The nakshatra most closely symbolic of crocodiles is Shatabhisha. The birth chart of Steve Irwin, the famous “Crocodile Hunter,” has significant placements in Shatabhisha nakshatra—his Sun, Venus, IC, Chiron, & Eros. Accordingly, he is famous for his extensive conservation work and affinity with crocodiles.
With his (tropical) exalted Pisces Venus + asteroid Eros here, we can see how he developed a reputation for being loving toward wild beasts & driven about creating treaties to protect them. Venus is the planet of beauty, harmony, and contracts, while Eros is the asteroid of passionate creativity. I might argue that his nickname should have been “Crocodile Lover” instead!
The resident deity of this nakshatra is Varuna, whose domain includes the Waters, Sky, and Ocean. The associated animal that carries Varuna is the Makara, a mythological beast whose name means “sea-creature” or “crocodile” in Sanskrit.
Makara is also the animal that represents the sign of Capricorn. Steve Irwin is a (tropical) Capricorn rising. His ascendant (aka lagna) is located in the nakshatra of Mula (the one who breaks things down to get to the root of the truth). Steve Irwin broke through the vilifying, monstrous media depictions of crocodiles to spread a more appreciative and honest portrayal of this fearsome creature.
If you use the sidereal zodiac, Steve Irwin still has an impressive set of Capricorn placements. His Capricorn stellium (collection of 3+ planets in a single sign) features a whopping 5 grahas, including his Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Ketu.
As an astrology geek, I have a fond love-hate relationship with this episode. Let me count the ways!
The synopsis: Scully and Mulder go to a small town where high school students are being viscerally killed, and the town is amok with Satanic Panic as they seek answers. The culprits are actually two teenage besties who have witchy electro-telekinetic powers, being strongly influenced by a “rare planetary alignment,” a triple conjunction between Mercury (pairs, friends), Mars (aggression, blood), and Uranus (upheaval, electricity).
Meanwhile, Mulder and Scully get downright vitriolic during the investigation, as Scully is acting uncharacteristically jealous of Mulder’s flirtations with another detective. Various characters also engage in out-of-character stress behavior, like Scully smoking cigarettes and Mulder drinking alcohol.
Note: This episode is set during the day of January 12, 1996 and deals with the non-exact triple conjunction of Uranus, Mercury (retrograde), and Mars, all in Aquarius. Here’s the chart for the event:
What I Love:
The fact that they even tackled astrology as a concept, AND the writers took care to reference a real astrological alignment that would be happening in their then-present day (the episode was released in 1996, about two weeks after the alignment took place IRL)
The fact that Mulder goes to see an astrologer in the episode to ask what’s going on, and her credentials are never called into question
The fact that they avoided stereotypes with her characterization: she’s a very ordinary-looking lady who cracks a joke about being a small business owner with a lot of paperwork and makes sure Mulder pays up before she gives him the information he’s seeking
I also appreciate that they made her someone who believes in her own craft, avoiding the cheap trope that many TV shows resort to where they have the professional psychic or occultist privately disavow their own practice and claim they’re just telling people what they want to hear, or have the protagonists regard or reveal the person as a scammer
The fact that the two teen witches who are the main antagonists of the episode were born on the same date, at the same time, in the same place (!!), which would certainly create the perfect storm of torrid synastry that we see in the episode
The little concluding speech Mulder gives about humans being subject to cosmic whims and forces far outside our control, whether we like to admit it or not
What I Hate: Okay, so all these hater points are mostly minor nitpicks. Forgive me, for I have Mercury in Virgo and thus I seek perfection even in the smallest of details 🤓
When the astrologer mentions that Uranus is sitting “in the house of Aquarius.” Technically the zodiac signs CAN be classified as the dwelling-places of certain planets (hence where the traditional astrology concept of “domicile” = “in its own home” comes from). But most astrologers would probably say that Uranus was sitting in the sign of Aquarius, saving the term “houses” to refer to the 12-fold divisions of the sky which are modeled in a chart
