Saturn: The perfect trap

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Where Saturn is in your chart shows you how you structure and build boundaries. Depending upon the relationship(s) or aspects Saturn has with other planets in the chart determines the ease (supportive aspects such as conjunction, sextile and trine) or challenges (conjunction, square, opposition and inconjunct) with which your Saturn function works.

Saturn is the perfect trap, period. Where Saturn is in your life shows you where you feel trapped and where you need to grow and mature to become who you ARE. Both the Sun and Saturn are what we are working towards rather than what we initially express in our early years. There are some exceptions such as when Saturn is on an angle -Ascendant, IC, Descendant or MC. Such a placement would super charge Saturn and its effects on the native and would be readily apparent to others.

Saturn is that place in us that requires us to “man-up” or “woman-up” because the buck stops here with Saturn, not with Truman. Full stop. Saturn is the planet of authority and all of this is about building one’s own inner authority so as to be strong enough to deal with the challenges life presents. In the esoteric or soul-centered area of astrology, they say that Saturn is the “ring pass naught.” This means we really cannot go farther than we have the tools to go. I was going to write an explanation, but I found this perfectly articulate statement from Robert Wilkenson at Aquariuspapers.com:

“In our lives there is a binding force that requires we learn all we must learn before we can move on to new experiences. There are certain lessons we must master if we would grow beyond our limitations, fears, and “vain imaginings.” This binding force is known in Esoteric Psychology as “The Ring-Pass-Not.”

We all have a Ring Pass Not, and it shifts with each lesson we learn to apply with wisdom, intelligence, and skill. Even though it is human to be hassled by our responsibilities and limitations, these are directly related to what we are learning in expressing our Higher Self in effective ways, now and for the future.

We often seem to be caught in “holding patterns,” practicing skills and coming to realizations about things that may seem meaningless or futile in the moment. However, these set the stage for abilities we’ll have to demonstrate in future life experiences and chapters. Overcoming limitations (and impatience!) as we slowly and surely master what we have to master ensures our better Self opportunities to show itself in the future.”

Isn’t that beautiful?? Of course, when are in the thick of a Saturn transit or a challenging Saturn complex in our own charts (hello, I have a Saturn-Moon square!), we feel shitty, we feel taken advantage of and the words that come forth from our lips are, “Why me?” The experience can leave us feeling like the Universe has placed a “kick me” sign on our backs that everyone else can see but us. As long as we rest in the victim-hood of our situation and don’t take the necessary steps to face our dharma, we are at the whims of the planets and only victim-hood will prevail. In astrology, we say, “You can either work with the planets consciously or they will work you unconsciously.” For each of us, there is that defining moment when we awaken in our consciousness to understand that the situation is one we must not only face directly, but also for which must take full responsibility. For those of us with many oppositions in our chart, it is easy to send the responsibility factor to the “other” until we, again, are conscious enough to realize that we are all acting as mirrors to one another to gain the awareness we seek on these deeper levels. Again, the buck stops with you -that is one of Saturn’s lessons.

This is a huge topic and area of human experience, one that can literally take a lifetime to incorporate (another word to mean embody – a Saturnian concept). Saturn speaks to our security needs (kind of like the Moon). I will probably write more later, but let us see how Saturn plays with the four elements to get an idea of the types of lessons you are here to learn here to learn and the trap in which you find yourself:

Fire signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. As fire has to do with inspiration, when Saturn is in the fire signs, there can be a dampening of the expression, like the regulator knob on your gas stove or grill limiting the amount of gas to feed the fire. Notice none of the fire signs are ruled by Saturn, which can tell you that it is not an easy combo as there isn’t any affinity. Fire wants to burn and is usually fairly freedom seeking –especially Aries and Sagittarius. Leo is a fixed fire and it can therefore almost understand Saturnian energy. Saturn is the ultimate firewall! The trap for a fire sign is thinking that all of life is fuel and that everyone wants to hear what you have to express. Saturn here would give one the lessons of knowing the right mixture of combustible material and flame to give them the perfect flame to ignite others, i.e., to regulate ones expression so as not to burn up the audience.

