My Halloween Dream

My Halloween DreamHappy Halloween!

This is my probably my favorite holiday (but I think that about every holiday when it comes around!). The thing I love about Halloween is that death is celebrated, and all the scary stuff is talked about openly and enjoyed. I really loved being spooked when I was a kid, and I grew up in the 80’s with movies like Poltergeist, Nightmare on Elm Street, and the Shining…so it wasn’t too hard to be terrified. But I’ve also always had a strange affinity for everything Halloween: witches, ghosts, black cats, pumpkins, fall, and especially candy! I also love that this is originally a pagan holiday, and that the veil between this world and the nonphysical is the thinnest, tonight.

I have always felt – having natal Sun opposite Pluto – that I have a foot in each world. One in light, one in darkness. (A major factor is that I grew up with one parent alive and one dead, but that’s a story for another day.) I was born on the 13th, and they say a person born on that day inherently understands death. It always made me feel a bit weird growing up, but Halloween was the one time of year that it was alright to bring out the weird! I also have unaspected Uranus in 8th house Scorpio, so I embrace weirdness involving the dark side.

But there’s another reason I feel connected to Halloween: I’ve had this reoccurring dream since childhood and I don’t know what it means (although I have this theory that I died in Atlantis). The dream always begins the same: it’s the morning of October 31st, and I’m caught unawares that Halloween is here. I am excited, and get busy because there’s lots to do. When I was little, the dream used to be that my mom hadn’t yet finished my costume and I was worried. Then I got older, and it became about making plans with friends. As an adult, the dream often takes place in Salem (I’ve been there many times. They hold a month-long Halloween celebration called Haunted Happenings, and yes I also think I was hanged for witchcraft in a past life).

Morning becomes afternoon, and the dream changes. I start to panic, because whatever I’m doing is taking much longer than planned. The sun slowly sinks in the sky, and instead of making progress more things are put on my plate. Then night descends. I often run around seeing other people in their costumes, having fun, trick-or-treating, enjoying the party. Everything is beautiful, decorations are pretty, people are celebrating, and I like what I see around me but there is something holding me back from it – I am searching for a friend, or I forgot something and have to find it – so I can’t participate yet.

The dream sometimes ends here, but it often goes to this next horrible phase. It’s the “post-Halloween” late night, that time when as a kid you were at home sorting your candy, because people had turned their lights off and stopped giving out treats. I wander around alone in the cold, never having found that friend or costume. The streets are now empty, houses are dark, lights are off and the candles in jack-o-lanterns have been blown out. It’s too late, I missed Halloween. Whatever I was trying to do, I failed. Everyone had their fun and went home, and I am still out wandering in the darkness.

(Then I wake up.)

I hope your Halloween is much more enjoyable than that! 🎃👻🍭

Advertisements

Rising Signs and Schedules

Rising Signs and SchedulesI’ve been musing on rising signs this morning, and how they affect whether you are a “morning person” or a night owl. I am decidedly a night owl, as are many other Mutable ascendants I know (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces).

But why is that? And why are Cardinal ascendants (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) generally morning people? I think it’s because Cardinal risings are used to seizing situations because they like initiating, and that starts with waking up in the morning. These are people that enjoy the phrase, “the early bird gets the worm” because their energy is highest fresh out of bed, and wanes as the day goes on. Also, I’ve noticed they like to manage their own schedules, because they tend to be a bit bossy and don’t want someone else dictating to them. If they are in a position to have a schedule made for them with no say in it, they probably won’t be in that role for long because they truly dislike being subservient!

On the other hand, Mutable risings are used to going with the flow. We are much more comfortable seeing where the day takes us, rather than trying to force anything, because our strength lies in our adaptability to outside situations. Our energy ebbs and flows, and we thrive on frequent change and fluctuation, but aren’t great when left to our own devices! Mutable risings do the worst in a predictable schedule, and will often unconsciously act out just to break up the monotony if forced into one. And although we have varied reasons, I’ve noticed all Mutable signs love to stay up at night! Sag likes to party, Gemini is doing 50 things at once, Pisces has lost track of the time, and Virgo? I don’t know what Virgo is doing (probably stuck in a good book or watching an informative TV show!), but they will still be on time to work tomorrow, and with a pressed shirt.

