The Path, and How to Walk It

Ernest Ponthier de Chamaillard {{PD}}
Ernest Ponthier de Chamaillard {{PD}}

Dear Julie,

I hope this question fairs better than your recently published questions just as I hope others will be interested in the answer. Let me start with the general broad questions and then give you my specifics in case you want them.

Okay, Tora, that sounds good. The easiest way to do this might be for me to just put my answers within your letter. Though this is primarily a relationship blog, I think our relationship with ourselves is the primary one–unless that’s good, how can we be with someone else?

What advice do you have for those who have “messed up” pivotal transits? I don’t mean simply missing opportunities that transits can give but more like making the “wrong” choice. Like if someone fails to handle Saturn well during their first Return, the next 28 years aren’t necessarily gonna suck the whole time, right? Neptune oppositions, Uranus oppositions, Progressed Sun changing signs, etc.

First, I just don’t believe there’s any such thing as the ‘wrong’ choice. Are we capable of making bad choices? Of course, we can make the worst choices possible, but that doesn’t make them wrong, that makes them our choice! I think you’re missing the point: having choice is having freedom–it’s up to the individual to decide, and even if we make a choice we know is not the best, it’s still our choice–that is, it came from us, from within, from our unique viewpoint. And no matter how disastrous or poorly realized the consequences, those were, most definitely, the result of our thinking, impulses, beliefs, and so an expression of who we are.

And in what ways, astrologically speaking, can they work on these wrong choices and failed lessons? Will other transits and progressions simply provide similar lessons? Or is it down to the next step of the failed transit, ie failed Saturn Return helped by the next Saturn Square or the next Saturn-Natal planet aspect?

What I have found is that individuals typically deal with three or four major ‘themes’ throughout life, and these take ever-new (and sometimes ever-repeating) forms, and with attention and effort, these will evolve and open the way to new understanding, and so new ways of being (and of course, that means new ways of making decisions, of choosing). We can’t work on things, as you say, “astrologically speaking”–we work on our lives, not our transits, and you are definitely misunderstanding astrology if you see the transit (or natal placement, or progression, and so on) as ‘coming first’, that is, as dictating when and how we are able to address things.

For the specifics, I was born (data removed to maintain privacy).

I’ve definitely failed to heed my Saturn Return and the call of Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus. When my mother passed away on May 7, 2011 my moon had a Uranus square, Neptune trine, and Pluto opposition. Now Neptune is at 11 degree Pisces which is a big degree in my chart; it’s squaring my Sun/AC and Uranus while trining Saturn/Mars and sextiling Jupiter.

I’ll try to summarize where I am and have been in the last few years. I’ve been depressed for over 8 years, long before my mother passed. I failed to empty the hoarder-type apartment we shared until February 2015, well after Saturn left its natal Scorpio.

I didn’t work from summer 2013 to summer 2015 and I currently have a low-paying retail job I hate; it barely makes enough to make a dent in my $3000 credit card/student debt. I’ve been living with family for two years and that won’t change in the foreseeable future.

I went to college for 10 years and I’m still short of a Bachelor’s degree by 19 units. I can’t see going back to school any time soon either; I failed at least one class every other semester in the last 4 years because of my issues.

I don’t even know what I want for a career anymore either. I was a psychology major with the intention of becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist but in August 2012 I started to have dreams of becoming a fantasy writer. 4 years later and I haven’t written anything, I haven’t tried anything on that front.

That’s a lot of information isn’t it? But you can see how multiple areas of my life are messed up because of my procrastination, inaction, fear. I’ve even been meaning to ask you this since February! And now I’m finally doing it after the sun has moved into my 12th house and I failed to do any New Moon wishing as it moved through Aries and my 11th house.

I threw my hands up and said screw it, I’m going back to California the first week of May instead of waiting until July when my dad and stepmom sell their house. I don’t even know if my car will make it back or what’s the situation with my California registration since they never sent my stickers. My cat has no place to live in Cali so I might have to give her away. So Saturday night was the first time I’ve contemplated suicide. Not for that night but rather the steps I need to take, the storage unit to go through, which things I want particular people to have, the best available option I have to do it, etc. I cried off and on for 2 days thinking about it. Now it’s trying not to think about it and considering antidepressants.

