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Pluto's Glyph

Chickpea to Cook

A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot where it’s being boiled.

“Why are you doing this to me?”

The cook knocks him down with the ladle.

“Don’t you try to jump out.
You think I’m torturing you.
I’m giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.

Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
That was for this.”

Grace first. Sexual pleasure,
then a boiling new life begins,
and the Friend has something good to eat.

Eventually the chickpea
will say to the cook,
“Boil me some more.
Hit me with the skimming spoon.
I can’t do this by myself.

I’m like an elephant that dreams of gardens
back in Hindustan and doesn’t pay attention
to his driver. You’re my cook, my driver,
my way into existence. I love your cooking.”

The cook says,
“I was once like you,
fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,
and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.

My animal soul grew powerful.
I controlled it with practices,
and boiled some more, and boiled
once beyond that,
and became your teacher.”

~Jalaluddin Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)

Pluto’s glyph is the circle of spirit being cooked in the crucible.   It represents the descent into the underworld, going into the darkness, confrontation with the shadow and facing one’s deepest fears.  Darkness refers to what has been repressed or denied, and Pluto’s job is to call up the experiences that get us to look at these issues. Whether Pluto plays a prominent role in a natal chart or it is activating a personal planet/angle by transit, its strategy includes taking a person through something difficult they cannot prepare for or avoid.

Pluto Conjuncts the Moon

It is December 2002 and I’m sitting in front of astrologer Evelyn Roberts in her home on the central coast of California.  A few months ago, I discovered the world of archetypal and psychological astrology.  Evelyn’s been trained to interpret charts this way, and I want to experience the validity of it through my own chart.

As we move into discussing my current transits, Evelyn begins talking about the Pluto cycle I’m in.  The planet has been conjuncting my natal Moon in Sagittarius, and she tells me it is a time of significant transformation.  We discuss the various possibilities of how I’m experiencing its impact.  Health issues my mother (Moon) is having, a huge transformation my husband is undergoing (Moon as my 7th house/partnership ruler) and the unearthing of hidden inherited ancestral patterns (Moon in 12th house).

For months, I’ve been feeling the transit as a great restlessness stirring within the recesses of my soul.  Hours are spent in solitude, being in nature and communing with the land and animals in the isolated part of the world I’m living in.  My dream world is extremely active, richly filled with intense symbology and I keep a journal devotedly.  I dive into books on the soul;  James Hillman’s “The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling,” and Thomas Moore’s “Care of the Soul:  A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life.” A part of me is longing for something I cannot touch or name.  By all outer appearances, I have a “perfect” life and yet, deep within, something is missing.

Literally, the year and 2/3rd cycle has shown up thus far as a major move with my husband from a home I lived in for 10 years and a city, spanning a big chunk of time since 1976.  Salt Lake City was the place I called home and yet, I felt completely clear it was time to leave everything.  The importance of deeply rooted relationships and a sense of security regarding my place in the community and my contribution to it, were values I was living my life by.  Still, an urgency to answer the call to a journey into the unknown, relentlessly tugged inside of me and I knew I had to go.

Continuing on with the transit investigation, Evelyn asks me how my marriage is going (again, Moon as 7th house ruler).  “Great! We’re getting along just fine,” my response immediate and enthusiastic. “You must have a very strong relationship,” she replies.  “Yes, we do,” I add, speaking with Sag Moon confidence.  She seems impressed that this is so, and I feel good about it too.  Together for 12 years so far, the longevity of our relationship is a done deal.  Of course we are growing old together.  Though referred to as “The Bickersons” from time to time, we are mostly viewed as an ideal couple and our affection for one another is apparent.  The “D” word has never crossed our lips.

But Pluto’s mandate requires that something will happen that you don’t know is going to happen before it happens. Four months after my reading with Evelyn, my husband tells me he thinks he wants a divorce.  There, in the kitchen of our California Ranch home, the ground cracks open and the Underworld Lord seizes control, taking me on an unimagined descent into identity dismantling. Death was imminent, transformation necessary and eventually, rebirth happens.