The fact that they show a Full Moon in the sky at the end of the episode, but the date in question IRL would have had a waning crescent moon
The astrologer said the planets would be moving into exact alignment on that day, but Mercury, Mars, and Uranus were never partile conjunct during this event (and at least for me, an exact alignment implies that they would all be at the same degree, though I admit they were quite close)
The fact that the astrologer DIDN’T mention that Uranus would have been mega-powerful in this triple conjunction because it had literally JUST ingressed back into Aquarius (returning from a retrograde dip into Capricorn) on the EXACT date that the episode is set on, and sign changes for the slow outer planets herald massive shifts in the world
Other than these little quibbles, I’m quite pleased by the way this episode used astrology as a plot point 🙂
Bonus: here’s the un-timed chart for the date the episode was released, January 26, 1996, wherein the Sun and Mercury have basically swapped zodiacal degrees in the interim between the two charts, and the Moon of the episode release has shifted to the opposite sign from the Syzygy event
it is a kind of divination in and of itself to seek answers— it tells you that you are the kind of person who seeks answers. that you are, perhaps, enchanted by the realm of mystery, but still vexed enough by the veil to peek behind its tantalizing haze. when we ask a question, we embrace the space of void – the realm between knowing and not knowing, where a terrifying chasm of uncertainty opens up 🕳️
divination requires both the fortitude to peer into the chasm, as well as the madness to dive inside it and discover what lies at the bottom
more often than we might like to admit, we are aware of what lies at the bottom. not necessarily a conscious awareness – more subtly aware, like when you learn a new word or concept and then suddenly begin to notice it all around you. the new bite of knowledge already existed in the world around you, but it only became a part of your reality once you were made aware of it 👁️
divination will not reveal something that does not (or cannot potentially) already exist
in the same way, we might think of divination as a form of epiphany, an uncovering of that which has, until the moment of asking, remained unperceived. just because we did not seek it, does not mean it did not yet exist. it simply hadn’t been divulged unto our conscious minds yet 🌞
divination is an alerting
the word “Apocalipsis” means revelation (literally, Ancient Greek apó “away” + kalúpto “veil”). when the cover of ignorance is lifted from our mind, it can feel like an Apocalypse, in its modern connotation of catastrophe. and indeed, receiving clarity where there was once nebulous uncertainty can be a shock! the endless streams of possibilities are immolated like a forest experiencing volcanic eruption, leaving one lonely tree behind—an “answer” 🌋
it can be profound and spine-chilling to witness this devastating act of divine disclosure, especially if the answer we receive is not the one we desired
however, much like the destroyed forest, reality always, always contains the possibility of regeneration. the singular tree may drop its seeds, scattering them to the wind. we possess powerful seeds—our free will. if the single tree terrifies you, plant a new seed. tend it. water it. growing a new future takes love and care and time and patience, but be not afraid – the forest can always be regrown 🌱
Step 1: Choose an opportune moment, preferably when the teacher is faced away from you. If you can conceal the packet from your classmates as well, all the better, lest you are prepared to share. In middle school, to be seen with gum is an invitation to be asked for gum by whomever might be near, whether they be friend or foe. The meanest kids you know will have zero qualms about batting their eyelashes and shooting their most shameless, toothy grin to the local loser, if it means acquiring a stick of sweet, minty contraband.
Step 2: Unwrap the stick of gum with your fingerless-gloved hands under your desk, or hidden in the kangaroo pocket of your uniform hoodie. Do so slowly; you don’t want your spiked-and-beaded bracelets to click together or clang against the metal parts under the table. Never arouse any suspicion from the teacher, lest they call you out and force you to stand up, laid before the jeers of the entire class as you shamefully forfeit your treasure: for trash, extra peppermint, never chewed.
