ARM {Astrological Repair Manual} Preface...


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Some of you have already seen Radu's new Chart Generation and Interpretation area and since I'm the person who wrote the book that he references there, plus, because of my recent efforts in what's called "Viral" marketing, I'm going to post the book referred to right here below this "preface", chapter by chapter (it's also On the Main Site); all but what are called the Instructions--the method of interpretation that Radu is using on his site. If you want to see the whole system of interpretation just visit the Forum I mention in the book-- Astrological Repair Station--it's all there...
Feel free to comment about the book and criticise it here. Try to enter your observations as replies to the chapter the ideas occur in {and, if they're in more than one chapter try using the one most pertinent), o.k.? Thanks!

~ Alex


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ARM Introduction

My relationship with astrology began like many relationships do-just minding my own business when she came along, knocked me out, and dragged me off to her lair.

I was studying graphic art at San Francisco City College and the instructor had the audacity to show us some Japanese paintings, while extolling the way they showed so much with just a few strokes of the brush.

I was impressed and went and bought a book called The Way of Chinese Painting, figuring that Chinese painting couldn't be all that different from Japanese. I quickly found out that "The Way" in the title meant Tao, the closest they seemed to get to what I called God. What I thought was only a book of technique turned out to also be a book about the world-view that informed the technique.

Tao led me to a book called the I Ching-a world-view expressed through a seemingly simplistic graphical representation of the world.

The I Ching led to Tarot cards which made me study astrology. Within about six months, I'd gone from meaningful brush strokes on paper to meaningful glyphs in the sky. It would take years-like many relationships-to discover the underlying reason I'd gotten involved in the first place-to realize that oriental art, the I Ching, Tarot and astrology all used symbols to help humans decipher meaning in their lives. None of them were much good at portraying (or, predicting) actual events, no matter how much folks thought they did.

Now, all these years and tears later, it's time for me to repair some perceptions people have.

I'm focusing on astrology because its system of symbols is capable of revealing more meaning than the others, with the possible exception of those brush strokes on paper...

This is not a book about the technical, how-to aspects of astrology, although there is a list of web sites at the end that will help you if you're so inclined. Plus, you'll find a method for determining the positions of your birth chart factors and a system that will start you on the road to interpreting them for yourself! Books Two and Three (once they're written) will take my method further but in this book you'll be directed to a Web Forum that will help you deepen and extend your abilities in interpreting your life.

This book is what I wish I could have read before I got all caught up in the usual approach to learning and using astrology. If I'd known then what I know now, I could have saved myself years of misunderstanding and pain. My current understanding of astrology is so much deeper and higher than it was even five years ago, let alone when I began my studies. She's a much finer mate than I ever could have imagined in those intoxicating early days.

I'll be showing you many things that won't be spelled out completely in these pages. I will give good directions to places you can use to find those full explanations, though. My goal is to give you the most important Perceptions-the underlying positive assumptions that you'll need to thrive and prosper in the truly amazing Realm of Astrology. What you can expect to gain from reading this book is my hard-won knowledge of the truth about astrology-it cannot predict the future of events but it has the potential to show you a rich world of beautiful Meaning; past, present and future!

Truth be told, someone could read The Instructions of this book and have the largest part of the most "practical" information here. I do hope most of you will read the main body of chapters, though. It's one thing to have a practical way to interpret an astrological chart. It's quite another to have the perceptions and understanding to interpret a chart in a way that assures positive and productive results.

I hope you enjoy the journey this book is meant to be!

Winter, Northern Hemisphere, 2006


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ARM Chapter 1

Xena and the Hordes


You're coming back from a visit to another star. You've been keeping up with all the news from earth on the Space Internet. You've already passed the zone where the Sun's atmosphere makes love to interplanetary space, and you're orbiting Xena, roughly 100 times more distant than the Earth is from the Sun. You realize it was discovered around Christmas of 2004. The name for this "10th planet" is still unofficial (it's been called 2003 EL61, K40506A, and 2003 UB313) but the media name does seem appropriate-a female warrior princess. You've seen some of the Horde-the thousands of other "planets" that orbit the Sun, so far out that the Sun itself is just another bright star. Xena's just a little larger than Pluto and smaller than the Earth and takes about 560 years to go once around the Sun. Others out here take a lot longer. This orbital time will gain more meaning as we get closer to home but for now the meaning of Xena's full cycle could only be useful in understanding things like the rise and fall of civilizations.

We're nowhere near the Earth, where astrology is practiced, but, out here with a female warrior princess and a horde of other bodies, we're in the space that symbolizes the deeper unconscious mind-the part of our minds that sends us dreams and answers questions we haven't thought of yet-a mind we all share and which underlies the shaping of humanity's largest social structures, deepest concepts, and most spiritual forces.

This is where astrology begins. Further out, between the stars, is the space that symbolizes "contact" with "other souls" that inhabit a purely spiritual dimension. Once inside the atmosphere of the Sun, we're dealing with aspects of ourselves that relate to life on a very solid earth, even though Xena and the Hordes are aspects of our minds that we rarely think about. When humans inhabit the space between the stars, they'll have all these deep, unconscious forces well-integrated into their daily lives. Still, there will always be more space and higher spiritual realms to integrate... In psychology (which is something that must be added to the bare bones of astrological symbolism), there's the concept of "archetypes", the energies of the psyche that motivate us but rarely enter our conscious minds. Once we've gotten in toward the Sun farther, near Uranus, we'll have a deeper appreciation of what these forces are and why it's important to give them their due, even if we don't fully understand them. These archetypal characters can change into each other and can make us do things we never "intended". Some can be felt as a Visitation, some as a huge Bother!

With the discovery of Xena (and her moon, Gabrielle), humanity is repeating, on a vaster scale, what it went through around 1781, 1846, and 1930 (the times when Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were discovered). Each of those discoveries signaled a coming-to-conscious-potential of aspects of the unconscious that humanity had "earned" the right to use more objectively. Of course, earning the right to use and using are two different things. Xena and her Hordes present the symbol of a HUGE potential for the human race-an entering into the powers of the unconscious like no time in the past-a chance to use energies (multiple and deep) that have been, so far, little understood.

Since individuals are just barely starting to use the energies symbolized by Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in a hands-on, conscious way, it may take quite awhile for us to learn how to make Xena and her friends help us, or to know for sure how to interpret them in anyone's individual birth chart.

I won't be dwelling on the mythology of the names of the planets or, for that matter, on the escapades of Xena. What I do want to stress, though, is the fact that humans do have this unconscious realm and that the more we pay attention to it, or "woo" it, the healthier and happier we'll become. Sure, it takes effort and can lead to some fantastic struggles but life without struggle is death...