Over the next several months while we remain together questioning what action to take, I experience intense fears about my ability to survive without him.  I struggle with the thought of losing my strongly held attachment to the role of being a wife.  I want our marriage to work and yet, I feel the burden of responsibility is on me to make the necessary changes and I don’t know if I can.  Laughter leaves me, crying takes its place.  Counselors are seen, while my own work as a therapist becomes increasingly difficult for me to handle.

Plutonian issues are at the heart of what’s come between us.  They’ve been mostly swept under the rug, largely ignored ’til the one day, when the Underworld deity walks into the house bringing chaos and disruption, demanding to be dealt with, once and for all.

Pluto Strategy

One version of the Sumerian myth of Inanna, Queen of Heaven, says she descended from the upper realms into the Underworld, out of her own curiosity. Another says she went there out of obligation paying respects to her sister, Eriskegal, Ruler of the Underworld, whose husband had just died. As Inanna makes her descent, she is forced to relinquish her crown, jewelry, robes, etc…all that she holds dear to her and the way she identifies herself. Standing naked before Eriskegal, Inanna is met with a stone-cold stare, and all life leaves her. Eventually, she is rescued and brought back to life, into the upper world.

The Rape of Persephone by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

In the first version, Inanna’s descent is consciously made. Perhaps there is something potent she is seeking in this unknown place. In the second, Inanna also willingly goes, but this time she travels into this realm out of obligation. A third and later version from Greek mythology, tells the story of Persephone, a young maiden kidnapped one day while she is walking with her mother, Demeter, through a field of flowers. Unexpectedly, the ground opens up and Persephone is kidnapped by Pluto, Lord of the Underworld.

While there may be a part of our psyche that is curious about what is hidden in our unconscious, or some compelling drive urges us to go there, what is more often the case is our protective egos would rather continue operating from a place of safety and security. This is why Persephone’s version is more closely aligned with the initiatory experience of a transiting Pluto cycle. The message is the same for all three versions and ultimately it is a story about the cycle of death, transformation and rebirth.

Pluto takes us into an unknown zone, one of chaos defined as total disorder or confusion. Whatever ego structures one has in place before a Pluto cycle begins, the intent of the initiation is to dismantle that which is standing in the way of us claiming our power more fully. The end result of the cycle is increased self-power, but the strategy operates initially through an intense loss of it, and an acute perception of what is missing. The experience causes us to fully claim what is most important to us by the painfully felt awareness of its lack, and by circumstances beyond our control. As in the law of nature, Pluto represents what is organic and impersonal. Whatever is out of balance, Pluto’s job is to restore it, regardless of the crises and destruction it may bring. The deepest core of our being will be challenged in an area of life containing our most important issues.

Pluto losses can range from physical ones to historically held onto beliefs and ideals. These cycles require a person to feel their feelings by producing dramatic experiences beyond their control. During these times, the power of positive thinking and affirmations can feel like ridiculous new-age tripe. Watching an Abraham-Hicks video whose message is to “Get Happy” can easily illicit fantasies of throwing darts at Esther. Etherial Enya and all higher chakra, angelic music is replaced by a wailing Sarah McLachlan, angry Shawn Colvin or anything tribal and lower chakra infused.

How to Consciously Participate With Pluto

One of the ways to work with a Pluto cycle is to ask the question and make a list of “what is the worst that could happen?” Whether you are in a cycle currently, or about to enter one, making this list calls out the deepest fears, acknowledging and bringing them to light. Oftentimes, what happens is something that didn’t make the list, and thus, the paradox of these transits is that it is difficult to prepare for them.

Hercules and the Hydra by Antonio Pollaiuolo

In the first phase of a cycle, powerlessness is the dominant feeling. Depression may be present. Engaging the dark force or one’s demons requires serious courage. It’s important to ask, “What do you want of me?” The beast appears to be real, and like the story of Hercules and Hydra, each time we try to cut off the creature’s head, three more grow in their place.

