Leo/Aquarius Eclipse Season Jan-Feb 2018

Let’s talk about the upcoming eclipses this January and February 2018 which play out on the Leo/Aquarius axis. Eclipses are a union of the Earth, Moon and Sun; physical, internal and spiritual realities come together. Eclipses are gateways; they can catalyze growth and awareness but they also serve to release that which no longer serves; they unite the levels of existence, in a shockingly eerie display.

The axis of Leo and Aquarius is also the axis of the Sun, – as ruler of Leo- and Saturn -as the ruler of Aquarius. The Sun is the source of life, the great heart, the center of our solar system, and the center of community; it is the solar king or queen who bestows life to their people. Yet the sun is also a king in any sense including those tyrannical or lawless. Saturn as the ruler of Aquarius is the hermit, the ruler of intellectual law, the one who guards the in-between places, the outsider including those destitute and intellectually elite. Saturn’s rule of Aquarius refers to socio-political laws, and those who have been exiled from the kingdom.


The King and the Hermit from the Plantagenet dynasty.


However, the Sun finds itself in Aquarius this eclipse season. Symbolically, the king finds him/herself exiled, cast out to wander amongst the wastelands. Beholden to the laws of exile, and far from the warm grace of the court, this king is faced with the cold hard reality of isolation. Throughout this eclipse season, the Sun is with the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius creating a portal of mist into the truth of our desires regarding the themes of social politic and exile. While the nodes bring visual obscuration, the force of eclipses also bring revelations. It is through opening up to obscurity within ourselves that we gain the possibility of understanding the mystery. Traditionally the south node has been associated with loss, and release, also a kind of snake shedding of desires. Will we see the king shed their former desires for worldly power and seek the deeper truths of life that exile can reveal?

The first eclipse on January 31 is a total lunar eclipse or an eclipsed full moon. We will see the Moon in Leo obscured by the ravenous head of the devouring dragon. The Moon usually represents the more personal aspects of self and community; the families, mothers and common folk. In Leo, we see them as the heart of the community, gathered around the hearth fire, sharing stories and food, boasting and performing. The emotional recognition shared can bring bonds of loyalty and comradery. The leaders of the community step forward to lead the people. As these common leaders and common folk are eclipsed and obscured the true desires of these folk can be revealed.

We ask ourselves the questions: in what way have we desired recognition and for what purpose; if the grasping hands of hunger have consumed us, where can we turn; how can we contribute in natural accordance with our community and spiritual law; how can we share the light of the hearth fire from within us? The nature of leadership is questioned, obscured in darkness, we are tested to emerge with our leadership or withdraw from the world, and perhaps while the king is exiled something important emerges within the common folk.

Detail from Bonfire Celebrating Midsummer Night by Nikolai Astrup

This Leo eclipse is conjoined with Ceres, a dwarf planet also named for Demeter or the Earth Mother. It is through her scythe that we harvest the substance of the Earth to keep ourselves nourished. And it is through her grief that we experience the loss and hardship of winter. Yet she is in the sign of Leo and conjoined the Moon bringing the wheat to the community bonfire with which the people will brew beer and be merry. Unless they are faced with the more devouring aspects of the dragon, in which it may become a time to confront grief. Psychologically speaking, the leonine parts of ourselves that wish to share recognition and creativity may come to terms with their grief if they have not shared the camaraderie they so desire. Yet there is a deeper piece about the illusion of desire, that we are whole unto ourselves and all we need to do is express that part of ourselves, naturally as we are, and joy will follow; we do not need the power to command others’ attention, only the power to express our true nature, which we all inherently have.

This first eclipse shows the exiled Sun/king in the bounds of Venus bringing tenderness and compassion to the experience of the outsider; and Venus is close by to the Sun/king offering the graces of unusual pleasures, relationships with unlikely and unlucky folk, and unique beauty. We are called to find joy and love in that which is different, unique or unlike us. Even that which has been kept in isolation or exile deserves love.

Postmen of the Wilderness by Arthur Hemming

The second eclipse on February 15th is a partial solar eclipse, also a new moon. This time it’s the exiled Sun who will be eclipsed by the Moon; perhaps while the king is away, the common people will decide to come find him. This may be close to the weakest the Sun can ever be, exiled and eclipsed. This eclipse is ruled by Saturn through domicile and terms; Saturn is in the twelfth place from Aquarius bringing up themes of imprisonment and further exile. Symbolically, this is the loss of the Sun, all that is fiery and warm, and the enduring of Saturn, all that is hard and cold, yet wise.  The Sun also meets with Mercury during this eclipse, the wandering hermit who is in his element in Aquarius. This hermit, a wily trickster, can teach the king about the nature of reality through the mystical arts, if the king can see through his tricks. He may also have a thing or two to say about economic structures, socio-political issues, and the exclusion and abuse of certain folks in society. All of this points to the potential of a deep shedding around these issues; it can be described as ego-loss, and the acceptance of difficult realities.

See the source image
The Hermit card from the Morgan-Geer Tarot Deck.

Mythically, we can understand this story on a personal level. The Sun/king represents our sovereign heart that pushes the blood through our body; it is our source flame flickering steadily. When we do not receive the warmth from those around us, when our light is not reflected back at us by those we love, we are in exile. Yet in exile, we must learn that all we need to sustain us is the heart at our center. We must open our eyes to the harsh wisdom this experience brings. The first eclipse may show us more about that sacred flame, while the second will test our ability to keep it lit in harsh conditions. Additionally, the second eclipse happens just a day and half before the Mercury cazimi; meaning this hermit will be bathed in the light of the Sun/king; their union creating a portal to great knowledge.



Read for your Ascendant, Sun or Moon

Each sign has a horoscope for the lunar eclipse on January 31st, and the solar eclipse on February 15th


The first lunar eclipse is occurring in your 5th house of creativity, art, love, children and expression. The question of how you creatively actualize your life is up right now. Commit your heart to the creative process; your vital life force is what keeps you strong. Remember the divine spark of who you are. Nurture any grief that is held around your creative process; creativity is inherent within even if you all do is “be.”

The second solar eclipse is occurring in your 11th house of social groups, community, and benefactors. Evaluate the social structures you’re a part of and what role you play, consider the impact of these communities, release connections with communities that don’t serve. If you feel in exile, remember the inherent wisdom within. If you are inspired by your community, be present to the changing social structure and be there to guide it with your integrity.



The first lunar eclipse is occurring in your 4th house of family, home, roots and ancestry. The question of your familial role is up right now. Commit your heart to your inner integrity, and upholding the good, true parts of your lineage. The sacred flame is in your home. Nurture any grief that is held within your family; work to create a home that is nurturing and sustaining.

The second solar eclipse is occurring in your 10th house of career and public image. Evaluate the social structures you uphold through your career and public image, consider the impact of your image on society. There may be an opportunity to change your image in some way or release an old role you used to play. If you feel you play the role of an exiled person, remember the wisdom and perspective inherent in that role. If you are inspired by your career, consider what you can do to uphold integrity in your work.



The first lunar eclipse is happening in your 3rd house of local trips, familiar people, social media, and personal habits. The question of how you communicate to those in your daily life is up right now, this includes conversation with spirit if you have a daily prayer practice. Commit your heart to your local community and expressing the truth of yourself to these people. Nurture any grief you have around communication with these folks or spirits; and nurture your community. You have what you need.

The second solar eclipse is happening your 9th house of higher education, law, and spiritual truth. Consider those educational, scholarly and spiritual communities you are a part of and the way you seek higher truths. There may be a way to release rigid, old belief structures. Consider the way these structures impact your mind and the minds of the greater community. Consider what you can do to uphold integrity in your spiritual and scholarly communities. If you feel exiled, remember your own spiritual/scholarly flame.



The first lunar eclipse is happening in your 2nd house of finances and personal resources. The question of how you value yourself and your money is at play. Commit your heart to valuing yourself and discover your own heart as a resource! Nurture any grief you may have around self-worth; you are a brilliant flame! Consider how your self-worth is tied to personal finances; and what it would take for you to be truly fulfilled. Desire to acquire more finances may be an illusion preventing you from seeing all that you are; you have what you need.

The second solar eclipse is happening in your 8th house of shared resources, and shared worth. Consider those tightly bonded relationships where emotions, finances, and other things are shared between you. Consider if there is rigidity in these relationships and if something can be released from your sphere or from the two of you. If you feel exiled from or in your relationships, look for insight and wisdom from the hermit. Remember your sacred flame and the strength of your inherent worth. Consider what you can do to uphold integrity in your shared relationships.



The first lunar eclipse is happening in your 1st house of self and body! The question of you, your identity and self-expression is up right now. Who are you and what do you want to grow into in this world? How can you lead with right action and an open heart? Commit yourself to your radiant heart, and embodying your inner light. Consider what it means to be a solar person and what leadership means to you. Nurture any grief you have around self-expression and embodiment; the great mother is embracing your sign; remember your shining self. The desire to become better is an illusion that masks your inherent worth; you are enough.

The second solar eclipse is happening in your 7th house of partnership, enemies and “the other.” Consider how you relate to others, the outside world and those you are in partnership with. As a Leo, you are connected with the heart of any community and have an ability to recognize outsiders. Consider the way you interact with those different from you, who are elites or exiles. Consider the illusions inherent in your perceptions of these people, and remember your compassionate heart is a strong compass to navigating these relationships. Consider what it takes to maintain integrity when interacting with others and in partnerships.



