Making Astrology Practical : The Words of Dr. Amos Wilson

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Arguably, in this day and age, we have access to more information than ever before regarding spirituality, holistic health practices, and various tools for evolution and self development such as astrology, tarot, feng shui, meditation techniques, dream work and astral projection.

Because we’re faced with such a wide variety of options, it’s of paramount importance to employ our powers of critical analysis and discrimination wisely.

We would be selling ourselves and our brains short if we hopped on every bandwagon which proclaims “peace, love and light”, or followed every trail of incense smoke, complete with shea butter rubdowns and wheat grass shots.

It’s absolutely essential that we trust our inner voices when confronted with bundles of rhetoric which do not encourage any behavioral changes, yet are cosmetically and aesthetically pleasing.

I quote from the esteemed ancestor and brilliant psychologist Dr. Amos Wilson:

“There is nothing wrong with using the astrologies, the esoteric religions and using the moons and planets as guides for our behavior; but let us not become obsessed with them to such a degree that we do nothing else.”

No matter how much we engage in meditation, chanting and the like, chances are, there’s a tangible physical reality which we must be fully present for every day. The concrete world requires our participation.

Whether it’s our rent, or a 15 page paper that’s due, organization of ourselves is key. I would be willing to bet that our landlord or professor doesn’t take “Oms” as a form of compensation or completed work.

Spirituality is all encompassing. It permeates every aspect of our being. Because we’re spiritual people, it doesn’t mean we don’t curse, fight, have sex, or become angry.

In fact, I would make the case that one of the true aims of spirituality is to locate an organized center within ourselves and integrate our many dimensions by finding constructive outlets for our various facets to thrive.

As spiritual beings, we’re not going to float away in euphoric bliss and project ourselves into a dimension which will alleviate us from earthly responsibilities.

We may even have to appear ruthless at times. Eliminating people from our lives and severing the ties of situations which are blocking our growth. Distancing ourselves from unhealthy relationships physically, emotionally and psychologically by any means necessary.

True spirituality strengthens and enhances us. It doesn’t convert us in to passive people who advocate peace at any cost. Sometimes we have to go to war with the “monster”, relegating it to it’s proper place in our lives.

Thinking for ourselves regarding spiritual concepts merits very serious consideration. Hopefully, we’re all seeking to evolve and create physical, tangible evidence through our actions to show us that we’re doing so.

We know that it’s not enough to exclude analyzing the way we act in favor of the external trinkets, dress, diet or language which we think “enlightened” people abide by, yet misusing these resources as “props” to divert attention from the lack of desire to positively change our behavior.

I quote again from Dr. Wilson

“Why not demonstrate the effectiveness of what you’re talking about in your own behavior, life and therefore be a beacon to other people? Demonstrate through your life-behavior and habits the effectiveness of your ideologies religions and concepts?”

The question then becomes:

What is my behavior saying about me? What am I teaching others about my views on spirituality through my actions?

There are many tools of development, when used in a constructive manner, which can greatly enhance the quality of our lives.

However, if we show little to no concern about staying focused on our true intentions of self-improvement, the same systems lead to the evasion of concrete reality. Avoidance from the fundamental concept stated so eloquently by the African proverb:

“When deeds speak, words are meaningless.”                           

*Notes: Excerpt from a lecture delivered by Dr. Amos Wilson at the Marcus Garvey Senior Citizen Center, Brooklyn, NY (1985 )                                

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Saturn Transits To The Moon : “Emotional Boundaries”

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When transiting Saturn makes contact with the Moon, themes of emotional boundaries, limitation and taking responsibility for one’s feelings are highlighted. What’s being asked of you, especially during this time, is to face reality- as well as any of your fears concerning what you need to be emotionally fulfilled.  Also, you’re being called to re-organize your response patterns and gain maturity in doing so.

One of the lessons to be learned from this passage is that feeling differently from those you may be close to, through familial ties or intimate relationships, doesn’t indicate a flaw in your character. It simply establishes the boundaries on how you experience the world versus how others do.

