Newsletter ★ Vol. 1, Issue#2 – Sept. 2015

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“We have all heard people describe other people, in a derogatory way, as being ‘full of imagination.’ The fact is that if you are not full of imagination, you are not very sane.”  –Buckminster Fuller

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Real Imaginal Astrology Newsletter

Vol. 1, Issue# 2 – September 2015

READINGS

I continue to appreciate all the referrals coming in, and I have decided to show my appreciation by expanding my referral reward to a complimentary 60-minute reading for every new paying client you refer to me.  Thank you to everyone who is connecting me with such wonderful people to work with!

My Soul-oriented practice is rooted in the archetypal astrological tradition taught by Richard Tarnas and enriched by the practices and perspectives of ecopsychology, which understands that the individual psyche emerges from the greater intelligence of the Earth itself.

Schedule a reading to

  • Uncover and navigate your inner resources, challenges and potentials for personal development
  • Transform psychological liabilities into assets, developing more of your personality
  • Deepen and enhance your relationships with family and intimates
  • Learn more about your particular soul’s call to service and your search for meaning in this world
  • Explore how to cooperate with and influence the energies and forces presently shaping your life

My rates are as follows:

  • Initial consultation, 90-minute natal chart and transits analysis – $140
  • Student rate – $100
  • Those born with the Uranus-Neptune-Saturn conjunction (born February through June 1988, and December 1988 through December 1990); and/or any residents of the Anderson Valley and adjacent areas in Mendocino County, California, are eligible for a sliding scale of $140 to $90
  • Six-month follow-up – $85
  • Annual follow-up – $100

Please inquire about sliding scale in general, as I value accessibility and I am able to offer a few discounts each month.

REAL IMAGINAL MAGAZINE

Although Real Imaginal, an online magazine dedicated to revitalizing the human relationship to the planetary archetype of Neptune will officially launch in about a month, I can’t wait to highlight the articles which I have already penned for two different recurring columns in the magazine:

DreamWork

The planetary archetype of Neptune engenders dreams and dreaming, both in the sense of the states of consciousness experienced during sleep and those more diffuse, permeable and unfocused of the dayworld, in which imagery and fantasy seep into our ordinary or everyday consciousness. In DreamWork, we will explore various ideas about and experiences of dreaming, with an open mind which honors Neptune’s infinite ocean of potentiality, and the seemingly inexhaustible variegation of meaning contained within imagery itself. DreamWork honors dreams as a potent way of engaging with the imaginal realms, the archetypal and creative, and dreams may even provide a portal to conversation with the vast Earth Community, the greater-than-human world.

Le Neptiste

The planetary archetype of Neptune carries the impulse to create art, to experience divine beauty and its play of creativity which longs for expression in our lives and in our world. Neptune is to dream, to imagine—that is, to bring into existence that which doesn’t exist; to birth or to witness, and to be enraptured; to access the divine spark, the love which animates the cosmos. Neptune heralds the mythic dimensions’ endless giving birth through planet Earth, beckoning all beings to drink of the imaginal. Le Neptiste features interviews with artists, examining their natal charts, transits and work in some depth, with a focus on both the fulfilling and the problematic sides of embodying Neptune in a disenchanted world.


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OUT OF ORBIT

Published in Real Imaginal on September 14, 2015

September 11: Saturn-Pluto and the birth of hope
The column Out of Orbit features articles which range outside of direct discussion of the archetype of Neptune.

When the planets Saturn and Pluto come together in the sky in hard aspect (0° conjunction, 90° square or 180° opposition), feelings of hardship, danger and mortality within human collectives as well as within individual lives are heightened. Although this archetypal complex can produce an exaggerated internal experience of oppression, repression and gloomy prospects for the future, often world events will occur to bring about such conditions and experiences, or draw pre-existing problems out into greater public awareness and debate.

