February 28, 2022 at 10:09 am EST sees the beginning of the second decan of Pisces, which in the ancient Mediterranean marked the season of Dolos — a spirit of trickery who was the apprentice of Prometheus. Administered by Jupiter himself, it carries a certain mystique of both illumination and confusion: Austin Coppock named it The Net, after the fishing net of the Hindu god Indra. The net, a web of knots and cordage, had diamonds fastened at every intersection — those trapped in it behold a glittering palace and stop struggling against their confinement.
The story of Dolos, sometimes Dolus, may sound like a parable of our age. Prometheus was assigned to bring certain lesser deities into being. So he fashioned the figure of a beautiful maiden out of clay, gave her the name Truth, and placed her in the kiln. Yet urgent business called him away, and he left his apprentice, the clever and cunning Dolus, in charge of the firing. Seeing that there was still more room in the firing oven, Dolus copied his master’s work, and made another figure of the same beautiful maiden. This too he placed in the kiln, after naming her Falsehood. The myths tell us that each figure was an exact duplicate of the other, except that one had bad feet. Dolus set the firebox of the kiln going, and baked each figure until it glowed white-hot.
At that point, Prometheus returned, and found his apprentice getting ready to paint the two figures. Prometheus looked at both maidens, first one and then the other, a long time, as though he could not tell them apart. Finally, he breathed life into both of them, and brought them into the ranks of the immortal gods. He granted Dolus his advancement to journeyman, and invited Truth and Falsehood, the beautiful twins, to join the work of crafting and shaping mortal life and livelihood. But alas! One was crippled and walked with slow and shuffling steps, and the other was quick to act and quick to speak! Which was which?? Does Truth walk with sure and certain step? Does Falsehood require the crutches? Or is it the other way around??
The dodecatemoria underlying the decan of Pisces II speak to this story, too, as recapitulations of the signs of Cancer, Leo, Virgo and Libra. The waters of Cancer bring forth the slippery clay from which the statues of truth and falsehood are formed, while the expertise and showiness of Prometheus and Dolos, and the heat of the kiln, bring them into their final form. Prometheus’s appraising and analytical eye studies the handiwork of his apprentice in Virgo, and Libra balances the sisters, brings both Tuth and Falsehood to life — and sends them into the world. So do we do, when we tell a lie: dredging mud from the shallows, we shape an untruth from the emotions of trickery, and give it fixed form in the fires of our inspiration; later on, with cool and analytical precision, we make shifts in our mendacity, and balance the weakness of one sister’s words with careful additions from the other’s word-hoard.
Jupiter’s lordship in the second decan of Pisces is hard to deny. He is the ruler of the whole sign, and administrator of this decan. Additionally, the noble and generous prince “is in his chariot,” in the ancient language describing the terms: akin to a victorious general riding in the parade in the back of an open Cadillac, fearing no one in the cheering crowds that line the streets. Additionally, when in the eleventh house as in this chart, Jupiter finds special joy in distributing his blessings on others. Thus dignified by sign, term, and decan, as well as taking joy in the eleventh Jupiter edges out Mars for command of the sky.
But not Saturn. In the tenth house, angular, in his own sign of Aquarius, dignified in a day chaser, approaching the midheaven, and nearly conjunct with Mercury and the Moon, the be-ringed esteemed elder lord of the sky limits clear communication and troubles gut feelings. Jupiter may invite us to widen our circle of friends, but Saturn holds boundaries and limits on what we can do, when, and for how long. Isolation remains a public watchword, and Saturn takes gold while Jupiter holds silver. For now, Mars takes bronze, though his luck may not keep him in the top three for long.
The Ascendant is in the first decan of Gemini, called The Apple of Eden, promising gnostic information in the coming days. With war now underway between Russia and Ukraine, it is likely that ‘felt truths’ will be more important than ‘documented but false stories’. This idea is likely to prove fractal: it’s turtles all the way down. Trusting your gut may never be harder, and yet it is likely to present information we would not otherwise know. Mercury as the ruler of the Ascendant is in a challenging place, besieged between the favorable but darkening Moon, and the severe and austere Saturn who rules them both for now.
