I recently started a Patreon account, and I invite long-time readers who have found this column useful to make donations at the $3 or $5 tiers. Currently, I support a number of other creators, and your payment helps secure ongoing funding for them, which in the present economic/health mess is always appreciated. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
October 2, 2020 at 2:08 pm sees the start of the middle decan of Libra, the one that Austin Coppock called Two Links of Chain in his book 36 Faces. The Ascendant is in Capricorn, lending a wild, harsh, and twilit aspect to a late afternoon in early autumn — a perfect chilly reminder of an oncoming fall.
The Greeks living in Alexandria in Egypt allegedly celebrated the god Kairos at this time of year — the god of the correct time. A few centuries later, the authors of the New Testament invoked the idea of kairos to describe the actions of Jesus — that he always acted at exactly the right moment. We’re familiar with the idea of the butterfly flapping her wings in Singapore, and the resulting changes in air-currents forming a hurricane that destroys Mobile, Alabama — but someone in Singapore acted at the right moment, the kairotic moment, to make that butterfly flap its wings. When a person decides on a course of action to launch a business or to marry, that’s a special moment, and perhaps it’s the right moment. When an astrologer identifies a favorable moment in the heavens, she may choose to begin a project at the same time, and perhaps that’s the right moment. When heaven and earth are in alignment, and the mortal on earth knows the will of the god in heaven, and acts on it, that’s Kairos in action. That’s perfection… or maybe, in the words of C.G. Jung, it’s synchronicity.
My friend Gene the engineer told me a story once, of being called to a factory to repair a machine that had broken down. Every hour the machine was down, cost the company $3000, and it had already been down for 4 hours. Gene flew across country, adding another eight hours. He rented a car, drove way out of town, and found the factory. He checked all the settings and readings, and couldn’t find anything wrong. He saw a stack of crates near the machine, and climbed up on top of it, to look down inside the machine without removing the safety panels (which he knew would add another 6-8 hours of repair time, taking them off and putting them back on again), and sat on top of those boxes for a good 45 minutes or so. Finally, he came down, asked for a broom handle, and used it to fish a broken chain out from under the machine. He climbed up on top of the machine. With the help of one of the factory workers, he got the chain around the toothed wheel that distributed power to the machine’s various mechanisms, and the maintenance crew brought him a new link to replace the missing/busted one. Climbing back down, he pressed the START button on the machine, and it hummed to life. Fifteen hours from shutdown to restart, and the factory floor cheered.
Management wasn’t so happy — “You were up on that stack of crates for an hour! You could have fished that chain out a long time ago; now we owe your company twice as much as the shut-down cost us!” Gene could only shrug — it had taken him an hour of staring into the top of the machine, thinking about the blueprints of what lay under the sheet-metal skin, to ‘see’ that the chain was missing, that a link had to be broken, and that the only place that the chain could be was somewhere just above the factory floor. Once he knew that, dismantling the machine was pointless — it could be repaired from above and below with the replacement of the missing link. An hour or so of contemplation had saved the company an entire lost day of labor disassembling and reassembling the machine; the proper and appropriate use of time had saved the company four times as much money, but they couldn’t possibly understand that.
The middle decan of Libra relies upon this kind of expertise. Saturn rules this decan, and the Orphic Hymn to Saturn declaims, “The world immense in everlasting chains, strong and ineffable thy power contains.” We tend to think of chain as a tool of binding or of constraint, yet Gene’s story reminds us that chains have motive power, rather like serpentine or alternator belts in cars, or a bicycle chain. Mindful, careful, expertise applied in the right situation can almost seem like the arrival of the god Kairos — everything slips neatly into place.
The Terms that underlie the Decan speak to this kind of delay-in-contemplation followed by a burst of activity. In the Chaldean Terms, the system I use, the first five degrees are ruled by Mercury in daylight, and Saturn from dusk to dawn; while the last five degrees are ruled by Mars. We thus see the trickster engaged in language play and the manipulation of symbols and the vigorous interplay of ideas, followed by the dreamt solution of higher powers at night, followed by the burst of activity and ambitious movement. Thus, the first five days of this next Decan are best spent in a combination of communication and contemplation, while the second five are best spent on activity and movement, aligning with the planetary powers.
