Category: Uncategorized

Blasting Toward Something Better: the Mars, Uranus, North Node Moment

The time has arrived for the aforementioned Mars-Uranus-North Node conjunction, reaching perfection on August 1st. You may have picked up on the energy last week, with the Moon passing through this Taurean territory on Thursday, July 21st. At our homestead, for instance, we experienced a power outage and a slew of rearranged or cancelled plans due to unforeseen circumstances. Uranus perverts plans and expectations—not because Uranus is a pesky, needlessly rebellious annoyance, but because Uranus is asking us to try living without them, if not wholly, then just for a spell. As I’ve shared before, Uranus shows us the value of living in the Here and Now:

The basic principle of Uranus is immediacy. Uranus is concerned with the Now. And so astrologers tie Uranus to surprises, epiphanies, and unpredictable events (which bring us into the Now); to revolutions and revolutionaries (which demand change Now); to modern technology (which needs our attention Now); to individuation/individualism (as the presence of the other(s) can over-contextualize the Now); and in Medical astrology, to the lightning-fast nervous system (an empowered Uranus = quick reflexes, a weakened Uranus = hyperactive nervous system).

Uranus wants us to be in the moment, and not concern ourselves with how we got here or what’s to follow.”

So, as Uranus combines with Mars’ basic principle of Action and the bursting, gushing energy of the Moon’s North Node, what do we have in store?

One approach would be to look at the most previous Mars-Uranus conjunction in Taurus. As it happens, this took place as the current president of the US was being sworn in. That whole election-to-inauguration process went pretty smooth, right? Okay, maybe not. And while there is plenty of mess in that narrative to get lost in, surface details are insignificant compared to the underlying rhythm: twists and turns, constant rapid change, and never knowing what to expect next. Uranus-Mars needs spontaneous action, embedded in the moment, and thrashes against any form of restriction. With Uranus also conjoining the North Node in Taurus, the only deep security we can truly hold on to is the air we are breathing in, which of course we must let go of.

I would like to use this space to examine a more subtle expression of this astrological circuit, which it turns out, includes more than just Mars, Uranus, and the North Node at 18 degrees Taurus.

During the central days (July 30 – Aug 2) of this conjunction, these three celestial beings are operating in cahoots with the Sun (7-9 degrees Leo) and Jupiter (8 degrees Aries and freshly stationed retrograde) in measures of 40 degrees, or ninths (1/9) of a circle. In astrology, we call this aspect the novile. 

I have casted blue novile lines in this chart—which shows us the exact conjunction of Mars and Uranus—to show you where the noviles occur. We see that Jupiter in Aries is 40 degrees away from Mars-Uranus-North Node, creating a novile (1/9) aspect. If we travel two more noviles (2/9, 80 degrees, a binovile) from the big conjunction, we arrive at the Sun in Leo. So, all five celestial beings are connected by noviles, while Jupiter and the Sun form a trine (120 degrees, 3/9 or 1/3) aspect to one another. I get pretty personal with the planets, and I gotta say, it feels to me like a fuzzy group hug. 

I should also inform you that noviles and the ninth vibration/harmonic in astrology are all about finding common ground and working together, in communion. With these particular planets, there is a tone of advancing in big ways and creating a better situation for ourselves and each other through shared action.

One other note about this configuration is that during this conjunction, the Sun is traveling in opposition to the Saturn/Pluto midpoint. I have made a habit of tracking this midpoint year-round (currently at 10 degrees Aquarius, and slowly inching backwards), as it seems to have a really strong and often unpleasant effect when it connects with folks’ natal charts.

With the Sun illuminating the Saturn/Pluto point of convergence—while in trine with Jupiter and in this novile pattern with Mars, Uranus, and the North Node—we can see a little more specifically what kind of advancements are favored by the energy of this time. Saturn and Pluto tend to suppress material growth, as we can see playing out with the delayed-but-inevitable economic recession that began with their conjunctions in 2020. So, what grows in Saturn-Pluto soil, amended by all these other planets? The channels of advancement that flow here are those of deeper meaning and lasting value. Particularly with the noviles, I think of harmony in relationships, village, and community, but to each their own. In this time, these are the paths to true, meaningful abundance.

We must keep in mind, however, that the Uranus-North Node conjunction outlasts all of this. It’s extremely strong now, and it will remain so for weeks to come (arguably months). The energy I’m speaking of isn’t something we can orchestrate or control, but rather a channel to merge with, should you spot it passing through your life.

