THE WEEK IN STARS: NOV 23rd – 29th


VENUS OPPOSITE URANUS


Not long having entered Scorpio, Venus begins the week in a cluster of aspects, opposing Lilith, trining Gonggong, and sextiling Pholus, over the 23rd and 24th.


Distanced from the responsible and socially conscious energies of Libra, this Venus could find itself very susceptible to temptations of a sexual, romantic, or financial nature; possibly appearing very abruptly in our lives, fomenting experiences of emotional chaos.


With Mercury trining Neptune at the same time, overwhelming its usual discriminatory prowess with sensations of a deeply spiritual, psychic, and emotional nature, we may find it hard to tell our fantasies apart from reality, and discover ourselves getting lost in a shared dream with others.


While this could be a dizzyingly exciting experience in and of itself – if it doesn’t turn prove to be a shared illusion – because of Lilith’s presence, it’s worth being aware of people’s collective devils – that people may be tempting us with promised delights, simply to use us, or gratify their own desires; or we may find ourselves guilty of the same exploitation.


Seductions may not be all that they seem, possibly leading to issues of control, disorder or infidelity. Strife can best be avoided if people can be upfront about their desires and intentions, so that everybody knows where they stand.


However we respond to these temptations, and instinctive desires, Venus’s direct opposition to Uranus on the 27th will trigger significant changes related to love, work, finance, home life, and relationship status.


In terms of romance, we could find ourselves falling head over heels for someone, in a way that disrupts the usual flow of our lives, and requires a period of readjustment. Relationships may begin or end; jobs be gained or lost.


As Vesta will also be coming into direct conjunction with Orcus, we may especially experience disruption and upheaval in our domestic lives.


The explosion of lingering tensions could lead to major changes of dynamic and relationship with those we live with. For some, this may even result in the need to move, or find a new home. For others, Orcus’s transformative energies may be processed more productively in redecoration, the fixing of long neglected fixtures, or a reshuffling of feng shui to welcome in fresher energies.


All of the above aspects are well-placed for having imaginal and spiritual breakthroughs, psychic insights, and experiences of heightened sensuality.


SUN TRINE CHIRON


If all these water-heavy transits render us susceptible to being pixie-led by our fantasies and feelings, with Sagittarius’s fun-loving, spontaneous nature adding fuel to these already desire-lavished flames, one major source of clarity and reason is the trine to Chiron, exact on the 26th.


Named after the mythical centaur famous for training all the great heroes, Chiron can aid us in accessing higher wisdom – in having special revelations and insights into who we actually are.


Much of the time, the true vastness of our self is left unknown and unexplored. Like limpets buffeted by tidal patterns and oceanic waves, we cling to one small part of ourselves, and, for the sake of security, take it for our entire identity.


For some, the rock they cling to is pride – the portion of us that is only willing to hear good spoken of itself, brooking no criticism. For others, their sense of self is entirely dependent on others. When they are praised, they believe well of themselves; if they are badly treated, they believe they must be bad, too, for having warranted such treatment.


The fact is, who we think we are, and who we actually are, are two entirely different things, even if they can be treacherously tricky to separate from one another.


We are usually infinitely more nuanced, varied, complex, and multi-dimensional than we give ourselves credit for. But, because infinity and complexity can be hard to cognize, we are prone to reducing ourselves to simple binary statements: “I am this; therefore I am not that. I am good therefore, I am not bad; I am bad, therefore I am not good.”


But dualized thinking is fallacious, because every polarity contains a portion of its opposite. Every chaste pure person has a pervert inside of them. Every criminal or murderer is a saint unmanifested. While these cheap systems of classification can be useful, they are only provisional at best, and can create erroneous impressions, untrue to life.


The only way we can truly appreciate the totality of who we are, is by transcending such concepts, and approaching things from a place of pure wisdom and pristine perception; by looking at ourselves holistically, without moral order or judgement.


This aspect can help us achieve this clarity. By seeing things clearly, untainted by bias or fear, we can forgive ourselves for our past mistakes, and heal and release past traumas. We honestly look at scars and errors, without clinging to them, and forcing them to be defining statements of who we are. Instead, we see that they are but markings and arabesques in a much larger tapestry; they contribute to the expansion of our growth. The only true limitation comes from our refusal to let go.


Chiron can help us move on from the past, and embrace the future with a greater sense of optimism and self-awareness; because, only through deeply penetrating the nature of our self, and the patterns of behaviour and experience that make up that self, can we learn to take things to the next level, instead of getting stuck in the same old grooves of repeated mistakes and self-recrimination.


On a more mundane level, this aspect may involve having significant encounters with healers, doctors, teachers, or anyone embodying a wise man/woman archetype, who can help us heal, and achieve deep insights. We could also be called upon to adopt that archetype for others, providing a source of illumination for those in need.


SATURN TRINE SEDNA


Towards the end of the week, Saturn comes into exact trine with Sedna.
Sedna aspects are not always easy to weather, as, like the 8 of Swords or The Hanged Man in Tarot, they can place us in situations where we feel victimized or trapped; where life constricts around us, and we are expected to live up to impossible demands.


Sedna is a wrathful sea goddess from Inuit mythology. While there are variations on her myth, as with many goddesses, Sedna began her life as a human woman. Her cruel, despotic father put pressure on her to marry; in defiance of him, she marries another being – sometimes a dog, fulmar, or crow – who treats her as badly as the man and father she rejected.


When she returns to her father, he punishes her by rowing her out to sea, and throwing her overboard. When she attempts to hold on, he hacks off her fingers, whereupon she falls to the bottom of the sea to become ‘The Mother of The Deep,’ the volatility of whose mood determines whether the hunters dependent on her live in feast or famine.


During Sedna transits, we may find ourselves living out a transfigured version of this myth, or living in close quarters with a person who embodying the Sedna archetype. We find ourselves in circumstances where we have little to no control, or are at the mercy of forces seemingly beyond us; where all our attempts to reach out for security, help, or comfort blankets, are met with refusal, rejection, contempt, or ignorance.


Equally, we may find ourselves in the company of deeply traumatized or troubled characters, who, though they demand our help, respond to our best efforts with wrath, suspicion, fear, and abuse. Trying to be a supporting angel, we get perceived as a potential abuser instead.


As unpleasant as all this is, this aspect can help us to gain a deeper understanding of the darkest part of ourselves – of the subtle and ingrained ways we imprison ourselves, or refuse the help or kindness that is offered to us, for fear that it will open us up to more abuse, thereby becoming complicit in our own encagement.

But, by refusing help, and seeing everything through the lens of trauma, we can easily keep ourselves entrapped in a cycle of victimization. If we look at every helping hand as a violent blow yet to be delivered, we may so frustrate our potential helpers by accusing them of repeating abuses we have suffered in the past, that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.


This reveals the other side of the symbol of Sedna’s severed fingers. Sometimes the only way we can prevent ourselves from repeating negative cycles is by stopping them dead in their tracks – by refusing to hold on any longer to the past, and allowing the processes of changes and transformation to proceed unresisted.


Just as it is only after reaching a point of maximum helplessness that Sedna transforms into a powerful sea goddess, sometimes it is only when we surrender to the impossibility of a given situation, that the exit at last reveals itself, and an awareness of our own strength and ability to endure such circumstances, becomes apparent to us.


The only way out is through.


If you have any queries, or would like a more personal account of how the stars are influencing your life, please DM me; email me via reubenftourettes@hotmail.co.uk.

THE WEEK IN STARS: NOV 16th – 22nd 2020


MERCURY OPPOSITE URANUS


The week begins with some rather awkward aspects. Mercury opposite Uranus will necessitate the need to have some rather seismic, and uncomfortable, conversations, about upcoming changes that will radically alter the future dynamic of our lives.

As this aspect coincides with Venus’s opposition to Eris, and square with Pluto, Jupiter, and Saturn, it is likely that these conversations will address hitherto unexpressed issues, emotions, and matters of interpersonal tension and discord, that have been festering beneath the surface of our friendships, relationships, careers, and domestic lives.


There will be the need to work through personal differences, and negotiate new boundaries. If the revelation of someone’s secret feelings or ulterior motives towards you has left you feeling shaken up, make sure you take time to fully digest this news, instead of giving into knee-jerk, fear-based responses.


