Leo ♌ Ingress – Create Yourself

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

— George Bernard Shaw
(Sun ☉ in Leo ♌)

The Sun ☉ comes home to its domicile in the loving, exuberant, and expressive fixed fire sign of Leo ♌ at 5:01 am CDT on July 22. As we emerge from the imaginative, watery, and introspective depths of preceding sign Cancer ♋, the sign of the lion helps to bring our revelations derived from introversion and self reflection into the light to be created, seen, and recognized. For this reason, Leo is the sign of self expression and is traditionally described by the keywords, I Will.

The Sun’s transit through Cancer compelled me to quietly sit with myself in self reflection in order to reconnect with my true sense of self.

“The emerging self is given a supportive container through 4th house (Cancer) home and family. When the emotional life is thus nurtured, power gathers. There is energy to create. Or procreate. There is enthusiasm for life. One is vibrant and radiant.”

An abundance of great performers, artists, and actors and musicians are propelled by the creative and self expressive fuel provided by Leonine placements.

The most common mythological story of Leo derives from the twelve labors of Hercules. The first of which was to slay the Nemean Lion, a ferocious creature with claws sharper than swords and impenetrable fur.

“Hercules can only succeed by summoning the entire strength of his being, the full magnitude of his inner will and fixed, determined spirit. His conquest becomes a testimony to the power of mind over matter, the individual’s capacity to move heaven and earth and attain the unattainable through the process of connecting with the heart of one’s being and giving full reign to the creative force that resides, mainly dormant, within.”

Leo, the Sun , and House V – Ego, Creation, and Self Expression

The Sun in astrology primarily represents our ego, vitality, and basic identity. If you weren’t aware already, the Zodiac sign that you have most likely identified with all of your life is determined by the placement of the Sun in your natal chart.

“The Sun is so important in the chart, that the happiest people on this earth are those who identify (without over-identifying) with the Sun’s expression. Though one might think that the traits of their Sun would come easy to them, the truth is, the Sun shows what we are learning to be.”

This brings up a valid point. Proper astrology is not fatalistic or a tool used to stereotype individuals. As someone who has read many charts, it is true that happier people seem much more aligned with the qualities of their Sun. As a Taurus, I have striven to develop a solid sense of self-worth through utilizing my innate talents and abilities and it is true that this has made me incredibly happy.

“The Sun has star quality. It says ‘I am here!’ It needs to express itself dynamically. It wants to feel special. It wants to love and be loved.”

For Leo, creativity and self expression are key. The Sun is the center of our galaxy, infusing our planet with life-sustaining energy and archaically reached the height of its ascent in the constellation of Leo. In this way, many Leo’s possess the ability to bring life and animation to situations they come into contact with. Therefore, I want to propose an alternate set of keywords for Leo, “I Create“.

As a fire sign, Leo has great ability to inspire. However, the negative expressions of Leonine energy can result in dramatic, dogmatic, attention seeking, or egotistical ways.

Leo is also linked with House V in a natal chart, the house of ‘joy and spontaneous self-expression, risk-taking, creativity, children, and love.’  The bold of loving nature of the sign associates it with the heart, spine, and blood. It’s no wonder that this is one of the most loyal signs with one of the largest hearts, oftentimes known by their romantic, or fun-loving natures while many often have an affinity for children.

“There is usually no shortage of romantic candidates drawn to their vibrant and charismatic appeal and young love can be intensely passionate. Like all the fire signs, Leos are idealistic and don’t hold back from expressing their passion. They are extremely responsive to romantic attention, which is very gratifying to their ever-hungry ego, and as such they can suffer from rash romantic liaisons that are impetuous and unsuitable on a long term basis.”

Leo vs. Aquarius – Personal Vs. Collective Empowerment

Limitations are not something that Leo’s easily deal with in general. Yet, restrictions can serve a very valuable lesson to the individuation of Leo and it is where they begin to experience the energy of opposite sign Aquarius .

“The importance of self-limitation is a lesson that ought to be driven home to all young Leos, but their lack of natural talent in this area is part of the downside of having a colourful attitude towards living life to the fullest.”

There was a point where Saturn ♄ was the traditional ruler of Aquarius. Because Saturn was once the last known planet of our solar system, it is associated with laws and limitations. The basic function of a law is to protect society, and this is where Aquarius derives its associations with groups and humanitarian concerns. Although Aquarians can also be quite eccentric, innovative, and even rebellious, the core principle that drives them is oftentimes more intellectual with a basic desire to become an accepted member of society while maintaining their sense of individuality and freedom. House XI is the Aquarius house and sits opposite House V in a natal chart.

“It (House XI) balances self-centeredness. It will reprimand an out-of-touch ego that disturbs the group and threatens the integrity of the whole. The 11th asks us to be ourselves – but within social reason. If the group likes us enough to applaud our creations, our ego will win the love and appreciation it craves. Yet if we pursue fame and prestige alone, we will eventually lose the self we first expressed so boldly. The challenge of the 5th is to remain an individual.”

Leo The Strength of Love

It’s no wonder that I learned the value of creativity from my mother. Born under the 1950’s conjunction of Pluto and the Sun, she was a dynamically expressive woman who carried the voice of the Pluto in Leo generation, a group associated with the grand theme of self-empowerment. The fierceness of her convictions were immense. She taught me to stand up for myself which proved to be a valuable lesson for my easygoing Cancer rising, Taurus Sun, and Virgo Moon. When I find myself in a less vibrant mood, it’s inspiring to remember her strength.

