It’s been a rough start to Mercury Retrograde. First, I got sick, then our cat, who was ailing took a deep turn south, then my father has fallen ill as well. I’m tackling my health with some very efficacious alternative means. Our cat however, was not so fortunate. We had to put him down today. Like many cats, he adopted us. He strode into our living room one night when we had the front door open. He walked in like he owned the place and we never looked back. We called him “Amos” but later found out that his name was “Shady.” He was a pure, black cat. Unlike the commonly held superstition, I have always been fond of black cats. White cats however, give me the creeps.
“Amos” had been abandoned and was being fed by a family around the corner. He was more of a yard cat than a house cat. So when it came time for us to pack up and leave, my then wife pleaded with through tears to take him. So after a few glasses of Cachacha and lime, I steeled up the courage and off he went with us. He was my exes first, real pet. Wherever we moved, he always ingratiated himself with the neighbors. In fact, in Escondido, he was so popular that people were leaving him Christmas gifts at our door! He was the neighborhood good will ambassador, more dog than cat in some ways. In fact, if I wanted to let him, he would walk blocks with me, like a dog off a leash, except that he would dart in and out of bushes and doorways, stealthily shadowing me. We eventually called him “Secret Agent John Moose” which, when after my son arrived on the scene, pulling his tail, he simply became known as “Johnny.” So his transformation from “Shady,The Street Cat Hustler” to “Johnny, Respectable, Family Cat” was complete.”
A month ago, he stopped being able to move his back legs well. Shortly thereafter, he couldn’t walk at all. He had been diagnosed with a tumor, either in the spine or the brain.
His decline was rapid.
Today, as Saturn gets ready to fully oppose Uranus on, 9/10/9, we put Johnny to sleep. What is amazing about his passing was how it was an analog for my exes experience around the death of her mother, who passed away, far-too-young with ALS. Just as she was there to nurse and care for her mom, she was also there for our cat. The residual energy of family history got played out. An opportunity for healing. Mercury Retrograde, oppositions, life transitions. Let’s look at the big picture.
The biggest player in tomorrow’s numerological drama is the opposition between Saturn and Uranus at 23/24 degrees, just one day before the exact opposition, which occurs on the 10th at 24/24. This is the most potent pull on these two planets that we’ll see until they square off again, on the 30th of April, 2010 at 28/28. The last time these two opposed one another? The night of the election, 11/4/08. To more fully understand the arc of these oppositions as they work as gates and links through space and time, we turn to the Sabian Symbols for some startling insight;
NOVEMBER 4TH, SATURN, 18 DEGREES VIRGO, “A OUIJA BOARD.”
As the election results quickly confirmed the historic election of Barack Obama, there was an almost supernatural quality to the air, a spiritual giddiness that bubbled up from the the third eye of the collective psyche. People were not just celebrating the victory and supposed overthrow of the oppressive and heavy Bush regime, but were intuiting that this was something bigger, not just your average candidate, but not your average person. Barack Obama had quickly just become “Obama” like Jesus, or Buddha, or Ghandi. Single name status infers iconic power, the wise and articulate, journalist, John Pilger, more realistically refers to this as “brand.” So here we were, celebrating something more than just an election, this was an opening of consciousness. To fully understand what this means, we turn to the dean of modern Sabian Symbols, Dane Rudhyar. This is what he has to say about this degree;
“This is the third stage of the thirty-fourth-sequence of symbolic phases in the life process. It is at best a stage of transition which stresses a passive openness to the unknown. The glamor of it may subtly pervert the mind of the aspirant: but in some cases, this can be the first manifestation of INNER GUIDANCE. The difficulty is to correctly evaluate who or what does the guiding.“
So what we see here is an opening, a chance, a possibility, but in some ways, it’s adolescent and conjurs images of slumber parties and Ouija Boards, co-mingling aspects of giddy possibility and apprehension. What about Uranus/Pisces? Here is where things get pretty interesting.
URANUS, 18 DEGREES, IN A GIGANTIC TENT, VILLAGERS WITNESS A SPECTACULAR PERFORMANCE.
