Astrology & Creativity, Part 2

© Agsandrew - Inner Life of Music

© Agsandrew - Inner Life of Music

This article is a prelude to a workshop I'll be giving at Life Force Arts Center, 1609 W Belmont, next Sunday the 24th from 1-4pm. Details and registration here.

Please see Part 1 for the natal signatures that speak to creative ability along with some famous chart examples.

Creative Timings

Certain transits and progressions can indicate when creative inspiration and opportunity for cultivation and expression is at its peak. For day-to-day and month-to-month analysis, look to the Moon for cues on when you're likely to be most "tapped in" to your creative muse. When the Moon transits your 5th and 12th houses, or makes major aspects to your Sun, Neptune, Venus, or your 5th and 12th rulers, can be high times for creative practice and cultivation. When Venus trines and sextiles those same points you may feel a greater affinity and sensitivity to those energies and you might want to cozy up to the planet or house in question and explore its mysteries. Jupiter transits will expand those points and fuel your creative drive and output when transiting the 5th and 12 houses. Uranus and Pluto transits to your natal planets and angles, which are very long term, can actually awaken latent talents you didn't even know you had.

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Astrology & Creativity, Part 1

This article is a prelude to a workshop I'll be giving at Life Force Arts Center, 1609 W Belmont, next Sunday the 24th from 1-4pm. Details and registration here.

What creates us, moment to moment? From the pairing of tiny gametes to the full ripening of our being, there is a mysterious power of creative will that animates our life from beginning to end. We are at once a vessel and arbiter of this creative power. There is nothing that we do that is not creative, since all action, no matter how small, serves the creation of the world we live in. We are created beings, thus we seek to create.

When speaking of creativity, many people think of art, music, theater, writing or various forms of craftwork. But if we take a closer look, we can see that even our most basic day to day activities — speaking, working, cooking, parenting, how we dress, how we decorate our homes, how we treat our partners — all of these things have a creative element to them. Being creative does not have to mean doing something lofty or as a profession. We can be creative by simply doing anything that gives our life meaning and purpose.

Astrology looks at creativity as a force seeking to express itself through every area of the natal chart. The astrological symbols most often linked with creativity are the 5th and 12th Houses, their cusp rulers, and the placements of the Sun, Moon, Venus and Neptune. These areas are where we find creative drive, sensitivity to beauty, visioning and power of expression.

But creativity is not limited to any particular set of symbols. The entire chart is a mandala of creative energy, and any prominent planet, sign, and house combination can be a focal point for creative expression.

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Mercury Retrograde – Intimacy and Freedom

Artist unknown

"The gold is in finding shared freedom through the truth of our hearts."
(Photographer unknown)

Uranus recently turned direct, indicating a renewed impulse to free ourselves from the past as it inches its way out of square with Pluto, a collectively transformative dance, or grind, that has been ongoing since 2012. Meanwhile, Venus has entered Sagittarius, linked with the desire to experience new worlds with new people, or revitalize old relationships through shared adventure. But Mars has entered Scorpio, so before we can launch out and away we have to tend to our needs deep within, possibly fighting the urge to flee out of fear of our own inner dark.

Here is the stage that is set for the next Mercury Retrograde, lasting from January 5th - January 25th (the final direct pass ends Feb 14). This is a potent cycle that starts with Mercury in very early Aquarius at a near exact square to Mars in Scorpio. The lesson with that aspect is to figure out how to communicate our own ideas and needs while remaining open to the conflicting needs of others without reacting with anger. Personal situations that require us to face where we've been too detached may flare up to force us to look at the real motivations that keep us separate. Are we truly being compassionately detached or are we being too lofty, compensating for some fear of real intimacy? The gold in this lesson is in finding shared freedom through the truth of our hearts.

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Cancer New Moon 2015 – New (Emotional) Horizons

Planet Pluto

New Horizons photo of Pluto, color enhanced

It's quite remarkable that we begin receiving detailed images of Pluto via the New Horizons space probe just as the Moon culminates a conjunction with the Sun in Cancer while Mars/Mercury, also in Cancer, stand at opposition to Pluto itself. Here we are at a time of great focus on the Moon's home sign while Pluto stands in the opposite sign, Capricorn — the ruler of which, Saturn, is moving retrograde through Pluto's home sign of Scorpio — having received at opposition each planet in turn (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury). This is an unusually great deal of activity with Pluto astrologically just as we approach Pluto astrophysically.

Opposition brings manifestation. Pluto in Capricorn symbolizes the deep restructuring of our lives and society, but also symbolizes the concretization of our understanding of the planetoid itself. The manifestations we are experiencing in our personal lives may be challenging us to let go of emotional and mental patterns that separate us from responsibility and/or keep us inappropriately dependent on other people or things, causing us to feel pushed, or even shoved, in the direction of our fate. On a collective level, the manifestation of a Pluto fly-by could be seen as a symbol of what humanity can achieve when it is united on a common goal (a very Capricornian theme).

And, true to Capricorn, we are once again learning that we know a lot less than we thought we did. Can you imagine a snowstorm on Pluto?

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Uranus-Pluto and Social Crises

Sagittarius by "Steel Eyes".

Sagittarius by "Steel Eyes".

Joy is the name of the strong spring
In eternal nature.
Joy, joy drives the wheels
In the great clock of worlds.
She lures flowers from the buds,
Suns out of the firmament,
She rolls spheres in the spaces
That the seer's telescope does not know.
Happy, as his suns fly
Through the heaven's magnificent plain
Run, brothers, your track
Joyfully, as a hero to victory.