It may have entered your mind to wonder, "Why is Alex starting way out in the unknown to help me change my perception about astrology?" Well... I could have started on Earth and I could have gone even further toward an earthly approach by saying things like, "Saturn is the planet of limitation and grief.", or, "Venus is the planet of love." But, this jamming of large concepts and energies into narrow boxes is very unhealthy. I'd rather start out here with Xena and make her my friend 'cause she could change into Hercules or Pan, she could give me some secret knowledge, she could help me even when I'm not paying attention to her. Better have her on my side than ignoring her and having her blast into my consciousness and wreak havoc!

Basically, since we know so little about any of the planets beyond Pluto, about all we can hope to do with them in astrology is think of a sheath or aura around us, a non-localized group of potentials and energies that each individual can tap into IF they can manage to begin using the other planetary functions consciously.

I said in the introduction that this book is not a how-to, even though the Instructions will give you a method to interpret your own life. This book is primarily a Why-to. Why in the world (universe) should anyone be concerned with things that are hardly ever used objectively? Because the subjective, the unconscious, the dream-world, Xena and her Hordes are out there (and, in here) and they need at least a nodding acquaintance or they can cause one heap of trouble.

As we cruise into the next three chapters, you'll gain a better understanding of how to make these kinds of powers obey your "command". And even if you don't manage to do that, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that there really is more to the world (universe) than what keeps happening every day...


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ARM Chapter 2

The River of Death

We've left Xena and the Hordes to their appointed rounds and we're approaching the double planet Pluto/Charon (as I write this, Hubble has discovered two moons orbiting this planet). We may have left the space of the Hordes but we're certainly not done with functions in our lives that rely on the unconscious energy of psychological forces.

Matter of fact, the Space Internet has informed us that the Earthlings have launched a spacecraft out this way (won't arrive till 2015) and interest in these deeper spaces should increase worldwide.

But now, since we're into space that's been paid attention to by humans since 1930, we can get down to some real work in the realm of astrological understanding.

Understanding death, to be precise, and how it's a river that wends its way through every part of our lives. There are many deaths in a life-many times when one phase of our existence gives way to another. Even orgasm as been called "the little death" and sleep can be viewed as a nightly death of our conscious awareness.

Pluto/Charon's orbital period is about 248 years and the symbolic significance of that length of time is perfect for gaining meaning about long-term social, political and economic cycles. In fact, thinking back to what our society was like that long ago can be like looking back to a time that's certainly died, gone forever. Yet, there can be influences felt from those times, just like your parents' behavior on Earth has an influence long after they've left their physical bodies.

In astrology, the period of 248 years is symbolic of completely new circumstances, a total regeneration of what's being considered, a thorough purging of the past. And, even though none of us can live that long, we can still gain meaning from the symbolism of this cycle. One reason we can use it personally is that the halves and quarters of cycles are very important in gaining meaning from a chart and, if we look at the quarter cycle here, we have 62 years-an amount of anyone's life that shows the qualities of death-of-the-past, or regeneration of basic factors, or purging of one heck of a lot!

Astrology, as I indicated earlier, has nothing to do with predicting events, yet it can help us understand the meaning of events-past, present or future. Pluto was discovered in 1930 (Charon's presence was noticed a bit later and I'll stop mentioning it and only use Pluto's name so I conform, just a bit, to "normal" usage...). The Great Depression happened at that time (it actually began in 1929 and lasted until about 1939). Did Pluto cause the Depression? How loud can I holler, "NO!"? Right here, we're at one of the most crucial Repairs of Perception I hope to offer. The planets and their cycles do not cause events. The best that can be said is that humans are born into the solar system and all of its interlocking cycles and, because whatever is included within something else participates in the rhythms of the larger structure, we have cycles in our lives that mirror the cycles of the planets. It's as simple as that. No horrible fates, no in-bred bad traits, no mumbo-jumbo.

Another division of whole cycles that has great meaning in astrology is one-twelfth of the cycle, in this case about 20 years. Pluto's trip around the Sun shows quite a bit of variability when viewed from Earth so the twelfths can be shorter or longer than that. For the moment, think about your last 20-odd years and contemplate the changes that have happened...

Right now, while we're still out here where the meanings are so deep, the important thing to remember is that we all have these nearly-unfathomable meanings in our lives and it can take most of a lifetime to gain even a small amount of understanding. Still and all, knowing about them can often be enough to help us weather the changes they can induce in our lives. And, again, I'm not saying the planets are causing these changes. It's the synchronistic and mirroring cycles in our deeper minds that bring these ponderable changes.

So, just before we head in toward Neptune, let's agree that we can begin to accept the little or big deaths that occur in our lives; we can see death and regeneration as an integral part of life; we can face the darkness and know the light is streaming toward us...


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ARM Chapter 3

Idealism Abounds

We've left Pluto behind and we're approaching Neptune, much larger and mostly, from our vantage point, blue gas. Neptune's full cycle around the Sun is 165 years; still too long to apply specifically to an individual's conscious choices but wonderful for gauging the dreams and visions of a generation of people. Dreams, visions, ideals, and spirituality; these are the most important of the meanings for Neptune's symbolic and cyclic influence.

Discovered in 1846, because astronomers noticed irregularities in Uranus' orbit and felt there had to be a body out here doing it, Neptune's discovery's co-incidence with events in our world shows the birth of a major religion and a general fever of what's been called millennial-madness-hordes of folks rushing around trying to be in the right spot for the Second-Coming. Most of them had their hopes dashed but history shows that something did arrive within the depths of humanity's collective mind. Something that had all to do with dreams, visions, and ideals. This was the time that humanity found its compassion and began to find ways to implement it. This was the time of the birth of Causes-for the poor, the downtrodden, the excluded. This was the time when the ages-long empires of the world, those that completely ignored the masses and used them for horrible ends, began to crumble and fade away.

If we take the half-cycle of Neptune, about 83 years, we have what today is a full life; hopefully, a life that achieved its dreams and ideals. The twelfth-cycle is 14 years and is important in seeing the subtle shift in the weave of our visions and hopes...

