Leo : The Developmental Lessons

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Leo energy suggests an inclination toward gaining notice from others and being appreciated for being irreplaceable. 
The validation of one’s identity for being  unique is a central theme.
Planets placed in Leo suggest fulfillment through finding a creative channel as to express distinctly creative gifts to the world at large. Often, the word ‘validation’ gets distorted.  A dangerously inaccurate picture of a person seeking approval from anyone they can find can be developed if we’re not careful. On some level, we all need affirmation that who we are is okay. No woman or man is an island.
To a greater or lesser degree,  we all depend on others to provide this “feedback” to us .The importance of maximizing Leo placements comes with knowing how much weight to assign to the praise or criticism of other people.
There are potentially two extremes here : denying our needs to be affirmed, cherished, recognized and appreciated altogether- or living for the limelight and the lavish praise at the exception of almost everything else. It’s important to find a balance here.Neither of these extremes are healthy in order to produce the type of self-esteem that we need to be a human being that functions at optimum level.
  In his book “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem”, Nathaniel Branden  refers to Self-Esteem as the “immune system of consciousness” and goes on to say that it’s one of the realities that we can’t avoid. WE NEED IT. We can’t be indifferent to our self-evaluation
Branden goes on to give a more elaborate definition:

Self-esteem, fully realized, is the experience that we are appropriate to life and the requirements of life. More specifically, self-esteem is:

1. Confidence in our ability to think, confidence in our ability to cope with the basic challenges of life.

2. Confidence in our right to be successful and happy, the feeling of being worthy, deserving, entitled to assert our needs and wants, achieve our values and enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

One of the grand themes for Leo is being able to make the make the distinction between authentic and pseudo self-esteem.

The Leo archetype is bold and fiery. It WANTS to be NOTICED. We must remove the notions from our minds that there’s  something inherently “wrong” with this.

I would say that it’s more about what you want to be noticed FOR. In this society, we somehow place more value on the sentiment of wanting to be meek and humble and wait for our rewards some distant day in the future. Thinking that the world will be kind enough to notice us. This may or may NOT happen.

The honorable Marcus Garvey,(Sun in Leo) said it so eloquently:

“We, because of our peculiar understanding in life, have accepted the strange, and often dangerous idea that to be meek and humble is to merit God’s blessing. To the contrary, to be meek and humble is to merit God’s curse.”

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The food for thought here is that  possessing GENUINE confidence doesn’t require refusal to acknowledge the abundance that life has bestowed on us. It’s more of an inner recognition of the certainty of our ability to carve out our place in the world.

What’s our measuring stick or navigating tool for deciphering how close we are to possessing authentic self-esteem?

Nathaniel Branden lays down some markers well worth considering in his acclaimed book “The Psychology of Self Esteem”

“But a healthy self esteem gives a man an inestimable weapon in dealing with errors: since his own value and the efficacy of his mind are not in doubt, since he does not feel that reality is his enemy, he is free to bring the full of his intellectual powers and knowledge to the task of identifying facts and dealing with problems. The foundation of his consciousness is secure, so to speak.”

“An individual who develops healthily derives intense pleasure from the work of his mind, from the achievements which that work makes possible. Feeling confident of his ability to deal with the facts of reality , he will want a challenging, effortful, creative existence. Creativeness will be his highest love, whatever his level of intelligence.

“Feeling confident in his own value, he/she will be drawn to self-esteem in others; what he will desire most in human relationships is the opportunity to feel admiration; he will want to find men/women and achievements he can respect , that will give him the pleasure which his own character and achievements can offer others.”

“In the psychology of a man  or woman of authentic self-value, there is no clash between the recognition of the facts of reality and the preservation of his/her self-esteem- since (s)he bases his/her self-esteem on his/her determination to know and act in accordance with the facts of reality as (s)he understands them.”

On the flip side, we have the counterfeit version of self-esteem:

“Pseudo self-esteem, an irrational pretense at self-value, is a non rational, self-protective device to diminish anxiety and to provide a spurious sense of security- to assuage a need for authentic self-esteem while allowing the real causes of its lack to be evaded.”

