Familiar images in surprising places

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



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.


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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A series of transits to awaken a generation

Those of us born in the mid 60s, are in for an interesting treat over the next few months.
Starting in October we have Venus, Jupiter and Mars in Virgo activating our natal Uranus and Pluto opposite our natal Saturn and Chiron.
In addition Pluto will be trining our natal Pluto/Uranus conjunction and sextiling Chiron and Saturn.
Chiron is in our natal Chiron’s sign of Pisces (with many of us already having gone through and others about to go through the Chiron return).
Then those of us born from November 1964 through April 1965 will be experience a Mars return.
And, if that isn’t enough, Saturn’s entry into Sagittarius will activate the third quarter square to our natal Saturn (Crisis in Consciousness!)and starting in January 2016, Saturn will be squaring our collective Uranus/Pluto opposition Chiron.
Is this a Yikes or a collective call for significant change?
This will be a very fascinating and exciting time for each of us, but what does it all mean?
Virgo is the sign of service, resources, discrimination, daily routines and our work and most of us have the Chiron opposition from Pisces as well as Saturn in the mix which has affected many of us in the sense that we have a feeling that our feelings aren’t right or trying to create sandcastles on the beach -they do not last.
Many of our generation have sought work that provides for us financially, while shying away from service oriented positions.
The Virgo/Pisces axis is one which, on an esoteric level, is about sacrificing of and devotion to serving the higher good, but with these four figures (Pluto, Uranus, Chiron and Saturn), we have not done it in the regular way because many of us have been burned (sometimes literally at the stake!) for trying to make the world a better place for humanity and we have that feeling, and cellular memory, in the back of our consciousness.
There is so much to write here, so please bear with me.
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Between a rock and a soft place – Saturn conjunct the Moon

If you have been looking at the moon over the last few nights, you have probably noticed that Saturn is right next to it (last night Saturn was just to the right of the Moon).
Maybe you have also noticed some disturbances in your relationships –from your primary relationship, to friends to family (especially mom)? Or the desire for more clear boundaries in your relationships?
This may be what happens when these two antithetical energies interact: Saturn wants to structure, limit, create boundaries, has hard edges, seeks to discipline (or be the authority) and often uses the word No; whereas the Moon wants to feel nurtured (whether that is through food, love, closeness, and surroundings), supported, loved and wants to say yes.
The Moon often represents your experience of your mother in your chart and Saturn can represent the way you experience your father.
Since the Moon and Saturn are conjunct right now, meaning they are right next to one another like a pair of conjoined twins, we are all having to deal with finding a way to blend these seemingly opposite energies.
On the hard side, maybe it is an argument with a loved one, but on the upside it results in you setting boundaries which give you a healthier way for you to relate to others.
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Retrograde Tackle

This weekend Venus and Uranus join the lineup of outer already retrograding planets: Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
The planets which never retrograde, the Sun and the Moon, join Mars and our regular “favorite” retrograde planet Mercury –all moving in the “normal” forward direction.
In reality, none of the planets move backwards in their orbits around the Sun, but since we live on earth our viewpoint makes them appear as if they are going backwards.
There are periods of times when all of the other planets, except for the Sun and Moon move in an apparently backwards tracing or retrograde fashion.
When a planet is retrograde, there is an intensification of energy, sometimes due to a frustration of the “natural” energy flow in which the planet operates. A pretty familiar example is Mercury.
When Mercury is retrograde the normal means of communication and travel, i.e., the domains over which Mercury operates is frustrated, halted, delayed, unclear.
If on a road trip, a Mercury retrograde period could mean lots of traffic or road work delaying your progress, or the need for a new set of tires (my last Mercury retrograde experience).
The energy makes us go back within ourselves, it becomes personal.
The outer planets from Saturn on often give you three “passes” when in transit, the first forward motion to the point, going beyond and the planet goes retrograde hits the point for the second time and often times continues for a bit until it reverses again and goes forward.
Sometimes there are more passes, like the Pluto Uranus squares which happened seven times! Sometimes you have only have a single pass.
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The Cycles of Life

Life is a series of cycles which continue to unfold as we go along.
We are familiar with some of these cycles, whether we are talking about the terrible twos, mid-life crisis, the transition into retirement, or the transition from the physical plane to the non-physical in death.
Astrology is all about the cycles in life and how they relate to our personal chart throughout our lives.
I was fortunate to take a wonderful developmental astrology class from Leslie Nathanson here in Santa Fe some years ago.
I took the class early in my astrological studies and I have to say I was immediately impressed with the apparent magical efficiency of it all.
Developmental psychology touches these areas, but I felt somehow that astrology provided me with a clearer understanding or vantage point from which to understand these thematic periods in our lives.
I also became painfully aware how our society doesn’t usually allow or give space for us to experience some of these stages, so we find people medicating themselves in order to get through certain periods.
This is how our behaviors and actions become pathologized – meaning we have a disorder, rather than we are experiencing a cycle in our lives.
Some cycles are seen as more positive than others, but the truth is all of these cycles are devoted to our gradual unfolding into all that we came here to be. Like Dolly Parton said, “We cannot have rainbows without rain.”
How each of us experiences these cycles is dependent upon our emotional and psychological maturity (how we meet and deal with the challenges life has presented to us up to this point), the aspects each of the planets make in our birth chart (do we have more squares and oppositions bringing about challenges or do we have the more supportive sextiles and trines?), and, in the largest context, the cycles we all, as humans, typically experience in the course of our path from birth to the grave.
I will delineate the main transits and the core themes associated with these cycles.
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Pluto, the misunderstood -the original Transformer

The story of Pluto or Hades is a complex and dark one.
There are many parallels here to make, Pluto was a planet and then had its planetary status taken away, Pluto took Persephone away from Demeter, and in your personal chart, it will show that which you need to transform or take away or what you will transform for others.
And if you have Pluto in a significant position in your birth chart or in aspect or relationship to your personal planets or points, well, you probably had your childhood taken away –so, so you know the power of Pluto.
I see Pluto as the God of transformation; He destroys everything on your path which obstructs Consciousness.
Pluto, aka Hades, is the God of the underworld. He is equal in power to his brothers Zeus (Jupiter), Poseidon (Neptune) and few are granted access to the underworld and above hell, except for Mercury.
Pluto takes the life out of a party, the giggle out of a person of any age.
While Saturn is considered the planet of maturity, I think there is a maturity which is gained from surviving a Pluto transit.
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