The first lunar eclipse is happening in your 12th house of secrets, sabotage and solitude. The life of your inner, secret self is being highlighted right now. Remember what is means to have inner courage, even if the world can not see it. Your experience of leadership may depend on your ability to cultivate your inner confidence. Some of these experiences may be on a subconscious level or they may be informed by childhood fears. Ceres can offer a deep nourishment to these fears if you’re willing to grieve for yourself.  Find the vitality in your hidden self and nurture the heart; there is much to be gained from a deeply cultivated hidden realm.

The second solar eclipse is happening in your 6th house of health, work and routine. Consider the structures that inform your daily life, work, habits, and how they might be released or re-worked at this time. Consider what you could do to release habits that detract from your inner vitality; and instead reinforce structures that support your inner vitality. In your work if you feel exiled, remember that sacred secret flame that you cultivated. Think of ways to share this flame through your daily work with integrity and wisdom. And consider reinforcing social structures that support your daily work and health.



The first lunar eclipse is happening in your 11th house of social groups, community and benefactors. Your social world is in question; why don’t you spend some time at the heart of your community and commune by the bonfire. Sharing and receiving love with the outer world is important; sharing camaraderie with your fellow humans is the magic of the hour. Tend this sacred flame, for now it is vital. Nurture any grief that comes up around community; your fellow humans may have something tender to offer.

The second solar eclipse in Aquarius is happening your 5th house of creativity, art, love, children and self-expression. This is the area where you creatively actualize your potential. Consider the structures you create that allow you to generate substance, whether it’s art, writing, ideas, or anything else. Consider the ways these structures could be outdated, or if your personal expression has become too rigid. Perhaps there is a new way you can actualize your potential and find release in your “art,” however you may express yourself. Consider the ways in which you are inspired by your community to create and the ways you can express yourself with integrity. Even if you feel exiled by the way you express yourself, as long as you act with integrity, the product that you create will be resilient.



The first lunar eclipse is happening your 10th house of career, recognition and public image. The sacred flame of Leo shines in this realm. Consider the ways you can grow in your career through nurturing your work. If you have planets in Leo, you may be a natural leader; remember to lead with your heart and with your courage. If there is grief around your public image, call on Ceres to guide you and nurture you. If your desire for public recognition consumes you, remember to find work that brings happiness in the doing of it rather than in the reward. Find a role that calls your heart to commit.

The second solar eclipse is happening your 4th house of family, home, roots and ancestry. Consider the structures that you have created to support yourself and your family. Consider if they have become outdated or too rigid; there may be an opportunity to release that which does not serve your home. If you feel exiled from your family, remember the light that shines when you are doing your work. There is wisdom too in resilience; the outsider carries this.


The first lunar eclipse is happening in your 9th house of higher education, law and spiritual truth. The sacred flame of Leo shines in this realm of Spirit. Take yourself to the temple whether it be scholarly or mystical and sit by the flame. Nurture yourself with this wisdom whether the woods is your temple, or a church or a library. If you are grieved by your experience of this realm, take care. The connection to spirit is open to all. The desire to know all is released by the realization that wisdom is inherent within.

The second solar eclipse is happening in your 3rd house of local community, social media, and personal habits including those spiritual. Consider the structures you have built around your local community and daily contacts. Consider if there are those structures/routines that do not serve your highest good. There is an opportunity to release some of these patterns into the eclipse. If you feel exiled from your close friends, remember the wisdom inherent in solitude. Perhaps turn to the spirits for support, and remember the sacred flame of the temple in your difficult times.



The first lunar eclipse is happening in your 8th house of shared resources, shared worth and fear. Return to the sacred flame of partnership, with those people whom you share emotions, finances or a deep connection. If there is grief or fear around this connection, call on Ceres for help. Sharing time around the hearth fire with those close to you is vital now. Desire to consume the worth of another is turned around by the wisdom that true worth is in the sharing; imbalances in power can be corrected with this in mind.

The second solar eclipse is happening in your 2nd house of personal resources, money and self-worth. Consider the structures you have built to sustain yourself. Consider if they may be outdated or if something could be released from them to lighten your load. If the structures are serving you well, consider the ways you can maintain them with integrity, so that they do no harm to the greater community. If you feel you have no support financially, consider the wisdom of the hermit. Through the struggle of the outsider, resiliency, strength and perspective is found.



The first lunar eclipse is happening in your 7th house of partnership, projection and “the other.” Sit at the bonfire of partnership; take in the light and warmth of another; there is much to be gained by opening up your perspective in the presence of another. Bask in this energy of camaraderie; two souls sharing wisdom and insight. If there is grief for you around partnership, ask Ceres to hold you at this time. Take care that your desire to connect does not obscure the light of the person you wish to connect with; remembering to take in the light can help, you can be changed by this.

The second solar eclipse is happening your first house of self and body! As an Aquarius you may relate to the themes of community and outsider; this is a time for you to explore these themes. What kind of perspective do you hold; communal or outsider or both? What has your experience in life been like regarding these themes, and what have you as an individual learned? Consider the social structures that you have been privy to, and what kind of community you want to be a part of. Take some time to vision with these themes. Consider yourself as neither exiled nor communal, but someone in touch with a global humanity; what kinds of actions and embodiments would you take as a citizen of the world. There is some deep wisdom coming your way. Remember to embody your integrity and listen for when your unique perspective matters.



The first lunar eclipse is happening your 6th house of health, work and daily routine. Consider what is at the heart of your routine; what it centers around. Sit with your personal vitality, pay attention to your heart and your equilibrium. If you find your vitality is low, consider trying to increase it. If you find grief in your body, nurture yourself. Create a daily routine that is meaningful and inspiring. Learn to express your vitality through work; share your heart with what you do.

The second solar eclipse is happening in your 12 house of secrets, stealth and sorrow. Consider the inner workings of your mind, the secret place you draw off to when no one is around and your subconscious mind. There may be structures and routines in place here that aren’t readily apparent. Deepening into this place, it may be possible to release some of these old structures and tracks of mind that no longer serve you. Remember your sacred work. It may be important for you to spend time alone and gain some strength during this period.


Thank you for reading,

June Rose





Saturn in Capricorn

The planet Saturn entered its home sign of Capricorn on December 20th 2017, where it will remain for about three years. This ingress happened just days before the Capricorn solstice, the annual sun-stop that marks the shortest day in the Northern hemisphere and longest day in the Southern hemisphere. Capricorn and Cancer, the signs which mark the two annual solstices, are thus associated with the extreme height and diminishment of the Sun’s light. In western astrology, developed in the Northern hemisphere, it is taken for granted that the Capricorn ingress is associated with the Sun’s greatest diminishment. Because of this Capricorn is associated with winter, darkness, decay, the stark landscape marked by the skeletons of leafless trees, and Saturn. Cancer on the other hand became associated with prevailing light, fertility, the fertile waters of the world, the Mother Goddess, and the Moon. The Cancer/Capricorn axis marks the extreme turning points of the Sun in a year, and the two signs share meaning with one another because of it. Let’s take a look at some of the themes that will define the next three years.

Winter Solstice at New Grange

First let’s look at the traditional meaning of Capricorn, Saturn and Winter. Winter in many places is the most dangerous time of the year; the abundance of Spring and Summer has waned and the work of Fall has ended. In many places it is time for hibernation, storytelling and the hope that food supplies will last until Spring. Winter is a time when your preparation efforts in the past come back to you. The struggle to persevere and make do with less is a core theme. Winter is of course a time of darkness, and Saturn as the lord of darkness was seen as the natural adversary to the Lights or the Sun and Moon. Because the Lights brings life, healing and abundance to the world, Saturn was seen to bring death, loss and hard truths. Yet, everything must die eventually, and it has also been said that death is the great ally to life.

“We have standing on our left, a great companion from our cradle to our coffin. And another companion standing on our right. On our left is our companion called Death, and Death asks us a question every single day, ‘are you using the great gift of life well… are you using the great gift of life well?’ And our companion on our right is asking another question at every age, ‘are you doing what you’ve come here to do… are you doing what you’ve come here to do?’ And that companion is called Destiny. Destiny is with us, and Destiny does not mean fate; it means destination; a companion on our journey.”    – Angeles Arrien

Saturn was said to rule old age, and all those who endure long enough to live to it. Elders are often the ones with most important stories to tell, because they remember times past and have gained the wisdom to speak of history. It is often those on their deathbeds who speak the wisest words. This quality of respect and reverence is very important to Saturn. Our elders are our teachers, and what they pass on to us is tradition. Tradition informs the structure of our lives, including everything from our social patterns to our diet. Tradition sets structures and limits on our lives, a kind of confinement to our cultural inheritance; yet there is also honor here. Saturn also rules the physical structures of our lives: earth, stone, concrete. Like the skeletons of trees revealed in winter, Saturn rules the bones in our bodies. It is all that is dense and hard; and when the fluff of life and spring is stripped away, we see what we could not see before – deep into the thicket of life. Saturn decays excess, and only the most vital core remains: the cold, hard truth. This wisdom, often only granted to those who endure suffering and loss, is to see into what truly matters; the inherent structure of being that defines our lives. Is it love, fear, matter or something else?