- From Ode to Joy by Friedrich Schiller

Posted on Twitter:
The planets urge faith under extreme challenge. Know your right to be free, to be you, a child of God. Outer chains catalyze higher self.

EDIT: I should have consulted my ephemeris with respect to Uranus's trine to Pluto. I was off by a decade. Corrected below.

Eric Garner, Michael Brown, race relations, power struggles — welcome to the near-exact square between Pluto and Uranus. The crises represented by this square reflect the issues that were up when these planets were conjunct in 1968. We are reaching the climax of this multi-year aspect, which will culminate in March of 2015. Once the square clears up by the end of the year, we will have about 20 10 years to do the work of cleaning up our collective act. To the degree we've done so, we will receive collective benefits when Uranus trines Pluto in the mid 2030s 2020s (including rises in social justice, communication technology, alternative energy sources, possibly breakthroughs in nuclear fusion).

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Mercury Retrograde in Cancer – Mind Your Feelings

A jester found his masters fair
Yet always frowned when they were there
"Why so sad?" asked a princely voice
The jester had no other choice
But to answer the regent prince:
"I feel bad I cannot convince
My soul that I am truly free
From existential agony!"
"Lighten up, and have an ale!,"
Called the prince in full regale
"Time is up for this sadness,
End this melancholy madness!"
The jester smiled, for he saw the key:
His sadness riled his soul free!
Then came this wisdom from within,
No famous prince could claim from him:
Those who wrap their face in smiles
Forget the trap of cunning styles
Lost in the ploy of their folly
See not the joy in melancholy!

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Scorpio Full Moon 2014 – Light Inside the Dark

Fallen Angel

Artist Unknown

An angel stands before the veil of time, preparing to leap into physical form. Surrounding the angel are a host of others, many of them having taken the journey many times and well aware of the challenges of being human. As the angel hesitates in a sudden clenching of anxious doubt, the other angels take her hand and remind her once again that even though she may at times feel utterly alone, the angel will never, can never, truly be separated from home. The angel feels the fear of the imminent descent simultaneously with the love of her angelic family. Bolstered by the courage in knowing she will always be held, no matter what darkness she has to face on Earth, the angel closes her eyes and leaps.

The sensation of wind envelopes her as she descends, as if another reminder that she is always held, even when in free fall. She opens her eyes — below her stretches the vast surface of the Earth, emerging closer and closer towards her, a view as awe-inspiring as it is fear-inducing. The angel's mind races with the possibilities that can shape a human life, both wonderful and terrible. As the angel hurtles towards her human destiny, the mix of feeling exhilaration and terror is almost too intense for her to bear, and she almost cries out to be returned home when suddenly all goes dark.

A brief moment of total, silent, peaceful emptiness, where all memory is erased — followed just as suddenly by the startled in-breath of a newborn baby, starting her new life in the arms of a lovestruck mother and father, still in the loving sight of the angelic host that holds her.

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The Cardinal Grand Cross – Surf’s Up!

Be the shark.

Surf the shark.
Image courtesy

A priest, a rebel, a politician and a prostitute all face each other in a high tech gladiator arena...

Nah, not going there this time. Rather than open with an illustrative vignette, I'm going to get right to the meat.

It's Cardinal Grand Cross time, as of Tuesday, April 22nd, though you may have been feeling the energy ramping up for a while. If you've been paying attention at all to the astrology news of the past few weeks you've undoubtedly come across mention of this Grand Cross several times. It's hard to know what to say about it that hasn't already been said, but since it's my job to say things about important things, I'm going to dig in my brain and see what nuggets of wisdom I can produce.

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The Christmas Cross

In The Hero With a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell describes the original Gnostic image of Christ on the cross as Jesus looking straight ahead, eyes penetrating as they peer out unwavering. This is in direct contrast to the images of Christ more often seen in traditional churches, where Jesus is represented as hanging limply, staring down in defeated agony. That image is one of disempowerment, that we, like Jesus himself, are at the mercy of a judging God, that Jesus had to suffer for our sins, and that redemption can only come through proving oneself worthy to God's authority, often through punishment. But the Gnostic image turns this mythology back to the original point - that by saying "yes" to life and all of its pains, dangers, defeats, joys and triumphs we are able to attain Christhood ourselves. Jesus hangs on the cross willingly, not because the cross is a burden of suffering but because it represents the salvation and resurrection of Spirit. It is the cross of space and time, of Spirit projected into matter, and Jesus is representing, as Campbell says: "the umbilical point through which the energies of eternity break into time," which is the central point within (and point of) each of us.

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An Astrological View of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela
July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013

"There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." - Nelson Mandela

It can certainly be said that Nelson Mandela, who died on December 5th at the age of 95, lived his life with a passion that moved him, and by extension his country, to extraordinary capability. Activist, freedom fighter, world leader and inspiration to millions, he exhibited impressive strength in determination with equally impressive poise. His legacy will live on long after most of his contemporaries on the world stage have passed from memory.

The astrological picture is of a soul that has for many lifetimes been exploring every possible facet of shared emotional experience, from bonding to betrayal, possession to abandonment, in order to understand the very foundations of human nature. Through this, Mandela's soul developed the capacity to understand the emotional realities of others and this had the natural effect of creating a deeply abiding compassion, allowing him to withstand personal suffering for the cause of ending suffering for others. He came into this life readied by lifetimes of learning and service so he could bring forth his own light of truth, kept ignited by faith in a better future and the will to be "the captain of my soul". But to do so he had to come to terms with his flaws while making great sacrifices for the work that would define his life.

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