Overall, this is a Day Chart, with the Sun feeling like it’s directly overhead. Jupiter is in the Sun’s shadow, a debility that gives greater credence to both the Sun, and to the Sun’s most dour and forbidding advisor next door in Aquarius, the temporarily sovereign power of Saturn. The decisions of the next ten days will be unfriendly, cold, calculating, and grim. Leaders are likely to be operating on little sleep despite the sunny disposition of the chart, and everyone is chasing shadows and illusions — imagined or desired outcomes are always preferred to the hard-boiled and rigorous reality, but the safety of all depends upon serious and uncluttered judgement of the next ten days. Be cautious and somber in your judgments. With Saturn in the ninth, he is cadent and outshined by the Sun… and yet in close proximity to the Midheaven, he is the shadowy figure behind the shining throne. Neptune promises ongoing delusions and confusions in the fog of war — and is this a cup of blood I see before me? It must be remembered that Russia has dealt in poisons before, and holds the upstream grounds around a zombie nuclear power plant.
All of the planets are above the horizon and all of the planets are also on one side of the Nodal Axis line, making this another belly of the beast chart, where the powers of the world risk digestion and the acid conditions of the drake’s stomach and squeezing peristalsis. The Dragon’s Head, in Taurus as the twelfth house, hungers for solitude, but the requirements for personal interactions with others bring all the trouble in the world to how you run your daily life. Seems like a worrisome combination when all the major health organizations are just about ready to drop all the mask warnings, that we should be looking for isolation and yet all the trouble appears in our daily agenda…
The eighth house, of death and taxes, is in Capricorn, and contains the super-power combination of Mars, Venus, and Pluto all clustered in the last decan of Capricorn, The Throne. Who’s in charge here? Who is responsible for the decisions made? How are those decisions lived out on the ground? Mars is in the besiegement position, trapped between the powers of reconciliation and the network represented by Venus on the one hand, and the financial squeeze represented by Pluto on the other. The interplay between these three will be tough over the next three weeks — which is likely to play out in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, for example, as a delicate dance between saber-rattling and murmurs for peace — but these experiences are likely to be fractal all up and down the lines of our lives. Bosses will be expecting people to come back to work in the office, of course; but there’s negotiations and then there’s negotiations. The most invisibly visible item on everyone’s table should be, “show me the money”, and that’s the question that everyone from governments to the afternoon baby-sitter for your kids should be asking for: transparency about what the expected cost-benefit analysis is.
Saturn, Mercury and the Moon occupy the middle decan of Aquarius, called Heaven and Earth. In this position, the Moon is in the Twenty-Fifth Mansion, called The Lucky Star of Hidden Things, or The Luckily Occulted Star. It’s a favorable position for protecting crops, but also a favorable location for besieging cities… yet for those who read this and worry for Ukraine, it’s worth noting that the Moon is waning, coming around to the Sun and soon to be dark in his light. It’s unlikely that anyone’s ideal society — or perfect battle plan — will survive contact with gritty reality. Some harsh truths are going to come to light very soon now, and it will be interesting to see what happens when the music stops, and everyone needs to find a chair.
Finally, in the twelfth house, Uranus and The Lot of Fortune both sit on either side of the line dividing the first decan of Taurus from the second: the best place for action right now is in isolation, planting seeds and preparing for reaping the rewards of your labor six to ten months from now. Yet the great upheavals will all seem to be fights over power and autonomy — what we do on our own in private, and what the get to claim as our personal sovereignty. Make sure you’re making plans for six months out — and that you’re also claiming what you need for right here, right now.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Horoscopes of Decan I of any sign are free to the public; Decan II horoscopes are available to the $3/month tier and above on Patreon; Decan III horoscopes are available to Patreon and email subscribers only.
have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it approaches the midpoint of its third year (I began with Leo I in 2019 ). We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. If you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public. 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 Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
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, as is my Almanac for 2021. I follow T.Susan Chang and the Reverend Erik Arneson for insight into Tarot. 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, “A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight” contains these smaller collections:
- To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions
- 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.
- Festae, hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits.