The Sabian Symbols I

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This month I’m presenting you with the first part of a two-part examination of the Sabian symbols. This first part presents the symbols and discusses their background, next month we will dive into their application in astrology and magic.

BACKGROUND

The Sabian symbols (named after a mysterious hermetic culture mentioned three times in the Quran) are 360 symbols, one for each degree of the zodiac, symbolically depicting the essential meaning and energy of that degree. In essence these 360 symbols express the consciousness that is immanent within that degree, the intelligence that is present within it. In this way they are similar to the signs to which they belong, but with a magnification effect that focuses on only 1° rather than 30°.

While named after an ancient and mysterious culture the symbols we have today are a modern arrival delivered by two people in Balboa Park, San Diego sometime in 1925 – the date was not recorded. These two people were Marc Edmund Jones, an astrologer, and Elsie Wheeler, a clairvoyant medium. Marc devised an interesting method for midwifing the symbols that was a mix of randomness and order – he brought with him 360 white cards with a tiny almost illegible notation in one corner denoting which degree of the zodiac it belonged to, and he presented these cards to Elsie in a random order without either of them knowing which degree it was for. Since Elsie was in a wheelchair they had to do this inside the car and they finished all 360° in a single day over two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Mathematically this means that if the total time involved was 8 hours Elsie was delivering an average of one symbol every 90 seconds. Since then Marc, Dane Rudhyar and many other astrologers have written interpretations of the symbols and there are many books and web resources available on the topic.

What Elsie did was deliver from the intelligences of the zodiac a modern form, one that is accessible to and expressive of modern American culture. The zodiac is a living entity imbued with a holistic consciousness, as I wrote in The 26 Keys:

“The seven traditional, visible planets of astrology – the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – express the Electric and Magnetic Fluids as Elemental planetary intelligences which organize themselves into a single entity, the zodiac. To put this another way, it is a magical universe wherein everything is alive and this includes the planets and the signs of the zodiac, which are Elemental beings generated by the Electric and Magnetic expressions of the 7 traditional planets. The origin of the form and the essential meaning given to these intelligences is stellar i.e. drawn from constellations of stars, but their substance and quality arises from the Fluids expressing through the Lights and visible planets. These beings are given a shape and a form by human consciousness and have become the 12 signs of the tropical zodiac.

So the signs are living beings or rather an assembly of them. Their essential meaning was evoked from constellations of stars – those which are close to the ecliptic through which the solar family were seen to move – and was then given a symbolic form through our tales, myths and cultures. This meaning then attached itself to the essential meaning of the visible planets and was reflected back to us – as we observed the patterns of the sky a bond of significance was created, layer upon layer…the essential meaning provided by the stars and planets was adorned with human significance, giving us the symbolic essential meaning of earthly consciousness encoded in the zodiac.

In essence the zodiac is a living astra-mental prism through which the Light of essential meaning (consciousness) shines upon the Earth through the loci of the planets. It is a self aware multidimensional lattice of symbolic essential meaning specific to the Earth and the present habitation of the Earth by human beings, because it is a co-creation of human and astra-mental beings. The Elemental beings of Fire, Air, Water and Earth have created it between us and the visible planets as a means of communication, the communication of the complex pattern we call astrology.”

The zodiac is thus a continuum of earthly consciousness expressed symbolically, and it can be seen as being composed of a spectrum of 12 parts (signs), with each of the 12 parts having certain sections (the 3 decanates and 5 terms), and each of the 30° degrees representing a different combination of Fluids, Elements, and planetary consciousness. The Sabian images incorporate all of these factors into a single symbolic form. For example, the 1st and 2nd degree of any sign is always positively Electric in nature, while the boundaries between the decanates (the 9th, 10th, 19th, 20th, 29th and 30th degree) are always powerfully Magnetic. The 1st degree of Fire sign Aries (a Mars ruled sign) is in a decan of Mars and the terms of Jupiter (in the Egyptian system). The symbol for Aries 1° is therefore a blend of the qualities of the Electric Fluid, the Fire Element, Aries, Mars and Jupiter, along with its overall position as the first degree of 360: “A woman has risen out of the ocean; a seal embraces her.” The seal embracing the fertile consciousness newly emerging from the ocean of being represents the ties this degree has with its neighbour, the last degree of Pisces, communicating the fact that the zodiac is a continuum. Because the seal is a creature that made an evolutionary move to the land but returned to the sea the symbol speaks about emergence and retreat embracing one another. We are being told of a cyclical process in which consciousness emerges from and returns to the ocean. Most of the Sabian symbols, like this one, can be arcane and require inner reflection and meditation to see through, but doing so reveals many interior petals like a secret flower. This is especially true with the symbols that appear to be negative, like that for Cancer 05. However, they also have a literal power that can at times be very striking.

One important point is that in the list for the symbols the 1st symbol is actually the degree from 0° to 1°, and the 30th degree is therefore the zodiac from 29° of a sign to the beginning of the next sign. Thus, if your Sun sign is located at 11° of Leo, the symbol for it is Leo 12, not Leo 11. However, because the zodiac is a continuum the symbol before and the symbol after any one symbol are connected and the symbolism for neighboring degrees can therefore also be significant. The sequence as a whole shows a journey that consciousness makes, and a journey is about where you have come and where you are headed as much as where you are now. Another important point is that there is a relationship between these symbols and the spirits of the Earth Zone described by Franz Bardon in the Practice of Magical Evocation, and that each sign can be split into two halves or spans which inform the overall arc of that phase. .

Below you will find a full list of the symbols with the decanates for each sign in brackets, the span, and the Intelligence from PME in brackets after the symbol. I have not included the Egyptian (Al-Biruni) terms for each degree, but you can see them from the table below:

copied from Astrowiki by Astrodienst

Aries Sabian Symbols: (Mars Sun Venus)
Realisation
1 A woman has risen out of the ocean; a seal embraces her. (Fire Magic, electricity, invention)
2 A comedian entertaining a group of friends. (Fire magic, alchemical dry process)
3 A man’s profile suggests the outlines of his country. (Magic of love, charging of magic mirrors, evocation)
4 Two lovers strolling through a secluded park lane.(Magic of love and protection)
5 A white triangle with golden wings on its upper sides. (Luck in games, dexterity)
​6 A black square brightly illumined in red on one side. (Writing, literature)
7 A man expressing himself in two realms at once. (Mental magic of the Moon sphere)
8 A womans hat with streamers blown by the east wind. (Ritual and magical formalae)
9 A seer gazes with concentration into a crystal sphere. (Electromagnetic Fluid, volts)
10 A scholar creates new forms for old symbols. (Secrets of the Water Element)
11 The ruler of a country is being officially introduced. (Power over people/animals, dynamic magical formulae)
12 A flock of white geese flies overhead across clear skies. (Medical authority, transformation of base metals into pure metals, magic of the Sun sphere)
13 A bomb which failed to explode is now safely concealed. (Physical sciences and knowledges)
14 A serpent encircles a man and woman in close embrace. (Eloquence, sharp wit, physical assistance)
Examination
15 An Indian weaving a basket in the golden light of sunset. (Science, philosophy)
16 Brightly clad brownies dancing in a warm dying light. (Love and friendship)
17 Two prim spinsters are sitting together in silence. (Magic of sympathy and love, music)
18 An empty hammock is hanging between two lovely trees. (Languages, Magnetic power)
19 A magic carpet hovering over an ugly industrial suburb. (Water magic, Magnetic Fluid, Undines)
20 A young girl feeding swans in a park on a wintry day. (Water magic, liquid Fluid condensers, Undines)
21 A pugilist, flushed with strength, enters the ring. (Laws and powers of the zone girdling the Earth)
22 Gateway opening to the garden of all desired things. (Knowledge and wisdom of the zone girdling the Earth, justice and harmony, Electrical and Elemental effects within the Fire region of the Earth Zone)
23 A woman in summer dress carries a precious veiled burden. (Wisdom, sagacity, laws of the Earth Zone)
24 A window curtain blows inward, shaped as a cornucopia. (Medical Magnetism, curing of disease, Gnomes)
25 A double promise reveals its inner and outer meanings. (Plant alchemy, Gnomes)
26 A man bursting with the wealth of what he has to give. (Mental and astral magic of extra planetary powers)
27 A lost opportunity is regained through imagination. (Synthetic astrology)
28 A crowd applauds a man who shattered a dear illusion. (Talismanology, magical symbolism)
29 A celestial choir has arisen to sing cosmic harmonies. (Magnetic Fluid, scent and aromas, plant medicine)
30 Young ducklings desport themselves merrily upon a pond. (Treatment of disease through Water magic, hydrotherapy, naturopathy).

Taurus Sabian Symbols: (Mercury Moon Saturn)
Experience
1 A clear mountain stream flows through a rocky defile. (Magic of sympathy realised by the Element of Fire)
2 An electrical storm brilliantly illumines the skies. (Mysteries of sexual life, magic of the Electric Fluid and Fire)
3 Natural terraces lead up to a lawn of clover in bloom. (Magical knowledge of plants)
4 The rainbow’s pot of gold glows amidst the sparkling rain. (Wealth, plant medicine)
5 A young woman, transfigured by grief, kneels at a grave. (Income, pleasure, earthly happiness)
6 A cantilever bridge in construction across a deep canyon. (Mathematics, numbers, astro-quabbalah)
7 A woman of Samaria comes to draw water from the well. (Writing, fantasy inspiration)
8 A sleigh speeds over ground as yet uncovered by snow. (Occult writing)
9 A Christmas tree loaded with gifts and lighted candles. (Occult aids, rites, gestures, formulae)
10 A pretty Red Cross nurse hurries on an errand of mercy. (Moon magic, lunar mansions)
11 A woman watering rows of flowers in full bloom. (occultism, hypnotism, medical Magnetism)
12 Young couple walks down main street, window shopping. (Aura magic)
13 A porter is cheerfully balancing a mountain of baggage. (Magic of nature)
14 Children splash in receding tide amid groping shellfish. (Professional assistance, politeness, Gnomes)
15 Man with rakish silk hat, muffled, braves the storm. (Money gained through speculation, wins, hidden treasures or betting)
Enjoyment
16 An old man tries hard to impart hidden truths to a crowd. (Awakening of talent)
17 A symbolical battle between ‘swords’ and ‘torches’. (Amulets of love or friendship, charging up or igniting through love).
18 A woman is airing a linen bag through a sunny window. (Air and Water magic)
19 A newly formed continent, fresh and green, rises out of the ocean. (Agriculture, farming)
20 Wisps of clouds, like wings, are streaming across the sky. (Agricultural and forestry technology)
21 Moving finger points to significant passages in a book. (Polarisation and the Electric Fluid, rapid acceleration of plant growth)
22 A white homing pigeon flies straight over stormy waters. (Clarity of mind, judgment, cleverness through intuition and inspiration)
23 A jewellery shop filled with the most magnificent jewels. (Food and the harmony of the body)
24 Indian, human scalps hanging at his belt, rides proudly. (Magic of minerals and metals, solid Fluid condensers)
25 Vast public park displays glorious and inspiring vistas. (Mines, Gnomes, ores, volcanoes)
26 A Spanish serenader at the window grille of his beloved. (Cosmic language, magical utterance)
27 A withered old squaw, smiling brightly, sells trinkets. (Philosophy, discerning the universal laws in any religious system)
28 Mature woman reawakened to romance admires herself. (Cosmic physics, cosmic powers, metaphysical secrets)
29 Two garrulous old cobblers work seated on an old bench. (Grafting of plants, aquatic life and the sea, Undines)
30 Peacock displays his plumage on lawn of old estate. (Magic of Water, sea salt in alchemy and magic)

Gemini Sabian Symbols: (Jupiter Mars Sun)
Zeal
1 A glass-bottomed drifts over undersea wonders. (Electric Fluid, electricity, inventions connected to electricity)
2 Santa Claus is furtively filling Christmas stockings. (Technical invention, future technology)
3 Louis XIV’s court in the gardens of the Tuileries. (Physical sciences and their relation to metaphysics, alternative healing methods)
4 Holly and mistletoe bring Christmas spirit to a home. (Painters and painting)
5 A radical magazine displays a sensational front page. (Knowledge of birth and death, mysteries of sex, conception and the womb)
6 Night workmen drill for oil amidst noise and confusion. (Animals and mental transference into the animal realm)
7 An old well, filled with pure water, shaded by trees. (Symbolism, analogy)
8 Around a closed down factory strikers mill defiantly. (Occult philosophy, intellectual expression of metaphysics, memory)
9 A medieval archer, with bow and arrows, ready to fight. (Laws of harmony and equilibrium)
10 Aeroplane, after a nosedive, rights itself gracefully. (Laws of analogy, classification and identification of any being)
11 Newly opened lands of virgin realms of experience. (Magic of the brain and intellect)
12 A black slave girl demands her rights of her mistress. (Telepathy, astral character magic)
13 World-famous pianist begins to play to a huge audience. (Diplomacy)
14 Two people, living far apart, in telepathic communication. (Philosophical literature, books)
15 Two Dutch children are studying their lessons together. (Poetry and writing)
Restlessness
16 Woman agitator makes an impassioned plea to a crowd. (Beauty and harmony)
17 Head of a youth changes into that of a mature thinker. (Charisma, gaining the favour of important people)
18 Two Chinese men talking Chinese in an occidental crowd. (Secrets of love)
19 Large archaic volume on display in the museum’s archives. (Gesticulation, ritual)
20 A self-service restaurant displays an abundance of food. (Dancing magic)
21 A labour demonstration throngs a large city square. (The law and legal matters)
22 Dancing couples crowd the barn in a harvest festival. (Prophecy, prediction)
23 Three fledglings look out proudly from their high nest. (Professional artists)
24 Carefree children skate over a smoothly frozen pond. (Causes and causation, fate)
25 A gardener trims beautiful palm trees with utmost care. (History of religion)
26 Frost covered trees, lace like, against winter skies. (Magic and mystical associations and groups)
27 Young gypsy emerging from the woods gazes at far cities. (Teaching and instruction through both books and masters)
28 Bankruptcy granted to him, a man leaves the court. (Laws of analogy)
29 The first mockingbird of spring sings from the treetop. (Connection and analogy)
30 A parade of bathing beauties before large beach crowds. (Watersports)