Portal by Charles Frizzell


We can’t ignore the fact that in the southern hemisphere, Capricorn corresponds to the Summer solstice, and there is wisdom that we can gleam from this. We know that the constellation of Capricorn was imagined as the Sea Goat, a kind of mythic beast that climbs from the primordial waters and ascends the mountain. This ascent of the mountain is well talked about in astrology, particularly because of the twelve letter alphabet and Capricorn being assigned the 10th house, or the point of high noon. Interestingly enough on the Summer solstice in the southern hemisphere at high noon, the Sun is always in Capricorn, so perhaps we don’t need to rely on the twelve letter alphabet to explain the Capricorn connection with ascension. It can be seen right in the solstices. The impulse to climb and ascend is analogous to achievement and success; the hard work it takes to make it to the top. But as the saying goes, the top is often lonely (Saturn’s signification of isolation is relevant here), and eventually you will have to descend. Mountains are marked as sacred sites by people all across the globe, and many people who choose to make the ascent are looking for spiritual connection to the Gods. Otherwise, mountains are protected from warring communities if the people there can endure the tough conditions: less food, thinner air, and colder temperatures make them harsh climates. Saturn is connected to all those who ascend whether they are seeking wisdom, sanctuary, or success. The reward from making the climb to the summit is clarity, integrity and reverence; these skills can lead to leadership positions. If success is devoid of higher wisdom, Saturn is a harsh judge and it’s a long fall from the top.



The Cancer/Capricorn axis is formed through complementary and balancing forces: the starkness of Saturn is complemented by the grace of the Moon. However, these archetypes actually work together. When you can go back to Sumerian times, you find the Sea-Goat (the symbol of Capricorn) as the sacred animal of Enki (or Ea). Enki can be translated as Lord Earth, and he was born of the Sea and Sky. Not surprisingly, “one of His epithets is Nudimmud, or ‘He who Creates’… Enki gives form and substance.”[1] “Enki/Ea was customarily depicted as a seated divinity wearing a long beard, a horned cap and a long pleated robe, wavy streams of water (sometimes with fish within them) flowing from his arms and shoulders to the ground.” [3] This is all aligned with our understanding of Saturn in Capricorn as creator or shaper, but there is more to the story, because “Enki bestows the powers of the fertile sweet waters upon Mesopotamia.”[1] He is the lord of the subterranean waters of Abzu who brought them to the land in the form of rivers, lakes and rain. Enki becomes the lord of irrigation and agriculture when he brings water to the barren Earth; a parallel that exists with Saturn who is also lord of agriculture


Enki has a partner in creation, the Mother Goddess Ninhursag, who is connected with the Earth itself and births humanity; it is through her womb that his creations are made manifest. Although Ninhursag was not the same as the Sumerian Moon God, she does correspond with our notion of the Moon and Cancer as the Divine Mother. Suddenly the story of Capricorn/Cancer is shifted into a realm where Capricorn brings the primordial waters/seed into the womb of the Mother. The stark difference between the Moon and Saturn softens. The fertility of the land requires the digging of trenches for irrigation; struggle is inherent in creation. Enki’s role as a god is further complicated by his role in population control through plagues and the harsh conditions of human life; and his action to save humanity in the Sumerian flood myth [2]. He was also considered a decrier of fate, ruler of divine law, wisdom, and magical arts and intimately connected with the structuring of society. [4] Most of these are familiar Saturn traits. Keeping all of this in mind, the Cancer/Capricorn axis is certainly one of creation, growth and ascension, but also one of diminishment and tempering; that which becomes too abundant, must be starved; work and struggle accompany the generative process; and when our desires have consumed us, we turn to Mother Earth to heal us as Ninhursag did Enki. [5] These themes can be recognizable as the natural cycles and laws that govern the Earth and its people. Thus it is Saturn’s domain to give life and take it away.

A possible representation of Ninhursag



All of this is to say that the next three years of Saturn in Capricorn will be a time of creation and destruction. Those areas that have grown past abundance and into excess will likely face starvation. In our individual lives, we will face the struggle to generate life, and we may find the power to do so if Enki and Ninhursag will it. One of the reasons Enki spared humanity in the great flood was the pious dedication of a disciple who heeded his instruction; an interesting parallel to our current times. In the coming years look for refuge and sanctuary where you can; struggle to dig irrigation channels into your life, and pray that the fertile waters may wash over your land bringing abundance and joy. Pay attention to the larger structures that you are a part of and notice the traditions that you choose to carry forward. Let die what is ready to let die and grow what is ready to grow at this turning of Saturn’s cycle.


Enki or Adapa (one of the apkallu or seven sages created by Enki)





[1] http://www.gatewaystobabylon.com/

[2] https://www.ancient.eu/Enki/

[3] http://www.ancientneareast.net/mesopotamian-religion/enki-ea/

[4] https://www.scribd.com/document/14029093/Myths-of-Enki

[5] https://www.ancient.eu/Ninhursag/

Total Solar Eclipse in Leo 2017


NOTE: This post has the unique distinction of being co-written in collaboration with astrologer Gray Crawford.  We will be co-teaching classes together in the coming season, and as we were already communicating a lot about our shared ideas regarding this Total Solar Eclipse, it seemed like a fitting opportunity to introduce our coming work together.  On October 29 we will be co-teaching a class at the Portland School of Astrology entitled The Daimon: The Guiding Spirit of Astrology. We are also currently developing a series of introductory astrology webinar classes we will be teaching in the coming months.  There is not yet a planned start date for the webinar series as we are still putting material together, but I will let you know as soon as we have clear dates set up.  Feel free to send me an email if you are interested in learning astrology from us through the webinar medium, and I can answer any questions you may have about them.

Solar Eclipse in Leo

Black as the night from which the light of stars emerge, black as the earth full of death that produces life. Black as the feathers of crows that soar through space, black as the darkness that nurtures recovery. The blackness of a total solar eclipse in which the light of our Sun is blocked takes us into the mysterious void from which all of our known universes are created. In the blackness we may rediscover our own source of primordial creativity from within, as well as realize the illusory nature of a reality we previously believed in.

In the time leading up to this eclipse, the Sun is shining through its home sign of the Lion, the sign of strength of heart and leadership. The light of the Sun brings exposure and purification; the true hearts of humans are exposed. As the Moon moves in front of the Sun, a shadow is cast, and a shadow is revealed. While the shadow of leadership and courage is exposed, it is also a portal for deeper understanding of our own hearts, our own courage to lead and to shine. We learn the deeper motivations for these goals, and the potential wounding therein.

Astrologer Joe Landwehr teaches that in a Solar Eclipse the creative dynamic potential is eclipsed by the emotional needs of the Soul. The needs of the Soul can be largely irrational, in that we can be pulled to act in ways that one wouldn’t always choose.  Joe has taught that the Soul sometimes drags our unwilling selves into tough places, but places that we need to be. These irrational Soul-needs are like a deep well of insight into the meaning of our lives that when we ignore, come back to haunt us. This means that if our Soul is drawn to leadership, acts of courage or greater emanation of the heart, we may have to face these parts of ourselves now.  How can we show up to these potentially hidden parts? The eclipse can reveal these parts, but they may not look rational or even safe: how can we honor the parts of ourselves that have remained in the dark?

from the Clavis Artis

An eclipse is also known as a great dragon showing itself, devouring the Sun:  terrible and mystical and wise. This eclipse takes place on the north node or the head of the dragon. This head is desirous, consuming and wishes to devour, but devour what?  There is potential available amid the surrounding astrological transits to cast off old inner restrictions in order to access greater currents of vitality to not only express in the world, but also take the responsibility to manage with greater integrity.  Yet when we speak of stepping into greater empowerment and claiming greater levels of Leonine power, we must also question and reflect upon the shadow cast by ambition.  As the Leo Sun turns black, the disappearance and reappearance of light can be a portal through which we may gain greater awareness for how to live a more empowered life; one that works in collaboration with the power of others, rather than claims power over others.  The lion is strongest when it realizes it is connected to the natural energetic heart of its community, rather than being the heart itself; love is found in the space in between people.

New forms enter our lives during eclipses as old forms exit, and the quality of what comes in and out can feel both exciting and scary.  Though eclipses have a long association in the astrological tradition with difficult, even disastrous events, they have also proven to mark significant thresholds of more fulfilling fortune.  Professor Qiguang Zhao wrote a beautiful book on dragons entitled A Study of Dragons, East and West in which he explored how the dragons of ancient cultures in the East (East Asia) that were more apocalyptic and associated with heaven came to be associated in the West (Middle East and Europe) as a demonic death symbol linked to “the world of nightmare and the scapegoat, of bondage, pain, and confusion” (p. 61).  Zhao shared the following text from Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West that shows the transcendent symbolism of dragons, the creatures most associated with eclipses:

Soaring and transforming,
Encircling clouds and mists,
Like suspending white hooks their claws let fall,
Like bright mirrors the silver scales shine.
Whiskers flap like white silk, each stand’s visible,
Horns rise imposingly, each prong is clear
Those rugged foreheads;
Those bright round eyes.
The Dragons, hidden or seen, can’t be fathomed;
The Dragons, flying or flitting, can’t be described.
If you pray for rain, rain comes instantly;
If you ask for clear sky, you have it at once.
These, only these, are the true dragon forms.
Most dignified and holy,
As a good omen, their aura surrounds the palace profusely.

