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

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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hiphop

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. 

mixtape

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

Image result for Black Body Gold

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

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

Capricorn Sun, Capricorn Moon

Nepal Everest Avalanche

Confronting obstacles, and becoming great at what you do.

Hip Hop artist Bumpy Knuckles, a.k.a Freddie Foxxx, said it best in one of his many collaborations with legendary producer D.J. Premier:

” You’re always going to have people who don’t believe that you’re really good at what you do, you know? And that’s probably more so because they haven’t figured out how to be good at what they know, or don’t even know how to do… you know? So… that’s just what it is.”

“You know, every level you reach, you’re going to come against obstacles, and you have to combat those obstacles in order to move forward.”

This Sun/Moon combination strongly identifies with the “grind” of the climb, as well as a search for excellence. There’s potential here to constantly unfold into a model of success, which can be emulated by others, and also fulfills you at the deepest level.

The possibilities are present to be a responsible steward of time-tested structures and traditions.

At best, you’re everything you profess to be, and there is very little variance in your thoughts, words and actions. Your inner life reflects outwardly. Serious without being somber.A strong sense of dignity and integrity, minus the posturing or pomposity.

Some keys to your development are to know when enough is enough. To understand PROCESS and realize when you’ve done your part MINUS attempting to control everything.

To reach the heights takes strategy as well as skill. The ability to trust your formula without fear or doubt is essential. This isn’t blind optimism, but rather a grounded confidence that you’re prepared, and only wish to do the best with what you have.

More levels.

Take a listen

The North & South Node : Balancing The Axis

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As a professional Astrologer who interprets birth charts, I find the Moon’s nodes not only to be fascinating cosmic food for thought, but also to be an accurate and dynamic synthesizer of an individual’s planetary sub-personalities and overall life purpose. 

The North Node and South Node are mathematical points in space, they are not physical bodies. Unlike the planets, they add no “flavor” to the expression of the signs. However, they are one of the most important overall placements within a person’s natal chart. Locating the nodes is relatively easy, as the symbol of the South Node resembles upside down headphones, and the North Node looks like the same headphones right side up. Image

You will always find them separated by an 180 degree angle. So, the signs and houses always oppose one another (example: North Node in Capricorn in the 1st House= South Node in Cancer in the 7th House). 

If you flip through a typical traditional astrology text, you may indeed discover that the description of the nodes is ultra simplified. Almost as if the South Node is exclusively “bad” and should be avoided at all costs, while the North Node is “good” and by itself, the key to our kingdoms and queendoms.

This interpretation is very misleading and does not support the holistic philosophy of astrological integration. While there are no personality characteristics attached to these vital points, I would like to think of them as “evolutionary advice” or “cosmic counsel”.  Optimally, we are seeking to find the balance between the nodes in order to push ourselves to the locale of where our greatest growth strides can be found based on sign and house placement.

The South Node represents our past inheritance of skills and abilities. It’s the toolbox that we’ve already arrived in this world possessing. We’ve been there, done that and have the t-shirt to prove it. However, if we simply keep repeating what we’ve done in the same fashion, we will find ourselves in a trap which offers us no new growth.

In turn, we will continue to produce the same results. That is, unless these South Node talents are used to assist us in moving toward our North Node. In our charts, the North Node’s sign tells us what “style” we would be best served to exhibit in pursuit of our new life direction. The house location lets us know the life area where we should direct our focus.

The North Node is foreign to us; it’s a stretch and a hurdle. If the South Node is a slam dunk, then the North Node is a three pointer.

However, with a robust effort and a commitment to making growth choices in our lives, the North Node and any planets which form aspects to it, assist us in our quest for wholeness. In essence, the key to our kingdoms and queendoms is not the outright abandonment of one node in feverish pursuit of the other, but a blending and synthesis of both nodal energies.

Understanding Your Mars Sign

Simply put, the planetary archetype of Mars symbolizes action, assertion and the application of will.

The sign in which Mars is placed in the chart suggests the style, or how we go about obtaining what we want. Mars’ sign is also connected to our method of attack and defense, or how we go to “war”. The house placement of Mars indicates the area of life development where we may be most effective and fulfilled expending this energy.

Mars in Aries: Direct, forceful and decisive application of will. Pull no punches, play no games. No gimmicks.

Mars in Taurus: Hearty persistence. Stubborn and unyielding will in service of how things “should be”. Expenditure of energy for practical purposes.

Mars in Gemini: Goes to war intellectually. Using words as a shield and sword. Explicit language. Slices and dices the competition cleverly and with a sharp wit.

Mars in Cancer: Intense self protection. Elaborate defense system. Applies will tenaciously. Pursues goals indirectly and in a subtle manner.

Mars in Leo: Confidence and self-assurance are drivers. Expends energy attracting attention and gaining notice for unique qualities and perspectives.

Mars in Virgo: Efficient vibe. Applies energy toward analysis and perfecting of skills to be offered as service to humanity. Pursues correct techniques.

Mars in Libra: Ultimate diplomat. Or constantly “riding the fence”. Application of will geared toward cooperation/partnership or the passive-aggressive contesting of  viewpoints just for the sake of debating the other side of the issue.

Mars in Scorpio: Goes to war psychologically. Investigates weaknesses and vulnerable areas of the mental/emotional makeup. Applies will with potency and intensity. Energy expenditures toward exploring the “underbelly” of life. Probes people and processes deeply and intimately. Tremendous regenerative capacity.

Mars in Sagittarius: Applies will toward deriving purpose and meaning from life experience. Pursues the construction of a comprehensive philosophical framework. Extends effort toward developing informed opinions to share with the world.

Mars in Capricorn: Pursues aims and objectives strategically with an organized and administrative focus. Desire centers around achievement in the concrete world, status and mastery of will. Climbs mountains and overcomes obstacles. Applies energy toward strengthening community and upholding tradition.

Mars in Aquarius: Gears efforts toward individuation and self-realization. Applies will futuristically toward humanitarian pursuits. Unafraid to be labeled “weird” or “strange”. Views eccentricities as a healthy part of personal authenticity.

Mars in Pisces: Energy applied toward sacrificing self for the ideal and merging with the collective. Motivated by the dissolution of boundaries. Going to war for, and giving hope to the downtrodden. Intuition and empathy are used to achieve personal goals.