You may speculate that stating your feelings about what matters to you, in an authentic manner is subject to alienate you from others, and you’re right. However, this isn’t a period of time where you succumb to the whims of other people, no matter how close they are or claim to be.

Optimally, Saturn-Moon transits suggest a time of accepting responsibility for the model of the heart you’re creating with no apologies. Honesty and REAL responses can now fuel your growth toward construction of a life experience that’s more robust.

You have the potential to clear out any clutter which binds you to a painful past, whether that includes bitter resentment concerning the family, or harsh treatment from someone you ‘ve confided in and lowered your defenses for.

You may realize that what you need isn’t as complicated as you once thought, and your first inclination may be to criticize yourself for this, thinking that you lack depth. This is not the case. If anything, there’s an indication that you’re making an effort to cut through neurosis and stabilize your existence.

These transits illicit questions of trust: ‘Do I trust myself?” “Whom can I bear my intimate feelings to?”

In matters of love, you’re being challenged to negotiate feelings of giving too much and receiving too little. A ruthless inquiry to examine whether or not a scarcity mentality is present may be appropriate. Understand that there’s enough affection to go around for everyone in this world, and the urge to cajole, force or control to create the illusion of that will surely backfire sooner or later.

Photo Source: burst.shopify.com 

Saturn Transits To The MC(Midheaven): Defining Your Place in The World

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 When Transiting Saturn contacts the MC, this can be used as an opportunity for focusing on and bringing greater structure and definition to your ultimate aims in life.

In most cases, these goals are intimately intertwined with our vocation, or what we may view as our  life’s “calling” , which is symbolized by the MC.  

The themes which you may be presented with during the length of this transit will undoubtedly consist of not only questions surrounding your willingness to commit, but also how hard (and practically) you’re willing to work and how disciplined you’re willing to be, which includes developing the outlook of delaying short term gratification for a more solid, substantial reward in the future.

Becoming ruthlessly honest with oneself about personal limitations is also a vital part of this transit.

Honestly seeking and gaining clarity about what you can realistically accomplish given the present circumstances is an indication of maturity. This is not the time to play silly games with yourself, but rather one to sober up and figure out where you wish to distribute your time and energy.

It’s important that you make it a point to devise a strategy which provides a solid foundation for your future endeavors. Responsibility, which is a keyword for Saturn simply means your “ability to respond”. So, the questions then become:

“In what manner do I wish to respond when it comes to solidifying my destiny in the world?”

“How can I clearly define my goals and my place in society?”

What you must know about this transit is that you won’t receive anything which is out of proportion with your efforts.  If you feel the need to cut corners and leave serious matters floating in the breeze then the results will surely reveal themselves in a way which glaringly highlights your need to make adjustments in that area of life. If this should transpire, the modus operandi is to consider this feedback from the universe of how you can become wiser and more skillful in addressing areas for development at the time they reveal themselves rather than passing them off as trivial.

The Saturn-MC transit is a great time to concretize yourself and work on a self-presentation that’s authentic as possible in the larger sphere of the world. You may find that this starts with a thorough examination of your upbringing. Keep in Mind that the MC/IC is an axis. So, in order for you to be successful in this endeavor, you must think about what needs to be preserved, and what also needs to be released regarding guidance you may have received from an authority figure in your life.

It may now be clear to you that parental, or other guidance was formed from a particular worldview which you may share a portion of, but you’re now learning to “parent” yourself and incorporate your own insights and experiences which will ultimately serve as your locus of control and guiding post for the rest of your life. The possibility also exists in becoming a parent in the literal sense.

One of the purposes of this period of time is to test you on how much of your public life, outer world and career has really been determined by your own definitions and how much has been dictated by societal mores, advising you what you should be when you grow up.

Ideally, NOW is the time in which you grow up and take a stand, sending the message to the world that you’re willing to ground yourself based on a definition of self, which is far from crystallized or rigid, but is sturdy enough to ward off those who wish to control you through their “fixed” image of you.