Cancer Sabian Symbols: (Venus Mercury Moon)
Expansion
1 Sailor ready to hoist a new flag to replace old one. (Alchemy of the Fire Element)
2 A man on a magic carpet observes vast vistas below him. (Volcanoes and earthquakes, telluric energy, pyrotechnics)
3 An Arctic explorer leads a reindeer through icy canyons. (Erotic secrets)
4 A hungry cat argues with a mouse before eating her. (Sympathetic mummial magic)
5 Automobilist, racing madly with a fast train, is killed. (Health and constitution, youthfulness, magical plant elixirs)
6 Innumerable birds are busy feathering their nests. (Distant communication through the Air Element)
7 In a moonlit fairy glade two little elves are dancing. (Ancient religion, levitation)
8 Rabbits in faultless human attire parade with dignity. (Rhythm and vibration)
9 Naked little miss leans over a pond to catch a goldfish. (Clairvoyance, clairaudience, clair-feeling, psychometry, magic mirrors)
10 A wonderful diamond is being cut to a perfect shape. (Weather and the magic of Water)
11 A clown caricatures merrily all kinds of human traits. (Mysteries of wisdom, magical enlightenment)
12 A Chinese woman nursing a baby haloed by divine light. (Transmutation, alchemy)
13 A hand with prominent thumb is held up receptively. (Spirit communication, language)
14 An old man, alone, faces the darkness in the north-east. (Magical sciences, invisibility)
15 Merry and sluggish people resting after a huge feast. (De-materialization, materialization, apportation)
Ingenuousness
16 A man holds a scroll, before him a square is outlined. (Cosmic law and Divine virtues)
17 The archetypal soul becomes filled with life contents. (Divine love and mercy)
18 In a crowded barnyard a hen clucks among her chickens. (Evolution, Divine creation)
19 An aristocratic and frail girl weds a proletarian youth. (Magic formalae)
20 A group of serenader’s make merry in a Venetian gondola. (Evocation within the zone girdling the Earth)
21 An operatic primadonna sings to a glittering audience. (The wisdom, cause, purpose and effect of universal laws)
22 A young woman dreamily awaits a sailboat approaching. (Divine Emanation in the Earth Zone)
23 A group of intellectual individuals meet for discussion. (Magic of space and time)
24 Woman and two men castaways on a South Sea island. (Emanation of the Divine virtues)
25 Leader of men wrapped in an invisible mantle of power. (Correlation between the Akasha and the Divine Light)
26 Guests are reading in the library of a luxurious home. (Cosmic alliances with interplanetary spheres)
27 A furious storm rages through a residential canyon. (Sphere magic)
28 Indian girl introduces college boyfriend to her tribe. (Theurgy and Divine Emanation, quabbalah)
29 A Greek muse weighs in golden scales just born twins. (Wisdom and the various systems that lead to it)
30 A lady of aristocratic descent proudly addresses a club. (Akasha principle, karma)

Leo Sabian Symbols: (Saturn Jupiter Mars)
Assurance
1 Under emotional stress blood rushes to a man’s head. (Fire magic in the Earth Zone)
2 The school closed by an epidemic, children play together. (Magic of the Sun)
3 Mature woman, her hair just bobbed, looks into mirror. (Passions and the astral body)
4 Elderly man gazes at moosehead on clubrooms wall. (Magic of the Elements and nature)
5 Suggesting figures, granite masses overhang a canyon. (Magic of the four Elements in nature)
​6 Old-fashioned belle and flapper admire each other. (Propagation, creation of life and growth by the Fluids)
7 The constellations glow in the darkness of desert skies. (Air Element and its role as a mediator)
8 Proletarian, burning with social passion, stirs up a crowd. (Secrets of Air magic, breathing techniques)
9 Glass blowers shape with their breath glowing forms. (Mysticism, love, holiness)
10 Early morning dew sparkles as the Sun floods the fields. (Resistance against Fire)
​11 Children at play beneath huge oak, shelter from the Sun. (Ecstasy, trance, consciousness)
12 A garden party is in full swing under Japanese lanterns. (Spiritual maturity through application of Divine virtues)
13 Old sea captain rests in neat little cottage by the sea. (The way to perfection in accordance with the laws of creation)
14 Cherub-like, a human soul whispers, seeking to manifest. (Synthesis of all religious systems and philosophies)
15 The Mardi Gras carnival crowds New Orleans streets. (Connection between the mental, astral and physical worlds)
Interpretation
​16 Refreshed by a storm, fields and gardens bask in the Sun. (Omniscience and Divine intuition, enlightenment of the intellect)
17 Volunteer church choir make social event of rehearsal. (Cosmic love)
18 Chemist conducts an experiment for his students. (Occult anatomy, magical medical treatments)
19 A barge made into a clubhouse is crowded with revelers. (Talismanic magic)
20 American Indians perform a majestic ritual to the Sun. (Metallurgy and the alchemy of metals)
​21 Intoxicated domestic birds fly around in dizzy attempts. (Prophecy)
22 A carrier pigeon alights at dawn before his owners. (Gaining of esteem, power and wealth in the physical world)
23 The bareback rider in a circus thrills excited crowds. (Yoga, tantra, religious systems)
24 A yogi with transcendent powers, yet untidy, unkempt. (Magic of the Akasha and the causal principle)
25 A man, alone, daringly crosses the desert on camelback. (Refinement of the consciousness through contact with the spheres without separation of the mental body)
​26 Light breaks through clouds, a perfect rainbow forms. (Mediumship, de-materialization and re-materialization)
27 In the East, light slowly increases, wiping out the stars. (Wish magic)
28 Myriads of birds, perched upon a big tree, chirp happily. (Water and Air Element magic)
29 Mermaid awaits prince who will make her immortal. (Water Element magic)
30 An unsealed letter full of vital and confidential news. (Protection from thunderstorms, rough seas, heavy rains etc.)

Virgo Sabian Symbols: (Sun Venus Mercury)
Idealization
1 In a portrait the best of a man’s traits are idealized. (Politics and political events)
2 Large white cross stands alone on top of a high hill. (Inventions in the Akasha principle)
3 Two angels bring protection to a family in the wilderness. (Art and artistry)
4 Negro child plays with white boys unaware of race line. (Flowers and their magic)
5 Irishman dreams of “little people” beneath a tree. (Protection of love, harmony and beauty)
6 Excited children ride on a blatant, gaudy merry-go-round. (Teaching)
7 In a palatial harem bright-eyed women laugh happily. (Speech and writing)
8 Aristocratic five-year-old girl takes first dancing lesson. (Protection of the poor and suppressed)
9 A modern expressionistic artist paints a strange canvas. (Alchemical magic, magic of the mental matrix and astral matrix)
10 A man with two heads is seen looking out to the beyond. (Alchemical secrets)
11 A typical boy, yet moulded by his mother’s aspirations. (Skill in trade or profession, honour and riches in business, trade involving metals)
12 A bride, laughing, scolds the groom who lifted her veil. (Relics, holy places, temples, spiritual icons)
13 A powerful statesman wins to his cause an hysterical mob. (Spiritual rites, rituals and ceremonies)
14 Splendid family tree engraved on a sheet of parchment. (Medical doctors, chemical and pharmacy production)
15 Old lace handkerchief; some rare perfume; a mirror. (Business matters, papers and textiles, furs and skins)
Experimentation
16 Children crowd around the orangutan cage in the zoo. (Forests, vegetation and plant consciousness)
17 A volcanic eruption releases powerful telluric energies. (Fantasy and visionary imagination)
18 Two excited young girls experiment with a Ouija board. (Architecture and structural engineering)
19 Swimming race nears completion before a large crowd. (Magic of scents, aromatherapy, incense)
20 A group of settlers start on their journey in old cars. (Water and its relation to humanity, ships and submarines, diving)
21 Two teams of girls engaged in a contest of basketball. (Fortune, luck in speculation)
22 A jewel set royal coat of arms is displayed in a museum (Material law and justice)
23 A lion tamer rushes fearlessly into the circus arena. (Fortune telling and divination)
24 A book for children pictures little Mary and her lamb. (Property, protection against theft, recovery of lost goods)
25 A flag at half mast in front of large public building. (Vehicles and transportation over dry ground)
26 Rapt eyed, a boy serves in a mass read by automatons. (Human consciousness, psychological health)
27 Elderly ladies drinking afternoon tea in a wealthy home. (Animals of the air)
28 Bald-headed man dominates gathering of national figures. (Aeronautics, secrets of gravity and space travel)
29 Archaic manuscript discloses to scholar the old mysteries. (Intellect and knowledge of human beings)
30 An emergency call frees householder from routine duty. (Custodian and gatekeeper of mysteries and wisdom)

Libra Sabian Symbols: (Moon Saturn Jupiter)
Expectation
1 Pierced by a dart of light a butterfly is “made perfect”. (Sexuality and sex, prenatal magic)
2 A symphony is played dramatizing man’s heroic ascent. (Working with metals)
3 A new day dawns, revealing a world utterly transformed. (Cooking of meat)
4 Pilgrims gather round campfire in silent communion. (Fertility, sexual potency, sexual propagation)
5 Inspired disciples listen to the words of their teacher. (Feeding habits, diet)
6 In a trance, a pilgrim beholds his ideals made concrete. (Laughter and comedy)
7 A witch feeds chickens frightened by a hawk she had tamed. (Wood and its working)
8 Fireplace blazes mysteriously in a deserted farmhouse. (Musical instrumentation and composition)
9 Three “old masters” hang alone in an art gallery. (Clothing and headgear, fashions)
10 A canoe leaving narrow rapids reaches calm waters. (Hair)
11 Kindly old professor is teaching a class of youngsters. (Charisma, gaining favour)
12 Miners are emerging from a deep well into the sunlight. (High magic of love and mercy)
13 Children are blowing soap bubbles at youngsters party. (Flirting and wooing, seduction)
14 Rich landowner takes a siesta in his tropical gardens. (Singing)
15 A stack of machinery parts; all are new and all circular. (Arts, decoration, embellishment and ornamentation)
Revelation
16 A happy crew is restoring beach piers wrecked by storms. (Health and duration of life of all animals, instinct, Zoology, vets, wild animal tamers)
17 Retired sea captain in uniform watches ships sail away. (Intoxicating drinks)
18 Two men placed under arrest are being brought to court. (Secrets of human and animal blood)
19 Robbers are hiding, ready to attack heavily armed caravan. (Women during pregnancy and the delivery of babies, midwifery, gynaecology)
20 Old rabbi sits contentedly in room crowded with books. (Electrochemistry, galvanic electricity, batteries)
21 Hot Sunday crowds delight in the cool sea breeze. (Mathematics)
22 Child laughs as birds perch on an old fountain and drink. (Physiology)
23 Chanticleer salutes the rising sun with exuberant tones. (Physics)
24 A butterfly spreads its wings, showing an extra left one. (Loyalty)
25 Falling golden leaf teachers life to a rebellious schoolboy. (Sexual transmutation, hormones)
26 An eagle and a white dove swiftly turning one into the other. (Jewellery and jewel work)
27 A spot of light in clear skies, and aeroplane sails calmly. (Milk)
28 A man in deep gloom, unnoticed, angels come to his help. (Aquatic animals, fishermen and fishing)
29 Vast masses of men push forward reaching for knowledge. (Orderliness and cleanness, hygiene)
30 A phrenologist discovers mounds of knowledge on a head (Medicinal springs and waters, hydrotherapy)