In addition, my mother always nurtured my creative spirit. I remember many nights where she stayed up late to help me with creative projects and teaching me how to draw. She wrote poetry, which was a passion that I similarly came to embrace. Lastly, my mother loved more fiercely than anyone I’ve ever known. But it wasn’t until later in life that I realized the true extent of her Leonine love, will, and loyalty to her children that was complimented by a protective Mars in Cancer. I believe that this was what carried us through our many hardships.

She used to say, “No one will love you as much as your mother does.” I wasn’t always connected to this fact but it resonates in her absence. It is a great demonstration of what fuels Leo; the act of love. These lessons of love, determination, lightheartedness, and self are healthy and powerful teachings that we can take from Leo.

“Without a healthy ego, we could never face such fears. Ego supplies the confidence and courage to take risks, create art, take up roller blading at fifty-five, or fall in love. Ego is the spark that keeps our passion burning.”

When we express our own unique individuality in respect to others, love others, and connect with our youthful, creative spirit we can open unfathomable doors that truly can bring us happiness!

Famous Leos via CafeAstrology

Ben Affleck (Sun and Mercury in Leo), Sandra Bullock (Sun and Mercury in Leo), J. C. Chasez of N’Sync, David Duchovny, Jonathon Frakes (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Leo), Whitney Houston (Sun and Venus in Leo), Peter O’Toole (Sun and Moon in Leo), Jennifer Lopez (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Leo), Madonna (Sun and Venus in Leo), Robert Plant, George Bernard Shaw (Sun and Venus in Leo), Martin Sheen (Sun, Moon, and Mars in Leo), Kevin Spacey (Sun and Mercury in Leo), Christian Slater

Justin Broadrick of Jesu was born on born August 15, 1976 under the fixed fire sign of Leo ♌

Notes:

  1. Leo The Lion Skyscript.
  2. The Sun Cafe Astrology
  3. Leo Cafe Astrology
  4. The Fifth House Astrodienst
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Cancer ♋ Ingress – Home, Hearth, and Heritage

“I love people. I love my family, my children . . . but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.”

Pearl S. Buck (Sun ☉, Mercury ☿, and Venus ♀ in Cancer ♋)

The Sun ☉ returns to the introverted, mysterious, and private cardinal water sign of Cancer ♋ at 6:09pm CDT on June 20, 2012 signifying the start of the 2012 summer solstice! Each time the Sun moves into a cardinal sign, we experience a change of seasons. (Aries= Spring, Cancer= Summer, Libra= Fall, Capricorn= Winter). Similarly, people with an abundance of cardinal energy possess an urge to constantly initiate. For Cancer, motivation explodes from emotional convictions and a threatened sense of security. The airy and objective visions of preceding sign, Gemini, turn to subjective memories laced with vivid emotions in Cancer. As the first of the emotionally oriented water signs, the sign of the crab represents the process of navigating the inner workings of ourselves, and is characterized by the keywords, I Feel.

Skyscript tells us:

“In ancient astrology the condition of ‘moistness’ was viewed as the capacity to release emotions and connect with other beings. Moisture blurs the boundaries that define us as distinct individuals, allowing empathy, sympathy and a shared experience of personal or collective events…When we become too emotional the natural reaction is to release the ‘excess of water’ through the shedding of tears.”

There’s a fairly comical section of Mapping the Psyche that speaks of twelve people representing each sign of the zodiac waiting for waiting for a late bus. Of course, everyone is made up of the energies of different signs. However, the words chosen to describe the archetype of Cancer while waiting for the bus are among the funniest, but also the saddest.

“Cancer on the other hand, feels personally let down, and can be thrown into despair and a curious depression by the late arrival of the bus.Retreating into her shell, she remembers clearly what it felt like in her childhood when her mother was late picking her up from school. Her stomach churns at the memory, and she remembers clearly the feeling of abandonment as she waited, all alone, in the deserted playground at the end of the school day. How typical it is that, while she is always there for other people, she can’t rely on anyone else being there for her.”

The depiction of Cancer at the bus stop is a parody of the sign’s acute awareness of the past. Here is a sign that vividly retains memories and feelings, and does not easily bury slights against them. Despite Cancer’s connection to the emotions, you are not likely to always see natives of this sign wear their heart on their sleeves! Like the crab, they tend to contain their true emotional selves tightly wrapped within their shell. You can typically discern an evolved Cancerian by their gentle, sympathetic, imaginative, nurturing, contemplative, intuitive, nostalgic, and protective nature. At worst, the sign borders on being self-absorbed, insecure, irrational, defensive, overly conservative, and moody.

Cancer is one of the fainter constellations in the sky and also faces backwards, indicating the sign’s attachment to the past and common affinity for history and heritage. Furthermore, the constellation stems from the mythology of Hercules as he battled Hydra. Hera, sent a giant crab to assist Hydra, but Hercules smashed and killed it with his foot. In honor of the crab, Hera placed its likeness in the stars. As someone possessing Cancerian energy (Cancer Ascendant) I have always thought that this myth was very lame.

I stumbled upon an alternate interpretation of the mythology of Cancer derived from the Scriptures of Delphi. In this version, a giant crab named Crios was guardian to Poseidon’s sea nymphs and sustained serious injuries from destroying a giant squid that threatened their safety. Poseidon celebrated the crab by creating the constellation of Cancer. I like the alternative myth because it represents the trademark protective nature of Cancer, and its willingness to always fight for the underdog. Therefore, I propose another set of keywords for the sign, “I Protect“. Have you ever seen a mother fight for their child? This is Cancerian energy at work and also why this sign is associated with the concept of family. Threatening the home of, or people close to the heart of a Cancerian is certainly the quickest path to experience their wrath.

