Thursday, July 28, 2005

Saturn in Leo really IS bad news for leaders.

In light of articles such as Ed Tamplin's, which suggests that Saturn's recent entry into Leo spells difficult times ahead for "kings and kingdoms" (are you listening, George?), I found this story from Salon very amusing (note: to read full article you'll need to be a Salon subscriber or sign up for an advertiser-supported free pass):
A sewer might be no place for an emperor, but it is precisely from an ancient drainage system that archaeologists have dug-up a large marble sculpture of Constantine, one of Rome's greatest leaders.

Archaeologists found the 24-inch-tall head last week while clearing up a sewer in the Roman Forum, the center of public life in the ancient city, said Eugenio La Rocca, superintendent for Rome's monuments.

"We can't be sure of why it was put there," La Rocca said Thursday at a news conference during which authorities showed the bust to the media.

One possibility is that the sculpture of the man who reunited the Roman Empire in the early fourth century and ended years of persecutions against Christians was unceremoniously used later to clear a blocked sewer, he said.

Hee - Constantine: the original Rome-o Rooter!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

April retrograde.

Mercury stationed retrograde last Friday, and that's exactly how I've been feeling: stalled, and starting to move backwards. The week leading up to the station was exhausting, thanks to an ugly interaction with a difficult client, a visit from a long-lost friend I hadn't seen in fourteen years (fun visit, but such reunions inevitably make one a bit tense), and some of the most disgusting weather in recent memory. Forgive me for complaining about the weather (in the 90s and brutally humid); I do realize I live in a city with one of the world's most enviable climates. But on the other hand, we pay dearly for that climate, and we get a little scratchy when it turns on us.

As for Mercury retrograde... I get snippy when clients push to organize our work together around Mercury turning retrograde, then get their knickers in a twist when, for whatever reason, that proves to be impossible. Look, once Mercury enters its shadow period (reaches the degree where, while retrograde, it will make its station before turning direct again), that bus has already left the station. At that point, you're better off, instead of pushing, simply heeding the advice of the universe, which advises us that Mercury approaching or in retrograde motion is a time for contemplation, not action; reflection, not proactivity.

If you're pushing too hard to make a decision about something before Mercury turns retrograde, ask yourself: what am I so afraid will happen if I wait? Use the period between now and mid-August to slow down and relax a little. Catch up on your correspondence, balance your checkbook, reread a favorite book. In the frantic pace of Mercury direct times it's easy to overlook things, and to make assumptions based on past experience. Mercury retrograde periods, on the other hand, are an opportunity to recover what's been lost, to examine assumptions, and to see what new information presents itself. Often, it's exactly the information you need to make a really good decision.

Mercury is retrograde July 22 - August 15, 2005. Shadow period: July 9 -August 29.

Monday, July 11, 2005

A lesson in midpoints.

So this afternoon I toddled off to the local hardware store to fetch a quart of paint. Parked in their nearly-empty parking lot - no cars either side of me. Got my paint, returned to my car... and there was a blue Honda Civic parked at a sharp angle with its front right bumper resting up against my left. Blocking the driver's side door of my car, of course, so I had to shimmy through the passenger seat to get in. Started the car and caaaarrrrefully pulled away. Inspected my car for damage... hard to tell - I was in an accident a couple of years ago that left that bumper pretty scuffed up. Decided the possibility of unseen damage to the car was outweighed by possible confrontation with apparently sociopathic driver of other vehicle should they appear. So I jotted down the license plate number and make of car and drove off... kind of shaken, to be honest. I've lived in large cities for 34 years, but I never get used to random aggression. Although I suppose it's entirely possible the person responsible was drunk (Mercury and Venus are opposing Neptune today) - or just a really bad driver.

Today, the Sun in passive-aggressive Cancer is within orb of squaring Mars in aggressive-aggressive Aries (the aspect will be exact tomorrow afternoon, 4:01 pm PDT). Put these two hot-heads in a room together and someone's walking out with a black eye (or a dented fender). But I don't even have any planets especially close to 19 or 20 degrees of a cardinal sign. Why is it my poor little car - and, by association, me - that's getting picked on?

On a whim, I checked my natal midpoints (360 degree wheel): My Sun/Mars midpoint is 18 Cancer, my Pluto/Ascendant midpoint at 19 Cancer. Here's what Reinhold Ebertin has to say about the Sun and Mars with these midpoints in his classic book The Combination of Stellar Influences:
Sun/Mars: Hastiness, violence. A strained relationship with other persons. Upsets.
Sun = Pluto/Ascendant: A ruthless conduct with regard to people in one's environment.
Mars = Pluto/Ascendant: The tendency to expose oneself to danger. Injury, accident.

Huh. See, I like midpoints but since I never became practiced enough to see them in a chart at a glance, I don't use them much - unlike, say, my colleague Pete. Usually I drag them out when nothing else seems to explain a situation. But that Ebertin actually summed up my little drama rather well, didn't he? Although it makes it sound as though I kind of purposely threw myself into harm's way (when all I really did was park a completely innocuous white Toyota in a nearly-empty parking lot in a fairly good part of town). It also makes it sound like things could have been a lot worse, though, so I'll shut up now.

Drive safely, y'all.

Friday, July 01, 2005

From Zero to Fuck You

I'm feeling kind of impatient with people lately. If any interaction doesn't go smoothly from the start, if there are missed emails or misunderstandings or annoying questions, or if I'm (god forbid)asked to compromise, I simply can't be bothered. Recently, I took stock and found an alarming trail of roadkill strewn in my wake; the second these folks started to bug me, I went speeding off, accelerating from zero to "Fuck you" in seconds flat.

This morning I was describing this unfortunate tendency to my friend Natori, who immediately put her finger on the culprit: "It must be Uranus," she told me. "No patience; quick getaway." Ah. Yes. Uranus, the urge for escape, the uncompromising lust for freedom; when left unchecked, an utter contempt for the kind of give-and-take that characterizes normal adult interactions. Like most astrologers, I certainly have my share of antisocial Uranian traits, but recently even more so, with transiting Uranus squaring my Moon. I'm recognizing a fairly destructive trait in myself that really needs to be reigned in.

Funny we should have found ourselves chatting about Uranus: In the wee hours of tomorrow morning, at 3:38 am PDT, the Sun will trine that prickly planet. Seems like an especially appropriate aspect to kick off the Independence Day weekend: Freedom! Independence! Words to thrill the Uranian heart.

But today, as the aspect came into orb, I found myself thinking, once again, of fleeing - this time, the country of my birth, for the umpteenth time since 2000. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced she will hand in her lunch pail and retire from the Supreme Court, leaving a gaping hole that has been filled up to now by a relative moderate. Gee, what kind of appointee do you suppose will be proposed to fill this spot? Will plummeting approval ratings persuade our Chimp in Chief to rethink his radical agenda and appoint someone slightly to the left of Genghis Khan? We'll find out soon enough, but something tells me that by next week we'll be roadkill in the Chimp in Chief's rear-view mirror as he speeds off in his humvee (his would be armored, or course), merrily flipping us the bird.

If you can't beat 'em, you can learn from 'em. The best I can do is regard this guy as a cautionary tale of what happens when Uranus is overindulged and allowed to run amok. "I don't have to listen to anyone! I know everything! My way or the highway! Insert banal cliche here!" That kind of attitude is not appealing. It is, in fact, reactionary... which is the antithesis of real freedom.

This weekend, what do you say we practice not running away, not flipping the bird, and entertaining healthy compromise? That sounds like an Independence worth celebrating.