7 of Wands by Pamela Coleman Smith


Leo 3 Decan

In the days leading up to the eclipse, many of us find ourselves consuming images of banners, bravado and martial violence. These are themes that are presented by the third decan of Leo where the eclipse takes place, a decan associated with the Seven of Wands card illustrated above from The Rider Wait Tarot  The image of the third decan is seen by Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces as an image of “The Banner.” It is ruled by Mars, the planet of courage, heroic acts and martial combat. These are clues to what the dragon head of the eclipse might be seeking: glory, a cause to fight for. This is perhaps what we are all seeking right now. And now is a time to get in touch with our personal banners. What do we stand for and why?

Mars not only rules the third face of Leo where the eclipse occurs, Mars is also present within the third decan of Leo giving it amplified power.  In addition, the eclipse occurs within the Egyptian bounds of Mars, and Mars is applying to a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon, the head of the dragon.  Mars is on the threshold of leaving combustion with the Sun at the time of the eclipse, but is still invisible under the beams of the Sun emerging from its long journey through the underworld (though perhaps the total darkness of the eclipse may allow for Mars to become temporarily visible).  Although we have a heroic Mars recently reborn from its union with the Sun, it still carries within it the impact of past wounds from previous cycles. We can feel the determination of Mars in the image of the Seven of Wands card, in which a warrior is fighting against an onslaught from an angry mob. The warrior asks us what ideals, principles, and other forms of personal terrain are worth fighting to protect at all cost.

The Total Leo Solar Eclipse has been named “The Great American Eclipse” as the path of the dragon enters the continental United States in Oregon and exits in South Carolina.  In the time leading up to the eclipse, heated conflict has erupted in the United States over the banner fought under by the Confederate army in the Civil War.  Notably Charleston, South Carolina is on the path of the eclipse dragon as it exits the continent, as Charleston is the location of the first shots fired in the Civil War as well as the location of the horrific murder of African American church goers in June 2015 by white supremacist Dylan Rooff, a tragedy that reignited debate over the presence of Confederate flags and monuments across the United States.

Even as we see images of the shadow of the banner, the question we may ask is if we can devour the banner itself. Can we devour the face of evil so that it is banned from the earth, or will that only perpetuate more violence? The head of a dragon in a realm of such proud martial power is also evocative as the ultimate protector, the courageous warrior willing to give their own life in order to protect life.  Martial strength may be utilized to resist forces of hate and as stated in the Four-Fold Way by Angeles Arriens, “by staying in our power, by showing up and choosing to be present, by extending honor and respect, and by being responsible and accountable.”

To know the absolute is to be tolerant.
What is tolerant becomes impartial;
What is impartial becomes powerful;
What is powerful becomes natural;
What is natural becomes Tao.

— Lao Tzu, quoted from R.L. Wing’s translation, The Tao of Power

from the Clavis Artis

As the path of the Total Solar Eclipses travels from coast to coast across the United States, its relevant to delve deeper into the country’s astrological context.  The astrology chart most often used by astrologers relates to the date of the Declaration of Independence, and though different versions exist they all involve the Moon in Aquarius, the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius, and the North Node of the Moon in Leo.  Thus the United States is experiencing the karma of a nodal return and eclipses in the same signs as occurred during the time of its Declaration of Independence.  Part of the country’s karma involves the fact the same people who crafted its language of liberation also owned slaves, and the development of its culture coincided with attempts to forcibly remove the culture of the land’s indigenous population.

The shadow of hatred and fear showed itself in Charlottesville, Virginia on a weekend in between two eclipses under a fiery celestial triangle. It was met with courage. There is an opportunity now to join this fight that was started as far back as our mind will take us. This fight has had many iterations throughout time, while simultaneously it is a fight felt deeply and personally all around our planet. But to join it lightly without knowledge of the shadowy realm this fight takes place in, would be unwise.  The opening of a true heart of courage is possible here, a courage based on love and camaraderie. Is it possible even in evil actions, this is what is sought? The ghosts of the past are imminent in the story of America and its present begs for action and healing.

The shadows of Leo and Mars have been problematic in these wounds; the elite white class wrote the constitution for themselves and pitted the poor whites and slaves against each other; a reality we are still seeing. The infrastructure and laws of our country (Saturn) have kept people in chains through Jim Crow laws, the prison industrial complex, and other forms of institutional oppression. Curses economic, societal and emotional hold us back from sharing love with each other, yet we find anecdotes of that very love being shared liberally. The story of fear is not the only story, and we must connect with each other in good ways to get through this. How have the structures of the past and present limited your expression of love, and is there an opportunity of liberation now?

The eclipse activates a grand fire trine with Saturn and Uranus. The disruption of past structures and creative ways of making new ones are prominent themes right now. Uranus is in an exact trine with the Solar Eclipse, making creativity and the unleashing of potential a huge catalyst for change. Uranus is also the story of Prometheus, the one who stole the Fire of the Gods and gave it to humanity.  Western astrologers tend to glorify the myth of Prometheus, yet other interpretations reveal it to be a cautionary tale of hubris and desire to wield the power of gods.  Fascinatingly, the current transit of Uranus in Aries forms a square to the natal placement of Pluto in Capricorn in the chart of the Declaration of Independence. The Pluto of the U.S. is a storehouse of subterranean power and wealth, ruled by Saturn who now finds itself in Pluto’s twelfth house of secrets and hidden potential. The light and shadow of this eclipse is revealing deep secrets, yet there is an even deeper sense of upheaval. In the next five years the U.S. will have its first Pluto return, a transit that can transform, empower or dismantle altogether.

Ouroborus by Liv Rainey-Smith

Love is also a force of light and nurture that liberates you to inhabit to the full your own difference.  There should be no imitation of each other.  No need to be defensive or protective in each other’s presence.  Love should encourage and free you fully into your full potential.

— John O’Donahue from Anam Cara:  A Book of Celtic Wisdom

So what is there to do in this time of upheaval? Make a choice to know the shadows of your own heart; true courage comes from love. The shadows of the past are cropping up, in our nations, in ourselves. One power of Leo is to lead by example; to bring an open heart to everything you do. Remain open to changing the structure of your life based on the needs of the Soul. Consider your personal banner: what would you be sure enough to proclaim to the world upon an inspection of the shadow and a heart centered reflection?

What will burn in the light of day as it is revealed, what will take form in our world and what will leave? The shadow is only something to be feared when it is not addressed. We can learn and heal from the scared parts of ourselves, and generally this is what eclipses are about. There is also a question of how we can move in the world. Can we put something into the world that is authentic? Can our radiant heart find liberation and the structure to express itself more truly and freely? Even as actions from wounding inflict more wounding during this eclipse period, can we stand from a place of empowerment and love for the world?

Written by Gray Crawford and June Rose Trimbach



Arriens, Angeles. (1993). The Four-Fold Way:  Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary. Harper Collins.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

O’Donahue, John. (1997). Anam Cara:  A Book of Celtic Wisdom.  Harper Perennial.

Zhao, Qiguang. (1992). A Study of Dragons, East and West.  Peter Lang Publishing.

Cardinal Grand Cross January 2017

This Full Moon on January 12th 2017 is setting off a cardinal grand cross in the heavens. Because there are outer planets involved, we know we are in a time of great change. Let’s dig a bit deeper to see what is happening. A Grand Cross occurs when 4 points, each 90 degrees away from each other in the zodiac, are all activated by celestial bodies at one time. Because every 3rd sign in the zodiac is activated, and there are 3 modalities, Grand Crosses tend to happen in one modality at a time. So right now, all the planets involved are in Cardinal signs. Modalities speak to the part of the season a sign falls in; the cardinal signs initiate seasons. There is great force behind them for this reason. Think of the heat and celebration of July, the grief and transition of October, the stillness and cold of January, and the budding excitement of April. These are Cancer, Libra, Capricorn, Aries respectively; and this is the cardinal cross. A final component to grand crosses, is the 1st to 10th house relationship, which is when a planet is 270 degrees forward in the zodiac (also known as 90 degrees behind). This happens when one sign is rising in the east and the other is culminating above in the south. The ancients called this domination, because the sign above could be seen as dominating the sign on the horizon. I prefer to see it as the sign on the horizon looking up to the sign culminating, and learning from this signs teachings. Every planet in a grand cross is teaching another and learning from another, which creates a circuit of exchange, and endless harmony.

So lets look at the planets involved, and how they are learning from each other.

Uranus in Aries is the genius and insanity of individuality. It is the liberation of Spring; it is budding growth and emergence from winter. So it speaks of a time of great coming out. The force of Aries can be quite brutal if what was harbored inside was not tended properly. Uranus will conduct the force, but also break it open and explode it into the universe. So what is emerging now? This placement is not without violence. It speaks of the pain of blooming; and really, forced blooming. We may now be forced to grow in ways that seems impossible, but it is possible, if we can let the lighting of Uranus move through us instead of fighting it. That is why Uranus is liberation. It comes when we stop fighting against our own wisdom as it connects to the collective. It is very much about awakening. That does not mean all that will be awakened will be moral or beautiful. Fundamentally, Uranus in Aries is the liberation of the warrior principal. War is filled with atrocities, but there are those who maintain integrity; who choose which battles they will fight and who serve as defenders. The book The Fourfold Way talks about the Warrior as the ability to show up and be present; and I think we can all feel this calling to us now. Uranus in Aries looks up to Pluto and the Sun in Capricorn.

