May 10 sees the start of the next decan, the one which Austin Coppock called “The Prayer Beads” , and which the Chaldean order assigns to the governorship of the cold and ponderous Saturn. When Venus rules Saturn and Saturn governs the Sun, it might turn out rather like a beautiful blonde dressed up in a short skirt, long black socks with skulls on them, gothic black lace veils and rosary beads — is this a mockery of death? of religion? Is it prayerful or a fashion statement? Is it “true goth” or a temporary costume? Either way, perhaps the image of prayer-beads on a string is appropriate. The Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac acknowledges the powers of the Litai, a class of spirits whose name literally means ‘prayers’ — not pray-ers, as in people on their knees praying, but the words and actions one performs in order to pray: The Litai are the prayers themselves, the spirits that come into being when we choose to pray. The Litai are not simply the prayers themselves, but also the guardian spirits that protect us from folly and thoughtless actions. When we pray, the Litai gather around us and shield us from the harm caused by our own silliness and folly, and (we hope) the imprudence of others.
Folly, and our response to it, is indeed the underlying theme of the chart for the next ten days, which covers May 10 until mid-morning on May 20 (when the Sun enters Gemini I). The Ascendant is in Capricorn, in the Decan called “The Throne”, in close conjunction with Jupiter — the question of whether authority is being properly and carefully used will be on everyone’s mind. However, their relationship with toxic Pluto in the same Decan suggests that that questionable decisions will flow from authority — from those whose knowledge makes them experts, and from those whom elections gave power, and from those you choose because you like what they have to say. Be careful what authorities you pick — you might live with the consequences for a long time. If ever there were a time to take up a regular practice of prayer, to summon those spirits who can guard you against folly… this might be just the time. Let’s take a look at the planetary placements, and then consider the horoscopes.
The Sun is in Decan III of Taurus, which in this chart is in the fifth house of pleasures, hobbies, pastimes and children, in close proximity to the Imum Coeli (the bottom of the sky), and hiding Mercury in his beams. Our dreams are tightly interlaced with our hobbies and our communications with our children, and our pastimes are rather like strings of knots in a prayer rope: one thing after another, we move from cooking to reading, reading to knitting, knitting to solitaire, solitaire to Facebook, Facebook to cooking, cooking to cleanup, cleanup to reading… We’re on an endless cycle of repetition, stuck in our own homes, endlessly doing the same cycle of tasks as a litany against fear. Yet even here there’s nuance and subtlety— we’re busy on our video-chat links by day, but cooped at home with our terrors by night; our dreams and fantasies carve out stories of conflict; our communications are tinged with noble graciousness and hope for the good of all. Uranus, the trickster-magician, plods on with their stately magical trick, completely reorienting your relationship with what counts as ‘fun’ in endlessly-regenerative combinations.
The Sixth House, here shown as the sign of Gemini, is presently home to the Lot of Fortune, Venus and the North Node. We’re called upon to do more work right now, forcing ourselves to be productive and ambitious to complete our tasks before external deadlines; our creative efforts are expected to be vastly expansive and all-encompassing; and our efforts to protect and shepherd our health are more nurturing and caring and ardent than ever before. The North Node has changed signs since the last time — meaning that the current disruptions to our exercise programs, our relationship to servants and services, and to our daily workloads, are likely to continue for another 15 to 18 months. We’re nowhere near the ‘new normal’ yet, when it comes to things like visiting gyms, going to church, or getting a haircut. It’s not to say there won’t be some nuance or subtlety in play, of course… but don’t look for a fast exit from your current predicaments.
The Descendant is in Cancer, placing the Ascendant in Capricorn. If you have a spouse or statistically-significant-other or even a business partner, be aware that your partner is likely to be a fount of emotional wisdom, a source of fresh water in a dry desert. You yourself, on the other hand, will have to be the executor of the plan, the activities director of the cruise ship, the manager of the program. Recognize that you’re going to need both sides of this see-saw or balance-board to get through the next ten days — the space, and time, and luxury of being able to take comfort in your partner’s presence and discernment; and the cold-hearted juridical administration of your daily life and works. Keep moving between one and the other over the next ten days, as current circumstances require.
The eighth, ninth, and tenth houses are empty. Ruled by the Sun, Mercury, and Venus, we can guess that the priorities of day-to-day living in lockdown (whatever that looks like in your jurisdiction), managing a household and childcare, working and passing time, have overridden the usual concerns of business and higher learning, travel and career. It’s not that the public version of who you are and where you go isn’t important, of course — just that the priorities of career advancement or planning your next vacation are less on the front burner.
The Midheaven is in the eleventh house, in Scorpio III. Austin Coppock calls this “The Crow” in 36 Faces. It suggests that, if you want to have something resembling a career when all of this is over, you ought to focus some of your time and effort on calling out to your friends, professional associates, and wider community about their plans and programs… and then help them follow through on the believable plans. However, be aware that this part of the sky is associated with grand plans that cannot or will not be completed, visions and delusions that are not achievable. Be sure you give your attention to grounded results, not castles in the air.