Now, your entire being must contain a fundamental center from which you operate. The key is to form a solid foundation which is the basis for providing direction, but also contains enough humility to consult with the wise and the trusted for periodic input when needed.

From a disordered perspective, this transit suggests fear and doubt of one’s capacity to gain influence in the larger world. Or, even anxiety behind taking on the responsibility of parenting. What could be developmental progress and gaining wisdom and maturity gets sidetracked into constant thoughts of lack. A feeling as if there’s not enough to go around and one is going to be left out of the equation of receiving the recognition they deserve.

It’s clear that one of the main areas of focus during this transit is prioritizing the actual work, over accolades which you may feel are warranted.  Planning with a clear head and a realistic vision about what and where you would like to “master” or “professionalize”, and the efforts that are required to get there is a productive use of this planetary passage.

You may be pleasantly surprised at the quality of the results, which will be directly reflective of your degree of personal integration and organization, as well as your attitude toward confronting and neutralizing obstacles which may appear along the road to self-actualization.

When successfully navigated, the efforts put forth t this time can lead to the heights of prominence, which from the traditional Saturnian point of view reflects a broader base of influence , authority and a significant increase in public trust because you’re now presenting yourself as someone who is undivided in thought, word and deed.

In order to be on friendly terms with Saturn, we must be willing to do things which will most likely make us uncomfortable. We must resist succumbing to what demands the least out of us and put forth the time and energy that’s worthy of our refinement. We must also ultimately own the quality of our endeavors. If there’s anything which we feel we’ve outgrown, or isn’t worthy of our time from a developmental perspective, the most constructive course of action would be to leave it alone.

The key is to emerge from this transit with a clear, explicit direction and the intestinal fortitude to serve as your own leader, and to let your example speak for itself.

*Note: I don’t specify the particular aspects to Saturn, as my focus is more on planetary contact, so any major aspect (conjunction, square, trine) is applicable as far as this transit is concerned.

Photo : William Klein Artnet

 

 

 

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)

 

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.”

(photo: dj premier, q-tip, nas & large professor) source : ambrosiaforheads.com

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.

A Holistic Perspective on Astrology

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“‎Wholeness and longing are as common as breath, so much a part of the fabric of our being they often remain unseen. They meet us everywhere, setting direction, not detail. All we do is answer their call. The shapes we build about them become a life lived, unique in time.”
 – Michael Bratnick

In a recent conversation regarding relationship compatibility throughout the zodiac, I made the comment that true astrological chemistry cannot be determined solely on the basis of sun signs. An in depth analysis of both individual’s birth charts is required.

In response to my comment, the question I received was: “What entire chart?”  I am now here to supplement my original response by providing an answer which is more comprehensive.

Depending on your level of interest and or expertise in astrology, you may or may not know that an entire birth chart exists for every human being.  YES, we are becoming a Gemini, or a Pisces as our “signs” (also known as sun signs) indicate.

However, in our chart we also have placements for: the moon, mercury, venus, mars, jupiter, saturn, uranus, neptune and pluto. In addition, we have an Ascendant, or rising sign.

All of these planets serve their function toward our ultimate aim of wholeness.

In fact, one could view the planets as subpersonalities operating within our psyche. So, when we speak of : “a part of us wanting to go out to the “Rock The Bells” concertbut another part of us wanting to stay home.”what we are essentially experiencing is the polarity of the various drives which exist in our mental framework.

Our whole birth chart is a symbolic tool box filled with planetary expressions to suit all occasions. These subpersonalities assist us in transitioning through the myriad of roles that we’re asked to play.

Most likely, we may need to exhibit behavior that is professional and more formal when we venture into our work settings. We also may tend to be more relaxed and casual when at home. When in the company of good friends, or intimately involved with a partner, we display yet another dimension of our personalities.

The essential purpose of our birth charts as a whole is to integrate all of these energies in order that they may function more effectively as a process of synthesis.

The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.  Once we become aware that these sub-personalities are at work within our psyches, we activate the possibility of organizing them into our own celestial government,  As a result of this fusion, our entire birth chart actually becomes a new, more powerful entity with its blended expression manifesting through the vessel, which is our sun signs.

