Tag Archive | Zika Virus

Saturn square Neptune in the winter of our discontent

It may only be winter in the southern hemisphere, but it may as well be across the entire planet this season, as hard reality bites into the dreams of glory for all of us.

Saturn square NeptuneThe square alignment between the slower outer planets Saturn and Neptune became exact in mid June, gradually separating to a maximum of only 1.5 degrees by mid August, and then, due to Saturn’s going stationary and then direct in that month, slowly narrows the gap until they align exactly yet again on September 11. This all occurs (in the tropical zodiac) between 10 and 12 degrees of the mutable signs Sagittarius and Pisces respectively for Saturn and Neptune. So throughout this period from June to September we can consider this square alignment to be active.

Two more contrary planets you will not find in the myths and symbolism of astrology. Saturn symbolises the hard reality and limitations of the material, while Neptune is associated with the mystical, ideal, visionary and abstract. When they align in a challenging 90 degree angle like this we see the symbolic struggle to ground or realize the dream. It symbolises confusion about what one really wants, frustration in co-ordinating efforts. Or just at the time one is about to realise one’s goals, circumstances – or one’s own insecurities – pulls the rug out from under one’s feet. This is traditionally the dilemma of the self-defeatist, like Arjuna the mighty warrior on the battlefield of Kurukshetra in the sacred Sanskrit Vedic text of Bhagavad Gita. Although fully competent to do battle, he wavers at the last minute due to confusion as to what is right and wrong, what is moral or not, and almost walks away from the fight in surrender, until Krishna, his friend and advisor instructs him on the value of the transcendent view of reality – a paradox if ever there was one. That is Saturn challenging Neptune for you. How to understand the immanent in the transcendent, spirit in matter, the abstract ideal in the world of apparent limitation and imperfection.

The self-defeatist is one who has lost the battle before even starting, and this is the danger symbolised by the current alignment this season. Confidence is sorely tested and uncertainty abounds. Faith is shaken by unexpected circumstances. This is when it is wise to simplify our everyday lives in order to avoid complications. When we begin to question our very goals and ambitions for ourselves, when we feel as if we may be unworthy or unqualified, or that the universe is not constructed to allow us such goals, then disappointment, discouragement and pessimism are the likely outcomes. However, these may all be illusory or even worse, self-fulfilling prophecies, where the mind of the self-defeatist becomes his or her own worst enemy. The solution is to not take yourself too seriously at this time, to keep it simple, and refrain from any major decision-making or changes if at all possible.

Another manifestation of the Saturn – Neptune square is illness, either a psychological caving in, or a physical difficulty, and the fear of loss of control that follows. More precisely Neptune is associated with poisons, drugs or pollution, and if we look at global affairs during this season, the Rio Olympics is a perfect example, with the risk of disease affecting the entire event. Athletes from all over the world now fear attending the Olympics due to the chance that they may catch the Zika Virus or due to the unacceptable levels of pollution in the Rio waters that could easily contaminate any visitor. Another challenge is the doping scandal amongst some athletes who are now being banned from competing. The problem is that an entire nation of Russia is being banned even though only a few of their athletes were found guilty. In both these incidences – disease and doping – we see the dreams of sportsmen and women who have sacrificed so much to attain this lifelong dream of making it to the Olympics, being systematically dashed in true Saturn square Neptune style. They are defeated before they even begin. Some simply refuse to attend out of fear over contagion, while others are unjustly deprived. The classic challenge of dreams and ideals versus hard reality of strict standards and laws. Even if those laws seem unfairly politically motivated. The sacrifice of one’s dreams due to realities of the world should be avoided now as much as possible. The challenge now is to make our dream a reality, so keep the faith comrades.

Another global event symbolising the Saturn – Neptune square is the Brexit vote. Saturn symbolises borders and boundaries, while Neptune is the opposite of all-inclusiveness or the dissolving of boundaries. Here the vote was cast and the borders and boundaries of Britain were once again firmly constructed as the inclusion in the EU came to a jolting end, thus challenging the foundation of the EU as a valid entity, testing their raison d’etre, their confidence and the confidence of the economy. The square alignment of these two planets is also associated with a weak or absent father or leader figure, and both Cameron, prime minister of UK, as well as Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party have been seen to be weak leaders whose leadership has been challenged. Curiously Cameron will resign in September, the very month that the square alignment becomes exact yet again. The leader or father figure (symbolised by Saturn) is being challenged (square aspect) as weak or is being lost due to the shake-up (Neptune). So much confusion, uncertainty and crisis of faith is being felt throughout the world now as a result of this simple Brexit referendum vote and the economic and political implications that will occur now during this alignment and beyond. Now Scotland, Ireland and others are all questioning their identity and allegiance to either UK or EU and this identity crisis will possibly rock the world still further in the coming months.

I wonder what the upcoming elections in South Africa on 3 August will manifest, falling on the day that the Sun trines Saturn as it squares Neptune? Already political killings are occurring, much like the assassination of British MP Toni Cox recently, just before the Brexit vote, by a fanatical nationalist. Here the ANC leadership is in crisis mode with internal factionalism, what to speak of opposition attack. The raison d’etre of the revolutionary liberation party is being questioned, with its leader President Zuma under severe crisis as weak and corrupt, with his over 700 criminal charges being reinstated now. Another manifestation of this aspect is guilt, which comes from the word “geld” which means to pay. Curiously one of the political parties campaigning for the August elections in RSA has been disqualified simply because they did not pay their entry fee in time. They confused the date of submission. In other words one can become easily confused about the hard realities of the law when Neptune in Pisces squares Saturn in Sagittarius. Also President Zuma has to pay back the money, well at least R7 million of it, used to upgrade his private home. Payback time is here for those who have tried to blur the boundaries to suit their selfish interests. As with Brazil and UK, South Africa’s leader is being ousted and we find ourselves in the classic Saturn square Neptune scenario of a people with a weak or missing father or leader figure. Even Lesotho, a country wholly surrounded by South Africa, is in crisis with a questionable leadership, and is having an existential crisis of faith, debating whether it should simply join South Africa as a new province. Thus all over the world the boundaries and borders are being dissolved or redrawn across the map under these winds of change.

Guilt, however, should be avoided in our personal lives during this alignment, for often it is exaggerated. It may stem from feeling as if you are guilty of a debt and must continually make reparation or pay some sort of penance to God or Guru. If you feel the debt to the spiritual master must be repaid, then the route indicated at this time of Saturn – Neptune square is renunciation, without being too much of a martyr of course. This aspect is the archetype of the ascetic, monk or hermit, all noble callings for those who have realized the purports of the Vedic or Buddhist teachings. Practically (since not all of us are ascetics) one can simplify, cut out the superfluous and discipline oneself now in order to make concrete some higher ideal or vision. Selfless service is also recommended, which reminds us of the importance of compassion in a seemingly heartless world. Pay it forward and you are the beneficiary of a bigger heart. Remember that this alignment is exact again on the anniversary of 9/11, an event which has forced us all to keep an open heart and never become closed to the other who is merely a mirror of our self.

Source: https://julescape.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/saturn-square-neptune-in-the-winter-of-our-discontent/

Life’s a Marathon Comrades – the horoscope of a marathon mind

This weekend’s Earthy Grand Trine coincides with the Mutable Grand Cross mentioned in a previous post. It also coincides with one of the most grueling athletic events in South Africa, if not the world, namely the Comrades Marathon.

MercuryThis marks the second Earthy Grand Trine this month, the first being when the Sun and Moon joined the Jupiter – Pluto trine in the first week of May. Now it’s the chance for Mercury to join the Jupiter – Pluto alignment and again make their trine aspect a grand one. Curiously Jupiter is the one pivotal planet involved in both the Grand Trine and the Grand Cross. Since Jupiter is in Virgo now, the multiple alignments could bring material challenges, like service delivery, health issues and financial challenges for example, but it also provides the ability to surmount these same challenges, either through refining the daily regimen, being dutiful, attending to details, going the extra mile or putting service before pleasure.

Even in the run up to the Olympic Games in Brazil later this year, crises are arising with only months to go before the kick-off. Just this week – during these alignments – Rio was seen to be medically unfit to host the event due to pollution, particularly in the surrounding waters, so high that contamination and sickness is almost guaranteed for participants who will arrive from all over the world. This is practically unprecedented in Olympic history, where the entire international event could be scuppered due to lack of attention to health, to cleanliness and sanitation – all Jupiter in Virgo issues. Remember Jupiter has been going retrograde for some months now, and is still hardly moving forward after its recent station direct earlier in May. As a result the Olympic clean-up is moving slower than expected, but there is hope that it will be sufficient and timely. The other problem is of course the Zika Virus, a life threatening disease plaguing Brazil on the eve of its finest hour. All these health issues combined may just be too much for the politically and economically embattled country to deal with. With Jupiter in Virgo now, purity and refinement are the issues at stake. So many planets are symbolically applying pressure on Jupiter here in this rare simultaneous Grand Trine, plus Grand Cross, that it will take an Olympian effort to rise to the standards required to clean up the act and meet the needs on all levels. The same may apply in our individual personal lives too.

I want to focus though on the current Grand Trine and Grand Cross, falling simultaneously on the Comrades Marathon event of Sunday 29 May, which will be an equally daunting test of one’s mettle, and what it takes to endure such super-intense athletic stress when running around 90km in just over 6 hours. Not only does an athlete here require topmost physical fitness, but more importantly steely mental stamina to run a race such as this. If you look at the logo of the Comrades Marathon and the images on the medals, you will see that Mercury, the winged messenger features as the patron god. Coincidentally this race is run every year during the month of Gemini the twins, which just happens to be ruled by Mercury himself, that fleet-footed, winged-ankled racer of the zodiac. So it is no surprise I suppose that last year’s winner and second place in the women’s category, both South Africans, have in their horoscopes Sun conjunct Mercury. That is too much of a coincidence. Also the second place Charne Bosman, is herself a Gemini Sun sign, with Mercury obviously also then in Gemini. Certainly these two women perfectly fit the archetype of the Gemini twins, personifications of the Mercurial winged runner so aptly pictured on the logo and medals.Mercury

Although last year’s winner, Caroline Wostmann (January 18, 1983), has Sun conjunct Mercury in Capricorn, and second place Charne Bosman (June 11, 1985) has Sun conjunct Mercury in Gemini, both are blessed with Mercury’s fleetness of foot it seems, if these results are anything to go by. This adds further evidence to the astrological data base of case studies, generally speaking. Now we have a degree of correlation between marathon winners and their horoscopes. However, that’s not the only coincidence between these winners’ charts. Although they are unique individuals with differing abilities and strengths which enable them to perform these Olympian feats, both also share the super powerful Mars trine Pluto aspect in their horoscopes. This is known to provide enormous vitality and potent willpower. Also the self-discipline required to direct that will is just the ingredient that seems to enable these marathon winners. Caroline, the gold medallist, actually also won the Two Oceans Marathon earlier last year too. So in other words here we have a psyche that is able to focus all its reserves into one direction, one goal, so that internal friction is eliminated. Thus no energy is lost due to conflicting demands due to obvious exhaustion in other parts of the psyche or body, and the will is able to override the need to alleviate the suffering involved to win. Mars is the athletic influence and Pluto is the dynamic willpower, combined harmoniously in a trine aspect in these two winning athletes. Caroline said in an interview just after winning last year: “I’m in a huge amount of pain, I pushed myself to the limit…I’m aching all over but I’m so happy – it’s worth all the pain.” Now that is what you get from an “eye on the prize” Capricorn, hill-climbing goat, with the material strength and singleness of purpose Capricorn confers. Added to that the Mars trine Pluto and you have a marathon winner. Add to this the fact that in her chart Saturn is also conjunct Pluto and in trine aspect to Mars, and you get the ambition, discipline, desire for status and determination to get gold or achieve record-breaking feats. Let’s hope her knees and skeleton (associated with Capricorn and Saturn) hold out under the tremendous pounding of winning marathons.

Lacking these Saturnian influences in her chart, Charne Bosman, the silver medalist, does however have natal Mercury also in a wide trine to Pluto. And that is exactly part of the current Grand Trine alignment with Jupiter that we have occurring this weekend. So she will show us how it’s done. For ultimately we all have to run our own marathon, namely our long race called life on earth. And to pace ourselves during this marathon event lasting decades generally, it ends up being the mind that is the most important muscle in completing the event in style and with grace and in a position where we can say we deserve a medal. After all, we don’t need to compete against the other runners, but rather against our own minds, or against the modes of nature that sway our minds. We have to compete against our own lower selves to bring out our personal best, thereby saying we have qualified, passed the test, won the marathon of life. And this current Mercury trine Pluto, as seen in our silver medallist, and in this weekend’s Grand Trine, is part of what it takes.

Mercury mindI say this because Mercury, the winged messenger, represents in astrology the rational mind, and Pluto, as mentioned earlier, suggests will power among other things. The trine aspect between the two in a chart is thus known by some as “the transcendent mind”. Pluto is traditionally the higher octave of Mars, both rulers of Scorpio. In other words we are not talking any more about athletic Martial strength or physical stamina as the ingredient required to succeed in this marathon of ours, for naturally the body weakens with age and strength is lost. Yet the mind endures, and carries us onward until our last breath, much longer than the body sometimes. And it is therefore mental stamina that really makes a marathon winner. Even Arnold “the governator” and Mr Universe body building winner, said that it is more in the mind than in the muscle that success is first to be found. And Mercury trine Pluto guarantees the ability to concentrate the mind. It is the gift of the meditator, who can focus that mind to the exclusion of any outside distractions. We all need this current Mercury trine Pluto quality of mind, for it provides a determined desire to succeed on our journey – the desire required to win an ultra-marathon like the Comrades.

When combined with Jupiter, as it is this weekend, the Grand trine formed between Mercury and Pluto should allow us to harness our wondering minds, focus them in meditation practice, fitness training or scholarly study, to the exclusion of distractions, but also to the degree that we are not overly self-absorbed, but rather discover our hidden mental abilities and the way in which they can be utilized for the betterment of all society. Also Jupiter reminds us here that we all gained our skills by learning from a guide or teacher in our chosen field. Curiously even our gold and silver Comrades Marathon medalists here both happen to be trained by the same coach – Lindsey Parry, which goes to show that having a qualified guide or trainer in your corner goes a long way to mastering the mind and harnessing the magic that lies within.

Source: https://julescape.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/lifes-a-marathon-comrades-the-horoscope-of-a-marathon-mind/