Scorpio Sabian Symbols: (Mars Sun Venus)
Retention
1 Sightseers in a bus strain to see crowds and buildings. (Fire magic and inventions connected with fire)
2 From a broken bottle traces of perfume still emanate. (Electricity and electrical inventions)
3 Happy house raising party among western pioneers. (Self-preservation and the desire to live, animal instinct)
4 Youth carries a lit candle in his first church service. (Love within a family)
5 A massive rocky shore unchanged by centuries of storms. (Mammals and milk)
6 Californian hills: the “gold rush” shatters their peace. (Human ideals and their realisation)
7 Divers of the deep sea are being lowered into the waters. (Intellect of humanity, knowledge, memory)
8 A high mountain lake is bathed in the full moonlight. (Protection against infectious disease)
9 A dentist is repairing teeth ruined by civilized habits. (Communication with the unseen, protection of those seeking spiritual knowledge)
10 A fellowship supper reawakens unforgettable inner ties. (Protector of those working in magical medicine)
11 A drowning man is rescued, brought back to the crowd. (Preparation of the philosopher’s stone, transmutation of metals using dry procedure)
12 High officials are gathered at an important embassy ball. (Magical initiation)
13 In an improvised laboratory an inventor is near success. (Technical inventions related to the Sun)
14 Workers push a telephone line across forbidding ranges. (Imitation)
15 Laughing children play upon five mounds of white sand. (Games of entertainment, toys)
Appreciation
​16 A girl with aristocratic features smiles entrancingly. (Bees and honey, sugar, sweetener)
17 Woman, fecundated by her spirit, is “great with child”. (Processing of fruit, cooking and baking)
18 A winding road leads through glorious autumnal woods. (Erotic love, sympathetic feeling, peace)
19 A wise old parrot repeats the conversation he overheard. (Metallurgic chemistry)
20 Woman flings open dark curtains closing sacred pathway. (Medicine of metals and minerals)
​21 Soldier ready to face charges of desertion for love’s sake. (Betterment of living standards, contentment)
22 Hunters shooting wild ducks walk through marsh. (Remedies for difficult life situations)
23 Placid white rabbit metamorphoses into a dancing elf. (Power of faith and conviction)
24 Crowds, stirred by a great message, return home. (Diagnosis, causes of disease and treatment)
25 Thanks to a fine x-ray diagnosis, a man’s life is saved. (Natural medicine, care of the body)
​26 Swiftly, Indians erect their teepees – camp is being made. (Healing of severe disease)
27 A military band, flashy and noisy, marches on pompously. (Astronomy, orientation, constellations)
28 The king of fairyland is solemnly welcomed to his realm. (Hydrotherapy, magic of Water)
29 Princess pleads before Inca king for her captured sons. (Artificial regulation of water)
30 Halloween gives social release to youthful impishness. (Aquatic life, fishing)

Sagittarius Sabian Symbols: (Mercury Moon Saturn)
Receptiveness
1 Retired army veterans gathered to reawaken old memories. (Working of metals with fire and water)
2 White capped waves dance rhythmically under the winds. (Steam, vaporisation of liquid)
3 Two sedate men, smoking pipes in comfort, play chess. (Fruits)
4 Watched by happy parents, a child takes his first steps. (Earthly peace)
5 High on an old tree, a solitary owl is gravely perched. (Good fortune)
​6 A cricket game is being watched by a colourful crowd. (Morality, secrets of the magical equilibrium, introspection)
7 Cupid knocks smilingly at the door of the human heart. (Picture making, whether through drawing, photography, sewing, film, television, etc.)
8 In the cauldron of the universe the metals are forming. (Magic of the 28 lunar mansions, rhythm and periodicity)
9 A mother is leading her children up a broad stairway. (Protection of those with mental or nervous illness)
10 A stage symbolization of the “goddess of opportunity”. (Protection while travelling)
11 An ever burning lamp throws light upon an archaic idol. (Evocation)
12 A flag becomes an eagle; the eagle a proud chanticleer. (High magic and high wisdom of the spheres)
13 A young widow surprised into a new birth of love. (Realisation of ideals)
14 Sphinx and pyramids stand, remains of a glorious past. (Trade and monetary matters, coins)
15 Groundhog, out of its winter sleep, looks for its shadow. (Education and the upbringing of children)
Detachment
​16 A calm ocean; a motionless ship; lazily soaring seagulls. (Customs and rites)
17 People gather before dawn for an outdoor Easter service. (Protection of orphans and the abandoned)
18 On the hot beach children play, protected by sunbonnets. (Hunting and hunters)
19 Pelicans, disturbed by men, move to places unknown. (Astronomy, astrology and the starry sky)
20 Men cutting the ice of a frozen pond for summer use. (Assistance for incurable disease or mysterious ailments)
​21 Child and dog play gravely, with eyeglasses on their noses. (Bliss, peace, pleasure and delight)
22 The shop closed, Chinese laundry men revert to race type. (Justice in judicial matters)
23 In New York, Ellis Island welcomes the immigrants. (Colour, painting, inks)
24 The symbolical “blue bird” alights upon a little cottage. (Mysteries of the magical equilibrium, introspection)
25 Rich little boy rides upon his bright coloured horse. (Magic of silence)
26 Flag bearer distinguishes himself in hand-to-hand battle. (Arousal of human conscience)
27 The sculptor’s vision is taking form under his hands. (Magical apparati, invention of technologies that imitate occult phenomena)
28 Ancient bridge witnesses to the skill of forgotten men. (Fate in human beings)
29 Perspiring fat boy, eager to reduce, is mowing a lawn. (Charging through accumulation)
30 The Pope is holding audience in a hall of the Vatican. (Water situated beneath the surface of the Earth)

Capricorn Sabian Symbols: (Jupiter Mars Sun)
Illusiveness
1 Indian chief claims power from the assembled tribe. (Magic of the Akasha)
2 Rose windows in a Gothic cathedral; one, damaged by war. (Elevation of personality)
3 The soul, as a hovering spirit eager to gain experience. (Sympathy and its magic)
4 Merrymakers embark on a big canoe on lantern lit lake. (Fortitude and the ability to weather the blows of fate and disappointments)
5 An American Indian camp; a fierce war dance begins. (Reincarnation, pre-birth existence in the Earth Zone)
6 Ten logs lie under archway leading to darker woods. (Transposition of the Mercury sphere to the physical world)
7 A heavily veiled hierophant leads a ritual of power. (Theatrical arts, drama)
8 In a big living room flooded with sunlight canaries sing. (Earthly radiation, geomancy, ley lines)
9 An angel carrying a harp comes through a heavenly lane. (Astral anatomy)
10 On a sailboat the seamen are feeding a tame albatross. (Cognition and learning)
11 Peasants display their brilliant colours on a vast lawn. (Incarnation)
12 Natural wonders are depicted in a lecture on science. (High astral magic)
13 Beneath snowclad peaks a fire worshipper is meditating. (Television, clairvoyance and the ability to see regardless of time and space)
14 In dense jungle, a perfectly preserved Mayan bas-relief. (Physics and chemistry, production of gases)
15 In a hospital, a children’s ward filled with playthings. (Earth energies, divining rods)
Dependence
16 School grounds filled with youths in gymnasium suits. (Frugality, rationing and economical planning)
17 Repressed woman finds a psychological release in nudism. (Botany)
18 The Union Jack flag flies from a new British destroyer. (Crystallisation on and under the Earth, Gnomes)
19 Five-year-old girl proudly does her mother’s shopping. (Ores and coal mines)
20 Through the empty church, the choir is heard rehearsing. (Herbalism)
21 A relay race. Each runner springs eagerly into place. (Sports)
22 Defeated general yields up his sword with noble dignity. (Divine Justice and harmony, control over negative powers)
23 A soldier receives decorously two awards for bravery. (Prevention of suicide, holiness of life)
24 A woman walking to the sure haven of a convent. (Physical atmosphere of the planet)
25 Little boys frolic upon soft rugs in an oriental store. (Chemical and physical secrets of matter)
26 Radiant sprite dances upon the mist of a waterfall. (Guardianship of magical keys and secrets)
27 Men climb a sacred peak; below, the world – above, peace. (Relief from distress and danger)
28 The aviary of a rural mansion, filled with singing birds. (Acoustics and sound)
29 Gypsy reads fortunes in the teacups of society ladies. (Shaping of Earth into clay)
30 The directors of a large firm meet in secret conference. (Control of the fish trade)

Aquarius Sabian Symbols: (Venus Mercury Moon)
Defensiveness
1 An old adobe mission nestles in California’s brown hills. (Sharpening of objects)
2 Unexpected thunderstorm brings relief to parched fields. (War strategy, peacemaking)
3 A deserter suddenly realizes the fallacy of his conduct. (Creative imagination)
4 Hindu pundit reveals himself suddenly a great healer. (Poetry and verse)
5 A world leader is seen being guided by his ancestor spirits. (Divine Mercy)
6 In an allegorical mystery ritual a man officiates alone. (Cosmic philosophy)
7 Out of the cosmic egg, life is born fresh and virginal. (Mummification, arrested decay)
8 Wax figures display beautiful gowns in store windows. (Manual skill)
9 In meditation, a flag is seen, which turns into an eagle. (Seeking of truth, finding of true teachers)
10 Unspoiled by popularity now waning a man plans anew. (Spiritual development)
11 Artist, away from the world, receives a new inspiration. (Radiation and emanation)
12 Life’s broad stairway: each landing, a new grade of life. (Quabbalistic magic)
13 A barometer hangs under the porch of a quiet rural inn. (Exploration of nature, natural sciences)
14 On a steep climb, a tunnel offers shortcut to a train. (Expression of occult, mystical or spiritual science in writing, poetry, plays)
15 Two lovebirds on a fence sing out their pure happiness. (Astrophysics and astronomy, inhabitants of other planets)
Perspective
16 Business manager at his desk studies a complex project. (Wealth, riches and reputation, treasures under the Earth and precious stones)
17 Watchdog on guard, a gold-miner sleeps near his strike. (Quabbalistic mysticism)
18 A masquerade, the last man unmasks, urged by the girls. (Fluid condensers and magical alchemy)
19 A forest fire subdued, the weary fighters feel jubilant. (Alchemy and electrophysics)
20 White dove circles overhead; descends, bearing a message. (Treatment of incurable disease)
21 A woman is disappointed as a man leaves her boudoir. (Protection from negative influences)
22 Children revel upon a soft new carpet in the nursery. (Justice and consolation of the persecuted and innocently imprisoned)
23 A big trained bear performs, sitting on a huge chair. (Mysteries of Creation and the Akasha principle)
24 Now freed from passion, a man teaches deep wisdom. (Music of the spheres, musical expression)
25 A butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, right-wing first. (Oaths)
26 A garage man is seen ready to test the battery of a car. (Ritual magic)
27 Amid rare books, an old pottery bowl holds fresh violets. (Astral and mental wandering)
28 Huge pile of sawed up wood ensures heat for the winter. (Magic of the spheres)
29 Metamorphosis completed, a butterfly spreads its wings. (Laws of analogy)
30 Moonlit fields, once Babylon, blooming white. (High mysteries of alchemy)

Pisces Sabian Symbols: (Saturn Jupiter Mars)
Innocence
​1 Late Saturday afternoon: crowds fill the public market. (Creative magical powers)
2 Squirrel, showing human acumen, hides from hunter. (Assistance in mundane tasks)
3 A petrified forest: permanent record of ancient lives. (Agricultural technology)
4 Cars crowd a narrow isthmus between two resorts. (Karma-Yoga, the doings of human beings on Earth)
5 A warmhearted crowd gathers at a church bazaar. (Arts, entertainments and light-hearted pleasures)
6 A parade of west point cadets is held as the Sun sets. (Professional success, arts and crafts)
7 Fog hides the shore; but on a clear rock a cross rests. (Good luck in science, success in intellectual work by private study)
8 Girl Scout, in camp, blows her bugle triumphantly. (Gaining of knowledge by schooling)
9 The race begins: a jockey spurs his horse to great speed. (Traveling)
10 The aviator sails across the sky, master of high realms. (Happiness, wealth, honour and respect without incurring negative Karma)
11 Seekers for illumination are guided into the sanctuary. (Subtle mysteries of light and consciousness)
12 Candidates are being examined by the lodge of initiates. (Mental wandering in the spheres)
13 Old weapons in a museum; in a glass case, a sacred sword. (Occult philosophy and acquisition of occult truth)
14 A young lady, wrapped in furs, displays supreme elegance. (Art and artists)
15 An officer in unkempt campaign uniform drills his men. (Sign language, Braille and other forms of special language and communication)
Protection
16 In a quiet museum, an art student drinks in inspiration. (Peace)
17 Easter: rich and poor alike display the best they own. (Fertility and sexual potency)
18 In a huge tent a famous revivalist conducts his meeting. (Amulets and talismans of love, marriage and friendship)
19 Master and pupil commune in strength on a long walk. (Chemical and pharmaceutical invention, dental medicine)
20 In the quiet of evening a farmers supper awaits him. (Intellectual development, memory, wit)
21 Child watched by Chinese servant caresses a white lamb. (Fortune and happiness)
22 Down a symbolic mountain of industry comes a new Moses. (Enlightenment transposed to uninitiated people)
23 A “materialising medium” summons weird ghostly shapes. (Laws of nature)
24 In a tiny lost island men build happily their own world. (Meditation)
25 After drastic reforms a purified clergy officiates anew. (Karma)
​26 Two rapt lovers and a philosopher watch the New Moon. (Evocation)
27 The harvest Moon rises in translucent autumnal skies. (Mysteries of the macrocosm and microcosm, Divine cognition)
28 Under the Full Moon the fields seems strangely alive. (Mysticism and spiritual development, magical expression of Divine consciousness)
29 Scientist is making tests by means of spectrum analysis. (Divine love)
30 A seers dream now lives: a face carved into huge rocks. (Correlative effects of Elements and Fluids throughout the entire microcosm and macrocosm)

———————–

Spend some time studying this, meditating upon the symbols that are expressed in your natal astrology. You may be surprised by the striking form of some of these symbols in connection with your personal experience. They also have an oracular power and can reveal many things. Don’t get hung up on the connections these degrees have to the spirits listed in PME, they are only the major magical faculties in the consciousness of that degree and do not cover its astrological meaning although in some cases there is a direct line of connection to the magical consciousness of the degree. I will share some further thoughts on all of this next month along with some examples of the symbols in use and some practical advice on how to integrate this into both your astrological and magical understanding and practice.