One of the more misunderstood aspects of Neptune's meanings is the process of dissolving associated with its symbolic action-the dissolution or evaporation of the solid ground of past beliefs or dreams. It's important to always remember that astrology deals with cycles and with cycles-within-cycles. A planet's functional and symbolic meaning happens by giving birth to energies and forces appropriate to its cycle, building them to a full state, then letting them decay and die into a rebirth. And, within any given cycle there are sub-cycles of birth, growth, decay and rebirth. Neptune's ability to dissolve the old (and this will be, hopefully, the last time I remind you that it's not the actual physical planet doing these things but the psychological powers within) prepares the way for Pluto's regenerations. We'll see this with each planet we come to-its function is necessary for the one further out (or, deeper within...). We can also look at the interrelationship of these life functions the other way around, the way we're doing it, from the deepest to the most conscious. This way, we see Pluto's deaths and purgings as necessary for the dissolving actions of Neptune's dreams and visions to take place.

When we get to Uranus, we'll have a triple of functions that most people on this Earth never bring to conscious awareness. I must say that more and more people are beginning to see these forces and energies as something they can incorporate into their personal lives but this individual use of such deep collective powers takes the ability to put the ego aside and see life from a higher or wider point of view. This altruistic attitude is a big part of what Neptune's meaning and purpose can instill into our lives.

So, we enjoy our spirituality, dreams, and ideals, until the power of Neptune's cycle manifests and we find the need to dissolve the old to be ready for it to regenerate into the new...


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ARM Chapter 4

Venus and Her Father's Penis

Approaching Uranus now-about as large as Neptune but more toward the turquoise and still mostly gas. But wait! It's not spinning the right way... Looks like its lying on its belly. And, so it is. Uranus' pole is tipped almost 90 degrees and it does roll on its "belly". But in 1781, when it was discovered, nobody knew this. They didn't know about it when they knew its full cycle was 84 years and gave it meanings that include: Innovation, Transformation, Radical Change, and Utter Truth. The eccentric planet's appearance was helping us realize the symbolic power of these forces long before someone discovered it had eccentric habits as an actual physical body.

It should be mentioned that both Neptune and Uranus had been "seen" before they were "discovered". Thing is that, because they move so slowly, the astronomers thought they were just other stars.

The co-incident events surrounding Uranus' discovery were the French and American Revolutions...

O.K., this is a chapter about Uranus and the title has Venus in it. Yup. When she was still called Aphrodite, she sprang into being from the foam of the sea. The foam had been caused by Uranus' penis having been severed by his son Cronus (Saturn, who we'll meet in the next chapter) and thrown in the water. Why didn't I wait till the chapter about Venus to bring this up? Well, Venus just sprang up, all well and happy. Poor ol' Uranus had his penis whacked off! Naturally, being a god, he weathered it pretty well, although Cronus did depose him.

Something about radical change going on there...

Following along with an idea from the last chapter, it's important to see how transformation and facing the utter truth can prepare us to utilize the ideals and dreams of Neptune properly. Also, we can profit from looking at it the other way around-loosening up and dissolving old ways and dreams so we can embrace the innovations and transformations of Uranus' cyclic power.

When we look at the half and quarter cycles of this function, some very interesting meanings emerge. The half-cycle is 42 years-smack in the middle of middle age. The quarter-cycle first occurs at 21-an age at which many of us have an insatiable urge to irrevocably separate from parental dictates, even if we've already made a physical separation. But separation isn't an absolutely necessary part of Uranus' function. It does accompany many folks' experience of this unconscious power but, if we're prepared for the action of transformation and are fully ready to face the truth of a situation, we can navigate the changes and keep treasured possessions-mental, emotional or physical.

If we contemplate one twelfth of a Uranus cycle, we see some of the reason for what people have called the "7-year-itch". Since one of the purposes of Uranus' cycle is facing and incorporating the rock-bottom, radical truth, I want to say a few words about "Good & Bad", "Positive & Negative", and "Abstract & Concrete".

We've been dealing with some big abstract concepts so far: Regeneration, Idealism, Transformation; and, as we travel in closer to the Sun, we'll be dealing with concepts that will feel a lot more concrete. Truth is, there's an abstract and concrete side to most everything. The events we live through as we regenerate, idealize and transform are quite concrete. Similarly, when we get to the functions that appear mostly concrete, we'll still have the abstract psychological powers lurking behind them.

As far as the polarities of "Good/Bad" and "Positive/Negative" are concerned, the truth of the matter is that the old maxims about focusing on the positive bringing good and focusing on the negative bringing bad are fascinatingly true. The catch is that you have to absolutely focus on the positive and, before you can do that, you have to absolutely know what the most positive view is. And, when it come to astrology in general, it's very important to remain rigorously positive. Even if some of the books on astrology detail various negative qualities and, even if you find your expression of those factors as negative, you still need to focus on the positive. How else can you change negative to positive? Plus, there's a harmful practice that's too prevalent where people use the negative interpretations of astrological factors to excuse their negative behavior-"Sure I do that. It's because I'm a (fill in the blank)."...

One of Uranus' functions is to bring us the shattering truth when we've been either purposefully or unknowingly clinging to half- or partial-truths. This can be painful or shocking but, when we get to the other side of any crisis, we can usually see the wisdom of the "unnecessary" strife. And, even if we still can't make sense of what's happened, there are the functions of Neptune and Pluto out there (in here) to help us dissolve the clinging falsehoods and bring them to a state of regenerative wholeness.

Yes, I'm a hopeless optimist! But my experience of life has included a great quantity of shock and pain and dissolution and, thank God, necessary regeneration. What I'm left with after all this inner work is the ineradicable conviction that life has many tests and trials, we all must face some of them, and we all have the sacred duty to maintain our faith and hopefulness that we will see the truth, we will find the dream, and we will experience rebirth into ever-higher understanding and meaningfulness. If not... there's hell to pay!


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ARM Chapter 5

Transpersonal Awareness

In the words of the most important person during my early education in astrology, my purpose is "to transform the search for a static kind of security-by-avoidance into a search for a dynamic kind of security that can be achieved only through understanding the place and meaning of the cathartic and transformative in human life." That was said by Dane Rudhyar and this chapter is intended to give you some **** good reasons to believe it.

Our world has been and is full of some very oppressive and negative people and institutions. Our world has also been evolving toward being, slowly and steadily, a freer and more creative place. If you doubt that last statement, I urge you to look further than you have and to take a small but important piece of advice: what may look bad on the surface or at the beginning can be the most powerful indication of something good. One example that may be close to home for some of you: A child at two years old is always getting into trouble. They're almost totally unruly by ten and their teen years are full of crime and filth. Then, they hit their personal brick wall, they come up short on luck, and end up behind bars. True, many people like this stay bad and end their lives still in jail or dead in the street. For most of humanity's existence this has been the general rule. "Lately", though, there have been more and more examples of folks starting out headed down, coming to a radical turning point, and being given some help at that point that turns their lives around and permits them to grow to become exemplary citizens.