” A man’s pseudo- self esteem is maintained by two means, essentially: by evading, repressing, rationalizing and otherwise denying ideas and feelings that could affect his self-appraisal adversely; and by seeking to derive his sense of efficacy and worth from something other than rationality, some alternative value or virtue which he experiences as less demanding or more easily attainable such as “doing ones duty”, or being stoical or altruistic or financially successful or sexually attractive.”

“To the man of pseudo self-esteem, reality appears as a threat, as an enemy; he feels, in effect, that it’s reality OR his self-esteem-since his pretense at self-esteem is purchased at the price of evasion, of entrenched areas of blindness, of cognitive self-censorship.”

The choice is essentially ours on how we use any particular sign and planetary energies.

Planetary placements in Leo are ripe for examining issues within which propel us toward, or inhibit us from becoming more of our authentic selves.

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Virgo : The Developmental Lessons

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“The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non essentials.”

-Lin Yutang

It’s amazing how much “stuff” is out there.

Just by logging on to any computer, or checking our e-mail we can open up the floodgates and it can be quite overwhelming. Not to mention a headache. Most of us want information that we can use. Unfortunately, a lot of what we encounter is not of the practical variety.

One of Virgo’s most important life tasks is becoming adept at the art of discrimination. Mastering the ability to analyze information, or enter into any situation and become an efficiency expert. Separating what’s truly important and useful from that which is fluff.  Identifying “the real McCoy” and minimizing  exposure to the world of trivia. Virgo’s have a tremendous capacity to improve whatever they come into contact with. By employing their powers of razor sharp critical thinking, they can show us all how to be better in all of our pursuits.

When sculptors produce their statues, they must first chip away at all of the marble that’s not needed. In time, they may create a masterpiece.

Virgo: Chip away at the trivial, unnecessary and non-essential. The personal sculpture you create will serve as your contribution to life.

Libra: The Developmental Lessons

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From the onset, it needs to be said that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts, so when I write about sun signs, there are factors in the entire chart which are capable of heightening, suppressing or refining this energy.

As we proceed to look at the Libra archetype, the focus is now on the meaning of the scales’ function. After all, what exactly do scales do? They balance and they weigh.

Webster’s dictionary defines both a scale and a balance as:
“A beam that is supported freely in the center and has two pans of equal weight suspended from its ends.”

Next, let’s examine the definition of weigh:
” To consider carefully, especially by balancing opposing factors or aspects in order to reach a choice or conclusion.”

This is the essence of the core life energy of Libra.

A large portion of Libra’s stimulus contains the balancing of their own ego recognition with the social acceptance of others. There is a continual weighing of what pleases others and the recognition of their own identity.

The process is lived out through the archetypal characters of the “nice” woman/man, the diplomat, the peacemaker, the smooth operator and the negotiator.

With this sign, the psychological need rests in being seen as attractive, fair, kind, and popular, and what better way to do that than to hold a continuous interest in what makes other people tick? To present yourself as charming and engaging, which in turn, puts others at ease and helps them feel important. An insightful quote from Alfred Adler, the Viennese psychologist, illustrates this point:

“It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”

Taking a look at all of the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, I would cast them all as possessing their own unique type of intelligence quotient:

Aries energy is inclined toward kinesthetic and leadership intelligence, Cancer is solidly rooted in emotional IQ. While Capricorn’s practical and managerial IQ is stellar,

Libra excels in social intelligence.

Libra energy is neatly attuned to seeing the “other side of the game” and opposing viewpoints seem to take on a particular fascination as a means to see “how the other half lives.” Libran’s are even inclined, to an extent, to take on the observer’s role when viewing themselves.

Like anything else, when this orientation is taken to the extreme, it tends to over function, which then presents itself as a dysfunctional display of behavior.

Consequently, an individual’s healthy social awareness has now denigrated to a stifling straitjacket because he/she is afraid to make a move or decision out of fear that someone will disapprove. Or, the “other’s” point of view has been under consideration so long, that they’ve completely forgotten about their own wants, needs and identity.

This is the time where the words of Albert Camus call for heavy consideration:

“To give oneself has no meaning unless one possesses oneself. You can give only what you have.”

After all, Libra: for you to be FREELY supported in your CENTER, you must BALANCE the weight on both ends: yourself, and the other side.