Dragonriding

Greetings and welcome back to Journeys! For the first month of 2021 we will be exploring the Dragon, otherwise known as the North and South Nodes of the Moon.

For Valentina & all the Critters

I have previously written about the Dragon in my book and in this journal. In this article I will be explaining some of my thinking when it comes to interpreting the Dragon within the context of the chart as a whole, including its signs and rulers, its temples and its aspects.

THE LIGHT EATER

The nodes are a twinned pair of points in the zodiac usually represented by two symbols resembling a pair of headphones:

These two points are always exactly opposite one another in the zodiac and move in a retrograde motion backwards through the signs, sometimes turning to direct motion for a short while. They take about 18 years to traverse all 12 signs, meaning they take about 1.5 years to move through each sign. For those interested, this 18 year cycle is around the same time it takes Jupiter to oppose itself twice and for the progressed Moon to move 2/3 of the way around the zodiac, placing it in the same Element as the one our Moon was in when we were born, connecting our awareness of the nodes to our teens as we become aware of our personality and our Jupiter traits through puberty, adolescence and early adulthood.

As I have written before, the simplest way to understand the nodes is that they are where an eclipse would occur if both Sun and Moon were at those places (meaning if both Sun and Moon are near the nodes you were born near or during a solar or lunar eclipse, but not necessarily one that was visible where you were born). They represent a place in the sky where an alignment of Sun, Moon and Earth can produce an eclipse. However the nodes are a pair, always opposite one another in the zodiac, and thus represent polarisation as well as a blending of the Sun, Moon and Earth.

As a product, then, of the Lights and the Earth, both of the nodes have something to say about our earthly consciousness, about the integration of spirit, soul and body, the mental, astral and physical awareness, and the overall agenda we have in coming to a physical form. In astrology this gives them a broad symbolic meaning which is a blend of all three and which connects with how earthly perspective can eclipse awareness of living an illuminated life, as well as the process we have to go through to ground the magic of the eclipse, bringing the power of our own inner light of being into perfect alignment with the now moment. We enter into existence with an intention to fully share our inner light, to ground it in the material and physical universe, but a churning entanglement with physical experience can and indeed does overshadow our awareness of this inner light. This is the wisdom of the Dragon.

The Dragon overall is a nexus in which the matrix of our being encounters the flow of meaning and significance. Yet as a polarized being with a Head and Tail that are separated the Dragon calls for integration and balance of some kind. The Head must be connected to the Tail via a stomach, an organ capable of digesting what is consumed and turning it into raw fuel. This stomach is us, or more accurately the entity at the centre of the chart. We are tasked with the challenge of becoming the critical third point in the Dragons existence, that which gives it a specific meaning and significance, the observer who witnesses the eclipse. The Dragon is therefore one of the keys astrology offers us in terms of the magical equilibrium and the resolution of what we can call karma, the ongoing drama of cause and effect. With the South Node or Dragons Tail we are dealing with things that are deeply significant and with which we have a profound psychological identification complex, with the sum of the causes we are dealing with in this lifetime, the things we must move away from, while with the North Node or Dragons Head we are dealing with things that are profoundly meaningful for our psychological growth, the things we must move towards, the effects we are better off cultivating and generating.

In practical terms the astrology surrounding the Tail is an abundance of experience but this abundance has led to dependence and an imbalance towards seeing life in a particular way that is now confining (the Tail is a constrictor). For example if the Tail is in an Earth sign it indicates that we come in with a significant Earth connection of some kind which now limits us. We will therefore have a great deal of connection to that way of being, but in ways that have become or will show themselves to be problematic. For example the aforementioned person with the Tail in an Earth sign may be too conventional or rely too heavily upon the status quo and will therefore tend to have issues getting stuck, being left behind, etc. The issue is essentially that we have become too used to that way of doing things and now have to move on. Of course, we get to keep all of that experience and knowledge, but we don’t actually get a benefit from it in the same way anymore. Usually we will benefit from it more when we give it away to others and not when we use it to move forward with our own goals or situations. However this is generally not easy because we are so comfortable living in that space and being that way, so comfortable in fact that we may not even notice that it is a problem, and we incarnate without an awareness that we have chosen to break these particular habits. It is invisible. We bump into it all the time, but we never see its face so it remains ambiguous and spectral, unlike the presence of Saturn which is always concrete and up front about the discipline it wants to instill. Saturn is a wall, but the Tail disappears into rabbit holes and is only rarely seen sliding around the corner from the edge of vision. Its cloak of invisibility (you only see the Dragon during an eclipse) lends it a Neptunian edge.

The Head on the other hand is the way out of that situation for us, the kind of attitude and experience we must seek in order to break out of the rut we have blindly fallen into. However we won’t have the same kind of experience in this area and therefore it will not feel as comfortable and we will have to make more of an effort to try things that way. The invisibility of the Dragon translates here as our blindness or ignorance of the nutritional astral benefits of a particular approach. The Head is something we have to chew over. It is hungry for more and its belly is us, but we lack the appetite for it while in the coils of the Tail.

LEVELS OF SYMMETRY

Here is where the symmetry of the Dragon starts to reveal its design. The person with the Tail in an Earth sign will have the Head in a Water sign, showing that the way out is to connect with the world of feelings and emotions, probably because all that focus on the material world has cut us off from them. A Water Tail will always have an Earth Head to guide it out of the emotional complexities it has become drowned in. Fire and Air pair the same way, representing a pattern of impulsiveness and spontaneity versus a pattern of calculated planning and thought. These represent the binary/primary karmic patterns being dealt with by the Dragon:

Elemental/Fluid Polarities

Electric Dragon, or Fire/Air Head & Tail: This Dragon focuses on the balance between development of the will vs. development of the intellect, impulse vs. calculation, self vs. society.
Magnetic Dragon, or Water/Earth Head & Tail: This Dragon focuses on the balance between development of the feelings vs. development of practicality, emotion vs. pragmatism, complexity vs. simplicity.

If Saturn (another universal indicator of karma) then finds itself in a sign that has the same Element as the Head or Tail, indications are very clear about where the soul is in hard labour. Conjunctions of Saturn with the nodal axis are therefore indicators of people who have chosen to deal with a lot of heavy baggage and who may have to work much harder to attain a healthy relationship with the Element – but the rewards are greater. In the aforementioned example of the Tail in Taurus, a conjunction with Saturn could well indicate someone who has become severely and chronically entrenched in materialism and conservative values, for example.

Of course its not just the Elements that the Head and Tail are in that polarize, it’s also the signs (Aries is always opposed by Libra), the houses or temples (the 1st is always opposite the 7th, etc) and the aspects of the Dragon too (trines to one part of the Dragon make sextiles to the other part, squares make squares to both ends, and conjunctions to one part are always oppositions to the other half of the Dragon), and in addition to this the rulers of the Head and Tail become involved, which is where the elegant complexity of the nodal tree really expresses itself. For example, someone with the Tail in Taurus might have a pattern with being highly acquisitive (perhaps a hoarder, for example), the Tail might also be in the 6th temple (so now the hoarding becomes about pills and things in the medical cabinet, again for example), it might also be in a square with Mercury in Aquarius (so now they are maybe a hypochondriac thinking there are all kinds of weird things wrong with them), and the ruler of Taurus, Venus, might be in Capricorn (so now everything is super organised) and in a trine with Jupiter in Virgo (so now its all bigger, they know all about the side effects in the fine print, have memorized the safe dosage levels and also probably give large parts of it away). It could manifest in any number of ways, yet this whole complex will still be problematic, it will represent a blockage for that persons psychological growth.

In terms of the karmic factors they signify the difference between Saturn and the Dragon is subtle. With Saturn we are presented with the lessons of time, maturity and responsibility – ultimately it represents a concrete blockage in our psyche of the titanic awareness of our own eternal nature and the journey we make to reclaim that awareness. Its lessons are hard but concrete. It tasks us with the construction of something, be it a material thing, an understanding of the soul, an ability to communicate, a healthy relationship, etc. We first become aware of Saturn at the first Saturn square, at age 7, albeit in an immature form. From that point on we can easily recognise the limitations of Saturn, especially when it is powerfully placed. The focus of the Dragon, however, is on the more ephemeral baggage we come in with and the way we deal with that, having less to do with the slowly growing awareness concerning our mortality as we get older (as the time left in the hourglass shrinks the intention of Saturn is that we focus more and more on what truly matters) and being far less concrete. Its lessons are equally hard but more phantasmal and insubstantial, less amenable to identification (our past lives obscure specifics). It tasks us less with building something and more with shifting our attitude. There is an extensive area of overlap between the two, however, as there are in many things in astrology. A more complete picture of karma comes from studying both together as well as all of the major dynamics in the chart, but focusing on these two parts of it gets to the meat of the matter quickly.

TRUE or MEAN?

Calculation of the nodes is complicated by a controversy over which of two calculations to use (and there is that binary nature again). One method, technically the more accurate method, calculates the nodes using the truer centre of gravity that exists between the Moon and the Earth, which is a non-fixed (drifting) centre about a quarter of the way in (990 miles) towards the centre of Earth. It takes account of the gravitational influence of the Sun and the wobble exerted upon the Earth by the pull of the Moon but it is still a fuzzy or slightly fudged calculation that does not result in a completely ‘true node’, despite the name. The mean node takes a simpler approach of placing the centre of gravity between Moon and Earth at the centre of the Earth itself. The end difference between these two methods of calculation in a chart is only about 1-2°, meaning that it is not usually significant, but at the sign boundaries (29°-0° of the next sign) it makes a giant difference because it changes the sign of the nodes. This means that these people are actually the ones who help us determine which calculation is working. The best case studies are those where the rulers of the possible signs of the Dragon are in very different places (it can be hard to tell the difference between a Tail in Virgo and a Tail in Libra when Mercury and Venus are conjunct in the same sign, for instance). It is often the position of the Tail that is the bigger giveaway here, and in my clients and friends I have found the true node to be the more reliable method. This is also my direct and personal experience as I was born with the Tail at the sign boundary between Leo and Virgo. The key takeaway here though is that unless the nodal axis is at a sign boundary, you don’t really need to worry about which method of calculation you use. Differences in the degree that results are so slight that it only really matters for things like aspects which are in a wide orb (in which case it’s best to focus on those aspects to the nodes that are closer) and the sign position when the nodal axis is at the sign boundary.

POLARISATION, SYMMETRY & KARMA

In the section on the Dragon in The 26 Keys I wrote about its connection to the concept of polarity as expressed through the signs of the zodiac. This is really just the next level up from the Elemental polarisation I described above with Fire/Air and Water/Earth. The binary nature of the Dragon and the zodiac splits the spectrum of the 12 signs into six pairs of signs, each polarity being made of an internalised (energy flows in to the awareness) and externalized expression (out from the awareness), but both signs having a particular theme that expresses both stark differences and uniting principles. I gave these 6 polarities names which describe, for me, the essence of their processes. Below I present some further notes on these polarities:

Zodiac Polarities

Aries/Libra: the creative processes, with Aries representing externalization and Libra internalization. The generation and sharing of beauty and power, the relationship of the self with all other forces in the universe. Fighting vs. cooperating, doing it my way vs. following polite social norms, vengeance vs. justice, engaging threat vs. defusing danger. For more on Aries, navigate here, and for Libra, here
Taurus/Scorpio: the binding processes, with Taurus as the externalization and Scorpio as the internalization. The acquisition and control of things, the forming of deep connection through desire, vow and oath. Safety vs. temptation, status quo vs. transformation, simplicity vs. complexity. For more on Taurus see here, and for Scorpio here
Gemini/Sagittarius: the informative processes, with Gemini as their internalization and Sagittarius as their externalization. The investigation and exploration of things, the motive power of the universe. Knowledge vs. wisdom, facts vs. ethical and moral considerations, reason vs. intuition, specific vs. general. To read more on Gemini navigate here, and for Sagittarius here.
Cancer/Capricorn: the constructive processes, with Cancer as their internalization and Capricorn as their externalization. The preservation of things for posterity, the building of nests or domains. Indulgence vs. discipline, comfort vs. austerity, nurture vs. nature. More on Cancer can be found here, and on Capricorn over here
Leo/Aquarius: the emanatory processes, with Leo as their externalization and Aquarius as their internalization. The brilliance of the uniqueness of things, the exploration of the individuals role within the community. Art vs. science, self generated creativity vs. direct inspiration, individualism vs. collectivity, leadership vs. freedom, fame vs. iconoclasm. I have more on Leo over here, and more on Aquarius here
Virgo/Pisces: the refining processes, with Virgo as their externalization and Pisces as their internalization. The bringing of things to perfection, the sifting of the gross from the subtle. Order vs. chaos, mundane vs. spiritual, proof vs. trust, nobody is perfect vs. unconditional love. Virgo gets more coverage here and there is a deep dive into Pisces here

It is also worth pointing out here that there is a symmetrical planetary level layered in here too, but only if we ignore the modern planets. Signs ruled by Venus and Mars (Aries/Libra and Taurus/Scorpio) are always polar opposites for reasons that should be fairly clear, Venus being a feminine and Mars being a masculine archetype. Similarly, signs ruled by Mercury and signs ruled by Jupiter are always opposite (Gemini/Sagittarius and Virgo/Pisces) and signs ruled by one of the Lights and Saturn are always opposite (Cancer/Capricorn and Leo/Aquarius). Thus at the planetary level the Dragons principle of polarity describes our karmic situation thusly:

Planetary Polarities

Venus and Mars – the need to strike balance between the feminine and the masculine, or reaction and action, desiring and being desired.
Mercury and Jupiter – the need to strike balance between the mind and the spirit, or reason/intellect and faith/intuition.
The Lights and Saturn – the need to bring balance between the awareness (consciousness) and the universal laws, or self and experience, being and time, life and death.