Step 3: Crush the silver wrapper into the tightest, most compact little ball possible. Put every seething ounce of your unexpressed rage into this harmless little outlet. Save the wrapper for later.
Step 4: Surreptitiously slip the gum between your lips, perhaps while you bend down and pretend to be rummaging through your backpack for another pencil. Make sure not to actually put your hand all the way down, or else you might touch the soft, wet, sticky bag of rotting sliced pears (you know, the ones you forgot to eat last Tuesday) buried beneath a week’s worth of classroom handouts .
Step 5: Run your tongue across the subtle ridges of the long, flat rectangle and take in the initial burst of flavor. Barely moving your jaw, use your tongue and teeth to neatly bend the rectangle into an even trifold stack. Sweetly crush the stack between your right molars and feel the rush of menthol oil mingling with your saliva. Subtly pulverize the stack until the ridges disappear and you are left with a smooth, minty putty.
Step 6: See how many different forms you can construct this edible playdough into with your tongue. Make into a perfect little sphere with the tip of your tongue playing rolling pin. Stretch flat over the roof of your mouth and feel every inhaled breath grow colder on its way to your lungs. Tuck into every nook and cranny of the mouth and plaster flat, as if casting a dental mold of the entire area, piece by piece. The more places you can tuck it into, the less likely the teacher will notice if you do get called on by surprise (an unlikely but not impossible happening, since teachers tend not to call upon chronic hand-raisers. If you raise your hand, they assume you’ll already know the answer, so why bother? But you never know. They’re quite happy to call on you when it seems like you’re off daydreaming again).
Step 7: Listen closely and calmly to the lesson, now that your mouth is properly occupied (no need to take messier measures today; your pencils will remain unchomped and your arm shall remain unbitten. You’ve never even thought to consider whether other people find this behavior gross, but you personally find it a little bothersome to clean up, even if it does wonders to soothe your perpetually-frayed nerves).
Step 8: Marvel at the longevity of a stick of gum when it is petted and prodded and sucked upon instead of raucously chewed and chomped and slobbered over! Pity those who complain that gum becomes tasteless after a mere few minutes; if only they knew this secret method, this subtle, clever technique! Enjoy the gum for an entire hour, flavor hardly lessening, and without ever being spotted and made to dispose of your juicy morsel.
Step 9: Absorb the lesson, now that your body is occupied with a mindless little task. Play with the gum until your jaw is aching from the strain of making sure your movements are not obvious.
Step 10: Proceed to your next class, by which time the gum has finally become too flavorless even for your discerning taste-buds. Briefly duck into a bathroom during your minuscule passing period. Take the empty gum wrapper out of your pocket and unwrinkle the tight little foil sphere you created. Use the wrapper to grab the perfectly tongue-rolled wad of gum out of your mouth. Re-wrinkle the tight little foil sphere. Dispose of in the bathroom trash, where none will be the wiser to its origin.
This week’s forecast is late because I’ve been busy, but I still wanted to share some thoughts, since this is a momentous time of shifting energies!
The theme for this week is MUTATION OF PLEASURE. We’re in the last week of mutable Sagittarius season.
Jupiter cannonballs into Aries for good, leaving behind its home sign of Pisces (not to return for another 11 years). The very next day, the Sun shifts into winter mode with the Capricorn Ingress of December 21 The Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere is the longest day of the year, a celebration of the peak of sunlight’s increase and a pivot toward the decreasing of the light in preparation of the autumn harvest. The Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the shortest day of the year, a celebration of the end of sunlight’s decrease and a pivot toward the increasing of the light in preparation of a new spring.
Here’s a little solstice ritual you can try:
Solstice Gratitude Rituals: FEAST! CRY! BE MERRY! REST! INDULGE! Make a Gratitude List 1. Write down 3, 5, 10 (or however many you like) endings, peaks, or culminations from the past 6-12 months that you are grateful for 2. Write down an equal number of beginnings, potentials, or hopes you are grateful for
Weekly Forecast: Immediately upon ingress, the Sun squares Jupiter. Projects that may have felt stagnant could be revitalized, and the desire to jump the gun may be prominent. It’s a great time to celebrate, but don’t feel the need to accomplish all your plans at once–Mercury is about to station retrograde on December 29th, and things will need to be reworked.
