House Cusps & Rulers

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Some of you may have heard the term “Cusp” because you were born at the end of one sign and really close to the beginning of another.

This is NOT what I’m referring to here.

This short article is about the cusps of the houses, which are instrumental in one’s interpretation of the entire birth chart.

As you can see from the chart above the house cusps are circled in red. I use what’s called Whole sign houses, so the cusp is at 0 degrees at the beginning of the house. This is NOT the same in every house system as you’ll see whenever you start to experiment. For example, in the Campanus system of house division, the cusp actually marks the center of the house.

In most house systems, the cusp is viewed as the doorway or entry way into the house, so the sign on the cusp, along with its planetary ruler says a lot about the optimal approach to the affairs of that particular house.

In fact, the planet that rules the sign on the house cusp is known as the “ruler” of that house.

It helps to look at  the ruler of a house as being the “landlord” and planets in the houses as being “tenants“.

No matter who that house is occupied by, the ruler sets the terms and conditions of that house and the occupants have to find the most effective strategies that they can, to live in accordance with those terms and conditions.

South Node in the 3rd House, North Node in the 9th House

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While you may be used to digesting information in your local environment, larger and greener pastures await. The challenge of this nodal axis is to stretch yourself from a smaller, relatively safe world into a broader more inclusive one. There is a gnawing discontent with superficial musings being passed off as “facts”.  While general curiosity needs to be retained, what you learn needs to be placed into a wider field of vision and you’ll need to understand WHY.

Saturn In The 3rd House: Master Teacher

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[Photo: The Master Teacher Dr. John Henrik Clarke]

The “steel trap” mind.

With Saturn located in the natal 3rd House, authority and mastery have the potential to be applied in the life arenas of teaching and learning.

In these fields of experience, you can become a subject matter expert, producing thought and speech of the highest quality.

To actualize the possibilities of this placement takes FOCUS.

The result can be mental maturity and clarity which has come though considerable deliberation.

You’re being asked to speak responsibly and realistically in your everyday life. Any research which you undertake should be thorough for best results.

It’s a misuse of this placement to allow fear and doubt of your intellectual capabilities to prevent you from expressing yourself. Chances are, you definitely have something to say and you don’t have to sacrifice accuracy for speed. It’s the quality and the weight of your words which will have the ultimate effect on your success.

Concrete solutions to complex problems are in your grasp. You can bring the most esoteric and profound concepts down to earth so the layperson can relate. It’s important that the people in your immediate environment are clear on the basic tenets of your ideas.

Potential for a strongly retentive mind is suggested with Saturn in the 3rd house, as you can build a solid database to access for practical use in the material world, fusing knowledge and wisdom and information and understanding.

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

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(c) 2014 by Jason Fleming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uranus in the 9th House: The Futuristic Philosopher

(photo credit: evolllution.com )

Astrologically, the 9th house is where we form our worldview. It’s the terrain where we take our life experience and form a philosophy, or a belief system about how life works. With Uranus in the 9th house, the constructive potential of this placement is to form a cosmology which serves in the liberation of humanity.

One of your tasks is to teach and guide others in a way which radically shakes up their habitual thought patterns and cultural conditioning. You could quite possibly be considered eccentric or unorthodox because of the inclination to rebel against the “standard” or conventional way of doing things. In your mind, majority consensus often means that people haven’t looked at issues from every angle.

Even when you incorporate the traditional, it’s with a twist. You view your mission as being one which breathes new life into perspectives which are otherwise stale and outdated.  Often, there is a feeling of “majestic alienation” present. You sense as if you’re really on to something, but you look around and no one is with you.

Understand this: to effectively live this placement, you must relinquish an incessant need to have the larger society approve of your view of the universe.  While certain authority figures may be used as guides, the cosmos is asking you to synthesize your personal experiences, listen to your inner voice and gift the world with an eclectic array of your unique gray matter.