These are the basic building blocks of karmic experience on the Earth as the Dragon of western astrology sees them, the 2 Elementally based paths, the 3 planetary paths, the 6 archetypal polarities delineated by the signs of our zodiac, which are themselves 12 individual archetypal paths for experience. We can also add the 12 houses, which are divided into 6 polarized pairs like the signs, as the top level. These polarities are focused on twinned experiences available to all beings. For example, the 1st house or temple is about the identity we express when acting alone, while the 7th is about the identity we express when in a partnership or our ability to empathize with other identities, but both the 1st and the 7th are essentially about the experience of identity.

Temple Polarities

1st/7th temple: Polarity of identification, you/me, controls the experience of identification with things, controls the stability of the identity and the balance between partnering and self sufficiency. For more on the 1st temple navigate here, for the 7th temple see here.
2nd/8th temple: the sensual polarity, holding/releasing, gain and loss, controls the security of the soul and body and the balance between nurturing the physical and the astral. For more on the 2nd temple, navigate here and for the 8th temple see here.
3rd/9th temple: the cognitive polarity, learning/trusting, perspective and truth, controls the ability to process experience into models and patterns and the balance or exchange of concepts between the individual and the universe. For more on the 3rd temple navigate here, and for the 9th temple here.
4th/10th temple: the temporal polarity, past/future, private/public life, background and aspiration, controls our orientation in time and the balance between being grounded and rising to the peak. For more on the 4th temple navigate here and for the 10th temple go here.
5th/11th temple: the artistry (or co-creative) polarity, self satisfaction with creativity/audience appreciation, creation/sharing, controls ability to enrich life and society and the balance between what we have to contribute and the purpose we seek to attain in contributing it. For more on the 5th temple navigate here and for the 11th temple here.
6th/12th temple: the servicing (or essential, as in essence) polarity, civil service/hermits retreat, mundane life/inner life, assisting others through physical acts/praying for others, controls ability to draw essential lessons from life experience and the balance between being here now and transcendent bliss. For more on the 6th temple go here and for the 12th temple navigate here.

At each rising level, from the core Elementally based paths to the experiential polarities of the houses, the complexity, specificity and detail increases:

Fundamental level: Dragon is Magnetic or Electric and expresses polarity and karma in Sun/Moon, North/South, also Fire/Air and Water/Earth.
Planetary path: Dragon expresses polarity and karma in 3 pairs, Lights/Saturn (life/death, being/experience), Mercury/Jupiter (reason/faith, mind/spirit), Venus/Mars (feeling/acting, male/female, desiring/being desired).
Zodiacal Path: Dragon expresses polarity and karma in 6 pairs: Aries/Libra (creative polarity), Taurus/Scorpio (binding polarity), Gemini/Sagittarius (informative polarity), Cancer/Capricorn (constructive polarity), Leo/Aquarius (emanatory polarity), Virgo/Pisces (servicing polarity).
Temple Path: Dragon expresses polarity and karma in 6 pairs: 1st/7th temple (identification experience), 2nd/8th temple (sensual experience), 3rd/9th temple (cognitive experience), 4th/10th temple (temporal or chronological experience), 5th/11th temple (experience of life as artistry), 6th/12th temple (experience of life as service).

Additionally if there are aspects to the Dragon or the rulers of the Dragon these will add further details. However because the Dragon is a binary entity any aspect will be made to both parts of the Dragon and not just one side, even if the orbs are too wide on one side while being narrower on the other. There will be a leaning more towards the more exact aspect, but both aspects will be present at the same time.

Polarities in the aspects of the Dragon

Conjunctions are always paired with oppositions. These aspects are about polarisation and balance and are often therefore more powerful because they are in a resonance with the nature of the Dragon itself.
Squares are always made to both sides of the Dragon. These aspects are about something being held in the balance, something that could go either way, something that has been wagered in life and is potentially at risk but also potentially at a turning point.
Sextiles and trines are always paired, but the trine being a stronger aspect would tend to favour one side more than the other. These aspects are about situations and forces (including people) whose help comes with a price we do not acknowledge or perceive. Some things seem like they are good for us, but they are part of the rot. That rich relative who makes your drug habit easy, for example. These aspects are about uncovering those things and re-purposing them.

If the ruler of the Dragon, a Light or the ruling planet of the ascendant makes an aspect to the Dragon it usually represents ways in which we can be our own worst enemies, but conversely it also offers a way for us to be our own best friend, if we embrace the Dragons Head.

USE IN INTERPRETATION

Why is all this important? Well, first because it shows us what the Dragon is representative of – it’s representative of this polarisation that is expressed throughout all of the astrology in a single chart, it symbolically encapsulates that polarisation at a granular level where we can more easily operate with it in practice. It takes all of the above and distills it into two places in the zodiac, places which represent the Gordian knot where all of the above gathers and is focused. The nexus of the Dragon in a chart is like the naval in the middle of your body, it marks a place in your astral body where you inherit the power to be your own person, to bring your life into balance by gathering it into a focal point that will empower you.

The Dragon is a powerful tool that helps you to contextualize the chart and to sharpen your focus, eliminating some of the fuzziness that comes when playing with a symbolic system. You use it in the beginning for this reason, as a kind of focusing tool before diving in. Here is how you do that.

First, take note of the position of the Dragon, noting its signs. Have a way to make some notes as you go. Start with the Tail and follow all the steps through to the end, then start over with the Head. Normally there is a golden rule in astrology – never overemphasise the negative, always focus on the positive potential. With the Tail, however, we need to break this golden rule as the qualities connected to it are things that are problematic by nature, even though they probably do not feel like it. They represent a stock or abundance of something (causes) that karmically speaking we have brought with us to give away, not to profit from. So when running through the list below, bear this in mind and feel free to walk a little bit more on the dark side. On the other hand, do the exact opposite with the Head, focusing heavily on its positive potentials and traits (as effects and attitudes to strive for).

1) Note the Element. Refer to the Elemental/Fluid Polarities section, above. Make a note about where the emphasis lies e.g. “Tail is Electric/Fire, emphasis is on development of the will and acting on impulse”. This is the fundamental level.
2) Note the planet that rules the sign. Refer to the Planetary Polarities summary, above. Make a note about where the emphasis lies at the planetary level e.g. “ruled by Mars, emphasis on masculinity, male approach and desiring, everything connected with Mars in the chart”. Here you can also make a note about the position of that planet in the chart, e.g. “Mars is in Virgo in the 1st”. This can help you add more detail if you wish.
3) Note the sign. Refer to Zodiacal Polarities, above, and make a note about the emphasis. For example, “Aries, the creative polarity, emphasis on external expression, generation of power, confrontational or direct relationship of the self with all other forces in the universe, especially adverse ones. Aggressive, bullish or warrior like energy”. If you added the extra level of detail in the previous step, do so again here, for example “Virgo, the refining processes, with emphasis on externalization, the bringing of things to perfection, the sifting of the gross from the subtle, analysis paralysis, skepticism, criticism, support/assistance, purity or quality control”.
4) Note the temple. Refer to Temple Polarities, above, and make a note about the emphasis. For example “8th temple, the sensual polarity, holding/releasing, gain and loss, balance between nurturing the physical and the astral, 8th emphasises debt, legacy, taxation, the transformative power and flow of energy, relationship between astral and physical security”. Again, if you added the extra level in the previous steps do so again here, for example “1st temple, identification polarity, emphasis is on the self (1st) instead of the other (7th). Direct, pushy, in your face Mars in Virgo energy, shrewd sharpness, hypercritical/fussy, interfering, forcefulness, strong identity”.
5) Review your material. Then go back to the chart and apply your notes to your initial assessment of the chart, i.e. evaluate the Sun and Moon and ascendant (and then the rest) in the context of what you have been told by the Dragon. Take note of the astrological aspects of the part of the Dragon you just reviewed and the aspects of its ruler. Write these details down with some notes. For example, “Aries Tail (in early Aries) is in an ‘out of sign’ sextile with Sun and Midheaven in late Taurus. Gives strong acquisitive and material ambitions. Mars in Virgo is trine the Sun and Midheaven, giving even more emphasis towards the ambitions and material goals”.

Look for patterns and reinforcements of themes. The patterns that repeat at different levels using different symbols are like neon signposts alerting you to the importance of those factors. Thats really all you need to do, just keep all your notes handy when you interpret the chart and use them to sharpen and focus that interpretation, remembering that everything connected with the Tail is about things we need to outgrow and just give away to others while everything connected to the Head is about things we need to lean into and focus on if we want to see more success in life. Sometimes you will find there is an overlap between things connected to the Tail and things connected to the Head and you will have to unpick that with your subject matter in order to unravel the details (usually it means something need to be regenerated or transformed), but more often there is a clear difference between the two. By the way, the example I used above was from a real chart for the New York Stock Exchange:

The Head in Libra indicates it must strive for fairness, an equitable balance, a weighing of things, but can you imagine what a powerful and positive force the NYSE would be if it had a social conscience (having leaned into a chivalrous and empathetic but still pragmatic and grounded Libra Head ruled by Venus exalted in Taurus)? Such a meditation is a good illustration of what the Head offers and also of the scale and scope of the difficulties faced when dealing with it.

It is a Dragon, after all.

 

The Astrology of 2021

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! After such a calamitous year everyone wants to move on so my final post of 2020 is a look ahead at the major astrological patterns of 2021. So, let’s get on with scouting the path ahead!

For this analysis I am going to present the information in two parts, the first part discussing each planet in turn with overall trends and the second part will look at each month. The planets that will be considered in this analysis are Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Eris, in transit. I also kept in mind the posiiton of the Sun when writing the monthly analysis. The first part will be helpful to people working with activations and conduction (see the archives for more on these topics) as well as providing a general overview of the influences each planet brings us this year. The second part is more of a weather map which shows a chronological sequence in which those influences emerge. Both parts of this message are drawn from the following graphic ephemeris, below:

Reading the graph is easier than it might seem at first. Read it left to right and notice the months along the top first. The wavy lines are the movements of the slowest moving planets, and their lines are labelled and show which sign they are in. When the line is going from top to bottom in the graph (moving down) the planet is moving forwards, when it is rising from the bottom to the top it is instead retrograde, and the points at which the curve turns the line one way or another are the planets stations when it is motionless. When planets reach the top or bottom of the graph they move into a different sign. When one or more of the lines cross over there is the potential for a major aspect. It will depend on what sign each planet is in. That’s it. You don’t need to understand the graph thoough, I try to do that for you here.

JUPITER & SATURN

It is appropriate to consider these two planets together for this year as they begin the year separating from a conjunction in early Aquarius. This means they bring similar themes but do so according to their own planetary principle. I wrote last month about the greater significance of this conjunction – this year we will be dealing with more temporary effects that are directly related to that larger picture. However as the graph shows Jupiter (the blue line) speeds through Aquarius, leaving it in mid May (as noted above, when a planets line reaches the bottom of the graph and returns to the top, or vice versa, it means it has entered a different sign), in comparison to the lingering curve of Saturn (the black line), which stays there all year. Yet Jupiter does not remain in the new sign of Pisces for very long, turning retrograde and returning to Aquarius for the rest of the year at the end of July. Therefore, there is an “island” between mid-May and the end of July in which the themes of Aquarius are less intense, but most of the year sees both of these planets in Aquarius. Jupiter enters Pisces again at the end of December 2021, marking its full entrance into that sign.

One important thing to note here is that these are signs which both of these planets rule (Saturn is the diurnal/Electric ruler of Aquarius and Jupiter is the nocturnal/Magnetic ruler of Pisces). It’s rare that both of these planets are in rulership at the same time, as they will be between mid-May and the end of July and for the last days of December 2021. For magicians, especially those involved in making talismans, opportunities to work with Jupiter and Saturn in rulership are rare, happening twice every 12 years (totaling about a year each time) with Jupiter, and once every 28 years for Saturn but in an extended period of about five years duration. So all of 2020 and all of 2021 are ideal times to make Saturn talismans or to work with Saturn in a magical context, and peeking slightly ahead he will stay in Aquarius until the first two months of 2023. In the case of Jupiter, there is an ideal period this year between mid-May and the end of July and one brief period at the end of December which flows over into 2022 and lasts until around mid-May of that year. Of course, you still have to choose the day and the hour in which Jupiter or Saturn are unimpeded and in commanding sky positions, as per the guidelines I have written about elsewhere. Some good places to look are in the sections below showing the months in which various influences arise.

