A lion with the sun for a mane

Leo energy is associated with the lion, which is very apropos.  Leos are loyal, royal, and confident.  This energy is proud and bright, just like the sun that rules the sign.  Leo energy can be happy, whimsical,  and childlike (the sign traditionally rules children), like a marmalade- colored kitten, or noble and majestic, like the lion.

Leo is the sign of the Performer, of those who shine out from the crowd with personalities larger than life.  This energy instills a self-esteem that makes the bearer feel like a typical house cat, preening and luxurious.  After all, the sun is the center of the solar system, and that is where Leo feels most comfortable.  The sun is the spring board of creation, of life on this planet.  Leos are the lives of the party, the stars of the show, flamboyant and exuberant.  If out of balance, they are demanding and pouty, and throw colossal temper tantrums, just like Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love and war.  Ishtar was so angry that the hero Gilgamesh turned down her sexual favors that she had a wild bull sent to kill him.  When Gilgamesh’s companion, Enkidu, slays the bull and tosses the bloody hide into Ishtar’s temple, she kills Enkidu (MythAstrology 152-153).  The pride of this placement, and of those who have this energy, is not to be trifled with.

As the Performer, Leo brings joy to people by changing himself to fit his audience. His creativity is expressed by making people laugh, and by creating characters and scenarios. He is born for the stage, for the arts, for the microphone.  If Leo energy does not call its owner to act, it will push him to express his exuberance in some other way that enables him to interact with people. This can be as simple as being known for his friendliness and openness.

Balanced Leo energy loves an audience, but unbalanced Leo energy cannot live without one.  The unbalanced Leo energy causes its bearer to keep a mask on continuously, a mask that attempts to portray its wearer as perfect.  Underneath the cultured regality, and/or the perpetually sunny exterior, there may lurk a deep insecurity (MythAstrology 22).  The person may actually adopt Leo energy as a defense against these feelings of inferiority. This insecurity, instead of being handled in a healthy way, is a catalyst for an intense need to be the center of attention and narcissism.

When out of balance, the warmth of the Leo energy can be too encompassing. It can engulf and burn.  It can turn into rage–not the berserker rage of an Aries, but the sly, “catty” anger that can sneak up on its victim and slice him to ribbons.  It becomes a sense of entitlement, born from that hidden sense of insecurity.

On the other hand, when out of balance, the Leo energy can become cold.  Laughter fades, and creativity becomes fallow. Curiosity vanishes. The flip side of the Sun is, as we all know, the Shadow. Leo sadness is as cold and dark as Leo happiness is warm and bright.

Leo energy, when it comes to love, is pure and childlike. Since Leo is aligned with fire, the energy is passionate and active. Arien energy, also aligned with fire, is physical, competitive, courageous, and adventurous.  Sagittarius, also a fire energy, is philosophical, itinerant, blunt, and independent. Leo is glamourous, cultured, urbane, and charming.

A person with balanced Leo energy is friendly and inclusive, like the sun itself.  Its energy puts a spring or a slink in a step.  It seems to radiate from the person. Leos are full of curiosity and amusement.  The Leo, in allowing herself to be vulnerable, finds that her insecurity goes down.  In being open about her love for others, she will find that this wonderful Leo energy will grow and shine effortlessly, and she will find herself in her natural habitat–the spotlight.

Archetypes, People, and Animals associated with Leo:

Cats (especially Lions)

Actors, Comedians, Dramatists, and other Performers

The Diva

Sun gods and goddesses, especially Apollo, god of the Sun and Performance

Cybele–an Anatolian Mother Goddess who became the Greek “Mistress of Animals”, a Goddess whose worship included wild music, dancing, and performance

Ishtar

Colette–the 1920s French author and actress. Though she is an Aquarius (and has that archetype and energy) she is also very strongly a Leo.

How to bring in Leo energy:

1) Visualize yourself surrounded by the light of the sun. Imagine this sunlight pooling into your body, pouring into the top of your head (your crown chakra) and traveling down your spine into your heart. Feel your heart pump that warm brightness through your body. Let it relax your muscles. Feel your face muscles relax as you smile. Stretch like a cat.

2) Take a step toward being in the spotlight–tell a joke to a group of trusted friends.  Tell a story about an adventure you had.  If you ever had a craving to act, write, or make art, take a class.

3) If you are used to being in the spotlight, the next time you are with a group, encourage someone else to speak, and really listen.

4) Think about your favorite things to do as a child–fly a kite, run through the sprinkler, water color, put on shows.  Do one of those things soon. Note how you feel afterward.  Leo is the energy of children, and it will bring sunny joy into your life if you return to your roots.

5) Put on sunscreen and walk outside on a sunny day.

6) Meditate on your favorite animal.  What qualities of the animal would you like to assimilate into your own personality?  Carry a small charm or picture of the animal as your totem.  Leo is a strong animal energy–very pure and noble, like the energy of children. Think of the lion’s strength, the cat’s contentment, the grace of the deer.  How can you adopt these qualities?

By the way, MythAstrology is pretty much amazing and you should buy it.

Advertisements

Luna

I think it’s time to change Cancer’s name.  Please don’t take this to mean I’m arrogant enough to suppose a name thousands of years old can be changed because I want it to. It’s more that I personally feel uncomfortable referring to myself and my brethren as a disease. Let’s face it, we don’t think of the constellation; we think of the illness.  I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel kind of shitty.

Just for fun, what could Moon Children call themselves? Here are some ideas:

1) Selene. Selene is the goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. This name is easy to remember, and sounds as lovely as the goddess herself.

2) Fegarri. Fegarri is the Greek word for moon. I think it sounds harmonious with Sagittarius and Virgo. The bad part is that it sounds like an alien race from Star Trek. 


3) Huitaco (pronounced we-tah-co) (thanks to my awesome soul sister and colleague, Whitney. Check out her blog, wheresmytower.wordpress.com). Huitaco is the Columbian goddess of the Moon and protector of women. She was also the goddess of pleasure and happiness. The frequently tangled with her consort, Bochica, the god of hard work and sorrow. Bochica reminds me of Saturn, the planet that rules Capricorn, the sign of hard work and hard lessons. Moon Children oppose Capricorn (not OPPOSE oppose, but are opposite each other on the zodiac wheel).  There’s some nice synchronicity there, but the name sounds like “Wheat Taco” which is what we will forever be known as to people who don’t know about the myth.