Why is this happening more now than ever before? What could be happening that has such power to turn lives around? I feel it's the steady growth in society of the awareness that we are not just passive cogs in the wheel or just a bunch of angry individuals. We are both individuals and social beings and we have a need to nurture both sides of our being. This is where a knowledge of the cycles of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, and their symbolic meanings, can be of immense aid in speeding the development of a safe and sane society.

It's important to consider the lengthy durations of these cycles that apply to the slow yet steady transformation, elevation, and regeneration of our world. It's only been a little over 300 years since Uranus was discovered and humanity had a conscious symbol for a method of getting at the ultimate truths with more to show for it than a collection of fables and myths. And, the conscious awareness of ways and means to raise the level of our dreams and visions and to find the proper ways to purge and regenerate society have been available for even shorter times. Let's give ourselves a break and stop being pessimistic about the future. If you look closely enough at recent history and compare it with the eons of time humans have been struggling on this earth, you'll come away totally amazed at the glorious potential we hold in common!

I used the word "Transpersonal" in the title of this chapter for very conscious reasons. -Personal because humanity's growth ultimately depends on more and more individuals getting it right. Trans- because it means to go beyond or through or across. If our personal awareness of life can go beyond the personal while not letting our individual views disappear; if we can see through the merely personal to what lies beyond and is so important for a full life; if we can get across the bridge of the personal and see that it leads to wonderful vistas of creativity and freedom; if each of us does these things, we will be bringing what many see as the dark forces of the unconscious into the bright light of day and using them, very consciously, to accelerate human evolution beyond the hatreds and terrors that are still too much with us.

The Instructions has suggestions for where to go to get your own birth chart as well as a method for beginning to interpret your chart factors. If you feel adventurous, go there now and find the house and sign for your Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Realize that this first step in using the knowledge from this Repair Manual is only that, a first step, even though it may be one of the most important first steps you've ever taken!

As you ponder the meanings of these factors in your life, don't forget to look at them as a three-step process of Transpersonal Awareness and also consider them as a sequence from Pluto to Uranus and also from Uranus to Pluto-the first direction is the one that brings large-scale social factors into your personal life and the other direction is you injecting yourself into the flux of society's largest concerns.

If you do this exercise and end up totally confused, you can count on the fact that your unconscious mind is very happy with your ego. In fact, without you knowing it, your unconscious can arrange to give you dreams that help you understand, or "mysteriously" lead you to find another individual that helps you understand. Or, you may be the type of person who just stands there and charges against the wall till it falls down and lets you build a bridge.

Whatever happens, we still have a ways to go till we reach the Earth and find out what this astrology stuff is all about. I will let you in on a secret here, though: what you've read so far and what you can gain from trying to interpret you own Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto is far and away more knowledge of True Astrology than many practicing astrologers have! Believe it...


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ARM Chapter 6

Father Time Is All Spaced-Out

We've left the three transpersonals far behind but clearly not forgotten. As we approach Saturn we notice it's quite a bit bigger than Neptune or Uranus, obviously composed mostly of gas, but with a bright, pastel yellow atmosphere.

Hmmm... This character is the one who cut off his father's penis... This is the guy called Father Time and he carries that sharp scythe...

This is also the planet that gets the worst press from traditional astrologers.

So what's wrong with this function? Nope, not gonna answer a question like that; I'm too hopelessly optimistic. I'll answer this one instead: What's right with this planetary function?

First, the most right thing about Saturn is that is represents Structure. After having been through the realms of Regeneration, Visions, and Transformation, it can feel pretty good to pull some structure around oneself-get things organized, clarify issues, make a few definitions. Of course, if we were going the other way, we'd be leaving this structure and looking forward to a transformation of possibly rigid definitions, checking to see if our clarifications are really clear enough, changing the priorities of our organizational plan.

This ability to see any function from both "directions" is a valuable talent to have if you're thinking about using astrology. It isn't enough to just stay free of limiting categories for any particular planetary function, it's also important to see the function operating in many different roles.

Language and our use of it become critical factors when we begin to apply astrological knowledge to our lives. For example, take my use of the phrase "limiting categories" two sentences ago. Limitation is also one of Saturn's functional purposes, but a healthy limitation of some field of endeavor is very different from imposing limiting categories on ourselves.

Let me say this another way. Astrology has ten major functions, represented by the cycles of planetary bodies, that can be used to gain meaning about the various aspects of our character. Even though I won't be covering it in detail in this book, you can also pair these cyclic functions, finding the time periods that occur when one that's faster is tracked as it, first, "lines up" with a slower one, then makes a full cycle around and back to that alignment. If we pair all ten functions in this way, we end up with 45 cycles that explain the interactions of two functions at a time-their intermingling actions.

Since all the functions can be used with all the other functions, you need to stay very flexible in the way you view their meanings. You can't go so far that a function changes its basic meaning just because it's interacting with another one, but it's important to know that these meanings certainly can bend and sway. Kind of like that time you went to some social gathering and had to keep certain aspects of yourself from showing too strongly...

This whole discussion of language, meanings and the need to be clear about the structure of the words is quite Saturnian, too. It's like a relationship where Saturn is dancing with Uranus and Saturn is doing all the leading. If Uranus were to lead, there would be meanings changing into each other. Confusing? Try thinking back to last chapter's discussion about the bad kid changing into a good citizen. It was the same person the whole time-their Saturnian structure didn't change-but they went through some amazing Uranian transformations.

So, now that Father Time is all spaced-out, I'll reveal another major truth about astrology: no one symbol or function or planet or sign or house (we'll meet signs and houses when we get closer to Earth) - none of these factors has any meaning all by itself. I can say Saturn means Structure, Limitation, Clarification, Organization, etc. but it gains its meaning from its cycle as it relates to other cycles. How could structure even be defined if there weren't things that needed to be structured?

One of the backbone sources for the meaning of any function in astrology is the length of its trip around the Sun. For Saturn, it turns out to be real close to 30 years with the half-cycle at 15 and quarter cycles around 7-something. When I was young it was common to hear: "Ya can't trust anybody over 30." Oh, my! I wonder if those saying it were under thirty and probably not averse to a rather disorganized and freewheeling life-style?

Right around thirty is when most of us have finally "found ourselves". We usually find it necessary to stake a claim for the pattern of self we've decided to be-lay out the pattern for others, organize our time in society to accommodate the clarity of self we now feel.

And now I hear some people saying, "Oh yeah? Thirty was hell!" But do they realize that whatever difficult or negative period they were experiencing might have been there to clear the decks so they could claim a stronger place for themselves-make a clearer pattern of living?

