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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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

 

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:

Photo by Zack Jarosz 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

Gemini Sun, Taurus Moon

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Your insatiable curiosity knows no bounds, but it’s important to you that you convert your clever ideas so that they add value to your life as well as the lives of others. The need to know vitalizes you to search for “real world” and material demonstrations of your immense adaptability.

While you require a solid and practical structure from which to operate, it most likely won’t dull your inclination to experiment with all of the diversity life has to offer. Your multi-faceted worldview along with a steady persistence can unfold as an uncanny ability to create wealth via the acuity of your mind.

Even if you’re not certain of where your thoughts or words may take you, you’re not one to give up once you decide to follow an idea trail.

To successfully navigate this sun/moon blend, understand your need to enjoy life through BOTH the intellect AND the senses. To simultaneously balance a healthy amount of stimulation and relaxation for both. If you fail to find a point of equilibrium, you might discover that alternate between an ultra powerful, elastic – yet UNFOCUSED stream of thought, and a body which comes addicted to comfort, and only wishes to operate under the umbrella of that which brings it pleasure.

In order to achieve the results you seek, which are connected to manifesting things materially, while eloquently explaining your sense perceptions, it’s important that you learn how to gain solidity of being; filtering out incessant external chatter in the name of grounded focus. With this solar/lunar combination, it’s meant for you to access and express your mental brilliance in a common sense way, where youthful exuberance and earthy wisdom meet.

 

Mercury Through The Signs : Libra-Sagittarius

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Mercury in Libra: This placement suggests potential for objectivity of thought. The desire and willingness to examine both sides of an issue. One of the most constructive routes toward fulfilling communication needs is the emphasis of harmony. Looking for “bridges” or points of mutual interest can assist those with this placement in tangible ways. In fact, your words can be used as a salve or social lubricant.

If there ever was a placement which conveyed  the message: “it’s not what you say, but how you say it.” This is it. However, this doesn’t mean that assertiveness in communication is never necessary. Even if you have to pick up a copy of “The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense” by Suzette Haden Elgin, know that confrontation is not something to be feared, only navigated.

Mercury in Scorpio: Mercury, when placed in Scorpio, immediately suggests an intensely penetrative, probing style of thinking and communicating. “Let no stone go unturned” could definitely be the motto for this planetary position.

Your search for truth can lead you to church, a forensics lab, or a seedy venue on a Friday night- it really doesn’t matter. In your mind, the sacred and profane are intertwined. When it comes to speaking, there’s the potential to wield influence over and persuade others, as a result of knowledge of their psychology. This is beneficial if it results in the constructive transformation of lives, but not so much if you’re attempting to brainwash people by having them drink your brand of kool-aid.

Mercury in Sagittarius:  The sky is the limit. Mercury in Sagittarius suggests free flying, panoramic thought. The need to develop and maintain a broad, comprehensive scope regarding relationships between different branches of knowledge is highly pronounced.

This placement highlights the inclination to synthesize ideas into a vast philosophical framework so they can be shared with the purpose of advancing the knowledge overall and converting it into understanding and wisdom.

Here’s the kicker: those with this placement need to remember that their new found understanding isn’t the only one that exists in the universe. A constructive use of Mercury in Sagittarius is using the openness of mind in service of tolerating the views of others. To accept that you have “two ears and one mouth”. Cultivating the ability to listen is paramount. We all have blind spots and none of us know it ALL. As a matter of fact, one of the hallmarks of wisdom is to recognize where we’re ignorant. Take note.

 

Moon in the 7th House

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With one’s moon placed natally in the 7th house, there’s a fine line between emotional support and labor. Having the moon in an angular house equates to a strong position oriented towards “the other”. So, there’s the possibility of  a perpetually reactive stance to the feelings and emotions of other people.

How you navigate this space is key.

A developmental lesson of this placement is to understand the importance of owning your feelings and being in charge of them. Also, learning the true definition of empathy will prove to be important, as to be able to make the distinction between identification and sharing feelings with another and allowing yourself to become enmeshed and entrenched in others tumultuous dramas.

