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.”

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(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.

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Honoring Your Astrological Makeup

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“The most common form of despair is not being who you are” – Soren Kierkegaard

With the flurry of astrological information circulating the internet, making the distinction between what is valuable, helpful and potentially injurious can be a labor intensive process. If you’re wide-eyed, bushy tailed and have just discovered Astrology it can be particularly off putting to read a random article on a website which says you’re destined to live your life in dire straits or emotional bondage because of a placement or aspect in your birth chart.

In fact, based on the feedback I receive on a regular basis, the manner in which Astrology as a whole is characterized and presented can significantly impact the cosmological lens through which we process information.

Astrology which is inclined to shock or create a fearful emotional response can leave a person believing that they’re like a puppet : resigned to the fate of the stars, just biding their time on earth, susceptible to the wrath of certain transits or “no-win” situations regarding their chart.

With this in  mind, the next step is often a psychological attempt to denounce one’s cosmic makeup;  to wish that we had an entirely different birth chart than the one that we’re blessed with.

Damage control begins. Instead of seeking the most honest and accurate depiction of ourselves and leaving room for growth and self- discovery, we may attempt to “adjust” our charts toward the interpretations that we’ve found that “aren’t so bad”, or use the house system which doesn’t necessarily depict our current reality, but contains placements that now seem to distance us from  or soften someone else’s largely negative and hazardous interpretations.

I want to make it clear that I’m an advocate of people loving their birth charts. Whatever gifts, challenges and dilemmas which are present are meant to assist you on your journey to developing into a more complete human being. When we wish for our birth chart to “be like someone else’s” because of what we’ve read on the web regarding “good” and “bad” placements or aspects, exaltations, falls, detriments and the like, we rob ourselves and the world of a unique synthesis and expression of cosmic energy.

I can’t place enough emphasis on accepting the gift that the universe has brought you.

Once we’re able to “step into” our birth charts with loving acceptance, and  without the voice of harsh criticism or judgment, an entirely new door window of potentials will make themselves known. After acceptance, we begin seeking information and knowledge which is conducive to building us up, not tearing us down. We can certainly become aware of our own challenges and limitations as human beings without loathing our astrological makeups.

When it comes down to it, it’s really a matter of choice. We can choose to dwell on the “woe is me” interpretations that are around virtually every corner, or we can take a different route which seeks meaning and brings a sense of order to our lives.

I encourage you to be aware of the potential dysfunctions of planetary placements and aspects, but also understand that there’s another side where these SAME placements and aspects can be directed in a manner which accelerates growth and produces maturity so that we may lead richer, more multi-dimensional lives.

The universe loves you. Love it back.

All the stars are closer:

© 2017 by Sagittarian Mind Consulting    Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Developmental Lessons For Sagittarius

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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.

Way to go Queen! #LiveThatGardenLife . .. #Repost @queen__tut ・・・ .“I shoot arrows of Peace hoping that it penetrates in the Hearts of Hate” .-♐Queen Tut ♐ . .🌻Yeye Opa Doyeen OsunDara Olugbala🌻 .New Skill Unlocked! . .#archer #sagittarius #melanin...

(photo: Instagram : @queen__tut)

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:

Photo by Kaushal Moradiya on Pexels.com

 

Leo Sun, Scorpio Moon : “I Sparkle”

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I’m going to be bold and blunt here.

In order to retrieve the “gold” of  self-hood, 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 !! ”

Your theme song is “I Sparkle by Slick Rick. You can listen here:

 

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An Open Letter To Scorpio

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Dear Scorpio:

I’m not going to beat around the bush here because I’m well aware that you prefer the raw truth or nothing at all.

In fact, I’m really not sure what type of response this letter is actually going to be met with since you tend to keep your feelings pretty close to the vest. Believe me, I understand. All it takes is one good time of putting yourself out there and feeling betrayed, shamed or manipulated.

The reason I felt compelled to contact you is to offer some words of encouragement and support to assure you that there’s someone out there who understands your emotional dynamics.