 

Cancer : The Developmental Lessons

Cancer Circle

“The struggle to learn to listen to and respect our own intuitive , inner promptings is the greatest challenge of all.”
-Herb Goldberg

For those born with the Sun in Cancer, one of your essential developmental tasks is striking a balance between your emotionally vivid inner life and your interactions with the larger world. Consciously using your shell as an introspective haven of rest and retreat until it’s time to spring into action and handle earthly affairs.

One of the challenges of this task is making sure that intellect is not compromised by overly subjective emotional reactions. Conversely, that the ability to feel and take heed to intuitive promptings is not muted in the name of pure logic.

Cancers must yield to the signals of the still small voice within . It cannot, nor should it be ignored. In fact, these”gut feelings” may serve as markers which can call attention to potential dangers when a course of action is being contemplated.

On the flip side, using your internal radar can possibly link you to opportunities which are extremely beneficial on a spiritual, physical and psychological level.

Cancer: Listen not only with your ears and your mind, but also with your heart.

© 2017 by Sagittarian Mind Consulting

 

 

Sagittarius : The Developmental Lessons

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When approaching Astrology, my attempts are to do so with a developmental model in mind.

While there may be moments of glory which affirm our basic self-hood and encourage us to project that into the world, there are also bouts of crisis, or proverbial “forks in the road” that require our blind spots to be highlighted with the hopes that we’ll view this as food for growth, in service of becoming the people that we’re meant to be.

Every person born under a particular sign, or with an abundance of that sign’s archetypal energy within their birth chart possesses areas which, if not addressed properly, can severely hamper their human development.

In addition to the intellectually expansive and intrepid exploratory nature of Sagittarian energy, there can also be a more disordered side. This is the dysfunctional dimension of Sagittarius which concludes that strong belief correlates into ultimate, undisputed truth.

When Sagittarian (Jupiterian) energy is distorted, there’s a righteous indignation present that indicates we have life all figured out. This is an important observation, and something that those with heavy dose of this vibe definitely need to take note of, and neutralize in order to fully actualize their birth potential.

Feeling like your truth “walks on water” or is somehow “God-favored” can definitely become a colossal stumbling block in your development.   It’s very humbling to realize that we don’t and we probably never will, have life all figured out, and if we manage to do that, best believe the breath which sustains us will have permanently escaped from our bodies.

It may help for you to consider that it can prove to be far more effective to ask questions which provoke thought and stimulate discussion rather than try to appear as if you’re the smartest person in the room.

 

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Sagittarius, every day, there’s more to learn and explore. It’s such a big world out there. There are people with cultures and customs that we really know very little about whose philosophies and cosmologies make just as much sense to them as ours does to us.

What you’ll hopefully discover is that seeking to listen and understand can contain much more mileage than any type of judgments or critiques which parade your personal worldview as the standard for normative behavior.

Meditate on the symbol which is the bow and arrow.

Ultimately, your purpose is to formulate large scale questions which explore the nature of the universe and our place in it.

The fuel which can best sustain you on your life’s mission is that which thoughtfully ponders and prompts debate. When flowing with your cosmic blueprint, you place yourself in alignment with your natural birthright which is to guide and inspire others to open up new windows of thinking.

What needs to be realized is: you can most certainly accomplish this without instituting dogmatic clutches of “belief” in attempts to fervently convert others to your way of thinking.

Setting up an “Amen corner” is your celestial kryptonite.

To synthesize and ultimately advance knowledge, we must all consider viewpoints which at one time may have been totally foreign to us.

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For Sagittarius, this is where you need to incorporate Gemini, your complimentary sign and come to grips with the multi-faceted nature of truth. Just because you’re looking out the window and see one thing, doesn’t mean everyone else has that same pair of lenses on.

The best example you can set is to effectively question the nature of things so that others may be prompted to investigate what other types of lenses may exist.

Let’s speculate for a minute  and suppose that you DID have all of the answers.

What would be left to talk about? Understand that your job is to keep the discussion OPEN.

What you DON’T want to sound like is one of those people who starts off a sentence by saying “don’t debate me on this.” Or ends a heated, evangelical diatribe with “case closed”.

What, then, (if anything) do you have to look forward to in life, Sagittarius?