With Mercury exactly trining Nessus on the 19th, many of these issues will involve double-standards, deceit, hypocrisy, and the blurring of emotional and romantic boundaries in monogamous relationships, possibly leading to betrayal, infidelity, or the need to explore less conventional relationship dynamics.


If you’ve been in a state of confusion about the direction you should be taking in your public or private life, the above aspects – whether smoothly or forcibly – will aid you in reaching a decision, and achieving clarification of your own intentions, needs, and desires.


SUN IN SAGITTARIUS 21st


Two big shifts occur on the 21st. The Sun departs Scorpio and enters into Sagittarius. If many of you have been finding yourselves afflicted with hypersensitivity, monomania, paranoia, or generally feeling emotionally out of your depths, or in conflict with the darkest parts of yourselves throughout this last transit, then this transition will come as a welcome reprieve.


If Scorpio is ultimately interested in ‘lower’ knowledge – plumbing the depths of the unspoken, unseen, and underworldly – Sagittarius is its complimentary opposite. Rather than getting caught up in the nitty-gritty of the dark side of human nature, this horoscopic centaur is motivated by its quest for higher knowledge – for morals, ideals, philosophies, and systems of thought, that help us transcend our human limitations, and become the best that we can be.


Curious, free-spirited, devil-may-care, yet insistently reasonable in character, Sagittarius desires to learn, not just by rote or study, but through the experimental laboratory of direct personal experience. An inveterate Gnostic, Sagittarius wants to experience knowledge in the very core of its being, rather than aligning itself with untested dogma. Not as threatened by emotional upheavals as Scorpio, Sagittarius is willing to tolerate almost any experience or occurrence, if it can broaden its mind and experiential threshold.


Being freedom-loving, and unwilling to be tied down, the main difficulty of this aspect is that its constant need for adventure, mental stimulation, and novelty, can make us quite fickle; unwilling to shoulder responsibilities, and prone to initiating change for change’s sake, possibly throwing the baby out with the bath water in the process.


Its quest for higher knowledge can make us dismissive of rules, regulations, duties, making us feel the need to rebel against conformity, and head out into uncharted waters, our more conservative aspects would never consider.


With so much of the transits lately being dominated by the heavy, pessimistic, and mentally inflexible signs of Scorpio and Capricorn, Sagittarius could help us be more optimistic, experimental, energetic, and forward-thinking, open to new possibilities, and modes of being; while equally frustrated with the rigidity of the status quo, and impatient with the routine demands of life.

VENUS IN SCORPIO 21st


On the same day, however, Venus leaves Libra to enter into Scorpio. Romantically, Venus in Scorpio is motivated by the desire for emotional intensity; for experiences that validate our humanity by taking us to the very thresholds of pleasure and pain, vivifying us through sharp contrasts.


Ruling the occult and suppressed, Venus in Scorpio can put us in touch with hidden desires, making us want to challenge romantic and sexual taboos and boundaries, and engage in experiences with out partners or lovers that breakdown our fragile perceptions of ourselves, offering surrender to a greater sensuality, or spiritual communion. This is a good time for exploring secret kinks, tantric sex, and for sharing psychic and spiritual experiences with your partners.


However, the dark side of Scorpio, is that it can create a painful double-standard in relationships. For all its desire for surrender and self-release, Scorpio has issues with control and possessiveness, and can easily magnify small suspicions into war crimes, leading to distrust, and political power-struggles, undermining the love it intends to protect.


This paranoia can make us detached from reality, and prone to acts of sabotage and self-destruction; so, make sure you keep yourself grounded, and don’t turn your fears of loss or deception into self-fulfilling prophesies through manipulative or odious behaviour.


As Scorpio governs secrets, and uprisings from the unconscious, this transit may coincide with revelations of hidden feelings, or the need to address karma, or unresolved traumas from previous relationships.


We may find that our hearts and feelings run much deeper than we ever thought they could, and that we simply don’t know our own needs, emotions, or desires, as well as we thought we did.


This could involve some uncomfortable, but exciting self-discovery; and coupled with the Sagittarian energies, the need to experiment, and dabble with the untested kinks in our character, instead of leaving those roads repressed and untravelled.


As Venus will be opposite Uranus on the 27th, what we learn about ourselves during this period, could lead to major new decisions about our romantic and emotional directions, and significant changes in romantic status.


If you have any queries, or would like a more personal account of how the stars are influencing your life, please DM me; email me via reubenftourettes@hotmail.co.uk.

THE WEEK IN STARS: NOV 9th -15th


SUN TRINE NEPTUNE


On the 10th, the Sun’s trine with Neptune – which you may have felt the build-up of over the previous week – becomes exact.


This aspect is confusing, at it takes the usual light and clarity of our perceived identity, and drowns it in uprisings of images, emotions, memories, fantasies, and psychic impressions from our deep unconscious. This can make us hypersensitive, moody, melancholic, needy, and desirous of withdrawing from the world.


As many of us our now either going back into, or just coming out of, lockdown, use this enforced isolation as an opportunity for genuine rest and self-care; for exploring your inner world, emotions, and spiritual life in a safe space. Instead of giving into the temptation to find escapism through alcohol, drugs, or comfort eating, use this time wisely to explore previously unknown sides of yourself, and register your emotional needs.


JUPITER, PLUTO, SATURN CONJUNCTION


This aspect is one of the biggest and most tempestuous of the year – a stellium strongly connected to the global pandemic, and the restrictive adaptability it has demanded from all of us.


On the 12th, Jupiter and Pluto comes into exact conjunction, just as they did at the beginning of April and July. Reflecting on what you experienced during those months may give you some notions of what to expect.


Astrologically, Pluto is redolent of the tarot cards of Death and The Tower. He brings out underlying tensions within situations (and our psyches) that have become fraught, unmanageable, or unsustainable. No longer capable of being repressed, or swept under the rug, these situations collapse, reaching a point of explosive release. The rigidity of the status quo is dissolved. Chaos intrudes on routine, causing the swift dismantling of existing structures, and the need to respond to the shock of emergency situations.


Because of Jupiter’s part in this, there is the potential to respond to these upcoming collapses, optimistically and opportunistically. Though the initial shock of these situations – (and the release of pain, grief, anger, and resentment it necessitates) – requires significant re-evaluation; adjustment to changes and departures that can no longer be what they were. Once that transition is bridged, and we accept that what we lost was fated, and could not be any other way, the release of that dead weight clears space for rebirth – for new potential projects to take root in our lives.


For instance – (to continue the architectural metaphor) – if we long for growth, expansion, and improvement, and express it by continually adding more floors, wings, rooms, and extensions to an existing building, eventually we overload it, making is structurally unsustainable, labyrinthine, and treacherous to navigate. We become lost in the convolutions of our own inventions. What was simple, becomes cumbersome, unwieldy, and complex. The weight of pressure and expectation we put upon it practically dooms it to collapse.


Sometimes, the only way we can clearly execute the new ideas we wish to bring into our lives, is to demolish everything that went before, and start with a clear foundation. If this urgently needs to be done, but we ignore the red flags and warning signs, life will find a way of doing it for us. It will push the plunger on the detonator we refused to believe was truly there, preferring the stability of the known, to adventures into the unknown.


Jupiter and Pluto will force us to let go of the past, and embrace new possibilities – to a large extent, whether we sink or swim will remain a personal choice.


Because of Saturn’s role in this stellium, the letting go, and the new opportunities that come into our lives as a consequence, may involve the shouldering of new duties and responsibilities; instead of increased freedom – (which is still a possibility) – we may find ourselves impelled to mature, grow-up, and contribute more to society at large; to accept roles and vocations that will demand more of us, necessitating the need to honestly assess both our unmanifest talents and capacities, and our physical limitations; finding a way to work to our optimum ability within those parameters.


As Pluto is also The God of Death, such a close conjunction can cause near-death experiences, and greater proximity to death in our personal lives, leading to an increased consciousness of mortality, and the shift in perspective and values it inevitably causes.


We can already see how that has played out in the variety of responses this current pandemic has garnered. As death is generally not something that gets much social recognition in this country, being side-lined, as a taboo, to hospitals, care-homes, and the dispassionate paragraphs of obituaries, the sudden aware that any of us could die, at any age, at any time, has been a shock to many, who have generally done all they can to distract themselves from mortality’s beckoning finger.


