Taurus Sun, Leo Moon: The Risk of Authenticity

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“Any real change implies the break up of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or thought one knew; to what one possessed or dreamed that one possessed. Yet it is only when man is able, without bitterness or self pity to surrender a dream he has long cherished, or a privilege he has long possessed,that he is set free-that he has set himself free- for higher dreams, for greater privileges.”

-James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name

The word change is defined in Webster’s dictionary as [1] To make different in some particular. [2] To make radically different: transform and [3] To give a position, course or direction to. It’s my contention  that in order to embrace our authenticity, we must become acquainted with change in some form and hone our ability to navigate those waters. This undoubtedly requires risk. To truly be who we are and validate ourselves sans outside approval requires a tremendous amount of patience and intestinal fortitude. The combination of a Taurus Sun and Leo Moon serves as an accurate illustrator of the path of internal certification. On a general level, the combination of these two signs implies a relationship of dynamic or developmental tension. This means when they’re synthesized the most significant growth can  emerge via periods of crisis, upheaval or intense circumstances which demand that we make very clear progression or regression choices. In an individual birth chart, when the Sun is placed in Taurus and the Moon in Leo, the core life energy is geared toward safety and security; the maintenance of stability. Keeping things as they are with relatively few surprises is the prevailing order of the day. The Venus ruled Taurean energy is also stimulated by pleasure and the enjoyment of creature comforts which awaken and stir the senses. As an earth sign, the bull wants something they can “grab a hold of”  to point to as a symbol of certainty, whether it’s a career, relationship or money in the bank. The Leo Moon uses the Taurus Sun’s light to reflect an individual whose personality needs consist of identity validation, approval,  and the recognition and fundamental appreciation of their uniqueness. All of these emotional needs are ingredients to the puzzle of self esteem:

“Self esteem is the disposition to experience oneself as competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and as worthy of happiness.”

In order to be emotionally fulfilled, the Moon in Leo person must feel as if they have the necessary tools to not only “cope” as an individual,  but to flourish. With Leo’s sense of self-importance, there’s no “just getting by”. If that were to be the case, they might be viewed as “ordinary”, and in their book, that’s something too be avoided at all costs:

Needing to live up to a big and rather dramatized image of themselves, the Leo Moon person can be rather a show off. But they do it with such innocence and high expectations that they are often forgiven for their tendency toward self absorption and dramatization.”

When these Sun/Moon energies are blended, the tension which exists vacillates from wanting to keep conditions the same to desiring a growth and advance in the personality. A balance is required to maximize this placement. Stability of the most basic sort is required in our lives. However, part of acquiring self-esteem is the ability to successfully adjust to changes. To drop the script, act or image of this “big” person that you’ve convinced yourself that you need to embody and get on with the business of being yourself. If this path of authenticity is sought with great effort, the individual has the potential to be warmly inspiring and supportive to others who are also on their quest for self-actualization. In Nathaniel Branden’s book “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem”, there’s a rundown of some basic ways self-esteem manifests in ourselves and others, many of which I deem applicable to the optimum use of the Taurus Sun/Leo Moon combination:

“Self-esteem expresses itself in a face, manner and way of talking and moving that projects the pleasure one takes in being alive. It expresses itself in an ease in talking of accomplishments or shortcomings with directness and honesty, since one is in friendly relationship to facts. It expresses itself in the comfort one experiences in giving and receiving compliments, expressions of affection, appreciation and the like. It expresses itself in an openness to criticism and a comfort about acknowledging mistakes because one’s self esteem is not tied to an image of “being perfect.”

“It expresses itself in one’s comfort with assertive (not belligerent) behavior in oneself and others. It expresses itself in an ability to preserve a quality of harmony and dignity under conditions of stress.”

Stability does not have to be synonymous with sameness or inertia. The highest compliment the Sun-Moon blend of Taurus and Leo can bestow upon the universe is to embrace taking the risks which come with the pursuit of authenticity and to implement personal changes over time which will allow them to meet the demands of genuine self-esteem. References: “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” by Nathaniel Branden; “Person To Person Astrology: Energy Factors in Love, Sex and Compatibility” by Stephen Arroyo

Oppositions in the Birth Chart: The Leo-Aquarius Axis

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As we continuously participate in the transition from viewing ourselves as static, fixed entities and consider a larger process of becoming, it only makes sense to apply this philosophical shift directly to our birth charts.