A tombstone that reads: “I was right”?

Your arrow is clearly supposed to fly freely with FORWARD momentum, and what better way to travel than to allow others the FREEDOM to pursue their own truth through sincere and robust inquiry?

You will be better for this. You will expand your mind and gain a greater perspective. Your glaring blind spots will begin to develop eyes and you will gain the wisdom which is waiting for you to partake in it.

Understand that addressing these issues doesn’t extract anything from who you are; it merely uncovers more dimensions of your psyche which will ultimately benefit you, and those who have the pleasure of being in your presence.

If you’re able to embrace this perspective everything will eventually be RIGHT within yourself, and that’s admirable. So, the case won’t be that you CAN’T be wrong., It will be that you’ve come to terms with yourself so that you can do no wrong in embracing attitudes that are beneath the person that you are.

As hip-hop artist Guilty Simpson says: “Mind on Alert, eyes see clear, it’s no fear, heart beats strong….. I can do no wrong.”

Take a listen:

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Aquarius : The Developmental Lessons

 

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In order to develop your human potential and use it as an instrument for your liberation, it needs to be understood that your education has to be a subversive activity versus being a program for unquestioned compliance.

One of the messages in your life that must ring loud and true is that your evaluation of what’s personally rewarding  needs to be self structured, as opposed to being implanted or inculcated from outside forces.

Aquarius, in its association with Uranian eccentricity and being ruled by the pragmatism and common sense of Saturn, carries two distinct messages: (1) If you’re not rebelling, in some form,  against the prevailing order, it needs to be seriously examined and (2) If there’s no structure, strategy or organization in your insurgency, there’s equal cause for concern.

As  I’ve frequently stated, effective Astrology produces more thought-provoking questions than answers.  Your questions center around the role that conformity and non-conformity plays in your life.

It bears examination that conformity, in itself isn’t a negative thing. In some cases it’s necessary and desirable for the achieving of a concrete goal.  In fact, you’ll most likely realize that in some areas of your life you’ll even have to concede to some version of conformity and it’s merely a matter of what parts of yourself require this concession. That being said, it doesn’t deem you any less “revolutionary”.

“Exactly what am I conforming to?”

“Does it require or deserve my conformity?”

“Why am I conforming or not conforming?”

“To what ends will my conformity or non-conformity advance/restrict my cause?

Keep in mind that your particular brand of resistance isn’t designed to discover the ways that you can best “adjust” to the status quo, but rather to initiate through ideas, and participate through action, in changing the nuts and bolts of the ENTIRE system or systems that you find restrictive or oppressive.

Again, let’s not lose sight of a need for direction and definition.

In your inverted or maladjusted form, you can be a staunch advocate for all that’s “traditional”, upholding the present state of affairs to the degree that it serves your particular and selfish interests (read: ” I got mine, now get yours). There can even be a feeling of superiority in upholding the “rules”.

You can become a rebel without a cause, or consciously choose less threatening and consequential measures of eccentricity under the veneer of “making a statement.”

The Aquarius Archetype:

The Rebel. The Weirdo. The Beatnik, The Revolutionary. The Futurist. The Eccentric. The Free Spirit. The Reformer. The Activist. The Humanitarian. The Mad Scientist. The Non-Conformist.  The Individualist. Ms./Mr. Socially Conscious.

Aquarius carries the element of Air with a fixed modality which speaks to concepts and is well suited to resistance and determination.  When we examine the water bearer, we immediately think to ask: What’s in the water?  Also,  What are you bearing?

My answer, although incomplete, is enough to get one’s mental wheels churning: those with major Aquarian Energy (Sun & other personal planets) are bearing the tools needed to awaken (and even shock on some level) the masses through the questioning of the status quo. Contained in the archetypal Aquarian makeup is the psychologically undeniable need for emancipation and reform. As to how that’s achieved: avenues vary.

Those with this heavy water-bearing influence are inclined to experiment more than most because, when MATURE, Aquarian energy lacks a slavish attachment to ultimate outcomes and has a greater concern with possible pathways for innovation. Hence, the neutralization of significant approval needs grants much more breathing room than those who are constantly looking over their shoulder for validation. The developmental jewel here is to INTENTIONALLY structure one’s own standards and programs for self-recognition.