Here we see “The collective appeal of a well-staged and exciting display of skill and or oratory.” Does this sound remotely familiar? Marc Edmund Jones, one of the co-creators of The Sabian Symbols saw this as a revivalists tent originally, then shifted it to a circus tent, but the “intent” remained the same. Here is what Rudhyar has to say about this important symbol;
“The implication of the symbol, whenever it is found operating, is that the time has come for the individual to dare to present himself and his works to the community for his applause, or for the purpose of attracting a following. What is suggested is PUBLIC, SELF-DRAMATIZATION.“
If we combine these two energies of these two symbols we see election night replayed before out very eyes. The sense of something approaching, something immanent, intoxicated by the euphoria of the spectacle. This energy set the stage for the current opposition to take place. But in between then and now, the spectacle has faded just more than slightly, bleary eyed, those that are still stumbling around the tent ahve found that the magic revival is no longer there. During the first phase of the opposition, the energy decidedly tilted towards Pisces, possibility, merging, and perhaps illusory.
As we move to current time, we see the energy of the opposition shifting back into virgo, in both signs as exhibited by the symbols. Here is the first:
VIRGO, 24 DEGREES, MARY AND HER LITTLE LAMB
while the public was busy conjuring up the spirit of the future, using a psychometric device in order to do so, here we see a return to innocence and faith–states that arenot invoked but simply inhabited. Rudhyar invokes the imagery of Christian mysticism when deciphering this symbol:
“Coming after the preceding symbols, this one tells us that, though great. spectacular and resolute efforts are needed in order to achieve one’s higher goals of destiny, still the essential quality that one journeys on “the Path” is a pure, spontaneous, fresh and non-violent approach to all encounters. This of course is Jesus’ entreaty to his disciples–that they should be like “little children.” Without such a deep, heartfelt simplicity, the seeker after spiritual experiences or Initiation is bound to find himself glamorized by his own successes and to see his ego feeding on the drama of struggle and victory.“
We have passed through the grasp for the otherworldly seduction of knowledge beyond time and space and here we rest at a symbol of simply being and being simple. This is critical to understand in the nature of our own lives, because what Rudhyar is hinting at here is something beyond, “hope.” Rudyhar is implying that the simplicity of “faith” is not only beneficial, but essential, as it anchors our humility in a field openness and fresh interaction. What of Uranus/Pisces?
ON A SMALL, ISLAND SURROUNDED BY THE VAST EXPANSES OF SEA, PEOPLE ARE SEEN LIVING IN CLOSE INTERACTION
Rudhyar chimes in with this meaning of 24 Pisces. “The need to consciously accept ones own personal limitations in order to concentrate on ones own energies and to live a centered and fulfilled life.” Here we see a distinct retreat from the spectacle of 18 Degrees Pisces. The revival tent is long gone and people are faced with the responsibility of cultivating and forging a meaningful life with themselves and others. This is an echo of 18 Degrees Virgo as well, as there is a retreat to something more pure and sustainable. We’ve come off the psychic sugar rush and the sideshow has moved onto other parts. We look around and in the mist and the vapors of promise and spectacle and we are left with ourselves and one another. This is a decidedly different energy. It’s more horizontal than vertical, much, much more Virgoan in it’s humility and willingness to roll up sleeves and get work done.
9/9/9 offers us the opportunity to reclaim something that is truly ours; our simple divinity as children of creation and the willingness to harmonically work and live with one another. In order to do so, we need to see ourselves as part of a different continuum however, not one ruled by oligarchic decree, or so called “wise men.” This is about returning to a state of grace, driven by a desire to create a new world out of the intention that it is more than just a luxurious vision; it’s essential
Before we get to the future, we’re talking 2010, we need to take a brief stop at 25 Degrees Virgo, because I believe that there is something ominous and possibly portentious in that symbol
SATURN IN VIRGO, 25; A FLAG AT HALF -MAST IN FRONT OF A PUBLIC BUILDING
Whenever we see flags at half mast, it usually indicates that a figure from public service, either the government or the military has died. It’s a show of both respect and mourning. What could this mean? Are we going to witness the literal interpretation of this symbol? Will a public figure pass between the 19th and the 25th of September? Perhaps Rudhyar might share shed some light on this;
“In the final phase of the thirty-fifth five-fold sequence of symbols we are presented with an image of end results of the individual’s service to mankind. His personal failings may be forgotten, but his achievements remain, They are given PUBLIC RECOGNITION“.
