Uranus in the 9th House: The Futuristic Philosopher

Uranus Circle

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

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

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 You view your mission as being one which breathes new life into perspectives which are otherwise stale and outdated.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

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

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

 

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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.

IllmaticBirthChart

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.

Planetary Portraits: Jupiter in The 1st House : The “Professor at Large”

Jupiter Face

The Large Professor.

No, not the legendary hip-hop producer we all know and love, but the archetype of Jupiter residing in the Astrological first house, which represents, among other things: the projection of our identity.

In one’s natal chart, this placement suggests a need for free range of one’s intellectual faculties. A limitless space in which to expand one’s mind and experiences. Room to grow, improve and change. Essentially, this is a journey of the SELF and a quest to unearth as much knowledge as possible about how we relate to the larger world around us.

Another idea surrounding Jupiter in the 1st house is that there’s a push to experience life to the fullest and leave no stone unturned when it comes to research and exploration. Not content with “playing it small”, the voyage is on to find order in the larger patterns which are connected to our existence.

For those who experience Jupiter in the 1st, it’s as if you’re wearing a “Hello, My name is” tag that says “I’m a teacher and philosopher who most likely communicates with “missionary-like” zeal and enthusiasm.” “My oratory, no matter where I may find myself is evangelical.”

On the dysfunctional side, there could just as easily be a tag which says: “I know everything” “I’m a conceited, self-righteous windbag with an inflated sense of self”.

The great thing about it is: we have a choice on how to use all of our astrological placements. With Jupiter located here, knowing “when to say when” is key.

A broad awareness and ability to communicate higher universal principles is certainly in your grasp, but so is a “God complex”.

Navigating Pluto Transits : Personal Rebirth and Finding Light in the Darkness

Whenever we read or hear about Pluto and it’s association with Astrology, a host of themes are mentioned like: transformation, regeneration, rebirth, catharsis, upheaval, renewal and change. However, the NUMBER ONE word that I witness, which attracts the most fixation, where Pluto is concerned is DEATH.

By all means, it’s both a dangerous and incomplete analysis to mention that word in connection with Pluto and refuse to expand the conversation.

YES… transiting Pluto could legitimately indicate a physical death. However, we must also broaden our way of thinking and remember the myriad of symbolic deaths we’re capable of experiencing: the death of our ego, psychological deaths, emotional deaths, vocational and relationship deaths, and deaths of outmoded behavior patterns.

Let’s also remember that in addition to these potential types of death, Plutonian energy is also intimately connected to REBIRTH.

When we’re in the midst of a major Pluto transit to personal points within our birth chart, we’ll most likely, in some form or another, be grappling with the “death” of ourselves as we know it, in that particular area of life.

Most of us, at one time or another, have chosen to reinforce our perceived identities through external anchors; the supports which bolster us and give us a greater sense of who and what we are. Intimate relationships, jobs, family, friendships, personal possessions, money, religion and spirituality are some examples of such anchors.

When we choose these areas as points of over identification, especially to the exclusion of all others, that territory is ripe and fertile ground for transiting Pluto.  As my personal Astrologer would say about transits: that planetary energy is coming to visit you.”

WELL….. guess who’s coming to dinner??

Pluto has its own unique modus operandi for realigning us through severely disrupting our attachments to people, things and situations in which we’ve become overly immersed.

This isn’t because we’ve been “bad” people or Pluto is an “evil” force out to get us, but more so because it’s time for a cycle of personal re-balancing and the broadening our conception of what our true identity entails.

In other words, the universe is telling us that we’re much more than the narrow and limited version of ourselves that we’ve been fixating on.

To provide an example: Let’s say that “Bob” lives and breathes for his job. Basically, he’s obsessed. All he ever talks about is being “VP of Special Promotions”. His business cards are always on deck…. BAM!

When transiting Pluto makes contact with Bob’s Ascendant, Sun, Midheaven or another personal point in his chart, the message during this time may be: “HEY BOB!! Your identity and life is about MUCH MORE than this job. As a matter of fact, you guys are going out of business in less than 6 months!”  The archetypal energy of Pluto will be released through whatever avenue(s) which are appropriate for Bob to receive that message.

Often, during Plutonian periods, when upheaval occurs, there’s a daunting sense of loss, even if what’s been removed from our lives is for our eventual betterment. While our knees are buckling, we shake our fist to the sky and ask “Why Pluto, Why??”

The truth is, we had become so used to having certain things in our lives, (even if they we’re sucking out our very souls) that we’re now utterly bewildered by their sudden removal. We may find ourselves mystified and wondering: what now??

Pluto transits are SLOW. The meaning behind them is one of gradual unfoldment. Chances are, we won’t be able to grasp the immediate significance of the losses we’ve accrued by the time our weekly episode of “Breaking Bad” is over or by the time the Steelers beat the Patriots.

This sense of loss is mainly present because we may have built up so much psychic and emotional resistance to freeing ourselves from these attachments. “NO! Let me suffer!” we cry.

Intellectually, we can process the standard mantras such as “everything happens for a reason.” Or, “It’s all in God’s Plan.” However, on an instinctive and emotional level, we’re scared as hell because we have no earthly idea what’s behind door number two, and we’ve been stuck on ONE ever since we can remember.

 

This being the case, it’s important that we find some compassion for ourselves during these turbulent times. We must not beat ourselves up for what we think were major lapses of judgement or just outright regrets. After all, we’re human beings complete with all our greatness, splendor, flaws, imperfections and neuroses to boot.

An important question for us to contemplate during Pluto transits is:

What’s my TRUE identity? If I wasn’t married to ________, dating __________, employed by __________, a (insert religious, cultural, gender or racial affiliation) who would I be?

While ALL of these things may certainly serve as a PART of who we are, somewhere along the line, we decided which one(s) we were most comfortable honing in on, while leaving the others to rot in the corner.

For us, these cycles may indeed signal that we have to either let go or be dragged by the stale energy permeating our beliefs, philosophies, marriages, friendships or associations. Or, it’s a possibility that these things don’t hold the appeal for us that they once did. Maybe we’re not feeling the club, or the 8 to 5 gig anymore. Furthermore, we may not have to completely set these out on the curb for the trash collector, but find ways to renew and revamp them in accordance with who we are at PRESENT.

Whatever semblance of our “old self” that remains during these periods of development is our glimpse of light coming through the window in a room which can be awfully dark at times. We can be sure that its survival was because it’s somehow an ESSENTIAL ingredient to continuing on our life path.

 

One of the keys to navigating Pluto is to dig DEEP. Yes… we might flinch at what we see. Even jump back in disgust. However, we must look the “monster” straight in the eyes and DEMAND to know what parts of ourselves are intact, with the hopes of using them to put ourselves together in an entirely new way.

Reference: “The Gods of Change: Pain, Crisis and The Transits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto” by Howard Sasportas