The summer solstice is upon us. Here in Montana is occurs tonight, June 20, at 10:24 PM mountain time. The solstice occurs at the moment when the sun makes his ingress into the sign of Cancer. This also is when the sun aligns with the Tropic of Cancer to reach his maximum northern longitude. It’s the tropical zodiac, after all. It aligns with the tropics and with the seasons. It’s officially the first day of summer. The day of longest daylight hours and the shortest night. Light is prevalent. Light reigns. Here is my blessing for all this day:
May your life be filled with light.
May light warm you and guide you.
May the light show you the way.
May the light lead you to love.
If you are lost in darkness perhaps it would be a good time for a deep look inside. The water sign of Cancer is one of depths, and with an abundance of light perhaps it is a good time to look within more deeply than before. We must be comfortable with ourselves to feel safe in this world, and if we aren’t comfortable now we must do the work to make it so. It is not always easy work but it is always worth it. Ultimately this search brings us closer to our true selves. And once we know our true selves we can truly lead authentic lives. We can shine our own light. We do shine.
I am a little late in posting this but I wanted to share my experience of the NCGR 2013 conference in Philadelphia last month (August). I really enjoy going to astrology conferences for a couple of reasons. First, you get to “talk the talk” or “speak the language” in person with the other conference attendees which is a rare experience for astrologers. The number of people who speak our language is not a lot, so to spend several days getting to do just that is a treat! Second, you get to see and hear what others are working on, what they are studying, and how they are practicing astrology. No two astrologers are alike; everyone has a unique approach, so it is nice to see the great variety with which astrology is practiced. Third you get to see old friends and meet new ones. It is a lot of fun!
I went to a lot of lectures but here are some highlights and my experiences.
Rick Levine spoke about harmonics, specifically quintiles and septiles. Since I have spent the past year studying harmonics this lecture was of particular interest to me since I wanted to see how another astrologer treated the subject. It was refreshing because Rick asked the class how many people used aspects: everyone raised their hand. Then he asked how many used harmonics: only 5 or 6 people raised their hands. Rick went on to humorously chide everyone present because aspects ARE harmonics. Rick’s conclusions about the meanings of the 5th and 7th harmonics were slightly different than what I use but his emphasis was not on the meanings, rather, his emphasis was on the fact that we should at least be aware of these “minor” aspects and look out for them in charts. He was very convincing but I guess I was the choir to which he was preaching. I’ve heard him speak before and his lectures are always both entertaining and informative and this one was no different.
Alphee Lavoie spoke about relationships and marriage. He talked about a lot of things but one claim he made was that he was able to predict marriage with 96-97% accuracy based on the Davison chart of a couple. I was highly skeptical because the level of prediction is off the charts. So I went back to my room and ran the Davison for my husband and I and we did in fact have the aspect that Alphee claimed predicted marriage. But after I got home from the conference I decided to run the charts for any ex-boyfriends for whom I had times and I found 6, and in every single Davison chart I ran there was also the prediction of marriage and honestly I married none of those 6. Then I decided to run the Davison for 6 other men I know who I never dated but have an accurate time and in all 6 cases there was also the prediction of marriage. So in 13 of 13 Davison charts, all predicted marriage, but I only married one of the 13 men. This reminds me that you need to test out what astrologers claim because this method is useless if it almost always shows marriage is predicted. Maybe Alphee’s method was more involved than what he shared with us but if so he did not mention it during the lecture.
A couple of other lectures I also attended were the Ben Dykes (traditional mundane) lecture and the Arch Crawford (financial astrology). I really liked Arch Crawford (who mentioned 5th harmonic as being important in some of his financial astrology) and while Ben Dykes was obviously impressive for having translated so many ancient texts himself his methods did not attract me as much as some of the other lectures I heard. We are all attracted to different styles. One lecture I particularly liked was Chris Brennan (Hellenistic) speaking about Maltreatment and Bonification of Planets based on an old work just recently translated in 2011. I found his lecture compelling but when I told people about it and how much I liked it I could see their eyes glaze over because they couldn’t care less about dignity of affliction of a specific planet in a chart using Hellenistic methods. Being exposed to different schools of thought, different techniques, and different attitudes in general about astrology is very exciting. You leave these conferences simultaneously exhilarated and exhausted. It’s fun.
I attending a lecture on horary by Chris King and it really got me back into the type of astrology. I’ll be posting an article on that subject soon. I love horary and while I am no expert it is such a unique brand of astrology. For those who don’t know horary astrology is where you can ask any question and the chart that is drawn up for that specific question provides the answer based on methods that really have been used for centuries.
There were a lot of other great lectures I attended. And some I missed! I heard rave reviews of the Civil War lecture; I may have to purchase the recording of that one. It was a real treat to visit Philadelphia, too, which is a city I had not been to before, but it was welcoming and easy to navigate with lots of good restaurants. I didn’t get to see all the sites so I’ll have to go back another time for more tourist attractions.
Bottom line is that if you have a chance to go to an astrology conference go ahead and give it a try. You will learn a lot both about astrology and your own chart. Plus you will have a great time!
The astrological community has been quivering in anticipation of this big happening today, a transiting Star of David. This configuration is very rare and quite supportive so if there is something you have been wishing for but haven't had the courage to go after today is a great day to take that first step toward your ultimate goal!
This is also a fabulous day for visualization of your goals. You can make a list, hold it close to your heart and pray to the angels for guidance and help in making these items a part of your life.
Today is also a very good day to give up something that no longer serves you. Maybe you want to quit smoking, or end another habit that you feel might be holding you back from achieving your dreams. Well, today is the day, grab it and run!