I can sense that you carry a lot of turmoil inside and wage “wars” with yourself that prying eyes aren’t privy to. I understand that even when you feel strongly, you may be hedging your bets and it’s not always an easy task to act on those feelings because it puts you in a vulnerable place, and vulnerability suggests moving into unknown territory and unknown territory means that you won’t have as much control over the situation as you normally do.

Just by observing you, I can see that it’s not easy to trust, because there are so many people who have different definitions that can’t hold a candle to what you have in mind. Also, these very same people may not be ready to delve into the dark as you so easily do. Are you aware of your enormous healing capacity?

Because you’re not afraid to “take it there”, you can potentially assist others in the investigation of areas of their lives which they tend to evade, or ignore altogether. However, it’s best that you use these gifts to confront your own demons in the process. Talk about a win-win!!

There’s more to come, but I’ll leave you with this food for thought right now.

All the best,

Sagittarian Mind

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Venus-Uranus Aspects : “Nobody Like Me”

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“You’re not like anyone else I’ve ever met.”

In some cases, we could easily dismiss these words as trite and inconsequential “game” designed to cater to one’s ego. However, when operating in an obvious manner, Venus-Uranus aspects in one’s birth chart remind us that one could utter this statement, and it would be absolutely TRUE.

Chances are, if you’re working with this aspect, you really don’t care whether statements like that are meant to flatter you or question your “weirdness”. The fact is, you need to own it and live it.  In an individual birth chart, Venus in contact with Uranus suggests the valuing of that which is unconventional, offbeat and avant-garde. Your radar is honed toward customizing your life and relationships in a matter that screams authenticity.

However, the flip side of the coin is that you shock and ruffle the feathers of conventional society. The rebel inside of you is constantly seeking new ways to live YOUR life. Not a re-run of your parents’ life, your friends or anyone else. The cookie cutter lifestyle isn’t a part of your agenda and you make no bones about letting everyone know that.

Almost every day, inside your spirit, there’s a revolution going on. For you: revolution means evolution and the only constant that we can count on is change. You silently laugh at others opinions about your relationships and personal style and appearance, and you scoff at those who live in these spaces by rote and couldn’t conjure up an independent thought to save their lives.

If you’re exercising the potential of this planetary aspect, you’ve most certainly crafted your unique version when it comes to attraction and love. Somewhere along the line, you’ve had to come to grips with the fact that your friends and associates may not ever understand that you might not need the ring, gated community and the ski racks on your car. Hell, you may not even need the car! You can best believe that anyone you’re relating to as an intimate partner understands this, too. Or, your relationship will end just as quickly as it started.

Living freely and spontaneously and resisting labels and boxes is one of your fortes. You know the secret that us mere mortals are trying to grasp: from breath to breath and moment to moment, we’re different. From one blink of an eye to the next, we’re never the same anymore. So, what you uttered in fervent conviction two hours ago may be something which meets the fury of your disdain at this very moment.

What we can learn from you is to embrace the willingness to approach our lives from a fresh perspectives, always examining what we can possibly breathe new life into and reinvent. We can also learn about the ramifications that impulsive behavior and rebellion for sport has on personal productivity.

If you have a Venus-Uranus aspect in your birth chart.  Your theme song is “Nobody Like Me” by Little Brother featuring O-Dash. You can listen right here:

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Leo Sun, Libra Moon

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With the constant influx of messages from numerous sources, which emphasize our lack as human beings, maintaining our confidence can be a formidable challenge. Being repeatedly told we’re “too much” of this or “not enough” of that can certainly wreak havoc on our self-esteem, whose development is directly tied to the quality of relationships we’re able to forge with others. Effective navigation of these issues requires a combination of both boldness and finesse.

The Sun-Moon combination of Leo-Libra magnifies the themes of self-appreciation , artistic flair, and harmonious social relations.

When an individual has the combination of a Leo Sun and a Libra Moon in a natal chart, it suggests that the person’s vitality is stimulated through the process of creative self-expression and they’re fueled by gaining notice and appreciation from others for being a unique individual. The solar light is reflected through a personality that needs to skillfully maintain well-balanced relationships and be thought of as kind, objective and humane.