4) Luna. Italian for Moon, and the Roman parallel to Selene.  Yes, it’s a Harry Potter character (and a character with very Piscean energy, at that, but Leo is a DiCaprio).

I think, for this article, I will refer to this energy as Luna/Lunar. It is the name of our Moon.

I myself am a Luna, and far from perfectly balanced.  I tend to focus on what is difficult about this energy. Luna is a water sign, and Lunar energy is highly emotional. I mean, EXTREMELY so.  It is difficult to separate this energy from these emotions and look at things rationally and impersonally. Also, this is an intense energy. Irritation quickly becomes raging frustration.  The blues and everyday disappointments can lead to sogginess from copious weeping.  On the other hand, contentment becomes joy, happiness is euphoria, and love turns into rapture. We are also literally quite watery; we tend to weep a lot.

The stomach and the breasts are the organs ruled by Luna.  It’s fitting that the breasts would be the organ for Luna–these are the mothers of the zodiac, after all, and the stomach keeps us alive through nourishment, another forte of Lunar energy. The stomach is also full of associations of being loved and mothered with food.

Lunar energy also helps you think with your gut, and aligns you with the third chakra, the bright, sunshine yellow spot of energy located behind your navel.  This spot in your body corresponds to your personal power.  While Capricorn’s lesson is that of mastering perfectionism, and to release the need for external validation, and Scorpio’s lesson is to learn to accept the dark parts of the Self, identify the dark parts that are useful, transmute the useful and let go of what’s not, and eventually rise above the dark parts as a new Self-creation, the energy of Luna is to discover power.  Notoriously timid, this energy’s lesson is to develop a belief in one’s Self, and in the Self’s worthiness.

 Luna rules the stomach, just as Capricorn rules the knees (the work horses of the body) and Scorpio rules the genitals (the seat of birth and death–“Le Petit Mort”).  This is the location of the third chakra. The third chakra is the seat of self-esteem, responsibility, and courage.  Out of balance, this is the seat of low self-esteem and fear, especially fear of rejection and failure (Myss 167-168).

The dark side of Lunar energy is a mess of insecurity. Luna energy that is out of balance give themselves impossible standards, standards so high the person becomes frozen out of fear of failure. It is the same kind of fear that keeps people lonely, because they aren’t willing to approach others.  Lunas are extremely hard on themselves, and tend to say “I’m sorry” a lot.

Lunar love is intense and maternal. It is so intense, in fact, that it hurts. The goddess Raven Kaldera associates with the sun in Luna is Demeter.  Demeter, the goddess of the grain, deeply loves her daughter, Persephone, and when Persephone is taken away by Hades, it sends her into a tailspin, a tailspin that takes the whole world down with it. Crops stop growing, and the earth becomes a cold wasteland. When a Luna feels hurt or abandoned, the psyche becomes a wasteland. A Luna attaches herself to a loved one, not in a creepy stalker way, but a Luna opens her heart to any one she loves, and  gives freely of it.  When the person they love goes away, there is a definite ripping sensation in the heart.

Perhaps this is because Luna is self-protective. When they do trust and love someone, they have to remove layers of their hard, protective shields, the “shell” of the crab. When that trust feels violated, Luna rebuilds the shell again, and reinforces it.

This metaphorical shell is also like a turtle’s shell.  If a Luna is in balance, he can feel at home anywhere  he goes. He will be grounded and secure, and he will help others feel secure as well.

Lunas are all about the love. A Luna will give her all to her loved ones, and will feel guilty if she feels she comes up short.  They are warm, comforting, and sensitive, when in balance. However, when out of balance, Luna becomes clingy and possessive. Unable to express “negative” emotions (and thus possibly anger a loved one) Luna becomes passive-aggressive and as brackish and bitter as a polluted ocean. Alternately, if the Luna is not secure enough to set boundaries, the roiling anger builds up until the dam breaks, and the Luna drowns the world in her rage.

Like the Moon, and the tides the Moon makes, Lunar emotions ebb and flow. This is very feminine; the word “month” comes from the same root as Moon, as do the words menses and menstruation.  I have found that my physical energy, creativity, and motivation also ebb and flow, and I wonder if perhaps other Lunas feel like this. I actually find it rather comforting–I know that when I feel low or dry, the tide will rise and I will be nourished again. Meanwhile, I have spare energies that I can tap.

The Moon is a symbol of illusion. Lunas must be careful to see past illusion. They must be especially careful not to fall into the all-or-nothing thinking common with the shadow aspect of this energy.  When they feel unloved, they must ask themselves if it is really true. They must exercise their minds to see the opposites of their negative thoughts. Can a Luna think of three people that like her? Then, the negative thought is not true. If you feel abandoned by a friend, is it true? Did this friend abandon you? Or are you abandoning yourself by letting this event change how you perceive yourself and your own innate goodness? Did this friend really abandon you? Did a friend abandon you, or just an acquaintance? Or, worse yet, someone who was using you?

Lunas are blessed with great intuition and imagination. Even an out-of-sorts Luna can intuit for her loved ones, even if she can’t intuit for herself. Even if the Luna is suffering from depression or garden variety writer’s block, they have a rich inner life. Sometimes, they must sit down and let the ink flow freely, like water, without any censorship. This helps them access that powerful Moon energy. Since the tummy is the provence of the Lunas, many would do nicely to just think with their “guts” and not overanalyze a decision.

It must be remembered that the energy of the signs is not just for the people born in the sign alone. You may feel you have more energy associated with one zodiac archetype than another, but you can access the archetypal energy of any sign.

Questions for Reflection, and Tips to Bring Lunar Energy in:

1) When making a decision, pay attention to how your body feels, instead of endlessly reasoning yourself through it.