The Players
So, who are these subpersonalities that I speak of? As stated earlier, we not only have a “sign” or sun sign, but we have several other planetary energies operating within our birth charts: we have a moon sign, mercury sign, venus sign, mars sign, jupiter sign, saturn sign, uranus sign, neptune sign and pluto sign.  Below, I have listed some brief notes on the planets and key themes that are associated with them:

Sun: our core, the ingredients that comprise our ego, what we consider to be important, our life force, vitality, where we “shine”, our pride, life purpose and destination. The type of fuel we require to maintain our vitality.

Sun Orange Circle

Moon: Our emotional needs, instinctive reactions, feeling response. What we need to sustain us, our biological and ideological home, family and roots, where we retreat to, general habits, how we feel nurtured and how we nurture others.

African Moon Circle

Mercury: Our communication, what we think and talk about, information processing, speech, writing, the rational mind, opinions, making connections, siblings, school, how we learn.

African Mercury Circle

Venus: The pleasure principle, giving, relating to others, sharing, co-operation, attraction, taste, art, money, means of exchange, love, beauty, mediation, comparison, diplomacy, how we seek to make ourselves and others happy.

Venus Chartreuse & Teal Circle

Mars: Action, drive, self-assertion, anger, passion sex drive, will, courage, survival, fight, endurance, competition. The application of will.

Mars Circle

Jupiter: Expansion of consciousness, meaning, wisdom, understanding, mental and physical travel, higher thought/education, synthesis, inflation, exaggeration, beliefs, confidence, greed, optimism, growth.

Jupiter Face

Saturn: Authority, discipline, business experience, limits, structure, organization, reality, control, fear, time, duties, learning hard lessons, evaluations, assessments.

Saturn Circle

Uranus: Change, revolution, freedom, breaking patterns, independence, individuality, the urge to rebel and shock, deviation from the norm, non-conformism, sudden awakening.

Uranus Circle

Neptune: The unseen realms, the urge to merge and dissolve boundaries, imagination, the ideal, purification, extra sensory perception, refinement, purification and cleansing, infiltration, deception, sacrifice, escape, transcendence, dreams, fantasy.

Neptune Updated Circle

Pluto: Regeneration, transformation, rebirth, death (literal and figurative), taboos, obsession, compulsion, depth investigation, paranoia, crisis, catharsis. hidden forces, enigmas.

Pluto Circle

The planets show you what energies are prevalent. The signs show you how these energies tend to express themselves, and the houses illustrate where in your life you will most likely experience the manifestation of these energies.

Note: The outer planets, which are Uranus, Neptune and Pluto move very slowly. Therefore, their sign positions are generational. Everyone born within roughly a 7 year period will have the same Uranus sign. Everyone born within roughly a 14 year period will have the same Neptune sign and everyone born within roughly a 21 year period will have the same Pluto sign. In most cases, the house placement and the aspects of these planets to our personal planets will be of more significance than the sign placement.

The next time someone asks you “what’s your sign?” hopefully, you will be armed with the information to tell them that your sun sign is Virgo, but….. that’s not ALL that you are. That is not enough to encompass the complexity and multifaceted character of your being.

Ultimately, the ideal personality as expressed by our birth charts, is a balanced set of subpersonalities in which each subpersonality is strong and it’s particular talents fully developed.

I wish everyone well on their infinite quest for understanding.

References: 
Aspects in Astrology: A comprehensive Guide To Interpretation by Sue Tompkins

Multiple Mind: Healing The Split In Psyche And World by Gretchen Sliker                                       

 

Pluto In The 9th House : The Power of Beliefs

Pluto Circle

Pluto, the Symbolism:

Astrologically, Pluto is small, yet potent.  Much of what Pluto stands for gets classified as simply the “dark”, even though most of us don’t even really know what that means and many times, we’re expected to and left stranded to figure it out. So, we literally become more confused about it and astrology in general.