Fixed ascendants (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) are the ones who like a set routine. These are the people that could either take an early shift OR a night shift, but it has to be a consistent schedule. They have to be able to sink their teeth into a regimen, so their energy remains fairly even throughout the day. Although comfortable working for either themselves or others, and little things generally don’t bother them, they give the most pushback of all rising signs when it comes to major transition. These people are your reliable 9-5ers (even Aquarius, who just to be different works 9pm to 5am!), and tend to do the worst in a fluctuating schedule or with last-minute adjustments. They are kind of like the Sheldon Coopers of the Zodiac! If long term goals require it, they will put up with flex schedule (such as an RN might), they just don’t bounce back from sleep-routine upsets very easily.

The tendencies described above are notwithstanding planets that aspect the ascendant. For example, I know a Mutable rising with Saturn conjunct his ascendant. He does really well on an even schedule, because when he doesn’t have one he’s a mess! A stellium in your chart can also alter how your rising sign acts, because it’s like a black hole, unless you have oppositions to balance it out. And if you have an extremely uneven distribution of planets, it can affect your rising sign’s expression. For example, if you have 7 planets in Fixed signs, your Cardinal rising may be a bit more stick-in-the-mud than usual, but your energy will also be more sustainable.

Hope this article helps to explain a bit about why you are more of a morning person, a night owl, or somewhere in-between! 🙂

Jupiter Return

Jupiter ReturnJupiter entered Libra on September 9th, and because my own natal Jupiter is at 3º Libra, I’m having a Jupiter return this month. It’s an exciting event because it only happens once every 12 years. It’s like a very special birthday celebration that happens nowhere near your birthday!

What is a Jupiter return? It’s when transiting Jupiter returns to the same place as your natal Jupiter. If you look below, you’ll see my natal Jupiter inside the wheel (looks like a fancy number four). On the outside of the wheel, transiting Jupiter is in green, next to the Sun glyph. This image is on the day the conjunction will be exact, September 24th.

Jupiter Return

(If you want to see what house Jupiter is transiting in your own chart, go to astro.com, create a free account, plug in your birth information, and choose “Natal Chart and Transits” under the extended chart selection.)

A little recap on what transiting Jupiter represents: it expands the part of your natal chart it’s passing through, like a tiny magnifying glass that slowly circulates around your whole chart every 12 years. The house it is currently in represents the area of your life that you are broadening your horizons. If it passes over a natal planet, that’s even more significant because it expands the energy of that planet and the activities of whichever house(s) it rules.

A Jupiter return is the beginning of a new cycle of opportunity. Your natal Jupiter is where you are most optimistic, and can gain rewards with a disproportionately small amount of effort. A lot depends on what sign/house your personal Jupiter is in. For example, if yours is in 10th house Aquarius, it could mean using originality in your career to gain rewards. General Jupiter-related themes regardless of sign or house placement are education, travel, law, spirituality, and freedom.

One caveat: Jupiter brings opportunity, but if you are negative or expect things on a silver platter, it’ll pass you by. In fact, a lot of people report awful things happening under Jupiter’s influence, but this often happens to get you out of a bad situation. When Jupiter transited my natal 6H moon (direct, retrograde, then direct again), disaster struck with each pass. My boyfriend broke up with me, then my cat died during the retrograde, and I got fired from my job. But in hindsight, each event was for the best. None I would have left willingly, but each provided a new sense of freedom.

The approx. 12-year Jupiter cycle is similar to the lunar cycle. A Jupiter return is the new moon phase, when possibilities are unseen. 3 years later, you are in the “1st quarter” phase when Jupiter squares Jupiter, building on your opportunities. Jupiter opposite natal Jupiter (6 years) is the “full moon” phase, a culmination of your efforts, and possibly a major change in direction. At the 9-year point (“last quarter” phase), you become disillusioned and begin to withdraw energy from your Jupiter projects. A year or two prior to the next Jupiter return is the “dark moon” phase, when you are directionless, waiting for a new challenge to come.

What are the themes of your current Jupiter cycle?

Natal Chart Interceptions

Natal Chart InterceptionsInterceptions in the natal chart are when a sign is totally encompassed by a house (as in the image below). This only holds for house systems that allow for different house sizes in different locations like Placidus – NOT Equal House System, for example! An intercepted sign doesn’t rule any house of its own, and therefore its expression is considered to be dormant or blocked, until it can be accessed (often in an explosion)…or at least, that’s the most commonly held theory. Please note that when one sign is intercepted, its opposite sign is always intercepted as well. Any planets in intercepted sign (“intercepted planets”) would also be inhibited in their energy expression. Often, the key to “unlocking” the intercepted sign or planet’s energy is through duplicate signs (explained further down), the slow transit of an outer planet, or a progression that passes through.

Natal Chart Interceptions

I have read about a more progressive theory on interceptions that I really like, and it makes more sense to me than that old, traditional astrology that is so negative and fatalistic! This theory is from Evolutionary Astrology. Essentially, the energy is only dormant in an intercepted sign if its ruler is weakly placed in the chart. For example, if you have Aquarius intercepted in your 4th house (so Capricorn is on your IC and Pisces is on the cusp of your 5th house), with no planets in it, and its ruler Uranus is in your 12th house with only a weak sextile to another planet and no other aspects. Then and only then do you need to explore your intercepted Aquarius energy, because it hasn’t yet been integrated into your experience!

If you have planets in your intercepted sign like I do, or you have a very strongly placed sign ruler (say, in the above example, Uranus was conjunct your Sun trine your Moon…a prominent planet!)…then you don’t have to keep exploring its energy, because you’re already using it.

So which is it for you? If you have intercepted signs and/or planets, do you feel that energy is “blocked” from its purest expression, and why?

A key to understanding a block is a) the house it’s in, and b) the duplicate signs in your chart. The house and its ruler (in our example above, say the 4th house and its ruler, Capricorn/Saturn) determine what life area you are experiencing the blockage of expression. The ruler determines whose “permission” you need to express it. So, if you have Aquarius intercepted in your 4th house with a weakly placed Uranus, you may have trouble expressing your originality and experiencing freedom (Aquarius) at home/with family (4th house stuff). You need Capricorn’s “permission” to do so…so you may only act quirky through traditionally acceptable means (like on Halloween when its ok to be weird!), or once you are the head of your own family.

Natal Chart Interceptions

Duplicate signs are the ones that cusp two houses, which you will have in your chart if you have interceptions, because it’s mathematically impossible not to have two duplicate signs if you have two interceptions! (See my chart above. The intercepted signs/planets are circled in purple, and the duplicate signs are circled in blue.) These are also a way of understanding how to express your intercepted energy, if need be. As you can see in my chart, I have Aries intercepted in H1 and Libra intercepted in H7, each with a fair number of planets, so according to the evolutionary astrology theory, I don’t have a blockage. But if I did, I could look to the duplicate signsGemini, which rules both H3 and H4, and Sagittarius, which rules both H9 and H10. The joint activities of those connected houses, and the energy of Gemini’s ruler Mercury and Sag’s ruler Jupiter in my chart, would be avenues through which to express my sense of self (Aries) and achieve balance in partnerships (Libra).

Finally, as with everything else in your chart, your intercepted signs will eventually be affected by transits and progressions. You can’t escape this… no one can get away from eventually experiencing all the energy in their natal chart! So in the example above, eventually that person will have a Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto transit to Aquarius, and it will “unzip” that energy. Or, they will have Progressed Moon move through Aquarius, and have to deal with that energy on an emotional level or in their relationships.

Do you have well-integrated interceptions, or do you feel like you still need to explore that energy?

Harsh Mercury – Saturn Aspects

Harsh Mercury - Saturn AspectsI finally finished my YouTube series on natal Mars last night (or today, technically, at 3am), and I’ve been reflecting on how my natal Mercury-Saturn opposition affected my ability to make those videos. I started the series last year, and didn’t finish until mid-way through this year. That’s a long freakin time to do a series of 14 videos…especially considering that when I first started this channel, I would record and upload a series of 12 videos in two days!

But that’s just half the story. Here is the behind-the-scenes story to my Mars series, which you will no doubt relate to if you have hard Mercury-Saturn aspect in your own chart. The truth is that I recorded the Mars series many times over, and just wasn’t happy with it. I did a full series recording last summer, then scrapped them all. I re-recorded and published Mars in Aries in November, then scrapped the rest of the videos. On the third try, I hated every single video and gave up YouTube for a couple months. On the fourth try, I managed to salvage everything through Mars in Libra (rejoice!) before deciding the rest were crap. After that? I went one video at a time, often recording them 4 or 5 times before deciding to publish. 😮

Does reading that make you mental? Welcome to my life! This is the process I have gone through for nearly everything I’ve written – and I’ve been avidly writing my whole life – including private journals that nobody else ever saw. I communicate, then critique immediately…there is no “brainstorming” stage in which to go hog wild! I have tried different methods learned while earning my degree for writing (like turning off the monitor and just typing a free-flow of thoughts), and I write poetry, but it always comes back to structure for me. And that’s Saturn, clamping down on creativity and quite frankly, self-esteem when it comes to communicating (Mercury).

Is this what having Mercury in Virgo feels like? Can anyone confirm? My mother has Mercury in Virgo conjunct Saturn, so I think seeing everything that’s wrong comes naturally to her, which must suck. But she is also a fountain of practical knowledge and sage advice. I have Mercury in Aries opposite Saturn in Libra, so I often project the Saturn side onto others (common with natal oppositions), and especially as a kid, I felt like people were pissing in my cornflakes all the time! But as the story above confirms, as an adult I have taken it upon myself to rain on my own parade.

Mercury-Saturn isn’t all that bad; I once had an astrologer tell me that it “gives my words power”. I definitely feel it has driven me to learn more and become more articulate, for fear that I sound like an idiot all the time. But most often I am stumbling over words in my head, sometimes literally stammering, or unable to find the right word and stalling for mental time with, “Umm, ahh, you know…” or the dreaded “like“! Six years of college and a degree in Communications, and I have to edit videos so you don’t hear the word “like” more than six times in 10 seconds. Thanks Saturn! 😦

Does anyone have it even worse than me…say, Mercury square Saturn (gasp!)? I can only imagine how hard that is! Or perhaps you have a soft, helpful sextile, or a gifted trine between Mercury and Saturn? It must be so nice to speak or write free of constant self-hatred! Let me know what your experiences are with Mercury-Saturn aspects, and what signs/houses you have them in.

The IC and AC Connection

The IC and AC ConnectionThe IC is the Imum Coeli, and cusp of the 4th house. The AC is the ascendant, and cusp of the 1st house. They are two of the “angles” (the others are the MC or Midheaven opposite the IC, and the DC or descendant opposite the AC). The AC is calculated based on the sign on the horizon when you were born, and the IC is calculated based on Midheaven, which is (I think) where the parallel you are born in meets the ecliptic and … AH SCIENCE! I’m really not entirely sure. Sorry 😦

The IC represents your family roots and your past, including past conditioning. It’s sign indicates how you experienced your childhood and home life. The AC represents your physical body, but also your approach to the world, which is psychologically based on the role you took on in your family unit. These two angles, therefore, are linked by your childhood experience and family role.

So, for example, if you have a Capricorn IC, you experienced a cold, structured childhood with limits and responsibilities. Often, a Capricorn IC has a Libra AC. Libra risings are often mediators in their family unit, and at the very least expected to be socially correct, polite, graceful, placing social expectations at top priority. That’s not really an easy role for a child to take on. Even though Libra risings are admired for their looks and popularity, it might have taken them a lot of restriction, self-denial, and hard work. They never felt that parental nurturing, or had the chance to just be a selfish kid.

Now for a completely different IC sign: Gemini. This is the child that grew up self-taught because they were left to their own devices, and although Gemini represents siblings, they felt a disconnect. I have Gemini IC and I grew up with a brother 12 years older than me, a huge age gap. I also have half- and step- sisters, but we grew up in different households. Remember, the IC represents how you perceived your family and childhood, so a sibling of yours could have a very different perspective than you (and a different IC).

Gemini IC is the kid that reads and writes from an early age. They are creative and excel at using their hands, via musical instruments, Play-Doh, video games, etc. They multi-task, at home, and breeze through elementary school academically. School feels restrictive however, because they are a) too smart and therefore unstimulated, or b) shy/ostracized by other kids.

The IC and AC Connection

Gemini ICs often have Pisces AC. Pisces risings are the space-cadets of their families. Gemini IC develops a rich inner life because they feel unstimulated. Pisces risings develop a mind palace to play in, and seem otherworldly or lost in their own fantasies. They are imaginative and often have artistic or musical skills. Gemini IC often has issues with one parent, whom they are unable to communicate with, or don’t see eye to eye. Pisces risings frequently grow up with a parental lack that helps to shape their strong sensitivity/empathy for others.

What is your IC sign, and how do you think it shaped your AC? Maybe you have a Scorpio IC (if so, I’m sorry for your shitty childhood), which helped shape your enviable Leo rising (actually, not sorry because you’re probably attractive and popular). It’s good to make the connection from your upbringing to why you do what you do. It can help you realize that you bite people’s heads off because you grew up in a competitive household, or that you never say “no” because your parents helped everyone who came begging. But once you realize where the behavior stems from, if you don’t like it, leave it in the past where it belongs.

Natal Squares and Oppositions

Natal Squares and OppositionsNatal squares and oppositions (the hard aspects) get a bad rap. People prefer trines and sextiles, but did you know too many flowing aspects can make you lazy and unmotivated? (If you have a Grand Trine, read this awesome article on how not to become a mass murderer).

We need squares and oppositions – natally, or by progression/transit – in order to grow and learn. They are the root of action and motivation.

THE SQUARE

The essence of the square is Aries vs Cancer or Aries vs Capricorn: Cardinal signs with clashing agendas. There is innate tension in a 90º angle, which spurs a person into action. Generally, we will embody the traits of the inner planet in a square, and project the outer planet a person or event.

Example: Ralph has natal Mars square Uranus, which is an internal, tense energy of action vs. unpredictability. He embodies Mars by taking action, and projects the Uranus square into his outside environment. Every time Ralph gets motivated or sets a course of action, it seems like chaos ensues, or someone foils his plans.

Squares are frustrating, but you learn through repeated experience with them. Ralph eventually realizes he’s attracting people and events that change up his plans, keeping him on his own toes. Instead of worrying about unpredictable things happening, he could learn to work with his amazing ability to improvise. He can embrace Uranus’s good qualities in his actions: originality and intellectual genius.

THE OPPOSITION

Oppositions are different: this is the relationship aspect. Imagine yourself in a tug-of-war with an opponent. You’re looking them right in the face. The essence of an opposition is the Aries-Libra dynamic: my needs vs. your needs. This see-saw is almost always played out in your interactions with another person. People with lots of oppositions are often in and out of relationships because they need them to grow; they need someone else to play the other side of the opposition.

Example: Mary has Moon opposition Pluto. She’s frequently drawn to partners that are emotionally controlling. After some experience, she begins to realize that she goes back and forth between being in control of her own emotions, and feeling out of control. Mary examines her prior relationships and realizes that she often blames her partner for being manipulative, but in truth, she does the same thing in return.

Oppositions have the benefit of giving a person objectivity, because they frequently oscillate between one side of an issue to the other. They can see others’ points of view more readily.

The way to handle an opposition is to seek balance between the two energies at odds with one another. They have more in common than the squares do, but there is still a magnetic attraction/repulsion. Mary can practice control over her emotions, rather than seeking someone else to assert control on her (or vice versa).

If you lack challenging natal aspects, you can still experience them via natal progressions and transits, which will spur you first to conflict and then resolution.