2) Keep a dream journal. Lunar energy, like the other watery energies of Pisces and Scorpio, works with the subconscious.

3) When you nurture others, do you also nurture yourself?

4) What illusions do you maintain? How do they benefit you? How would your life be without these illusions? How can you let go of them?

Archetypes, People, and Animals for Luna

1) Mothers

2) Nurses

3) Family Historians/Museum Keepers

4) Demeter

5) Kwan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Compassion

6) Turtles and Crabs

7) Wolves and Dogs,, symbols of loyalty, family, and friendship

Book recommendations:

MythAstrology: Exploring Planets and Pantheons by Raven Kaldera (You still haven’t bought it yet? It’s awesome!)

Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Caroline Myss (I cannot recommend her books highly enough. Expect more discussion of the chakras!)

Loving What Is, by Byron Katie (This is what inspired the suggestions for working with illusions. I’ve worked with Byron Katie not only through her books but on a stage in front of hundreds of people. It changed my life!)

Gentle, Luxurious Taurus

Taurus calls, to my mind, absolute luxury and beauty. It is ruled by Venus, planet of not only beauty and luxury, but also love.  Taurus loves deep and warm, but since its energy is that of the element Earth, they have a practicality and steadiness. While Libra is also ruled by the planet of love, the energy of love in this placement is, in keeping with the air element, more intellectual, more abstract, and, when the Libra is out of balance, fickle.  Taurus is steady as a rock, and while the swift lyricism and charm associated with Libra is not normally associated with Taurus, Venus gives this earthy placement a nice boost in that department. The Taurus has exquisite taste, and a poetic mind.

The Earth energy aligned with Taurus is the energy of the lush rain forests, succulent flower gardens, fecund fruit orchards, and fertile fields.  Taurus energy is not just vibrant green and rich brown, but the brilliant pinks, reds, blues, purples, and aquamarines of all the flowers and gem stones the Earth gives to us as gifts.  If Taurus were fabrics, it would be velvet and silk.  It is a musical energy, and music is a gift for Taurus–even if they can’t sing or play, they are deeply affected by and resonate to music.

I have a friend who is a Taurus, and a friend who has the Moon in Taurus.  They are both very dear and they are both fabulous huggers.  You can seriously melt into their arms.  Raven Kaldera (buy his book!)  describes Hathor, the cow goddess of Egypt that he has assigned to the Taurus Moon, as having “restful arms” (64).  This is certainly true. There’s just something so comforting about a Taurus presence. This is a soft-spoken, gentle energy.  They also tend to smell nice, like a lawn after a soft rain.

It is fitting that the animal for Taurus is the Cow. Cows are known for being sweet and wide-eyed, and nurturing toward their young. A calf is open and trusting. Someone with the gift of Taurus energy has a talent for making people feel loved.  If a Taurus loves you, you feel amazing and deserving. They open up to you and trust you.

Naturally, their is a Shadow to the Taurus, and that is the Rampaging Bull.  Bull-rage is not something to mess with. This is a very physical, visceral anger, that is slow to build and then explodes and flows over anything in its path like lava or scalding steam.  Taurus does not intellectualize his or her anger, and the ability to reason oneself out of one’s emotions is not one of the gifts this energy gives to the people who tap it.  Another good analogy is thunder and lightning. Thunder may begin as a tiny rumble, but then it increases into the darts of the gods.

Another aspect of the Shadow of Taurus is gluttony. This is the sign of the Gourmand, but it can easily devolve into having no standards, and, with the natural exquisite taste and aesthetics of this sign, that is a waste of potential.

Another Shadow of this energy is that of the Indolent.  An unbalanced Taurus has no curiosity. This may not be due to a boring personality, though that may be the case, but to an aversion to change. The Taurus, as we all, must remember that even the Grand Canyon was created through a process of change. If it must be taken slowly, that is all right, but steps must be taken, because the purpose of the motionless is to deaden and decay, making room for and feeding growing things.

Taurus has a gift for creation. This is a creative energy, and, just as important, a sustaining one. Taurus is strong and resilient, and willing to get their hands dirty and put their backs into it.  If this dirtying of the hands and straining of the back is done for the people they love, this could be as much a pleasure as lounging on a satin divan, listening to a sunset concert while sipping ice-wine and letting chocolates melt in their mouths. For many Taurus people, or those who are in the stream of Taurus energy, giving is as effortless as the giving of the Earth herself.

Archetypes, people and animals associated with Taurus

The Cow

Hathor, the Cow Goddess of Egypt

Thor, Norse God of Thunder

The Gardener/Nature Child

Gaea, Tara, and other Earth Goddesses

The Sensualist

The Artist/Musician

The Poet Rumi (read his poetry, it’s down to Earth and yet has that warm, ruby center that the Earth itself possesses

Elephants–for their quiet intelligence (Kaldera 224-225)

Ganesha–for his lust for the finer things in life, as well as his earthy intelligence and loving nature (Kaldera 224-227)

Hints for bringing Taurus energy into your life–

Go to a lush, green, growing place. Surround yourself with flowers, vegetables, and fruit, which are not only lovely but symbolize Earth’s fertility

What do your eyes find beautiful? Your ears? Your nose? Your mouth? Your fingertips? Feast on these things at least three times a day.

Give and receive more hugs. Most mammals die without physical contact. This is quite true for Taurus. Get massages.

Are there any rumblings of thunder in your life? Any irritations or angers threatening to explode into a fire storm from the sky? How can you solve these problems?

Carry a little elephant around, to remind you of Ganesha’s relaxed wisdom, to bring luck, or just to make you smile.

Aries: the Beginning in the Middle

This was originally written on turtlephoenix.blogspot.com in early April.

Aries is the first sign in the Zodiac wheel.  As such, it is the energy of pioneers, progenitors, and paters (fathers).  It is an intensely masculine energy, and intensely fiery. It is no accident that Aries, the sign, and Ares, the Greek god of war, are homonyms, and that the name of the ruling planet, Mars, is the Roman form of Ares.