The half-cycle of Saturn is just as important for Identity Formation (key Saturn phrase there). But, at fifteen, we're putting out (for all to see) what we were born and raised with. We're also finding out what others think about that identity pattern and, possibly, trying to either hide it or flaunt it even more. The transition at thirty is qualitatively different. We've been through one whole cycle of identity formation and we're trying to squeeze out whatever doesn't really belong to the real self-condensing, confirming, clarifying, defining.

Now, while we're circling this symbol of patterns and organization, would be a good time to lay out one of the most important structural concepts in astrology: the Squaring of the Circle.

Every cycle, whether with one planet or two, has a beginning. It has a middle and an ending, too. Simple, eh? Yet many astrologers forget this view of life. They look at the position of a planet in a birth chart and freeze it there, trying to milk it for more meaning than it can give. We're born with the planets at certain positions determined by our time and place of birth. The important thing to remember though is that the planets keep moving and so do we. Life and people evolve. These motions in astrology are called Transits and Progressions and are two topics that must be left for you to discover in the references recommended at the end of this book (and, for discussion in Books Two and Three).

Way before you attempt learning about all the meaning possible with moving planets, you need a firm grounding in the field they move within-the circle or cycle. Each one has its moment of beginning when things are new and fresh-either exciting or scary. Each cycle also has its ending, which is the same moment as the beginning of a new cycle. But rather than thinking of this evolution of meaning as an old phonograph record, spinning endlessly, we should concentrate our positive minds and see each ending and rebirth happening on a new and higher level-a spiral of ever-ascending and fulfilling meanings.

The first half of any cycle is all about taking the new materials we have to deal with and shaping them according to the vision we (hopefully) had at that magic moment of rebirth. If we aren't facing our astrological cycles and our very lives in this way, we're shortchanging ourselves!
The exact middle of any cycle is the time when the vision of the beginning can flower and fruit-come to its highest personal consummation of expression.

From the middle to the next rebirth is the time to share the fruits we've garnered with others-to make the function(s) valuable in others' lives.

The two quarter phases-halfway from beginning to middle and halfway from middle to rebirth-are times we can use to firm up our directions, shift gears, if necessary, to get back on course, make sure our roots are firmly planted (personal or social), and gain strength for the push to the color and magic of the middle; or the raking of leaves, the seed-tending of the time near rebirth.

You're going to find that The Instructions and its system of interpretation doesn't deal with these moving functions. Like I've said before, this book is all about giving you the right Perceptions so that any further studies you might engage in can be positive and profitable. If I'd never mentioned this important concept of the General Cycle, I would have been shirking my duty...

Right now, we have to fire up the engines, kick out of orbit, and head to the planet whose function is, in many ways, the exact opposite of Saturn. Think I'll go up to the observation bubble and watch...


Well-known member
ARM Chapter 7

Promiscuous Gods

Approaching Jupiter, largest planet in this system, 300 Earth's-worth of gaseous colors swirling in riotous flow...

Jupiter Optimus Maximus (the Best and Greatest) for the Romans; Zeus for the Greeks-god of sky and thunder.

For everything that Saturn pulls in and tightens, Jupiter loosens and expands. Rather than focusing on a clearly defined territory of meaning, Jupiter magnifies things to their widest potential. Instead of limiting, he amplifies.

Jupiter's full cycle is very close to 12 years and its meanings have to do with opportunities and how we give them birth, fill them with optimism, and reap their rewards.

In mythology, this character represents what most of us think of when the word promiscuous is used-many sex partners. In fact, this "god" impregnated many mortal women. (It's interesting that the word promiscuous comes from Latin roots that mean to mix very well.) Jupiter was also the supreme ruler of all the other gods, sat on his throne on the highest peak of the world, and issued proclamations that none dared to question.

I've been mentioning some of the mythos of the planets as we've been traveling, and I think you've noticed that I don't adhere strictly to the myths' exact interpretation. It's not that I think the myths have little to offer; it's that there's more than any one particular myth-meaning in every planet. The planets and their symbolic meanings predate the urge that societies had for making myths. The planets' cyclic meanings run deeper and spread farther than all the myths ever told. Fact is, we have the whole solar system inside us, including all the changes this system has gone through in its history. Our unconscious minds resonate and vibrate with the energy of the cosmos. And, when I say that, I'm just repeating something that's been said in every culture and religious tradition since stories started to be told.

This is something that Saturn would caution against-dangers abounding for those who go too far, dream too high, probe to deep! Jupiter shrugs and says, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

There have been many times in my astrological career that I've wanted to rename everything, even astrology itself. Names carry so much power to bend minds and too often blind us to the true identities circling around us. I believe there's a place in all of us (part of that deeper, collective unconscious mind) that knows well the names of Jupiter and Saturn, knows their exploits and their reputations. This is the part of the unconscious that needs a good airing out in the light of day. And while the dirty laundry is flapping in the breeze, we can dive even more deeply into what preceded these notorious characters. Let's do that:

There is a set of forces within each of us:

Structure, Definition & Clarity <-> Expansion, Optimism & Extension

Neither is more important, neither is better. Certainly, at different times of our lives, one or the other will become more prominent, but, if we want the best for ourselves, we'll always keep both close by, even if one of them is standing more forward and taking the temporary lead. Jupiter (nothing for it but to use the common name and rely on your ability to stay above the worst of the common interpretations) is the function we all need to assure ourselves we can find greener pastures for our energies, the symbolic power to take a viewpoint that is high enough and broad enough to serve as the ruler of our hopes and aspirations. Without Jupiter, life would be sterile, and there would be no progress.

It's much more than just interesting to trace this function's path through its 12 year-long phases. It begins with the potential you were given at birth to initiate your life's expansions-the sign and house Jupiter occupied in your birth chart. [ If you haven't yet looked back to The Instructions to find your chart factors, this might be a propitious time to begin. If you don't want to yet, I'm sure your reasons are valid. ] Naturally, children in their first year of life have a maximum of desire to expand and seek all the opportunities possible. Even people who later ripen into the more austere members of humanity begin with some measure of exuberance and abandon. The second year of Jupiter's transit brings some kind of contrast to the first since there's a natural polarity to the flow of the signs and houses (more on this later). Year three sees the potential for a certain productivity along with the sheer delight at so many open fields of discovery. The fourth phase brings the first gearshift or rooting-in of our sense of opportunity-half-way to the middle of the cycle. Five gives us a chance to test the waters with some showing off and six brings a breather while we check our bearings just before the apex of the cycle.