The challenges that come with this Sun-Moon blend revolve around knowing when to place oneself in the center of a situation, confronting the elements which comprise the ego, versus choosing more of an accommodating stance in the name of peace and harmony.

Also, vacillation between concern for one’s own being and interest in others. The back and forth of “tell me about yourself” and “No… wait, let’s talk about ME”. While the solar force of Leo wants to shine and attract attention, the reigning emotional need is to accommodate others and relate from their point of view. 

When balanced, there’s a healthy self-concept that radiates pride and a robust confidence, but also the exhibiting of a common touch or social savvy which allows this individual to interact with others as equals.

The imbalance, as described by Astrologer Steven Arroyo, is a totally different story:

“Indeed, Libra Moon often balances (themselves) off whatever interpersonal input they receive, usually doing so gently. They take personal relationships seriously and pride themselves on fairness and being able to see the other person’s point of view.

This tendency of putting themselves in the other’s situation, more marked in Libra than any other zodiac sign, can be carried so far as to see them lean over backward to please the other person- often ignoring their own interests. They have a need to be liked that motivates much of their person-to-person behavior, to the point that it can undermine their highly valued objectivity.

The desire to avoid unpleasantness can lead to relatively superficial, placating responses that may not be completely sincere-occasionally verging on flattery. They easily lose themselves in the others energy field and become confused about where they end and the other begins. In other words, their spontaneous reactions are unconsciously modified by how the person they are interacting with is reacting !”

For those with this combination, it’s well worth considering examining the effect others’ emotional reactions have on you. A dysfunctional use of this energy can be to stop dead in your tracks and reverse field because you fear the slightest bit of disagreement or conflict coming on. What has to be remembered is conflict doesn’t have to be a negative word, in fact if you’re able to navigate it, there can be a deeper sense of appreciation for another human being as well as renewed respect for yourself because you didn’t sit on the fence or allow indecision to get the best of you.

Jay Electronica’s “Exhibit C ” exudes the type of vibe I get when I think about this Sun/Moon Combo. If you feel compelled to do so, please take a listen:

Reference: Person-to-Person Astrology: Energy Factors in Love, Sex & Compatibility by Stephen Arroyo

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How To Work With Squares in the Birth Chart : Building Strength Through Tension

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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.

For those of you who are determined to make the most out of squares in your birth chart, your theme song is “Superman” by Diamond D. You can listen here:

Photo Source: pixabay.com

Claiming Your Birthright & Using Your Compass

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It’s often said that the two most important days in one’s life are the day that you’re born and the day that you discover why.

When it comes to what I refer to as one’s “birthright”, I’m a firm believer that one must actively claim and take ownership of it, in order to set a conscious, intentional direction for one’s life. If this is done successfully, one has an internal compass to rely on as a filter, or a “litmus test” when faced with difficult decisions or information that must be evaluated critically.

While Astrology can certainly play a part in this process, I’d like to encourage those reading this to acknowledge it as a possibility, but also think beyond it for a minute. This message is applicable to ANYONE, irrespective of the composition of  your birth chart.

Through thoughtful conversation and observation, I’ve noticed that there’s an active anxiety looming when it comes to those who want to embrace their calling. Also, for those who are actively seeking, or who have already made significant transformations in the course of their lives.

This fear is directly related to an over-concern with the approval of others and the perceptions of those who are, or were close to us during the course of our lives. The people that we would normally regard as “family and friends”.

Although we may have been initially flattered in the early stages of our growth and development when others told us “don’t change”, or expressed to us how much they love us “exactly as we are”, we soon realized that it was not only limiting, but also impossible to remain the same person with all of the progress that’s taking place in our lives.

My message is clear to all of those reading this:

If you ever plan on getting where you want to be in your life, you’re going to have to accept the reality that there are some people who your growth is going to piss off and confuse. Often, your changes upset people because they now have to find a different way of relating to you than they did before, and they’re struggling with finding that flexibility. Of course, that won’t be how it’s presented to you.