Aries energy, like its animal, the ram, butts through any obstacles. When something is wanted, and Aries energy is called upon (remember, Aries energy, like the energies of all the other signs, is archetypal, and thus is available to all, not just natives),  the one who accesses it becomes almost frenzied, yet with a sharp focus.  It compels those who have it to fling themselves at the obstacle, or toward the goal, with dedication and ferocity. Very physical, Aries is strong and active. This is a sign and an energy  that loves adventure, and is willing to put itself at risk, just as the rutting rams who pound each other into the ground, sometimes on steep stones over sheer cliff drops, are willing to put themselves at risk to prove who is the most worthy male.

Aries, like these rams, is quite competitive. This is taken to the logical conclusion with Ares/Mars, god of war; war being, of course, an extremely large-scale and deadly competition. Aries energy, if out of balance, becomes dependent on external validation–whether that is mates, accolades, trophies, or others’ fear.  Like fire, the element that rules this sign, Aries can be creative or destructive, and when it is destructive, it is the berserker of the Zodiac.

Before anyone comes to the conclusion that this energy is the energy of the meatheaded jerk, keep in mind that the body part ruled by Aries is the head, the top of the body, the first part of us to enter the world. Aries is innovative and pioneering, but is different from the spirit that rules say, Aquarius.  Aries is the energy of the courageous trailblazer in the wilderness, settling towns.  It is the excitement of the navigator as he sails across the ocean to lands unknown, perfectly willing to sail off the edge of the earth, or venture into the boiling sea, where “there be monsters.” Aries wants to fly to the moon, not only so he can be the first to do it (though that is a big ego boost), but to prove to others that it can be done. Aries trusts that it will survive, with at least a great story to tell, if not a world changing discovery.

Ruled by the head, the seat of the ego, Aries key phrase is “I am.” When out of balance, this can lead to selfishness, and fiery childish temper tantrums, and a “me first” entitlement attitude. When balanced, Aries is warm and welcoming, like a finely tempered hearth. It is open to new adventures, both large and small, including interpersonal adventures.  People with this energy are unprejudiced and inclusive.  They become like The Emperor Tarot card, representing all the positive masculine attributes: energetic, active, wise. They are secure in who they are, and know themselves. The mind and the body are not caught in any dualistic schism (I like using big words, sometimes); they are working together.  It is easy for the physical, competitive Aries to forget that his or her own mind is a vast place to explore. It is easy to shun the quieter, gentler emotions, but Aries energy needs precisely these emotions to stay in balance and in control.

As an Aries moon, I know about the intensity of the emotions that can come with an Aries temperament. Aries rage can eat a person alive.  However,  like any fire, it will burn itself out, if it is not fed. That is the important point, here. It must not be fed.

Aries is quick to lash out, but is also quick to laugh. In balance, Aries can be great fun to be around–there’s always something new to explore, and boredom is not tolerated. Aries is also one hell of a lover. I mean, come on, Rams. Horns. Ruled by the head. Get it?

Bringing Aries energy to you:
Physical activity. If you haven’t worked out in a while, start by walking briskly, then work your way up.  This will bring blood flow to your head and get those endorphins going. If you can do more, do so.

What adventure do you want to have? What kind of scary thing do you want to do before you die? Mine are gallop on a horse, bungee jump, parasail, and go on an upside down roller coaster.  I’ve done all of these so far except gallop on a horse. Yours may be to skydive, swim with sharks, or scale a mountain. Crossing these things off a list feels awesome. What can you do to go on these adventures?

What small risks can you take? Call on Aries energy to audition for a play, invite someone out for coffee, or send out that manuscript.

If you feel out-of-control angry, close your eyes and visualize a fire. Make the fire the same size as your anger. Imagine it slowly burning out until you can fit it in a fire place. Sit and visualize the flames. Can you make it the size of a candle flame? Then, imagine it turning into softly glowing embers.

 

Pisces the Poet

For those of you who have not heard of the myth of Orpheus, let me give you the abridged version.
Orpheus was a bard in ancient Greece. He had such talent that his playing could tame a lion or make a tree bow. He was madly in love with a woman named Eurydice. One day, Eurydice was bitten by a snake and taken to the underworld. To get her back, Orpheus traveled to Hell and demanded an audience with Hades. He played for Hades, and Hades was so moved that he agreed to let Eurydice go back to the land of the living, on one condition: she must follow behind Orpheus, and he must not look back at her until they were both in the light.
They almost made it. Orpheus looked back, and Eurydice was sucked back into Tartarus. Afterwards, Orpheus wandered about in despair, before the Maenads (or the Bacchae), followers of Dionysus, in one of their cannibalistic sex frenzies.Pisces energy is the energy of spiritual secrets, of the mysteries with clues hidden in dreams. Tartarus, and any other underground place, is symbolic of the Feminine, the Great Mother, the womb, and the subconscious. Pisceans are dreamers, both literally and figuratively. This energy is artistic and creative. It has a transcendence to it.

Pisceans, like all water signs, are gifted with intuition (however, if you are not a water sign, do not let this stop you from developing your intuition. This is energy that is available to everybody).  They can think symbolically, and may be more comfortable with the abstract than the concrete, with illusion rather than reality. It is this preference for the romance and beauty of the dream time that can lead the Pisces to self-destruction through addiction.

Pisces is also a sign of sacrifice. Christ himself was symbolized by Ichthus, the Fish. Guess what animal Pisces is? For noble feelings, a creative dream, for love, or for answers to life’s great questions, Pisces is willing to dive deep down into scary darkness. Pisces can forsake its health and even life for union with God, the Great Spirit, the Goddess, you name it. This is the sign of spirituality, but it is also the sign of addiction. A well balanced Pisces will use its gifts to empathize with other people, to be a warm house in the middle of the pouring rain for a friend in need, a nice hot cup of hot chocolate and a gooey cookie after a snowball fight. Well-balanced Pisces energy is compassionate and empathetic, and a person with this energy will go out of his or her way to not only comfort but also to understand someone in pain, even when the person in question is repulsive or performed an evil deed. Because Pisces thinks in the abstract, nothing is black or white. Forgiveness comes easily. A balanced Pisces is also great at dream interpretation, and can help people access and understand their own subconscious minds.

