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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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

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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”

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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

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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.

Venus in Virgo : “Discriminating Love”

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“Everything keeps its best nature only by being put to its best use.” – Phillips Brooks

As we explore the method that’s Venus in Virgo, 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 Virgo lens, will be emphasized.

For those with Venus placed in Virgo in the natal chart, Love is utilitarian. Love is continuous improvement. Love is pragmatic.  Love is service. Love is efficiency. Love is careful and continuous analysis. Love is health. Love is selective and discriminating. Love is paying attention.

With this arrangement, love needs are sought to be fulfilled in an environment which calls for the use of one’s faculties of discernment. While Virgo’s complementary sign, Pisces, is geared toward merging and unification, the Virgin’s direction consists of recognition and understanding of the difference between on thing and another.

For Venus in Virgo individuals “relationship competence” is of utmost importance, as a healthy developmental direction to which to proceed in puts emphasis on doing whatever is required to make relationships the best that they can be and operate in a healthy manner. These actions include picking the relationship apart, examining each facet thoroughly and determining its overall usefulness. As time goes on, the conclusions that one draws about what’s helpful and necessary for their partnerships will most likely change as a matter of principle and as an indicator of striving toward excellence.

One’s growth is naturally enveloped in the process of employing sound judgment in partnerships, and using these same unions as a vehicle for one’s own refinement and the betterment of the partner. Ideally, one’s relationships should work efficiently, like a well-oiled machine.

When placed in action, Venus in Virgo correlates well with the love language that Gary Chapman refers to as “Acts of Service” in his bestselling book “The 5 Love Languages”.

“Acts of service” consists of doing things that you know that your partner would want you to do or appreciate; seeking to please her or him by serving them. One would naturally know what their partner wanted after careful listening, analysis and observation which are all mercurial functions that are “at home” with the sign Virgo.

Also, as Chapman emphasizes, these acts of service would require thought, planning, time, effort and energy and if they’re done with a positive spirit, they would be expressions of love.

In regard to this placement “discrimination” is a key phrase. And, depending on our life circumstances, we may have only been exposed to the negative connotations associated with this term, which deal with the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, gender or sexual orientation.

However, there’s another side to discrimination which indicates one’s ability to choose and make distinctions with care. Refinement of this faculty will most certainly be connected to one’s ability to maintain and execute relationships in a healthy and functional manner.

Potential challenge areas emerge for individuals with Venus in Virgo when their analysis goes too far, in that they attempt to answer every question: past, present and future – in order to account for every possible scenario without taking the actual plunge with their feelings in relationships. In essence, an self-inflicted paralysis and a robbing oneself of the right to possibly experience the love and relationship that you deserve.

Astrologer Jeffrey Wolf Green elaborates on this:

“Venus in Virgo people are plagued by a deep sense of inner doubt which is caused not only by the desire to deflate their egos, but also by the excessive inner analysis that creates a diversity of competing thoughts and perspectives. In turn, this can lead to an inner paralysis of their ability to take action as necessary. When these individuals consider some new project, or some new direction, or some new strategy leading to self-improvement, they will make these new ways seem so big and complicated that it reinforces their sense of personal inadequacy. Thus, they can defeat themselves before they even start. The way out of this self-defeating dynamic is to realize that the path to perfection, self-improvement, or the actualization of their abilities occurs one step at a time”

An important lesson for you to learn is: as efficient as you may be, there are no guarantees. You must take the initial steps involved in risk taking, and when you find yourself in the midst of a relationship, you must wholeheartedly INVOLVE yourself as opposed to consciously distancing yourself and playing the role of “remote tinkering technician”.

Also, it’s essential to understand that the same time and care that one puts in dissecting the relationship must be invested in considering the feelings of one’s partner. People aren’t “projects” and using your aforementioned powers of discrimination, to make the fine distinction between the two will benefit you greatly in the long run.

Understand that the pursuit of the ideal in relationships is both a natural and honorable inclination for you. To relinquish the belief that these aspirations must be accompanied by the excessive criticism of yourself and others, or that to be content and satisfied with what you have is accepting mediocrity is to invest in the breaking your own psychological and emotional chains.

References: “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman

“Pluto Volume 2: The Soul’s Evolution Through Relationships” by Jeffrey Wolf Green

 

Mercury Through The Zodiac Signs : Libra-Sagittarius

Mercury Purple & Aqua Circle

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 8th House : “The Trustee”

Moon Raiders Circle

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?

Moon in the 7th House

Moon Browns Circle

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.