Cancer , the Moon , and House IV – Internally Focused

The Moon is the fastest moving and most complex of the 10 planets used in modern western astrology, and its constant phase changes are reflective of our emotions, habits, and instincts. Oftentimes Luna is also indicative of how a person perceives their mother, and the relationship that natives of this sign have with their mothers is often of great importance. As one of only two traditional planets associated with feminine energy (Venus being the other), the Moon and Cancer are linked to the breasts and stomach. Lunar people are often imaginative, creative, intuitive, private, sentimental, introspective and protective. CafeAstrology describes the Moon as ‘a mediator between the inner world and the outer world.’

Grant Lewi in Astrology for the Millions eloquently describes the nature of the Moon in astrology:

“Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears” are the thoughts of your Moon’s nature. The wordless ecstasy, the mute sorrow, the secret dream, the esoteric picture of yourself that you can’t get across to the world, or which the world doesn’t comprehend or value – these are the products of the Moon in your horoscope.”

Figuring out oneself is no simple process, and the nature of this water sign is known for a similar level of complexity. House IV is also known as the Nadir or Imum Colei, and is one of the four important angles of a natal chart. Basic astrology books will tell you that this is the house of beginnings and endings, and indicative of one parent, but the primary function of House IV serves as the internal and external foundation from which we journey away from, and ultimately return to. The realm of the fourth is distinctly separate from who we are in the face of the public, and is oftentimes difficult to put into words.

Native Sun in House IV, Dana Gerhardt, writes:

“Fourth house territory is what you find when, late at night, you close your eyes. It’s what you encounter when you’re all alone in the dark. Planets here lie beneath your surface. They are as deeply private as those in the opposite 10th are inescapably public…

Your family will be there, in your memories. Your ancestors will be there, in the rhythmic pulse of your blood. Your home will be there, as the secure base that allows you to connect with your innermost self. But you’ll discover even greater mysteries. In the 4th you’ll find your spirit center, your life source, your inner country of renewal. There will be times when you need to recreate yourself – and you’ll do this by descending into the 4th house first.”

In a more recognizable sense, House IV can provide insight into a person’s family or domestic environment. People with planets here often possess a great desire for security and are inclined towards providing a pleasant domestic environment, such as through cooking.

Cancer vs. Capricorn – Public Vs. Private Self

If you’ve ever been close to a Cancer or someone born with the Sun in House IV, you have most likely experienced their inclination towards privacy. Like the ebb and flow of the tides they are sometimes inconstant, disappearing to engage in periods of introversion and self reflection. Some may even tend towards being shy and awkward. Opposite sign, Capricorn is characterized by a healthy sense of ambition and the associated House X represents our public identity and career. Consequently, Capricorns may sometimes tend towards rigidity and emotional suppression. In relationships, this pair of opposites tends to polarize, resulting in the Cancerian becoming increasingly emotional while the Capricorn becomes more withdrawn.

Astrologer Hiroki Niizato explains:

“Cancer values emotional safety and comfort above all else, and will rush to the rescue if we’re feeling hurt or lonely. It will do whatever it takes in order to make us feel comfortable and loved (often drawing from experience of what has worked in the past to remove emotional discomfort.)

Capricorn values discipline and self-sufficiency more than emotional comfort. It does not like emotional vulnerability, and might even consider it to be weak in some way. It would rather show us how to become stronger and more skilled so that we can take care of ourselves better in future.”

Ascendant in Cancer – Ebb and Flow

I was born under the influence of a Cancer ascendant and I must admit that the is one of the more difficult ascendants to explain because it is so subjective and linked to facets of ourselves that often can’t be put into exact words. Sometimes it is a tidal wave of emotions, memories, and impressions. Other times, it’s the perfect extrasensory guiding tool providing helpful charisma and allowing one to find favor and common ground with people from all walks of life.

Stars Like You has one of the better descriptions of the Cancer ascendant that I’ve read online:

“With Cancer rising, self-realization comes through a sophisticated attunement to the feeling nature. You need to make sense of life through your senses and emotions. You will be gifted with strong intuitions, and even a psychic sensibility. You are likely to be extremely sensitive to the world around you and may need to recognize, and own, emotional realities. This means acknowledging your sensitivity, accepting your strong desire to nurture and support others, and recognizing how this sensitivity may mean that you tend to take on too much from the environment in which you find yourself, or become overly responsible for what others are feeling.

Although I possess disdain for the word sensitivity when used to describe Cancer and Pisces, I definitely feel that the Cancer ascendant produces a native who is very emotional, intuitive, and nostalgic. In the case of Cancer, the aforementioned sensitivity to stimuli is often properly contained within a “shell”. However, during those rare days on which I feel somewhat emotionally volatile on the inside, I remind myself to purge these emotions, usually through music or writing. Thus, the act of catharsis is incredibly important for those with an abundance of Cancerian energy due to the sign’s tendency to retain memories and emotions. Also, I can’t think of anything that motivates me more than when my convictions are birthed from powerful emotions!

Famous Cancerians via CafeAstrology

Bill Cosby, Dan Akryod, Princess Diana, Nelson Madela, Pamela Anderson, Kevin Bacon, Beck (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Mel Brooks, George Bush Jr., Bill Cosby, Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Vin Diesel (Sun and Mercury in Cancer), Harrison Ford (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Cancer), Woody Guthrie (Sun and Moon in Cancer), Jessica Hahn, Tom Hanks, Anjelica Huston (Sun and Mars in Cancer), Ann Landers, Juliette Lewis (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Richard Lewis, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Lindsay Lohan, Courtney Love (Sun and Moon in Cancer), Tobey Maguire, Princess Diana, Carlos Santana, Fred Savage (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Jimmy Smits, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Stewart, Donald Sutherland (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Montel Williams, Robin Williams (Sun and Moon in Cancer)

Jesse Lacey of Brand New was born on born July 10, 1978 under the cardinal water sign of Cancer ♋

Gemini ♊ Ingress – Fine-Tuning The Lower Mind

A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them.”