Although it is helpful to dialogue with this force, we cannot address Pluto cycles with our minds, there is no logical way through this passage or out of it. It doesn’t mean that we can’t call on our Witness Self to realize that we are a Self, having this deep emotional experience. It just means that the only way to “kill the monster,” is to go into the watery realms and be willing to meet her there.  Shamanic Breathwork, Process Work, and Expressive Art Therapy are excellent ways to connect with the feelings that need to be honored.

It is only in the embracing of deep feeling – whether it is excruciating pain, loss, jealousy, betrayal, abandonment, loneliness and intense fear, that the unconscious material is being met, cared for and given what it needs. Thus, the possibility for transmuting that which is still running some part of us, keeping us from further integration and wholeness, is present, and we rise again from the ashes, powerful and strong.

Shift Happens

Sometime during my cycle, I make a major shift.  I realize that I am not solely responsible for the issues on the table and that there will be changes required for both of us, if we are to stay together.  I begin asking the question, “Do I want to stay in this marriage?  What is it that I truly desire? I explore what it is I need in our relationship and what I feel needs to be done to create a balance of power and control.  I recognize what I’ve repressed and what I long to experience in a partnership.

Another major move occurs, more counseling, further questioning.  Power struggles continue.  Two months after my cycle completes, I know what I must do.  I summon the courage and power to leave.  I don’t know how I will make it on my own without him, but I’m willing to take the risk and find out.  I’m willing to see who I am, separate from him, and experience the freedom to follow my heart, wherever it leads me.

Within another six months, an agreeable dissolution of our marriage contract is reached, and the courts declare us legally divorced.  On the morning of July 4th, 2004, I find out I have “officially” birthed myself into a new life.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

References:

“Making the Gods Work For You.” Caroline Casey, 1998.

“The Shamanic Astrology Handbook: The Archetypes and Symbols of the Signs and Planets and Their Role in Shamanic Astrology.” Daniel Giamario with Carolyn Brent, 1994.

“The Gods of Change: Pain, Crisis and the Transits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.” Howard Sasportas, 1989.

Have you gone through a Pluto Moon Initiation?  I’d love to hear your comments about how this transit has played out for you!

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Butterfly: Original Painting by Holly Alexander

Originally published September 26, 2008

This is my favorite day of the year.   I love celebrating my birthday and I always wake up infused with the magic and possibilities of creation, the wonders of birthing a new me.

This day, this season, is when I feel the energy of planting seeds.  What I begin will show me its harvest six months from now, around the time of the Spring Equinox.

As I reflect over the past year, and particularly over the last seven years relative to transiting Saturn as it aspects my natal Moon, I feel my completion on many levels.  I have felt the “cycles within cycles,” more palpable than I can ever remember feeling them before.  I attribute this to my deep dive into the realms of astrology and the Divine Beauty of Great Mystery…and with that, my activation of a more conscious participation with my relationship to It and Me.

This past year has felt like a grand culmination of my entire life, my first 47 years.  My mantra has been about letting go, releasing, endings, death.   While my natal Moon/Jupiter in Sag holds the space of optimism for me, my enthusiastic and expanding place of vision and possibilities, it has been challenging to manifest the new, fiery creative impulse bubbling up inside of me, not quite ready to come to a boil.  I’m excited to taste that full heat and I know it is arriving soon…very soon!

For now, the message has been about freedom (Uranus), about a reclamation of my Feminine Power (Venus Return) and about taking the elixir I have distilled (Pluto), out into a larger community (Jupiter/AC Cap and Venus Return/MC, Mercury).  I look forward to sharing my medicine with you!

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Fire In The Belly: Original Painting by Jan Henderson http://www.janhendersonart.com

Originally published October 14, 2008

September 5, 2007. I am sitting with my partner of two years in our couple’s therapy session. I have been struggling with ending this relationship for months now. I do not feel I have the strength I need to walk away, without the support of our therapist. I need a witness. I need the safety and the container of this sacred space. I need her help.