Right as Jupiter enters Aries, Venus comes out of the underworld, no longer hidden by the beams of the sun, and enters her phase as evening star, bringing us into a closer relationship with our own bodies and desires. Venus in her nightly guise is associated with Taurus, the verdant, lush, sensory pleasures of the earthly realm. This association is immediately punctuated by an enlivening trine to Uranus in Taurus, which may bring the opportunity for revelry.
Venus in Capricorn speaks to the ability to trust in one’s self to party when it is, in fact, the appropriate time to party. If we tend to be restrained or fear our own desires, this might be the shock that nudges us into letting down our hair just a little bit–evening star Venus beckons us to explore the siren song of our own desire, telling us that it is not sinful or excessive to crave pleasure. It is, in fact, life-affirming and deeply meaningful to do that which gives the body joy.
Realizations about pleasure this week can be meditated upon in preparation for New Year’s Eve, when Venus will flirt with the underworld for another brief moment as she conjoins Pluto in Capricorn. Deeper long term shifts in the way we navigate pleasure and power can be expected–this could manifest in a myriad of ways. One person may focus on setting firmer boundaries about the distribution of household chores, while another dedicates themselves to taking a period of personal celibacy, and yet another comes to a decision to start exploring BDSM dynamics in their sexual life.
Notable Transits of the week: (Fri 12/16) Last Quarter Moon in Libra (Sat 12/17) Mercury trine Uranus (Sun 12/18) Moon into Scorpio (Mon 12/19) (Tue 12/20) Jupiter enters Aries, now answers to Mars rx in Gemini Venus reappears as Evening Star Moon into Sagittarius, answers to freshly ingressed Jupiter in Aries (Wed 12/21) December Solstice Sun into Capricorn Sun square Jupiter (Thu 12/22) Venus trine Uranus Moon into Capricorn
Coming future: (Fri 12/23) New Moon in Capricorn kicks off Capricorn season (Thu 12/29) Mercury turns Retrograde in Capricorn (Sat 12/31) Venus conjunct Pluto in Capricorn
Recent Past: Think back to what you were starting around October of 2021. This is when the Sun-Mars synodic cycle began anew with a Sun-Mars “new moon” (a conjunction joined by Mercury retrograde) in the sign of Libra, under the oversight of a fiery Sagittarius Venus conjunct Ketu, the South Node. We may have gone back to re-explore a passion or connection that had come fleeting through our life, choosing to give it a second go around.
Wednesday’s Full Moon in Gemini coincided with the “full moon” of the Sun-Mars cycle, with the Sun now taking Venus’s place in Sagittarius and Mars retrograde trining its original location, while in Mercury’s sign. Whatever you started back in October 2021 will have reached (or will soon be reaching) the peak of its illumination, revealing to you whether this re-exploration yielded fruitful results or not.
Perhaps you’ll have discovered that the passion or connection is indeed, everything that you used to ponder and long for. Or perhaps you’ll have learned that it was fun while it lasted, but you’d rather make room for something (or someone) else going forward. Either way, the wisdom of the Sagittarius-Gemini axis says that time is never wasted upon exploration; there is always precious insight to be gained, if we are curious enough to seek it.