Some have responded to this negatively, by withdrawing into paranoia, seeing everyone as a threat, and ‘blaming’ others for death, as though it is something for which only others are responsible. Others have taken it is as wake-up call as to just how precious good health and mortality truly is; instead of wallowing in fear, they have felt driven to live better lifestyles, and use their time as meaningfully as possible.


As few of us know when we’re going to die, during normal conditions, it’s very easy to trick ourselves into feeling that life is infinite and open-ended. It is only when death creeps into our lives, and we are reminded of our own finitude, that this changes.


And it is a good thing. The awareness of death, of the necessity of endings, sharpens our perspective. Knowing we only have a limited time, gives time more value. Instead of relegating all our dreams, ambitions, and aspirations indefinitely to the future, we feel impelled to live by them now, not knowing how much of a future we actually have left.


With this, the present moment becomes infinitely more intense and meaningful; even the most ordinary of experiences can be felt with warmth and poignance when we remind ourselves that we may be enjoying them for the last time.

If we feel too complacent in the assured continuity of a thing, we become lazy; the pleasure we take in it palls. But, when we know a loved one will not always be with us; that those things we cherish most could be wrested from us at a moment’s notice – we become more willing to overlook petty differences, and experience gratitude for them, instead of taking them for granted.


Death need not be a dreaded thing, but something that can re-awaken our benumbed values, and an appreciation for the transient beauty in all things.


As Jupiter is associated with morality and philosophy, it can make us ask deeper questions about the meaning and purpose behind our experiences, instead of allowing things to remain in a state of unreflected disconnection.


Seeing the greater patterns at play in our lives, conversely, can give us a greater sense of control over them. If Pluto is Chaos, then Jupiter and Saturn are the Order – ( both personal and social) emerging from that chaos. Just as corn needs to be ground down to bake delicious, life-sustaining bread, so do our souls have to go through transitional states of compression, before they can be realized in a more palatable and nourishing form. If you can submit to the inevitable, instead of resisting it, rebirth is easier to achieve.


As Venus will be squaring this stellium as the weekend advances, we may be especially conscious of these processes at play in our relationships, families, work lives, finances, homes, personal politics, and societal values, and be compelled to respond to difficult, conflicted situations.


MARS DIRECT


Finally, on the 13th, Mars will station direct, after being in retrograde for over 2 months since September 9th.


As Mars is the planet of energy, ambition, libido, action, and desire, his long retrograde phases are not easy to weather. Being impatient, and wanting to achieve his ends by the quickest, most direct route possible, his retrograde phases demand we restrain, or re-direct, his fiery energies towards introspection, patience, and self-development.

Instead of just giving into spontaneity or knee-jerk impulses, acting swiftly in response to whatever stimuli we are presented with, we start questioning our goals, and the deeper facets motivating our actions and desires, and how we attempt to realize them.

This can be a painful, frustrating, but useful time of self-discovery. Many of the ambitions or conflicts – (both internal and interpersonal) – can be left in a state of unresolved, suspended animation. We urgently feel the desire to act, but, finding ourselves up against immovable objects, recognize that pushing ahead will be, at best, futile, or at worst, nothing less than an act of sabotage.

Now that Mars is going direct again, things that have been stuck on pause, or left in an ambiguous state of resolution, may start to clarify, or be receptive to motion or progress. Depending on our own personal lessons to be learned, we may find it necessary to admit defeat – that certain obstacles or endeavours remain impossible, and we had best find new paths, and move on from them – or that new goals, doorways, and ambitions are opened up to us, and that victory, long-delayed, is finally back on the road.


As Mars goes direct, it can be very tempting, after the long suppression of aggressive energies, to impulsively rush headlong in the opposite direction, and dizzily make up for lost time. I would advise against doing this. By all means, start moving again, and find ways of advancing where you can; but do so with patience, and the self-awareness of your own motives that the last two months have forced you to apply.

Mars needs release, yes, but he also needs discipline to be used most effectively, otherwise he can burn-out too quickly, be overly aggressive, or act impetuously without addressing the need for tactful timing.


Especially if any particular quarrels, feuds, arguments, or sources of unexpressed anger have been frozen during this time, it is best to approach their redress with firmness and caution. Excessive force and excessive restraint are equally dangerous. Striving for excellency in both will make victory more likely, as we combine the perfection of action with awareness.


Mars will remain in its own house of Aries until January 6th 2021.


If you have any queries, or would like a more personal account of how the stars are influencing your life, please email me via reubenftourettes@hotmail.co.uk

The Week In Stars: Nov 2nd – 8th


MERCURY DIRECT NOVEMBER 3rd

After spending the last two and a half weeks in retrograde, Mercury goes direct November 3rd. Though this might cause many of you to heave a collective sigh of relief, it is during this pivot point, when Mercury abruptly changes direction, that everything goes topsy-turvy.


Giving full vent to his trickster energy, the ground may suddenly be pulled from beneath our feet, as all the decisions, intentions, commitments, investments, and arguments we’ve experienced over the last fortnight, suddenly about-face, and force us to repeat, or face the sequel, of many of these actions.


This period demands a lot of flexibility, humility, and tact. Given this transit’s reputation for miscommunication, fickleness, and ill-considered impetuosity, we may be required to chasten ourselves, and admit where we have said the wrong thing, been insensitive, or taken the wrong turning. Doubt will skyrocket, making us question the sagacity of many of our actions. It is an awkward time of trying to resolve the unresolved; patching up what went wrong; and dealing with unexpected complications as they arise. Being proud and rigid will do no one any favours during this period.


With Mercury and Venus both back in Libra, working towards harmony in personal relations will seem all important, especially as the Sun’s conjunction with Juno will make us consider how relationships and commitments have the power to the dissolve the fixity of the identity, and put us in a state of psychological free-fall, and self-discovery. Being open to this self-discovery, and transformation process, will be to your utmost benefit.


As Mercury will remain conjunct Haumea, but square Saturn, during the first week of this transitional period, we will feel more inclined to be loving, compassionate, generous, romantic, pleasure-seeking, and merciful. However, Saturn’s influence will inhibit the free expression of this, imposing unwelcome boundaries, making communication slow, delayed, and difficult.


Mercury will be fully direct by November 19th.


VENUS OPPOSITE MARS


Around this same time, Venus will separate from its enlightening aspect with Chiron, and enter into opposition with Mars.


As two planets that are already dualized – representing the poles of love and war, harmony and conflict – this opposition will magnify those ideological clashes to the extreme, especially as both are safely ensconced in their respective signs of Libra and Aries.


Mars in Aries is energetic, driven, headstrong, combative, but essentially selfish and egoistic. Venus in Libra is the opposite – loving, diplomatic, group-oriented, egalitarian, and willing to make concessions for the sake of keeping the peace.


You can see how, depending on our response to this dialectic, this could either be a recipe for victory, disaster, or, potentially, both. In oppositions, there is the tendency to vacillate between extremes, or, if controlled, to find the balance between them, accentuating their strengths, while diminishing their weaknesses.


Aries, at its worst, can be overly-aggressive and inconsiderate, refusing to stand-down on matters that are largely only of interest to the protection of its own ego; but is also capable of great courage, nobility, and heroic excellence.


Libra, on the other hand, can be too willing concede, and vacillate, under personal attacks, but is blessed with the broad-mindedness, tact, and negotiatory finesse to understand two opposing points of view, and reach towards a point of mutual accord.


While this aspect almost guarantees that there will be dissonance, disagreements, arguments, and feuds of some kind over the next two weeks, it must be remembered that all relationships are composed of individuals, and that the harmony and love we lionize, can sometimes only be achieved by standing up for what we believe in, and having the courage to navigate the tricky arena of personal differences.


The main thing, in matters of interpersonal discontentment, is to choose your battles wisely. Only raise contention on those issues that are truly of deep significance. Resist the temptation to be petty, magnify small differences, or give vent to harmful invective and abuse.


Remember that you are fighting out of love and the desire for reconciliation – not egoistic aggrandizement. Stay centred inside yourself, and make sure your motives are pure and just before initiating any conflict.


For some, this opposition may be externalized, resulting in break-ups, schisms, and the cutting of ties with friends and family members. For others, having the hardihood to weather these conflicts, and see them through to completion, may result in victory, and the strengthening of battle-tested bonds. On a larger level, there is likely to be a lot of political and social turmoil and factionalism during this period.


This aspect will be exact on November 9th, the orb of influence maintained until roughly the 17th.