I tell my partner that I have been trying to gain a stronger sense of my own power, within our relationship. Nonetheless, I keep hitting that proverbial wall. I have been swimming upstream for way too long and I am tired. I have no energy left. My batteries are drained. I know no other way to get back my power, unless I leave. I want to end the struggle. I want to let go, and flow…the waters of life want to carry me in their most natural way…downstream, and I want to go with them. I have to surrender.

On that day, I had forgotten I was eleven days into my sixth Venus Return Cycle. I was aware that I had been in an eleven month Uranus initiation to my natal Moon, and knew that if I tried to hold on, it would get harder. Uranus to my Moon. Time to change. Whatever I had been holding onto in a fixed place inside of me, in my mental construct of “reality,” Uranus was instructing me it was time to let go, surrender and trust. Trust I was being taken where I needed to go. No holding on…to anything, is what it felt like. Freedom from my past habits, patterns, addictions (Moon). Liberation from the prisons of my mind. Time to loosen the attachments and re-wire. Whatever part of me was still in shackles, I needed to unchain myself. I needed to steal some new fire. I needed to awaken…to a new me.

On August, 25, 2007, Venus made her new statement of intent to take me and the world stage, into an intimate look at the goddess as she shows herself in Leo. Radical self-love is her loudest message to me as she expresses herself through that archetype. Radiant light and power. The energy of the Sun itself. No shame about shining. Unabashed brilliance and expression. The fiery flame of creativity. She shines like this, giving me her energy. I cannot live on this earth without her. I need her light to sustain me. I put her on my altar, bow and pray to her, expressing my gratitude. I know I will have 584 days to deepen my relationship with her. To glean her medicine. I will have to let her die first, in the old form of our relationship. She will take me through a descent, to the underworld, and then back out again. I will rise with a new understanding, another level of integration. The journey will be perilous, but it is one I must take.

On a more personal level, the initiation is about my own Venus in Libra, the goddess as she expresses herself in partnership. The current mystery school Libra is exploring is one of conscious, equal partnership. The old days of hierarchy and relationships ruled by class, social and political structures, are attempting to break down. Relationships born out of an authoritative and power rank, wanting to dissolve. Libra is investigating co-creation at its best. The high ideals around equality in relationship.

I want this. I cannot keep giving away my authority, my power, in relationships. I want shared power. As first time Libra, there are minefields. I will often give up parts of myself, my own truth, because I know I have to learn to consider someone else. Where the give and take occurs, where the balance and harmony of the two create a conscious union, I am being given another opportunity to evaluate. The masculine and feminine parts of me, want to integrate on a deeper level. A new experience of wholeness. I am after the Sacred Marriage. I know it must first take place within me. My Beloved is mine and I am His. The physical form of that sacred union surely must follow. I am committed to finding me and finding him.

*******************

For further reading and investigation into the current Venus in Leo cycle, check out these excellent articles written by Shamanic Astrologers Cayelin K. Castell, Carol Ann Ciocco and Kathryn Morgan. Shamanic Astrology Related Articles

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Bugarach, France: Photo by Holly Alexander

Originally published October 28, 2008

The summit shines in its glory before me
seeing the peak, I start to climb
thinking I know what steps to take
unaware of what lies ahead

I begin my ascent
breath by breath
moving toward that longed for bliss
the light of heaven
my goal in sight

But clouds begin to cover and
a storm now blocks my view
even so, onward I proceed
knowing my destination

The path I once thought so clear
brings new surprises
it dawns on me
I’m not so sure

What can I rely on?
who will be my guide?
will I make it?
where is it I was going?

I remember where I wanted to go
but I no longer know how I will get there
I have no choice but to move carefully
knowing the power of this force
knowing I must honor, respect and revere it

My conviction to attainment
will undoubtedly lead me there
what will happen between
Here and There

Is a beautiful, wild Mystery
–Evening musing, January 20, 2006

The New Moon finds itself on Tuesday at 6 degrees of Scorpio, within one degree of the fixed star Khambalia at 7 Scorpio. On Anne Wright’s comprehensive website describing The Constellation of Words, she says, “Khambalia is a coptic (Egyptian) word meaning ‘Crooked-clawed,’ and is thought to be the same device which we call the Swastika, whose ancient symbolism contained the idea of secret knowledge, accessible to us, but only if one knows the way to get to it. The word Shambala has a similar root and meaning; so has the pentagram and the Arabic word for five, Khamsa, all deriving from the same piece of mystique. Khamr, wine, also has a connection, often being a symbol for ‘the secret of life,’ ‘the spirit,’ as well as a means to enter a transcendental (or just inebriated) state of consciousness.”