In a positively functional and empowered state, the Aquarian has accepted that ridicule, intermittent bouts of alienation, and isolation comes with the territory of their mission on earth, and these are less important than what they’re seeking to locate and bring out of themselves for the benefit of humanity.

When one allows external dictates to predominate, they become prey to the prescriptions for conformity indicated by the research of Edward Walker and Roger Heyns:

” If one wishes to produce conformity for good or evil, the formula is clear. Manage to arouse a need or needs that are important to the individual or to the group. Offer a goal which is appropriate to the need or needs. Make sure that conformity is instrumental to the achievement of the goal and that the goal is as large and certain as possible. ”

“Apply the goal or reward at every opportunity. Try to prevent the object of your efforts from obtaining an uncontrolled education.  Choose a setting that’s ambiguous. Do everything possible to see that the individual has little or no confidence in his own position.

“Do everything possible to make the norm which you set to appear highly valued and attractive. Set it at a level not too far initially from the starting position of the individual or the group and move it gradually toward the behavior you wish to produce. Be absolutely certain you know what you want and that you’re willing to pay an enormous price in human quality, for whether the individual or the group is aware of it or not, the result will be CONFORMITY”

(Italics and caps mine)

The temptation here, is to pursue the “dangled carrot” and to choose ultra-conformity, based on a mirage of  security as opposed to a springboard or necessity to more organizationally insubordinate endeavors.

Your theme song is “What They Do” by The Roots. Take a listen:

Notes:  Intro To Psychological Astrology by Glenn Perry,  “An Anatomy For Conformity” by Edward Walker and Roger Heyns (1962, Prentice  Hall, Inc.)

 

 

Scorpio : The Developmental Lessons

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As we make the transition from Libra season into Scorpio, theres a shift in dynamic which we feel unmistakably. The urge for the scales’ collaboration and refined social intercourse gives way to a more instinctual and raw gut-level reality which encapsulates survival. How well we adjust to this season depends on how willing we are to face the shadows. After all, were dealing with less light to operate with at this time of year. Not only physically, but also on a psychological level.

Astrologer Howard Sasportas once remarked that Astrological archetypes are like an elevator; we tend to live them out at varying levels throughout our lives. Some of us aspire to the top floor of a sign, while others may stay on the ground level. Out of all of the signs on the wheel of life, Scorpio is probably the most appropriate to fit this analogy. The mythology associated with the 8th sign of the zodiac provides us with material which suggests the path of development for Scorpio via the evolutionary levels of the Scorpion, Eagle and the Phoenix.

While these stages suggestprogression in Scorpios growth, the signs overall unfoldment constitutes a necessary synthesis of the three.

If theres any sign which has become the constant victim of Astrological tabloid fodder because of a fundamental misunderstanding and mischaracterization, its Scorpio. Many times, when the water signs are discussed, we would be hard pressed to wrap our minds around it being a part of that group.

We read about the warmth, sensitivity and intuitive gifts of Cancer and the immense empathy of Pisces. Then, all of the sudden, theres also this sex-crazed, ultra intense, potentially cruel and vindictive Scorpion standing on the fringes. Dead last in the “feeling” hierarchy.

To understand this sign, we must delve into the aforementioned levels of existence. All which are necessary to Scorpio.

Each zodiac sign requires a particular type of fuel to operate at optimal capacity. For Scorpio, plumbing the depths of life is essential to its existence as oxygen. Its vitality is maintained through the act of delving and probing deeply into areas of life which some of us may fear to tread. Scorpions are nocturnal creatures, so theyre comfortable in the dark.

Its not that they feel theyll never emerge from that place, but they’re in search of a truth which must encompass both the sacred and the profane. For Scorpio, this investigation wouldn’t be honest if it didn’t include all parts of our being, even the ones which make us cringe; the ones which we question whether or not theyre even fit for “human consumption.

Living at the level of the Scorpion, one navigates in a state of relative isolation and close to the ground, operating on instinct. Theres an acute sense of any type of danger, perceived or real. While there is a longing for passionate emotional engagement, theres also an overwhelming pull toward privacy and self-protection. This is not so much out of fear of rejection like theiwater sign counterpart Cancer, but more about the inner turmoil which constantly stirs because they feel like there may be too much vulnerability exposed by relinquishing control to others. Even if its death hangs in the balance, a Scorpion would rather sting itself than have anyone else decide any portion of its fate.