Fri 12/09-Sat 12/10: the mood is still coming down from the electric charge of the Gemini Full Moon / Sun opposite Mars, and we may feel inclined to be more reserved about our words (especially if verbal disputes have been had) as Venus waltzes into dignified, recalcitrant Capricorn 💅
the Moon lounges in Cancer until Sunday morning, so weekend plans will tend toward solo time or cozying up with people we consider as part of our inner circle. take some time to indulge in a little treat (i’ll be doing hot apple cider spiced with cinnamon & cardamom) and reflect about your dreams for the future ☁️
Sun 12/11-Mon 12/12: the Moon enters Leo midday Sunday, shifting our focus from reflection to expression. some dreams can be kept in our heads (for now), but others need their time in the sun! ☀️
Mercury, lady of handsy crafts, makes a creative quintile to artsy queen Neptune while curious Mars rx quintiles fruitful Jupiter—if there’s a project you’ve wanted to create (paint, draw, bake, build, write, whittle, etc.), this is a wonderful time to track down the tools needed to make it happen 📐
Tue 12/13-Wed 12/14: the Sun and Neptune exchange heated glances as Mercury makes a sneaky phone call to gossip with the Sun, giving us a moment to connect the dots about whether our dreams and actions will be ready to align once the Sun enters Capricorn next week 🧮
if there’s still something that looks iffy, Wednesday’s disseminating Moon in Virgo can help us find the wisdom to refine and optimize our visions. sometimes that means flipping the hourglass to give ourselves more time! ⏳
Thu 12/15: the Moon rounds out her stay in Virgo with a voluptuous Grand Trine to Mercury in Capricorn and Rahu/Uranus in Taurus. entering the last quarter phase, Luna asks us to clear out the thoughts that bind us and embrace the empty state of mind that is necessary before creation can take place ⚫️
the day ends with a Moon-Neptune opposition t-squaring the Sun in Sagittarius, who has now been secretly gossiping with Venus in Capricorn. we may be pleased to find that our hopes and wishes (which formerly seemed out of reach) are forming a tangible path to materialize in the real world 🪡
In the Long Run: The next turning point in the Sun-Mars cycle will come at the “third quarter” phase of the Sun-Mars square around March 16, 2023. Mars (now moving forward) will be taking her final run through the last ten degrees of Gemini, almost out of the retrograde shadow degrees. The Sun in Pisces will be conjunct Neptune and Mercury, who is still Mars’s host while she traverses Gemini. Expect to still be processing and digesting the lessons of the current week, in some form or another, until this time, when we will finally see the first breath of integration and release.
Simultaneously, Venus in Aries will square Pluto at the tail end of Capricorn, a mere week before Pluto takes its first tentative leap into Aquarius, where it will spend the better part of the next two decades. This Venus will be at 29° Aries, opposite the point of the Sun-Venus initiatory cazimi in Libra that took place around October 22, 2022. This moment may serve as a severing from our entrenched Self-Other power dynamics of the past, struggling to assert the way we want to love and be loved going forward (whether that be familially, platonically, romantically, intellectually, sensually, erotically, or however relational dynamics appear in your life).
Recent Past: this week’s Mercury and Venus oppositions with Mars retrograde may have seen words flying as our thoughts volleyed against the realities of action, and the pursuit of pleasure bounced off the walls of discomfort & planning required for long-term gains 🎾
first steps may have been taken and reviewed during the weekend’s Capricorn and Aquarius moons (both signs ruled by Saturn, the planet of concrete action, who has been trine Mars rx all week). plans may have been revised and reformulated. if you haven’t been able to start anything yet, worry not—we’re still in the waxing (growing) phase of the moon cycle for the next few days 😉
Fri 12/02-Sat 12/03: our weekend starts off with a spicy waxing gibbous Moon in Aries, ready to light some fireworks as it passes through encouraging trines with the Sun, Venus, and Mercury in Sagittarius. take some time to let loose and have fun—chasing enjoyment can teach you just as much as getting work done 🕺🏽