Pluto symbolizes a state of deep, and often EXTREME change and catharsis. When we explore Plutonian themes, they’re usually ones which provoke heavy introspection, and also gut wrenching fear. In many cases, the exploration of Pluto stuff commands that we dig up what’s been buried and rejected because either we can’t seem to understand how to assess its meaning and value or we’re afraid of the powerful and triggering feelings that it elicits within us and we’d just rather look the other way and avoid speaking about what makes us uncomfortable.

Death, racism, sexism, sexual assault, the murdering of black women and men via police brutality, the wholesale abuses of power in business and government, child molestation, sex in general (and all of  its varieties and nuances), pornography, slavery, crime and corruption are just a sampling of the items on the Plutonian-like smorgasbord that are ready and waiting for us to dig into them. Somehow, our society thinks we should only whisper about these things and find our way back to Mayberry or Pleasantville because after all: we’re “good” people and none of these horrific sounding things could never link their way back to us. That’s all of those “other” people “out there”.

The 9th House : Searching for “God”

The ninth house, in Astrology is the domain of discourse in which we travel, both literally and metaphorically, in search of “God”. This is a highly personal adventure for each and every one of us. Ninth house themes deal largely with our belief systems and their formation, our quest for wisdom and philosophical cohesion, religion, education which takes us out of the realm of the “basic” and our immediate environment, the distribution of knowledge through publishing, teaching and lecturing,  and our voyage to gain a more panoramic understanding through material contained in pursuits such as astrology, divination, dreams, law and metaphysics.

The ninth house is the field of experience which represents the seeker, explorer, teacher, preacher, guru, philosopher, demagogue and missionary in all of us.

Pluto in the 9th House: The Placement

The lessons which come with having Pluto placed in the 9th House in one’s natal chart span far and wide. Whenever natal placements of ANY kind are examined, it’s ALWAYS a necessity to keep in mind that the manifestation of a placement in ACTION can be both constructive and maladaptive. So it’s never just ONE way. Many factors need to be considered. Two of the main ones being the level at which the particular person is living the contents of their birth chart and the particular society of which we’re a part.

If you have Pluto in the 9th house natally, perhaps it’s your calling to dig deeply and expose he deceit which is cloaked in our systems of “higher education”, religion and spirituality. Maybe enough is enough and you’ve decided that you would rather experience the tumultuous feelings that are inherent in such a journey than sit back and play like you don’t see anything happening in the world around us while declaring that everything is “just a state of mind.”

Here, your developmental process is about transforming your core through your journey to establish a cohesive and all-encompassing system of moving throughout the world. For best results, you can only do this by accepting the gut-level truth in what you find no matter how unsettling it happens to be. More than likely, you will find that this trip allows you to unearth resources that you didn’t realize that you had or have long forgotten about as well as exposes some naiveté on your part in taking a portion of people and the world in general at face value.

Part of your real education is to be able to master the art of discovering a truth and realizing that it’s simply yours without suffering from the “convince and convert” syndrome when it comes to others. It’s essential to honor the truth-seeking capacity in others as you’ve done for yourself. Ideally, whatever you’ve been fortunate enough to uncover should serve YOU and not the other way around.

Another instrumental phase of your Plutonian 9th house expedition can be to get to the bottom of parts of yourself which you’re currently labeling as undesirable or worthless. This is where it’s so important to realize the power of re-purposing. perhaps it’s not so much a matter of WHAT you feel that you are, but rather one which concerns HOW you’re using the certain elements of your personality that you feel are unacceptable. So, your M.O. may be to resist throwing the baby out with the bath water.

 

Neptune In the 1st House : “The Dreamer”

Neptune Circle

The Dreamer.

Yes, the world needs your inspired visions, and with Neptune located in the 1st house, it’s suggested that you can project a transcendental idealism forward for everyone to witness. In fact, you may wear it right on your sleeve.

With such a well-developed sensitivity, such a strong identification with the collective can be a double edged sword.

On the “pro” side, empathizing with others is second nature.