This natal position suggests that there’s the potential to form genuine connections with others and create avenues of trust and support. So, to care in a warm and nurturing manner which fosters growth is natural. However, to understand the limits of your support and knowing when to encourage another person to help themselves will prove to be key to your overall emotional health.

You’re not required to digest and carry the emotional burdens of others. Your reigning strength relies in providing and holding a safe, non-judgmental space where active listening and kindness are present, as well as healthy and clearly defined boundaries.

You may be someone who works directly with women or has an emotional investment in issues which affect them specifically.  Also, in your partnerships, the open expression of how one is feeling may be valued and prevent unhealthy projections.

Photo by Jopwell x PGA from Pexels

Moon in the 8th House : “The Trustee”

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One of the terms that comes to mind when I think about the 8th house is “Human Resources”.

If you happen to be employed in the field of HR, it’s no stretch to say that you’re in the “people” business, and the competent handling of whatever the employees feel is of importance and value to them (resources) is one of your responsibilities.

With the Moon in the 8th house, you’re called to be a steward or a trustee of the talents that others possess. In order for this domain to be navigated successfully, one must develop the ability to create avenues of trust, security and confidentiality in social relations.

Ultimately, people have the tendency to share and entrust you with what they hold dear and valuable , whether that’s money, intimate thoughts and feelings, hopes, fears, anxieties, etc. With the Moon placed here, there’s an emotional investment in handling those things. In fact, you can be quite adept at and “at home” with this function.

A safe and private environment is optimal in order to conduct these “transactions”. In the 8th house, nothing is held back from the standpoint that matters of loss, decay, fear and death live here. The aforementioned “death” can be literal or symbolic.

Either way, what we’ve outgrown and is no longer of use to us, and strategies for discarding these entities is a hot button in this area of the chart.

How we approach what no longer serves us and that which causes fears, blockages and anxieties in our lives plays a major part in our ability to successfully navigate the 8th house field of experience. Do we confront them? Or, do we run from them? Answers to these questions are vital to understand the Moon (ans anything else) in the 8th house.

Additionally, In dealing with this placement, questions also arise for you surrounding the inheritance that you’ve received from family, DNA or heritage and how this may be used effectively to create and leave a legacy for those who come after you to benefit from.

What are the components of ultimate message that you will bestow on the next generation?

Sagittarian Mind Consulting: The Mission Statement

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For those who may not be familiar with me or my blog, I’ve been a practicing Counseling Astrologer for 10 years and counting.

One of the questions which proves to be ever pervasive in my mind is related to what will become of Astrology in the world’s ever-changing state.

I often think about the future of what I consider to be one of the most comprehensive and versatile systems of human development.

As a Counselor who utilizes Astrology, my mission consists of communicating life-enhancing concepts in a practical and concrete language which is accessible to the layperson.

Sagittarian Mind Consulting brings a broad-minded, emotionally supportive approach to Astrological counseling while facilitating growth strategies for clients.

In my mind, there’s no reason to engage in ultra-esoteric, other-worldly pontification when clients want to be helped right here on earth.

My mission also consists of assisting others on their quest for self-discovery and a more holistic understanding of their inner dynamics, as well as taking into consideration the all-important cultural and environmental factors which influence their external world.

I aspire to be the best guide possible when exploring the parts of the individual psyche which require integration and synthesis for the development of the total person.

I  draw not only from  experience with Astrology, but also life experience, as I’m also an educator, writer, and human resources professional.

It’s important to me that I help open doors for others to locate the place within which helps them to obtain a more multi-leveled and expansive view of themselves as well as advance their interests and address their challenges.

To grasp a larger sense of their ultimate life purpose and realize how their route of fulfillment is intimately interconnected to the cosmos is my ultimate aim.

Not only do I want others to realize their life has a special meaning, but I also wish to distribute the message that our lives are ultimately about the meaning which WE assign to it.

Astrology is about how we may work in tune with the universe to blend our separate fragments into a whole. How we join forces with the all to form a powerful and unified entity.

