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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Venus in Capricorn: “Undefended Love”

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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.

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

Image Credit : LoveThisPic

Mercury-Mars Aspects

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When Mercury and Mars combine in a natal chart, this suggests a blending of one’s intellect with assertion and the application of will. This particular person is intent on using their mental capabilities to compete and win, and sometimes at all costs.

One of the reigning questions which this blend proposes is:

“what can I DO with this thought?”

Using this aspect successfully, one would take what they know and act on it. This is not necessarily what would be considered a ponderous combination as there can be abrupt speech which may even be labeled as rude by some, and an indicator of impatience.

However, there is a certain urgency to learn which may manifest as a request to “get on with it” or “get to the point”. Information or explanations that are “roundabout” in nature aren’t what they’re looking for.

When well developed, this can be the debate champ.  Highly skilled in verbal dexterity with an instinctive sense of where to “hit” in order to drive their points home while commanding attention for their intellectual prowess.

In it’s maladaptive state , Mercury-Mars can manifest as someone who has the audacity to chronically interrupt others because they think what they have to say is so much more important. Or, an individual who uses words as a violent weapon to purposefully injure others.

Photo : Lifehacker Australia

Sun-Mercury Aspects

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For those who don’t know, Mercury travels close to the Sun. So, at any given time, the two entities can never be more than 28 degrees apart. I’ve heard of many people who say they don’t “feel” like their Sun sign discovering later that they have Mercury in that sign since the only possible aspect between these two is the conjunction.

With the Sun blended with Mercury, there’s no separation between what provides one vitality and the tools of perception, learning, communication and analysis.  Knowledge of oneself and the world figure heavily in the formation of one’s identity. Thoughts are essential to this person’s life force.

In the Bible, in the book of proverbs, there’s a passage that reads: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”. That sentiment is perfect for this aspect.

However, the difficulty occurs when the individual can’t distance themselves from the opinions that they hold and think that things MUST be a certain way because they say so.

A potential strength which can be developed is cultivating a mind of one’s own and wanting your thoughts and ideas to genuinely exemplify effort toward your intellectual development.

After all, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Photo: Knowledge@Wharton – University of Pennsylvania

Saturn-Moon Transits : “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 credit :   Next Step Counseling, Inc

Saturn-Ascendant Transits : “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)

photo credit: Cocaine Models Management

Saturn -Midheaven (MC) Transits: 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 than 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 credit: Mashable

 

 

Saturn-Mercury Transits : “FOCUS”

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During this phase, you’re being asked to consolidate your communication, considering its “weight” and value. In navigating this transit successfully, you have the potential to bring more organization, structure and depth to your thought process.

The current modus operandi is to speak without pretensions: clear, concise and REAL. As da Vinci once remarked: “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

During this cycle, think of thoughts and words as currency, and picture yourself on a budget.

In the midst of this planetary activity, prioritize accuracy over speed and FOCUS over variety. It’s imperative to shoulder responsibility for intentionally refining the areas in which your intellectual time and energy is distributed.

Consider the ways in which a thoughtful, mature vocabulary can augment your personal development. So, in the event that you ARE called to speak- substance and clarity permeate your verbiage.

In the Ancient Egyptian mystery schools, before pupils could even SPEAK directly to the teacher, they were required to undergo a lengthy period of constant listening and observation. Right now, you can be the student who is only concerned about speaking to improve upon the silence. When you do, ponder on your duty to infuse integrity in the material you disclose.

It’s an optimal time to clear cobwebs and fluff out of your mind and think realistically. A disordered Saturn-Mercury transit suggests crippling doubts and fears of inadequacy concerning one’s mental capabilities. Whereas the SAME hook- up between the ringed planet and the messenger can indicate a cerebral, “steel trap” retentiveness, intellectual humility, and the conveyance of ideas with authority.

Serious and critical reflection as a labor of love, can aid tremendously in your psychological development and your results will undoubtedly reflect your efforts, in exact measure.

Image: Picsell Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I quote again from Peck:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit : huffingtonpost.com                               

Venus in Gemini, Mars in Scorpio

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Although you’re the type to enjoy a lighthearted “good time” and may even express your deepest feelings in the form of anecdotes,  if someone were to delve into your interior just a little bit more, they would see that it’s not all adolescent giggles and midnight games of scrabble.

You value variety, but depth is pursued in a fervent, almost “do or die” fashion. Once you get your emotional energy swirling behind a cause (especially love or lust), all bets are off.

You have the potential to relate to others with a dexterity which disarms them, but you don’t stop there. In fact, this is only a means to explore the gloss of the surface before diving into deep waters. Once you’ve arrived you like to penetrate and be penetrated : spiritually, physically, psychologically and emotionally.

One may get the idea that you’re footloose and fancy free because you seem to navigate life with such aplomb, but what they may not see unless they get extremely close to you is your craving for intensity. What people fail to understand about you is that you view sex as just one of the many vehicles that can be used to explore and solidify a deeper connection with another human being. So, your true reasons for engaging in the throes of intimacy are often at variance with what others expect.

Your psychological makeup could be compared to a burner on a stove that doesn’t turn orange when it warms up, so people try to touch you and get scorched because they had NO IDEA you were so hot.

You need your privacy, but in order to remain true to yourself, it’s important that you cultivate the ability to make your deepest needs known to others. Learning the difference between strategic self-protection and deception is part of your life’s work.

Your sword can cut both ways through verbal confrontation and strategic precisely timed action.

Image: huffingtonpost.com