Astrologically, oppositions are aspects of awareness.

Rather than view them as two forces “at war’ with one another, we can use them to gain a heightened clarity or objective enlightenment of sorts.  Although we may be dealing with two different poles of the psyche, the key is to integrate them in service of becoming a more complete person.

The Kybalion states:

” Everything is dual; everything has its poles. Everything has its pair of opposites. Like and unlike are the same. Opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet. All truths are but half-truths, all paradoxes may be reconciled.”

Through working with Astrological oppositions, what we’re hopefully seeking is a greater sense of unity where every part of ourselves is valued instead of creating irreconcilable differences where certain parts of us are perceived with the labels of “good” or “bad”, and we deem it necessary to then destroy one and catapult the other to majestic heights.

By taking a view of the cosmos which is complementary, we recognize that planetary and sign archetypes are forces which are both interdependent and necessary to our wholeness. If we take the antagonistic stance, we may find ourselves tending toward a split, or compartmentalization which can possibly lead to our isolation, separating us from the universe. In this fragmented state, our psyches beg for balance.

To provide a brief example, I’ll use the Leo/Aquarius axis.

Let’s say the Sun is placed in Aquarius, which suggests aspirations toward individuation which connect to social progress, while a Leo Moon reflects emotional fulfillment and gratification through the validation of one’s identity, which is being pursued in Aquarius. Additionally, the Moon in Leo suggests nourishment through a celebration of special attributes, as a reinforcement of self-esteem feeds the sense of security.

Synthesizing both the solar and lunar components, the theme here is that we desire recognition for who we are and the unique place we occupy in the world. However, the awareness comes from the message that no woman or man is an island. The question then becomes:

In what ways can we receive the individual validation which we need while participating in the large scale advancement of humanity?

In our efforts toward personal integration, we may contemplate deeply on  possibly why we wish to receive attention and exactly what type of recognition we expect for contributing to societal progress. After all, change doesn’t occur in a vacuum and it’s a fact that awakening and emancipation is a group effort. Who’s to say that we’re more significant than anyone else?

Anthony Storr writes:

“I believe that the development of the individual and the maturity of his personal relationships proceed hand-in-hand, and that one cannot take place without the other. Self-realization is not an anti-social principle, it’s firmly based on the fact that men need each other in order to be themselves and that those who succeed in achieving the greatest degree of independence and maturity are also those who have the most satisfactory relationships with others.”

Taking the unified approach, the Leo/Aquarius axis is an illuminated connection with the social circle of life while using creative self-expression and inventive genius to electrify the world we live in, for the benefit of EVERYONE. The “show” is contained in the progress.

In it’s more distorted form, it can manifest as a preoccupation with self-importance that’s oblivious to the magic we can experience through our own personal breakthroughs, as well as potentially opening doors for others to do so.  There’s a possibility of ego needs which demand excessive attention, which in actuality, can serve as a masking for lack of genuine confidence.

In the end, it’s about where we choose to put our focus. We can rationalize our oppositions as an internal conflict with no solution, or take a more empowered approach which says that aiming toward a more balanced psyche is effective medicine for what ails us.

Notes:

“The Integrity of Personality” by Anthony Storr.

“Let The Circle be Unbroken” by Marimba Ani

Photo: usatoday.com

Leo Sun, Virgo Moon

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“Some are made modest by great praise, others insolent.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

The combination of a Leo Sun and a Virgo Moon in an individual birth chart suggests the potential to shine by making oneself useful and summoning the powers of discrimination and insightfulness with the ultimate goal of improving the existing state of affairs.

This person is fueled by attracting notice from others, usually through avenues which allow regal and confident self-expression. Their vitality is stimulated by leading and being appreciated for their special qualities which allow them to illuminate the world with the warmth and heat of the spark of their divine being.

In addition, the personality reflects a need to clear out the useless and superfluous gunk in order to become a more radiant vessel for individual creativity.

The solar/lunar blend of Leo and Virgo can assist one another in providing balancing elements.