on Saturday morning, the Moon will re-activate last week’s Mars rx-Saturn trine by waving a saucy sextile hello to both of them (from the midpoint between the ends of the trine). hazy Neptune, planet of dreams, inspiration, mystery, and illusions, switches from retrograde to forward movement, just in time to perfect a tense frisson with Venus, patroness of art, harmony, and relationships. let your curious mind guide you toward inspired action. put yourself out there, share your vision, and show others what you really want 📍
Sun 12/04-Mon 12/05: the waxing gibbous Moon in Taurus provides an opportunity to dig our heels into the dirt and really make room in our garden—is there anything that still needs to be weeded out? Are we adequately watering the seeds we want to grow? 🌱
Last week’s uncomfortable Moon-Uranus/Rahu connection is re-activated by Mercury and Venus—if we have tangled with our fear of audacity since then, now is the time speak up. Mercury in Sagittarius makes a square to Jupiter, whose home they are currently traversing. Be steady and blunt as you vocalize the things you desire—you may find that others receive your honesty in surprising ways
Tue 12/06-Wed 12/07: The waxing phase reaches its culmination as the Moon enters Gemini. Shortly thereafter, Gemini’s manager, Mercury, leaves Jupiter’s warm lecture hall of Sagittarius to enter Saturn’s stony lighthouse of Capricorn. Whatever we’ve been theorizing and debating about ? it’s about to be put to test in the field—is it ready to withstand the crashing waves? Only one way to find out 🌊
Wednesday evening (20:09 PST) hosts the Full Moon in Gemini with the Moon exactly conjunct Mars rx. The orchestra reaches a crescendo, the bell tower rings, and you can hear the Greek choir swell up (whether it’s a comedy or a tragedy is up to you) as a path is illuminated in your Gemini house. Everything you’ve been working and reworking since August 20, 2022 suddenly clicks into place, and your way forward becomes clear to you 🛤
Thu 12/08: the Moon spends most of the day in Gemini, finishing out the revelations of whatever has been realized. as she opposes Venus, we might get too worked up in the frenzy of renewed desire—make time for quiet moments to catch your breath 🌬
at the end of the day, after all the excitement of the Gemini/Sagittarius axis, Luna retires to her home sign of Cancer to exhale into the salty sea air, where she begins to oppose Mercury. We’ll want to take a moment to return to our shells and process what we have learned—let your feelings about the situation speak to you. Consider journaling, singing, or making music to help melt into some relaxation 🦀
In the Long Run: the fun flirty Sag lightning in the sky begins to wind down as Venus enters earthy Capricorn, followed by the Sun two weeks later. however, we won’t be totally bereft of fire—just in time for the Winter Solstice, Jupiter says goodbye to its watery home sauna of Pisces for the next 12 years, and brings forth a hot cosmic spring as it returns to Aries, the scorched battlefield of Mars 🪓
Our ideas and philosophies will undergo a revolutionary rebirth in ways that have already been gestating since earlier this year, when Jupiter took its first plunge into Aries. However, this time, we have the drive and courage to follow through on the Big Bang we’ve been hoping for 💥
Recent Past: We’re currently in a lovely period of getting out of the status quo-breaking turmoil of Scorpio/Taurus eclipse season and moving into rekindling hope, dreaming big, and taking action as the personal planets dance along the Sagittarius/Gemini axis 🎭
On Wednesday 11/23 we had a New Moon in Sagittarius the day after the Sun entered the sign, and Sag’s planetary ruler, Jupiter (currently in its other home sign, Pisces), switched from retrograde to forward motion about 15 mins after the exact New Moon 🍑
New Moons are a great time to plant new seeds, form ideas, & start projects in the sign they occur in, so with Sagittarius, that’s the realm of getting curious, seeking knowledge, exploring pleasure, entertaining new philosophies, and traveling to distant shores (physically, mentally, or spiritually) ⛵️
Any fresh endeavors we want to begin in the Sagittarius house of our charts will benefit from the boost of Jupiter moving forward in visionary Pisces, encouraging us to take a bold first step toward whatever wild dreams have been brewing in our heads 🚀
Friday 11/25–Sat 11/26: The waxing Moon in Capricorn will help us take a practical, decisive initial move toward whatever scheme we’re currently concocting. However, the Moon makes an irritating connection to Uranus and Rahu—we might find our instincts are a little uncomfortable with the audacity of the actions we need to take to propel forward. Take it slow; we’re climbing a mountain, not jumping off a cliff 🏔
Sun 11/27-Mon 11/28: The waxing Moon in Aquarius will have us hovering back to reconsider how we feel about having taken this first step. Are we sensing something that needs to be re-aligned on this course of action? Aspects of the envisioned path may need to be let go of completely, or just pruned down a little. Mars retrograde has been backing that ass up into a sweet little trine with taciturn Saturn in Aquarius, which perfects Monday; it will help us snip off the excess foliage. ✂️
Tue 11/29–Wed 11/30: Clarity on how to achieve our ideal vision will take shape as Mercury and Venus oppose Mars (still retrograde in Gemini), giving us a birds-eye perspective about the types of action that will be necessary to harmonize what feels logical with what feels pleasurable. The First Quarter Moon in Pisces on Wednesday will help us turn the corner and re-draw our vision boards to vibe with these new insights 🦅
Thu 12/01-Fri 12/02: The clay of our desires is whittled and wheeled into a more refined shape as the First Quarter Moon in Pisces flies by Neptune and Jupiter in the last few degrees, stopping just long enough to swap a few juicy smooches of inspiration and renewed faith, before shooting forth into the firecracker home of Aries. Get ready to fire the pottery! 💋
The Waxing Gibbous Moon in Aries is ruled by Mars in Gemini, who is just barely separating from their little tango with Saturn on Monday. This was the second pass of the exact Mars-Saturn trine, which had its first go around September 28, 2022, but it was Saturn who was retrograde instead of Mars. Moves that that we made around then are being revisited right now, but this time we’ll gather more refined insights on how to sway the situation toward our desired outcome. 💃🏽
In the Long Run: Keep an eye on whatever actions are developing in conceptual, intellectual arenas right now; they’ll shift and take on a distinctly more tangible, emotional flavor by the end of March 2023. This is when the next Mars-Saturn trine takes place, after Mars begins to move forward again—but with a twist. Both Mars and Saturn will have shifted from air signs into into water signs! Saturn will be taking its first dip into in Jupiter’s dreamy domicile of Pisces, while Mars will be scuttling through the shifting shores of protective Cancer. 🌊
Asteroid Eros 433 is currently applying to a conjunction with asteroid Psyche 16. The conjunction reaches perfection on November 3, 2022 at 25° tropical Libra (sidereal 1° Libra using Lahiri ayanamsa), a mere four degrees from the initiatory Venus cazimi at 29° Libra (sidereal 5° Libra) which happened on October 22, 2022.
Both conjunctions occur in the sidereal nakshatra of Chitra, which exalts the ability to craft valuable new paradigms by using one’s own projected inner qualities. Fitting with this theme, asteroid Psyche invites us to explore the depths of our own spiritual essence and how it reacts to collision with Eros, the erotic desires of the external world, the realm outside of our own control.
I am still newer to the study of asteroids and their impacts on our lives, but here I will offer my interpretation of what this conjunction might mean through the lens of etymology, biology, mythology, and tarot.
Psyche etymologically derives from Greek ψυχή/psukhḗ, meaning “soul”, which in turn is from the verb form ψῡ́χω/psū́khō, meaning “I blow.” Encapsulated in this word origin is the notion of the soul as a gust of divinity which “blows” life force into a material body. As the root of the modern word “psychology,” we can also conceptualize the soul as a sort of deeper animating drive behind seemingly arbitrary human whims and behaviors.
Psyche is also the Ancient Greek word for “butterfly.” In the journey of its transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, the form of the insect must dissolve inside a protective container, the chrysalis, expending huge amounts of energy and time to entirely reshape its body and emerge as a completely different type of being, capable of doing things which would have been impossible in its previous form (namely, flying).