Astrology has been one way for me to understand myself, another psychological tool at my disposal. But I don’t have the experience with transits and secondary progressions that I do with a natal chart (or at least my natal chart). So any thoughts you can give on the general questions, how to “fix” past transits or change the direction of a bad path, would be very much appreciated.

~Tora

What I see here are a lot of statements, declarations of the state of the life, which tells me you know where you are. What I don’t see are any intentions to change the state of things. As anyone would, you want them to change, but are remarkably passive in the way you are approaching that change. I think you may have the misconception that you must already have an end-point in mind before you take your first step, but that’s not so–in fact, to be truly open to the Universe, to the flow of life and to those things that can assist you, you must be willing to take a first step and then listen, rather than stepping right in to the next move. You are in the perfect position right now to take that first step in a direction you deem positive, and without an end point in mind, you are then free to respond to what comes.

In the past it doesn’t sound like you’ve made wrong choices, it sounds like you have made first choices and then refused to make a second one that might make the first one work. I do think you may need a therapist or counselor, and possibly anti-depressants, as the combination of talk and meds can be very effective in helping people like you (you are not alone!) become ‘un-stuck’ from the unproductive pattern that has been pursued so far. I strongly encourage this, because you have everything else: intelligence, energy, creativity, eloquence, that can create a wonderful future for you–but first you must learn to deal with the present.

Don’t despair–it seems to me you need to learn something very basic which is holding you back: you need to learn how to effectively address life. This is not as uncommon as you think, so you were quite correct in believing others may benefit from your letter. And believe me, you have put a lot of energy into preventing your life from working in any coherent way, though that’s never what you intended. You’ll need to honestly answer the question, ‘What have my ‘bad’ choices allowed me to do, that I wouldn’t have dared do otherwise?’ Within the answer to that lies a whole lot about why you have made the choices you have, and acknowledging that there are reasons you have created what you have is important, in fact it’s the only way to begin to turn it around, because those choices gave you something you needed–and your job is to find out how to provide that to yourself in a form that will also bring you personal peace and a reasonable feeling of security.

As to the astrology involved, it makes me think of a recent commercial that you may have seen. Two much older women are in the living room of one; she has covered one wall with photos and notes, and is using social media terms in talking about them (posting and sharing, for instance). Her visitor objects, saying she doesn’t understand, and the woman says, ‘I unfriend you,’ and the other woman stands up and says, ‘That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works’. It seems this is similar to your understanding of astrology: you have much of the mechanics, and the lingo, down, but you are misunderstanding the essence of it: without acknowledging that we are the arbiters of and creators of our own Fate, all the study of transits and progressions in the world is useless. Your characterization of having made ‘wrong’ choices is the heart of it; as I explained, if you don’t understand there are no wrong choices (but there are bad ones), then you will continue to believe that a ‘wrong’ choice negates the effects of a transit, meaning you have ‘missed’ what it could offer–and that is just plain wrong in itself.  Even study of the natal chart is limited in its application until we realize that it is descriptive, not determinative–and that means that though it may help us choose most effectively, the choices are still ours alone to make.

So, I won’t be addressing the astrology involved (I did mention on the question submission page that’s a possibility), because honestly, I don’t think that will help you; in fact, I think it is a distraction from what you really need now: someone to help you sort it out, along with the understanding that you are the only one who can change things (which is a concept I don’t think you’ve entirely realized, yet), and that you don’t have to wait for any particular transit (nor are you condemned to negative results after ‘missing’ one) for you to make the most of things.

I wish you the very best, Tora. I truly hope you’re not too disappointed with my answer, but from my viewpoint this is the best information I can offer. Experience tells me this is what you need; I could be wrong. My sense is that you have a great deal to offer the world, and that you can build a very satisfying life, if you’re willing. Much good luck, jd

 

Mixin’ It Up With Juno and Venus

Don't get ahead of yourself--just because Venus and Juno are touching cross-chart doesn't mean wedding bells. 'Wedding March' 1919 Edmund Blair Leighton {{PD}}
Don’t get ahead of yourself–just because Venus and Juno are touching cross-chart doesn’t mean wedding bells. ‘Wedding March’ 1919 Edmund Blair Leighton {{PD}}

Hello jd!