After six years of experiencing Jupiter's power of seeking opportunity, we've almost completed one quarter of our first Saturn cycle. Our growing sense of structure is nearing its first attempt at nailing things down. It's always interesting to look at what society has scheduled for us at various times in our lives and compare that with what our internal cosmos wants us to do. Reaching the ripe young age of six brings with it a deep desire to share with others our first full sense of what optimism means to us. Of course, most six-year-olds don't think of it this way, but that doesn't stop it from happening. We're at our first peak of feeling our oats, and we need outlets to share that feeling without it getting stepped on.

Year seven should be a time of finding special others that can share our particular brand of positivity; eight, a time of deepening those ties; nine, an opportunity to take some first steps in social expansions; ten, the first reception of solid social rewards; eleven, the beginning of learning to network our abilities; and, twelve, a rebirth, with many gold stars on the wall! In the chapter that deals with the most expansive of the functions, I can be nothing but positive. That sketching-out of the first twelve years of growth may have sounded nearly idyllic. But I must speak the truth about what's possible. If not now, when? If not me, who?

Plus, there's Chaos ahead and we can use all the upbeat attitude we can get our minds into!


Well-known member
ARM Chapter 8


Here we are traveling through what's been called the Asteroid Belt-many thousands of carbony or rocky planetoids, chunks of stuff that some think are left over from a destroyed early planet and others think think haven't been together long enough to make a planet; jury's still out...

The thing is, that since they first called it a belt, astronomers have found bodies orbiting in something more like a sphere with the majority of them huddling in the somewhat flat plane of the major planets. Also, this conglomeration of bodies between Jupiter and Mars used to be the big thing in small bodies. Now we know there are large groups between Saturn and Neptune, not to mention all those Hordes out past Pluto.

The critical thing for an astrologer to consider is what can be done, with such a wide variety of objects orbiting in such a wide variety of places, when the astrologer comes to the point of trying to draw any logical, interpretive conclusions. Sad to say, there are many astrologers who don't stop to consider many things before they blithely offer up their opinions. Result? Chaos; in the astrologer's mind and in any soul unwitting enough to bite this particular apple.

One outstanding example of this unconsidered (though, probably, sincere) approach to interpreting this realm of chaotic bodies is the object dubbed Chiron. Discovered in 1977 and having an orbit that takes it between Uranus and Saturn, this small celestial traveler has been given way too much responsibility in the traditional astrologer's bag of tricks.

The first major consideration before attempting astrological interpretation of this kind of object is, "What about all the other ones?" Sure, some astrologers interpret a few of the asteroids in their practice, but the critical difference between planets and this host of other bodies is that they are a host, a multitude, a legion. Back when we were hovering near Xena, I said one approach for hordes-interpretation was to, "...think of a sheath or aura around the chart, a non-localized group of potentials and energies that each individual can tap into IF they can manage to begin using the other planetary functions consciously."

That was said for the bodies out beyond Pluto, but it can certainly be applied to the asteroid belt and this plethora of small bodies. Another consideration is the length of their cycles. This depends on physics, but with this legion spread over most of the extent of the solar system, we witness cycles from less than a year to many hundreds of years. One approach would be to use "the sheath or aura...of potentials and energies" and give it special attention when we find a concentration of these denizens of chaos. Since the Hordes of Xena have very long cycles, they would represent a congregation of energies that society-at-large can use; the flock between Jupiter and Mars would be oriented toward the transition between Social Expansion and Personal Motivation (Mars-teaser-meaning).

I should make it clear that since astrology deals with the mirroring of solar system cycles in the lives of people (cultures or individuals), everyone is always "using" these energies and functions. The goal is to make this cyclic-meaning more conscious. And, to be as progressive as possible, astrology is not the only way to do this; just the one I'm writing about...

So, in other words, these hordes and legions are a cloud of cycles and meanings that don't have the clarity or precision of interpretation that planets do. They do, however, let us consider the value of chaos in our lives.

Chaos is a word, like many others, that now seems to live far from its birthplace. Not to say that words shouldn't grow and move from place to place, but, like you and me, if they change their identity too many times, we should give them a new name or folks might get confused. Actually, most words like this don't change their meanings; people just don't know them well enough. Like "chaos".

It came from the Greeks and originally meant something like the primal emptiness or to gape or be wide open. One thing it didn't mean back then was disorder or confusion-meanings common today. Some of you may be thinking, "So the word changed its' meaning. Forget about the old ways of using it." Well, the fact is that's real hard to do, and the reason is lurking right there in all our minds-the unconscious. It remembers, very well, and, when we use words in ways they weren't born for, we induce chaos in our thoughts. Oops! Did I mean disorder or confusion? Did I mean emptying our minds or making them wider? (Actually, I tried hard in that sentence to leave room for all the meanings of chaos...) Let's leave this discussion behind with the understanding that words can be tricky, we should be wary, and chaos just might be a good thing-in its proper place, of course!

I feel this is the proper place for an understanding of the potential for using all these otherwise misunderstood space objects as a symbol of the vast and multilevel energies available to us; some deep in the unconscious, some much closer to our waking understanding. It's my firm conviction, though, that none of us will use them consciously unless we are using the main functions-the planets we all know and love-in consciously controlled ways.

Let me share another quote from Dane Rudhyar that speaks to this positive understanding of chaos:

"Whereas our ancestors used to dwell in a comfortably static universe in which everything had a well defined and rationally reassuring name, a form and a permanent set of characteristics, today we find change enthroned everywhere.... Against the classical concepts of permanence and identity the realization that all living is a dynamic process of transformation from which no entity escapes now stands backed up by the whole edifice of scientific research and theory. On the ruins of the world of thought dogmatically extolled by nineteenth century minds we witness the reappearance of ancient concepts which were for millennia the foundations of human knowledge. The universe is once more to be understood as an ocean of energies in which two vast complementary tides can be distinguished. Everywhere a dynamic and electrical dualism appears as the foundation upon which all reality stands."

--- The Pulse of Life (1943)

Humanity is far from a complete understanding of life, the solar system, or the universe. There will always be more to learn and new ways to use what we already know. As we approach the inner edge of this asteroid belt, let's just agree that there is more to know, and we can profit from letting our minds open a little bit wider at times. If we can reach a place where our minds feel somewhat empty, we will feel less driven, less oppressed. Our minds might even become broad enough to let new interpretations in, interpretations that include enough reality to have the power to take us closer to the truth.


Well-known member
ARM Chapter 9

The Ancient Warrior

Rusty red, not a gas ball-Mars looms near. Place of pink skies and global sandstorms. Most likely candidate for extensive human settlement -in this solar system. Full cycle real close to two years. Mythological cloak, red with the blood of sex and war. Mars, the astrological cycle of Motivation, Externalization, Drive, and Assertion.