Most likely, there will be a projection placed on you of sorts which will attempt to highlight a deficiency or weakness on your part, which is directly attributed to your behavior, because your development and its vast possibilities activates the insecurities of others.

I’m writing this to encourage you to claim your autonomy and resist allowing others to snatch it from you under any circumstances. It’s perfectly okay to allow others the space to disapprove of who you are, or be mad at you, or to feel whatever and however they wish.

Living an authentic life is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for those who feel the need to accommodate or please everyone at every turn and become uneasy at the slightest hint of other’s discomfort. This includes the aforementioned “family and friends”.

You don’t need everyone’s approval to respect, claim  and embrace your calling in this world. You don’t need a “co-sign” to become more of who and what you are. You only need to GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION.

Somehow, we’ve developed a fear of others being displeased with what we do in this world. So much that there’s a stigma attached to disappointing or letting others down, which leaves us vulnerable to manipulation by outside forces.

If we truly wish to claim our birthright, use our compass and hop into the driver’s seat of our lives, it’s important to let others know, in no uncertain terms that they must grapple with the demons and insecurities that eat at them on THEIR OWN time. We must make it absolutely clear that this isn’t our obligation or concern.

We must also understand that people have a way of getting over these things. If they don’t, that’s on them. It’s necessary to understand whose feelings you’re responsible for (which would be yours) as not to shoulder obligations that don’t belong to you.

Remember that control and oppression aren’t displays of love. Remain aware that people can be envious of you and have no outlet for it and can easily cloak that negative emotion into a veneer of “love”, and place it on your front doorstep. Reject this disingenuous attempt at gifting and consult your inner compass.

If you’re presently in a difficult situation with friends, family or a partner, don’t be too hard on yourself. Turn that criticism time into constructive actions. Forgive yourself and realize that sometimes we have a way of working ourselves into situations where the person we’ve grown to love and appreciate (Us) becomes unrecognizable. It’s precisely here where we STOP and evaluate WHY, and under what conditions we’ve allowed that to transpire.

Trusting yourself is important. It’s crucial to evaluate if your position is worth altering solely on the basis of someone’s emotional reaction to it. Just think about that for a minute.

I realize that this isn’t easy by any means. I’m certainly not attempting to come across as someone who just says that we snap our fingers and do this. Many of us have been entrenched in years and years of conditioning.

For many of us, there are feelings of guilt, at least initially , because we feel like we “let someone down”.However, it’s important to ask ourselves  about the angst we would have to live with if we never made the leap towards our own liberation.

When it really comes down to it, it may benefit you to silence yourself and ask yourself how you feel inside. How do you feel about your life? How do you feel about your direction? Remember: the world is fickle.

As we’ve seen and continue to witness countless numbers of times, the world is busy embracing you today and “cancelling” you tomorrow. Opening its arms and then, hours later, mercilessly analyzing you with a fine-toothed comb and criticizing you if you don’t meet its often fabricated standards. Learn to listen to and trust the deepest part of yourself.

Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that the dynamics of envy can permeate even the most intimate relationships. Those close to you who claim to “love” you may secretly (or not so secretly) covet what you have.

Sometimes, in the intimate relationship realm, one person becomes envious of another because what they feel is “blocked” or unobtainable within themselves, the other person seems to express and embody almost effortlessly. This can create animosity.

So, out of fear, the threatened person seeks out ways that they can restrict that energy rather than support and encourage it, which would be more of an indicator of what a healthy relationship consists of.

Understand that it’s possible for a person to admire you AND despise you for the exact same attributes. However, in ANY event, no matter what, it’s important for you to claim your birthright and use your internal compass.

No matter who may throw a disapproving vibe: claim your gifts, claim what belongs to you and don’t ever allow another person to deprive you of what fuels your life force.

Photo by Valentin from Pexels

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.

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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.

©2014 by Sagittarian Mind Consulting