– James Madison

This year, our Sun ☉ enters the mutable air sign of Gemini  at 10:16am CDT on May 20, 2012  which is also accompanied by a solar eclipse later in the day occurring at 0° Gemini at 6:46pm CDT. The sign directly before Gemini is Taurus, where energy is focused, steady, grounded, and productive. Consequently, Gemini is where we learn to lighten up, explore, and harness the power of flexibility, and multitasking when it comes to our burdens. Gemini is the first of the intellectually oriented air signs of the zodiac, preceding the signs of Libra and Aquarius and is therefore associated with the keywords, “I Think”.  As a Mutable sign (along with Sagittarius, Virgo, and Pisces), Gemini is highly analytical, versatile, and factual, yet this can also sometimes manifest as scattered, contradictory, and superficial energy as well.

The dual nature of Gemini derives from the Roman tale of Castor and Pollux, brothers who agreed to remain immortal by living alternate lives on heaven and earth instead of dying. Similarly Gemini natives are often the embodiment of a state of mental flux and flexibility. Therefore, mental stimulation is oftentimes somewhat of a necessity for these intellectual beings.

Gemini , Mercury ☿, and House III – Learning and Communicating

There’s a youthful, curious, communicative, verbal, and witty quality to many native Gemini’s and Mercury, planet of communication is directly linked to this quality.  Certain ancient cultures considered language to be a mystical and supernatural gift, only worthy of certain people.

Skyscript tells us that Hermes is known as the Greek counterpart to Mercury.

“Hermes acts as a a holy personification of the Mind and Intelligence of the Creator. He is the inventor of language, written words, arithmetic and geometry, and his skill in communication is a direct demonstration of his Divine and Sacred powers –

” Words, and the way they were constructed, were perceived as magical symbols, mirrors of the Divine Mind. Spoken with proper intonation and with the correct spiritual approach, they were the means to summon the gods, heal the sick and command obedience.”

Because of Gemini’s association with Mercury and the mind, the sign is linked to the nervous system, hands, and lungs. This rulership speaks to the tendency for Gemini to experience nervous tension under stress, similar to the sign of Virgo which is also ruled by Mercury. I can oftentimes discern someone with Gemini energy if they speak or write eloquently, are knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects, or are crafty and tech-oriented.

Also, Gemini is connected with House III of a natal chart, representing language, learning, siblings, short trips, and neighbors. Dana Gerhardt  writes:

“The 3rd house rules siblings, neighbors, short trips, grammar school, the acquisition and use of language. But underneath these keywords lies a profound mystery: our fundamentally human dance of development–of curiosity, imitation and communication, of adapting to and connecting with our immediate world. It is not so much a house of “things” as it is a zone of activity. The way a plant reaches for light, in our 3rd house, we reach for the world with our minds. The essence of all 3rd house nouns might be collected in a single verb: in this house we learn.”

Therefore, I propose an alternate set of keywords for Gemini, “I Learn“.

Gemini ♊ and Sagittarius ♐ – Lower Mind Vs. Higher Mind

 It seems that Gemini and Sagittarius have more in common than other pairs of opposite signs. In Mapping the Psyche, Claire Martin calls Gemini and Sagittarius the Axis of Exploration. However, the issue with this polarity is that it seems to lack a grounding element despite plenty of fun! Furthermore, these two signs represent different facets of mental activity; Gemini being associated with information (objective facts) and the lower mind, while Sagittarius represents meaning (philosophy or religion) and components of the higher mind.

“If we lose our objectivity, and ignore the actual facts, then we will find ourselves increasingly out of touch with, and alienated from, the very sense of vision and meaning which was so important to us, because we will not have any perspective or have learned to put our vision into words, or developed the ability to discuss it objectively with others, to compare it to other schools of thought or to teach it.”

Progressed Sun in Gemini – Mental Acquisition

There have been several times in my life when I felt completely overwhelmed by copious amounts of data. As a Taurus born with Mercury retrograde conjunct the Sun, it has oftentimes been important for me to properly absorb new information on my own terms. Yet, the current cycle of my life is prominently characterized by flexibility and a infinite and compulsive hunger to learn! Naturally, it seems that my passion for acquiring such knowledge has a lot to do with the fact that my progressed Sun is moving across 5° Gemini during this year.

Education is a very serious issue for me, and as my progressed Sun moved from Taurus in House XI to Gemini in House XII at age 16, I experienced an involuntary detour in my educational path that led me to take  alternative steps in order to further my education.

I am really enjoying The Zodiac by Degrees by Martin Goldsmith. The following is for the degree of my progressed Sun.

5° Gemini: An outrageously dressed artist bursts into a quiet museum and shocks the patrons by nailing up a painting and a printed manifesto

Descriptive Phases – Publicity; passionate desire to get one’s message across; putting one’s message in a catchy, original form (slipping important messages into humor, crazy wisdom); catalyzing social change by bringing fringe ideas to the attention of the public; throwing a complacent public off-balance through extremist tactics (attention-seekers, may cultivate notoriety if fame is not forthcoming, publicity stunts): presenting reality in a startling new light (visual arts), faith in direct perception, living with few assumptions (constantly amazing by life’s surprises); jauntily dancing  within a situation in spin, keeping one’s edge vs. relying on proven formulas; staying true to one’s viewpoint vs. selling out; developing a trademark style; self-advertising.”