My mission consists of getting the word out that Astrology is only as reductive as we allow it to be. The signs, planets, houses and aspects don’t “make” us anything. It’s our personal responsibility to infuse purpose into every set of instructions contained within our birth maps.

We’re not stuck in a proverbial box, or symbolically held hostage by a zodiac sign telling us we have no behavioral options outside of the astrological cookbook variety.

In actuality, the entire universe containing ALL of the signs and planets is INSIDE and OUTSIDE of us ready and willing to be used as a resource for our growth and development.

THIS is the type of Astrology that I am honored to use in my Counseling practice.

In addition, while i love studying & practicing astrology, let me be clear that: astrology is only ONE type of lens through which we can view things, and it’s also far from being the ONLY one.

I’m committed to advocating this philosophy and accepted my instructions from the universe of uplifting my fellow human beings in their quest toward liberation. As well as constructing the large-scale, important questions which require deep self-reflection.

It’s an honor and a pleasure to serve my fellow human beings and thank you for your continued support.

Saturn Transits To The Ascendant : “Mature Lenses”

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Clear definition and organization of personal direction.

Serious business & personal mastery.

Maturation of the “lens” through which you process experience.

Many of us have read ad nauseum, the narrative of Saturn portrayed as the great malefic. We’ve been instructed to brace ourselves and fear the worst, and consider it to be a victory if we evade its evil rays until major transits involving the planet pass.

Taking ownership of and responsibility for the filter through which we perceive and process our experiences isn’t a job for the faint of heart. It’s those individuals who are steadfastly dedicated to doing the hard work of refining, questioning, doubting and earnestly aiming to see clearly that benefit from Saturn’s transiting contacts.

If you’re a person who regularly veers toward the path of least resistance, or what will demand the LEAST out of you then you may find Saturn’s transits to be sharply difficult and demanding.

However, if you’re looking to stretch yourself, suspending the comfortable for the developmental and what might or could be for what IS, you have a sturdy and reliable cosmic partner to work with.

When transiting Saturn makes contact with the Ascendant, you’re being asked to re-structure and re-organize the vehicle you use to navigate the world. The calling is to temper and refine your approach in order to draw more mature and wise observations through a serious and authentic self-presentation.

It’s paramount to remember that contemplating a more disciplined and focused approach to living isn’t designed to detract anything from you. In fact, the purpose is to institute a greater degree of self-integration so that what you think, say and do becomes more congruent.

In order to navigate this transit with maximum effectiveness, you may find it necessary to engage in solemn periods of solitude where you get real with yourself. Acquiring the patience to extract the genuine meaning, and clearing out the b.s. and excess where people, places and things are concerned can take you a long way toward realizing your essential core; complete with all of your strengths, victories, foibles and follies in tow.

If you’re expecting an overnight cure for issues you’ve been grappling with for years, or a quick fix solution for backed up neurosis, you’re barking up the wrong tree. The willingness to delay short-term gratification and approach life with an internal confidence and commitment to reaping long-term benefits from your efforts is what you need.

The understanding of pain, not necessarily as perpetual agony, but as a teacher and informer of your limits and boundaries can re-frame your perspective toward this cycle in your life.

You’re being asked to learn about where you end and other people begin and to understand that their feelings aren’t necessarily going to be yours and vice versa. Harnessing the ability to move forward in your actions without consensus will be instrumental in your development.

Often, we have a tendency to mask our pain, doubts and fears through overcompensation, or immersion in the areas of life which are sure to numb or desensitize us. If you want to use this transit in a growth oriented manner, allowing yourself to identify, feel, and release yourself from the pain associated with troublesome relationships or concepts which have controlled, blocked or hemmed you in from a stable and concrete self-image is essential.

A portion of Saturn’s reality principle involves discovering everything we ARE and everything we ARE NOT. To understand that living in truth naturally allows for more accurate assessments of our character. To be able to celebrate your progress and also re-strategize on your missteps.