PLUTO CONJUNCT JUPITER


This is one of the biggest aspects of the year, and, in my astrological opinion, the main conjunction responsible for Lockdown and all related Covid-19 business.


This conjunction first occurred in March, when lockdown measures were announced in the UK, remaining in close alignment until mid-July, by which point, things were gradually opening up, albeit in a modified, restricted fashion. But, since Jupiter went direct in mid-September, it has been slowly inching back towards this conjunction, which will be exact by November 12th.

While I can say nothing with exactitude, it is highly possible this transit will coincide with other widespread lockdowns -(recently announced in England) – accompanied by other crises and disasters of global significance.
As unpleasant as all this sounds, it is important to recall that, while Pluto is the God of change, destruction, and transformation, he also governs rebirth – the freedom, liberty and renewal that can follow a period of loss and seeming misfortune.


To my mind, few disasters or losses occur randomly or haphazardly.
Chaotic as their intrusion may seem at the time, catastrophes often arrive as correctives – if we have been on the wrong path for too long, sometimes we can only transition to the right one by accepting the total destruction of the way ahead.


The isolation this foments is an opportunity for life-changing contemplation and reflection – to cut to very heart of life, and re-invest it with a meaning beyond the comfort of the status quo, and its corrupt and imbalanced notion of continuity. This is not a time for clinging nostalgically to a crumbling past, but for perceiving how this ruination, if embraced, could clear the way for a better future.


Obviously, such transitions are painful, and that cannot be diminished. In any loss, the need to express and release grief should not be understated, but nor can we grow if we put up too much resistance to a change that is forceful and inevitable.


The good news, is that, by the last two weeks of December, Jupiter and Saturn will have shifted into the more hopeful and forward-seeking sign of Aquarius. If the planetary stellium in Capricorn has made 2020 disproportionately heavy, cumbersome, restricted, with all the usual joys and distractions of life reduced to the raw necessity of pure survival, this shift paves the way for a brighter 2021.


Instead of a year of isolated individuals buckling down in the face of hardship, 2021 will see us rallying to come together as groups and collectives, motivated by humanitarian impulses, and the desire to make big, positive, far-reaching changes upon the world’s stage. Due to time constraints, I will discuss these aspects in greater detail in subsequent articles.


If you have any queries, or would like a more personal account of how the stars are influencing your life, please DM me; email me via reubenftourettes@hotmail.co.uk; or ask for my number to contact me on WhatsApp

The Week In Stars: Oct 26th – Nov 1st

DANCING WITH SHADOWS

I’ve written the last few weeks about Mercury’s prolonged opposition to Uranus. Now, with Mercury retrograding back into Libra on the 28th, the Sun is taking over where wing-heeled Hermes has left off.

Sun in Scorpio encourages us to engage with the more mysterious sides of our existence, casting light on the parts of our identity we usually keep in the darkness. In Jungian psychology, this is known as ‘The Shadow.’ It could roughly be defined as our dark-identity – the conglomerated mass of our repressed desires, feelings, and instincts, uniting together to form a hidden personality.

This repression usually occurs during our formative years, when certain episodes and experiences make us associate specific feelings or wants with shame and humiliation. Wounded at this lack of acceptance, we compress these psychic components into dirty secrets. Either we find outlets for them away from prying eyes. Or we become completely in denial about these sides of ourselves we dislike, only for them to rupture monstrously during times of great stress and pressure.

Like a spring that has been pressed down, the longer a shadow is repressed, the more it builds in shock and momentum when it finally does come to the surface – and everything always surfaces in the end.

The interesting thing about a shadow component, is that what we repress, in and of itself, isn’t always negative – it is the refusal to acknowledge, or work with this unexpressed energy within us that makes it warped and monstrous.

For example, if someone by nature is very loving and affectionate, but comes to associate the expression of this side of themselves with fear, humiliation, and judgement, they may repress it, adopting instead a cold and taciturn exterior.

The inability to be true to this side of themselves creates a never-ending inner tension, which, if unrelieved, could end up manifesting itself in nervousness, irritability, anger, and even violent outbursts. What starts as love, seeing itself through the distorted lens of self-hatred and unacceptance, ends up as violence. How much evil in the world is produced through denying the articulation of our true selves?

Certainly, in men, we are taught from an early age that ‘big boys don’t cry.’ The overt appearance of sensitivity, emotion, or vulnerability leaves us open to accusations of being ‘weak and unmanly.’ This causes an excessive compensation mechanism, in which during times of hurt and sensitivity, men may exaggerate their masculinity to cover-up the disquieting hurt they are ashamed to feel. How many times have people lashed out in anger and aggression, when inside, their inner child is begging for nurturance and loving attention?

Equally, while women are generally, (though not always,) accorded more emotional freedom than men, they have – historically and presently – been discouraged or shamed for exploring sides of themselves deemed ‘un-lady-like,’ leading to a psychological lop-sidedness. While these gender norms and roles are being challenged by contemporary movements, for the time being, many people still feel shackled by societal expectations, and the pressure it puts on them to deny the opposite side of their nature.

The problem is, what we deny does not disappear. What we suppress, oppresses us. We may manage to keep it under wraps 90% of the time. But, when those Scorpio and Pluto transits come rolling around, everything we claimed not to be – the distillation of everything we hate, and want nothing to do with – ends up becoming temporarily who we are.

What we most zealously condemn is most often what we hate and deny within ourselves. Intermixed with that condemnation is often envy – that another person can embody what we secretly would like to do, but refuse to express. The puritan judges the sexual deviant, wishing they could be more sexually uninhibited. The pacifist condemns the man of action, wishing he could be more aggressive. Thus is denied wish-fulfilment often at the heart of judgement.

The good news about Sun in Scorpio is that it offers us the chance to put normality on hold, do some depth psychology, and explore the source and nature of our own personal taboos. This can be a painful process, as it involves puncturing the walls of self-loathing, fear, and shame, that, like cancerous cells, have built up to shield these sensitive areas.

Once we get past this, however, and learn to accept and channel these shadow parts in a useful way, a great sense of power and personal freedom can result, as energy that has long been trapped, finds a way to flow in synchrony with the rest of one’s personality.

As many of us are now forced to interiorise due to the re-administration of lockdowns, instead of giving into mindless distractions, now is the ideal time to turn inwards, and work with these shadows, instead of projecting them unfairly on others.

OPPOSITE URANUS

However, the Sun’s opposition to Uranus – exact on Halloween at The Full Moon – may throw a spanner in the works, or exaggerate it through antithesis, as this process conflicts with the stable, conservative energies of Taurus. If Scorpio is willing to embrace loss, change, and transformation, stubborn Taurus, clutching onto the past, wanting to stick with what it knows, is likely to throw up resistance.

Here we find the conflict between inner growth, bravely undergoing a dark night of the soul, at odds with the impulse to stay secure in a comfortable known, even if that known no longer serves us. This fight between letting go and holding on causes an inner battle, alternating between struggle and stalemate. Add in to this Uranus’s influence, introducing additional shake-ups to one’s work, house, family, and financial life, you have on your hands some interesting crises, that offer no immediately satisfying resolutions.

As the Sun will remain in Uranus’s orb of influence until art least November 11th, walking the tightrope between these two extremes will be an interesting experience for all of us.

VENUS IN LIBRA

Helping us to mediate between these opposites is Venus’s shift into Libra on the 28th. After its rather uncomfortable transit through the cold and self-contained sign of Virgo, as Venus is the ruler of Libra, it will be much more at ease in its own house, where its desire to find interpersonal harmony in all things can come to the fore.

As Libra’s energy is primarily concerned with balance, fairness, and justice, its central desire is to arrive at decisions that keep everyone happy. If Scorpio is guilty of bringing too much emotion, paranoia, and expectation into affairs of the heart, seeking to control the uncontrollable, then Libra is capable of adopting a more neutral, diplomatic perspective.

This can be a good aspect for negotiating difficulties and problems in our personal relationships, enabling each side to say their piece, without emotional extremes complicating the process, hopefully enabling the happy resolution of a situation, without lingering tensions. Remember, in any kind of negotiation, learning how to listen without emotional distortion, is as vital as speaking clearly, without passive or active aggression.

This aspect will make us more conscientious about keeping in touch with our social network throughout lockdown; as well as eager to do our bit to play a part in the well-being of our community.