We see this pattern play out in the duodecimas, or twelfth-parts, of Libra. As we saw last time each duodecimas is 2° 30′ long, so there are four in each Decan. Four of these twelfth-parts make up each Decan, and here they’re the twelfths associated with Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, and Taurus — suggesting first a contemplation of nature and of nature’s laws, followed by the insight or awareness of the big picture, succeeded by a deliberate burst of fierce activity, concluding with restful contemplation of what our actions have achieved. The positions of the directing planets here does not bode for a high-quality outcome this time around, but we see in Gene’s story the archetype we’re aiming for in the next ten days.
The Ascendant, as noted earlier, is in Capricorn — suggesting an initiating or commencing energy at the start of the next ten days. New things are being set in motion, but the wild goat god is bringing forth much of the same heaviness and oppressive force we’ve seen for the last few years. As we discussed in last time’s column, merciful Jupiter and dutiful Saturn are now both direct, but Pluto is the slow-moving sack of venom between them — Jupiter favors structures and hierarchies, still hanging in the Leo part of the Decan called The Pyramid, while Pluto and Saturn prefer the more-personal approaches suggested by Libran- and Sagittarian- themed aspects of The Throne: a well-weighted approach when it serves me, and an authoritarian threat when it doesn’t. In time, the faster-paced Lord of Mercy will catch up to the Lord of the Underworld, and the weary steps of the Lord of Duty will hamper both of them… but it is Pluto who will fall behind, getting crushed like a pimple between these two outermost visible powers. The just-completed square between Mars and Saturn creates tensions between self and ideas of home, as well — didn’t I just read the news that foreclosures and evictions can start up again, beginning on October 1? This pimple doesn’t pop until November 12, but its results are likely to be visible for all to see.
Neptune remains retrograde in the middle decan of Pisces, called The Net. Austin Coppock, who came up with the names for the Decans that I use, in his book 36 Faces (new edition is coming, I know! Sooner, please!), associated this with the Net of Indra, where every knot is beaded with a diamond that reflects all the others. I’ve used this placement to notice and draw attention to the rising tide of disinformation on the Internet, which seems obvious — It’s about to get worse, as this Planetary Lord of Delusion and Illusion retrogrades through the decan; this passage will activate the Scorpio duodecima, bringing Mars’s counsels to bear in ways that are at odds with Jupiter’s tendencies to generosity. The trolls will be out in force.
In the fourth house of the chart, we find Mars in the third Decan, The Burning Rose — and ready to charge out of his castle toward the approaching Moon, running away from our dreams represented by the Imum Coeli. The Moon, at 19° Aries 35′, represents in the tropical system’s Mansions of Moon, a series of favorable appeals and petitions to authority and to the sovereign powers of the age — the Powers That Be, if you will — yet by sidereal position she ought to be considered in the twenty-seventh Mansion, which is a place of wasted resources and unheard complaints, negligent rulership and indolent malice. The widening divide between sidereal and tropical astrology is thus indicative of a widening divide in society — a power and pattern that is coming into our own homes in the next ten days.
Uranus in Taurus has backed up through retrograde motion into a tightening opposition with Mercury in Scorpio, with the little communicator in The Jawbone and the gas-giant revolutionary in The Plough. Some of the food shortages and supply-line disruptions that we saw at the start of the pandemic may be returning, as Uranus brings disorder and confusion to logistics and delivery systems, while Mercury promises a whole mess of verbiage that excuses much but explains little. Let us recognize that empty spaces on grocery shelves speak volumes more than the average TV pundit explains.
The North Node / South Node axis gradually passes through Gemini and Sagittarius, with the North Node promising more of the widening divide, and the South inviting us to do less flagellation of deceased Equidae. By very late November, the story will shift, toward a hunger for more compromising and collaborative solutions, and away from a perfect distillation; for now, take notice of the growing distance between the head and the heart of your workplace and your daily labors, and the dying dreams you nourish in vain solitude. Some things are going to have to die before the new world can be born; better that some dreams should die than you yourself.
