Sun in Leo III: Serapis

The Sun arrives in Leo III on August 12, 2022, at 1:39 pm EDT. Austin Coppock titled this decan “The Banner”, and the Egyptianized Greeks gave it over to Serapis and his festivals, even as the standard associations of the planets with the decans gave it to Mars.

It’s hard not to notice that it’s an agricultural season in these parts. My local farm stand was sort-of spare for a few weeks, not much on offer besides lettuce — and suddenly there are beets and tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers, cabbages and celery, all sorts of herbs from basil to thyme, peaches and plums, and dozens of ears of corn. You could live on fresh-picked corn for days around here right now. Together, the Sun, ruling Leo — Mars, ruling this decan — (Venus, ruling the transitional term/bound at 10° Leo) — and Serapis, providing the generosity of food from the earth — are all kind-of intimating that fantastical abundance of the green and growing turning to golden ripeness and enriching nourishment.

Yet we shouldn’t forget that Serapis, to the residents of Roman-era Alexandria at the mouth of the Nile, was outwardly a grain-god but inwardly a highly-political deity closely associated first with the dynasty of the Ptolemies and later with the Roman Emperors who treated Egypt as a personal fiefdom. Serapis was represented as a bearded man with a grain-measure headdress (think about Guy Fieri or Gordon Ramsay or Anthony Bourdain with long, flowing curly hair and beard, with a cup of flour perched on the crown of his head) — a culinary king with a ceremonial crown representing food and plenty. Yet we only have to hear reports of Russia’s treatment of grain warehouses and wheat fields in Mikolaiv, Odessa, Mariupol, Kherson, to see how food can be turned into a weapon. A recent UN report suggested “We must now take food from the merely hungry to feed the desperate and the starving.” The war which began in February of this year, and the ongoing blockade of ports, and the battles that prevented the planting of new crops — all of these things have created a challenge to how people eat for at least the next two years. Rome’s poorest residents in the middle Empire period knew that their weekly grain allotment came not from the Roman Senate’s law-making, but from the Emperor’s generosity — the grain was made into flour in his mills, and came from the tribute that Egypt paid to their foreign-born pharaohs.

Similarly, in many places in the world, it hasn’t escaped their notice that food prices are noticeably higher since Ukranian wheat was destroyed before it left port, or even in some cases before it was harvested. Is that Russia’s fault, or Ukraine’s? The European Union’s? The USA’s? A father watching his children starve does not care who is rationally at fault — he will pick a convenient scapegoat and kill them if he can. And he will worship at the feet of the one who gives him bread to feed them. Where our food comes from is always political, even if it’s not always a visible politics.

Mars and the Sun will not square in the next ten days, before Mars enters Gemini for the next seven months on August 20. The Mars-Sun square is often a clash of egos on the personal front, a clash between militaries on the mundane front. However, things may get very close to feeling like actual warfare; and the annual opposition between the Sun and retrograde Saturn (on August 14 between noon and 1pm EDT) will very much feel like a terrible contest of wills between equally matched powers — What we want will be beyond our reach, this far and no farther, may be our watchword.

Planetary Placements

the Sun is up in this day-sect chart, but accompanied by three night sect planets all above the horizon: the flighty and shifting Mercury at his craftiest maker’s bench, creative Venus hogging the Spotlight, and austere Mars fingering his Prayer Beads before battle. Neither of the Sun’s traditional allies Saturn and Jupiter share the sky with him for the next ten days — leaving him dependent on less gravid or dignified counsel.

Similarly the Moon is just past the opposition point of the Full Moon, and holds the Twenty-sixth Mansion at the ingress —offering favor and friendship and goodwill to all, but not really delivering on much beyond basic hospitality; she forms no aspects before leaving Aquarius, making her void of course. Nothing is likely to come of our intuited beliefs in good fortune or lucky occasions: just because we think it or feel it, doesn’t make it so. Most of the Moon’s journey to the dark of the moon over the next two weeks will take place in the company of oppositions and conjunctions with the more restrictive forces of the Zodiac — “Trust, but verify!” Ronald Reagan was fond of saying: hope for the good, but don’t expect it.