As with any moment in time, there are numerous channels of energy to engage. Your birth chart is a picture of such a moment, and indubitably you are a being of great plurality. I have highlighted one particular channel of this cosmic moment here, and there are many others, but this is the one which I hope to jump into, and maybe you might, too.

with Love,

Phil

get out of bounds!

join the very occasional mailing list

Powered by EmailOctopus

Fire for the Whole: the 2022 Summer Solstice Chart

Some recent discussions and charts have inspired me to look at the Summer Solstice chart for western USA. As the explosive triple conjunction of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node looms large just a month away (exact on August 1st, but look for it all through the end of July and beginning of August), I was curious to see what planets or other celestial beings are making an impact in this seasonal chart, keeping a close eye on the angles of the chart.

As you can see, the solstice takes place at 2:14 AM Pacific time, with the Sun crossing into Cancer. If we look at this chart with the idea that the themes within it will play a prominent role in the next three months—until Equinox—while also considering regional weather patterns in recent years, we find a few causes for alarm.

An Aries Stellium for your Solstice, Dearies

Most basically, we see that the sign of Aries is full to the brim, with Moon and Jupiter in conjunction, as well as longer-term residents Chiron and Eris accompanied by Mars, each separated by 4 degrees in a very tight midpoint arrangement, with Mars as the focal (middle) planet. In this arrangement, Eris is nuzzled tightly with the Aries ascending point, just nine zodiacal minutes away in San Francisco. Needless to say, that is a lot of fire, folks.

With Moon and Jupiter conjoined in Aries, the baseline theme is big feelings. But when we recall that the Moon is in deep relationship with Earth and life on Earth to the point that she is our greatest tool for growing food, we can assume that Earth will have some big feelings this season. And in Aries, those feelings are hot.

Speaking of heat, how about the red planet, Mars? When Mars is conjunct Chiron, themes of persistence and perseverance are strong, especially within a narrative of conflict. (If you have Mars and Chiron interacting with each other in your natal chart, know that any study within the martial arts is extremely remedial for that energy.) It seems these conflicts can go on and on, with no resolution at all. Mars and Chiron here are part of a very tight midpoint pattern with dwarf planet Eris. Additionally, Eris is rising over the West Coast just as solstice takes hold. Check it out on an astromap:

The furthest-right white line, the Eris Rising line connects San Francisco, California, with Coos Bay, Oregon, and is otherwise at sea.

A line as powerful as a rising line has a very large orb of influence. Imagine a ray extending two hundred miles in either direction from this line. Now, what sort of energy is Eris carrying, you might ask?

How Eris Operates in Astrology

If you are clinging to the comfort of a “normal” or status-quo life that is structurally unsound, Eris can bring significant disruption. Any fears that you harbor, Eris reflects and energizes, and you are forced through circumstances to deal with them. In the case that you’ve somehow managed to remain oblivious to what you ought to be wary of, the disruption of your life could be cataclysmic, whether via external sources or unconscious self-sabotage. And once Eris is done with you… well, you won’t be oblivious anymore. Eris does not operate within the subtle realms, except to transform the subtle into the blatant. In short: Eris is an often uncomfortable reality check.

The Chiron-Mars-Eris Midpoint Pattern

In a standard, three-planet midpoint structure, no planet—even the middle planet—rules the story. All three planets work through each other to inform a pattern. Here, we could call it something like persistent, deeply wounding or wound-informed reality checks; revelations of generational trauma-based behaviors that cannot be unseen; or inescapable discomfort on a traumatic scale, forcing us to take action that requires great perseverance to succeed. All of this, let’s not forget, in Aries.

If the thought hasn’t crossed your mind yet, let me make it Eris-blatant for you: WILDFIRES.

Now, I recognize that wildfires are common in the summers out west. But this season looks particularly potent, like it could really catalyze another wave of climate refugees eastward. Be on the lookout especially when Mars conjoins with Uranus and the North Node as July turns to August. Uranus on the North Node in Taurus is already an earthquake waiting to happen, so a trigger from Mars certainly won’t make the situation any less volatile. As I’ve said before, this is a great time for independent, unrestricted action. But for folks who don’t live in free-feeling life structures, this could be very challenging—a time of great urgency and immediacy, when you really don’t know what to expect or how to plan, but you must do something. And you must do it now.

My prayers are out for the peoples and beings of the west: bipeds, quadrupeds, octopeds, many-peds, and the plant and fungal realms who will shepherd the bioregion into new eco epochs. Perhaps I’ll have to write more at another time about some of the other notable characteristics of this chart—like Chiron’s square with Ceres and a super-tight isotrap of Mars, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto (whoa!)—but in truth they support a very similar narrative to what I’ve presented here. So act wisely this season, especially those readers out west.