OPPOSING CHIRON

However, any Libra transit often necessitates the need to weigh up, and choose between, two opposing options. With Venus factored in, this could mean choosing between two possible romantic partners, two jobs, two homes, or any kind of long-term commitments, each with their own respective advantages and disadvantages, all to be deliberated.

The direct square with Pholus on the 29th could introduce some previously unknown factors into this situation, that place pressure on us to decide and act.

An opposition with Chiron also adds another dialectic: the conflict between seeking harmony in relationships, verses the impulse to free one’s self from them to focus on self-healing and complete commitment to one’s own authenticity. If Venus in Libra is willing to accept compromises to work out a relationship, Chiron in Aries is not – it would sooner find happiness in total personal freedom, than willingly submit to any boundaries imposed on its identity within the confines of a partnership.

While all oppositions produce tension, I do feel that this one, more so than most, is well-suited to creating a scenario in which a viable relationship could be begun or maintained, provided the needs of each party is respected on an individual basis, without either side being too selfish or headstrong.

This opposition with be exact on November 1st, separating from eachother’s orb of influence by the 7th.

FULL MOON IN TAURUS

Finally, we’ll be blessed with a suitably ghostly Full Moon on Halloween, for those who want to celebrate the proverbial thinning of the veils. As this Full Moon is conjunct Uranus, we may feel the unconscious drive to initiate big changes in our life, especially in regards to love, relationships, family, work, money and diet.

However, as Taurus’s energy is essentially conservative, this may be a desire to entrench one’s self in more traditional, secure and comfortable values, than anything more risky or progressive. A good night for getting cosy, and enjoying one’s creature comforts.

If you wish to learn more, please DM me, or contact me via WhatsApp, or write to me at reubenftourettes@hotmail.co.uk

The Week in Stars: Oct 19th-25th

VENUS OPPOSITE NEPTUNE

Venus kicks off the week with an exact opposition to Neptune, whose orb of influence you may have felt over the previous week.

Planetary oppositions always foment fertile tension; times when opposite sides of ourselves, and lives, come into conflict. This conflict often manifests itself in inner and outer dramas – personal crises, in which we either feel compelled to choose between these opposing forces, or negotiate healthy ways of reconciling them.

As we are currently experiencing no less than two oppositions between earth and water signs, the central drama is between the practical demands of day-to-day existence, versus the emotional extremes and needs of our inner, spiritual lives.

It may feel like these two opposing concerns are inhibiting one another. We want to get our heads down, work, be productive, economical, but our emotional lives are distracting and tormenting us. Conversely, you may also feel like you need emotional, spiritual, and sensual fulfilment, but the ordinary, workaday demands of economic routine are obstructing you. The exaltations of your heart keep getting buffeted; dragged disappointingly back to earth.

The warring energies here are the opposite signs of Virgo and Pisces.

Venus in 2nd decan Virgo is not a very warm place for personal relationships. Though it is motivated by the desire to help and serve others, as it idealizes self-sufficiency above all other virtues, it is reluctant to receive the same love or help it offers. This can make for difficult relationship dynamics, in which people’s self-containment creates too many barriers for warmth and vulnerability to be readily shared. We would rather lose ourselves in the escapism of work, than confront overwhelming emotional realities.

But, overwhelming emotional realities (and unrealities) is exactly what Neptune provides. Empathic, extremely sensitive, and totally oblivious to all boundaries, its Piscean energies demand not the security of routine and self-containment, but the surrender to higher forces and emotions.

Venus in Virgo hates this. It would like nothing more than to obliterate these emotions entirely, so its disciplinary influence can remain unchallenged. Neptune feels the opposite – it wants to dissolve the mundane restrictions that inhibit its emotional and spiritual life, so that dreams, loves, and fantasies can flow freely, without being impeded by the necessity of harsh realities.

The one commonality they share is isolation. Virgo withdraws to work without distractions. Pisces withdraws to so that its vulnerability does not have to be threatened, as it seeks inner escapism.

A very hermetic aspect, as Neptune is related to sickness, this withdrawal could manifest as illness, hospitalisation, loneliness, or melancholy. Politically, its separation may also coincide with the imposition of more lockdown measures.

JUPITER MEDIATING

All is not lost however! In-between these two major players is Jupiter, trining Venus, sextile Neptune. Jovially injecting joy, good cheer, and fortune into the above dichotomy, Jupiter brings the promise of good luck into one’s earthly life: more work, more money, stoic optimism, and good news related to the buying or selling of houses.

This energy may also impel strait-laced, workaholic Virgo to lets it hair-down, and celebrate a little; overcoming that Neptunian opposition to come together with others, and place premium on the humanistic value of bonding, fun, and enjoyment. With Neptune’s influence, this could definitely involve more than a little drink and indulgence, as the Dionysian sides of ourselves are granted release.

Venus in Virgo can very easily get bogged down in obsessing about the little details of everything. Jupiter can help her to pull her face away from the microscope, and see the bigger picture; whilst also injecting more humour and optimism into Pisces’s often melancholic, or unrealistic, fears and fantasies. The earthiness of this trine should shield that optimism from going too far in the other direction.

MARS STRIKES BACK

Mars in retrograde, however, is not done sticking its oar in. Squaring Jupiter this week, all this watery and earthy introversion is ill at ease with impatient Mars, who, frankly, in the face of this hard work, and deep emotionality, wants nothing more than to have fun, and pursue his desires without obstruction.

But, as this aspect more or less ensures obstruction, and the destructive potentiality of over-blown egos, it will be important to learn to restrain yourself, resist impetuosity, and apply your energies in more productive areas.

SUN IN SCORPIO OCTOBER 22nd

As The House of Death, Scorpio transits are always interesting, because they offer us a chance to engage with the deep, mystical sides of existence we usually suppress. Most of the time, in order to be effective and align ourselves with the demands of the world, we repress our emotions, our dark side, our spiritual inclinations, and bestial desires. Modern day society leaves little space for the exploration of these parts of our psyche. Mostly, they are indulged in secret; little pockets of darkness we keep well away from prying eyes, so the image we convey of ourselves does not get polluted.

But, with Sun in Scorpio, these repressed states force themselves into our awareness. With a heightened sense of the unknown in life, we feel compelled to cast light on the hidden; to consort with sea monsters; exhume ancient tombs; find out the propaganda-free truth of our own personal demons. Rather than ignoring and denying the unknown, both in the world, and within ourselves, this is a good aspect for actively exploring it.

Exactly sextiling Pholus over the weekend, anticipate surprises, and unexpected developments. Scorpionic energy can bring out streaks of self-destruction and sabotage, so keep a close eye on your habits and motivations.

LILITH IN TAURUS

Lilith is a point of personal power, sex, manipulation, selfishness, blind spots, and pursuit of one’s own desires at the expense of others. After a seven-month streak in Aries, she will enter Taurus on the 21st, where she will remain until July 18th, 2021.

This transit could make us considerably more money, business, and work-driven. But we must caution ourselves against viewing every decision from the stand-point of economic self-advantage. At the risk of making us materialistic, we must be careful not to exploit others solely for personal profit, or allow ourselves to be so used in turn. People may feel more inclined to choose partners for the sake of financial, sexual, or domestic security and comfort, rather than actual love during this period.

If you wish to learn more, please DM me, or contact me via WhatsApp, or write to me at reubenftourettes@hotmail.co.uk

MERCURY IN RETROGRADE: OCT 14th – NOV 4th

‘Mercury in Retrograde’ is a phrase sure to strike terror in the hearts of anyone who has a passing acquaintance with popular astrology.

Occurring at least three times a year, these are classically considered to be periods of chaos, in which anything associated with the mercurial typologies of communication, travel, technology, or commerce, is hyper-prone to malfunction. Cars break down, computers crash, all draining money we’d expected to direct elsewhere. Plan after plan get cancelled, or is forced to change form; misunderstandings arise, leading to schisms or arguments, which, under ordinary circumstances, would never have occurred.

It’s tempting to feel like everything Is doomed within these transits; that we’d be better off cocooning ourselves in bubblewrap for the next two weeks, and not coming out until the chaos is over.

But to be pessimistically seduced by these surface manifestations alone is to obviate the beauty of what all astrological aspects have to offer us – a chance to put ourselves in harmony with the stellar dynamics of the cosmos.

Nothing happens purposelessly. Like weights in a gym, or the dips and troughs on a rollercoaster, all of these obstacles and challenges are sent to test our flexibility and perseverance – to push us in certain directions, deter us from others, or to test the depth of our commitment to a pursuit now deeply opposed. Whatever the message, the labyrinthine back and forth nature of this tricksterish transit is sure to be felt.

One of the things that is true of any planetary retrograde is that it puts us back into contact with the past. As impatient, goal-focused humans, we tend to be fixated with the future. We’re always looking towards the horizon for the next drama, excitement, or tit bit of existential deliverance. So, when obstacles appear that slow down this process; that turn us around, and force us to encounter things from our past we thought we’d already laid to rest, it’s very easy to get frustrated, and see it all through a negative lens.

It may be tempting to throw up your arms and cry “What – this again?! I thought I’d slain that monster; overthrown that ogre. Why am I facing this again, just when life seemed to be on the up-and-up?”

Why, indeed?

Naturally, the answer will be different for everyone. But, in my experience, if something shows up again from your past, it’s often because there is some lesson we have not fully learned; some gleaning of information or awareness we missed the first-time round.

Often the closure we try and impart to a given situation is forced. Much is left unresolved or unsaid. Mercury in retrograde offers us a chance to restore this balance sheet – to look at things apart from the emotional intensity of a given moment, and see it through clearer eyes.

Why did we act the way we did? What was motivating us? With the benefit of hindsight, what would we now have done differently? And how can we take the fruit of that hindsight, and apply it practically to our present reality?

STRUCTURAL HYPOTHESIS OF RETROGRADE

While we’ve been in the pre-shadow phase since September 24th, Mercury goes fully retrograde on October 14th, gradually going back from 11 degrees Scorpio, before it reaches its nadir at 25 Libra on November 4th, returning to its pre-retrograde degree by November 19th.

These dates are significant, because it means Mercury ends up revisiting the same astrological degrees no less than three times.

We first transited these degrees from September 24th until the present moment. Try and cast your mind back to all that has taken place for your during that period, and it may give you some indication of what matters are to be of the most significance for you over the following weeks.

As all retrogrades have a three-part nature, I often find there is a thematic continuity to these backs-and-forths, split up between the pre-shadow, retrograde, and direct phase.

The pre-shadow phase often sees new developments – (whether truly novel, or connected with the past) – begin to creep into your life, before suddenly exploding fully into existence. For the sake of example, these new things could be relationships, jobs, problems, responsibilities, or insights, entering into your life in embryonic form as dates, meetings, reconciliations, interviews, or the sending and receiving of significant messages.

Around the Retrograde Phase (October 14th), these new developments take on a mature form, whilst the flaws and difficulties inherent in them begin to manifest. The earlier interview turns into a job; the date develops into a promising new relationship.

But, with these developments, comes the awareness of the difficulties and hardships these new commitments bring with them: the job reveals its wearisome aspects – you magnify the potentially fatal incompatibilities that could separate you and your new partner. Adequately communicating about these points may prove difficult, as our own motives and desires are thrown into confusion, by meeting with obstacles of a seemingly immovable variety.

The days before and after The Direct Phase (Nov 4th) are usually the most confusing. This is the make-or-break period, when all that has been building up, and developing in the retrograde phase, flips on its head, and comes to a point of culmination.

This tends to be the decisive moment of truth, when we determine whether we can work through, or overcome, the difficulties the earlier phases have posed. Do we find a way of working around seemingly immovable obstacles? Or do we decide something is not worth the effort, and walk away? This is the phase for negotiating these points of tension, and coming to an abiding conclusion that can be built on, and developed, once Mercury passes beyond its pre-retrograde degree from November 19th.

SCORPIO VS TAURUS

While I will go into greater detail in my other articles over the coming weeks, as the majority of this transit takes place in Scorpio, maintaining an opposition with Uranus in Taurus throughout, suffice it to say there will be many unexpected or unruly shakeups in one’s love life, personal relationships, career trajectory, and home life, that could lead to massive life changes, and financial abruptions.

There will be a real-chance for self-discovery throughout this, as Scorpio’s energies bring all our emotions to a cinematic fever-pitch, amplifying our psychic awareness, and dissolving the usual boundaries we erect around ourselves; while the reasonable energies of Taurus struggle to keep us grounded in this madness, seeking to find practical, real-world solutions to emotional conundrums of otherworldly proportions. This push and pull could lead to some very interesting developments and decisions, with people being more prepared to take immense risks in pursuit of the things that touch the very core of their being.

Many popular astrologers advise against making big decisions, or initiating major new courses of action during Mercury in Retrograde. I strongly disagree with this opinion. While there are times when it can sometimes feel like ‘what happens in retrograde, stays in retrograde,’ this is simply not true. Some of the most important, and enduring episodes in my life have arisen out of retrogrades.

The main key is the willingness to be flexible, to adapt readily to ever-changing circumstances. What enables one project to survive upheaval and transformation where another fails?

While there is sometimes an element of fate involved, ultimately, it is the strength of one’s will to persevere through difficulties, and compromise where it counts, that spells the dividing line between failure and success. This transit is all about having faith in our ability to achieve the impossible. Refuse to put limits on the purviews of your reality, and once passing through a transient and cleansing purgatory, heaven could be yours.

Moon And Memory

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I have been trying to work on my relationship with The Moon.

 
For much of my life, I’ve passed oblivious of her phases. With ceilings and cuboid rooms robbing me of my divine connection with the sky, on reflection, I don’t seem to be able to conjure up a single adolescent memory of her. If the Moon existed for me as a child, it was as a cartoonesque caricature – a crooked-chinned crescent occasionally anthropomorphised on animations. It feels almost like sacrilege to admit this – that the very mother of my being should have gone unnoticed for so long.

 
Yet, she was still present in the macabre fertility of my imagination; in my childhood fear of witches; the horror of the spinning dreamcatcher outside my bedroom, which, far from being a reassuring apotropaic talisman, was more of a web in which my morbid imaginings could become entangled. If Hecate was working her magic, it was here she kept me ensorcelled.

 
In my teenage years, that is where the nightmare of The Moon really began to creep in; The Goddess host of camping parties, ruling over insomnia, madcap thoughts, of music that transcends time and space, echoing on into the night. She makes the midnight leaves rustle in summer; enlarges the secret caverns within your skull. But, even then, she still only existed as a thing on mystic peripheries; a secret director of my fate, enwrapped in seeded memories, tender, nascent.

 

One of my most potent and intimate memories of her is of an invasion. At 21, I was living in the top-floor room in a three-storey house in Leominster. The room was blessed with a slanting sky-light. It must’ve been facing South, because, whenever the Moon was full, at her zenith, she would creepingly stare directly through that window, as though it had been built for that very purpose; the walls illuminated by her opalescent light.

 

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Had you been naked in there with me, you would have seen your flesh rendered divine – a sparkling shadow of marble or howlite – a moonstone, secreted in skin, dribbled out into pearls, uterine, life-giving, dreamy, terrifying as it was beautiful; a thing that crawls into your bones, deliquescing sanity into delicious madness.

Not only madness, but mischief. When I moved in with a girlfriend in Newport, a student house filled with eccentric artists, budding photographers, and at least one repentant east-end gangster, I quickly realized the women had synchronized their periods to align with the full Moon, and, when I saw the great goddess waxing, I enjoyed teasing them with a knowing wink. They did not mind. I’ve always been both effeminate and androgynous. I exist very naturally within a sisterhood.

 
But, over-time, this madness turned malign. Instead of revering her, I came to fear the Moon. I noticed how crises seemed to naturally cluster around her. If she’s a midwife, then she was also Lilith, Mother of Abortions – mystic mistress of plans derailed, of all that goes awry.

 
On one occasion, I had planned to make a joy-ride on an untenanted boat. I was trying to make a film – an abstruse, psychological horror about a voyeuristic film-maker who finds himself pursued by the camera-wielding denizens of a nocturnal otherworld – and had conceived a scene in which the protagonist takes a dreamy boat-ride down The Wye.

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I walked along the Wye regularly, and for months had been aware of a boat tethered near a weir, that I had yet to see anyone use. Confidently assuming it was abandoned, and could easily be commandeered harmlessly for a few hours, I excitedly put together a ‘cast’ to join me, even picking up an oar en route.

 
But alas! For the first and only time, as we approached that section of the river, on the evening of a full moon, we found a fisherman untethering the boat, looking with great hostility on such an obvious band of maurauders as ourselves. We left in a state of immense disappointment, our quixotic hearts bleeding. The film was never made, left to fend for itself on whatever plane absurd ideas go to die.

 
The very next day, the debut gig of a band I was to join was cancelled, when the drummer decided to quit at the last minute several hours beforehand. The only benefit of this was that, as the dispute turned into a fistfight, I got to see my rhythm guitarist deploy his incredibly balletic martial arts moves. To this day, I still consider the swiftness and grace with which he was able to disarm his opponent a masterclass of elegance.

 
On another occasion, a year later, the full Moon coincided with a trip to London. I had developed acute asthma only the month before, and found the journey extremely nerve-wracking. My partner at the time – (a queer sort of a fish, but good-hearted in her own prickly way) – had decided to donate her eggs to an NHS fertility program, for which she was prepped for about a month with home-administered, hormone-injections.

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I wanted to be strong for her. But, the whole time, I was in a vulnerable state, adapting ineptly to my new condition; constantly afraid of having an asthma attack, of feeling my airwaves constrict within me, seemingly cutting me off from the rest of my body. Crowds make me panicky at the best of the times; the endemic pollution didn’t help either. I was in an extremely sensitive state, and remember being moved to tears by the sight of a homeless woman weeping outside of a fast food eatery, while its overweight frequenters walked pasted, oblivious, indifferent.

 
The next day, the operation went quickly. I remember the horror of seeing my partner wheeled back in afterwards, still knocked-out from the anaesthetic, oxygen mask on, heart-rate fluctuating wildly on her echocardiogram in post-operative distress.
Some people find the sound of heartbeats soothing. I do not. Anything that reminds me of my heartbeat makes me nervous – that ticking timebomb in my chest that will one day detonate, blasting me out of this reality.

 
We were rushed out of the hospital in undignified haste, and, due to some contractual oversight, my partner was given only a small fraction of the money we were promised – barely enough to cover our travel expenses.

 
Our journey back from King’s Cross was ill-omened from the start. Compared to the reasonably comfortable journey we’d had on the way down, the train was clogged with bodies. We were unable to find the seats reserved for us, or, indeed, any seats all. My partner became very angry and panicky, convinced she was having a post-surgical haemorrhage; for which she blamed me for my inability to assert myself in this scenario, bronchi spasming in my chest.

 
By the time we got back to Newport, we had a blazing row in the darkened station, in which I felt like I’d lost my mind. And I still remember the full Moon beating down on us, occulting serenity, her pearly embers inflaming everything with feverish unreason.

 

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Events like this made me superstitious. Instead of being a time of mystery, maternity, and magic, I came to see the Full Moon as a time of danger – a time of the month to write-off the calendar – in which disasters, emergencies, catastrophes, were to be anticipated as a matter of course. Very often, I would deliberately avoid travelling or making significant plans around this time. And, when it could not be helped, I would contemplate her approaching fullness with dread.

 
You can easily see how, given such apprehensions, legends have built-up of this time as being one of transformation; where god-fearing men turn into werewolves; where the bestial, mad side of us we usually keep repressed, buttoned-down, well-hidden, comes screaming out into the light of night.

 
People try and hide their secrets in the dark. But The Full Moon lets us know nothing stays secret forever.

 
The full Moon shines just as brightly as noon, but in a completely different way. Hers is not the meridian of sunshine, where even the most northerly of places can come to seem as halcyon, as tropical, as an equatorial zone. Instead, she initiates mad carnivals of the unconscious; reminds us we are not just men, but animalistic dreams of the shamanic imperative.

 
If this is the time when tides fluctuate, when uterine linings slough-off to start anew, it is also a great purge of the mind – when the dark underbelly gives birth – when our brains and hearts vomit out all the perverse, overwrought feelings and thoughts, we usually reserve for nightmares.

 
As my knowledge of astrology deepened, I realized I was to blame for the souring of my connection with The Moon – that I had not been nurturing my half of the relationship. If we have a bad connection with the Moon, it’s because we have a bad connection with ourselves; because we deny the divine right of the unconscious mind to express itself. Because we are over-civilized depressives, abjuring the embrace of our own chthonic wildness.

 
Instead of misperceiving her as a malevolent demon, I reminded myself she is the First Mother, the object of countless aeons of sacrifice and worship – in many countries she far outweighed the Sun God in both reverence and splendour – The White Goddess of whom Robert Graves speaks.

Whatever I revere in either my imagination or my dreams, I owe to her. Without her, there would be no moods, emotions, fantasies, illusions; no surrealism, silliness, no sensuality, or divine nonsense – indeed, no colour or expression. Only the aching Apollonian tedium of what is obviously apparent.

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I realized the times in which I had most benefited from these phases, were when, instead of resisting the Moon’s invitation to madness, I had gratefully yielded, accepted, ecstatically welcomed the temporary suspension of sanity.

When my notepads had exploded in a frenzy of prophetic nonsense; when, instead of hiding indoors to diminish her influence, I ran out, frothing and raving, into the meadows of the night, hearing the bestial roar of the wild, phantom animals lurking in every hedgerow, faery splinters emanating from grass stalks, the smell of moon-blossoms, spinning in corybantic circles until the whole world is attacked by vertigo, leaping simply for the joy of leaping, screaming simply for the joy of screaming, allowing my heartbeat to ramp up to tachycardia, then howling all the fear away.

If The Sun embodies what we can see, feel, and perceive, then The Moon is the mystery of everything we can’t. She is what we feel strongly, overwhelmingly, yet can neither fully articulate or grasp.

The Ultimate Muse, keeping us searching for a mysterious transcendent perfection we know can never master. If the sun empowers us with the majesty of egoistic accomplishments, then Selene teaches us surrender to time-cycles, cosmic forces, far greater than ourselves. She does not mature us, but turns us back into children, and that is the greatest maturity of all.

One cannot know the unconscious without knowing fear.

And fear is the beauty of The Moon.

Astro-Diary: Chiron in Aries 2019 (And Past Transits)

 

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Hello! And welcome to my very first Astro-Report. I am writing this article to commemorate the occurrence of a very significant transit: the entrance of the minor planet Chiron into the zodiacal house of Aries. As Chiron has been in Pisces since February 2011, its departure heralds the ending of a nine-year cycle, and the beginning of a new aeon of fire that will see us through to 2027.

So, what can we expect from this new seismic shift in the stars? Let’s first look at the character and attributes of Chiron, and the effects of his past transits, to have a better impression of what is to come.
Who Is Chiron?

In ancient Grecian myth, Chiron was known as ‘The wisest and justest of all the centaurs.’ While most centaurs were considered savage barbarians, Chiron was noted for his civility and wisdom. As the semi-divine son of Kronos and Philyra, he was the teacher of many great heroes – (Achilles, Jason, Heracles and Perseus, to name a few) – renowned for his polymathic knowledge of music, healing, herbology, astrology, archery, and prophecy. A renaissance centaur if ever there was one!

 
In many ways, Chiron was far superior to his human counterparts and pupils. He represents the perfect synthesis of human and animal; of using your baser instincts and urges as the foundation for transcendent greatness. He is the recognition that wildness and civility – the Apollonian and Dionysian – do not have to be kept separate, but can be resolved into a perfectly harmonious whole. That we need both of these qualities, not only to be fully human, but to go beyond our humanity, into far stranger realms. Like most therianthropes, Chiron is a shaman, and the lessons he has to give have a distinctly shamanic flavour: that pain and suffering are often the quickest portals to power and wisdom.

 
It’s also worth noting that, as a physical celestial body, Chiron is a hybrid. Not quite horse, no quite man – not quite planet, nor quite comet, but both. He brings the unexpected together for the bizarrest of fusions. As In myth, so in reality.

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Chiron in Astrology

 
So, if Chiron is all about going beyond, then his zodiacal placement often shows where, or in what way, you are likely to go to extremes; the conventions you flout; the fringes you explore. He is the rebel, the maverick, the pioneer. Energetically, he is redolent of Uranus and Sagittarius. He moves both quickly and deeply. He is a mover and a shaker, and you can expect everything to be radically uprooted when this powerful centaur is on the make.
Significantly, as the most heroic of teachers – (heroes are, by definition, characters who suffer and confront magnificent obstacles to achieve their greatness) – he shows us the areas of life in which our learning and activity will be fast-tracked. He plunges us into wild new adventures; radical new perceptions – leads us into the exciting unknown – steels us to face challenges and trials that at any other time we would not sanely consider, imbuing us with the fiery desire to achieve heroism and greatness in the highlighted field. He makes us willing to encounter suffering; to risk pain and loss for the realization of greatness.
These lessons will often be quick, exciting, shocking and painful. Like an archer manipulating his bow, we will be stretched into shapes and situations we never thought it would be possible to assume. Boundaries will be crossed. What was peripheral and esoteric soon becomes normal and conventional. If we are first shocked at the sight of a centaur as a cryptozoological marvel, by the time Chiron is done with us, seeing a big foot or lake monster cross the road won’t even make us wince.