The Ascendant in Scorpio II conjunct the South Node promises a certain amount of trouble for us all — the sort of transformative trouble that helps us refine and purify our relationships with others through the revelation of secrets… and through the acknowledgement and transformation of the secrets we receive from others. We must still remember that the dividing line of the horizon puts our persona, our core beliefs, our intellect and our creativity in the public eye, though — and that our unconscious and our search for structure and community, as well as our hunger for individuality and influence, are all going to be causing inner upheavals. Be aware that your relationships with others can be explosively charged in the next ten days — you may secretly desire stable relationships (North Node in the seventh house), but sudden reversals in longstanding connections may be subject to swift change (Uranus conjunct the Descendant), and even violent dissolution (Mars in Taurus in the 7th). So much weight in the chart is placed on our interactions with others at the moment — professionals in the workplace and members of our household. The temptation is to talk clearly with your friends about your challenges with workplace colleagues and family members … DON’T DO IT. As hard as it is, save those conferences for the people directly involved.

Pluto retrograde in Capricorn III and the third house has been a staple crop of the last several years. You may find that you need to review family matters and neighborly relationships again… and again… and again… during the next ten days. The sextile to Neptune in the fifth may bring intimate conversations and a lowering of traditional boundaries, as well as a zeal for discussing taboo topics. However, the intervening positions of Saturn and the Moon in the fourth house invite you to hold to the classical borders of your familial relationships.

(Yeah, let’s unpack that: you may find there’s an occasion where you and a significant other have a chance to engage in swinging, wifeswapping, polyamory… whatever the cool kids are calling it these days — yeah, maybe take a pass on it this time, if it’s not part of your dynamic already? It’s not like the chance won’t come again, and right now the odds are more in favor of discontent and trouble arising from that kind of play, than not.)

Jupiter in Aries in the fifth house has the benefit of functioning as the Sun’s deputy magistrate, with a separating trine. Daily routines may involve more professional work in the next ten days than you’re used to, but it’s good to treat these responsibilities with a measure of casualness: it’s August, it’s summer (in the northern hemisphere), and things can happen a little more slowly than in the push to complete at other times of the year. Review your work, review your colleagues, take time to redivide projects among available staff, consider creative solutions — shining a light onto the darker aspects of current efforts gets rewarded.

Returning to Venus in Leo as the 10th house, we’re discovering our creative gifts and capacities are expected to perform at a higher level than usual in these ten days — and they’ll be considered in a brighter light and with a more critical eye than usual. The opposition to Pluto suggests that communications projects are more essential to success, but more likely to blow up in our faces. Expand the reach of your letters and missives to achieve better results.

Mercury approaches their degree of exaltation in Virgo, and achieves it from August 13 at 6:16 pm EDT until August 14 at 11:14 am EDT. It’s the window for some of the clearest communication you’ll have with friends and allies all year — make the most of it, and hammer out the agreements you need to have. Recognize though, that you’re entering into a surprising relationship with revolutionary, disorderly Uranus — and that for every idea you propose, you’re likely to face a mix of backlash and challenge from those around you, or a raft of new responsibilities. Whenever Mercury and the Sun are in adjacent signs, most especially, it’s important to think differently. In the current configuration, the Sun expects you to carry the banner into the strongest part of the tumult; Yet Mercury advises you to make something first — a plan, a program, a suit of armor, a lantern to light your way to the adventure ahead. For sure, take on the task of leading others! But draw them a map, and plan on periodic rendezvous points ahead of time: the tasks of the next ten days will be accomplished only when you clue your team in to the mission ahead.

Horoscopes by Rising Sign

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If you want to read some of my astrologically-oriented poetry, the largest collection is called A Full Volume of Splendor and Starlight, available through my Etsy shop, and containing poems and hymns to the planets, constellations, decan deities, and Moon Mansion angels. 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.

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. I also 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 for much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me.

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