In deep honor, from a little perch in an Appalachia,

Phil

get out of bounds!

join the very occasional mailing list

Powered by EmailOctopus

Forecasting 2022 with Soul Song Solutions

After hearing an astrologer deliver a woefully dumpy and wholly unhelpful podcast concerning planetary energies for the year 2022, I reached out to my friend Olivia at Soul Song Solutions so I could offer a more empowering take.

While I don’t think there any question that dominant culture is in a real mess at the moment, we still have plenty of room as individuals to make strong choices and positive moves within our communities and our own lives. I’m hoping this conversation can help you situate yourself in a healthy perspective around where we’re at and how the ongoing planetary energies can be helpful for you.

Some topics we cover in this hour-long discussion:

  • Ways that we can see the Saturn-Uranus square playing out before our eyes
  • A subtle aspect occurring between Uranus and Neptune for 2022 and 2023
  • The eclipses in the spring and fall
  • A day of wildness (August 1, 2022) with Uranus, Mars, and the North Node conjunct in Taurus
  • Other lunations of note

It is so imperative that we understand ourselves not as victims of cosmic energies, but as co-creators with the planets. If you are aware of what’s coming, you can be prepared to meet life in ways that work to your advantage. Astrology is power when harnessed appropriately, but when we approach it as deterministic (which it isn’t!), we become paralyzed by it. As with all magic, it must be wielded responsibly–with maturity–otherwise it won’t work for us.

You can listen on Spotify, Apple, and anywhere you listen to podcasts.

love all around,

Phil

Interview on Soul Song Solutions Podcast

On April 24th, I sat down at Plantasia with Olivia of Soul Song Solutions podcast for an impromptu discussion around Astrology.

Topics covered include:

  • A 2021 overview (the Saturn-Uranus square)
  • Timing and transits as tools for personal empowerment
  • The astrological symbolism of Chiron, and the fifty-year Chiron journey
  • Embracing Neptune’s request for an honored ambivalence

You can listen through the link above, or find Soul Song Solutions on your podcast app. Olivia is a sound healer, vocal and personal coach and an incredible local ally of ours.

The Saturn Uranus Square: Great Revelations and a Chance for Positive Change in 2021

In the year 2021, the Saturn Uranus square provides the energetic backdrop for the world at large, and many of us personally. Three times this year, Saturn and Uranus will be exactly ninety degrees apart in the zodiacal wheel:

  • February 17th, at 7 degrees Aquarius and Taurus
  • June 14th, at 13 degrees Aquarius and Taurus
  • December 24th, at 11 degrees Aquarius and Taurus

If you have planets that fall at 7*, 11*, or 13* in a fixed sign, then this alignment has medicine for you.

So, let’s talk about each planet’s base signatures, and how Saturn and Uranus interact when in square.

Continue reading

Notes on Mercury’s July 2019 Retrograde

Mercury’s retrograde from July 7th to the 31st joins the signs of Leo and Cancer, and includes a Full Moon/lunar eclipse in Capricorn (July 16th) and a Leo New Moon just hours before the retrograde ceases. Earth will also be receiving impactful energies from Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus.

I’ve put together some notes to help us meet these energies and support our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health:

Continue reading

Saturn’s Role in the Divinities

I have been cooking up some longer-form writings that go along with Saturn’s conjunction with the South Node from now through October. Intuitively, I was led to focus on this extended conjunction, and I have found a whole lot of meaning and focus—and even a shimmer of light for the world in the midst of the anthropocene. What follows was written in a burst following the writing of my previous post inspired by the book Of Water and the Spirit. It concerns Saturn’s role in the protection of indigenous and magical traditions and truths.

Saturn’s Role in the Divinities

When I think of the sacred healing modalities in astrological terms, I see them reflected in the planets who orbit the Sun outside of Saturn. Uranus, the ruler of astrology; Neptune, a magnet of emotional and psychic insight; Chiron and soul-sprung healing; and Pluto of the underworld, where deep shifts and true transformation begin. These planets are not visible to the naked eye, and so were not discovered until thousands of years after astrology as we know it was first taking form. For these millenia, Saturn was known as the most distant planet in our solar system, and so it carried indications of endings, limits, boundaries, and borders.

The truth that revealed itself in time is that Saturn is a guardian of the magical outer planets, and so in order to properly harness and engage with their magic, a person must pass first through Saturn’s rites. Without enduring Saturn’s lessons, we cannot properly respect the power of the outer planets. In intact indigenous cultures, this equates to initiation. Of course, in dominant culture, we have nothing like initiation. But Saturn doesn’t care. Everyone who lives to see their thirties goes through a Saturn return, and this initiation is formed around the birth chart and life circumstances of each person.