One such period of time was from June 2000 to April 2004 when Saturn formed an opposition (180° angle) to Pluto in the sky….[CLICK HERE TO READ MORE]

ASTRO-WEATHER

In this section, I offer a small propitiation to the cosmic forces indicated by the planets, whose movements can be utilized rather like the hands of a clock. The clock does not cause it to be 7pm, a clock merely indicates what time it is, and likewise, the planets signify the quality of our time. We are free to embrace or to try to resist these qualities, and observe that it is our participation which brings actual events into being, even as these archetypal tendencies are most often enacted unconsciously. What might we try to notice in this current period? How might we try to creatively engage these qualities?

JUPITER – SATURN – NEPTUNE  T-square

We’re heading into a T-square formation—which is a tense aspect pattern formed by two planets in an opposition alignment (180°), joined by a third planet in square (90°) alignment with each planet of this opposition—occurring between Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn, which started in August 2015 and will go through July 2016, using a 10° orb of influence.  It is a tense aspect pattern because the three different planetary energies have a difficult time combining with each other, indicative of struggle or conflict, and since Saturn—the archetypal “problem”—is the planet forming a square angle to both Jupiter and Neptune, we might expect some taut dialogues between hopes, dreams, ideals, aspirations and various realities, deficiencies or insecurities which cannot be ignored.

Saturn can bring a helpful sort of clarity, when its qualities are well placed. One of our great challenges with Saturn lies in allowing imperfection its place in the pantheon of meaning, to allow that humans and their institutions may fall well short of human aspirations and their divine promise, so that we aren’t deluded of what is going wrong, nor of what can yet go right. Saturn can get a little full of itself when it comes to judging whether something is “good” or “bad,” and rarely provides the best guide to such value judgments. Saturn’s power is in seeing “what is,” not in its abstract categorization of how things should be. Dwelling in Saturnian abstractions brings death—Saturn correlating to death, endings, thresholds—and without a great deal of lunar and Venusian connectivity, care and inclusivity, we can cut the heart right out of life itself. If we instead reflect on Saturn as the lord of karma, a cycle of repetition of actions, it is only when we become mindful—when we notice—that we have any chance of making a different choice and creating a different cycle of repetitive actions.

And yet, encountering what has been split off from us can be extremely painful. Whether it is a division created by history, family, circumstance or choice, and whether we find the reunion wonderful or horrible or both, the trick is to not be turned away by the painful truth we see, to not punish ourselves for having discovered it—and really, isn’t there already enough suffering in this life?! As Pema Chödrön, a master of Tibetan Buddhism observes, “When we begin to see clearly what we do, how we get hooked and swept away by old habits”—or even when we notice something for the first time!—“our usual tendency is to use that as a reason to get discouraged, a reason to feel really bad about ourselves. Instead, we could realize how remarkable it is that we actually have the capacity to see ourselves honestly, and that doing this takes courage. It is moving in the direction of seeing our life as a teacher rather than as a burden.” This quote is a marvelous formulation of using Saturn’s form of clarity to create life, rather than reject the messy, ambiguous truth of our existence which is better understood as a verb, as something which is happening, rather than a finished, made product, a static noun.

Ultraviolet Saturn

Encountering what has been rejected—whether on a personal, familial, social or global level—can also be extremely liberating if we choose to be mature adults and face facts. The road to maturity is long and it takes effort—so says Saturn—and this T-square could provide a major growth spurt for those who are willing to risk success, to gamble with responsibility. Saturn really does want us to grow up, but look out! We should only take the responsibility which is ours to take, and not more than—because that is also immature and an effective way of keeping oneself and others small and helpless or overly dependent.

A massive part of taking responsibility is being able to integrate the nuanced knowledge of “good and evil” all around and within oneself, and THAT act requires a lot of self-compassion…oodles and oodles of love for oneself, which cannot ever be supplied by someone or something from the outside. This is where Jupiter-Neptune’s boundless hope and deep faith in the cosmos can bring some hope to our personal and collective “reality checks.” In honor of this transit, I would encourage you to experiment with the idea that compassion starts with oneself, treating oneself with kindness, love and respect and extending that attitude out to the world.

“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world . . . Either we have hope or we don’t; it is a dimension of the soul, and it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation.

Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons . . .

Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is.

