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Why Paint Cats? :Or: Dives Beneath The Zenith

The Moon entered the last quarter phase at 2:18 this morning in the 7th Lunar Mansion of Aldirah or Alarzach. Agrippa and the Picitrix agree that it ‘confereth gain and friendship, it’s profitable to lovers, feareth flies and destroyeth magisteries.’ Agrippa calls it the Arm Of Gemini and the Picitrix claims it portends safe travel by sea. I was awake at the time, lying in a hypnogogic state, my mind filling with jet black foam, like sodden fallout ash or volcano lather, to such an alarming degree that I fully awoke and asked myself what was presently manifest? Just then a pack of coyotes erupted wildly into murderous cackling behind my house, the maniacal chatter of prey execution.

Perhaps the black foam was emanations of fear, or animal soul’s expiry, a Saturnian ectoplasm, the sand having been sucked from the hourglass replaced by wicked backwash. It would make sense as the Moon at this moment was in opposition to Saturn as the Sun applies to square the cold dry planet by tomorrow night. Indeed, last night had a particularly dark atmosphere, tomblike with shadow-walkers brushing their hands along the catacomb walls as they pressed passage.

Just before seven o’clock tonight (EST) the Moon enters rulership in Cancer as she continues her sickle whittle down. The Mansion entered then is the first of the next seven set and is called by Agrippa Anatrachya, meaning Misty or Cloudy. Love and friendship are highlighted here, as well as safe travel (seems like a good Mercury day all around to make tracks), but just as handy for keeping your captives bound firmly and to expel bugs and mice from your house. Switching into Vedic tradition and the sidereal zodiac we encounter the Nakshatra Ardra, which means freshness and is symbolized by a head, the jewel of the body. We are reminded of the need for a clean and clear mind, banishing the bugs much the theme in Virgo, but as Ardra points to dual possibilities, one where we are able to think clear and new thoughts on a clean channel, but are easily corrupted and swayed as we have at this stage of development no wisdom. This is very relevant in Virgo, which thinks with Mercury’s penchant for neutrality, it takes objective stances to organize itself efficiently and scientifically, and symbolized by the Virgin, is yet to be spoiled, but also has yet to achieve experience. We will set out to collect data and harvest details, but we must not get caught in our own nets or buried by our own haul.

This is the name of the game in Virgo, who’s planetary placements are still piling up, and a double aspect to Saturn in final degrees of Sagittarius, one by each luminary, by the right eye of the authentic intellect and the left eye of the emotional body across and square to a cold and skeletal clock whose bone hands brush through the dust of the waning dusky light as they disappear into darkness leaving only the incessant and ominous ticking to mark the passage of blinking moments, eyelids collide in dull detonations as parcels of time are swallowed and destroyed, the potential opportunities they had once contained obliterated, recycled elsewhere for someone else or an alternate version of ourselves in the middling term of the stretched present’s onward facing event horizon. Virgo has its own measuring stick, perhaps a bronze ruler borrowed from sister Gemini’s magic mansion, and with this it neatly lays upcoming strands of time down and distinguishes their portions, making careful tick marks along their leaders. Virgo may not be incredibly optimistic, but it is organized; the glass doesn’t oscillate psychologically, there is simply half the amount of liquid the container could possibly hold in context of how much is available from resources. The beaker gets labeled with integers into the decimal.

The Sun squares Saturn from the third decan of Virgo. This aspect highlights elements of mortality from the perspective of processes coming to their end, the very leaves readying to fall from their trees, and Saturn’s burnt out vehicle clearly on its last possible leg of its Sagittarian drive. Here we see the theme of the final stop in the journey, in this case from a fatal angle, but from others it is the end of movement, but the beginning of stationary activity, or active non-action. The new phase might take place at the work bench rather than out in the field, we stay in and make dinner rather than visit restaurants and organize picnics. If Virgo is in your 11th, this might be a poor metaphor, but there is either way a sober focusing effect occurring, even if it is a focus on scattered details swept into a pile to paw through.

Venus steps onto the North Node on the night of the 14th, not as particularly sensitive now but maybe an old scar worth auguring for those who want to make divinatory art of yesterday’s subconscious stirrings or last month’s dream themes; a wise hobby and valid past-time as they still certainly contain the seeds of the next five-month’s manifestation. The darkening Moon opposes Pluto at this time dilating the void deep and dark, so have a lot of ink and charcoal on hand if you hope to render it, forms might be hidden in the chiaroscuro; a smoothly scrawled waveform with inky sinking tendrils that breach the page bottom and seep into the real world tying tricky knots between vision and void, artifice and manifest, reality and its opposite, whatever that might be; Pluto tends to laugh at us for forgetting what he curses us to not remember. Next time you’re in the Underworld be especially careful which well you drink from.