Goldsmith’s imagery for 5° Gemini eerily describes my experiences of this past year. I began broadcasting my own astrology and music based college radio show on COOG Radio, and it was the beginning of an empowering phase of original self-promotion that I never really expected. I conceived The Ecliptic, with Garron Ballard from the depths of my own mind, and never thought it would grow into an international entity that so many people would come to support. I have also certainly taken huge leaps in learning new skills and developing my dormant talent in the visual arts such as photography, graphic design, and web design.

My progressed Sun will continue to move through the sign of Gemini for the next 25 years, and through this time I aspire to continue learning as much as I can. I didn’t always see it, but I can certainly see the incredible strength that exists in remaining flexible, communicative, and lighthearted now more than ever.

Famous Geminis via Cafe Astrology:

Michael J. Fox, Angelina Jolie, John F. Kennedy, Mel Blanc (Sun and Moon in Gemini), Drew Carey, Courteney Cox (Sun and Mercury in Gemini), Johnny Depp, Melissa Etheridge, John Goodman (Sun, Moon, and Venus in Gemini), Steffi Graf (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Gemini), Elizabeth Hurley (Sun and Mercury in Gemini), Nicole Kidman, Anna Kournikova (Sun and Mars in Gemini), Lenny Kravitz, Kylie Minogue (Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars in Gemini), Marilyn Monroe (Sun and Mercury in Gemini),  Prince William (Sun and Mercury in Gemini), Brooke Shields (Sun, Moon, and Venus in Gemini), Pete Wentz (Sun and Mercury in Gemini).

Chino Moreno of Deftones was born on June 20, 1973 under the mutable air sign of Gemini  .

Solar Reflections – A Birthday Analysis

May 5th – Full Moon in Scorpio ♏

How fitting that the Moon ☽ (my chart ruler) is nearly full this year on my birthday this year (May 4th); a culmination of the abundance of valuable lessons that I’ve learned during my twenty first year of life! Many are calling tomorrow’s full moon in Scorpio ♏ a Supermoon due to its proximity to the earth.

Technically, the Sun ☉ returned to its position during my birth at 13° 51 Taurus ♉ at 5:28pm yesterday on May 3rd. Sometimes our Solar Return occurs a little before or after our birthday. This year, it’s an odd feeling that carries much reflection. However, I must say that May 4, 2012 feels incredible! Maybe it’s because of the hard work that I feel I’ve done this year (i.e. consolidating responsibilities through the constricting influence of Saturn ♄ square ☐ Saturn ♄, purging of inauthentic relationships through Pluto ♇ conjunct ☌ my descendant (DC), and learning the power of transcending my ego with the progressed Sun and Moon in the introspective twelfth house (XII). Regardless, I couldn’t feel any more fortunate to have amazing things going for me and amazing people in my life at this time!

Sabian Symbols – Intuitive Tools

I just received my copy of The Zodiac by Degrees by Martin Goldsmith. The book is basically a massive update to the existing 360 Sabian Symbols associated with each degree of the Zodiac (i.e. 0-30 of Aries-Pisces) which can be quite telling. In the introduction, Goldsmith writes:

“Symbols have the power to engage your intuitive faculties. They help you make a direct connection with a person’s basic spiritual energies and penetrate the private language of their own personal mythology.”

Goldsmith’s updated symbols for the position of Sun ☉ in my chart are the following:

13º Taurus A porter studies a pile of luggage and then deftly hoists the bags to his shou

lder

Descriptive Phases Assessment-seeing the basic problem underlying seemingly unrelated problems; getting a good handle on a situation; makeshift but serviceable solutions; calmly reassessing one’s balance of priorities and readjusting one’s use of time and energy accordingly (juggling acts); serving society by taking on it’s weightier problems, but only on one’s terms (bail out when personal freedom is threatened, ramblers, working class heroes); keeping one’s head and shoulders above one’s worldly problems; cheerfully accepting one’s lot in life (worriers); escaping a rut vs. being mired in problems; robust and competent handling of everyday problems vs. obstinately sticking with a method that isn’t working; putting in the requisite effort; taking the bull by the horns; resourcefulness.”

This imagery is known as the karmic condition (task to complete in this lifetime) for the placement of the Sun in my chart and certainly alludes to someone who has been called to handle heavy burdens. Naturally, I was exposed to very real issues at a very young age such as poverty, divorce, and death. Most of the time I felt as if the experiences of my friends were so much different than mine yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Shouldering such special ‘luggage’ has blessed me with an abundance of confidence and strength to face whatever awaits me in the future. Some descriptions describe 13º Taurus as a degree of extreme self-reliance and this could not be more true especially with my natal Venus in Aries as well. I tend to nurture my visions of practicality. However, I also have to remind myself to relax and open up to the subtle, lighter, and unseen influences of life.

14º Taurus: Crayfish are groping toward land, while high above the shore a modern city rises upon the ruins of an ancient civilization.


Descriptive Phases The slow, natural evolution of consciousness or social structures; the instinctive urge to press forward despite internal and ex

ternal resistance; small steps forward that eventually result in tidal shifts; learning from mistakes of the past; crawling out of the muck of ignorance and prejudice and rebuilding society among more humanitarian lines; shedding outlived social structures vs. getting stuck in a shell; crawling out from under an oppressive situation once one has seen the light of day (tentative fumbling while one is still “in the dark”); forming an underground brotherhood that shares breakthroughs in consciousness and tries to guide human evolution; refusing to be bullied or pushed back once one has seen where one is going.”