Ironically, this degree passes over Van Jones’ birthday (more on him later) on 9/20. Are we going to see the death of the ideal, or perhaps something, or someone more real? While this degree happens every year, in Virgo, it does not happen while it is in Saturn, conjuncting the Sun and opposing Uranus. On the 18th of September, the Sun and Saturn meet exactly at 25 degrees. This is the same degree that Barack Obama has in his natal Saturn in Capricorn at 25 degrees. While we witnessed the glamor and the giddy highs of the election night, this next weeks cycle will show us a much more sober and even somber Obama. Most public figures that are agents of change run the risk of their own, personal security and forces that wish to shut down change have done so throughout history via assassination or coup. We most certainly do not want this befall on anyone, even those we might occasionally disagree with. Not only is it immoral, but it’s bad for business and could threaten the very fabric of our society, It’s rumored that Obama has an astrologer on staff. If I were him, I would employ her overtime to get through the next two weeks, as unscathed as possible.
So what does the future hold in store for us based on the progression of the oppositions? You might be surprised.
APRIL 24, 2010, SATURN RETROGRADE 28 DEGREES VIRGO; A BALD HEADED MAN SEIZES POWER
Here is what Rudhyar says about this degree;
“At this third stage of the thirty-third sequence (master number, 333, 1/3 of 999 my emphasis) we face the unpostponable necessity for decision and transformation. Existence in motion. No static formation, however beautiful and inspiring, can remain long unchallenged. Everything bows to the POWER OF THE WILL–divine, executively human, or Satanic.“
Ahem, okay, so in the third sequence of oppositions we see a bald and naked grab for power on the horizon. This speaks to a command control that urges action out of chaos, flux and space. While I’m not going to go search around for bald headed baddies or go for it all now gurutypes to fit this symbol, I see this more as a collective energy and the baldheaded man, who has lost contact with the natural world via the tendrils of his scalp, demands order and change born out of will. This is not decidedly Virgo. I thought long and hard about Virgo bald guys, but could only come up with Moby, but remember, this takes place during the early phase of Aries, which is much more associated with will and hair loss than Virgo. Can we counter this “will to power?” The answer might lie in it’s opposite state of Uranus in Pisces at 28 Degrees.
URANUS IN PISCES, 28 DEGREES, A FERTILE GARDEN UNDER THE FULL MOON REVEALS A VARIETY OF FULL GORWN VEGETABLES
Here is where we really get the first divergence in the pattern of the oppositions. The first opposition was very Piscean in it’s demeanor and aura. The second, underscored by simplicity and working together, was decidedly Virgoan. Here with control being exercised through the dominant force of the will, Virgo in it’s most cruel and efficient state, we see the image of abundance, not in the morning light, or at the peak of the day, but under the moonlight, the world of nuance and magic. We’re talking about a bifurcation of society, two worlds splitting apart. One is ruled by a forceful. dominator paradigm, while the other hints at grace, joy, ease and abundance. One is a solar dominated expression of will, the other a more lunar and magnetic expression of receptivity. If I had to encapsulate the progression of the oppositions it would look like this:
November 4th, 2008: Induction into magical rites and group experience through spectacle and trance, with the underlying sense of contacting something greater than the self.
September 10th, 2009: The reversion back to more innocent and helpful states, navigating through social confusion and chaos.
April 28th, 2010: The choice is yours. Which world would do you want to live in? One that makes you feel safe, yet determines most of your choices in advance or one that thrusts you out into the natural world, experiencing the abundance of life through the receptive nature? The choice is yours to be made or it will be made for you.
I promised to talk about Van Jones and a I will briefly. Jones had the misfortune of having a “conviction” that was part of a very public forum. Barack Obama has shown us time and again, that’s it’s potentially damaging to have a conviction or a position. While he was the editor of “The Harvard Law Review” he didn’t author one piece, which of course would have put him at risk as having a position. But nevertheless Van had transiting Saturn, just crossing over his natal Pluto at 22 degrees, when his “lnner truther” was outed. Uranus also opposed his natal Pluto and transiting Neptune had with a wide (five degrees) opposition with his Mars in Leo. In short, he was destined to go through something cathartic and transformative. We have not heard the last of this man, especially since he has both Mercury and Venus in Libra. He has been invested in justice all of his life. This time however, it might be his own that he will be seeking. Stay tuned.