Many people both within and outside of the astrological community are aware of Mercury’s retrograde transit several times each year and heed the warning to refrain from signing contracts or buying cars or computers. But there is less awareness of the magical qualities of this time out of mind which culminates at the midpoint of the retrograde passage when Mercury enters into the heart of the Sun. This potent planetary alignment occurs on February 15th, the day after Valentines.
Mercury is the swiftest planet in the solar system, and ancient astrologers placed him under the auspices of Hermes, the divine messenger who was the patron god of travelers in both the upper and under worlds. Archetypal Mercury could manifest as the mischievous youth, the wise sage, or the psychopomp – guide of souls into and out of the underworld. For several weeks each year when the planet Mercury turns retrograde, he embodies the qualities of the psychopomp traveling deep within to the heart of the great mystery of death and renewal.
This newsletter comes with my very best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. I am looking forward to connecting with many of you around the world this Saturday (January 11) for my next webinar, this time on the Fourth House: Under the Earth. These webinars will be my primary means of teaching this year, as my travel schedule for 2014 is keeping me close to home. So I look forward to having you join me online.
Today I am sharing some reflections on the next upcoming Uranus Pluto square and how to think about it from a Hellenistic point of view.
As the Christmas season approaches each year, I want to send remembrances to my friends and family. The search begins for the perfect card that acknowledges my childhood roots in Orthodox Christianity, my vocation in astrology, the members of my community who have non-Christian beliefs, and those who celebrate the sacred nature of this solstice time of year in other ways. After combing through endless card displays of Santa with his reindeers, Christmas trees piled high with gifts, nativity scenes, angels playing celestial harps, winter wonderlands and snowmen, agonizing between the greetings of Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, I inevitably come home with the Three Magi Following the Star. This image encapsulates it all, and for friends of astrology, it connects us with an important part of our astrological history.
I have recently returned from my travels in Istanbul, Turkey and southern Italy. One of the greatest joys of a life in astrology has been meeting with members of the international community of astrologers, and experiencing the kindness, enthusiasm, and wisdom of people everywhere who love astrology.
Right now I am busy preparing the next webinar on the Third House: Goddess which we’ll present on Saturday, November 16th. I’ll be including the insights that arose while I was visiting the archaeological site of Cuma on the Bay of Naples with my friend and former student professional art historian Surjeet Anna who lives in Sorrento. This site has long been associated with the subterranean cave of Cumean Sibyl, a prophetess who appears in Vergil’s Aeneid.
This weekend I attended a wedding of a friend's child. Despite my best intentions to avoid offering unsolicited astrological advice, the ‘moment’ of the wedding time turned into one of those mini-dramas that often accompany rites of initiation. In the course of events, I had the opportunity to revisit some reflections upon the art of electional astrology.
Electional astrology is choosing an auspicious moment to initiate an event, such as a marriage, business, a journey, a lawsuit or the founding of a city. It is based upon the belief that how something is at the beginning (like the natal chart of the birth moment) is the seminal code for how it will progress in the course of its life cycle.
Electional astrology seeks to maximize the positive potential outcome of an important undertaking. When pausing to think about what is going on, one of the questions that inevitably arise is: To what extent can a good electional chart override the natal indications that might not support the successful realization of that event? And because there are no perfect charts, one must find the proverbial needle in a haystack with the possibilities available within the given time frame, and then allow fate to take its course. In addition, one must answer the question of what constitutes the real “electional moment”.
On August 3rd I will be presenting Rulers of the Nativity, the sixth part of an ongoing series on Traditional Hellenistic astrology being held in Portland Oregon. Earlier that morning, I also will be giving a live webinar on The First House: Life and Spirit, discussing the ancient and modern meanings of the first house and how to interpret planets located in the house as well as the ruler. This is the first of a series of 12 webinars I will present. Every month, there will be another webinar on each of the other houses.
I have been captivated by the story of Edward Snowden and his chart. The debate rages as to whether he is a heroic whistle-blower or a despicable traitor. At my upcoming Portland workshop Rulers of the Nativity, we will examine Snowden’s chart from a Hellenistic perspective and see how it compares to that of President Obama. We’ll discover which planets are in charge of their lives as a whole and how they might be expected to stand off against one another. For those who can't attend, we'll offer the audio here for download this fall.
Our computer programs handle most of our astrological calculations these days, but there are still times when it may be practical to consult the old trusty ephemeris when tracking transits or looking for planetary stations. If your first look at those number-littered pages leaves you feeling a bit overwhelmed, have no fear. Demetra demystifies the process using her skillful and patient expert teaching skills in this new program called Using the Ephemeris to Track Transits.