Pluto in Capricorn is the subterranean power inherent in the elders of any culture. The elders are the keepers of the traditions, the ones who remember the old ways. Capricorn is the stillness of Winter; it starts with the winter solstice, which is the longest night of the year when the Sun stops it descent and begins to ascend. Christian overlay reminds us that it is a time of rebirth for the spiritual principal within humanity. Capricorn is mountain energy; old remembering power. Pluto is the subterranean power at the base of the mountain. The question always becomes how do we use this power? Mountains are respected, honored, venerated places where Spirit is found. But I see the abuse of Pluto when we mine the earth; when we steal power from Her. Pluto in Capricorn asks us to go inside and find the stillness of the sun-stop; find the old traditions and remember the power that is latent in the land. This is the elder wisdom. This is what the young warrior needs to learn; respect. The power inherent in respect. When we stop respecting, Pluto has a nasty way of corrupting Souls through greed and lust for power, and it can happen to any of us. The Sun shining on this now can expose and purify pain and greed held within ourselves, that we may find power beneath it all. What do we do when we learn the power of respect? Pluto in Capricorn looks up to Jupiter in Libra.

Jupiter in Libra is the Spiritual Law of equality and justice. These laws apply to any human, animal, plant, rock and black hole in the universe. It is an abstract idea that equality reigns. It speaks to harmony and balance; that these are inherent in this universe. That for every action there is an equal and opposite action. Even as we discover our power through Pluto, we must always remember we are not better than anyone else, even those who abuse and dismantle the Earth. We are all connected in a web of harmonizing reactions to each other. When it comes to you and me, there is equality; I exist in this way because another exists in this balancing way. Jupiter in Libra asks us not to fall into extreme power struggles, but to climb out of the pit of despair (with your new found respect) and put a hand out to your fellow human, plant, animal, etc. It is about expanding into the other, or at least out to meet the other. If we can’t share, we have got nothing. There is a danger that this idea of equality will become too abstract, and we will find laws that do not serve individuals and people who have become inert because personal meaning has been lost. Here is where Jupiter in Libra can learn from the Moon in Cancer.

This Cancer Full Moon is setting off the cardinal grand cross, and she reminds us that we have personal stories and meaning in our lives. The Cancer Moon speaks to us through memory; personal, ancestral and cultural memory. She is the great pregnant mother who holds the emotions of cultures through story; the same way she holds our personal emotions. This is how we learn to connect with one another, to be empathetic and listen. This is where to learn what our ancestors felt, and feel what the ancestors of another person has felt. This is how we know that these ancestral stories are alive in the individual bodies that exist in this world today. See we need this Moon to remind us of our humanity; she must inform our judgment. Meaning we must listen and empathize with another’s story before we can judge whether they have received fairly from the world. The equality we experience through Jupiter must not forget the individual. And we do we do with this emotional knowledge; this experience? We look forward to the Warrior, and we know how we must be reborn; we must show up and be present.

So we see the warrior learns about the true nature of their power from the elder; who learns the tenants of equality from the diplomat; who learns the stories of the culture from the mother. Now we are ready to begin. And it goes the other way as well: the warriors can teach the mothers how to fight; the mothers can teach the diplomats how to empathize; the diplomats can teach the elders how to share their wisdom; and the elders teach the warriors what to fight for.

And truly all of these things are happening at once and aspecting each other. The warrior who fights for herself and her community, must find balance with the sage who says she is equal to whom she is fighting. The mothers who hold the stories of individual communities must find balance with the elders who say the wisdom is in the land and the traditions. This is a metaphor also for small communities and large communities; for individuality and equality. So how can we hold all of this wisdom at once? How can we bring change and harmony; how can we rise up and sink down; how can we stand at the center of power and live in right relationship with our world and our community?




Let’s talk about Pluto, because well she’s a beautiful thing. And she is prominent right now, in conjunction with the Sun which is approaching the western horizon as I write this in Seattle. I have been quiet on this blog for a few months now. I went to Scotland to visit the Callanish standing stones, came back to Seattle and have been unable to write freely. So much I have held inside waiting for the right moment. This doesn’t feel far apart from Pluto’s territory.



Ren Corothers (of fox and fern healing arts) and I have been teaching a series of classes on Plant Spirit Medicine and Planetary Magic; last night was our Pluto class. At first when we invoked Pluto, we received images of release, fading vision, and the calm that comes from bleeding out under a bright winter sky. Yes these were images of death and decay. The words serenity and solace held us and we were safe to sink into the death realms of rest and emptiness. There came soon after a stirring; a chaotic force of energy in the body capable of removing any obstacle. There came an awareness of power; a destruction of apathy as one participant shared. In my vision I saw the Earth with cylinders of purple light coming from the Earth’s surface; it was people awakening. Pluto is a bodily understanding of power; a knowing. The plants who taught us last evening, Henbane and Ghost Pipe, said, “your power is here already.” There is much grief, loss and emptiness in Pluto’s field, but Ghost Pipe said, “why do you need something else? Stay here, by the ocean and grieve.” Both Henbane and Ghost Pipe helped me stay in the painful places, to find rest within them. When everything else fades away is when we are able to listen. Running from pain is running from power, and true power is quite gentle. Pluto is the deep sleep, that is necessary for us to awaken.


When we look at Pluto’s glyph we find a similar story. The base of the glyph is the cross of matter, symbolic of the material world and our physical incarnation in the universe. Held up the cross of matter is the crescent of Soul: the deeply personal world of emotions, memories, and individual stories. The crescent holds trauma and resilience, the memory of our ancestors, the story of our Soul. In Pluto, we find this crescent turned upward as if it is a container. And this conatiner holds the circle of Spirit. Yet, the spirit is floating. This Spirit is symbolic of the Sun’s energy which sustains life in this solar system. It is the center of all being, the Source of life, it is immortal and impersonal. And so in Pluto we find that out material lives, hold up our individual Souls; these Souls carry our stories, the stories of our families, traumas, victories; and these individual Souls turn upward and hold the immortal sustaining life force. Yet the immortal Spirit is floating, so perhaps it has come down from above to meet with us; to be held us; to be held by our stories. And so in Pluto we find the ability to hold the eternal through our personal experiences. And isn’t this what death brings? A great loss and a blow to hearts; but it brings us closer to our own callings, because we appreciate life more.

Pluto itself is not entirely dark. At the solstices, ¼ of Pluto’s surface is in continuous light, while ¼ is in continuous darkness. It’s surface is highly contrastive with tones from white to dark orange, to charcoal black. It is extreme by nature. We can also see in this in Pluto’s heart shaped ice fields. Half of the heart is clear and bright, the other half is decaying and has no clear edges. This is akin to the Norse underworld goddess Hella, whose face is half radiant sunshine and half decaying corpse.  However, Pluto is not only Pluto, there is Charon who shares a barycenter with Pluto. Meaning the two of them orbit around an external center of gravity. Charon is the ferryman who brings the Souls to the underworld, and Pluto is the ruler, but they both orbit around a dark point. Perhaps, the act of journeying to the underworld is not to meet the lord of death: it is to meet the point of darkness. Mythically, the ferryman stands to the east, and the Lord of the Underworld stands to the west: in the center is the point of darkness. This point of darkness is this fertile void, mother night, the space of emptiness itself who is at the true center of death.


How much death do we see in this world? I recently witnessed a mother in her grief for the loss of a child, yet she was clear in her wish to share her story, to speak out to save lives from being unnecessarily lost. Can Pluto help us to sit with death; to close our eyes and be in the space of destruction and loss long enough for us to hear our Souls speak? What arises from the darkness has always called to humans; it is the unknown in our silence that holds the key to our own awakening. This is Pluto’s blessing.

The Astrology of the U.S.’s Largest Prison Work Strike in History

This September of 2016 has seen the largest organized prison work strike in the history of the U.S. It has been massively undereported on by mainstream media even though the date of the strike was release well in advance. There are 20-46 prisons involved across 11 states with an estimated 20,000 inmates refusing to work at the peak of strike. Inmates across the U.S. Are paid between $0.00 and $0.40 per hour of labor. The mission of the strike is to end prison slavery in the U.S, although every prison involved has different demands; most of which have to do with fair wages and basic human rights. I won’t deal specifically with the inhumane atrocities of the prison industrial complex in this article, but I have included a few links at the bottom.

The date for the beginning of this strike was Sep 9th 2016, which was chosen because it was the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison riot. So to understand this strike culturally and astrologically, we will have to go back in time to Sep 9th 1971 in Attica, NY:attica

We have an approximate time for role call 8:20 am. After role call, but before breakfast an isolated prisoner was freed by a group of inmates. Breakfast occurred as usual, but the riot started shortly after when guards tried to bring all the inmates back to their cells rather than the yard. At 9:05 am, Uranus rose, so we can surmise that Uranus was the guiding planet for this riot: I have used this time for the chart.