Earth signs Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn Saturn have to do with structure and solidity and physical processes -all areas in which Saturn excels. As many of you know, Capricorn is also ruled by Saturn. All of the earth signs understand the idea of working towards something -a very Saturnian theme: Taurus seeks to build resources and relationships to aid the self, Virgo is building resources to be of service to self and others and Capricorn seeks to build resources to build up one’s professional strengths for world domination. Hehehe, I put that in there to see what the Capricorns would think! But seriously, Capricorn is the mountain goat on high surveying all it has created and built thanks to the grounded gifts of Saturn. The trap of the earth signs is attachment to material resources as the answer to one’s security needs. Saturn here would have to learn the appropriate use of resources to meet one’s personal physical needs as well as to address the physical needs of others.

Air signs Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. As the air signs have to do with ideas, mental processes and larger humanitarian concepts, Saturn can give the intellectual clarity and determination, as well as the mental foundation necessary to build upon one’s mental and communicative structures, including the written and spoken word. Saturn will help to form the intellectual structures to support greater understanding and the ability to ground greater concepts which the air signs seek to capture. Saturn here can also create a sort of idealized ivory tower, especially when in its home sign of Aquarius. What is the trap of the air signs? There can be too much thinking and over-analyzing of people, ideas and experiences as well as lofty ideas that are non-relational. Air signs are not concerned with physical, emotional or expressional needs and so can sometimes literally rise about true needs to a place of intellectual idealization. This is a beautifully free place, but without structure and ground, they are just balloon ideas with no substance and are hard to bring to reality.

Water signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces all have to do with the structuring of emotional processes. While water signs do not really appreciate the sharp edge of Saturn, water requires a container and besides the Moon, Saturn is a perfect container as it has the alchemical ability to hold any element. When Saturn is in the water signs, it is about building up emotional structures and boundaries. The best thing a Saturn in a water sign can say to another is No because they learned somewhere along their lives that it was not okay for them to say no or set a boundary. What is the trap of the water signs? An over identification with emotional needs which can alienate others until the emotional self is structured to understand that boundaries are an ever fluid, energetic dance which changes with people, situations and our own moods. As Saturn has to do with the feeling of not enough, Saturn in the water signs can feel as if they have limits on their emotional feeling self.

While there is so much more to write on old Chronos (another name for Saturn is Father Time with the scythe and hourglass), I will finish with this interesting part of Saturn. When Saturn has a strong presence in the chart including when found on the angles, is the ruler of the chart, strongly aspected or even when it is a feral or orphaned planet there can be the experience of being an adult when growing up. These individuals, even as children, may take on adult roles or have to bear the burden of challenging life situations. Maybe one or both of the parents died when the child was young or one or both parents are weaker or more needy than the child, which requires the child to step up and take on the yoke of responsibility. These challenging and difficult childhoods are rich with lessons of boundaries and maturity. Fortunately, if the Saturn function is worked properly, these individuals can learn the lessons necessary to build healthy structures and processes in their lives that will give them an easier time of experiencing adulthood.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Wishing you a day of authenticity,

Michael

He loves me . . . She loves me not . . .

 

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Ah, the joys of relationship! With one person, you have easier communication and with another person, it is nothing but constant arguments. Why is this? Because each person has their own ways in which they view, approach and experience different aspects of their lives. If we just look at just this one aspect, in this case two people’s Mercury placements, we will see not only if the communication will be easy (conjunction, sextile, or trine) or whether it will be challenging (conjunction, square, opposition, inconjunction). We can then look at further flavors added by the element (Fire, Earth, Air or Water) and modality (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable) as well as the signs themselves. A person with a Capricorn Mercury is going to have a clipped efficient business-like manner to her/his communication style whereas a person with a Mercury in Pisces may be more obtuse, flowery, nebulous and somewhat confusing –especially to the Capricorn Mercury!.

You may also be aware of that other interesting thing that happens in couples: in the beginning of a relationship, the other person has traits you really admire or that really excite you, but over time, they are the exact traits that irritate and annoy you. This happens most often when planets are in opposition. It is easy for us to project (oppositional full moon spotlight energy) our un-owned aspects onto another especially when we have oppositions in our chart AND when a person has a planet on one of these oppositional two spots in our own charts. The Zodiac is set up in six pairs of opposites. The goal is to learn how to be in relationship to all of the many areas in life in a way that is accepting and loving rather than critical and harsh. In fact, if you want to see how far you are “along” in your life, just ask yourself what gets your blood going? And if you are in relationship, you probably can give a list of irritations that your significant other easily portrays in your life so you can say you don’t have to! But you do and you are, otherwise your partner’s behavior wouldn’t irritate you.

Maybe it is my Gemini North node in the seventh house, but I love doing couple’s readings. Shedding light on each person’s respective traits in a way that allows both partners to see, understand and accept one another’s inherent traits as opposed to encouraging passive aggressive blame for what one perceives as “made up” behavior patterns. I believe astrology gives a lovely tool for the ways in which one can understand the interconnected ways in which we approach the following parts of our lives:

How we shine out in the world Sun

How we nurture and feel             Moon

How we communicate                   Mercury

How we value and love                 Venus

How we desire and act                  Mars

How we expand and believe      Jupiter

How we structure and discipline                               Saturn

How we wound and heal              Chiron

How we shock and evolve           Uranus

How we dream and escape         Neptune

How we transform and deal with power                               Pluto

Whether you are just starting to date someone or have been in a relationship for a long time, it is important to understand the relationships, or aspects, your planets make to your partner’s planets. Bringing compassion and understanding to the challenging parts of the chart can help each of you to step away from the blame and change game and allow for acceptance and support. I encourage you to get a reading to more deeply understand how these energies play out in your relationship or do your own homework and start (or deepen) the dialogue of understanding with your partner in the various areas of your life.

The more tools you have to enjoy a healthy relationship, the more satisfying your relationship will be. With the current Leo/Aquarius eclipse cycle this month, we are forced to see how our own egoic needs (Leo) have to be in balance with the needs of the collective (Aquarius). Anyone with planets around 28 – 29 degrees, in the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius will be activated in a more than likely uncomfortably challenging manner.  Try to show a big Leonine heart over the next few weeks. The world, and all of us in it, could use a lot of compassion right now!

May you remember your divinity. May you find peace and serenity and may we all forgive ourselves for what we project onto one another,

 

Michael

Iconography and Astrology

 

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I was just out doing some yard work when the thought of icon and archetype came into my head. I am sure I am not the first to write about this, but being a child of the 1960’s growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area (which became Silicon Valley), I cannot help but look at the new Aquarian Age from the electronic view point. Since I am also an Aquarian, I like to bring in the history (Saturn) and then call forth the innovation (Uranus) in its current unfolding.

From Wikipedia.com we get the following two definitions of icon:

  1. a painting of Jesus Christ or another holy figure, typically in a traditional style on wood, venerated and used as an aid to devotion in the Byzantine and other Eastern Churches.
  2. a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something.

And of course there is the most current definition: a picture on an electronic screen that represents an application, program, disk drive, file, or instruction.

We humans are meaning seeking animals. While not all of the population on the planet is literate, most people on the planet have the ability to associate an image with a larger collection of thoughts, ideas, meanings, processes, instructions, and stories. The traditional meaning of the word “icon” is non-secular and dates sometime between the second and fourth centuries A.D. Icons were most often images of Jesus Christ, his mother Mary, saints and angels. This art form developed further and later, into the magnificent stained glass of the Gothic period in Europe. In both cases (and in many other ways to present iconography) we are talking about images which, when seen, give people a larger more complex story.

When we access our electronic devices, our screens are filled with a multitude of images -these are our modern day icons. We know when we click on the envelope we will be taken to our electronic mailbox(es) and we will be able to read current and past undeleted emails and be able to respond -all by just recognizing a simple “image” of an envelope.

Astrology is a study of images, icons, archetypes, and so much more. When we look at a symbol  or “glyph” for a planet or a glyph for a sign, we know that each one represents a width and breadth of not only key words and ideas, but also experiences, feelings and sometimes -critical life changing moments. If you are able to grasp the “greater meanings” of the icons on your electronic devices, you can grasp the glyphs and archetypal understanding of astrology.

As a practice, take a planet or a sign for a week and see all the ways it manifests itself in your consciousness. See how the archetypes, images, iconography and sensations appear in your environment and are reflected by the people you encounter and possibly even your own moods. We are surrounded by imagery. Give your meaning-seeking mind a playful experience in deepening your astrological experiences.

 

Be well,

 

Michael

 

 

 

 

Loving communication

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Out of many of the aspects in the chart, a common one is a Mercury Venus conjunction. A conjunction is when two planets are in the same place at the same time in the sky -from the perspective of the Earth. Just to clarify, they aren’t in the same actual space; otherwise, there would be, of course, a collision between the two planets!  In the sense of a collision, there is a coming together of two -think of two lovers coming together, for, just like the new Moon (aka Moon Dark) a “new birth” occurs with each conjunction. The “birth” is a new expression of the archetypes of the two or more planets involved, just as when a man and a woman form a union together, they birth a blend of the two in the form of their children. This is true of all conjunctions, not just about the one of which I am discussing today.

Why is the Mercury Venus conjunction common? First of all, these two planets are never more than 76 degrees apart in the horoscope, and, secondarily they are both closer to the Sun and therefore have the shortest planetary orbits (or “years”) of any other planet in the Solar System. Mercury returns to the same place in the sky about every 88 days and Venus returns to the same place in the sky about every 225 days.  It is interesting to watch their “dance” through the Zodiac if you use an animated astrological program. It looks as though Mercury is almost like a happy dog, running forward and then doubling back and going behind Venus as she makes her more deliberate, longer forward movement with fewer retrograde cycles than her eager friend Hermes (another name for Mercury).   The last conjunction between the two was 18 March 2017.

I know I gave it away with the title, but about what are we speaking when we find Mercury Venus conjunctions in a chart? Let’s breakdown the archetypes into a few simple key words:

Mercury: Communication, movement, travel -especially short trips

Venus: Love, beauty, unification, pleasure, values

Conjunction: new birth, new ways of doing things

If we play with these words, we get: A new way to lovingly communicate, pleasurable travel, beautiful movement, eloquence, unified movement, speaking one’s values.

Of course these will also be further flavored by the signs (Aries through Pisces) in which the planets are found as well as by their respective element (Fire, Earth, Air, Water) and modality (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable). Taking into account these factors, you can get a vivid sense of the ways in which each of the combinations are likely to play out.

A person with a Mercury Venus conjunction in Scorpio is going to have a fixed depth and intensity to the manner in which they speak and would differ greatly from the light and airy way in which a Mercury Venus conjunction in Gemini person would move and communicate.

For those of you born without a Mercury/Venus conjunction -don’t worry! Thanks to Mercury’s quick run around the Sun, you are able to experience this combination about 4.14 times a year when Mercury, by transit, conjuncts your personal or natal Venus -and, you will experience Venus making a conjunction with your Mercury, by transit, about 1.6 times a year. When you experience these transits, look for a more of rich expression of your natal Mercury or Venus, as these two are good friends in-deed.

Wishing you all more beautiful communication with everyone in your life and especially with yourself!

 

Many blessings,

 

Michael

A Busy, Busy time

Guan Yin, Goddess of Mercy at the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO

 

Whew what a time this has been! We had a lovely period in January when all of the planets were going direct and then, one by one, like a series of clocks striking the hour, they started going retrograde: First Jupiter, then Venus then Saturn, Mercury and then Pluto . . .. This is like taking a speeding train and then one by one making each of its wheels and then its engine go in reverse. Many of us have felt like this great meme:

 

Retro

I have taken advantage of some of this retrograde motion to get things done that have been needed my attention for some time, for example, I was fortunate to have Marcelo Schenberg (I highly recommend this web mage: vesta.websites@gmail.com) redo my website.

And here are a few things that are going on in my life. I was recently invited to speak on Sheri Horn Hasan’s Karmic Evolution’s Astrologically Speaking internet radio show. Her website is: http://ctrnetwork.com/profile/karmicevolutions We spoke about my work in Core Energetics. If you would like to listen to the interview, please go here: http://www.contacttalkradio.net/CTR/sherihornhasan042717.mp3  Sheri is a gifted astrologer and talk show host. We enjoyed our chat and I hope you will too.