Mercury catches up with Mars by the 15th and they ride together towards a partile conjunction on the 16th then take their time separating throughout the following day. This activity spans a weekend so Friday and Saturday nights should prove especially activated by this planetary collaboration. Even though the past two conjunctions have penned extremely literal notes, with sword slashing quills, on the mundane level, having made hot off the press headlines that steamed and scorched the newsstands they piled upon, they didn’t seem to cause social chaos by and large on personal levels. Having occurred opposite Pluto the first time and then on the eclipse degree the second time, might have filtered their energy into much wider events and their echoes into our own lives might have been expressed largely by our personal attachment to the news stories they instigated (mass cyber-attacks and nuclear escalation respectively). This conjunction occurs un-aspected, and other than being in Mercury’s retrograde shadow, it occurs in territory largely empty of mundane triggers. That being said, unless you plan to give someone a tongue lashing that leaves them bleeding to death that weekend, it’d be best to practice restraint of fightin’ words for the time being. Luckily, the pair up comes with a built in service, being an incredible organizational powerhouse. If you had planned a research project, household rearrangement, fall garden clean up or even an extended collage scissoring hypersession, this be your weekend. More than likely the news will make a bump in the night as we have our heads down in the trenches, but of course we’ll have to wait to see exactly what hysterical breath of fire mantras shoot out of the radio speaker.

That volatile aspect post-culmination by the 17th lands us a Moon-Venus conjunction trine Uranus, seeing our two most receptive and sensitive planets harmonizing with revolutionary fervor, igniting yin principles on fire most likely resounded in the 28th’s next Jupiter Uranus opposition and paradigm polarization, each previous hit throughout the year coinciding with massive protests and marches. The harsh words sprayed around the 16th might be the tinder for the 28th’s blaze, even if they seem unrelated in the interim. The 18th then delivers a Sun-Chiron opposition, suggesting that the lashing tongues of the Mars-Mercury conjunction will really wound, or at least open up old wounds that demand some healing attention. This might even be for some from busting stitches while working too hard, so keep in mind, if something becomes emotionally sore (or throbs in general) throughout the15th-17th weekend stress, try to go easy on it before you realize it needs first aid by Monday. (Which, ironically, or really not so, is national Constitution Day, an article that is suspected of getting some in depth attention as this Leo-Aquarius eclipse axis cycle plays out)

The 19th Venus steps into Virgo at last to join Mars, Mercury, the Sun and the Moon for five planets in one sign. If we were to call the Mercury in Virgo “Spreadsheet-Microscope”, Mars “Blowtorch-Scalpel”, the Sun “Saint Specific-Particular”, the Moon “the Nestomantic Rationalist”, then we might call Venus “the Weed-Puller Garden-Groomer”. You get the picture.

By 1:30 am on the 20th we receive a New Moon in Virgo’s third decan, priming the entire Virgo process with a finish line drawn at its own zodiacal course end. This is potentially the beginning of the Virgo climax sequence. Despite all this intensity of Virgo energy, we see its incapacitating adversary, Neptune in Pisces, make an opposition to Virgo’s ruler, Mercury, during this lunation, pulling a similar trick as it did during the last Full Moon in Virgo two weeks prior when it conjoined the Full Moon. There persists a hallucinatory and tidal wash of imagination and inebriated (or exhausted) distraction disrupting the million toy soldiers or puzzle pieces Virgo places in play within a puddling pool. We might get too sleepy to keep up with the multitasking mania, as we know humans can only follow seven trains of thought simultaneously, even Einstein. Add an eighth idea and one gets instantly dropped, be it specific relativity or shoe lacing. Neptune seems to ensure that we burn our toast throughout the rest of the Virgo season by debilitating one key scientist in the lab hierarchy at each Lunar board meeting, almost literally slipping something into their drink. Although, we must persist and rise above sloshed perfection. Again, the paint drips but the mural must be finished, even if the cats begin to look more like later Louis Wain rather than earlier, or, more Why Cat’s Paint than Why Paint Cats.

We must persist especially so as the New Moon is when we sow the seeds of sorcery, and this is no exception, but be sure to sow seeds that are hardy enough to withstand Neptune’s weather, such as, spells to manifest complex enchanting costumes or organize elaborate trance inducing ceremonies, to create baroque psychedelic sounds and images, or to increase the transportive ambiance of your dwelling; to travel far astrally and remember every detail or for total lucidity of dream. Indeed, the symbol of the Vedic Mansion equivalent here, Uttara Phalguni, is the four legs of a bed, reminding us that (in dream or) in waking life we are rooted by the four directions that are the matrix of the manifest world and hold in them the design of the four seasons, the four elements, the four energies, the four phases of the Moon and so on. Uttara Phalguni in its most subtle emanation is a magnetic field, so again it is revealed that we need the wisdom and instinct of the compass to keep our efforts directed during Neptune’s storms so that we may persist with success of our agendas, for this Nakshatra also offers the potential of yogic mastery, when the four sheaths of our body are brought into alignment. In the Tropical/Western tradition Agrippa calls the corresponding Mansion the ‘Spike of Virgo’ or the ‘Flying Spike’, that very spike (at one time the star Spica) that fastens the starry firmament to the earth, securing the spheres. It, like a compass, is ‘profitable to sailors’ and like a bed ‘causeth the love of married folk’ and ‘cureth the sick’.