Eros, then, can be thought of as desire in the form of the external pressures which compel the Psyche/soul to undergo metamorphosis and transformation, from the caterpillar of birth to the butterfly of the person we craft ourselves into, so that we might be capable of attaining the things we long for.
Living beings are sensually predisposed to desire tangible things which are conducive to the continuation of life— at the most simple level, this consists of air, sunlight, food, water, shelter, rest, sleep, sex, and companionship. The soul, however, has needs which are not so straightforwardly met in the physical world. It searches for meaning, fulfillment, satisfaction, but what forms these ideals take will vary for each soul. In the search for meaning, the human variety of living beings may even restrict or reject the desire for those things listed above, using restraint itself as a proxy for the attainment of some desire.
Asteroid Eros will meet with Psyche in Libra and the proceed to separate from her, just as in the myth, Eros flees from Psyche after she gives in to her immense curiosity and peeks at Eros in the darkness, despite being forbidden from viewing his physical form. In doing so, she drops a bit of oil on his shoulder and alerts him. When deep rooted desires surface, they leave a mark, and you cannot turn back from what has been brought to light (unless you’re having some heavy Neptune transits, perhaps).
I suspect that the meeting of Eros with Psyche in Libra will bring to the lamplight hidden relational desires that the soul has attempted to run from, along with the compulsion to change the self so that we might be more capable of either honestly releasing these desires or going through the intense process of changing our inner qualities so that we might be able to make our disembodied desires become corporeal in the material world (just as Chitra’s symbol is a jewel—think of a diamond formed under great pressures).
Libra is a cardinal air sign ruled by Venus, and its nature supports the initiation of desired relationships just as well as it supports the termination of unsuitable ones. The tarot minor arcana cards associated with Libra’s decans are the II, III, and IV of Swords. In the Smith-Rider-Waite version of the II of Swords, a figure sits blindfolded against the backdrop of still waters, drinking in the stillness as it ponders the benefits and detriments of a choice to be made. In the III of Swords, a choice has been made, and it is a choice emblematic of Saturn’s exaltation in Libra—something has been severed. That which is no longer desired is rejected, and though the separation creates grief and pain in the immediate future, its longer term purpose is to create space for new ideas to be entertained and nourished.
This conjunction of Eros and Psyche (and the October 2022 Venus cazimi) will occur in the decan associated with the IV of Swords. After the sharp, stabbing revelation-ary experiences of choice-making in the III of Swords, the IV of Swords demands time to process that decision. We see a figure lying on a coffin—not dead, but resting upon it in solitude, hands folded up in prayer. In the rejection of our outgrown desires, we have achieved a sharp relief with which to view the ones that remain—but only if we can take the time to compost the concurrent emotions of grief and despair into clarity and understanding.
I offer these questions to meditate upon during this transit:
How does encountering your own relationship desires feel to you? Do you accept the things that you feel you need, or are you predisposed to minimize or downplay the less “socially acceptable” feeling & desires that you have?
What is your relationship to the erotic like? How much of it is mediated through the inner self? How much does your experience of eroticism filter through the lenses, opinions, and viewpoints of other people, such as friends, partners, family members, religious institutions, or the state?
How do you change yourself in order to feel more “worthy” of the things you desire? Do these changes usually feel life-sustaining to you, or do they usually involve some level of self-abnegation?
Do you feel entitled to acquiring the things that you desire? Do you feel that others should change themselves in order to be accommodating to your desires?
When conflicting desires come up between you and the other people in your life, whose desires are prioritized? Does compromise occur that respects the desires of both parties? Or is one person’s desire given precedence over the other’s?
Where do you find yourself clinging to desires that you have outgrown? What needs, identities, or past experiences are these desires rooted in? How does it make you feel to imagine letting go of these desires?
Thank you for reading. Observe how this transit manifests from you, and let me know your thoughts either in the comments section here, or on my twitter.