Leo provides a “solar boost” to the otherwise suggested modesty and tendency to dwell in the background of the Virgo Moon, while the Moon in Virgo’s need for reserve and reality checks can help curb unhealthy  and excessive egoical tendencies of a dysfunctionally operating Leo Sun.

Leo’s energy, like the Sun’s is only as effective as the glow it provides for EVERYONE.

When one becomes overly critical of oneself or others, which is a regression of the Virgo Moon’s energies, the shine downgrades to dullness.

Also, when the ego gets out of check he/she ceases to be useful. When the desire for praise or fame trumps correct techniques for everyday living, the result may very well be the person who gains a counterfeit popularity through criticizing other people:  A certified hater.

Optimally, there’s a sense of refined nobility, a generosity which is both fervent and sincere. A richness of spirit that not only uplifts and inspires, but also serves practical aims in the tangible world.

 

8/11/73: The Night That Changed The World: The Birth Chart of Hip Hop

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One of the ideas surrounding Astrology is that everything has a birth.Whether it’s a person or an event, the placement of the planets at any given moment in time reflects the nature of that moment and whatever is born will embody the qualities of that particular time.

To say that August 11, 1973 changed the world would be a gross understatement.

What initially began as Cindy Campbell’s end of summer/back to school Jam for a few children in a rec room at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, turned into her brother, Clive Campbell, better known as Kool Herc, hot wiring the base of a street lamp to juice up his Herculoid speakers for three thousand people. The party eventually had to be moved from Sedgwick to Cedar Park. (Source: Joe Conzo)

Since this time, a large number of us have witnessed hip hop expand into a culture of mythic proportions.

There are very few parts of the world or avenues of expression which hip hop hasn’t affected and we see it’s influence alive and well every day as we board the subway trains, listen to our radios, turn on our ipods, or flip the channels on the television remote.

All of this being said, the questions are: how has hip hop handled this massive growth and transition? What’s next for the culture?  Will the jam at Sedgwick ave always have a place in its heart?

Hip hop was born on August 11, 1973 at 9:00 pm in the Bronx, NY (the birth time came from a flyer advertising the party).

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With it’s charts’ hemispheric emphasis being in the westthere’s the necessity to interact with others.

Hip Hop culture is about participation. It’s subject to what individuals have to contribute to it via their unique style and flavor.

Also, with some planets in the east, the life of hip hop culture is conditioned by ego justification: not only is it about participation, but also who’s the baddest, freshest, dopest and illest.

 With the blend of the Sun in Leo and the Moon in Capricorn, hip hop’s life force is fueled by creative self-expression,  ego acknowledgement and validation of it’s identity.

It desires to be noticed as a shining and authoritative force in the world. This is reflected in a personality form which has a reigning need for status and recognition. It’s nourished by it’s influence over the masses, it’s ambition and the ability to make things happen. 

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The Pisces Ascendant suggest that it’s thrust into the world is a unitive one. Seeking to dissolve boundaries and barriers between individuals and link into the oneness of the collective.

However, in many instances, there is an element of camouflage and some of the energy surrounding the culture isn’t as it appears to be.

The Sun’s placement in the 6th house indicates that the self-expressive and stylistic renderings of Leo would be best served in a field of experience which promotes service to others. Furthermore, the pursuance of becoming master of one’s craft and offering that as one’s work is highly pronounced.

Mercury in Leo’s communication needs center around oratorical flamboyance and the unquestioning self-assurance which makes heroes and heroines.

Mercury is trine Neptune which suggests a free flowing infusion of idealism, creative visualization and lyrical flow. There’s a solid strength in the ability to paint pictures with words. 

However, this can easily escape into the world of fantasy, smokescreens and delusion. The direct opposite of the “keep it real” mentality that has pervaded the culture for so many years. Additionally, Mercury’s wide opposition to Jupiter further enhances the vibe of persuasive, yet grandiose and excessive verbal messages.

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Continuing along the lines of communication, Uranus, Pluto and Venus in the Mercury ruled 7th house suggests that the manner in which hip hop relates to the public has the potential to be highly artistic and creative with shockingly transformative overtones.

Venus in Virgo’s tight square to the Sagittarius Midheaven is indicitave of developmental tension between the purity of culture which hip hop seeks to preserve and the universal face it wishes to present to the world as it’s crowning achievement.