Transitioning to the Eagle level, the focus now widens to include more of the intellect. While the primal feelings remain intact, theres a fusion of the heart and mind which suggests a keen awareness in determining the motives of others. A penetrative perception which leads one to the heart of the matter minus all of the processed spin” of Libra, or the erudite and lofty musings of Sagittarius. This is the knot in the stomach and the tightened chest. The type of interactions where someone is squirming, but the bottom of the true essence of things is iclear sight.

While this analytical discernment is needed on this level of existence, power becomes a key player in the equation. He or she who has the information has the advantage. The lesson here is that power can be used to hurt or to heal, and living exclusively in this space can expose Scorpio to a misuse of its piercing mental faculties.

Staying in this place, one could undergo struggles filled with intense emotional upheaval all in the name of gaining a psychological advantage. Trying to get one up” on others because the residue of wariness and fear still lingers from the first stage of Scorpionic development.

As the case with all water signs, its a necessary step in their evolution to release” something to grow. For Cancer, its the past. Outdated emotional slights. Memories that no longer serve in forward progress. For Pisces, its the overfunctioning of the egos contents in service of merging with the divine source within.

For Scorpio, letting go of the insatiable need to control the emotional responses of others is a

golden key if they wish to rise to the level of the phoenix.

Successful navigation of these steps is a lifetime task. We may crash and burn several times, undergoing various metaphorical deaths and rebirths. Ultimately, whatever weve decided to do, the third and highest level of progression of Scorpio is always waiting on us.

To arrive at the Phoenix level is to have immense courage. To become as revealing of our own inner psyche as we are probing of everyone elses. To not only participate in nudity at the physical level via sex, but to also take the risk of the emotional nakedness and exposure of authentic relating to other human beings. To gradually, but surely show your hand. To stop staring through the hotel peephole and open the damn door and let someone inside.

A Phoenix has made the intentional and conscious decision to rise. Facing the shadow within themselves, bringing the contents to the light so they can be more effectively worked with.

Using their own story of transformation as a vehicle to heal others and encourage them to break through any self-imposed chains of imprisonment. This is how Scorpio uses the dark, as a resource, to cast greater light on the human condition.

Sagittarius Sun, Aquarius Moon : “Freedom”

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” Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion.” – Paulo Freire

When a Sagittarius Sun and Aquarius Moon meet up in a birth chart, the ideal blending of the truth seeker and the revolutionary emerges.In fact, you would be hard pressed to find many other cosmic combinations which prize independence just as enthusiastically.

I find it quite interesting that on a basic level, the Sun in Sagittarius is propelled by the freedom TO, while the Aquarius Moon has a reigning need for freedom FROM.

In Sagittarius, we are introduced to the philosophically minded truth seeker, the explorer of life’s highest, most ancient insights. The solar fuel which ignites the archer suggests the desire to be illuminated in the most authentic sense.

Sagittarians want to know.

The archer is driven by the freedom to search high and low for anything which will provide a more expansive view on the world in which they live. No city, state, country, library, bar or seedy venue is off limits. The centaur simply looks at these as the branches of the same tree. They put the pieces together accordingly and then promptly synthesize them into a comprehensive understanding of the big picture.

The Moon in Aquarius uses the questing, exploratory fuel provided by Sagittarius to form a personality which has an emotional need to combat and dismantle the trappings of societal and cultural conditioning.

The Lunar water bearer desires freedom FROM.

independence from the stultifying, mind-numbing  propaganda and doctrines which are passed off as “education”. Freedom from familial settings where they’re labeled the “black sheep”, because Aquarian Moons carry around a totally different idea about what’s “normal“.

In fact, they find it quite puzzling (and irritating) that the definers of this “normalcy” use THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR as the standard, as if this lends itself to credibility.

Ultimately, the message of your life is that you can’t hide or run from the TRUTH of your own being. If you’re feeling strange or extraterrestrial- GOOD.  Teach us and show us how to work that on earth. Be an example of  the beautiful weirdo. Customize your existence. Blaze that trail.