Steady orientation, like concerted Four Kings work, is durely advisable before the definite shift in astral weather scheduled for the Autumnal equinox as the Moon enters Scorpio just before the Sun ingresses into Libra, leaving Mars, Mercury and Venus behind in Virgo to figure it out and finish it off, our eyes at last look up to new things. Heralding the zodiacal progression of the Sun, the Moon conjuncts Jupiter in Libra at 6:30 am, our early am hypnopompia and morning-young brains listen to coherent and expansive thoughts, sagacious notions of universal balance, after-which Luna promptly opposes Uranus at 9:30 am catching a flare of disruptive genius before crossing over into Scorpio where she tends to fall fixated on suppressed sentiments, perhaps having emotional indigestion from Uranus’ spicy injection. This can be wretched, wrathful, inflamed or infernal, but is not necessarily negative as Scorpio uses roiling waters for transformative purposes. Meditate per usual as necessary and direct the poison constructively into an spittoon crucible.

Queasy stomachs prelude psilocybin experiences, and it is the entering gate of Via Combusta that the Moon leads the Sun into Libra on. The Luminaries take to the Fiery Way, the Sun not until an October 8th superior conjunction with Mercury while square to Pluto, so there is time yet, but the Moon’s time between the fifteens is a foreshadow flash of what’s to come. Like most of astrology, it is only looked at fatally when divining facets encroaching on binaries of yes or no answers, such as in electional or horary; otherwise, the Sun and Moon’s dive in dignity between 15 degrees Libra and 15 degrees Scorpio is useful for magical matters and operations of the daemonic sort, if you are friendly with particular personae of the 72, 54 or 18, or if you are familial with their more exotic counterparts in the Southern Hemispheres. From a more strictly astrological perspective, look toward Algorab and the constellation Corvus crow of which Algorab is a key in the dark wing. Here are talismans against illicit speech and cursing, as well as potential to be the one spiting hexes windward.

Taking a step back into the Equinox proper, we find the Moon in Scorpio sextiling Venus in Virgo by 8:30 that night; no longer doubled down with a knife in our guts we rise and from the mouth of pain howl out and sing the blues. Much of the Via Combusta stretch holds and handles the Samhain vibration as Planets tend to trail in Libra during and certainly leading up to Halloween, and the passage of the Moon here on the Autumnal Equinox as the Sun ingresses Libra inserts a heavy haunted jack-o-lantern and scarecrow antennae into our heads and allows us to pick up signals of the more knotty and twisted caliber as the Summer falls to nature’s curling fingernails and greasy hair of Hag and Crone. For this is a time of celestial judgement as underworld gates begin to open up at the latter end of the solar year. In walk the descending and up walk the scale wielding and those that enact the punishments in tow behind. This is like the extended court trial scene that usurps many a movie’s fourth season, but replacing the lawyers and retinue is the strictest of goddesses and her goblin bailiffs . Of course, many of us have taken the drug that our queasy stomachs foretold, this is simply seasonal romantica and its strong intoxication; the world falling into high saturation of leaf change and late harvest, the umbers and deep hues of dyed wool, the somersaults of wood-stove smoke up to the low-clouds and the electric buzz of cider cascades silencing the court dramas and finger pointing Hags, all becoming morbid carnival as we sink our teeth into the bleeding fruit of reality, the burst flesh and nectar plasm wet on our laugh tossed chins. So yes, after Virgo’s fierce collections and statistical extensions, we do need an emerging scales from the depths to change our minds, ally in fealty our fields, weaponize our fodder and wayside dross with threadbare armor and collapsed hat helmets, as we gather round in mirthful murders to converse with crows; having been too distracted by Eagles and Weasels the past few months to catch much of what the Vulture meant, and wallow in rot soft wood down where worms dive for fear of frost, in laughing darkness, whose frightening cackle after equinox sounds more like a jovial beacon; something warm in the coming crisp, like cracking logs aflame.

The planets take their time to trail through Venus and Mars’ dual zones, sexualizing and sensualizing the very fabric of reality, where everything becomes either aesthetic bonds and liaisons of love or feverish embraces and liquor of mutation; all we must do to arrive their is tie our hands in tasks that pass the time; as everything that goes up must come down, even the zenith of the heliacal arc.

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