There are regular and sometimes volatile discussions about what staying true to “pure” hip hop culture actually means. So, this might result in the dynamic of large scale striving in the world with less thought of hip hop’s efficient functioning or competence when placed in a social and relational context.

Jupiter’s placement in Aquarius outlines that the rewards for hip hop come through it’s innovation and thinking outside the box.

The ability to push the envelope when it comes to convention and to assert it’s “voice” with courage and emotional fervor as the Moon square to Mars indicates.

However, the flip side of the coin is to strike the balance between it’s obvious business needs (Moon in Capricorn) and it’s desire to apply energy in the world aggressively and sometimes without caution (Mars in Aries).

Tying up the chart, the nodal axis in Capricorn/Cancer means that a balance must be achieved between the deep attunement to roots,culture and security (Cancer) and it’s potential to affect progress and span a broader base of influence (Capricorn).

The difficult questions continue to remain about how hip hop becoming more corporate and commercial has effected the familial environment it was birthed in on Sedgwick Avenue.

Again, as hip hop’s Pisces Ascendant suggests, it presents itself to the world in an inspirational fashion, but the actual reality appears to be much more nebulous and something which can’t be readily grasped at this time. Only time will tell which direction the culture is headed.

Leo Sun, Scorpio Moon

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I’m going to be bold and blunt here.

In order to retrieve the “gold” of  selfhood, you’re going to have to dig deep.

This Sun-Moon blend suggests dynamic and developmental tension between self-expression and self-protection.

There’s a difference between creating an alternate route for the sake of emotional safety and erecting an impenetrable fortress of the heart because of fears associated with losing control.

Working with this dynamic combination of solar heat and emotional intensity will likely clue you in to the nuances which exist between those two extremes.

There’s a emphatic need to mine the subconscious to get to the root of all of your ugly “stuff” as a means of total self-acceptance. The road to discovering your personal identity may sometimes be paved with swirling, tumultuous feelings which you would rather keep out of public view.

If you don’t know what your true motivations are, it’s more difficult to arrive at your destination successfully, so there’s a suggestion inherent in this blend that you will turn over every rock, stone and pebble of your mind  to see what lies beneath. The master peeler of the layers of the psyche.

On some level, you’re also nourished through penetrating interactions with others which yield the same feelings of the fire in the belly. You know very intimately that you must have the knowledge of the heart to claim the throne.

The rabbit hole you travel may be ripe and rampant with what you wish to avoid, but meeting the challenges of navigating crisis assists you in gaining a shining picture of everything you can be.

“There’s gold in them thar hills !! ”

Photo: femmeswomen.wordpress.com

Astrological Aspects: The Tension of Squares

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Amongst the sea of Astrological writing in books and on the internet, there seems to be a continuation of the view that when it comes to Astrological aspects: conjunctions are “neutral”, trines and sextiles are “good”, while oppositions and squares are “bad”.

I even notice when the “hard” aspects are written about in Astro cookbooks, the author seems to always head in the direction which doesn’t outline the developmental potential between the meetings of planets, but rather reels into a bleak and dismal fate to which we must resign ourselves regarding our relationships, communication skills or our identities.

I would like to offer another view on squares and put forth the theory that very little gets accomplished without the tension which the aspect suggests. When the word “tension” is used, this somehow triggers an anxiety filled image in people where they think something will be hoisted on them that they won’t be able to handle.

Let’s close our eyes for a minute and picture a trip to the gym for an exhilarating exercising of our muscles. Think about what your body feels like when you murmur to yourself:

“That was a damn good workout.”

We feel invigorated and empowered through the challenges we were able to face in the gym because we summoned the intestinal fortitude necessary to confront the obstacles that the workout provided.

In our natal charts, squares are there to test our capabilities. What we need to understand is: if we face up to what’s being presented to us concerning the principles that the planets in question represent, we can become a much more skillful navigator through the terrains of those energies. Another thing we need to realize it that this takes WORK. No one is saying that this is an easy ride, or there won’t be periods of time where we may feel defeated or stuck.

However, this doesn’t have to be the final outcome and there are several people, who have achieved to great heights in which squares are prominent in their birth charts, to illustrate this point.