Looking at this chart, a lot jumps out at once. The ruler of the Ascendant is Venus, and she combust and in the 12th house. These are both indications of the unseen, with the 12th house specifically ruling prisons. She is also in fall, which really speaks of these people being powerless. I think she would be the planet to represent the prisoners in this chart. So who would represent the guards? Logically, you might look to the 10th place from the 12th, that being the place the prisoners would have to look up to and obey, you might also look to the 7th from the 12th that being the place of open enemies. The ruler of the 6th is Jupiter in the 2nd, which does speak of those who own the prison, and Scorpio there is rather like dirty money. If you look to the 9th house, by whole sign, we have Saturn there, which really speaks to the oppressive nature of the quards and of the prison; Saturn is also the midpoint of Mars/Pluto so yes, oppressive force. The 9th houses signifies that this is a public institution which has dignity in the eyes of society.

We of course have that strong Uranus, which is the planet of rebellion and spontaneous force; in Libra we have themes of equality and justice coming up. We have Chiron exactly opposed to Uranus, which would have been setting as the events leading up to the riot were building. This speaks of a deeper kind of healing as the Healer moves into the otherworld. The 7th house puts it into a social setting and the need to be recognized for who one is, and especially in the sign of Aries, the need to be an independent human is integral. Mars was also stationary on this day, which is huge; the red planet had been retrograde and was now turning to move direct, which is truly a symbol of heroic courage and the action necessary to make changes in this world. Of course, Mars is violence and this riot was started by an incident involving an assault on an officer. Mars is also ruling Chiron, so it would have marked a turning point for the need for independence and any healing involved. In addition Mars was right on the North Node of the Moon in Aquarius; talk about fighting for human rights. Also, the Aries Point = Mars/Moon. Here is a famous quote from an inmate involved:

We are men! We are not beasts and we do not intend to be beaten or driven as such. The entire prison populace, that means each and every one of us here, have set forth to change forever the ruthless brutalization and disregard for the lives of the prisoners here and throughout the United States. What has happened here is but the sound before the fury of those who are oppressed. We will not compromise on any terms except those terms that are agreeable to us. We’ve called upon all the conscientious citizens of America to assist us in putting an end to this situation that threatens the lives of not only us, but of each and every one of you, as well. Elliott James “L.D.” Barkley, 1971

Interestingly enough the riots took place during Jupiter’s transition from Scorpio to Sagittarius. It does seem to speak of some kind of rising from the ashes or rising from the gutter, even a final surge of Martian power. We also notice Pluto at the anaretic degree of Virgo creating an exact sextile, and if you stretch it, a mutual reception with Jupiter in Virgo. Pluto being the modern ruler of Scorpio and thus Jupiter, and Virgo being the place of detriment for Jupiter. This speaks of the subterranean need for power that oppressed people may experience; this unconscious release of oppressed power controls the principles of leadership, law and faith. Yet the organization of Jupiter, cannot advise this unconscious power in good ways. The mob was described by an officer as a “wave of human emotion.” This brings us to the Moon in Taurus, which is much about the fulfillment of bodily needs and nurturance, which of course these prisoners were not getting. It was in the 8th place, which is another unseen house, and was moving past a square to Mars which would represent the bodily harm these prisoners had experienced in the past. It was moving to a trine with Venus and is under her rule, so it speaks to the bodily rights the prisoners were willing to fight for; the dignity of the Moon in Taurus represents stamina, and it was of course supporting that Venus which represents the prisoners.

The end of the riot was a really fascinating chart to look at because we have an exact time for its moment. At 9:46 am Sep 13 1971, tear gas was thrown into the crowd of prisoners and police open fired for 2 minutes killing hostages and prisoners. This was said about the massacre by the New York State Special Commission on Attica: “with the exception of Indian massacres in the late 19th century, the State Police assault which ended the four-day prison uprising was the bloodiest one-day encounter between Americans since the Civil War.” This chart is pretty insane because 9:46 am shows the OOB Moon in exact square to Pluto to the minute, and at the solstice point no less. The Moon, instead of supporting the prisoners from Taurus, dominates them from Gemini with the last moment of the riot analogous to the squashing of unleashed personal power represented by Pluto. The direct midpoint for Moon/Pluto was just 4 arc minutes from the South Node at 14 Leo. It was the old powers of authority that prevailed. These 2 minutes of carnage saw 22 Libra on the Ascendant.

Looking at the chart of the Attica Prison Riot outside of the U.S. Chart paints a slightly different picture:atticaus

To find the prisons in the U.S. Chart (Sibly), we look to the 12th. In the U.S. Chart we find the ruler Mars in the 8th place from the 12th, which doesn’t look good in terms of conditions in the prisons. Mars is in the 7th house of open enemies, suggesting the U.S. Has no problem demonizing these people publicly. And there is a sextile from Mars to Chiron which is in the 6th place from the 12th, which really doesn’t look good in terms of prisoner health and rehabilitation. The other ruler for the 12th is Pluto in the 2nd house which speaks of dirty money again.

If we’re looking for the prisoners at Attica in the larger context of the U.S, we can look to Jupiter who resides in the 12th. This speaks of a kind of last chance to break free, because Jupiter is about to leave the 12th house of the U.S. It’s kind of a last hope or bit or faith. We can also see this event was a Chiron return for the U.S. so there was a a chance for healing regarding the health of the prisoners. Without getting too into this chart, because it is a bit of a rabbit whole with many nuances, we can look to the Saturn/Uranus contacts. From Attica’s perspective the Uranian impulse for freedom through rebellion was oppressed by the U.S’s Law and Order; and the Saturn that represented the oppressive force was unleashed by the Freedom provided to Law enforcement by the U.S. From the U.S.’s perspective, its Law and Order regarding the citizens of the country (perhaps themes of equality) were tested by a Uranian uprising; and the U.S.’s Uranus points to an anything goes situation when dealing with open enemies, Saturn here might have showed us how rigid we are in dealing with conflict. In any case, we’re dealing with themes of Freedom and Captivity, Ingenuity and Restraint. Who’s to say where the lesson is exactly, and did this event set something into stone regarding the way we deal with prison uprisings?

Current Prison Strike:

Flash forward to the present and we have a movement now that echoes this event, in name and in time. Let’s take a look at the chart for this Prison work strike, which demands better living conditions and an end to slave labor within prisons. This strike is taking place all over the country, so we have no place and exact time for the event, which means we will read it a bit differently. I’ve chosen to do a sunrise chart for September 9th 2016 over Attica to symbolize the dawn of a new day in an old battle.prisonstrike

A few things immediately jump out. Venus is at the same degree of Uranus in the Attica chart, which speaks to a strong level of unification in this new stage of rebellion; I think of the fact that 20 prisons in 11 states across the country are participating in the strike. She’s getting a hard aspect from Pluto meaning this will not be easy, yet she is the one dominating. We see that Jupiter is at the anaretic degree of Virgo (where Pluto was during Attica), and will ingress into Libra in the next few hours. It speaks of the wealth of old power, the rememberance of the power that was reclaimed and a new hope regarding that power. Jupiter in Libra is of course divine law, balance, justice and even retribution. It is fascinating that Attica took place during Jupiter’s ingress into Sagittarius; what is it about Jupiter moving into a new place that inspires courage? We also see this event is part of the Uranus opposition of Attica; and Uranus is right on the descendant of the chart when the tear gas was dropped at Attica.

Of course, it was a first quarter Moon this day, which is potent when you realize this movement started between two eclipses. That New Moon eclipse was at 9 Virgo which exactly squared the Saturn/Mars/Antares conjunction. Now the quarter square here is right smack in the middle of Saturn and Mars. Mars is also OOB in this chart. We’re clearly dealing with issues of power, oppression and fighting against boundaries. These eclipses were on the Virgo/Pisces axis which has to do with purification of the Soul and Body, Service, Order and Chaos. Sep 9th was just one day before the last exact square between Saturn and Neptune which deals with dreams and realities; perhaps a dream for a better life against the harsh boundaries of prison. The Attica riot was under a Saturn/Neptune opposition.

We know that the prison industrial complex is intimately intertwined with the lives of African Americans in this country; we know it was largely started after the slaves were emancipated in this country. I do believe this is linked with the current Black Lives Matter movement. There was another prison strike, a hunger strike, at Pelican Bay Prison in CA that involved 30,000 inmates. This strike was started on July 8 2013 just 5 days before the BLM movement started. Part of the reason the Attica prison strike was started in the first place was the introduction of 1000 new African American inmates into a facility that was not capable of caring for them.

Why is this happening now? Well there has been an increase of prison riots over the last 2 years. Here’s a good diagram: https://thinkprogress.org/protests-planned-across-country-to-expose-slave-like-prison-labor-a38e0c3335f9#.8632315z2 . This could be part of the U.S.’s very first Pluto return, and in fact Pluto is opposed the U.S.’s Sun right now dredging up the darker parts of our nation. Can we come to terms with our own power as a nation which is fueled by suffering, hate and greed (talk about a 2nd house Pluto? Pluto is also in exact square to the U.S. Saturn which could be a great crumbling of structure or further loss of citizen power in Law.

As always with these political astrology articles, it should be much longer. I encourage all astrologers to talk and write more about politics, because it is so fascinating and everyone has a different take.

June Rose Trimbach


List of Companies that use prison labor: http://returntonow.net/2016/06/13/prison-labor-is-the-new-american-slavery/

Even public school teachers are benefitting from prison labor!!: http://www.vice.com/read/whos-getting-rich-off-the-prison-industrial-complex

All of the quotes in this article from the the wikipedia page on the Attica Prison Riot.






