Friday, May 27, 2005

Tell me what you're thinking.

Early Sunday morning - meaning, we'll be feeling it most today and tomorrow - Venus will oppose Pluto. Pluto in hard aspect to Venus always puts me in mind of a bandit holding up a bank in an old-time western. "Gimme all yer money!" Pluto hisses, low and mean -- or something you love, or something crucial to your self-respect. Give something up, Pluto insists... and Pluto in Sagittarius is not your silver-tongued, wheedling kind of gentleman bandit, he is blunt and rough.

And Venus is in Gemini, so what's at stake is probably not so much money, but the currency of words, thoughts, and information. "Tell me what you're thinking!" someone close to you is liable to demand, sometime in the next few days. Impatient-like, as if bone-tired of playing guessing games that you had no idea you were playing. As if they had a right to your thoughts, a right to hear particular words come out of your mouth, a right to make you put your signature to something you don't want to sign.

Fortunately, Gemini can make up long strings of words, entire paragraphs that mean nothing but sound plausible; and it's with this fool's gold that he will try to appease beligerent Pluto. "Sure I love you," says the boyfriend whose girlfriend has pinned him to the wall, Pluto style, to "once and for all" declare his true feelings for her. And here - he has given her just what she wanted, and exactly the words she longed to hear, and she can't quite figure out why she's not happy to hear them.

If you find yourself playing Pluto this weekend, shaking someone down for some kind of words or assurance or guarantee, beware. Like a prisoner being tortured, people will say anything you want to hear, if you hit them hard enough... but can you then trust what they tell you?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Less than perfect.

It's been a busy couple of weeks, with lots of work, plenty of socializing, and a root canal (which I can only attribute to a bad Neptune transit). And I've been spending a lot of time over at my new office, painting everything in sight. Despite my best intentions and hours of time I could ill afford, none of it is perfect. I ran out of paint before I could put a second coat on the walls, so it looks a little blotchy in places. I accidentally bought an oil-based polyurethane for the floor instead of water-based, and rather than schlep all the way across town for a replacement I used floor wax over the white paint, which immediately turned it the same color as very old, very well-used dentures. There is a water stain on the ceiling that is too high for me to reach, so I'll be living with it. So none of it is perfect; I have enough Virgo planets to wish it were, and to beat myself up a bit for my haste and laziness, but apparently not enough to keep me on task.

Truth is, it's a habit of mine to settle for less than perfection (except in my choice of spouse, of course - hi dear!). I've had the kind of life that put perfection patently out of reach early on; I've never had a chance of getting anywhere close to the perfect figure, the perfect career, the perfect family life, or even, apparently, perfect teeth. There's a sadness to that, and occasionally the sense of wishing one could trade in a beat-up old life for a shiny new one. Maybe in my next life I'll take my time and do it all right the first time. Maybe I'll lay off all those cans of Pepsi in high school and never get that first filling.

This time around, though, I've found that there is a certain relaxation that comes with giving up on perfection and making do with what comes your way. For instance, if I squint and tilt my head the right way, the blotchy paint on the walls looks a little like a faux finish. If I use my imagination, the yellowed floor looks nicely antiqued. And I've learned all kinds of interesting things about endodontics.

It's a grand mess of a life. I wonder how perfectionists get anything done. I'd rather get five things done reasonably well in a day than one thing perfectly. I'm pretty sure that makes me a bad person; at least, my Pluto in Virgo thinks so.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

When trines attack!

I was chatting the other day with an astrologer friend whose birthday is the day before mine, and we were comparing notes about the recent opposition from transiting Neptune to our natal Suns. In short, pretty good for me, not so great for him. We pondered and mused about this for awhile, and then I remembered something my teacher told me many years ago. Her contention was that a transiting planet in hard aspect to a natal planet isn't so bad, provided the natal relationship between those two planets is also hard (e.g., square, opposition, semi-square). But if you have a trine between two planets in your birth chart, she warned, and then one squares or opposes the other by transit, you're in trouble.

"The theory is," I explained to my friend, "that if you have them in hard aspect natally, they're accustomed to wrestling with each other. But if you have a trine or a sextile, you're used to things being easy where those planets are concerned. You're used to them getting along, so you don't know what to do when they don't." I guess it's the same as having a good friend who you get along splendidly with, just about all the time: the occasional spat or disagreement between you is really disturbing, because it's so ... unexpected. You haven't developed any coping strategies for this situation.

Aha, we concurred: My friend has a natal Sun/Neptune trine, while I've got the square. So this transiting opposition of Neptune to my Sun has occasionally left my him feeling a bit adrift in Neptunian waters, while if anything, I've been feeling uncommonly focused.

On the other hand, folks like him and my artist friends Tim and Claudia (damn, I'm surrounded by you people!) get to enjoy the spiritual, creative, compassionate, divine magnetism of Sun trine Neptune more or less constantly, except for a year or two out of their lives when Neptune makes a hard aspect to the Sun. All things considered, I think I'd rather live with a happy cat who scratches me every 25 years than with a wild one who jumps up to lick my face once every 25 years, but who the rest of the time has to be held at bay with a whip and a chair.