An out of balance Pisces, however, is prone to addiction and self-destruction.  Unbalanced Piscean energy turns someone into a doormat at best and an overdose statistic at worst. Pisces wants to experience altered states, and will try to find it by any means necessary. This can lead to promiscuous sex (not necessarily a bad thing, but it honestly depends on the motive and whether the person genuinely enjoys it), hard drugs, and joining cults.  Self-sacrifice may be performed to get accolades as an artiste, not for any other’s good.  To prevent this, Pisces must learn to assess themselves–what are their motives? Are there any other ways to achieve enlightenment that is constructive, and not destructive?

One wonderful example, from Raven Kaldera’s  wonderful book,MythAstrology (have you bought it yet? Why in God’s name haven’t you? Go here.) is the story of Obalata. Obalata is an orisha, or Caribbean deity, with roots in Africa. He created human beings with clay, and was very gentle, soft spoken, and modest, just like Pisces energy. His talent to create was only surpassed by the love and care he felt for his creations, again, like Pisces.

However, Obalata was an alcoholic (an addiction, something which Pisces can be prone to), and it is said that human birth defects are caused by a batch of clay molded by him when he was wasted. Obalata felt so guilty about this that he quit drinking. One must wonder if he would have stopped drinking if it was only himself he was hurting, and not his precious creations. Given what I know, I doubt it. Pisces can be selfish in their selflessness.

Pisces can rush into madness. They may at first mistake it for deepness of feeling or creativity, and be reluctant to part with it, even for the sake of their happiness. They may go deep, deep down into the abyss and never come back, and that would truly be a tragedy, as Pisces has such soulful beauty to share with the world. How would Orpheus’ story have been different if he had sought healing from his grief?

Archetypal Pisces:
Odin, who sacrificed himself on a tree for the knowledge of the Runes.
Kurt Cobain
Orpheus
Obalata

Questions:
What do you see as being worthy of sacrifice? What would you sacrifice for it?
Keep a dream journal. What are your dreams telling you? Put yourself as a character in the dream. For example, let’s see you dream about a river. Answer these questions, in first person, as the river:
How do you feel?
Why do you feel that way?
What do you want?
Who are you?
When are you?
Where are you?
How much intensity of feeling are you comfortable with? How do you handle your “intense feelings”?
How do you create? What can you do, everyday, to be creative?

Aquarius

Aquarius. The name itself is a mix of liquid and airy vowels and consonants.  It sounds like a charm, and the power of Aquarians is charm.

Aquarians have a grasp of the abstract, the big picture. Like Gemini, the sign of the Twins, and Virgo, the sign of the Virgin (both ruled by airy, quicksilver Mercury), Aquarius is also symbolized by a human being, the Water Bearer.  They are humanist and secular.  Full of intelligence and idealism, Aquarians want to change the world, and they can, with the power of Uranus, the planet of change, revolution, and innovation.

Aquarius is a surprising energy. As an air sign, it is logical and mental, but citizens of the earth born in this sign are very caring for their fellow man, and are willing to follow the most illogical flights to improve the world.  From airplanes to iPods, Aquarian energy, with its willingness to entertain unconventional approaches to solving problems, determination, and mental agility, embraces technology and moves it along (and remember, this is a form of energy, like all the other signs–a person does not need to necessarily have a planet in Aquarius to enjoy this energy).  This is the energy of Athena, goddess of war and craftmanship. Aquarian creativity is mostly practical, but it can also be wonderfully off-the-wall–think of pop art and post-modernism.

Aquarians want to make the world a perfect place. Equality and justice for all are very important to Aquarians. However, Aquarian energy, when it is unbalanced, wants to save the world, but forget about the loved ones who populate an individual’s world. An unbalanced Aquarian will leave her children home alone for weeks while she floats down the Amazon trying to save the rainforest. This is because unbalanced Aquarian energy becomes too airy and mental. Emotions can frighten the unbalanced Aquarian. Saving a world full of strangers is easier for him than talking to his wife. An Aquarian can also be irritated by other peoples’ messy emotions. Look at Athena–this was no comforting goddess. She wasn’t carried under a woman’s heart; she was born fully clad in armor from her father’s forehead. Emotion isn’t practical, and keeps one from taking action.

Another thing that can unbalance Aquarius is holding onto ideas so tightly they become fodder for arrogance. When this happens, the energy of their ruling planet, Uranus, cannot reach them. Uranus prefers the flexible, the unconventional, and the open. This does not mean that Aquarius should be wishy-washy, not at all, but they must strike a balance between their love of their Utopian ideals and their wonderful curiosity. Arrogance cannot be open to new ideas. I mean, how could it?

While Gemini energy is aligned with the Masculine, and Virgo energy is aligned with the Feminine, Aquarius is androgynous. It is too inclusive and unconventional to change one gender over the other. And it is that welcoming inclusivity, along with their lightning minds and idealism, that is so beautiful about Aquarius.

Aquarius archetypes:
Athena
Prometheus, the titan who gave fire to human beings to advance our progress, and died for it.
Tiresias, the blind man who could see into the future, and who lived both as a man and a woman
(please see Raven Kaldera’s book!)

Questions for consideration:
1) are your Feminine and Masculine sides balanced?  Are you more comfortable with one over the other? Remember, Feminine/Masculine alignment is not about genitals. It’s about certain qualities.
2) How can you become more inclusive? How can you share your generosity and caring with more people? On the other side of the coin, how can you share more with your loved ones?
3) What are your ideals? What is important to you–easing the plight of the homeless, caring for animals, preventing the abuse of the elderly, teaching children? What tiny actions can you take to help your cause?
4) What prejudices do you hold? What will it take for you to release them?