Your theme song is: “Freedom ” by various artists from the “Panther” movie Soundtrack

You can listen here:

 

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Taurus Sun, Scorpio Moon : “Black Magic”

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You have the potential to be a “practical magician”. The pep in your step and the glide in your stride is maintained through the continuous creation and attraction of beauty via the skillful utilization of your senses.

For you, there’s a certain comfort in familiarity, but it need not be to the point of stagnation or inertia. Keep in mind that your ultimate desire and nourishment lies in plumbing the depths and mysteries of the human heart and psyche.

Think “butterflies and demons”… yeah – that’s the visual. When you face your own monsters, you’re able to harness an inner peace akin to these picturesque, free flying and tranquil creatures. Your life unfolds as a continuous navigation between “face value” and unearthing the jewels contained in the mystical underworld of human refuse.

Through the incessant investigation of your innermost regions, a certain strength can emerge. A steadiness of character with a rock solid framework, who’s open to building wealth in all dimensions: mental, economic, emotional and spiritual. You may even discover that in one way or another, you stand to gain materially through your desire to discover what makes others tick.

Successful navigation of this blend allows you to simultaneously understand the basic desires of others as well as instinctively tune into deeper motivations, and WOE to those who cast you off as a “simpleton” without psychological sophistication.

Although you may display the facial expressions of an immovable object, below the surface, intensity boils and passion pulsates. You have a knack for recognizing worth which transcends dollars and cents.

For those with this blend, your theme song is : “Black Magic” (Make it Better) by Little Brother. You can listen right here:

Hip Hop’s Magnum Opus: The Birth Chart of Nas’ “Illmatic”

©2016 by Sagittarian Mind Consulting

How do you begin talking about a masterpiece? I mean… where do you start? First of all I make no apologies for stating my personal opinion that I think Nas’ Illmatic is one of the best (if not THE best) Hip-Hop albums ever created.

Many of us still want to know what the young, 19 year old upstart from Queensbridge was thinking during the making his debut album, which would go on to be critically acclaimed as a standard for Emcees everywhere.

With a heavy hitting “dream team” production from DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-TIP and LES, the red carpet was rolled out for Nas, and he delivered in such a colossal way that Illmatic will forever go on the list of albums that set a  blueprint for hip hop greatness.

There’s no question in my mind that Illmatic was needed in the universe right at the time it came out, and it embodied the qualities of that moment, as we’ll see by looking at its birth chart.

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It’s apropos that the introduction to Illmatic is titled “The Genesis”, which is a powerful expression of its 29 degree Aries Sun.  This album signals a sense of “coming into being” and new beginnings,   especially for the New York hip-hop scene.

In addition, Aries at the 29 degree mark suggests the height of competition. There’s a glaring illumination of potential for a colossal impact in the world as reflected by its 10th house position near the top of the birth chart.

Illmatic’s Aries Sun suggests being ignited by the fuel of “champion” or warrior energy where aspirations are centered on winning and being the best. There’s no doubt that the cosmos confirms Illmatic being a pioneering album with aims toward being number one. Nas’ masterpiece was given a coveted “5 Mic” rating (suggesting a “perfect album”) from “The Source” Magazine, who at that time, held significant weight in the area of critical reviews of hip-hop recordings.

In the VH-1 documentary “Driven” MC Serch described Nas’ success with Illmatic as having “Hit 10 Home Runs.”

Image result for dj premier, nas q tip

(photo: dj premier, q-tip, nas & large professor) source : complex magazine

When Mercury and Mars, which are also in Aries, are added to the equation, there’s a “push” factor which undeniably holds the potential to force others into competition and prompt them to apply their will at a heightened level of assertion.

In fact, there have been numerous interviews from DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Q-Tip and LES which discuss the level of competition amongst producers in the making of Illmatic. One could easily argue that this is the finest group of hip-hop producers assembled for one album.

With the Sun’s powerful developmental connections to both Uranus and Neptune, we’re witnessing an album whose originality and genius, borne out of rebellion takes center stage. Nas, in stating his feelings about the recording of Illmatic said that he had to tell a story which was “all his own” (Sun-Uranus). This vibe is coupled with a poetic, flowing self-expression which provides inspiration through vivid imagery and the symbolic painting of pictures (Sun-Neptune).