As I prepare to work ceremonially with the New Moon, I am once again astounded (though by now, I don’t know why!) at the incredible synchronicity of my personal process in alignment with the planets and stars, not only in my natal chart but in the particular New Moon Scorpio/Khambalia activation occurring now. Natal Venus at 29 Libra, sitting near my Neptune in Scorpio, at 7 degrees, right there with Khambalia, making a statement about my ongoing, obsessive dream, a highly idealistic vision and desire for a mystical, blissful union with myself, with another (my partner) and with others (generally). Living in a harmonious, illuminated way, connecting deeply to the mysteries of life. That union of opposites again. The integration of heaven and earth, spirit and matter. I understand more fully now, why it won’t let me go.

By the full moon in Taurus, or shortly thereafter, I will have left Utah and made my way toward California, spending four to five months there before heading to my ultimate destination (for now), The Big Island of Hawaii. My diligent efforts to connect with my spiritual/psychological Shambala, are leading me home to my physical one. It has been nearly two years since I “remembered” the next piece of why I came here and what I wanted to do, even though the details were still blurry and the “how” another mystery. Two years of knowing I was leading myself to something that I had been dreaming about for what feels like my whole life in many ways. I had only the vague remembrance of my heart’s desire, and a determination to follow it. How I would lead myself home to myself (and to Hawaii) has been a fantastic 22 month and still counting journey. I’m still following the signs, gathering information and finding the next clues on this amazing treasure hunt adventure!

For more information on the mystical kingdom of Shambala (or Shambhala), check out Crystal Links.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Originally published October 30, 2008

The Scorpio mysteries are women’s mysteries and those of death and rebirth. As I continue to bring this new Moon into my awareness along with the fixed star Khambalia, connected with the physical and/or metaphorical idea of Shambala, I am immediately taken back to the most intense experience I had a year ago on my trip to Southern France.

The overall journey was one that has been difficult for me to find words for. The nine women who shared it with me, also felt transformed in ways that felt cellular and hard to express. It was a remembrance – we knew we had been there before, together. As we visited the Languedoc region on the trail of the Magdalene, each of us felt “activated” in certain parts of the land and in various sacred places. My most profound experience occurred for me at Queribus, on the border of Aragon.

Queribus: Photo by Holly Alexander

“Quéribus is high and isolated. It stands on top of the highest peak for miles around and is sometimes regarded as the last Cathar stronghold. After the fall of Montségur in 1244, surviving Cathars gathered together in this mountain-top stronghold on the border of Aragon (the present border between the Aude and the Pyrénées-Orientales). In 1255 a French army was dispatched to deal with these remaining Cathars, but they slipped away without a fight, probably to Aragon or Piedmont – both regions where Cathar beliefs were still common, and where the Occitan language was spoken.” –Wikipedia

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Walking up to Queribus: Photo by Holly Alexander

As I begin my ascension to Queribus, I sense that I have walked this path before. Anticipation comes over me and I know I am heading toward a remembrance of something I cannot name. Our group of seven (three are remaining at the bottom of the mountain) are climbing in silence, and the magnificent views of the surrounding valley become familiar and begin to feel like home.

We reach a resting place, and Nancy guides us to form a circle. She is standing directly opposite of me, her body a few feet away from the cliff’s edge. Within seconds of connection and further silence, I am overcome by an immense and palpable sense of grief. I begin to sob uncontrollably, and although I do not understand this, I willingly let my tears and body mourn the undeniable sadness I feel as I look into her eyes. I feel us dieing. I feel us willingly jumping off the cliff. Thelma and Louise driving their car off the edge of the known world, into the void of nothingness, into the space of absolute surrender and freedom, choosing “death” over a life of subjugation to the advancing patriarchy.