In a step-by-step process using a real birth chart as an example, Demetra walks us through how to read the ephemeris, and how to use it to track planetary transits to a natal birth chart.
This program will teach you:
In addition to learning how to read those information-rich ephemeris tables, you'll leave with the foundations for doing a full transit reading using all of the major inner and outer planets.
Recorded in 2013. mp3 format. 1 hr. 28 min. Includes pdf handouts.
April and May have hosted an active eclipse season with two lunar and one solar eclipses. I have been gathering with a few local astrology friends at my home in Eugene, OR to read aloud from The Predictive Power of Eclipse Paths by Bill Meridian. Our intention is to gain a deeper understanding of how the energies are intensified and accelerated in the weeks before and after these periods when the potentiality arises for supra-ordinary possibilities.
During an eclipse, the emanations from the either the Sun or Moon are temporarily obscured by the other body. So I've been thinking about how eclipses contribute to disturbances in the composition of the atmosphere and ionosphere for a certain length of time, which in turn sensitizes the areas under the path (or visibility) of the eclipse. And this then sensitizes the individuals whose natal charts are connected to the triggering points of the eclipse.
At the beginning of April, I had the opportunity to revisit the Mysteries of the Dark Moon teachings during a 5-day retreat in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. While I continue to incorporate the lunation phases and dark goddess asteroids into my ongoing client work, it has been many years since I’ve presented this particular material in a focused and extended manner. We were all stunned with the depth and pathos of insights that arose, along with clarifications and healing of the parts of our lives that, as women, we normally keep hidden. In retrospect, I see how the eclipses prefigured the revelations of the dark moon goddess. Thank you to Evelyn Roberts for hosting this event in an exquisite nurturing setting. And gratitude to everyone there who was willing to ‘drink of the waters of Persephone, the secret well beside the sacred tree’ (Dion Fortune).
Those amazing asteroids have returned to the forefront of my thinking this past month as I’ve been preparing new asteroid lectures for WSAA, NY-NCGR, and the Mysteries of the Dark Feminine Moon retreat in Mexico. I revisited Obama’s chart and focused on the prominence of the family of mythic asteroid healers. Obama has the asteroid Koronis, the mother of the great healing god Asclepius, exactly conjunct his 18 Aquarius Ascendant to the degree. I immediately thought of his signature health care legislation and the motif of the white crow turned black, and this sparked me onto an asteroid hunt of other mythically related celestial bodies in his chart.
When certain asteroids are clustered around the power points of the chart (Sun, Moon, Ascendant ruler, four angles) or in close aspect to one another and the deities that they represent are likewise related in myth, these mythic motifs become emphasized and are often the major archetypal themes of the life. First the story, and then the chart. The mythic names that are asteroids are italicized.
Chiron, the wise kindly centaur who embodies the ‘wounded healer’ archetype is rejected and abandoned at birth – his primal core wound. He is then found and fostered by the siblings Apollo and Artemis. Chiron assumes his home in cave on Mt Pelion, becomes a foster parent himself, mentors many Greek heroes, and is famed for his knowledge of hunting and the use of medicinal herbs, surgery, and the laying on of hands.
Soon March will rush in like a lion with its promise of springtime renewal, and my mind turns towards the forthcoming April retreat in the highlands of central Mexico. We will celebrate the Lunar Mysteries which I explored in depth while writing Mysteries of the Dark Moon in the late 1980’s. The tides on the Oregon Coast set the rhythms of my daily life during that period where, by day, I could look at the ocean from my windows and by night, bathe in the moonlight, as the sounds of the ocean rose and fell in accordance with the phases of the moon shining upon my sleeping body.
Evelyn Roberts of Heaven and Earth Workshops has invited me to reawaken that lunar muse and share the maturation of these teachings in a sacred space in Mexico next month. In turn I invite those of you who hear the murmurs of the MoonTideMuse to join us for a very personal immersion into the deep spaces of soul work inspired by our astrological chart.
Hellenistic and Vedic astrological systems contain time lord procedures that divide the whole of the life into discrete chapters of varying lengths of years, each under the governance of a succession of planetary time lords that depict the ebb and flow of our lives. For modern astrologers, it is the progressed lunation cycle (reintroduced by Dane Rudhyar in 1936) that serves that function. The Moon Goddess’s celestial dance with the Sun God taps out the rhythm of successive 30-year cycles of our lives consisting of eight- 3 ½ year periods, which chart the beginning, culmination, completion, and renewal of our evolving life purpose.