Yes, Mars the astrological cycle; not Mars the planet. As this book progresses, I'm attempting to talk in two languages while giving you the truth about only one of them. The first language is what most people use to refer to various aspects of astrology. The second language is something that can only be understood through experience. The second language uses most of the basic words from the first language but uses them in different and deeper ways. Like referring to Mars as a cycle. Yes, I know, I've called most of the previous cycles "planets" before divulging their cycles. I think it's time, since we're getting so close to Earth, to reveal more of the truth. Up until now, I've been sliding into the second language slowly. The prime reason is that I'm writing this book for those who know nothing about astrology as well as those with a competent working knowledge. Starting with one language and sliding into the other is a tricky venture, but absolutely necessary if we want to use astrology to truly help ourselves or others. The Instructions will definitely spell out all the basics in this second language. O.K. Enough disclaimer.

Since the cycle of Motivation is close to two years, we have an opportunity to discover, and easily check, a concept that explains one of the most perplexing regular occurrences in our experience-the way that things can seem to be going along just fine, and, "all of a sudden", they slow down or even stop and reverse their trend. In the traditional lexicon of astrology, this is called retrogradation. I personally don't like the word. Retro may be fine in fashion, but when we need to get things done, it's a potential bother. Potential only, though. If we can see that there is a natural reason for cycles to progress forward, then appear to retrograde and finally finish their course, we can turn bothers into blessings.

Because of the view from Earth, all the planets but the Moon and Sun (I know the Moon is a moon and the Sun is a star but, again, we're talking in two languages) have a period when they look like they're going backwards (but they aren't). In terms of cycles, this is a forward motion with a period of time when it's naturally appropriate to slow down or even reverse our intentions or motivations, check ourselves, analyze plans, and then resume with a better plan, direction, or thrust.

Imagine you're on a train or trolley and you're passed by another one. There's a moment when it can seem you're moving backward. It's all about relative perceptions. This is one way to understand why the planets seem to retrograde.

Now, maybe I can talk about this using only the second language. I'll be talking about the cycle, Mars, but this phenomenon of retrogradation happens, in different time-frames, with all but the Sun and Moon.

So, at the beginning of the Mars cycle, we're all full of the rebirth of a new motivation, drive, or period of assertion. We really cruise, plowing through obstacles, climbing mountains of resistance, and making good headway. When we reach the first quarter phase of the cycle, we make a point of reinforcing the strength of our intentions, sometimes shifting gear into a higher vibration of drive. Along we go, and, near the middle of the cycle, things get more uphill, or possibly we find our fuel running low. Maybe others are naysaying our progress. I'm happy to say that this is perfectly natural, even if it is "against" some of the principles of our highly materialized culture.

For a few months out of the two years of the cycle, just when we reach the time of bringing it to personal fulfillment, we should slow down. We're getting ready for the transition to the second half of the cycle. At this time, it's appropriate to share our motivation and drive with others, even act for them or pick up their loads. We need the time of "reversal" or slow-down to make sure that we don't run off past others, that we can moderate the thrust in order to give it social value. This phase of the cycle, so necessary to proper growth, has a decided element of internalization about it. A certain reaching-in; finding what the rest of "us" needs...

Our culture often doesn't like or doesn't even permit this type of cycle. Hence, many of the frustrations of many of the people!

If we were talking about the Pluto cycle, the internal phase would be many years long; same with Neptune and Uranus. For Saturn and Jupiter, it's months. When we get to Venus and Mercury, it's less. For all the functions, there is a time when we need to either slow down or go inside (even if we're still acting outside) to gain a larger perspective. It happens in the middle, right when youth wants to forge ahead and age sits back and nods...

Mars itself is usually perceived as all about going forward. But, if you consider the times when a prudent pause actually gave you more energy, this concept will seem more natural. If the Mars cycle only meant forging ahead, thrusting without let-up, it would really have a hard time getting along with the other cycles, causing steam leaks and explosions in our well-crafted psyche. What's that you say? Oh...

Another truth about astrology is that, even though it mirrors cycles we have inside, we have the free-will to warp and bend those cycles and energies. There have been times when I've thought the main reason to use astrology was to fix what's broken. Sure, it can help a lot with this kind of healing, but imagine using it before the breakdown, imagine using it to educate children about the natural cycles within themselves, giving them a real head start in life!

So, what about the Ancient Warrior? This was what folks used to think Mars meant. This is how people have misused this energy for centuries. This is the kind of thinking that this book is out to change. If you look far enough back in the history of the word "war", you'll find a meaning close to "mix". War is a particularly horrid way of mixing it up. I probably don't have to tell you that it will take many individuals committed to other ways of integrating differing opinions to wipe war off the face of the Earth. Impossible? Only if it's impossible for people to get along. Impossible? Only if people don't look for frames of reference that can include their views and others' at the same time. Impossible? Only if people refuse to try...

I think it's time to introduce the signs of astrology. I'm going to do it by sketching out what Mars using each of them could look like. You'll have a chance to do this for all the functions in all the signs in The Instructions. Remember, though, that just because you might start with Mars using a particular brand of energy, and even though that way of being assertive has a tendency to be prominent your whole life, there is a slow and steady moderation. Time and the tides of the cycles bring opportunities to act in differing ways and with differing results. Some see these as obstacles to their "natural" way of motivating themselves, some as chances to refine and expand their innate drives.

Plus, there's the other truth of astrology (I've been saving this one for the right moment): We all have all twelve signs. When you look at a complete birth chart, and when you realize that the whole chart is a symbol of your whole life, you'll know that all the signs or energies of astrology are there in that wheel, that you have all those energies available to use. Most people have four or five much stronger than the rest because that's where their planets lie, that's where the cycles of the functions begin their evolution.

Now, let's look at Mars with each of the signs; but realize that this is just an introduction to your own interpretations in The Instructions.

As you read each of these different ways of asserting ourselves, see if some of them seem like friends or work-mates or relatives... Also, if you know which Sign your Mars is in and these words don't seem like you, consider that I'm still being extremely optimistic (from necessity) plus, you could have another planet heavily modifying your Mars.

Mars using Aries is a motivation that springs ahead with such energy that restraint is next to nil if there are no other functions to slow it down or moderate it. Thankfully, it's uncommonly rare for anyone to have all ten planets in Aries! This is the first sign of spring and has all the youthful energy that it implies. People with Mars using Aries seem to have unending energy supplies. They have no problem asserting themselves and usually learn quite early that everyone else just seems to act differently. Goal and action seem to occur simultaneously-no timeouts and no restraints. But, since people with Mars using Aries do have other functions in other signs, they have the potential to channel all that energy without busting a seam against any obstacles.