Looking down from Queribus: Photo by Holly Alexander

My tears subside and Nancy tells us this is the place where she and Nicole remembered running through the tunnels, carrying the light codes, attempting to make their way back to the castle, as the invading troops advanced. They are trying to preserve the codes, save themselves and their knowledge. The truth of what they know and why they are here. The walls of the tunnels cave in, they are trapped, death follows.

We continue our climb and begin to explore the castle remains. I am now filled with peace and my sense of home is growing stronger. I recognize

Photo by Holly Alexander

in my bones, in my body, that I have been here, many times before. I sense myself as King, as Queen, as partner to King and Queen, and as a member of a community of those who live in complete harmony. I know my Beloved is here and I can rest in this place. No longing, no desire for anything else. The fire of contentment, here, in this place, is mine.

After a time of exploration, we gather and circle again, this time at the highest level of the castle. We are so high, I feel I can easily stretch my arms up and touch the sky. Quiet fills the air once more as we connect

Photo by Holly Alexander

with this sacred place. Moments pass and I now burst into unbounded laughter. “I do not die,” the words of freedom repeat themselves in my being, and I feel the exquisite joy of release. I sense us grounding into the earth, a pillar of light, (forgetting there is literally a pillar directly below us in the chapel) and I feel we have been here before, doing this together, many times. We have performed this sacred work in another space and time. We have come from another place, a distant star, to do the work, the joyful work, of the Beloved.

Holly at Queribus: Photo by Cayelin Castell

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Photo by Holly Alexander

Originally published November 30, 2008

Saturn’s hands of time
sit me down
plainly
breathing me
into the ground

His bony knuckles
rapping on my door
pointing to his watch
speechless
he’s been here before
he knows
I’m not surprised
to see him again

Lately
he summons me from slumber
in the dark, early hours
“Stop wasting time,”
his voice urgent
and matter of fact
“You have work to do.
Get out of bed…now.”

He has me picking up pears
littered among gold-orange leaves
spotted with gray-black decay
filling garbage cans
in the sobering autumn air

The old man
has me going through filing cabinets
stored in the basement
drawers filled with
evidence of past labors
proof of days, weeks, years

That degree earned
adoption contracts and photos
of animals rescued
and taxes
paid faithfully
throwing my old self away

—November, 2008

The time has finally arrived.  I’m leaving Salt Lake and moving toward new life.  I’ve been waiting for this day, for over a year now.  It looks like I had to wait ’til transiting Saturn came around to square my Moon.  I must admit, when I looked at this upcoming transit, around a year ago, I was not looking forward to it.  As I have intimately known Saturn throughout my life (Capricorn Rising with Saturn conjunct, forming a T-square to my Sun and Mars, as well as three personal planets in the 10th house), he has shown his face to me in ways that have been…well…hard.  Restrictive.  Heavy.

As I have gotten older, I’ve gradually learned to create other experiences of him in my life.  The old Saturn in me, the critic, the perfectionist, the one who takes on the burden and feels responsible for all of it, working like hell to redeem myself, continues to leave me.  The goat that was saddled with the sins of the community, and either sacrificed or sent off into the wilderness, carrying those burdens with him.  Continually confronting authority outside of myself, feeling guilty for situations I did not create. Yeh, like I said…heavy.

For whatever reason, this time, Saturn feels different to me.  Maybe because I understand him in a way that I haven’t before.  Over time, the vulnerability of first time Cap AC, has given me an intimate understanding of this serious side of myself.  And, of my ego and the part of me that judges, compares, thinks I have to always do better.  Keeps working incessantly to change things, to “make them right.”