The capacity to emotionally absorb assists you in easily placing yourself in another’s shoes. As a “con” the potential is there for you to easily become so immersed in the issues of others that it stifles your creativity and drains you of your life force. Picture witnessing someone sinking in quicksand, you feel their pain, so you run to help. However, before you know it you’ve allowed that person to pull you right down in with them. Now, no one can prosper from the situation.

This placement suggests a presence that’s ethereal, for lack of a better word. Some could see you as an angel walking on two feet. Your openness to life and boundless imagination are resources which can assist you in developing the ability to poeticize life; to use symbolism to convey your hopes for a better world. You’re one of the people that we look to for lofty ideals and elevated concepts.

Your psychic openness must have some type of boundary, and remember: there’s just as much responsibility on YOU, as there is anyone else, for allowing your plentiful energy reservoirs to be tapped and depleted.

Boundaries are designed to protect life.

Dream on, and keep us all informed.

Your theme song is Common’s “The Dreamer” you can listen to it right here.

 

Venus in Capricorn: “Undefended Love”

Venus Chartreuse & Teal Circle

As we explore the structure that’s Venus in Capricorn, we do so with the understanding that Venus can’t be reduced or limited exclusively to “love” in one’s birth chart. There are far more associations which accompany the planet. However, for the purpose of this particular article, one’s idea of love, as viewed through the Venus in Capricorn lens, will be emphasized.

For individuals with the natal placement of Venus in Capricorn, Love is solid; you can take it to the bank. Love is enduring . Love is order. Love is structure. There are “rules” to love. Love is responsibility. Love is commitment. Love is a test. Love is integrity. Love is discipline. Love is work. Love is maturity, and like fine wine, gets better with time.

Love is the neutralizing of one’s defense mechanisms in order to open up the heart space.  In the words of Edwin Louis Cole:

“Boundaries are meant to protect life, not to limit pleasures.”

Two essential developmental questions for those with Venus placed in Capricorn would be: (1) What are my ultimate responsibilities in regard to my intimate relationships and (2) How can I become a model of integrity in my relationships allowing thought, word and deed to masterfully align?

It’s clear that this is a serious situation when the fulfilling of Venus’ relating needs are sought by way of the Saturn-ruled Capricorn environment. However, in this case, serious merely means that it requires immediate and skillful attention.

Contained in this placement, is an overarching strength in understanding the importance of delayed gratification and the awareness that REAL and ORGANIC relationship processes take TIME and WORK. If there’s anyone capable of sustaining long-term relationships, it is you.

In order to successfully navigate this placement, one must be willing to exert the necessary effort towards fostering which will likely be fewer relationships (as compared to many) of quality, substance and depth.

The focus here is not light and unfettered social butterfly-ism (see the elaboration of Robert Greene’s rule 16 in his “48 Laws of Power, which states that “too much circulation makes the price go down.”), but rather the establishment of solid foundations with others that build bridges of trust, honesty and mutual respect.

To facilitate this process, it’s key to understand the all important part that the lowering of one’s defenses and self-revelation plays in its overall effectiveness. For Venus in Capricorn, the thawing of a natural reserve can be difficult for a few reasons.

Concerning the more maladaptive expressions of Venus in Capricorn, Astrologer Jeffrey Wolf Green introduces a possible theory which outlines delayed emotional development and an intense blockage, constriction and compression of one’s feelings, as a result of induced guilt from the parental relationship:

“The Venus in Capricorn person has typically been born into family structures in which the parental reality has been defined by the consensus of the society in which they live. Consequently, the parental reality has typically had a heavy undertone in which the child has been expected to conform to the parental value system. When the child deviated from these expectations to conform, he or she was made to feel guilty in covert or overt ways through the use of judgment. A related dynamic within the general pattern of expectation to conform to parental values is one wherein the parents have projected on the child a rigid code of conduct that the child is expected to adhere to even when the parents themselves do not. The cliché “Do as I say, not as I do applies here.”