There is a branch of astrology called "Electional Astrology" which is basically the art of timing. Electional astrology helps you choose a wedding date, helps you choose the best time to contact a publisher about your novel, helps you choose the best day to open for business or launch a campaign. Nancy Reagan famously used electional astrology with the help of an astrologer to help her husband's political career. Today is a day when you can launch yourself into the spirit of electional astrology without needing to hire an astrologer to plan it out for you! Of course consulting a professional always helps maximize the astrological benefits of a situation.
A few notes about today's configuration. First, the moon is waning which usually indicates it is a better time to end something than to begin something. Luckily the moon is exalted in Taurus so that helps make this event even more auspicious than it already is. The two Grand Trines that make up the Star of David are (1) Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus which is a great combination for manifesting big dreams just by itself, and (2) moon, Venus and Pluto which is a more sensual energy, good for art and love. The moon moves quickly so this is a one day opportunity! Some might say the orbs are wide, the sun and Saturn are in hard aspect to each other and the moon, Mars opposed Pluto and on and on, but the truth is that there is a lot of energy potential here today and going after your dreams is always encouraged. There will never be a perfect day in astrological terms, and this one is pretty darn good. So make your dreams into reality, let go of the things that are holding you back, and go for it!
No matter where you are from or where you move to the feeling of being "home" is universally understood and appreciated. I've recently spent some time this summer traveling and moving across the country and so the idea of "home" has been on my mind a lot lately. Traveling, staying in different accommodations, and the different feelings you get from each place has often been a metaphor for essential dignities and I think it is incredibly appropriate.
Domicile is when a planet is in it's own sign, like Mars in Aries (or Scorpio) or Venus in Taurus (or Libra). It is just like when you are in your own home. You feel comfortable there. Everything there is yours to use, you can do anything you want. You can be messy, you can be neat, you can walk around naked or get dressed to the nines. It is your house and you feel good when you are there, in control and confident. Things are familiar and comforting. This is how a planet feels when it is in domicile.
Exaltation is like being the honored guest at the home of someone with whom you are very close. You are given your own room and made to feel as comfortable as possible. Likely you can help yourself to food in the refrigerator, you can use the swimming pool if you want. Your host goes out of their way to make sure you have everything you need. These are not your sheets or your towels but they are quite nice and you feel special while you are visiting this place. Even though it is not your home you are treated with care and kindness and you are grateful and pleased to be made so welcome. This is how a planet feels when it is in exaltation, like Mars in Capricorn or Venus in Pisces. You are not at home but it is still a special place where you are staying and you feel privileged.
Detriment is the opposite of domicile. You are not at home, rather, you are staying with someone completely opposite of you. This is like Mars in Libra or Venus in Aries (or Scorpio). Let's say you are Mars, you are direct and athletic and do not need any pretensions. But you are staying with Venus at Libra's house, which is like a museum full of beautiful art. You are expected to dress for dinner and use the proper silverware when you eat. You are not supposed to belch in company. You are incredibly uncomfortable, you don't feel like you can be yourself. You never heard of dressing for dinner before and certainly don't have any clothes that Venus would find appropriate. I'm sure we have all stayed with people who are quite opposite from what we are, and that opposition naturally makes the visitor a bit uncomfortable. The host may do all they can to make the guest as comfortable as possible but offering scented bath soaps to Mars is a gesture that may very well go unappreciated. This is what is is like for a planet to be in detriment.
Fall is the opposite of exaltation, like Mars in Cancer or Venus in Virgo. Instead of the honored guest now it is like you are the guest of a begrudging host, someone who really would rather you were not there. Almost as if the host got tricked into letting you stay at their house and now they are bitter and taking it out on you. Unfortunately there you are and you must grin and bear it as long as you are there. Planets in fall are not welcome, but there they are none-the-less.
Traveling across the country this summer I think I had all of these experiences. I left home, my domicile, in Virginia. Truth be told we were only there for about 9-10 months so it wasn't a true home, not one that we had been completely settled in, but it was the closest thing I have had so far this year. We traveled to Louisville where we stayed in exaltation in a vacation rental that had everything we needed and more including a private balcony and a full kitchen. Our hosts even let us use their washer and dryer in the main house while we were there which was incredibly generous. After Louisville we went to St. Louis where I can say we stayed at the worst hotel yet, in detriment. It was quite uncomfortable there, and we were supposed to stay another night yet did not. We later found another hotel in St. Louis which was much nicer but also would probably fit under the detriment label. The internet stopped working after a day and everything I wanted to do was internet related. I stayed there and it was okay but it was not an ideal situation. I had made reservations to visit another area of Missouri but the owner actually contacted me and told me not to come due to flooding in the area. She sent a partial refund but it took some work for me to get the whole refund and while I didn't actually stay there it was like being in fall, I had to make other hotel arrangements at the last minute and since St. Louis was apparently hosting a lot of the Oklahoma tornado victims this summer all the hotels were full and it was very difficult to find alternative accommodations. This isn't a comprehensive list of everywhere we stayed but it covers these essential dignities.
We have relocated to Billings, Montana and are working on setting up our domicile here. Anyone who has moved knows that it takes time to set a home up, it takes time to learn the neighborhood and the good grocery store and what time of day is best for long walks outside. I am definitely looking forward to the time when I can truly say that our new place in Billings feels like home.
If you are interested Wikipedia has a handy table of essential dignities here.
Astrologer, Reiki Master, tarot reader, and so much more!