This second set of imagery also hits home for me and is known as my quest (the result of my efforts). I’ve always thought that one day, I will head my own personal creative and material empire. I like the fact that this degree speaks of modernist notions as I would certainly consider myself to be a progressive and socially conscious individual with an abundance of energy once I begin moving. Everything that I’ve endured in my life certainly fuels me to press forward. I’ve always harbored the Taurean instinct to build my life into something solid, but  also something innovative.

Solar Return – 2011

Yesterday I was analyzing my solar return charts for the past couple of years and I was certainly able to find the major lessons of each year within each chart. The Cancer ♋ Ascendant of my 2011 Solar Return chart on the left easily alludes to emotional and domestic issues. Indeed, I experienced a big security crisis of sorts and moved twice. Ironically, it was a Cancerian woman who was kind enough to aid me during this rough patch.

Naturally the chart ruler of the chart is the Moon at 29′ Taurus ♉ in House XI (groups and organizations). I joined COOG Radio this year and found myself a

s part of an amazing and budding organization.

In retrospect, 2011 was a considerably difficult and emotionally charged year for me, but also a year of immense accomplishment and responsibility which was totally indicated by the placement of the Sun ☉ in House X (career and public status). I spent part of the year feeling as if I had lost my personal effectiveness with my progressed Sun and Moon in House XII (ego dispersion) and working a job that I fell into where I felt highly unsettled. However, there is a happy ending. My domestic situation came full circle (Cancer Ascendant), I found a job that I love (House X) and I am about to begin a fantastic internship with a wonderful organization (House XI) next month!

Solar Return – 2012

My 2012 Solar Return chart on the right is an interesting one, boasting a Libran ♎ Ascendant. It appears to be a spectacular year for my creative pursuits and I am certainly much more creative now than ever before.

The Sun ☉ sits in the Scorpionic 8th House which indicates psychological insight and transformations. I did book an appointment with a therapist. Not really for any specific reason, but mainly for emotional well being. There are sure to be powerful emotional und

ercurrents this year and most likely more big changes so creative outlets and similar methods for emotional purging are essential.

Also, there’s the Moon ☽ again right on the Libran Ascendant!  Saturn ♄ in House I (self and physical manifestations) may help to keep me much more refined and task oriented in as well.

One specific part of  Goldsmith’s imagery for 14° Taurus resonates deeply for me this year:

“Small steps forward that eventually result in tidal shifts.”

All in all, I believe it’s going to be a great year. Keep an eye out for huge waves in 2012!

Photo by Garron Ballard / May 6, 2012 Supermoon / 3am Richmond, Texas




Tina Dico was born on October 14, 1977 in Aarhus, Denmark under the sign of Libra ♎

Taurus ♉ Ingress – The Value of Self-Worth

“Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance.”

– Publius Vergilius Maro

This morning at 11:13am CDT our Sun entered the fixed earth sign of Taurus ♉ and I am about two weeks away from my Solar Return (Birthday). Each year when the Sun enters Taurus, it has passed over what the ancients called the sea consisting of an area of the sky from Capricorn ♑ to Aries ♈. Naturally, the sea derived its name from the prominent amount of constellations that related to the sea.

“As the Sun moves through Taurus when plants take root, our determination and security needs are strong. Taurus is loyal to all that is familiar, and values longevity.

“More than any other sign, this is one of hidden reserves of power and strength. Of solidity in form and character.”Skyscript

Taurus is the first of the earth signs in the zodiac including Virgo and Capricorn, so it is no wonder that many natives of this sign have an affinity for things of the earth such the outdoors, animals, natural science, or the environment. Despite an often inherent practicality and sometimes a lack of inertia, many born under the sign of Taurus are innately productive with a knack for bringing form to their creative concepts through activities such as music, art, and gardening.

Taurus ♉, Venus ♀, Self Worth, and Values

Taurus natives are oftentimes characterized loyalty to their commitments whether personal or professional. In certain aspects of astrology, Taurus is the only sign associated with permanence due to it’s fixed and enduring nature while closely linked with the keywords, “I Have”. Many popular horoscopes nowadays will tell you that this is a materialistic and stubborn sign that sticks to routines, opposes change, and likes to possess. Yet, it’s important to acknowledge the deeper aspects of a sign that is strongly linked to self-worth and inner values. Note that Taurus represents not only what one physically owns, but also what one owns intangibly and spiritually. The constant nature of this fixed earth sign is why it is known for it’s endurance and inclination to experience relative success later in life. Therefore, I want to introduce an alternate set of keywords for Taurus, “I Build“.

Renowned astrologer, Dane Rudhyar writes:

Possessions must be used. This means impressing them with the rhythm of our individuality–—whether that’s material possessions, our natural gifts, or the money we spend.”

“Nothing is more futile and spiritually empty than having without being, and this is true of all kinds of possessing.”

This means that the evolved Taurus is a being of sound values and an acute awareness of innate strength, talents, and self worth. Traditional Astrology reinforces this by relating the sign of Taurus to the planet, Venus ♀, reflective of the sign’s associations with sensuality, material possessions, self worth, and value systems. Evolving door astrology eloquently explains the relationship between Venus and Taurus.

“What we “have” reflects what we’re worth and what we value. But material worth is not the same as self-worth, even though we often equate the two.”

“It (Venus) is also what we “have not” ― the qualities, gifts and advantages that we lack or feel we don’t have enough of. At its worst, this can produce a kind of poverty mentality where we tend to assume that our heart’s desire will always be just out of reach.”

I can certainly say that I have experienced the aforementioned poverty mentality at certain points in my life. I think that sometimes as an earth sign in today’s world, we Taureans can become so materially conscious and concerned with routine that we lose sight of the deeper meaning behind our existence, including those valuable lessons of self-worth and and our connection with nature.