I read your Juno article and found it to be very telling with a current prospect. The interesting thing is that both of our Venuses are conjuncting each others Junos. I was delighted in the interpretation for the man’s point of view, however, I was wondering what kind of perspective you might have on this interesting dynamic? A basic overview would be fabulous. I don’t have her specific birth time, but I know from what contacts her planets make with mine are favourable. I haven’t gotten as far as to ask her what time she was born, but I was hoping you could shed some light on this situation for me (maybe before I ask?).

Best regards,
Steve

Hello Steve!

I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed receiving such a cheerful note–it seems you have a great attitude–what girl wouldn’t like that? (Not sure what Juno article he’s referring to, but it could be the series here). But, you’ve not given me any birth data, and the problem with that concerning Juno is that, if the two of you are close in age, the contact to Venus in each chart might not mean much at all. That is, people nearly the same age will often share a lot of contacts–but those contacts tell us very little about the interaction, because they’re so alike to begin with; it’s in the natal contrasts and true harmonies (that is, contacts not that are unique cross-chart) that we find the relationship itself. So, with no birth data there’s not much specific to your situation that I can safely say (and I have only your word for it that all the other contacts are favorable–no offense, but that doesn’t tell me anything either, simply because soft aspects like trines and sextiles can be detrimental under some conditions, just as hard ones can be very positive).

Sign for a Budapest perfume shop featuring Juno. Image by Jakob Warschag {{PD}}
Sign for a Budapest perfume shop featuring Juno. Image by Jakob Warschag {{PD}}

Though some people like to label Juno ‘The Marriage Asteroid’, it rarely indicates that kind of union at all; it’s more often an indicator of, cross-chart, a sense of partnership. We tend to expect cooperation from the other person when something important in their chart touches our Juno. We may assume a sort of yoked-togetherness that the other person may or may not also feel (depending on what’s contacted). We can also feel like a victim of this person, should he or she not respect us and our position; this reflects the goddess Juno’s decision to remain united with the philandering Zeus in order to retain her position on Olympus and her status as Queen of the Gods. And yes, all those things can be part of a sense of one’s marriage–though they’re certainly not the only things.

What I can say is that cross-chart aspects between Juno and Venus can be quite nice. In soft or direct (conjoined) contact, if Juno belongs to the man, then he likely regards the female’s ideal of herself as excellent mate material–I say ‘likely’ as a single aspect alone rarely gives us the whole story–and if the Juno is hers and the Venus his, she may feel very strong and capable in his company, ‘approved of’, in a sense, because she fits his ideal of what a female should be, at least in terms of how she chooses her empowerment and the status she aims for. More than that I can’t really venture. Readers, let this be a reminder: when you submit a question, please read and follow the instructions–we’re all guaranteed to get a lot more out of it that way.

Thank you, Steve, and much good luck with your lady!

jd

Eros on the Midheaven: What Do They See?

Eros evolved over time into a rather harmless child with a bow and arrow. William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - A Young Girl Defending Herself Against Eros (1880) {{PD}}
Eros evolved over time into a rather harmless child with a bow and arrow. William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) – A Young Girl Defending Herself Against Eros (1880) {{PD}}

I love to answer questions from my readers, but it’s interesting that all the questions I’ve gotten lately have generally failed to give me what I need to give a well-grounded reply to the query. There seems to have been a headlong hurry to ask a question without considering that I ask for complete birth data (with month spelled out) not for my health but so I can do my job! That said, I’m going to wade in here and hand out a few crumbs of advice and astrological opinion; this is the first of several to come over the next week or so:

hi, i have 3 questions.
i wish you could tell me what those mean:

i have my eros conjunct my MC in pisces.
i have my north node conjunct vertex same degree in scorpio (5th house)
i have sun in taurus in 12th house and mercury in gemini 12th house ( what are my hidden talent)?

Hi Chris (I cheated and looked at the name on your comment, since you dashed in and out so quickly you didn’t sign your letter!),

First, I tell people over and over that I’m not crazy about removing a single aspect from its environment in the chart and commenting, simply because we need a total context in order to truly understand anything–and I’m even more reluctant when someone gives me a list of aspects with no birth data, as that means I can’t even determine for myself whether I think they are indeed conjunct, opposed, and so on. You also do not state which House method you use; I use Whole Sign but am practiced in Placidus as well–and anyone who knows much about Houses will tell you that placements can differ between these two, so that what you see as, say, the 5th House I may read in a Whole Sign chart as the 6th. So, you give me virtually nothing to work with that will guarantee my remarks will actually apply to the placements in your chart–so please, don’t take them that way, as they’re only the most general of statements.