The Lot of Fortune hangs invisibly in the noonday sky above the Descendant, suggesting that the best results for your good fortune this month are probably found in your partner or ally’s experience rather than your own.
Venus occupies the last minutes of Leo in the Decan called the Banner, and in the duodecima of Cancer: a woman’s legacy is on its last legs, and a range of powers rally around that flag, holding out feeling hope that a beloved icon’s bequest will stand intact —but Venus’s fall into Virgo a little later in the day, the sign of its fall, does not bode well for the standard. A planet in fall is “a man under house arrest, in the house of a sick man” — suggesting Venus will be little able to act on her own, and no one can act for her. The obvious suggestion here is that a US Associate Justice’s replacement will be nominated and confirmed before October 12, and delaying tactics are unlikely to hold the vote up until after the US election. Her replacement may be a rallying cry, but too little and too late to prevent a confirmation.
The Sun is also in his fall in Libra, and this middle Decan does him no favors. For my friend Gene, a chain was a motive force, driving axles and turning gears. For the Sun, the chain is a binding influence; even at the top of the chart, just a few hours past noon, it is in a weakened state and forced to accept the need to balance its limited gifts and benefits among many petitioners: separating squares from the Descendant and Ascendant suggest that it will always feel like you, yourself, are getting a raw deal compared with everyone else: “Why does this always happen to me!?” shall become the obvious litany. The circumstances will be personal, but the experience may be more general than any of us would like. The Midheaven, mere minutes from crossing from Libra to Scorpio, suggests that many of our bosses may choose to make the leap from balancing the needs of the many against one another, to a more vicious “sting everyone and see who survives” kind of attitude. Immediate communication with allies both in your company, and more generally within your profession, is needed — you may need some helping hands soon.
Mercury the communicator, the amoral herald of the skies, holds the first Decan of Scorpio, The Jawbone. Trine to the Descendant and Sextile to the Ascendant, they facilitate communication between you and others: you and your partner, you and your business-partner, you and your spouse, you and your housemate, you and your friends. The duodecima position, in a 2.5°-window associated with Capricorn, urges you toward secretive planning and night-moves, under cover of darkness with people that you’re not afraid to share air with. Those kinds of folks are few and far between — put your trust in the right breath.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Capricorn: You’re going to find it easier to do your duty and be generous to others, but watch some of the thoughts that stir just below the surface. Something venomous in you is trying to come out, and it should be released slowly and under trained supervision. Household ambitions get set to one side as you confront false image after false image. Your partner’s well-being is yours… keep their garden well-tended, but mend fences where needed. Pay attention to your friends, too.
Aquarius: There may be a rift between you and your household over the public issue of money, but the real issue may be a family cooped up together too long. You’ve probably lost a close relative or friend to some internet falsehoods, and you yourself are striving to work through challenges of solo work in a crowded house. Your career would be freshened up by some pursuit of educational goals, but you shouldn’t rule out some plain old networking — find out what the gang is up to, but listen more than you speak.
Pisces: A clear-eyed look at your news sources is in order: are you speaking what is true? Some expenses must be scaled back, particularly image-related expenses compared with household needs. Check in on your mom and ask after her projects, if she’s still alive — is she doing all right with what she wants to accomplish? If she’s not alive, it’s worth asking yourself, “what would mom do about this thing I’m facing at work?” Shine some light on your partner’s resources, and identify how you can strengthen the bonds between you.
Aries: If breaking a bad habit is a dream of yours, now is the time to walk away from the foible that confounds you; move in the direction of your preferred image of yourself. You can’t get there, of course, if you spend all your time on the internet; recognize that real-world results require real-world activity. This may require more severity with professional commitments than you’re used to demanding, or having people demand of you. If you’re in business with someone else, a lengthy conversation about their financial needs and your shared resources is past due.
Taurus: The things that you’re doing now are laying the groundwork for who you’ll become next; if it feels like you’re re-treading old ground, don’t worry — just communicate what you want and get those secrets off your chest. Meanwhile, you owe yourself an audit of your work habits; sunlight disinfects and cleans at the same time that it reveals. Circumstances cut away a chunk of time that you’re used to thinking of as private — and your skills are in need of an update, but you probably find learning in a Zoom call quite unpleasant at the moment: try anyway.