For everyone else, a strong Saturn means that we all required to exercise patience, discipline, maturity, understanding and wisdom as well as long-term planning and hard work in order to move up some steep and tiring paths. We are halfway through an endurance marathon of Saturn in rulership, the first half being when Saturn was in Capricorn, and we now enter the second phase of the long, exhausting journey. However this one will be different to what we have just been through, as now new structures will begin to emerge as well as new ways of thinking and new rules to guide human interaction. The strong Jupiter that we get in the middle of the year brings a wave of compassion, empathy and much-needed Water to the picture, but we have to watch out for things like rising sea levels and melting ice being in the news. Sometimes the bounty of Jupiter is a deluge of the kind that is not welcome. However, the opportunity is there for us to reconnect with the spiritual and with deeper levels of feeling. There is a cool, distant, scientific detachment to Aquarius that can be aloof and alienating with extended exposure, and this dose of Pisces is a perfect remedy. We will feel things again very deeply after a long drought.

What this appears to be saying is that mass vaccinations (Aquarius) will lead to an outpouring of emotions (Pisces) that are most visible between mid-May and August. You can see this as indicating a level of protest, but Pisces is not an angry sign. On balance, it seems to me that Jupiter is finally gaining strength enough to match the strength of Saturn after a year in poor dignity in Capricorn (everyone poorer except the super rich). Jupiter in Aquarius lets us breath again, brings a sense of liberation, freedom and release that indicates places opening up, and this leads to the period of Jupiter in Pisces that releases a torrent of pent up emotions as people finally hug one another again without fear. In many ways it is the most beautiful moment that we can see symbolically reflected in the sky this year but it is definitely overshadowed by suspicions about the circumstances that make it permissible again. Pisces is also a supremely sensitive sign able to pick up psychic skill with ease, so this island of Jupiter in Pisces is ideal for that too, as well as for anything related to Jupiter or Pisces.

Over the course of the year Jupiter and Saturn form the following aspects with other major planets, the details of which are discussed in the month by month section:

Jupiter makes

a square with Uranus in Taurus in January (trouble when pushing your luck, ill-advised gambling or risk-taking, false projections, excessive idealism and impracticality, awakenings or mass movements, multiple choice moments, inflation/debt, ideological clashes, both secular and clergical)

a sextile with Chiron in Aries in January (healing, growth through integration, talk of fixing things)

three sextiles with Eris in Aries (opportunity or growth through discord, or possible escalations of discord?) in April, September and November

Saturn makes

a square with Mars in Taurus in January (putting the brakes on things, feelings of exhaustion or lack of energy, willpower being tested, the need for persistence in order to bite through things)

three sextiles with Chiron in Aries in February, June and November (slow and steady healing potential for chronic conditions, application of remedies which prove to be permanent, closing of open wounds, agreements to act as a collective)

three squares with Uranus in Taurus in February, June and December (restructuring, destabilising, revolutionary forces, paradigm emergence, reordering, new rules or laws, financial instability)

CHIRON

Chiron remains in Aries all year, beginning its journey into the second decan of the sign. You can find an extensive article about the meaning of Chiron in Aries here. Chiron brings teaching, healing/wounding, repair, integration and bridging. In Aries this is being applied to our use of willpower and courage, our warrior spirit and our ability to launch new enterprises.

One of the great blessings of 2020 is that Chiron was only in the early degrees of a Cardinal/Active sign and therefore remote from the troubles in the later degrees of those signs. A lot of things would have gone wrong and a lot more things would have been broken had Chiron been just a little ahead on his path. His big date with Eris in Aries is still a ways off as well.

Chiron in Aries combines well with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius (as shown by the sextiles in the section above) and it stays far enough away from Pluto in Capricorn that the square between the two is not an issue for now. Additionally it makes no major aspects to Uranus in Taurus or Neptune in Pisces. Therefore the overall territory traversed by Chiron this year is easy to manage and so the year provides strong potential for any healing journey. However it is interesting to note that between mid-March and mid-May Chiron and Uranus remain in a close semi-sextile, keeping pace with one another throughout April. Such an extended interaction may have unusual effects for semi-sextile aspects. Normally, interactions between Chiron and Uranus are not terribly easy to handle, even when they are sextiles or trines. The difficulties are usually that there are many jigsaw pieces laid before us and we have to puzzle over how they fit together without looking at the box lid.

Chiron’s journey

– a sextile with Jupiter in Aquarius in January (healing, growth through integration, talk of fixing things)

– three sextiles with Saturn in Aquarius in February, June and November (slow and steady healing potential for chronic conditions, application of remedies which prove to be permanent, closing of open wounds, agreements to act as a collective)

URANUS

Uranus journeys through the second decan of Taurus all year. It is one of the major players in astrological activity since it will form three squares with Saturn (first described above). Uranus in Taurus brings a great deal of earthly, physical change including financial disruption. A detailed article on its meaning can be found here. There is also the aforementioned article on the Saturn square Uranus aspect.

One of the major repeating themes of Uranus in Taurus, sadly, is famine or food shortage, and from current reports it looks like this could be a big problem in 2021. Trade agreements are also a theme, but the squares with Saturn do not help them stick. This square can bring wrangling and disagreements about quotas, tariffs, payouts and territorial claims alongside rebellions and kickback against material powers such as the state, economic hardship, crackdowns, surveillance, new laws and rules and struggles for freedom. This is a tough square with a powerful Saturn and a tense Uranus with both in stubborn posture due to Fixed/Stable signs. It’s explosive, dynamite type material and what gets blown up looks like normal life, normal routine, normal expectations. Conflicting new paradigms are struggling for future dominance, and its far more complex than a polarisation because it occurs on multiple levels. Its a confusing and disorienting part of the ride ahead, and people need to stay centred and grounded to navigate it safely.

Uranus in 2021 makes

– a square with Jupiter in Aquarius in January (trouble when pushing your luck, ill-advised gambling or risk-taking, false projections, excessive idealism and impracticality, awakenings or mass movements, multiple choice moments, inflation/debt, ideological clashes, both secular and clergical)

– three squares with Saturn in Aquarius in February, June and December (restructuring, destabilising, revolutionary forces, paradigm emergence, reordering, new rules or laws, financial instability)

NEPTUNE

Neptune finishes drifting through the second decan of Pisces and begins entering the third decan for the final (slow) leg of its journey through the sign. This transition occurs in January. This last decan is very much about the ending and dissolution of things as it is the last decan of the zodiac. Since Pisces is a Water sign, this year offers us the chance to resolve emotional things, essentially by letting them go or through forgiveness, but this is a theme that we will have until 2025/6, when Neptune enters Aries.

Neptune in Pisces is surreal, dreamlike, unearthly and calls for sacrifices. If you have been feeling that reality is not quite what it appears to be, or that life has taken on a super surreal tone, you are responding to Neptune in Pisces. If you have put the mask on and kept it on out of empathy, you are responding to Neptune in Pisces. If you are marveling at the way people have sacrificed their personal liberty, staying home and losing their jobs, you are also responding to Neptune in Pisces. If you think the election result is fake, or you can’t believe the gall of those bringing that accusation without evidence, the same. The point is that Neptune in Pisces transcends boundaries, it saturates everything with the same level of unearthly surrealism.

For those looking within, these are miraculous times. Deep inner reflection leads to catching whales rather than fish. Meditation with Neptune in Pisces brings an abundance of tranquility and peace, but also a more vivid life to the subtle senses, both visually and emotionally. Many people are having their clairsentience and other psychic abilities activated or developed.

Neptune in 2021

– Neptune makes no major aspects to any slow moving planets this year. As far as Neptune in Pisces is concerned, it is a quiet year.

PLUTO

Compared to 2020 the astrological energy of Pluto is greatly cooled off, but there is still an ongoing square with Eris in Aries that reaches another exact point in October that we have to be very careful about. Since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008 we have been going through a series of financial collapses and apocalypses, and we are entering the final sequence of this theme as Pluto prepares to leave for Aquarius in 2024. The next four years are due to bring all of the financial meltdowns of the last decade to a culmination of some kind. This looks more dire for us in the latter half of the year from July onward as the square between Pluto and Eris remains tight for that entire time, culminating in October. What we are seeing here are actually the fourth and fifth squares in a sequence of five, packed tightly together in the last six months of the year. The first square between Pluto and Eris took place in January 2020, just as the coronavirus was beginning to transmit itself globally. The second and third squares then followed in June (as protests against totalitarian measures were increasing) and in this month, December (as numbers skyrocket with the mutated strain breaking out everywhere). The story of the pandemic is not over according to the story of this square. The final chapter will occur in the latter half of this year and it may bring the most extended disruption so far, because the Pluto/Eris square will be around in an almost exact aspect from the middle of August to the middle of October, as Pluto is at station. On the one hand what makes this less worrying is that Jupiter and Saturn are no longer in Capricorn and Saturn is about 6° away from squaring Uranus at the time. What makes this more worrying is this extended duration with two exact squares just weeks apart as Pluto is motionless and turning direct, while the Sun aided by Mars in Libra (from mid-September to the end of October) interact with both Pluto and Eris at just the wrong moment in just the wrong way. We receive a blessing in that Jupiter moves back into Aquarius out of Pisces and helps by giving a sextile to Eris and a trine to Mars, but this may just enlarge or expand upon the trouble instead of alleviating it. This is where we have to be careful of both financial disruption and the probability of war increasing as well as more from the pandemic. It is easily the most troubling feature of the year, with Saturn square Uranus as the next most troubling. We can draw some comfort from the fact that Chiron in Aries is nowhere near this square. However, we are still learning about Eris and her contributions, so it is possible this has nothing to do with the virus. It will be fairly telling what happens in this period as far as our understanding of Eris is concerned.

Pluto in 2021

– two exact squares with Eris in Aries, one in early September and one in early October, the last two squares of a sequence of five which began in January 2020. However these last two squares do not have the additional factors of Jupiter and Saturn in Capricorn to make them worse.

ERIS

Our newest neighbour Eris continues to transit through the last decan of Aries, interacting with Pluto as described above but also having three sextile interactions with Jupiter in Aquarius that either serve to exaggerate and expand upon the discord of Eris in Aries or to cause opportunity and growth to arise from it. It will be interesting to see if this triple sextile with Jupiter brings help or an escalation. If it brings help Jupiter will be acting in accordance with its traditional nature, but if instead it brings a problematic escalation it may be because that is what is truly needed for our continued growth. Or it could just be because Eris cannot be pacified by Jupiter, which seems quite likely to me. Regardless, there are opportunities for anybody looking to really really shake up (or blow up) the way they express their Aries qualities such as their willpower or their bravery. I’ve also noticed that Eris in Aries seems to be bringing discord through disruption of gender norms as the trans community finally feels safe enough to come out into the open. Some of the kickback against this definitely reminds me of the way that gay and lesbian people were treated when they first decided that they were ready to seek acknowledgment and fair representation decades ago. The way these changes challenge our concept of identity and masculinity and the millennia of toxicity attached to that is very Eris in Aries. In this way we can see that Eris is actually a peacekeeper of sorts, striking at the poisons that have threatened us with war for so long, it’s just that unlike her sister Venus she uses no soft tactics to persuade men, and she is not actually interested in peace, she is interested in getting kicks out of creating discord by messing with the status quo. She doesn’t care about organising things into larger collectives or individual liberty and freedom like Uranus. She sees things in much broader terms even than Pluto, and so her ultimate motives are truly beyond our comprehension.

Eris in 2021

– two exact squares with Pluto in Capricorn, one in early September and one in early October, the last two squares of a sequence of five which began in January 2020. However these last two squares do not have the additional factors of Jupiter and Saturn in Capricorn to make them worse.

– three sextiles with Jupiter in Aquarius (opportunity or growth through discord, or possible escalations of discord?) in April, September and November

THE OVERALL TERRITORY

There is no doubt that everyone with a heavy emphasis on Active or Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn) and especially the latter part of those signs can breathe a sigh of relief this year – while the pattern of 2020 overall has been ‘trouble whenever the Moon or Sun (or Mars) enters a Cardinal sign’ the pattern of 2021 is different. There is still a lot of trouble in the late Cardinal/Active signs with Pluto in Eris still in square, so the bumpy ride there is not over yet and the problems for these signs are not over, but the spotlight of challenges is now shifting onto the Fixed/Stable signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. In general, the overall territory of 2021 is instead ‘trouble whenever the Sun or Moon or Mars enters a Fixed/Stable sign’. This becomes less of a problem when Jupiter is in Pisces from mid-May until the end of July.

However although 2021 will undoubtedly be dominated by the squares between Saturn and Uranus, the underlying tension of a double Pluto square Eris will erupt in the later part of the year. We could say then that in the first part of the year it is the Fixed/Stable signs that produce most of the tension while in the latter part of the year both Fixed/Stable signs and Cardinal/Active signs are generating challenges for everyone. Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces – the Reactive/Mutable signs – are relatively quiet.

MONTH BY MONTH

What follows is a month by month arrangement of this information including transits of Mars which often acts as a trigger for slow moving planets.