A conjunction of Eros and the Midheaven in any sign suggests that the public image, reputation, or career accomplishments may be ripe for projection by others; that is, they may ‘know’ you (possibly only at a distance) and impose their own ideas of eroticism, desirability, or ‘right conduct’ on you (this latter as a judgment, if they disapprove of sexual energy shown openly)–and this is unrelated to your actual demeanor or activity. It’s more a kind of animal magnetism perceived by others who know you through the career or public reputation, a ‘receiving’ of the erotic energy of others, as in, you do something in the career or public venue (or even just exist!) in a way that encourages others to see you in an erotic light. It could even be a statement of an intense and satisfying passion you have for your career, of being driven in the profession. Now, a few words about Eros energy: it doesn’t come from outside of us, emitted by another person (or even an object) despite the fact that it feels that way to the person having the erotic feeling. It’s instead a projection of erotic feeling on another; it’s a kind of choice to see that person or thing as having a sexually attractive quality. When we carry this energy on the Midheaven, our erotic nature (those things we find attractive and stimulating) may be visible to all–and is very likely to permeate your public role, even if the role is not an overtly sexual one. In Pisces you may have the ability to convey an image, especially professionally, that may have little to do with your core identity.

I won’t even touch the second question, because the Vertex is determined by accurate birth data, and I don’t know if you have that, and can’t inspect it for myself. A North Node conjunct a Vertex makes a statement along the lines of, ‘A Fated Future’–but honestly, either everyone has a fated future or no one does. Who’s to say how much is predetermined? Certainly, we exercise our Free Will all the time.

This last question suggests you’ve used a House system similar to Placidus, as it allows for more than one sign in a House. Again, though, I would read these as being in two different Houses, so really can’t comment on it, other than to say that bodies posited in the 12th should not necessarily be read as ‘hidden talents’, though they might be under the right chart circumstances. They are more likely to be energies we aren’t directly conscious of–and that means they may come out, especially through the matters of the House(s) they rule, in some uncontrolled and poorly realized forms, until they become consciously channeled, claimed as your own, and used in positive forms.

Chris, thanks for writing, and good luck with your astrology studies–

jd

The Karma Fairy

The Karma Fairy visits us all--or do we make our own Karma? From MY BOOK OF FAVOURITE FAIRY TALES ILLUSTRATED BY JENNIE HARBOUR {{PD}}
The Karma Fairy visits us all–or do we make our own Karma? From MY BOOK OF FAVOURITE FAIRY TALES ILLUSTRATED BY JENNIE HARBOUR {{PD}}

A re-print from years ago, but the situation is timeless.

Julie,

What is going on: Bad Karma, something in the stars, or just plain bad luck???

I have been divorced for a little over eight years, but it has only been in the last two years that I have had the urge to get back into a relationship. Between being extremely hurt by the betrayal that led to the divorce, going back to school, getting into a second career and raising my son, I felt that I was stretched a little thin to have time to devote to a significant other. I also did not trust myself – afraid I would attract someone like my ex.

It was at my new job that I meet Mr.L, who knocked my socks off. He approached me first, and initiated conversations, and was quite complimentary. I was flattered by the attention. For the first time in years, I felt like actually going out with a man. I was physically attracted to him and we had some fun times bantering back and forth. Co-workers even commented to me on the apparent chemistry. Mr. L asked me out a total of three times (he initiated it each time) and he bailed each time – sick, sick and had to work late due to an emergency. There would be long stretches in between in which we would not see each other due to extensive travel for the job. In the end, I just figured he was not that into me and stopped any kind of flirtation. Shortly afterward he was transferred to another work location. Several months later he emailed me and told me about his new Harley and asked if I would be interested in a ride some weekend. I was casual and said sure, just call when free. Like the past situations, there was never any follow through. What makes a guy does that? I wonder if it is his Venus in Leo?

