Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times

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Magickal Monday: Your Guide to the Week Ahead - 7/30/12

Oh, the trials of an astrologer…I’m trying to decide when the Olympics actually began. Was it when the first game was played, on Wednesday? At the beginning of the opening ceremony on Friday? At the end of the opening ceremony? Hmph. Shouldn’t the first games be after the opening ceremony? Mercury is indeed retrograde, and I am bewildered.

Anyway, the reason I wanted to look at the event chart was to compare it with the chart of Michael Phelps, arguably the world’s greatest swimmer, who is making headlines all over the place for his less-than-stellar Olympic performances so far. He barely qualified, then finished fourth in his race, and I wondered what transits were affecting him astrologically. (Chart is here. I used a rectified time [rectification by Dean Bensics] of 10:26 PM. )

Lo and behold, his Sun, at 9 degrees of Cancer, lines right up with the transiting Uranus-Pluto square — Uranus brings upsets and change, while Pluto brings metamorphosis, and intense public focus. Transiting Neptune, retrograde, is closely square his Midheaven, a transit Noel Tyl describes pithily as a probable “ego wipeout”. But wait! There’s more! The planets are really piling on this man. Mercury Rx just transited oppose his Ascendant a few days ago, and now joins the Sun in his 6th house of health, while Mars just squared his natal Mars on Saturday, when he did so poorly in his first event. Mars is the planet of the competitive athlete. There’s a lot more going on — I don’t have room for anywhere near all of it here, but I will also note that Venus opposed his Moon on the same day. The Moon is the dispositor of his Sun and Mars, and rules the 6th house. It is a mistake to think that the so-called “benefic” planets — Sun, Venus, and Jupiter — are always benefic. They are until they slap you upside the head with too much, too fast, too soon of the wrong things. Phelps is undergoing some life-changing and potentially difficult transits and arcs, no doubt, but there’s a real undercurrent of strength here, as well as some mitigating transits, and he may well make a comeback before the games are over. If he does, he’ll work hard for it, and it’s likely to be spectacular.

OK, so on to our week ahead!


The Moon moves into Capricorn, Saturn’s home sign, at 3:30 Monday morning (all times are EDT), setting a serious tone that will last for a couple of days. It conjuncts Pluto around 4:00 Monday afternoon, and squares Uranus about an hour and a half later. This aspect encourages emotion-fueled outbursts of unconscious material, exposure of things that had previously been hidden, and, quite possibly, some kind of governmental and/or corporate upheaval. A trine from the Sun to Uranus later that night, with Venus approaching a trine to Saturn (exact at 1:39 a.m. Tuesday), encourages creative endeavors, but you also may find people are very self-focused.

The Moon moves into a square to Mars early Tuesday morning, which may translate into disrupted sleep cycles, and problematic morning rush hour. Then it goes on and squares Saturn, beginning an orb of influence right around…ooops!…afternoon rush hour.  So, we have the Moon square to Mars, then square Saturn. Ouch. The principles of these three planets can be very much at odds.

Mars is in its detriment in Libra, while Saturn is in the sign of its exaltation. I’m betting on Saturn to win any contests as the upcoming Mars-Saturn conjunction is presaged by this transit of the Moon in the sign Saturn rules. In other words, watch your temper, stay organized and grounded, and don’t ignore the emotional component of any situation. In fact, try to go for the empathy first. The world is desperately in need of it, and you can still get pissed off later if you want.  Avoid other common Mars-Saturn screw-ups by not lifting anything you know is too heavy for you, looking both ways and not running any lights. Oh, and skip rush hour, if you can.

The Moon enters Aquarius early Wednesday morning, goes on to oppose Mercury around noon, then sextiles Uranus early evening. An Aquarian Moon’s opposition to a retrograde Mercury slowing down for its direct station next week is a recipe for technological troubles. The sextile to Uranus and trine to Jupiter may save the day through someone’s brilliance, or just by giving enough warning to run a backup before the hard drive fails. Pull out all your “keep the technology happy” spells today—and, indeed, for the next week or so. Late that night, at 11:28 p.m. the Full Moon occurs in 10 degrees of Aquarius. The Sun and Moon in the Full Moon chart are in flowing aspect to Jupiter and Uranus. How can you bridge the desires of the heart and the demands of the mind? The needs of self and others? These are questions that will be emphasized in the coming couple of weeks.

Thursday’s Venus-Sun semi-square suggests that a bout of retail therapy may be tempting, but won’t do the job, because what you probably need is a good dose of self-worth. Don’t let the negative tape loops take over, and pay particular attention to the state of your heart chakra today.

Friday morning brings a Pisces Moon. It conjuncts Pisces ruler Neptune early afternoon on Friday, setting the scene for a Neptunian/Piscean weekend. Spirituality, fantasy, delusions, meditations and shamanic journeys, substance use and abuse, are all possible themes for Moon in Pisces. Saturday, just after midnight,  brings a Rx Mercury in to an exact inconjunct with Neptune, and whatever you find out will not be what it’s all about. This is not a good aspect for getting at the truth, whether or not you think you have all the facts.

Saturday is relatively quiet, with a square to Jupiter encouraging thoughtful conversations. On Sunday, there are a couple of uncomfortable Lunar aspects to the Sun and Venus, probably bringing up those self-worth issues again. You might consider doing some magick to work on personal issues today. After five, the Moon moves into Aries, ending the week on a Fiery note.

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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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