Mars Saturn Antares

I’m writing this now as Mars approaches the horizon. The great spirit of courage is rising, growing inside, getting ready to come up above and be seen. This feeling of courage is elating, but peirced with a sharp needle of determination.

Of course Mars is applying to its conjunction with Saturn and the fixed star Antares until it is exact on the 24th of August 2016. We can see these three in the nights sky now; right at sunset they are culminating above. They look now like an isoceles triangle. Mars is shining bright red and is furthest west, Saturn is the highest of the three, and Antares is below Saturn twinkling like a madman. The first time I laid eyes on these three together, it was quite beautiful, but it was mitigated by a setting Moon/Jupiter conjunction. Moon/Jupiter speaks of all things inspiring, faithful and expansive to the soul. That crescent Moon with Jupiter was perhaps the most beautiful thing I have seen this summer, but soon they went to bed, and left me alone with Saturn and Mars. The feeling quickly turned menacing, and I honestly had trouble even being in the presence of these three. Quite a change from when Moon and Jupiter were still awake. This experience is truly a good metaphor for the month of August; we are torn between the most benefic and malefic of experiences.

The benefic experiences are brought on by a Virgo stellium of Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and the north node. Jupiter and Mercury are visible in the sky now just after sunset and Venus will join them in the next week. We can find in this the love and hope that comes from service. It is a time for organization of the spirit; to find the place that we can serve ourselves and our communities best; to give back from a place of love. The god of small things is at work here; to find hope and pleasure in every day acts of kindness… have I regressed back to middle school? Virgo is known as the virgin, symbolic of our minds before they were corrupted by the notion that the world could never be good. Of course, Mars and Saturn is here to test that. We are living in the face of danger, looking at a possible future United States under the reign of a violent authoritarian (which is literally the defintion of Saturn and Mars together). Our fears are of course very real in this; how puny do we feel in the wake of terror? This is perhaps speaking of Jupiter’s detriment and Venus’s fall in Virgo… Yet, it is Virgo that dominates Sagittarius (the sign in which Mars, Saturn and Antares fall). So when we feel confined, or overwhelmed by fear, we can turn back to the small acts of kindness. Astrologically, that is what will overcome fear at this time. Faith in our place in the world, and if your place (or your work in this world) does not soothe your fear, perhaps you are not in the right place. Mercury is in exaltation here, and that means our strength in planning is strong now. We can reorganize our lives now, and conquer fear! The mind has rulership over the elements of faith and love, meaning we consciously decide where to use these at this time.

I believe that if we do this, our personal experience of these malefics will change. Mars has now risen, and Saturn is approaching the horizon. From observation and personal experience, I have noticed an increasing lack of patience in tasks devoid of passion. Frustration abounds in things without Soul. Antares is the star at the heart of the Scorpion; located at 9 Sagitarrius. This is the heart of the shaman and the wild hunter. If our hearts are filled with fear, life may be agonizing. But it is said that fear is a mask designed to cover power. There are times in life when the celestial realm aligns in such a way that pulls our power up from our depths, and I believe this is a universal time for just this. We may or may not know what is happening or how to support the process. The more I contemplate this conjunction, the more I know that it requires us to be passionate. It requires us to go through our fear and dig deeper. Saturn is on the ascendant now. All I feel is personal knowing; that what needs to be done can be done. And it is time.

B r e a t h e.

All of this will heighten for the next ten days, and then soon after we will have a new moon eclipse at 9 degrees of Virgo on Sep 1. This is exactly square the degree of the Mars/Saturn conjunction. Eclipses are portals, openings of experience, a chance for something to be released, a seed. Again, Virgo is the sign of Service. Venus will have moved into early Libra which is her domicile; love will move from service to relationship. The benefic conjunction of Jupiter, Mercury and Venus will still be seen in the evening sky. The image I see in my mind, is an opening of cool grass, wheat ready for harvest, that is laid over the fire of fear and transformed into calm knowing. The fire goes out and we are left with ourselves… and a tiny glimmer of something else.Valhalla

An image of Valhalla

Astrology of Black Lives Matter

I have found the past few weeks hard to write about because of so much internal healing, and wordless mystery unfolding around me. The current events are troubling but they are nothing new; we are seeing an exposure of what goes on every day in this country and this world. Why are these things surfacing right now? The summer solstice tends to heighten activity, and we can’t forget the Cancer ingress saw the Uranus, Eris, Ceres conjunction as Phillip Sedgwick pointed out. Saturn/Neptune square is still bringing our dreams into a harsh reality. I’m seeing a lot of activity around the Cancer planets, although Venus and Mercury have moved into Leo now. One thing is Uranus squaring Cancer which can explain the upheaval and exposure at this time of year, and Pluto opposing Cancer will also dredge things up from the bowels of the American psyche. The Cancer planets also move through the midpoint for the Saturn/Neptune square (25′ Cancer) which creates a Thors Hammer. Venus and Mercury have already filled it out, but the Sun will do so on the 16th and 17th.

The United States has a Cancer Sun after all, and the Rx Mercury of the U.S. is at the midpoint of transiting Saturn/Neptune and will be for the remainder of the Summer. The Sun will shine on this point this weekend. The United State’s birthday was the day of a New Moon. The Full Moon in Cancer next week is going to be exactly on the U.S. Pluto. To top it off, we’re in a 30 yr time period of the United State’s Pluto return.

It was also Black Lives Matter’s 3rd birthday, yesterday July 13th. This brings BLM into a 3rd house profection year, which we know is about communication, home-audiences, and grass-roots organizing. In honor of these events, I’m going to take a look at the natal chart of BLM and how it interacts with the chart of the U.S. I’m still trying to determine a birth time for this organization.BLM

What immediately jumps out at me about this chart, regardless of time, is the presence of two grand water trines and a complete lack of air. This speaks to me that this movement is more about compassion and the expression of emotional experience than trying to establish social harmony. We can easily this in the way people react so to the phrase black lives matter; it is emotionally charging. Certain people can’t cope with the energy of two grand water trines and try to intellectualize in defense, “all lives matter”. But this is not a time for airy notions of equality; it is a time to feel the emotional undercurrent of a huge group of people. To feel the emotional undercurrent of the history of country, a history that lives on this very day. I almost want to say that there is no point intellectualizing the BLM movement; it exists to be felt, to permeate into the lives of “everyday Americans” and touch the deepest parts of ourselves. There is a great opportunity to open ourselves to empathy. So many people fear emotions, and perceive a violence coming from the BLM movement, that it seeks to destroy something white Americans hold dear. My theory is that it is the Saturn/Neptune square that is destroying what we might have believed to be true: that we are not engulfed by systems of oppression that target African Americans.

The point being, BLM has an out of bounds Mars on the Summer Solstice point. This is a heroic placement. This is an eruption of courage, grasping for the fire of the Gods to hold close and dear. Mars is conjunct Jupiter in Cancer, trine to Saturn at 4 Scorpio and trine to Neptune at 5 Pisces; the first grand water trine. It almost speaks for itself. Saturn in Scorpio is born of sorrow, of sickening truth, of the deepest knowing, of resilience, of the plunge to reclaim, the ability to commune. Neptune opens to dream, to see possibility, to inspire vision.

The second grand water trine consists of a Rx Mercury at 15 Cancer, the North node at 14 Scorpio and Chiron at 13 Pisces. The importance of this is strengthened when put against the chart of the U.S. But can you see how this is a movement that was born out of painful silence(#silenceisviolence)? There is a deep need to communicate – strengthened also by Venus squaring the nodes –  a proclamation is in order. A Mercury combust is a voice that is perceived to be unheard; but the strength of Mercury, closest to the Earth and climbing out of the underworld to be reborn as morning star is a symbol of new hope in the area of communication. Mercury has dignity by face, but has hard contacts to Uranus and Pluto. This is something that has needed to be spoken, but is not easy coming out.

This Pluto, by the way, is the midpoint of the Cancer planets. You see Pluto is the midpoint of Mercury/Jupiter, and Sun/Mars; which truly connects the two grand trines into a kite pattern. It is Pluto that spurs this movement in motion (modern ruler of the north node as well). This is a movement truly bent towards deep change, and the exposure of old wounds to the light of day so that they may be healed. Lets take a look at the BLM chart around the natal chart of the U.S.BLMandUS

So many things jump out at once here, of course all the Cancer planets stand out. Cancer begs the questions who am I, where did I come from and what are we together; what can we identify as. There is legacy, history, ancestry in the Cancer that is formed into a current feeling or experience of identity. We see both charts have a Rx Mercury illuminated by the other’s Sun. Whether this speaks of voices being outshined, or true, deep communication we shall see. BLM is of course a Jupiter return for the U.S. indicating renewed hope. Unfortunately, the U.S. Jupiter is combust which speaks of always striving for greatness and never seeing that we already have it; pushing too far past the boundaries and not seeing the great gifts in front of us. It is also our god complex, manifest destiny, and the ideals that we often fail to live up to as a country.