Gemini: Work may feel overwhelming and odious right now, even if you’re crushing it. You’re in conflict with a friend over their home-life choices, and their pursuit of a living situation that seems out of step with their character and professed dreams. And things are not so good between you and a partner; there’s conflict over the right balance between what is theirs, what is yours, and what is “ours” together. It doesn’t help that you need more than they do right now, but they’re likely at a better-earning place in their work-life. The solution is some difficult communication, where you ask questions in an open ended way, and then listen to the answers. An open-hearted discussion about how you both find happiness in your respective careers wouldn’t hurt either.
Cancer: The secret to good living, some say, is to marry into money. You may not marry these next ten days, but you should keep an eye on the good fortunes of your partner, and shield them from immediate, bad decisions about any good fortune that comes their way — they’re likely to be weighed down by those procedures, and will need your support rather than your conflict. For your own part, try to avoid being drawn into any conflict at work, and adopt a sunny disposition at home; a child may be keeping a secret from you, but will open up if you question gently enough.
Leo: Having a great hair day again, I see. These next ten days give more attention to your appearance and your glamour than normal; shine a light into family affairs, too, particularly the career goals of siblings and cousins. It may be time to set up a pod of people you feel comfortable having in your house this winter; setting boundaries and expectations now would be wise. If you have lingering challenges at work or in your major projects, the only way to get them done is to buckle yourself to your chair and get them done — just recognize that it’s going to be a slog until late November, maybe mid-December. You can handle three months, can’t you? Just ease on down, ease on down the road, knowing that the pace will get easier with time.
Virgo: Set some learning objectives today, but delay starting work on that learning until early Friday — the incoming Venus energy will invite you to adopt an overly analytical approach to your self-education, but a creative and playful approach will yield better results. Finances are going to be on your mind pretty strongly this week and part of next — set limits and stick to them, but a little outreach to your closest friends would also do you good. Some aspect of your past heritage is likely to lead to some conflict, but remember that your self-image is not determined by someone else’s past. A partner or significant ally is slipping into the flood of misinformation. You may not be able to rescue them this week; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
Libra: From your own perspective, you are the light that is holding your profession or your company together; however, it’s good to reflect on what other people see when they look at you — are you holding things together for everyone, or just spinning your own hay into gold? Listen in as best you can on office gossip to get a sense of how your own career trajectory may be affected. Home likely feels like a disaster area: a cleanup would do you a world of good if you can lift yourself out of the chair. There’s an argument coming with a spouse or business partner, if you have one; try not to let your illusions get in the way of seeing things as they are. Part of the upheaval is the state of shared finances. So, first settle some long-term plans. Then the rest may then take care of itself.
Scorpio: You’re not one for talking much, are you? For now, if you feel the impulse to be talkative, you should give in to that pressure. But I invite you to speak of your love of the wild, to talk about what you’d like at your funeral or what you want to do with your basement. Talk about your childhood experiences and your cousins to the people who are close to you. Recognize that you have some important cutting to do at work, too, and this goes against your self-image and your hopes; but whether it’s budget cuts or personnel or program, something may have to give. You may have some creative work to do in your next career steps, too.
Sagittarius: You get less than you want this week, but favorable family connections bring renewed opportunities. Strong limits come down hard on your financial wherewithal, but they won’t last long; new financial strengths come your way, and a spouse, partner, or very close friend helps you hold you close while you flourish in new ways. Friends link up to you in new ways. As you tread old ground in your working life, you find that you’re building a field of future well-paying clients. A partner expects more of you, but their own effort to tend your shared garden matters as well. Learnedness is your profession, no matter what you actually call yourself, in the next ten days — talk about your path to success in order grow your professional reputation.
I now have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it continues its second year. I use Patreon funds (as well as my own funds) to support artists and artisans and thinkers that I regard as contributing to my own well-being and the well-being of the world. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time!
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 much 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.