The Sea Goat

(Originally published in January of this year.)
Capricorn is the sign of the Sea Goat (or just the Goat) and lasts from December 22 to January 22.  The ruling element for Capricorn is Earth. Earth lends a very practical, stoic quality to Capricorns. Capricorn also rules work and reputation. Capricorns, like the goats themselves, are steadfast. Like goats climbing–actually, forget climbing, have you ever seen rams lock horns?–on an almost perfectly vertical mountain, full of sharp rocks and sheer cliffs, they can accomplish what is seemingly impossible with focus and grace.Earth adjectives such as stony and steely are apt for Capricorn energy. Capricorn energy is taciturn and stoic. However, Capricorns can be quite intense. Like other earth signs, they are boulders. They hunker down into an idea or a goal and they shall not be moved. Their strength is a quiet, plodding strength, but underneath the solid exterior can be seething, swirling magma. Capricorns are good at keeping their cool and not blowing their tops–I apologize for the cliches–but unless the Capricorns can find an outlet, their repression and workaholism can eat them alive.Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of limitations. Saturn is the archetype of Father Time, and he loves to give challenges. Capricorns, because of this, may seem prone to melancholy and pessimism. However, Saturn is also the planet of wisdom, and Capricorn energy can be radiate knowledge and serenity, like Yoda.  Many images depict the Goat, Capricorn’s symbol, as a Sea Goat, with a goat upper body and a fish tail. The Capricorn personality can adapt to rather sticky situations, such as being a goat in the water, or a fish on a mountain. This is because Saturn is in Capricorn’s corner, helping them through these challenges. Capricorns are adept at handling emergencies and inconveniences.

I must confess that whenever I think of Capricorns, I think of Rob Zombie. Rob Zombie is a Capricorn, and, according to Sean Yseult’sI’m In the Band,  has a piercing focus and willingness, if the brick wall in front of him is miles long and miles high, to bang his head against it until he finds a weak spot. Though it may take a while, Capricorns have the practical knowledge, diligence, and instincts to be successful. Their greatest gifts, though, is having belief in their visions, even if they don’t have faith in themselves, and their refusal to give up.

Another quintessential embodiment of Capricorn energy is Hephaestus, the Greek god of the foundry and lightning bolts (he was known as Vulcan in Rome.) Hephaestus was lame, homely, and frequently cuckholded by his wife, Aphrodite, to absolutely nobody’s surprise. He was mocked and ridiculed by his comlier cohorts on Mount Olympus. And yet, when it came to his skill, nobody dared disparage him. He could make anything–Zeus’s thunder, Achilles’ armor, Artemis’ arrows, and even Pandora, the perfect human. The main focus of his life was trying to prove himself, to earn respect. This is the main idea of Capricorn energy: having a good reputation, in spite of any defects one may perceive oneself to have (Kaldera 43-48).

Capricorns are little lambs when you get them in the right mood. A perfect, in the light Capricorn would probably, in my opinion, be voice actor Brad Swaile, who is sweet, gentle, and as happy as a little kid on a sunny mountain top of clover.

The Shadow side of Capricorns are indicated by a lack of humor. The really scary side of Capricorn is a hard, cold, human being, with no imagination, only ambition, like the antagonists in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times. They can also be extremely stern and authoritarian. Also, the Shadow Capricorn can be unwilling to buck authority or convention. They would rather move up the ranks themselves, and then make changes, rather than go toe-to-toe with someone with more power (Kaldera 47). That might keep them from reaching their goals, and might tarnish their reputation.

Questions for consideration, to unleash healthy Capricorn energy:

1) What good, if any, have you received from the challenges in your life?
2) How are you specially adapted to challenges? What tools do you have in your arsenal against the inconveniences and emergencies of everyday life?
3) Where do you feel least comfortable nonconforming? Most comfortable?  Has this conforming served you? Why or why not? In what ways can you buck authority?

Source: Kaldera, Raven. Mythastrology: Exploring Planets and Pantheons. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2004.

Sagittarius

(Originally published in December 2011 at turtlephoenix.blogspot.com)
Don’t get me wrong. I love Battlestar: Galactica. But they have Sagittarians all wrong. Both my fiance and my older brother are Sagittarians, and they would be the first to tell you that refusing perfectly good medicine when you need it is ill-advised. Actually, they wouldn’t say that. They would come right out and tell you to your face that you’re stupid.

Sagittarians are known for being brutally honest. If you want to hear a certain answer, don’t ask a Sagittarius the question. They find little white lies repugnant. That is the dark side of a Sagittarius, along with being ludicrously protective of their independence. My brother walked at ten months, which is pretty impressive, but my fiance crawled at four months and walked at nine months. I’m sure it’s because they felt being carried about cramped their style and limited their exploration.

What is so beautiful about Sagittarius is its vibrant intellect. Out of all the fire signs, Sagittarius is the most philosophical. While Aries and Leo are symbolized by the Ram and the Lion, respectively, Sagittarius is the Centaur, or the Archer. Their animal magnetism (at least my fiance’s, I’m not going to go there about my brother) and fiery physicality is balanced by an innate love of the abstract. They are curious and love adventure. Sagittarius, in this sense, is the bridge from the element of Fire to its natural companion,  intellectual Air. There’s a reason why Captain Planet put those two Planeteers together. It’s science. Air feeds Fire. In Sagittarius you get the best of both–elements, not Planeteers.

Sagittarius shows its fire in any competition. The Sagittarius wants to be the best, but while Leo tends to go for the gold in theatrics and socializing, and Aries in sports and physical bravado, the Sagittarius wants to be the top of the class–and this includes gym and theater. When a Sagittarius is motivated, it’s best to just step back and watch. You’ll thrill at how much they accomplish, and the diversity of their interests. One Sag I know changed has changed his majors several times. Sagittarius, in balance, can love learning for its own sake, and not just to gain accolades.

With this competition, however, comes an obsessive need to be right. A Sagittarius will break hearts and balls over an idea. They’re like Artemis, who, after catching Actaeon looking at her while she was bathing, turned him into a stag to be ripped apart by his own dogs. Artemis took the idea of virginity so seriously that she was willing to kill over the tiniest insult to it.  In fact, if she found out that one of her nymphs had slept with a man, even through rape, she would kill her. This is the darkest side of Sagittarius.