Improper (and dangerous) practitioners of the divinities are those who lack a developed respect and reverence—Saturn lessons—for their tradition, be it astrology, tarot, shamanic journeying, energy work, etc. Saturn will always stand guard before the bridge that connects humankind with the magical practices and access to greater truth. In traditional cultures, rituals, initiations and tribal elders serve in this Saturnine role. In modern dominant culture, however, Saturn has become terribly polluted, and perhaps mortally injured, in its guardianship of the sacred.

For numerous off-base reasons, dominant culture teaches little-to-no respect for the aging population. Their wisdom is dismissed as out-of-touch with a rapidly-changing world with limited capacity for the creative reflection which would translate elders’ lessons into applicable teachings. Dominant culture has replaced elderhood with institutional, dueling authorities on Truth: science and religion. The integrity of these institutions is constantly derailed by their adherence to modern times’ hulkingest power and the most tragic manifestation of Saturn: colonialist capitalism, its foundation of false scarcity leading to greed and competition, and the cruelty inherent.

For the time over which these trends have developed, the divinities have been skillfully casted into irrelevance by manifestations of the polluted Saturn. Nonetheless, they still exist in some form, and are practiced and appreciated by a small portion of the population. Saturn’s 2020 conjunctions with Pluto will perhaps help heal dominant culture’s darkly mutated forms of the planet, and the journey toward a more healthy Saturn may indeed begin. But whether or not this occurs, spiritual practitioners have a duty to uphold their traditions, and to pass their ancient knowledge on to descending generations. Along with the world’s intact traditional cultures, these orphaned diviners—outside of the rare, misaligned practitioners—still have some semblance or variation of a properly functioning, spirit-protecting Saturn. And perhaps that will serve the world to come as our disconnected populations search for grounding.

Astrology and the Birth Chart Through the Lens of a Traditional Dagaran Teaching

I recently read the outstanding and revelatory book Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman by Malidoma Patrice Some. The book is an autobiographical narrative which gives amazing details on Malidoma’s adolescence and initiation into adulthood in the Dagara tribe in Burkina Faso. As Malidoma begins his initiation, gathered around a fire with a group of other young tribesmen, a Dagaran elder offers the brilliant teachings of their tribal concept of the circle. 

As I read this, I was immediately struck by the insights provided into astrology’s layout of the birth chart, and specifically the four angles or pivots around which the birth chart is arranged (Ascendent, Midheaven, Descendent, and Anticulminate). The elder’s teaching is paraphrased by Malidoma and then translated from Dagaran into English—an amazing feat in itself—and was delivered to the Dagaran initiates seated around this fire in the mid-1970s.

But first, Malidoma Some introduces the teaching. “What he said was this: the place where he was standing was the center. Each one of us possessed a center that he had grown away from after birth. To be born was to lose contact with our center, and to grow from childhood to adulthood was to walk away from it.”

Roughly, the birth chart is a circular astronomical map capturing a moment in space and time, with the center of the circle being the native in their birthplace. Imagine the native lying on her back, feet facing south. If she rolls to her left, she will see the eastern horizon, or the ascending point. Rolling to her right, she will see the descending point. All that is below the native is shown in the lower half of the chart, and all that is in the sky is shown above the Ascendent/Descendent axis, or horizon. When interpreted, the chart’s tellings are a reflection of the native in the center.

Continue reading

Is Santa Claus Out of Bounds?

I know out-of-bounders are often not so keen on big consumer-driven holidays. But when I think about it, even without seeing a birth chart, I am pretty sure Santa Claus has some out of bounds planets.

  • He lives way, way outside of normal society.
  • He’s probably an alien.
  • Nobody dressed like him, until him. Now, imitators everywhere.
  • Santa has created his own form of economy, where he only accepts milk and cookies.
  • Santa Claus is not straight, and there’s a song about it.

Life on a Paran: Mercury Rising and Pluto Rising

In locational astrology, a paran is a line that circles the earth latitudinally. Each paran has an origin point: a location where two rising, setting, MC or IC lines intersect. It is from this parallel that the paran line emerges east and west, like a ribbon around the globe. Any paran’s orb of influence is up to 2 degrees north or south of the line.

I recently left Minneapolis, MN, on the 44th parallel North, where I lived for 18 months. I have a Mercury rising/Pluto rising paran passing right through Minneapolis, and learned a good deal about what this meant for me by living there and observing its influence.

Continue reading