Taurus  and Scorpio ♏ – Stability vs. Transformation

When I was about six years old, I can easily recall the fact that I didn’t like to share. I know, selfish right? Of course, time and social conditioning helped me to realize that the act of sharing is somewhat of a social norm with a whole wealth of benefits. As a Taurus, it’s interesting that memories of sharing are some of my earliest. I think that my early aversion to the act of sharing may have been the first time I began to experience the opposite principals of Scorpio. Simply put, Taurus and Scorpio are opposite signs where Taurus stands for stability, permanence, personal resources and Scorpio stands for shared resources, transformation, and elimination.

The archetypes of Taurus and Scorpio can be seen through the Myth of Pluto and Persephone. The festival of Beltane occurs at the beginning of May each year, symbolic of Persephone’s return from the underworld as nature blooms. While, Samhain occurs at the start of November at the end of the harvest as nature’s vibrancy begins to wither.

Clare Martin states the following in Mapping the Psyche:

“Without the destructive aspect of the life-force that belongs to Scorpio, everything would become static, incapable of change or growth. The point is that Taurus begets Scorpio, retention leads to release, incorporation to elimination, to ensure that nature remains in balance and that the life force is constantly regenerated”

Those born under the sign of Taurus are often gifted with rare powers of reliability, resilience, fixity of purpose, creativity, and endurance with a typically unmatched strength of character. Yet, the Plutonian (Scorpionic) principal of change is not something that Taureans tend to naturally embrace. Despite this, I have found that life unfolds much more smoothly if I strive to create change and embrace it as opposed to waiting until it occurs on it’s own and often painful accord!

The Sun is in Taurus this year until May 20, 2012 when it will enter the sign of Gemini ♊. Happy Birthday to all of my Taurus friends!

Famous Taureans

Leonardo Da Vinci, Wiliam Lilly, David Boreanaz, Megan Fox, Kirsten Dunst,  Penelope Cruz, Enrique Iglesias, Kelly Clarkson,  David Bekham, Robert Pattinson,  Cher, George Clooney,  George Lucas, Rene Zellweger, Jessica Alba, Pierce Brosnan, Bono, Rosario Dawson, Uma Thurman, and Tom Welling.

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails was born on May 17, 1965 under the sign of Taurus.

Retrograde ℞ Activate!

I would describe the past few days in three words; technical difficulties, galore! On Monday, before an interview for a major internship, the wireless card on my laptop died after four solid years. Three days later, I realize that my debit card has disappeared. After a feeble attempt to utilize my credit card to fill my empty stomach late at night, my funds are declined. These events are in stark contrast to the smooth sailing and internal ardor that has characterized my life in the past month or so. Inevitable? Yes, life is full of ups and downs. Yet, some might say that as an astrologer, I should have known! Mercury ☿ is retrograde in Pisces ♓.

Simply put, a planet is described as retrograde when it appears to be moving backwards through the zodiac. However, are planetary retrograde cycles such as Mercury retrograde the root of chaos and disorder? I have certainly observed a number of intriguing events that have occurred under the influence of planetary retrograde cycles. It is also important to note that planets do not ever move backwards. However, in astrology they appear to reverse motion when viewed from earth. The effect is similar to observing two cars traveling at different speeds on a freeway. The slower car will appear to be moving backwards despite actually continually moving forward when viewed from the window of the faster vehicle.

In astrology, Mercury is the planet associated with communication and what we would call our automatic mind. The messenger’s planet has dominion over the signs of Gemini ♊ and Virgo ♍. Cafeastrology.com states the following about Mercury retrograde periods:

“Mercury retrograde tends to breed a certain level of confusion. Mercury rules our “lower” mind–how we perceive and interpret information that we receive from our environment, and how we relay that information to others. Mercury has rulership over such things as speaking, negotiating, buying and selling, listening, formal contracts, documents, travel, the mail and shipping, and so forth. All of these areas of life are affected when Mercury is functioning in a sluggish state. Decision-making is challenged during Mercury retrograde. Needless to say, it is not advised to sign contracts, engage in important decision-making, or launch a new business. Delays and challenges are more probable with Mercury retrograde. It’s a time when being careless with money, our personal information, or paperwork can be costly.”

Before a planet appears to change directions it performs what is known as a station where the observed planet seems to be at a standstill in the sky. The days in which a planet preparing to turn direct stations are considered to be days where the retrograde energy of the planet is strongest and there seems to be a bit of truth in this based on my observations. Take 2011 for example when COOG Radio, The University of Houston’s first student run radio station, was aiming to launch on August 1st right before Mercury stationed to turn retrograde for about three weeks. As a radio station, COOG Radio naturally falls within the jurisdiction of communication oriented Mercury. Interestingly enough, the station did not launch on August 1st, rather on August 29, 2011 immediately after Mercury’s retrograde period ended!

Also, shortly after Mars went retrograde in Virgo around the beginning of this year, the touch screen on my phone decided to give out after almost two years. As you can see, an important theme of retrograde cycles seems to be that “expect the unexpected”. I wouldn’t expect too many things to go as planned and it does seem that one can benefit greatly from applying caution in certain instances. During Mercury retrograde it’s a great time to tune up your car, backup files, double-check facts, or cross your T’s and dot your I’s in general.