That said, Sagittarius is charming, even with the bluntness. Sagittarius is a quick wit, and, because they love to travel and explore, always have something interesting to say. Also, since Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of luck and expansion, they have an attractive quality, a charisma.  And, although it is hard for a Sagittarian to fall in love (except with independence, the feel of their feet moving along a road, and learning itself), once it happens, there is no love truer. I know this from personal experience.

Archetypes, people, and objects associated with Sagittarius:

Artemis, the Greek Archer goddess of the Moon, known as Diana to the Romans. Although you’ve probably heard of her, there’s many things about her you might not know, such as she helped her mother give birth to her twin brother, Apollo:  really detailed biography of Artemis.
Wikipedia article 

World Travelers/Gypsies

Horses–animals known for movement and power

Taliesin, the Welsh hero, who started out as a little boy named Gwion Bach, who ate a potion he shouldn’t have, and, to make a long story short, turned himself into a piece of corn and was eaten by his witch foster mother. She ended up giving birth to him nine months later. At birth, Taliesin speaks like a Rhodes scholar, and so is named Taliesin, or “bright brow,” referring to his intelligence and precocity, something Sagittarians are known for. He also travels the world and has many adventures, as Sagittarians do, all in search of truth. And, the cool part is, he’s based on a real guy! You can read more about him here:  http://www.pantheon.org/articles/t/taliesin.html

Vainamoinen, the Finnish hero, whose magical voice created, manipulated, and destroyed, and whom Gandalf was modeled after. His end was brought by his hubris. Sagittarian tongues can also be balms or scalpels, and must take care not to become to arrogant. Read more about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Väinämöinen

Scorpio

Scorpio is the sign of people born between October 22 and November 22, but anyone can access Scorpio energy. The animals associated with Scorpio are the Scorpion, the Eagle, and the Phoenix.

Oh, I love Scorpio. I am a Jupiter in Scorpio. Jupiter is the planet of luck, so my luck comes from Scorpio energy. Plus, five of my most favorite people are Scorpios. They are all loving, vibrant people, which is interesting when you think that they are born under the sign that rules death. And sex. Lots of hot sex.

That is because, I think, people misunderstand the archetype of death, and its multiple meanings.  Think of your friendly neighborhood rotting tree stump. It is home to myriad life forms of flora and fauna. They also misunderstand Scorpio. Scorpios are not all sociopathic sex maniacs. They are creative, hilarious, and have great taste in literature. At least, the ones I know and love do. If it helps, John Cleese is a Scorpio.

One meaning for Death is change–a cleansing away of the old for the new, or using the old to nourish new life. Scorpio energy is adept at changing the old and dead into something new and flourishing.

Scorpio is charged with the heavy elements of sex, death, and rebirth. This is why the Phoenix is associated with Scorpio–it dies, but then rises again, from the ashes of the fire that killed it.  Scorpios can take pain and transmute it into something beautiful.

As for sex, the French nicknamed the orgasm “le petite mort” or “the little death.” While Virgo rules the intestines, and cleans up the body, and Libra runs the lower back, keeping the body in balance, Scorpio rules the genitals. Scorpio’s colors are crimson–for blood and passion, and black, for death and the deep mysteries of the subconscious. After all, Scorpio is a water sign, the element associated with the subconscious. Unlike Pisces, however, who rules spiritual secrets about the meaning of life, Scorpio knows all our dirty, sexy little secrets.

Scorpio energy is stereotypically all brooding and aristocratic and eccentric, like famous Scorpios Pablo Picasso, John Keats, and Sylvia Plath. And it can be that way, but it can also be hysterically funny. Come on people, Scorpio energy has to deal with death and rotting and squeamish sex. It’s important to laugh.

Scorpios can be very convincing. This is because the energy, if handled right, can be seductive and magnetic. I find myself telling my Scorpio loved one’s my life’s secrets, while they listen patiently. I have no compunction about this. Healthy Scorpio energy leads to trustworthiness. In myth, people and animals with Scorpio vibes were entrusted to protect and guide the dead. Pluto, the planet that rules Scorpio, is named for the Roman god Pluto, known in Greece as Hades, the King of the Dead. He watched over his people in Elysium (Heaven), Asphodel Meadows (Greek purgatory) and Tarturus (Greek Hell).  Scorpio energy is good to have presiding over you during a soul crisis, or a “Dark Night of the Soul,” as St. Thomas Moore wrote.  This energy can give you courage and strength during scary, painful, and uncertain times. It’s also good to use when your psyche is withholding secrets from you. Since Scorpio rules secrets, it’s pretty good at ferreting them out. Scorpios are known as the Private Eyes and 007s of the zodiac. They also make excellent therapists, because they are naturals as spelunking the subconscious. Sounds fun, huh?

Scorpios are also shamans. They are the shamans who are willing to experience life-in-death for a spiritual vision and awakening. This passion and dedication is an earmark of Scorpio, who doesn’t like anything half-assed, whether it’s sadomasochism, spending, or surprising their friends.

Out of balance Scorpio energy, on the other hand, leads to Charles Manson. It can also flail that tail around and sting people all willy-nilly when it’s pissed. Poison Scorpio energy also tends to use people for sex.

Scorpio associations: Scorpions in Egypt, guarding the tombs of the pharoahs.

The Phoenix

Shamans

Shiva, Hindu god of Destruction, who paves the way for new things

Hecate, goddess of the New Moon, Queen of Witches and Warlocks, specializing in the enchanting of others and channeling the dead.

The Morrigan, the death facet of the Celtic three-faced goddess, and her crows and ravens–traditional messengers of the underworld and harbingers of Death

Anubis, Egyptian god of embalming, who had the head of the Jackal, another animal associated with death and corpses

therapists

spies

compost heaps

How to bring Scorpio energy into your life:

Wear deep red and/or black, especially red and black silk or satin.

Throw out the stuff in your house that you’re not using. Let it die, for God’s sake.

Write down things you want to manifest in your life on a piece of paper, then safely burn it. Trust that these intentions are not released to God or the Universe, and something will rise from the ashes.