Tension allows our “muscles” to become stronger and enhances their capacity to recover more quickly. These muscles can be those of the body, mind, heart or spirit.

Mind you, if you’re the type of person who seeks to take the path of least resistance or avoid anything which demands MORE than a minimal effort from you, there may be a problem.

If we’re truly looking to develop our capacities, as illustrated in our natal charts, to their fullest, it’s advisable that we re-examine the idea of an “easy” life. If what we desire is meaning and fulfillment, it’s important to consider that some of us may have to go “to hell and back” to discover it, but those excursions may provide a much richer existence than accepting a fabricated fate that “things are just going to be how they are.”

Please consider that the squares contained in your birth chart can be a tremendous asset to keep you motivated. You may have a bundle of energy that just needs to be released in an appropriate direction in order to assist you in providing the life that you deserve.

You wanna battle ? Just remember that you’re more than equipped.

Photo: thyblackman.com

 

 

 

Saturn in the 7th House

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There’s a vast amount of material written about Saturn’s position in the 7th house which focuses on blocks, frustrations, control, fears and delays.

If you’re new to Astrology, chances are you may have spent an hour on the internet researching Saturn in the 7th house and possibly come away thinking that your marriage will automatically be delayed (if you get married at ALL) or you’re destined to attract stern and controlling partners.

While I don’t totally dismiss these possibilities, I wish to elevate and expand the conversation to include the undeniable growth potential that is inherent in the Saturn archetype. In a great deal of interpretations, I see an imbalance when it comes to revealing how Saturn can operate constructively in the birth chart.

Often times, as soon as the word Saturn is uttered, you can immediately queue the moans and groans from those who only know the “grim reaper” version of the planet.

While Jupiter is cast as the beneficent one, the ringed one, Saturn is reduced to images of a cantankerous old man who hates everything life has to offer. It’s my view that this is because the energy of the planet suggests that we need to work hard and possibly do MORE than is required of us. We live in a society where the possibilities of getting something for nothing, taking shortcuts and “working smarter, not harder” is frequently sold.

When it comes to personal and business relationships, which both fall under the 7th house domain, choosing to sidestep the required effort needed to be successful, rarely if ever works.

The Saturn principle is about what’s REAL and SOLID.  The planet symbolizes form and structure, as well as TIME. Anytime Saturn is involved, there’s a step by step process because whatever is being built is for the long haul and intended to stand up in the face of challenges of difficult circumstances.

In a natal chart, when Saturn is placed in the 7th house one has an opportunity to master their partnerships through living with integrity. The goal is no division in thought, word and deed. There’s potential here for a stable, enduring and mature relationship between equals.  In many instances, people “don’t feel” like this, so the assume that it must not be true.

However, what we forget is that nothing comes without a price, and just because it may be hard, doesn’t mean it won’t be beneficial for us. In working with this placement, we must be willing to commit FULLY moment after moment and day after day to our relationships despite the obstacles we may encounter. We also must develop a clear sense of reality about who we are and who our partner is.

For those of us who wish to escape into a fantasy world and refuse to accept ourselves and our partners as people with flaws, frailties and shortcomings, we may have a long, frustrating road ahead.

However, If we take our relationships seriously and invest the time, energy and discipline needed to maintain them, we can be rewarded in ways which allow us to come into greater awareness of ourselves and our partners, and tap into potentials which were merely dormant before we decided to suspend doubt and cynicism and put in the necessary work that’s required for a successful partnership.

Does this take time? YES. So, if Saturn is associated with delays in this sense, we need to make room for the possibility of no instant gratification. It may be a while before we see the fruits of our labor.

We may have to monitor our progress slowly, but surely. In witnessing improvements in increments, our fears may start to diminish and all of the sudden, we’re handling responsibilities that we didn’t necessarily view ourselves as being capable of.

Saturn is also associated with wisdom. The type of insight gained through experience which is an intermingling of joy and pain. It’s hard won. If you’re going to maximize your Saturn in the 7th house, you’ll need to be prepared with a vast supply of patience, but picture the following image:

a house so solid that nothing rocks its foundation.

The potential is there.

Photo: charlesspecht.com