Earth, that exemplify for us the lessons of survival we are faced with.

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