In general, days with an abundance of retrograde energy may not be optimal for purchasing expensive technical equipment, or scheduling major life or communication related events like marriage. Amusingly enough, the infamous Kim Kardashian married Kris Humphries on August 20, 2011 when Mercury was retrograde in romantic Leo ♌. They divorced after just 72 days of marriage. Theme of the event: What were they thinking?  Will you be cursed if you plan to go ahead defy the odds on retrograde dates? Most likely not. Remember that astrology is not fatalistic, but a wonderful tool for examining cycles and tendencies.  Even the most seasoned astrologer cannot consistently and accurately predict anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to put your life on hold when planets are traveling retrograde as this happens very often. Currently, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn are all traveling retrograde while Venus and Pluto will soon exchange places with Mercury and Mars over the next few months. In addition, some people born under the influence of retrograde planets have reported being unaffected by such periods. In my opinion, the tendencies of a retrograde cycle are dependent upon the specific planet’s location in the sky and the aspects it forms to other planets during its cycle.

Despite the frequent negative connotations, there is a positive side to retrograde cycles. Astrologer Lynn Koiner states this:

“The traditional statement about Mercury retrograde is that it favors anything that begins with the prefix “re-” — re-negotiate, re-vamp, re-new, re-vise, return, re-issue, re-visit, re-finance because the word retrograde itself means “to go back and retrace one’s steps.”

So if you have felt like the world is out to get you recently or like nothing is going as planned, don’t worry too much about it! Mercury retrograde ends by the end of the first week of April and Mars will turn direct shortly thereafter the next week. Hooray!

Bloc Party – Mercury (Flosstradamus Remix)

The Aries ♈ Point – Active and Animated

“I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for…”

— Thornton Wilder (Sun ☉ in Aries ♈)

It’s sort of odd but not surprising, really. The best way to describe how I’ve been feeling lately is that there’s a fire in my mind and soul, and strangely enough this is accurately reflected in the sky. The Sun entered the Cardinal Fire sign of Aries ♈ today on Tuesday, March 20 2012 at 12:15 a.m CST. Currently, Mercury ☿ is conjunct Uranus ♅, while both planets are conjunct my natal Venus ♀ at 0° Aries.

Astrologically speaking, Mercury and Uranus are intellectual planets very much so associated with the mind and mental activity while Venus represents tastes, values, and artistic inclinations among other things. It’s no surprise that the abundance of Arian energy has me feeling so animated. I’ve found that the Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) oftentimes possess the innate ability to inspire others.

Another term for 0° Aries is known as the Aries Point. As the Sun makes it’s 360° transit each year, its passage over 0° Aries signifies the start of the sign of Aries and the beginning of Spring (Vernal Equinox). Naturally, Aries is associated with acts of birth and initiation; the initial spark of life’s essence that will be preserved in Taurus ♉. In Pisces ♓, expressed energy is more passive, diffusive, and universally conscious. While in Taurus, energy tends to be slower, stable, and materially conscious. Aries is much quicker, more impulsive, and direct while oftentimes possessing a well-developed sense of self characterized by the keywords, “I Am“.

Aries ♈, and Mars ♂, and Animation

Mars ♂, planet of action,  physical energy, sexuality, and mobilization resonates with the sign of Aries and is known as its ruler. Therefore, I propose a second set of keywords for Aries, “I Initiate“. The location of Mars in a natal chart can explain how a person expresses their anger, their desires,  basic instincts, and drive. In ancient mythology, Mars was the God of war and in a similar fashion, Arians are well equipped for conflict.

“Mars is the defiant spirit; when dignified it will show courage, fearlessness, respected leadership, the propensity to take a risk and the lover of a challenge. In this form Mars is the moral champion, ready to take up arms on behalf of others less able or willing to put their necks on the line.

When poorly placed and displaying its less noble traits, it represents needless aggression, violent eruptions, assertiveness to the point of selfishness, and the urge to take from others without due regard to their needs and well being.”

Aries ♈ and Libra ♎ – Self Vs. Other

Libra is the opposite sign of Aries and also the first sign of the zodiac that involves awareness of others, harmony, and diplomacy at best. Being ruled by Venus, the sign of Libra also represents the act of objectively relating through relationships while Aries represents awareness of self. In Greek mythology, counterparts to Mars and Venus, Ares and Aphrodite were lovers during the course of Aphrodite’s unhappy marriage to Hephaistos.

In Mapping the Psyche, Clare Martin states:

“The Aries/Libra axis concerns the struggle to find the balance between autonomy and compromise, self-assertion and cooperation, respect for the self and respect for the other.”

“Ultimately, there is no inherent meaning in being strong and independent and focused in isolation. It is much easier to gain a sense of personal fulfilment and achievement if we are fighting for a principle, such as justice, or on behalf of another person.”

I’ve grown up with an Aries sibling and have observed his deeply competitive spirit, will to succeed, and ferocious inner fire. In my Arian friends, I most admire their typical independence, iron will, excitement, and spontaneity. There’s an almost innocent simplicity and straightforwardness that is synonymous with Aries. Skyscript sums it up, best:

“If you are born under the sign of Aries, remember, the sun-sign indicates your true spirit, the heart of your being where you should find immense strength in self-expression. You should never seek to curb your natural qualities, but merely shape them and direct them into powerful, worthwhile and constructive outlets.”

“Impulsiveness, and the urge to take action is your gift and your strength,Impulsiveness, and the urge to take action is your gift and your strength, leaving the hesitating majority in shame.”

Famous Arians

Aretha Franklinn, Matthew Broderick, Reba McEntire, Diana Ross, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Hugh Hefner, Stephen Segal, Alec Baldwin, Mariah Carey, Jackie Chan, Russell Crowe, Shannen Doherty, Robert Downey Jr., Stacy Ferguson “Fergie”, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ashley Judd, Lucy Lawless, John Madden, Conan O’Brien, Sarah Jessica Parker, William Shatner, Gloria Steinem, Vincent Van Gogh, Christopher Walken.

Jonny Craig of Emarosa was born on March 26, 1986 under the sign of Aries.