May is soon upon us and that means another year of The Northwest Astrological Conference, aka: NORWAC http://norwac.net/  YAY! This year I will be speaking about  planets on the angles: http://norwac.net/speakers/  Hopefully I will see you there Memorial Day weekend.

In June, I will be offering a four part webinar series called Keywords: Your Key to Communicating Astrologically https://www.alanoken.com/current-events/  This is a great class for beginner to intermediate astrology students who are interested in expanding upon their astrological vocabulary.

I wish each and everyone of you who reads this and everyone on this planet blessings of patience, compassion and greater understandings during these challenging times,

 

Michael

 

Familiar images in surprising places

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I was recently in Chicago to meet with Laura Nalbandian and others to work on the logistics of UAC 2018. As many of you know, Chicago has a wealth of beautiful architecture, public in door and out-of-doors art, well-kept grounds, museums, private estates, and, and, and. Of course while I was there I took advantage of the many visual delights Chicago has to offer.
 
One spot, in particular, stood out for me on this trip: The old Chicago Public Library which has morphed into the Chicago Cultural Center. While the whole of the interior is finished in a truly beautifully rendered mosaic tile effect, the space is well known for its exquisite Tiffany stained glass dome with around 30,000 pieces of glass covering more than 1,000 square feet.
 
Other than mentioning UAC, you may well be asking right now, “What does any of this have to do with Astrology?”
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A study in astro-logic or, how the inception of a group was ascertained . . .

When Jason Holley and I connected in Seattle at NORWAC 2016, we discussed starting a local NCGR (National Council for Geocosmic Research https://geocosmic.org) chapter in Santa Fe where we both live.
 
Groups in Santa Fe are not an easy thing to start and maintain, by the way. We sent out emails and made phone calls and were able to gather a group of about 15 people on Tuesday 2 August 2016 at 6:30 pm.
 
During the course of the evening we discussed the benefits and requirements of being a local chapter and at some point in the evening we called for a vote of commitment to start the new group.
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NCGR Santa Fe

NCGR Santa Fe group meeting
Tuesday 2 August 2016 — 6:30 pm until 8 pm.

 
Are you interested in learning about astrology, talking astrologically with others and/or want to share your astrological wisdom?
 
We welcome dedicated astrologically minded and hearted individuals to create a local NCGR chapter here in Santa Fe.
 
For location and more information please contact:
 

Jason Holley Jason@JasonHolley.net 505.603.0705
Michael Bartlett Michael@CoreMichael.com 505.690.3860

 
Come join us for our first meeting and help guide the path NCGR Santa Fe will take.
 
We look forward to hearing from you

 

NCGR

Intro to Astrology

moon_taurus - CopyHello Friends and Followers of Astrology.
 
I am excited to announce I will be offering an Astrology 101 class starting  Monday 11 July for four weeks. Using visual imagery from AstroTheatre AstroCards and in-depth explanations, we will explore the Who, What and Where of Astrology:
 
1. The Signs
2.  The Planets
3. The Houses or rooms, elements and modalities
4. Putting it all together – Looking at a chart
 
Each class will begin at 6:00 pm Mountain Time (here in Santa Fe, NM) which is 5:00 pm on the west coast and 8:00 pm on the east coast of the US.
 
Cost is $120 for four classes of two hours each. Each session will be recorded and sent to you, so if you are unable to attend a session live, you will still receive all of the material presented. Class sessions will include Q&A time.
 




The Dual ruled signs, Scorpio, Aquarius and Pisces

There used to be a graceful, simple way to keep track of the ruling planets for all of the signs.
 
There was a simple elegance to the 12 signs and the five planets, Moon and Sun which ruled them.
 
See how they line up. Saturn and Saturn at the top, then Jupiter on each side, then Mars, then Venus, then Mercury and Sun and Moon at the bottom.
 

Rulers

Traditional rulers

Then the outer planets had to come about and shake things up! Each of the three were discovered at times in which human consciousness had the ability to grok their respective archetypal influences.
 
The discovery of Uranus in 1781, Neptune in 1846 and Pluto in 1930 each played a significant part not only human development and understanding, but more importantly on the course of astrology as a whole.
 
Vedic astrology continues to use the original seven or classic planets, whereas western astrology has welcomed and made space for and relationship to these three outer planets.

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