Visualize fire and deep, still water

Turn something that angers or terrifies you into something tangible in your mind’s eye. Then, destroy it. Imagine you are Shiva or Hecate. Just obliterate it, and then imagine something you want growing from the carcass, ashes, or empty space. You can also do this by writing things down on dishes and breaking them, or tearing up paper, or burning it (again, do this SAFELY, people) if you’re kinesthetic like that. I find I do my best destroying and regenerating in my own brain. I can really let loose that way. But, if you like to crush and rip, you might want to consider making something artistic, like a collage, from your dead stuff.  You can also take an image of something that causes these negative emotions and paint or color over it. Turn the ugly into something beautiful and passionate.

Okay, I’ll say it: have sex. Either solo or with another/others.

Libra: The Sylph

Libra is the sign of people born from September 22 to October 22. It is represented by the scales.

Whenever I think of Libra, I think of grace and beauty, intellectualism and abstract acrobatics, all in equal measure. Like the rose, Libra’s flower, Libra can be soft, sweet, lovely, and romantic. Libra energy is also sylph-like; it is playful, expansive, even flirtatious, just like the fairies that rule the element of air.  However, this energy can also be jagged. This jaggedness is always there in the Shadow Libra, but it is hidden by the radiance of the petals.

Libra energy is one of opposites trying to reconcile. Libra is an air sign; therefore, it is intellectual, and comfortable in the mental realm. Yet, it is the sign of partnerships, romantic and otherwise. This carries with it certain emotional responsibilities, something air energy sometimes finds difficult to mesh with. In fact, it is hard for some Libras to understand that others can have a difficult time detaching from their emotions.

Libra is ruled by Venus. Being ruled by Venus, this energy thrives on harmony, beauty, and luxury. This sounds wonderful, but the problem is that people with this energy, being ruled by air, are acutely aware that facts, those treasures of the intellect, are anything but beautiful and harmonious. Arguing is a catch-22 for Libra. They hate it, because it’s inharmonious and ugly, but at the same time they need to argue what they perceive to be injustice, unfairness, or stupidity. A balanced Libra knows to pick his or her battles.

Balance is the lesson that people with the energy of Libra (and this is not just people with the sun in Libra, but people with other planets in the sign) spend their lives learning. It is very appropriate that Libra is represented by the scales, as people with Libra in their charts thirst for equality. They need to balance their need for partnership with the freedom and individuality of air.  They need to balance cold intellectuality with passion. They need to learn to accept the fact that reality is messy, and life is not fair.

Another thing Libra energy teaches is the need to balance everything out, tally up the pros and cons, hear all the sides of the story, and then make a decision.  Since Libras want life to be fair and for everyone to win, they can spend their lives putting off decision making, preferring instead to weigh, tally, and weigh again. It’s lather, rinse, repeat.   This can be very frustrating, not only for them, but for others around them, who can accuse them of being wishy-washy.

Being wishy-washy is certainly a symptom of Shadow Libra. Because Libra is all about harmony, and this includes aesthetic harmony, Shadow Libra can be quite shallow, only hanging out with A-listers. Wanting to climb the social ladder, because of a mistaken belief that everyone who is rich, famous, and beautiful will have an interior to match the exterior, Shadow Libra can use people, and be snobby. Libras can really hurt, or at least annoy, others with their talent for criticism. Libra betrayal, abandonment, and criticism are the thorns that prick those who are drawn to the beauty of the Libra. Because it is hard for Shadow Libra to understand the emotions of others, they may see another person’s hurt as messy, and something else to criticize. The Libra cannot understand why the person they used, abandoned, or criticized can’t see it from the Libra’s point of view. After all, they were just trying to help! Or, they were just taking an opportunity to advance their status–why do people begrudge them for this?

When Libra energy is healthy, however, it’s wonderful. Libra energy can make logic a thing of beauty. Astronomy and even physics, the very nature of the universe can become symphonic in the eyes of a Libra, and their skill at communicating this beauty passes the loveliness on to you! When they channel their critical eye in a positive manner, Libra can really help others increase the beauty and harmony in their lives, as make-up artists and interior designers.

Libran aesthetics are legendary.  Everything is in balance and in harmony. Contact with good Libra energy is a walk in a Zen garden. Because Libra sees all sides of things, and pays equal attention to hearing all points of view,  they can be very compassionate. This leads them to fruitful careers as lawyers and marriage counselors. Because partnership is so important to a Libra, they will do their best to keep their partner happy, which, for a Libra, should not be too difficult. As an air sign, they can have honey tongues.

I have personal experience with Libra energy, as I am a Mars in Libra. It is very difficult for me to have patience with what I perceive to be injustice and cruelty. I cannot understand why people act as they do, and this drives me crazy, because I NEED to understand. Sometimes there’s no explanation for why people act, and this drives me INSANE. I hate conflict of all kinds, and just give in, even when I know that a person’s actions are unfair, simply to avoid the conflict.  Other people with Libra energy might have the opposite problem–they seek out conflict like miners panning for gold. Others are like me, I think.

Libra archetypes and people:

Dike, the Greek goddess of Justice

Lawyers

Judges

Marriage counselors

Hera, Greek goddess of Marriage

Aphrodite, goddess of Love and Beauty

King Arthur–the legendary king who sought to create Utopia (a place of perfect justice and harmony) in Camelot, and then was crushed by romance.

Interior decorators

Make-up artists

Bringing Libra energy into your life:

1) Think about an area in your life that can use more beauty and/or harmony. This could be as simple as rearranging your living room so there’s less clutter. If you live with people, is there a space you can have that’s just for you, a place you can decorate and arrange for your tastes? It doesn’t have to be huge. This can bring the harmony of Libra energy into your life.

2) Visit a museum or a botanical garden. When was the last time you saw something truly beautiful, and really noticed it?

3) How do you argue?  This is an interesting thing, because of the Libra catch 22. When you argue, do you take the time to see things from the other person’s point of view?  From personal experience, I can tell you it is extremely enlightening spending a day really, actively listening to others.

4) Try this exercise–next time an urge to criticize comes up, compliment the person you were going to criticize. It must be sincere, however. This did my Libra Mars a world of good.