The Sagittarius Moon holds court in the twelfth house of solitude with the South Node, in the third Decan called “The Horse’s Skull”. In her own miniature Zodiac, the cycle of 28 Mansions of the Moon, she occupies Mansion 21 — “The City” — by position relative to the Sun, and Mansion 19 — “The Stinger” by her position against the stars. Neither position is particularly auspicious for current circumstances. For the first implies a great conflict between two groups in close confinement: either a troubled family under one roof in lockdown; or all the urban madness implied in the opening of Romeo and Juliet, “Two houses, both alike in dignity, […] from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” While the second, the Stinger, urges us to precautionary and preventative actions: the establishment of wards and protective boundaries, the maintenance of defenses, and the continuation of prophylaxis. However, these efforts on our part may be eclipsed or diminished by the fetid outflow from the Dragon’s Tail, another name for the malefic South Node, promising a fair amount of unwelcome intrusion from the outside world into our monastic lairs of fortified solitude.
In the first house where Capricorn holds sway, we find the planets Pluto and Jupiter seated atop the Decan called “The Throne” — indicating that we have managerial responsibilities in the coming ten days that will be difficult to avoid, likely to involve a fair bit of toxic idiocy, and yet prove a graceful way to widen distance with kindness. We’re all going to make mistakes in quarantine — hopefully these will not be fatal. Practice mercy with others, but know that from time to time someone might make you lose your cool.
In the house of wealth and property and money, harsh Saturn and fierce Mars vie for authority over our finances … with reigning Saturn championing austerity and Mars urging budget-cutting. The be-ringed planetary lord of limits imposes a discipline on us in our exile, while the warrior cuts through the most basic ties in our budgets and forward planning.
Last of all, subtle Neptune brings to light all sorts of deep matters concealed in each neighborhood and extended family, revealing the entanglement and interconnection of all. Through subtle droplets hanging suspended in air, the fragile web that ties us all together is revealed in the network of casual contacts. We are indeed all connected, and knotted, together in ways we will never fully understand.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Capricorn: You’re walking a fine line these days between supervillain and benevolent tyrant. Take more time for your hobbies, and if you have children, find ways to involve them in your relatively solitary play — you may find that it lifts your spirits more than you think.
Aquarius: Practice social distancing more assiduously than most. It may not be that you’re at greater or lesser risk of getting the nasty… but that a great number of other things depend on your health and your well-being. Don’t get cocky.
Pisces: You don’t have to take your orders from a friend who’s a little too full of themselves, but you also have familial ties to consider and respond to and support. Working from home is a particular drag too: focus on the business and communications side of the work for now.
Aries: Staying home is likely the last thing you want to do right now, no matter how much time you were home before this all began; the more you’re required to stay cooped up, the more you want to go running with the wind blowing in your hair… oh, to be free! Ahem. Sorry about that. Look, you want freedom? Set your craft supplies in order, and account for your projects by cost: there’s comfort in all those supplies you have… but it has to become something before it’s can become a comfort to you.
Taurus: Self-isolation? Indolence? Fun, Fun, Fun! Or maybe children have eaten your life. If your kids are younger, you’re finding some new surprise every day, not always delightful. If they’re older, you may be discovering (unpleasantly) how little their teachers have really expected of their intelligence and creativity. You are likely going to have to take real charge of a serious education in how to use time effectively. Just… not yet.
Gemini: There’s a fortune to be made here if you can just work hard enough. Can you work hard enough? Depends on whether you get sick or not. If you get sick, no. If you don’t get sick, yes… but that hard work may put you into contact with people who are sick… and that will compromise your ability to work hard, or make a fortune. Is there a way to gauge when you’re hungry enough? What would it feel like to be satiated?
Cancer: Your partner needs you right now to be an overflowing fountain of support, and you can be that for them. Do you want to? It’s not like you don’t have your own labors, your own career to consider, your own personal time. If you have kids, too, there’s their time to manage as well. Are they pulling their weight, overall? It’s not to say you should expel them to the badlands if they aren’t. But there are times to obey the throne… and times to take it.
Leo: These are the times to get comfortable, and reach back into your past history, and take stock of where you came from, and where you’d like to be going. You have friends who are waiting for your creative efforts to yield fruit for them, and bring them all a measure of your success. If you’re in a comfortable place, you can deliver on that promise; if you’re not… are you willing to choose exile?Maybe not right now… but that doesn’t mean you can’t make plans.
Virgo: Yeah, home is the right place to be. You feel safe and secure, mostly, although an argument or two may be brewing under the surface of that beautiful lawn. Stand up, right now. Stretch. Spending too much time in the chair? Go for a walk, take your mask with you. YOu’ve cut back your fun, you’ve accepted your current outlaw state… might as well harvest a little sunshine. A partner brings unexpected surprises.
Libra: Essential worker? That’s you, in all likelihood, and solving problems that no one else can, and in creative ways. IS there a union forming at your workplace? Recognize that you might in fact be essential, and begin pointing that out to the people who determine your pay grade… assuming, of course, that you want to change pay grades… there’s a difference between being front-lines, and cannon-fodder. Stay on the right side of the line.
Scorpio: You’re feeling like “I am who I am with friends, but who am I without them?” — and I suspect you’re discovering that family duties seem more oppressive than usual without the company of a larger circle. Video-conferencing just lacks your preferred level of intensity, you know? Default, as best you can, to creating comfort and luxury for your partner, if you have one; and if you don’t, then at least restore the nest to your own level of comfort.
Sagittarius: On your own more than usual? Yeah, that’s because it falls to you to manage the money and organize the response from the Big Chair. But that place of power is more lonely than usual, because few think you need the help. As a result, even your hobbies look a lot like work. Find something fun, ok?
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of some of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website.
Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.