What can be gathered from this is that the Venus in Capricorn individual may have witnessed, and or been a part of an environment where vulnerability, open affection and free relating were not top priorities, but rather ” conditional love from a distance” and an authoritarian stance reigned supreme.

When we consider how this may filter into ones intimate relationships at worst, we arrive at an unremarkable need to “manage” one’s image and relationships borne out of an excessive fear of rejection or feeling inadequately “prepared” to participate in relationships. The compensation for this is to view relationships as a “game” where strategic moves, or having a “one up” carry more value than a mutual sharing of intimate feelings and thoughts.

Nevertheless, for those with Venus in Capricorn the universe’s call is for them to participate in the process of “undefended love”, a term coined by Marlena Lyons and Jett Psaris:

“Intimacy-direct, unmediated, heart-to-heart connection with ourselves and with others-can only occur when the heart is undefended. To cut through our personal differences, to reach the unveiled part of ourselves that is deep enough to express the most profound and untamed aspects of our being means learning how to love and be loved without defenses and without obstructions. It means cultivating the capacity to be emotionally present even when we feel exposed or vulnerable; learning to relinquish the many strategies we have employed to feel safe and in control; and finding the courage to love without guarantees or requirements.”

Like anything else, these things take time. So, it wouldn’t be fitting with the Saturn and Capricorn archetype, if one was expected to snap into this mode of being overnight. However, the greater lesson which can be learned through conscious and active participation with this placement is :

When you, the Venus in Capricorn individual, keep your heart open, you’re able to continue an unrestricted conversation with the source which moves you toward loving and constructive actions as well as healthy choices which will nourish you emotionally.

It’s important for you to keep your “feeling portals” open, as well as your mind, and to be consistently receptive to the myriad of life’s experiences.

Developing an inner dialogue with yourself allows you to stay in the “driver’s seat” and define your own experiences and attitudes when it comes to life, love, and relationships.

If you allow unpleasant experiences with one (or more) individual(s) to control the manner in which you live and love moving forward, you’ve essentially “given up the wheel” in favor of living in perpetual fear and doubt.

It’s vital that through your growth you increase your awareness.

And, it’s gravely important for you to avoid using temporarily unfavorable outcomes as a platform for beating up on yourself. A more constructive move would be to combine your newly discovered insights with your inner wisdom and allow the synthesis to reflect in your unique life perspectives moving forward.

Even through your pain and heartbreak you will discover a marvelous teacher. Pain shows us where our limits are, allowing us to say “ouch”.

If nothing led you to this point, how would you know what hurts? Better yet, how would you know when enough is enough?

As horrible as you may have felt (or may be feeling) during trying times, if you wish to fully participate in life and loving in the most authentic sense, sooner or later, you must risk the same painful emotions resurfacing in your life.

You could possibly spend the rest of your days attempting to employ more sophisticated tactics of pain avoidance, projection, self-protection, and the like. However, by all indicators, this is not what you truly desire to do.

With Venus in Capricorn, one of the best case scenarios is that you’ll arrive in a place which demonstrates that neither genuine honesty and vulnerability or healthy human boundaries restrict you from experiencing the love and relationships you crave and deserve.

It is through these boundaries that you maintain and preserve your self-love and respect while simultaneously allowing yourself to reach out and offer the key to your heart, as a sacred gift, to another.

If you have Venus in Capricorn in your birth Chart, your theme song is “Garden (Say it Like Dat)” by SZA. You can listen right here:

References: “Undefended Love” by Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons. “The 48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene. “Pluto Volume 2: The Soul’s Evolution Through Relationships” by Jeffrey Wolf Green

Sagittarian Mind Consulting: The Mission Statement

cropped-cropped-african-sagittarius

For those who may not be familiar with me or my blog, I’ve been a practicing Counseling Astrologer for nine 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 intelligent 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’ve dedicated myself to the propagation of this philosophy and accepted my instructions from the universe of uplifting my fellow human beings in their quest toward liberation and constructing the big and important questions which require deep self-reflection.

It’s an honor and a pleasure to serve, and thank you for you support.