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Chiron is Pisces and Aquarius

 
To know where we’re going, it helps to reflect on where we’ve been. Chiron’s move into Pisces – (first as a false start in April 2010, then fully in February 2011) – saw a big shift away from Aquarian eccentricity and scientific rationalism, to the twin-fishes’ more mystical and emotionally boundless waters. Allow me to speak from my own life.

 
Chiron’s transit of Aquarius occupied most of my teen years. Almost overnight – (it now seems in retrospect) – I went from being a well-behaved, sensible, obedient child, to being a parti-coloured wildling. I became a cross-dresser; grew my hair androgynously long; listened to technically demanding prog rock; delighted in exhibiting flamboyantly unconventional behaviour; developed an intense disdain and distrust for all authority figures, while falling in love with maverick, Aquarian writers like James Joyce and William S. Burroughs. I was only interested in pushing intellectual, political, and conventional pursuits to their absolute limits. Having been raised a Christian, I became a staunch atheist and scientific materialist.

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All this changed for me when Chiron entered Pisces. While its Aquarian transit taught me many things – not least the importance of defiance – with time, what had once been shocking and new was now stale and dogmatic. Aquarius had hardened me, making me selfish, elitist, unempathic, and excessively left-brained.

 
Pisces came along and changed all this. All my hard and fast classifications were gradually overwhelmed and broken-down, drenched under a tidal wave of emotionality – emotions I had once ignorantly dismissed as ‘irrational’ and unworthy of attention. My scientific and left-brained rigidity was undermined by a sudden up-surging of sensitivity and paranoia – an awareness of the paranormal, occult, and unexplained – of all that we try to dismiss, that continues to lurk deeply and inexplicably in our minds.

 
Having been vehemently opposed to the reality of such things, my life became dominated by the intense study and practice of spirituality, religion, meditation, and yoga. Over the following seven years, I cultivated my intuition; learned to enter trance state and generate visions at will; developed an awareness of some of my past lives and greater purpose within the grand scheme of the cosmos, whilst also fast-tracking my study of astrology, myth, dream analysis, and other mystical pursuits.

 
On the flip-side, I also suffered the consequences of these extremes: major depressions; loss of relationships and close friendships in the face of changing perceptions; severe nervous breakdowns and panic attacks; isolation, loneliness, and suicidal ideation.
As this cycle came to a close, I began to realize that spirituality was not the answer to everything I had initially taken it to be – anymore than science, technology and medicine had been previously. It had to be understood within a greater framework of all the other dimensions of life. That’s why there are twelve zodiacal houses – not just one! No single element or approach is right. We need integrate them all.

 

Chiron and The Uranian Underworld

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I hope that, by illustrating Chiron’s influence over my own life and progress, you are beginning to get an appreciation of how this challenging centaur works. He is Uranian in the sense that he only introduces us to the new by killing the old. To make us into radical novitiates and converts, he first uproots all that has become conditioned and habitual. Only by challenging these things is he able to make massive shifts in our perception. This is often painful, and demands a psychological death of some sorts – cognitive dissonance in the extreme! But that is simply Chiron’s modus operandi. Education is as much about unlearning as it is about learning.

 
The Wounded Healer

 
This is where the famous reputation of Chiron as ‘wounded healer’ comes in. Chiron was incurably wounded after being shot by a poison arrow. In spite of his prodigious knowledge of herbology, this great healer could not heal himself. He requested the gods revoke his immortality so he would not have to spend the rest of his life in unceasing pain.

 

 

In its transits, this myth shows not only how we must face our mortality, but the mortality of different version of our self; the mortality of our philosophies, beliefs, and ideologies. It is the letting-go, transformation aspect of the centaur; the part of us that must be wounded to let divinity in. Our scars are our history. Chiron teaches us to embrace these scars, and accept them as part of an ever-changing identity. Our Piscean extremes have to be integrated and put to rest to fully let the newness of Aries in.

 
Chiron in Aries

 
Aries is the spoiled, but brilliantly lovable child of the Zodiac. As The First House, it represents the self, the ego, our self-image, our public persona and relationship with our body and personal health. It is our desires at their most direct ‘I want it and I want it now’ level. Chiron shifting into Aries will see all of these qualities and issues becoming of paramount importance.

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One of the most important Ariens of the last century was the comparative mythologist, Joseph Campbell, whose ultimate dictum was ‘Follow your bliss.’ The next eight years will be about following your bliss – about putting your own fulfilment and quest for meaning above your responsibilities and commitments to others, or finding a harmonious way of reconciling the two. Tradition, duty, and self-sacrifice are likely to go out the window. The only duty will be authenticity – of being one’s full self, utterly and truly.

 
The buzzwords to look out for are: independence, optimism, impetuosity, adventure, fun, authenticity, positivity, risk-taking, leaps-of-faith, energy, activity, youthfulness, fearlessness, confidence, a go-get ’em attitude etc.

On the other side of the spectrum, the risk factors are: egotism, selfishness, conflict, lack of empathy, refusal to see another’s point of view, impulsiveness, not thinking things through, being non-committal, flakiness, conflict, argumentation, self-gratification, arrogance, shameless self-promotion, people-pleasing, restlessness, naivety, making big demands of others without accepting demands on yourself, inequality of expectation, intolerance etc.
Trends of Chiron in Aries

 
If you want an idea of what’s to come over the next 8 years, you need only look to the summer of 2018. Between mid-April and mid-September of last year, Chiron entered Aries, before a retrograde cycle pulled it back into Pisces. Think of that period as being a taster session, as what occurred during that time will be expanded upon heavily over the next few years.

 
My own predictions are this; that we will see a massive rise in polyamory, transsexuality, alternate gender identities – (non-binary, genderfluid, etc.) – and LGBT culture. Issues relating to feminism and gender politics will continue to be agitated. Anti-shaming culture and neo-liberalism will continue to thrive. A sense of Entitlement as a birth-right – (and civil rights activism in general) will be on the rise.

As self-advancement becomes a virtue, the dynamics of relationships will change. People will select partners as a means of achieving personal-freedom and excitement, rejecting traditional notions of compromise and duty. Careers will be chosen over love; freedom over family. Whirlwind romances and flings will take precedence over long-term relationships and saturnine commitment. People will seek out alternative relationship dynamics, hence the advancement of non-monogamy. It will be a good time to become self-employed, start your own business, develop solo projects, etc. However, if you are too impetuous, and totally refuse to co-operate with others, these things may fall through as quickly as they were begun.

 
Expect to see – (initially, at least) – many break-ups, divorces, and changes of relationship-status as people let go of connections that have becomes stale or out-moded. It will be a good-time for dating and meeting new people; but forming long-term connections may be more difficult (unless very flexible and open).

 
Personality cults, personal fitness, and self-helps gurus – (particularly those that promise personal gratification/realization) – will flourish. Extravagances in fashion and declarations of identity. A noteworthy time for cinema, branding, comics, photography, and painting/portraiture. At its worst, the superficial may eclipse the deep; and, in contrast to the aggrandisement of social justice warriors, there may be an opposing trend towards dictatorships and racially exclusive nationalism. A lot of excitement – but a lot of naivety too!
That’s all for now! Feel free to message me any questions or queries to reubenftourettes@hotmail.co.uk

Poem: Sagittarian Moon

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It feels rather invasive

When you wake up

In the middle of the night

And find the moon climbing in

Through your window

With Saturn and Mars

Not far behind

Haven’t those beautiful bastards

Got anything better to do

Than to spy on my sleeping form?

The security guards of the sky

With their celestial CCTV

Slink through the doorjambs

As I dream of making

The crucial mistake

Of pissing where I eat

Oh, Sagittarian moon!

Stop pressing your face against the glass

Just jump into bed

And keep me company

So I don’t have to feel

So alone