The BLM Mars is conjunct the U.S. OOB Venus. The OOB Venus expresses to me the desire to forge a new community; the lash out in freedom to find a new family. When the hero merges with Venus there is a union; it is a heroic union blessed by Jupiter. But this Venus may reject what is deeply needed; a combust Jupiter will not see the greatness that is. And so the heroic Mars will fight for the Cancer maiden; fight for the mother he desperately needs and who desperately needs him. The first grand water trine in the BLM chart also aims at this point, asking America to see and feel the true reality of what is going in black lives. To accept, to take in this true reality, we might try to access our combust Jupiter and Venus. America’s Venus is just barely morning star; about to head into combustion; it reminds me that in this country we are always on the brink of understanding unity but have a long journey of darkness ahead to get to our ideals.

Will this union be heard? Can the heroic black spirit be nurtured by the mother U.S. and vise versa? If we ask the Moons, we see they are inconjunct. It will need constant tending to create nurture here. There is no time for the BLM chart, but at noon, the Moon was exactly conjunct U.S. Neptune. The Moon in Virgo seems to look for a place to be; it is a rhythm of work, practice and care. I almost see this as the need for the images of black bodies to be restored to a place of emotional purity. There is a cleaning with Moon/Neptune in Virgo; a chance for this place in society to be restored; for the rhythm of life to be enriched and fully live. This is of course the ideal; and we hope these Neptunian images are not too engrained in the collective American psyche to be reimagined. With the right work, they can be.

There are strong Chiron/Sun contacts, which can be healing but also exposure of wounds. I notice the exact trine from the BLM Chiron to the U.S. Sun, and the close Square from the BLM Sun to the U.S. Chiron. I recently attended a lecture at NORWAC on the astrology of the first slave ship, given by Vernon J Robinson. He has done quite a bit of research on getting an exact chart for the ship landing. In this chart we see the South Node at 13 Cancer. Exactly on the U.S. Sun with the trine to the BLM Chiron. The north node of the BLM chart is 14 Scorpio remember, and so the destiny of this movement is deeply linked with the past. I cannot help but feel that this is extremely important. We also see Jupiter at 13 Aries in the ship chart and Uranus at 12 Aries in the BLM chart; these points are squaring the nodal axis of the first slave ship, indicating a liberation of faith. And Vernon Robinson has done a LOT of work on comparing moments in black history with this chart. It is astonishing and we’re all waiting for his book to come out.

In terms of challenges for the movement, I see the strong air in the U.S. Chart being a problem. We have already seen that the rigidity of law (Saturn in Libra) is a great problem. In the U.S. Chart, Mars is at the Moon/Saturn midpoint – all in air signs- which speaks to violence born out of rythmic law (action because of habit and societal law). I think of police brutality relating to this. This Mars does violence to the Virgo Moon of BLM which translates to black bodies and emotions. The Aquarius Moon for the country reminds me of “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” which is a beautiful quote, except when the country is doing active harm to a group of people. These people need a proper place in society, before they can contribute in an ideal JFK kind of way. BLM is going to have a lot of water for a long time, which speaks to me as an emotional connection that can go through your TV into your living room (yes I think two grand water trines can do that). I just pray that America can open up to the extent that a living, breathing bond can be formed instead of the cancerian nature to curl up and hide; or the aquarian nature to detach from unpleasant emotions. The lack of air in the BLM chart worries me in terms of getting actually policy change, but leave it to Scorpio to go beyond that barrier.

There is quite a bit more to be said about all of these charts, so I encourage astrologers to see what they find. One last piece I will leave you with, is the progressed BLM chart shows the Moon moving into Scorpio last month where it will be for two and half years. We will see a Moon/Saturn conjunction over the next 6 months where I see the movement taking on a strong commitment. The chart will have an exact grand water trine with Jupiter/Saturn/Neptune all at 4 degrees until Feb 2018 and then Mars will take Jupiter’s place the following year; which means we seemingly have a strong movement over the next few years. The solar return chart for this year has a Moon/Lilith conjunction in Scorpio (moon at apogee is a darker side); Venus just emerging as evening star in Leo (courageous beauty); and a grand water trine with Sun, Mars and Chiron (healing through action and unity).

This coming weekend should be interesting politically and personally as we will have a grand water trine with Sun in Cancer/Mars in Scorpio/Chiron in Pisces all at 25 degrees [which connects to the Saturn/Neptune square]. If you don’t find yourself aligned with political experiences, there is an opening to healing personal courage as well. This healing may be around how you see/create reality around your emotional needs. The Full Moon on Tuesday will also highlight this, but more on this later.


Vernon J Robinson: http://univastro.com/

Date for the first slave ship White Lion: Aug 25 1619, 12:06 pm Hampton, WA

Date for the Black Lives Matter movement: 07/13/2013, time unknown.


Summer Solstice 2016

This Full Moon that we have coming up this weekend, happens to take place at the last degree of the Gemini/Sagittarius axis. This of course is the Summer solstice which is marked by the Cancer ingress (the beginning of Cancer). There is a moment, in between Gemini and Cancer when the Sun is at its northern peak and marks the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

You may have heard that Aries is the first sign; in this context we usually think of the spring equinox as the beginning of the year, and thus Aries is the first sign. However in different cultures around the world, different parts of the year are considered the “beginning.” The Chinese new year is in January or February, the Celtic new year was in November: there really is no set new year for humans.

In Hellenistic Astrology, the Thema Mundi (world theme or world chart) was used as a natural chart for astrology. In this world chart, Cancer was used as the sign on the ascendant and can be interpreted as a “first sign.” We can see here, that there is a beginning (and thus an end) associated with the Summer Solstice which falls in between Gemini and Cancer. The last decan (ten degrees) of Gemini can be seen as an ending. I know it well because I was born within these degrees. The image of the face (from 36 Faces by Austin Coppock), is an executioner’s sword.

The Sun is often seen as a king in western astrology and neo-paganism. Modern druidic orders will talk about the summer solstice being the crowning of the king. When the sun reaches its peak in light and height, there is a moment of truth, of godlike consciousness brought on by the coronation. The Sun is crowned for his reign over the summer, but at the same time begins his decline back into the dark where he will be slain at the winter solstice. “For some this is the time of the Dark Twin, or Holly King, who is born and will take his crown at Alban Arthan”[1]. {Alban Arthan is the Winter Solstice).

The exaltation of the solar principle can mean a lot of different things. For some it is strongly masculine, has to do with spiritual ascension, and clarity of purpose. It may also be seen as the height of external activity; you can feel the gemini-like possibilities buzzing around at this time. It may also be seen as the height of the nourishment principle; the Sun is the source of all life on this Earth and this is an extremely healing time. Fire is the element usually associated with the Sun, and it is an extremely purifying element. At this time we may let all that is not beneficial to us burn away in the long days.

This Full Moon occurs at 29 degrees of Gemini/Sagittarius. This is the last degree of these signs and so begs the question – what is the culmination of this axis? What is it about these signs leading to the solstices which mark the great transition of the Sun and the seasons (which is symbolic of the transitions of all life on this earth)?

Well, Gemini corresponds with the time leading up to the moment of the Suns peak at the Summer Solstice and corresponds with multitudes of social activity. Gemini is an air signs that speaks of the great inspiration that breathes into the world. Things come alive at this time. I have always seen Gemini as being able to hold multiple truths at one time: each truth being an invisible mirror that reflects and fractals out of the others, and eventually creates a breathing, moving organism of possibility with no real truth or purpose, and is likely to break away and reform with even the slightest breath of wind. But the great beast itself is majestic to behold and incredibly inspiring to the mind. And when the solar beams of truth shine through it, all but true curiosity and freedom burn away. #Gemini

The fact that this time of year corresponds with the Sun at its maximum light reminds me that all we think is true (Sun=truth/clarity), is just a great construction of possibility within our imaginations.

The threshold between Gemini and Cancer is the moment when the possibility cools, the air condenses into water, and the possibilities sink into a deep place of knowing. This is the Summer Solstice. Something is crowned into this deep place of emotional wisdom that is Cancer, while the unintegrated possibilities of Gemini fall by the wayside. If we grieve now, we grieve for these.. but there is a more important process of holding onto the internal wisdom that comes as the sun begins its reign of clarity and eventual descent into wisdom.

The Moon is opposing the Sun from the place of the winter solstice (29 Sagittarius). The Moon is the mistress of magick and serves as a conduit for the divine inspiration of the planets; she is also a great protectress, and has been associated with emotions and defense mechanisms. When she lives at the last degree of Sagittarius, holding the full energy of the Sun at the greatest moment of possibility, before the wisdom of hot mutability cools, she demands clarity. Sagittarius is associated with truth, the culmination of the journey, before the learning is put into material action (Capricorn). The last degree says, find that truth within yourself, the guiding light, the torch, because it will be condensed into a cold, hard reality very shortly. However, this cold, hard reality is also the birth of a new king and so there is a beginning. Cancer and Capricorn are both cardinal signs after all.

In terms of this Full Moon, we can see that there is a potential death of an idol. Whether this idol is within or without, our other half (the dark or unseen twin) is born. What parts of our known self are no longer working and what deeper/hidden parts of ourselves are longing to be acknowledged? Uranus is in harmonious aspect which can bring a natural shake-up of energy. Ceres and Eris also join Uranus and bring a deep nourishment to these neglected parts. Chiron squaring this Full Moon reminds us to find wholeness even within our contradictions and separate selves.

The many selves have been stirred up and aroused, but with the help of a sword, we can send our old idols to their graves and embrace a true way of nurture.