January

The two or three major features of this month are the square between Saturn in Aquarius and Mars in Taurus (Jan 13) and the squares between Jupiter in Aquarius and Uranus/Mars conjunct in Taurus (Jan 17 and 23). The conjunction of Mars with Uranus in Taurus in the middle of these squares (Jan 20) points to aggressive market activity and a desire for a rapid increase in the pace of life. The latter half of the month is the most challenging part of the month because the Sun will enter Aquarius and add a great deal of raw energy to the Saturn and Jupiter squares. The square interaction between Mars and Saturn suggests everything beginning very slow and sluggish (possibly this is a reflection of continued lockdowns beginning to wear on people) – the energy of Mars square Saturn is like the wheels of a car stuck in mud spinning extremely fast but going nowhere – while there is a feeling of impatience, frustration, restlessness and edginess coming from Jupiter. Tensions are very high this month. The best strategy is perhaps to proceed cautiously so as not to be taken by surprise when unexpected events disrupt plans or expectations. The energy this month is good for making breakthroughs if you can be patient, disciplined and persistent in your actions. Being pushy, obstinate or stubborn in your ways will only generate pressure and stress as well as drawing heat. It feels like the Jupiter in Aquarius and Mars/Uranus mood is to get out and break free of all the horrible restrictions that people have been living under, but the block from Mars square Saturn looks like the strong hand of authority preventing them from doing so. It also seems reasonable to assume that Jupiter in Aquarius square Uranus and Mars in Taurus is about the angry tension surrounding vaccination, which is likely to be an ongoing activity of this month. With Mars in Taurus the financial recovery will likely be beginning and people will probably want to be busy and get to work in need of money, but that square with Saturn makes it slow and confronts it with serious obstacles this month. This month also sees the first and only sextile of Jupiter in Aquarius with Chiron in Aries (Jan 11), which is a wonderful aspect for investigating alternative therapy and healing methods or just for venturing into a completely new direction with a bold spirit. Saturn square Mars is still holding things back, meaning that slow and steady progress is the optimal strategy, but this energy from Jupiter helps us to carry on despite any burdens and to endure and persist in a healing path.

February

Saturn is the major astrological factor of this month as it comes to make its first square with Uranus in Taurus (Feb 17) as well as the first of three sextiles with Chiron in Aries (Feb 9). Mars in Taurus is in a more stable mood this month forming a sextile with Neptune in Pisces on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) and a trine with Pluto in Capricorn (Feb 25). From this activity of Mars alone it would seem that February sees things gathering pace and momentum, freed more to move forwards, but the square between Saturn and Uranus denotes conflict between taking the tried and tested route or trying something innovative. This conflict must be confronted and at least partly resolved before things can move forwards this month. The presence of the Sun in Aquarius energises Saturn and gives him a greater degree of power in this first act. Whatever occurs in your life in February it is important to understand that it is the first act of three, with the other two acts emerging from the narrative in June and December. The same also applies to events that we see happening in the world during February. Whatever this first act sets up is important because it becomes the overall theme of the square between these two major planets, a theme that will be revisited in the course of the year. The first square between these two objects is significant because it sets the agenda for the next two. This is important for us to understand – whoever gets to set the agenda in February gets to set the agenda for most of the year.

Within our own personal and individual lives this square challenges us to put effort into some major restructuring or face the consequences of old ways failing as they meet new and unexpected challenges. During this time we may experience tension between a need to experiment and a need to conserve, and depending upon our personal circumstances we may need to make an adjustment there one way or another. Certain rules probably need to be rewritten at this point. Playing it entirely safe is not advisable, but neither is playing it without serious regard for unforeseen consequences. Something is happening to the irons that have already been placed in the fire, something unplanned, and we will need to adapt our long-term outlook around this turning point. It may take us in an entirely new direction, or it may force an adjustment of the course we are on at multiple levels. It is important for us to embrace this change as necessary but to take control over it. At the same time, our need for change has to be tempered by increased discipline and patience. It is a balancing act between our dependence upon stability/rule and our thirst for innovation/freedom. In June we face the first real test, as the first act is really an introduction and a roll-out of the agenda/s, so take note of what comes up and where possible do not allow the agenda to be framed for you. If you get locked in to something you will regret later, June will be a time in which you have to break free instead of a time in which you can overcome obstacles to actually make progress.

The first of three sextiles between Saturn and Chiron (Feb 9) serves as a follow-up to the previous months interaction between Jupiter and Chiron, implying that any healing path that was embraced in January now begins to make slow but steady progress and can be applied to chronic conditions. Healing work begun in January can now become grounded in reality and physical experience. At later stages in the year (see June and November) further progress can be made in these areas. Also, given that during February Mars in Taurus is providing metaphysical energy through an amorous and productive sextile with Neptune on Valentine’s Day and boosting the power and flow of the Earth Element on the 25th via a trine with Pluto in Capricorn, February is a month in which a lot can get done despite the challenges.

March

This looks set to be a faster paced, smoother month than the previous two with the arrival of Mars in Gemini bringing a trine to Saturn (Mar 22) and a sextile to Chiron (Mar 18), with no major aspects between the slow moving planets. The square between Saturn and Uranus is still active, however, as the planets are only about 1 to 2° apart. Whatever we were dealing with in February is still around, however the assistance of Mars brings fresh ideas and a new approach as well as an invigorating breeze of mental energy that helps to dislodge any impasse or blockage we are encountering, especially around the equinox week. Things get moving this month, and travel restrictions start to look less likely.

One interesting feature of this month is that an exact semisextile begins between Chiron and Uranus, one that will stay exact all through April and half of May. This gives us an extended period in which to observe the influence of this ‘minor’ aspect between a relatively new object and an extremely new one. It seems likely to me given my understanding at this time (which you can read more about in my numerous articles on Chiron and Uranus) that this period brings us an opportunity to integrate new ways of being and new ways of evolving if we can venture off of any predetermined pathways and explore the wilderness of ideas and methods. It may be significant in helping us to resolve the crisis represented by Saturn square Uranus as it may help us to integrate new methodologies and innovations in ways which do not bring painful consequences.

There is bountiful energy being supplied by Mars (especially for Gemini activities like writing, communicating or traveling) which gives us reason to believe that some places will see restrictions being lifted, or at least plans to (which may then come to fruition when Mars trines Jupiter next month). It is a good month to forge ahead and to make progress towards long-term goals after having to deal with the problems of the previous months. People are ready to look ahead, to actually make plans again, and those who keep busy will find the wind firmly in their sails. There is a sense of greater stability and a greater degree of confidence to the energy of this month thanks to this Mars and (after the equinox) the help of the Sun in Aries, which interacts with both Mars and Chiron in ways that also help to improve things.

April

Again, the outlook here is less troubled than in the first two months of the year, basically April looks like a continuation of March. There are a couple of new things to watch for, however.

First is that the energy of Mars will go through a degradation. The momentum of things in March will be stifled by a square with Neptune in Pisces (April 9) and then by its entry into Cancer at the end of the month. This means that April is clouded by confusion or doubt over actions and courses, that what we imagine (Neptune) is inclined to disrupt our own intent (Mars). The meddling of the unconscious is very strong as a result. Discernment is a key quality that we are challenged to develop in this time. Without it our aims and our actions will be undermined or made invalid by our own assumptions and projections. It is time to be clear about your intent, about what you are manifesting, and this calls for greater clarity on what is driving you as an individual. This aspect punishes fudging, vagueness and poorly conceived visions. Other problems to watch for in yourself or others are increased paranoia, addictions/cravings, martyrdom, nervousness, tumultuous dreams, insomnia, passive aggressive behaviour, pedantic argument (hair splitting), playing devils advocate for kicks and zealous extremism. The positive potential is in overcoming these challenges and also in meeting spiritual challenges in general head on.

The trine of Jupiter and Mars in Air signs (Apr 17) opens things up a lot. Given that these two Air signs (Gemini and Aquarius) are the two signs of the zodiac most concerned with freedom of movement, freedom of speech and freedom in general, the likelihood is that this month people will actually be able to move around and interact with one another in a socially dynamic way again. If lockdown is still in place they will probably just do so anyway, since Mars is such a defiant actor. Regardless, this month is excellent for any work with the Air Element.

Of greater significance to the rest of the year than all of this, however, is the interaction between Jupiter and Eris (Apr 5), the first of 3 sextiles that will also happen in September and November. We really don’t know enough about Eris to be able to accurately forecast what this will bring, earlier I said it may bring an escalation of the things that Eris in Aries is connected to, or it may help to bring some kind of benefit out of that or to that. It’s possible this represents the introduction of some new kind of technology or discovery, since new technologies and discoveries always have a disruptive effect while also bringing expansion. It’s possible given the nature of Jupiter in Aquarius and Aries that we will make some discovery connected with outer space or with human consciousness. By being attentive at these times and mindful of this aspect we could learn a lot about how new planet Eris interacts with human behaviour, because the generosity of Jupiter is legendary. On the personal level this seems to indicate a fortunate outcome when acting to bring discord as a positive force. It may also bring out fresh and radical opportunities we had never even considered before, or new developments to discarded paths which now seem viable or productive.

May

The big story this month is the shift towards the Water Element with the entrance of Jupiter into Pisces (May 13), with Mars in Cancer providing strong support all month. After what will seem like a long drought two things will happen – people will be able to express their feelings and let out a lot of emotions in tears (Jupiter in Pisces) while at the same time a long period of Jupiter being weakened (first by being in Capricorn all throughout 2020 and then by being inhibited by Saturn while in Aquarius) will come to a brief end. I say brief because he will retrograde back into Aquarius before the end of the year, reversing his motion next month, meaning that this year he will only be in Pisces from mid-May until the end of July as previously explained. A strong Jupiter brings a surge in confidence and optimism, but it will still be tempered by the equally strong Saturn around us which does the opposite. Nevertheless the net effect will be noticeable, and so this month is a month in which we will really begin to feel what we have all been going through. This is good evidence that things like weddings and funerals will finally be able to take place, as well as that things like parties, cinemas and gatherings will also be returning.

Even if this forecast turns out to not be the case it won’t change the fact that during this period people will really be feeling a lot more than they have done previously for quite some time. Pisces is very dreamlike and fantasy prone, and Jupiter definitely tends towards the idealistic and hopeful, so one thing to be on guard against here is that these things will get overblown and that we will begin taking a view of things which is far too romantic, and not see the thorns in the roses. Jupiter in Pisces offers delightful and enchanting escapism from reality, which will be welcome, but it is not until 2022 that this becomes a dominant theme, it is merely being introduced now. On the positive side this kind of Jupiter is an extremely powerful influence for anyone seeking mystical experiences or for meditation, and for creating talismans with the power to bring enlightenment and mystical states of consciousness to those who carry them.

Mars in Cancer is about taking defensive or evasive actions, reinforcing protective barriers and so forth. It is the ultimate gaming defence turtle, adept at secreting things away and gradually building a castle without drawing any attention to itself in the process. During the course of the month it runs into a problematic encounter with both Chiron and Uranus (May 12), forming a square with Chiron in Aries at the same time as it forms a sextile with Uranus in Taurus. We have to be careful at this time that any actions we do take do not cause unintended harm to ourself or others. There may be a trap laid for us around this time, like a bear trap laid down in the forest, something that would cause great pain if we inadvertently stepped on it. Of the many options that are before us thanks to Mars sextile Uranus some or all of those options may be painful ones (Mars square with Chiron). In such a situation it is wise to assess the relative pain each course of action will take and then to proceed with heightened awareness looking for where the trap may lie. At the very end of the month, just as Mars is about to leave Cancer, it makes a trine with Neptune in Pisces (May 31) which brings the height of the Water Element to a near flood. This trine is about empathy in action, empathy towards oneself, and empathy powered by imagination and spiritual awareness. So while the early part of the month mainly present us with difficult choices, the end of the month brings a sense of relief. People may well remember this month as the month in which they could cry and laugh with one another again.

June

The turning point. This month sees the second of the three squares between Saturn and Uranus (June 14) and thus the second act of the drama which began in February. The second square is either about breaking free of something that was adopted during the first square or pushing forward with the agenda set during that time. It represents the first real challenge beyond setting the agenda itself. This time, the Sun is throwing its weight behind Uranus instead of Saturn, as it will be in Cancer making a sextile to Uranus Taurus.

As I’ve written about in a previous article, this square is about the creation of a new rulebook as a new paradigm emerges. It is about a direct conflict between the way things have always been and where they are going now and in the future. This applies to both the individual and the collective. Squares are turning points and 2021 is about turning points that decide what the new rules are going to be and who the players are, both in our personal lives and on the global stage. Economic restructure is coming, and along with it a reset of the socio-cultural norms. If you think for a moment as a corporate entity, one that employs a large manual labour force, it may be that you decide that given the way the virus has affected your bottom line in 2020 you are no longer interested in re-employing those people because you can program something robotic to do their job. These are the kinds of turning points we seem to be reaching, there are many more especially in relation to the environment, and this month is a critical juncture in that path for some reason.

These squares are not easy, but there are two things helping us at this time. The first is that shortly after the second square with Uranus, Saturn will make its second sextile with Chiron in Aries (Jun 24). It’s almost like there is an opportunity to fix or rebuild things immediately after or during breaking them. This sextile is also the point at which any healing activity begun under the first Saturn sextile Chiron in February can proceed even further. The second thing helping is that Mars will be leaving Cancer (where he is not empowered) for Leo (Jun 11) and so we will be feeling a lot more driven by our will and confidence in many people will be returning.

However, the course of Mars in Cancer in the early part of the month brings it into conflict with Eris in Aries via a square (June 2) and then with Pluto in Capricorn via an opposition (June 5). This means that the first week of this month is somewhat of a minefield. Again with things connected to Eris we are very much in the dark – it’s reasonable to assume that there will be aggressive and warlike behaviour in the air, but it will be difficult to separate this from the same energy that arises from Mars opposite Pluto. In essence the early part of June is potentially violent, but the weakness of the position of Mars points to a more defensive passive-aggressive escalation of tension. In our personal lives it’s important again to be careful that our actions do not cause unintended harm to ourselves or others, to back away from power struggles and temptations and to show that we are willing to have our will transformed and purified. This could be a good training period for people trying to control their temper, but is helpful for all of us because it will often show us where the way we are impressing our will on the world leads to our own downfall, the way we can all become the villain or our own worst enemy.