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

Vacláv Havel, who was born with a remarkably exact Grand Cross aspect pattern of Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune and the Moon. Havel was a political dissident of the corrupt Communist regime of Czechoslovakia and prior to becoming Czechoslovakia’s first President after the Iron Curtain dissolved, Havel spent much time in prison for his dissident activities, his longest stretch being four years. He calls nonviolent resistance “living in truth.”

I think it’s rather a good design: the divine is inside of the human being, inside of every creature, not outside of us. No one has to approve of us–WE have to approve of ourselves. Hallelujah! I have an ethical choice to make! Not cow-tow to someone else’s ideas and therefore “be safe”…because that is a sure road to tyranny.

Yet I have a somewhat challenging perspective on this. Do not be deluded that “God is good.” God or the divine is patently NOT good. The divine is all. Everything. It’s a mystical understanding which is hard to fathom, and not many can truly grasp an ethical orientation in the face of this kind of understanding. It’s highly nuanced. No extremes will suffice to navigate this—extreme “good” or extreme “bad” or extreme “neutral”—the extremities will generate great suffering, and so have said all the great sages through the centuries.  Without carefully refined understanding (generally provided by compassion and a sense of radical relatedness to all things) comes great and needless suffering. I realize that this topic requires a deeper treatment than I can give here, but there is a simple insight to share that is useful to anyone. Echoing Carl Jung, the point of psychospiritual striving seems not to be perfection, but rather wholeness…from an acceptance of the worst of ourselves emerges a choice to be better, to do better, to at least try—and perhaps that is precisely because we cannot accept the worst of ourselves without LOVING ourselves first. It’s a great system—because it is functional—even if it is pretty hellish, too. Just as the psychologically astute poet Dante didn’t stay in the Inferno, or in Purgatory, holmes made it all the way to Paradise…only by way of Hell shall Paradise be realized.

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I offer an additional suggestion to honor this T-square of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune and our radical relatedness to all beings: try to notice those moments when your biases and prejudices towards other beings emerge. It could be a subtle pulling away from someone who is disabled, or a quick story running through your mind ascribing unfriendly intentions to a person of color in your vicinity, or noticing that you instantly categorize “the blond woman” providing you customer service as less intelligent.  Recalling Saturn’s powers of noticing “what is,” don’t judge these things as you notice—because in doing so, we will often shut the complete realization out! Our deeply moral selves know these thought patterns and biases are wrong, but if we as individuals and more importantly, if we as societies don’t notice the prejudicial barriers to justice, kindness and healthy relationships—barriers which require our unconsciousness in order to operate—the unnecessary suffering wrought by false divisions will never be relieved.

Starting with compassion for one’s own condition, one’s own limitations and capacity to grow, just notice these sorts of things, because they are how the pain and the suffering of other beings lives inside of you. They connect you to that other person or group, right or wrong and like it or not, and seeking to transform that connection is doing the work of maturing, of enacting an ideal person and society you would like to see.

Another generative way to invoke this T-square could involve an exploration of awareness of how entire social support systems “pull away” from or even actively undermine the well-being of others—both human and other-than-human—a practice which can bring many painful and disappointing revelations to those who are shielded from such realities. But duly honored, I would suggest this is a path towards healing injustice, extending greater compassion to others, and hopefully the beginning of understanding how to act in solidarity with the welfare of others, recognizing both your suffering and your well-being resides not apart from, but in concert with theirs.

And last but not least, one more great way to interact with this incoming T-square is to combine the cultivation of awareness of your social relationships with playing The Compassion Games, which are on now until September 21. “Through the spirit of competitive altruism and play, players compete not against each other but with one another, to help develop the skills we need to be more compassionate toward others, toward the earth, and toward ourselves. In the Compassion Games, competition becomes coopetition as we challenge one another to strive together to make our planet a better place to live.”

Like what you read? Please tell me in the Comments section below!

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.   —Martin Luther King, Jr.

4 Comments

  1. Marcelo says

    Erica, you are amazing! Your newsletter is always celebrated when it arrives in my mailbox! Many, many blessings

  2. Earth Dancer Lilith says

    A-ho! Thank you for this precious offering. I look forward to many more.

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