It’s important to trust your intuitive insights, as feedback from mainstream society is highly unlikely to provide you with sustenance or give you the results that you seek. Remain steadfast and stay on the path you’ve blazed for yourself. You will encounter like minds and kindred souls if you unabashedly own and wear your badge of strangedom.

 

Holistic Astrology’s Message: You’re Much More Than Your Sun Sign

(photo : faculty.kutztown.edu)

” We have already been given everything we need; our task is to assemble it and use it in the appropriate way. Nothing is meaningful as long as we perceive only separate fragments. But as soon as the fragments come together into a synthesis, a new entity emerges, whose nature we could not have foreseen by considering the fragments alone.”

-Piero Ferrucci from “What We May Be”

As I progress through my astrological career, here’s one of the most perplexing themes that I’ve noticed: on the whole, as a society we don’t give ourselves anywhere near the credit we deserve for our depth, complexity and for the multi-dimensional facets of our humanness.

In fact, some of us even appear to prefer labels; to be put into nice comfortable boxes complete with a “kit” full of goodies that we need to embody that pre-packaged persona. Let’s just call this the fast food version of self-expression. Shall we?

Well….this leads me to another question? Do we “do” labels in order to evade the vulnerability contained in what we deem as the “lesser” parts of our being? Do we say: yes, just put me in that box- quick! No one will even think of my challenges in other areas? So, then we quickly become “secure”/”insecure” ; “rational”/”intuitive”, “homebodies”/”travelers”, “conscious”/”unconscious, “intelligent/”ignorant”, when the truth is, we are ALL of these, just to a greater or a lesser degree.

So, where does astrology fit into the picture? When someone asks the famous cocktail party question: “what’s your sign?” What they’re referring to is known as our sun sign.

Usually, those who are unfamiliar with the reality of an entire birth chart would answer the question and proceed to talk a bit about some descriptive words they read on a zodiac poster, or a paper weight in their co-workers office. If you who are reading this fall into that category, I applaud you.

The fact that you’re even on this web page tells me that you think there’s much more to what you read on that Pisces t-shirt and Capricorn bumper sticker. And guess what?? You are most certainly correct.

When used irresponsibly and not as a tool for spiritual and psychological growth, astrology runs the risk of being reduced to a “one size fits all”, static classification system rather than recognized as the rich, expansive symbolic art which gives life to potentials and possibilities and is fortified with depth and meaning through synthesis.

These observations are by no means designed to discount the importance of sun signs within the totality of our birth charts. In fact, it is essential that we honor our suns, for the mastery of the energies represented by our sun signs are imperative to our spiritual evolution. There is, however a danger that we must be aware of which is stated so eloquently by Ferruci:

” This realization leads us to consider perhaps the greatest and most common of all dangers: one-sidedness. Were we to develop only one part of our being to the exclusion of all others- be it the body, or feelings, or “spirit”, or what have you-that part would be invested with a power it doesn’t deserveIt could become demonic and make of us limited and perhaps, even fanatical beings.”

In addition to our Sun sign, which symbolizes our individuality, we must integrate our Moon sign, which speaks to our emotional life, intuition and our deepest needs. Our Mercury sign, which illustrates how we thinkand communicate. Our Venus sign, which testifies to the manner in which we express our enjoyment and appreciation of the pleasures of life. Also, how we relate to our fellow human beings. 

Our Mars sign, which is all about taking action, asserting ourselves and sexual expression. Our Jupiter sign that indicates how we believe, have faith, express our philosophies and find meaning. Saturn’s sign in our birth chart lends it’s expression to how we exert our authorityspend our time and exercise discipline and responsibility.

While the outer planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, are generational by sign placement, they are still very important based on what houses they inhabit and the aspects they make to personal planets. All of these planets insist on inclusion.

So, yes ladies and gentlemen, this is our lifetime homework. To take these parts and successfully weave them into a functioning whole working at it’s optimum level and exercising it’s full potential.