July

The story of July is of the Water Element supply being turned off and the return of tension and pressure mounting. This situation arises first from Mars opposite Saturn (July 1) followed by Mars square Uranus (July 4) at the start of the month, and then is concluded by Jupiter leaving Pisces for Aquarius with Mars opposite Jupiter at the end of Leo as it enters Virgo (July 28/29). It’s an explosive month as a Fiery Mars makes an opposition to Saturn and to Jupiter, one at each end of the month, with a Uranus square and an Eris trine (Jul 21) in-between. Mars trine Chiron (July 2) offers some comfort in the form of reconciliation and healing, but overall this month is packed with action.

The first situation in the early part of the month with Mars in opposition to Saturn and square with Uranus is dangerously stubborn and fixated, sure of its will and obstinate when meeting any opposition to its path. It has the energy of a juggernaut pushing things out of its way, so if this energy can be utilized in a positive form it can be extremely helpful. Usually, however it is not utilized in a helpful form that takes manifestation instead as an attack, struggle or conflict. The danger of tyranny and of ruthless action is very strong here. It is mercifully countered by the trine with Chiron in Aries, so that the energy of Mars is far less inclined to do damage, but this is still a tricky period. It enables us to test whether or not the course that we have set ourselves upon in relation to the Saturn/Uranus squares is a desirable one, and to forcefully correct it if it is not, but in either case there will be considerable resistance in some form. Mars opposite Saturn brings efforts at control, the need for uncomfortable restraint, blocking or the denial of aggressive instincts, heightened frustration, bitter anger, tests of self-control and the necessity to solve problems before they do serious harm. Mars square Uranus on the other hand emphasises rugged individualism, the will to fight for one’s freedom, inner tension and stress, the impulse to take sudden highly risky actions, accidental conflicts of interest, mob action and the power of demagogues and propaganda. You can see why this is such a heavy mix. Navigating through it properly is a complex process of looking at how one’s own desires impact the lives of others and vice versa and making many adjustments in the way we go after what we want and express who we are and what makes us unique.

The situation in the latter part of the month is different. Two things happen at once – Jupiter retreats back out of Pisces into the end of Aquarius just as at the same time Mars reaches the end of Leo and goes into Virgo. As the Water is turned off the opposition between Mars and Jupiter brings a fighting spirit fit for a moral or ethical cause. There is over-excitement, overconfidence, lack of moderation, inclination to hasty actions and opinions, competitive reactions, clashes of philosophy or principles and potentially also significant lawsuits. The Mars/Jupiter opposition in Virgo/Aquarius is not as stubborn and obstinate as the Mars/Saturn/Uranus situation at the beginning of the month, being more willing to compromise, but it is still very fixated and may be driven towards action which is not constructive. The key with dealing with Mars/Jupiter overload like this is to consciously slow yourself down and take stock of how you are spending your energy and your action economy, i.e. how you are going after your grand plan and what you might be wasting in the process that could best be used elsewhere.

It’s also important to point out here that with the shift from Jupiter in Pisces to Jupiter in Aquarius and the shift from Mars into Virgo, the ambient empathy evaporates at the end of this month. We are left with a much drier and rational astrological environment for now, but the empathy will return just before New Year and will be a major feature of early 2022. What we have this year is a preview that enables us to get in touch with what we are feeling and to take a deep breath, filling our lungs with air as next year we will be plunged into a deeper realm of feeling.

August

Aside from the exact square between Pluto and Eris at the end of the month (August 28) which will probably be more a feature of September, this month is comparatively quiet astrologically. Mars advances through Virgo to make a trine with Uranus in Taurus (August 22), which allows us to make progress in various ways and increases the supply of the Earth Element just as the Sun is doing the same from entering Virgo. Saturn and Uranus are nearing their maximum degree of separation from one another, so the tension between them is at the least it will be all year, so that August may bring good opportunities to really progress towards the things we want to achieve this year. So long as the square between Pluto and Eris does not present too many difficulties the end of this month is one of the more productive periods we have ahead of us.

Mars trine Uranus highlights the effectiveness of individual commitment and decision making (especially by delegation of various actions within a group), revolutionary ideas, the display of an iron will, accelerated activity, engineering and the desire to force changes. It encourages dynamic and responsive, adaptable leadership and decision making and stimulates our desire to be unique, different, stand-out or distinct within a crowd. The strong Earth Element supplied by this trine and the backing off of the Saturn/Uranus square implies that business and industry will be experiencing a more bullish and predictable period, but with Uranus this can never be stable. For the most part it is best to use this month to work hard consistently. In doing so by the end of the month you will find that multiple tasks have been completed in unexpectedly rapid time.

September

The major new feature this month is that there is a second sextile between Jupiter and Eris (Sep 10, see February for the first) but as I said there we do not know if this will cause an escalation or a benefit of some kind. However the ongoing square between Pluto and Eris, as Pluto approaches a station and turns direct is likely to be more significant in terms of what’s happening. We will have to see how active Eris is during September since there are no other major aspects in the sky this month. Mars does enter Libra (September 15) and loses some of the recent strength he has had in pushing things forward, but his path through the sign puts him on course to trine first Saturn (Sep 25) and then Jupiter (next month), giving momentum a lot of support. The kind of effort that Mars in Libra is good at, however, is diplomatic and cooperative, actions with a partner rather than solo. The opposition with Neptune in Pisces before he leaves Virgo (September 2) is tricky because it is delusional and self deceptive, descriptive of actions we put our will behind which are obscured by murky reasoning or false assumptions and the influence of the subconscious, it is effectively an opportunity to purge the willpower of these elements. This is especially true given that he will quickly make a trine with Pluto in Capricorn (September 6) which helps us to do so. So if we can rid ourselves of unrealistic pursuits at the beginning of this month there is real potential around the end of the month to make some kind of progress that we will consider a level up when the trine with Saturn takes place. Virgo and the Earth and Air Elements are dominating the Elemental balance at this time, with the Sun in Virgo and Libra this month. Earth is very strong until mid month when Mars enters Libra and then the Sun, after which the balance is shifting more to Air. You want to be busily getting things done in the first half, and looking for a partner to do them with after. However the things you get done under Virgo are more the things that help others rather than the things that help you. This is a great month for making repairs, tidying up or bringing order to something.

October

Trouble. We get the 5th and final Pluto/Eris square (Oct 9) while Mars in Libra opposes Chiron (Oct 1), then Eris (Oct 21), before squaring Pluto (Oct 22) and entering Scorpio (Oct 30) with the Sun. Tensions are just going up. This is clearly a worrying time but Jupiter in Aquarius comes to something of a rescue (perhaps) with a trine to Mars (Oct 19) as he stations and turns direct. This may of course just inflame or ignite things, we will have to see. At a guess months away, I would say it looks from here that Jupiter in Aquarius is about more vaccinations being rolled out as the viral numbers go up again, or that this is the narrative. And this is likely the trouble, because people are going to be forced into doing it, and that is unacceptable because it represents a lurch towards totalitarian control. With Mars in Libra, outrageous laws may be being passed, leading to civil unrest.

This is speculation. To navigate this minefield we have to understand the situation, and it is too far away to see what the specific circumstances might be. In general, however, the overarching theme of Pluto/Eris is of things that are being torn down, destroyed, or obliterated, never to return. This question has been hanging over cinema releases of films, for example, but it is everywhere now. We need first to understand that things are going to get hit by a wrecking ball, and make sure that what it hits is something that really needs to be demolished. The great danger is that without our actions, without our guidance, the wrecking ball will just run amok.

This understood, the rest of the challenges this month come from Mars in Libra, and they are all reminiscent of the sequence he put out in 2020 whenever he was in a Cardinal sign, the implication being that this is indeed about the numbers connected to the virus as it was then. Regardless, individuals must proceed with greater care this month. Actions may have very destructive consequences beyond what was intended. Being considerate of others will go a long way, especially around the 19th. The trine between Mars and Jupiter on that day brings confidence and mental energy, it increases the likelihood that positive and successful attitudes will lead into winning situations and stimulates healthy competitive urges and a spirit of enterprise. It is excellent for mind/body training such as athletics or competitive sports and can help inform us as to the direction in which our own unique philosophy lies. In general it speaks of doing it with a partner (Libra), and keeping an open mind (Aquarius), so that the potential for positive reinforcement multiples for everyone.

November

The first half of this month is much bumpier than the last half. This is because in the first half of the month Mars in Scorpio triggers both Saturn by square and Uranus by opposition (11th and 17th), acting to bring the tensions of the ongoing square between them to the surface more forcibly. This is the inverse of the pattern we saw in July when he was opposing Saturn and squaring Uranus, so it is feasible to expect some kind of development of events that stem from July during this period, events that are likely to be confrontational and somewhat aggressive in nature as Mars calls upon us to confront things that need confronting. The Sun in Scorpio is also outlining a similar theme. In the latter part of the month however we get the third sextile between Jupiter and Eris (Nov 18), the third sextile between Saturn and Chiron (Nov 27), and a trine between Mars and Neptune (Nov 29). These are iterations of previous aspects I have described and simply bring those influences to a conclusion so I will not go further on them here except to talk about the trine between Mars and Neptune. There was a previous Mars/Neptune trine at the end of May and this one will be little different except for the fact that Mars in Scorpio is very strong and the empathy is more passionately driven.

The overall trend for the month seems to be connected to things ending, since the square between Pluto and Eris is winding up, so are the sextiles between Saturn and Chiron (see Feb and Jun) and Jupiter and Eris (see Apr and Sep), Jupiter is finding its way out of Aquarius and the theme of Scorpio (a sign of endings) is written large. Additionally, Mars is again challenging us to reassess whether what is being built up with the Saturn/Uranus squares is really something that we want to see built up, and he is producing tests and challenges that are designed to increase our power and our determination. As many of the ongoing narratives wrap up this month we head into the third and final Saturn/Uranus square at the end of the year, which fully resets things so that next year we have a significantly different set of astrological factors to live with.

December

As noted above, December is the last square between Saturn and Uranus (Dec 24) – they will come to about a degree apart in October 2022 when Saturn turns retrograde, but they will not complete the aspect again. The narrative of this square is concluding, and this is really the last chance to make an impact on how it will all pan out in the end. The advantage of the third square is that we have had two previous ones and now know something of what to expect. In 2021 you have either been busy with restructuring your reality to incorporate new methodologies and ideas, or you have been really struggling to keep up with the pace of change and stubbornly resisting to let go of your attachment to the way things have always been. This doesn’t mean that you have to accept every change that is being forced upon you, only that you have to accept a serious measure of change is absolutely necessary and very timely.

If you have embraced this aspect as a positive force that can help you to change your paradigm and introduce you to new ways of understanding, this final square is like your final exam. It will establish whether you have grasped what you need to have grasped. If you have, a significant breakthrough is due if it hasn’t already happened. If instead, like many people, you have not really been aware of this need at this time, you will have found it forced upon you in all kinds of unpalatable and unacceptable ways and this is the point at which you will find your lid blowing off. The path that navigates through 2021 successfully is one that understands this. Busy yourself in grasping the lessons that this square presents you with in February, June and December and you will breakthrough into a new level of some kind. This applies to the individual and collective of course.

Mars leaves Scorpio and enters Sagittarius (December 13) but not before making a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn (December 6) and a square with Jupiter in Aquarius (December 8). This final sequence of Mars in Scorpio therefore brings a boost in confidence that may be overblown, and there is certainly an increase in the hunger of the desire nature. The Mars/Jupiter square may be about consumer spending in the run-up to Christmas, as people run up debts. Mars/Jupiter squares are often dangerous because they imbue us with a false sense of optimism and overconfidence that becomes somewhat embarrassing in many cases later down the line. Once in Sagittarius, Mars makes a trine with Chiron on Christmas day and a sextile with Saturn (Dec 30), showing a somewhat more active and exuberant end to the year than the sluggish beginning was. The true climax of the year is when Jupiter fully enters Pisces (Dec 29), just before the New Year, perhaps, just perhaps, indicating that people will be able to release their pent up emotions and actually celebrate together again. Yet in the background of Pisces there is always the notion of sacrifice, a notion that seems to dovetail with the theme of freedom vs control described by Saturn square Uranus, and so there will likely be strong feelings about the heavy price that people have had to give up in order to regain what they once freely had. Regardless of whether or not authorities allow people to congregate during this time, emotions will be running high and they will stay at high tide throughout the first quarter of 2022. But we will come to that further on down the road.

I want to thank all my readers for joining me on my journeys this year, especially my magnificent patrons, and wish you and your loved ones all the best for the coming year. Bon voyage!

The Arrival of a New Era

In what has already been a tumultuous year, this December the last grain of sand runs out in an hourglass that has been running the show for the last 200 years, and on the solstice we enter fully into a new paradigm. This year was the end, next year is the fallout of that end and the beginning of what comes next for generations to come. Find out more in this months journey.

journey deeper…

Mirrors and the Moon

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This June I want to talk to you about how familiarity with the Moon in astrology can open your astral awareness, an awareness that is an invaluable asset in being able to navigate through the chaotic times looming on the horizon but also through life in general, and especially in magical initiation.

journey deeper…