I remember hearing Daniel, my teacher, tell me that Saturn was the most instructive force in us, that teaches us to be free.  That is, if it doesn’t crush you.  Over the years, I have learned to make peace with this part of me, and let it go, little by little.  I can let the Saturn part of me, my strong identity with my ego, show me that through this suffering, through limitation and restriction, I can see exactly what I need to let go of.  I can release the parts of my ego that keep me imprisoned, and I can form a new relationship with Saturn that feels like a partnership of the pieces of Saturn and my ego, that actually serve me.

So, for now, I’m saying my good-byes to cherished friends, packing my life up in boxes, and moving West.  I’m California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day…

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Juno by Moreau

Originally published on June 11, 2009

“May you, O blessed Goddess and many named Queen of all, come with kindness and joy on your lovely face.”  –The Orphic Hymns, translated by Apostoious N. Athanassakis

She’s been given many names.  Juno Fortuna, Goddess of Fate.  Juno Sospita, the Preserver.  Juno Regina, Queen of Heaven.  Juno Lucina, Goddess of Celestial Light.  Juno Moneta, Advisor and Admonisher.  Juno Martialis, the virgin mother of Mars.  Juno Caprotina, or Februa, the Goddess of erotic love.  Juno Populonia, Mother of the People.  And so on, through many other Junos.

In classical mythology, Juno was the goddess of marriage and she presided over all rites and arrangements of legal marriage. Her sacred month of June honored her as such, which is why June is still the traditional time for weddings.

Sunday’s Full Moon in Sagittarius at 18 degrees got me thinking about the goddess Juno (Roman), also known as Hera (Greek).  This archetypal feminine energy holds a prominent placement in my natal chart, represented by her asteroid at 18 Sagittarius, one degree away from my natal Moon.  This month’s full moon shining its energy on this important goddess in my life, is activating a new relationship with her.

As I ponder Juno more deeply, several questions arise.  Who was she in her archaic form?  How is she represented in classical mythology?  What are Juno’s modern implications in our psyches?  How does she express herself individually through me?

In pre-Hellenic times Hera, known as The Great Goddess, reigned alone in many religious centers – Argos, Samos, Euboea, Tiryns and Mycenae, and had no consort.  She was worshiped in a variety of forms by indigenous goddess cults, and early sculptures portrayed her as beautiful, poised, and vibrant.  During the Age of Taurus (roughly 4,000-2,000 BC), Hera was worshiped as the cow-eyed sky queen who presided over all phases of feminine existence, as an embodiment of the triple moon goddess: child-maiden, fulfilled bride and solitary widow.

With the invasion of the Indo-Europeans into Greece, it became necessary to incorporate the previously existing religious customs and rituals into the new system, so the indigenous people would be less resistant.  Many of the gods were ritually married to one or another aspect of the Goddess, in order to merge the two systems.  Thus, Hera was merged with the new ruler of the gods, Zeus.  When he claimed her as his wife, he was not simply taking a marriage partner, but incorporating within his ruling domain, the entire matriarchal world, previously headed by his new bride.

The strife between the divine couple as told in myth literally describes the conflict between the invading tribes, followers of Zeus, and the worshipers of Hera.  Homer, the Greek poet and author credited with writing the epics the Iliad and the Odyssey, traditionally portrayed Hera as the jealous and quarrelsome wife.  But seen through the lens of this conflict, she is the image of what archetypal astrologer Demetra George calls, “the turbulent nation princess coerced, but never really subdued, by an alien conqueror.”

In the human social sphere, this union also corresponds to the custom of arranged marriages, those of  convenience in which two powerful families, nations, or political opponents agree to a political or social alliance by merging their families and future heirs.  This tradition has been repeated for centuries, especially among royalty and powerful families, as a way to increase their power and holdings.

Hera, a sovereign goddess in her own right, now merges into a new expression: the wife and partner, the Divine Consort.  A future post will explore Juno’s new archetypal role and how we relate to her through this mythic lens.

Sources:
“The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets,” Barbara G. Walker.
“Asteroid Goddesses,” Demetra George.
“Mythic Astrology, Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope,” Ariel Guttman & Kenneth Johnson.

© Holly Alexander at http://www.yourdivineblueprint, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Alexander and http://www.yourdivineblueprint.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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