My next foray into the dating world was on a popular on line dating site. I initiated contact with Mr. B and through a series of emails, we had some interesting and fun conversations- he really made me laugh. We agreed to meet for lunch on a workday, he did not show up, and said that he had his days mixed up. (He appeared to be a absent minded professor – literally – PhD in engineering). Apologized profusely, wanted to make it up and then nothing, no further communication. Three months later, he initiates contact with me again – asks to be forgiven, was so embarrassed by what had happened, not use to dating, etc. He wants to try again. We emailed back and forth for another 2 weeks. He seems genuine so I agreed to try again. Early in the week we decide to meet the following Saturday and firm up time and place by Friday. I never hear from him again!!

Between these two instances, my self esteem has plummeted. I am so discouraged because it is rare that I feel connected enough to even want to go out with someone! Is there an astrological explanation for the run of bad luck, and why I am attracted to men that do not follow through??

Any insight is greatly appreciated!

L

Dear L,

Your recent reluctance to get back into the dating game when you already have a full plate of career and child raising is certainly understandable (and the relationship appetite suppressant known as ‘divorce’ probably hasn’t helped, either); but then to have such discouraging experiences once you do venture back in must be very disappointing. And meeting new people can be both difficult (where do you go?) and exhausting (sorting through the frogs to find even a potential prince!)

Exasperated Karma Fairy
Exasperated Karma Fairy

Is it the karma fairy, tapping you with her wand of invisibility and/ or payback, real or imagined? No, I think not, but what we do have to look at isn’t the men, it’s the one constant in the equation: you. There are some hints in the natal chart that say you may expect relationships not to go well: Venus is quincunx Pluto (love and relationships require constant adjustment that can be destructive–and that love itself can be wearing and destructive); Sun conjunct Chiron (a wounded Soul); Venus squares Neptune (idealizing love leads to real-life disillusion, or an inability to pinpoint what love is or, more importantly, what it feels like when it’s given). These aren’t set in stone, and of course can carry other meanings, but taken as a whole may suggest that love is an area that is not clear or easy for you.

Transits during the time you specified paint a picture of some ‘heavy’ energies being dealt with in a very public way: Pluto through the 7th, completely scouring and destroying previous notions of what it takes to partner; Jupiter through the 7th, exaggerating all mate or partnership activities (and the hurt and problems involved, as well); Uranus through the 10th, giving the reputation and public image a radical, erratic, or unstable aura (that doesn’t necessarily reflect reality, but it’s what others see); and Neptune from 9th to 10th, obscuring you, perhaps quite literally! from the sight of others. These major transits alone would explain the way others see you, acknowledge you, are attracted by what they imagine they see (Neptune’s influence) and then . . . you slip from their attention, and they abandon their intent. And I’m just supposing, here, but the pattern of men engaging, reassuring you of their interest, and then not following through may hint that what you are conveying to them may more openly show your (quite justified) hurt, need, and desire for rescue, in some sense, than you are aware of, and for many this isn’t an aphrodisiac.

This entire dynamic is likely a mechanism the Universe is using to allow you to rest, recover, and re-discover who you are on your own, without a partner. Ruler of 11th House goals and wishes, Mars, is currently being transited by Pluto, re-working and re-vivifying what you want (and helping you re-discover what you can offer). Neptune has, through the dating periods mentioned, been in the vicinity of your natal Sun/ Chiron conjunction, making it both difficult to see in exactly what way you may at present be injured (which can show very plainly to those with whom we interact), and giving you a chance to heal and create yourself along the lines of your ideal Self–a great opportunity, that many people never get.

You have some wonderful life potentials in your Grand Trine of Sun/ Chiron trine Juno trine the Moon, and in your Grand Trine involving Vesta, Earth, and Saturn; the former says you are a vessel for development of a unique role or skill that brings the Soul Purpose and emotional state to a peak of maturity and refinement, and the latter shows the ability to honor what’s sacred about the world that surrounds us. Sun/ Chiron quincunx Ceres also suggests enormous possibilities centered in your understanding of and gifts keyed to the natural world, nurturing, and/ or your unique identity.

My thought is, give the attention and energy you would invest in a relationship to yourself, for right now, and with time, as your idea of who you are and what you want post-divorce becomes clearer, I think companions will start to come out of the woodwork. Someone like you, once she’s sure of herself and is ready to love in the best way, will attract attract attract–but you have to stop pouring the energy out, and start letting the love that’s all around you in, before you’ll reach that correct, attractive balance.

Julie