(photo : nas and a.z.) source: stopthebreaks.com

According to Peter Rosenberg of the radio station Hot 97 in New York, Nas was hailed a “Hip-Hop Messiah of mythological proportions.” (Sun-Neptune) upon the release of this album.

Illmatic’s Leo Moon reflects the light of the Aries Sun through a personality which is fulfilled through gaining notice, praise and validation from others.

There was a big buzz surrounding Illmatic, so it wasn’t just an album that came from out of the blue and snuck up on people. Nas also mentioned in an interview , sponsored by Google that he felt those hip-hop icons that had come before him, and had given so much to the art, HAD to like his album in order for him to feel complete. He wanted the likes of Kool G Rap, MC Shan, etc… those icons that he may just happen to run into at a local bodega in Queensbridge, to tell him “good job”. Nas also mentioned the fact that his career could’ve been over if his album didn’t receive the “co-sign” of those who were respected in hip-hop circles.

Also appropriate for the Astrological signature of Illmatic is its Cancer Ascendant. Nas’ childhood picture (Cancer), graces the covering (Ascendant) of the album, along with his roots and foundation, Queensbridge projects, in the backdrop. Also, within the fold of the liner notes, there’s a picture of his childhood friends as they sit on a park bench. Illmatic is filtered through the lens of nostalgia, with songs like “Memory Lane”, and it also invokes an emotional response as a focal part of its identity expression.

Finally, it’s Cancer rising speaks to a musical lineage, as Nas’ father, Olu Dara, a jazz musician joins him by lending his musical talents on the LES produced track “Life’s a Bitch”. Not only did this track highlight biological family, but also artistic family, as it gave birth to A.Z’s career, and he’s gone on to become a hip-hop heavyweight in his own right.

In the aforementioned VH-1 documentary “Driven”, Peter Rosenberg stated that the release of Illmatic put hip-hop in a position to be taken seriously as an art form, which it’s Pisces MC flanked by Saturn strongly suggests: Not only serious art on the world’s stage, but A standard bearer (Saturn) for music  from a universal standpoint (Pisces).

Looking at Illmatic’s 5th House, which outlines the domain in which both artistic and physical “children” are created, we see circumstances which surround birth, death and the underbelly and ills of life. The themes which pervaded this album weren’t always pretty, yet there were also benefits and artistic riches to be unearthed from tumultuous circumstances on the path to meeting Illmatic’s ultimate destiny (Jupiter, North Node and Pluto in Scorpio).

The death came before the making of Illmatic when Nas’ best friend, Willie Graham, better known as “Ill Will” was shot and killed. According to Nas’ brother, Jungle, in the VH-1 documentary, “Driven”, this occurred on May 23, 1992. This had a profound effect on Nas and would later serve as fuel for a powerful and transformative creativity which connected to his self-expression. The birth would occur on June 15, 1994, a couple of months after Illmatic’s official release date, and that would be his daughter Destiny.

Using whole sign houses, we can easily see that the 3rd/9th house MC/IC axis of Virgo and Pisces suggests that on all of Illmatic’s tracks although Nas is speaking with exactness and precision (Virgo) about his experiences in his immediate environment (3rd house), the cosmic design is to balance that so a much larger sphere of the world (9th house) can relate for Universal (Pisces) understanding.

With the Taurus/Scorpio nodal axis, Illmatic, as a work of art had to find a way to make money (Taurus), while projecting a deeper significance (Scorpio) for hip hop culture.  Although critically acclaimed, the album didn’t immediately catapult to the heights of platinum status as did may more commercially recognizable albums. Nas’ brother Jungle stated that Nas’ advance for Illmatic was a mere $17,000 at the time, so he was forced to, at that time to consider a balance between regenerating (Scorpio) hip-hop and material comforts (Taurus).  In many eyes, Illmatic (and Nas) wasn’t/weren’t receiving the return on investment which it deserved.

Fortunately for the hip-hop faithful, Illmatic is an album which is being discussed 20 + years from its release, and for Nas, it’s enabled him to integrate the works’ nodal axis on the strength of a brilliant display of artistry thereafter.

Representin’ is Illmatic.