In addition during this time of Saturn contacting the Ascendant, the need to “live loudly” has the potential to give way to a more self-reflective humility that welcomes the wisdom gained through first hand experiences. Whatever your life “slogan’ may have been up to this point; you can embrace the responsibility that comes with actually LIVING IT as a testament to all that you proclaim. As a matter of fact, if you’re intent on leaving your comfort zone, you have the potential to bear the standard in accordance with what you wish to exemplify.

Through consistency and reliability you can build a solid reputation. Your rewards include the possibility of an increased status and recognition for your personal achievements, but more importantly the satisfaction of knowing you’re operating from an internal locus of control and a center fortified with integrity. Your main objective is to serve as your own support and evaluation system, irrespective of applause, sour faces and the like.

This transit qualifies as a test of endurance. It raises questions surrounding your willingness be self-reliant in the shaping of your self-projection into the world. It’s a time, not to point fingers at everyone else, but to carefully examine your reactions to the reality that life is revealing to you. If you find it to be unpleasant or disconcerting, it’s your job to investigate and identify the root causes of such reactions.

Saturn not only connected with delays and obstacles, but also the level of fortitude and perseverance we’re willing to employ to combat them. So, while there may be challenges, they rarely surface independent of the possibility of meeting them in constructive and meaningful ways.

In his classic “Cosmos and Psyche” Richard Tarnas illustrates the multi-dimensional nature of Saturn’s symbolism:

Saturn governs the consequences of error, guilt, pessimism, inferiority, depression, deprivation; yet it also gives us the capacity for rigor, order, concentration, endurance, seriousness, fidelity, responsibility, maturity.”

Questions and themes concerning time expenditure also loom in the midst during this transit .You must consider asking yourself what, if anything of tangible or redeeming value is being produced as a result of where you choose to direct your focus.

How are you distributing your personal energies in relation to the seconds, minutes and hours that comprise your days?

In his ‘Saturnesque’ business classic “The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization”, author Peter Senge outlines the concept of personal mastery, which is surely an appropriate and worthwhile focus for this transit.

According to Senge,

personal mastery is the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively.” 

One of the major points of emphasis of transiting Saturn making contact with your Ascendant is to challenge you to integrate self-mastery as a daily practice. In other words, its concepts are designed to become an actual discipline for you

When mastery becomes incorporated as a way of life or process, rather than a passing moment or possession, there becomes a continual clarification and affirmation of what’s important to you and what you can do without. The questions you ask in order to evaluate your development center around whether the relationships and activities you’re currently choosing to engage in are in accordance with your overall vision and purpose.

Senge notes that people with a high level of personal mastery share several basic characteristics such as:

  1. They have a special sense of purpose that lies behind their visions and goals – for such a person, a vision is a calling rather than simply a good idea.
  2. They see “current reality” as an ally, not an enemy.
  3. They have learned how to perceive and work with forces of change rather than resist those forces.
  4. They are deeply inquisitive, committed to continually seeing reality more and more accurately.
  5. They feel connected to others and life itself, yet sacrifice none of their uniqueness
  6. They feel as if they are part of a larger creative process, which they can influence but cannot unilaterally control.
  7. They Live in continual learning mode, acutely aware of their ignorance, incompetence and their growth areas
  8. They are deeply self- confident

As stated earlier, in order to benefit from any cycles concerning Saturn, you must be in it for the long haul. This gives you the time needed to define re-define, hone, sharpen, organize, shape and re-shape your long-term vision. Through all of the re-modeling, it’s still important to be clear about what type of “house” you actually want.

You can experience satisfying personal gains during this transit if you’re willing to put the time and energy into discovering exactly who you are and what you want. In addition committing yourself to truth, not as a final word or ultimate stop, but an internal promise to ferret out your own tactics of self-deception which keep you out of step with a more informative reality.

The potential for mastery awaits you, and that’s serious business.

References:

The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization” by Peter Senge (New York: Doubleday/Currency, ©1990)

Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View” by Richard Tarnas (Plume/Penguin Books, 2006)

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