Lastly, Ferruci states:

” When it is balanced and healthy, human growth proceeds in all directions: it looks like an expanding sphere rather than a straight line. It is for precisely this reason that psychosynthesis endeavors to take into consideration all the dimensions of human life which truly matter and which, if left unacknowledged, lead to a fragmented, even absurd existence.”

This statement applies directly to my astrological philosophy. Like Amerie, that “1 Thing” mentality has got me trippin’, too.

Astrology, The 1st/7th House Axis and Intimate Partnerships: Separately Together

In M. Scott Peck’s classic book “The Road Less Traveled”, the author emphasizes some very significant points regarding the definition of genuine love within the context of relationships. 

Peck states that a major characteristic in relationships that are truly loving and intimate, is the ability to make the distinction between yourself and the other person.

Although the act of coming together and being a part of each other’s spiritual reality is paramount, the individual identity of the two separate people must always be preserved if the partnership is going to be truly healthy.

Additionally, “the genuine lover always respects and even encourages this separateness and the unique individuality of the beloved. Failure to perceive and respect this separateness is extremely common however, and the cause of much mental illness and unnecessary suffering.”

Many intimate relationships begin with two people becoming mutually captivated with each other’s personalities. They’re both extremely attracted to  and excited about what each other represents.

However, the erroneous assumptions and miscalculations creep in when one, or both partners advocate for the union to dissolve or severely minimize their individual identities. 

It’s as if the parties involved are now asking the person they said they were madly and deeply attracted to, to relinquish their sense of self in favor of a composite identity represented by “we”.

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While it is certainly logical that a shift will naturally occur just because of the nuances of being partnered, the pressing question is if the destiny of the dynamic of couple hood has now exceeded that of individual purpose.

I quote again from Peck:

“In it’s most extreme form, the failure to perceive the separateness of the other is called narcissism. Frankly narcissistic individuals are actually unable to perceive their children, spouses or friends as being separate from themselves on an emotional level.”

Astrologically speaking, these challenges and dilemmas are “at home” in the 1st and 7th houses, which oppose, yet compliment one another.

Simply defined, the 1st house represents “us” and our identitieswhat we wish to project out into the world both physically and energetically.

The 7th house symbolizes “them” the “other” in our lives: spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, business partners and anyone whom we may deal with on a one to one basis. 

Along with other chart factors, these two houses, and the planets contained therein, contribute to the ongoing story of who we’re becoming, who we attract into our lives and the type of dynamics that need to exist in our partnerships.

 

We need not view the 1st/7th house axis as antagonistic, rather it would be in our best interest to ask more questions about what we see here.

What are my true relationship needs? What is my individual life purpose? How does my sense of self contribute to a collective destiny? Am I able to freely express and assert my identity within a relationship? In what ways is my partner different from me? Do I honor those differences? Does my partner respect my individuality?

The inability to come to terms with separateness in relationships can have a detrimental effect, as it can cause the once lively buoyant partnership to disintegrate into mundane numbness.  This phenomena is not only directed toward marriages and the like, but friendships, co-worker relationships and family as well. 

It’s vital that we examine OUR life purposes within a relationship as they pertain to US. That we avoid the age old mistake of placing the destinies and life tasks of others, no matter how close we may be to them, inside our own psychological framework.

Let’s remember that even though we may be “partnered” with another person, we both came to this earth with an individual mission to accomplish independent of the union.

Because two individuals unite, in no way does this mean that their personal work is done. It’s imperative that both people participate in experiences outside of the relationship realm in order to foster not only their sense of self, but also the growth of the entire partnership. 

Intimate relationships require time, energy and mutual sacrifice. However, let us consider a portion of the time invested as a solid foundation, or a directional queue toward our individual spiritual work on this earth, with this ultimate goal:

To honor our identities by fully participating in the experiences we need to fulfill our individual life purposes, while expending the effort and respecting the contributions needed to help an intimate partnership develop, thrive and ultimately flourish.
                                                                                                                                          
Reference : “The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth” by M. Scott Peck  

Photo Credit : huffingtonpost.com