Mars using Taurus is, in important ways, a polar opposite to the motivator using Aries. This combination still shows a very determined way of acting (we're still in the early phases of the energy cycle, just after the rush of the rebirth), but the application of drive is more deliberate, more restrained, more focused.

Mars using Gemini has a chance to be motivated in multiple directions simultaneously. This is a combination that can diffuse energy and spread motivation out. Sometimes this manifests as an ability to operate on multiple levels of energy use or in parallel lines of endeavor.

Mars using Cancer is an assertiveness that's motivated by strong feeling. Here is where things are not just done to be finished but to attain
some value. This is when people are able to externalize their feelings in ways that make others want to act on those feelings.

Mars using Leo is extremely outgoing yet has quite a bit of natural restraint. This is the combination that acts toward clear goals, being forward when necessary and holding back if action would impede future forward motion.

Mars using Virgo has the ability to finely focus energy use. This is a Mars that can seemingly wait forever to act at the "right" moment. This is disciplined motivation, moderated drive.

So far, we've covered Mars using what can be called the "personal" Signs. The next six combos will show a more social orientation.

Mars using Libra is the situation of working toward a balance in outgoing and incoming energy. Actions are intended to accomplish what's necessary to engage other's motivations.

Mars using Scorpio also seeks to fathom how others can be brought within the sphere of action, but the intensity of analysis is sharper, the thrust of intention is deeper.

Mars using Sagittarius takes flight and looks for distant goals that can lead yet farther. Action here is initiated for ideal reasons, socially grand designs, or future possibilities.

Mars using Capricorn has all the ambition it needs and also the practical reasons for having it. Motivation streams toward practical solutions. Assertiveness aims at accomplishments that endure.

Mars using Aquarius is action in the social arena, motivation that is fitted for group goals, assertiveness that stimulates a consensus.

Mars using Pisces is the way to make peace-act as if you were the other, act for the other, or, like the Zen mind, act without acting...

This round of motivational types was meant to be illustrative only; certainly not definitive! When you consider that Mars must act in concert with nine other functions, much of what I've indicated can be woven with other thread, colored by other filters. Still, the essence of these various ways of externalizing our drives remains.

Time to move on. There is much to do at Earth!


Well-known member
ARM Chapter 10

Home Sweet Home and Lunacy

Here we are, finally approaching Earth-birthplace of astrology. First, we cuddle up to the Moon, home of much lunacy...

Let's look at that last word more closely since a major purpose of this book is to repair mis-perceptions, and various lunacies are still far too prevalent in the astrological community.

In Old English, lunacy was born in the phrase "mona seocnes" or "month-sickness"-insanity alternating with periods of clear-mindedness. This clearly describes many practitioners of astrology, but, if it were up to me, I'd reverse the order and say they seem very clear-minded for periods punctuated by bouts of insanity. Let's be clear. It's insane to say that astrology predicts events (and, of course, I'm using the word "insane" in its original meaning: not healthy)

This may be really hard for some folks to understand, but here it is: Astrology does not, will not, and never has predicted events. What?! Yes. It's the absolute truth, even if some astrologer "predicted" something for you. (If an astrologer tells you something is going to happen, don't you think that, if it does, there may just be a bit of self-fulfillment in that?) What astrology does predict or reveal is Meaning.

O.K. What if an astrologer says some event happened in your past, and that, in fact, it did happen? Believe it or not, what happened is that the astrologer saw a meaning in the chart and made a very good guess at the exact event. Here's some proof of that:

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to talk to two men, born of different mothers but at the same time at the same hospital. Since they had the same chart you'd think they would have had the same events happening in their lives, right? Well, all it takes is one contrary occurrence of something to disprove a theory and here it is:

There was a strong indicator in their charts at a certain time, and I asked the first man what happened. He said his father had died. I asked the other man, with the same chart, what happened, and he said he'd been on his first nude beach...

Obviously, the same chart had shown two very different events! Then, I asked the first man (by the way, I interviewed these men separately), "What did it mean when your father died?" He said that he'd felt like he'd had shackles removed (his father had been rather authoritarian). I asked the other man, "What did it mean to be on your first nude beach?" He said that he had dropped his shackles... They used exactly the same, and not so common, word to describe what two very different events meant.

See? Astrology predicts meanings.

By the way, it's also insane to attribute the mental faults of some astrologers to the effect of the Moon. The Moon has nothing to do with it. None of the planets have anything to do with it. It's the influence of environment coupled with free-will that warps folks into the fields of lunacy.

'Nuff said.

So, what's this big, beautiful Moon good for? It just happens to be, from our view on Earth, the fastest cycle we have-27.3 days to be exact-the archetypical Month! Think of it as the second-hand on a cosmic clock with ten hands. By the way, my saying, just a second ago, "from our view on Earth", may be the most important thing we can consider. Astrology from any of the places we've been so far, including this Moon, would be very different! It's very definitely a thing about point-of-view...

The cycle of the Moon gives us many things. One of the most important is a cycle we can definitely feel-if we're not stone-cold numb. Whether or not you've been keeping up with the cycles of your chart, you most likely have a clear feeling for what a "month" means for you-even if only in terms of what you can get done in that amount of time. If you look at a month as the time the Moon spends going from where it was when you were born, around the cycle of Signs, and back to your birth-position, you'll have a marvelous indicator of your personal style-of-living. The Instructions will help you find your personal Moon position and the recommended web sites plus our Forum will tell you how to track it.

The Moon in astrology also acts like a "trigger" for other cycles. (I must reiterate: the actual Moon is not making things happen) Tracking it around your birth chart while being aware of when it's "over" your other planets' positions is a solid exercise in making the internal chart (the one in your unconscious mind) reveal itself in the symbolic chart (the one on paper or your computer screen). How to do this is best left to your visits to our Forum. This isn't a come-on. I'm being as basic as possible in this book for good reason-roots must go deep for trees to stand tall...

If I said the Moon cycle shows the Style of living, then the Earth shows the actual Central Focus of a life. The Earth is going around the Sun, right? In astrology, the Sun is referred to as the Central Focus of life. It's easy to see why, since without it, we'd be dead! So why am I confusing things and calling Earth the Central Focus? It's because the Sun's cycle is the reflection of a moving Earth, and astrology is all about our point-of-view from the Earth. I needed to remind you that the Earth is moving 'cause it's so easy to forget...

So, we'll pair the Earth-Sun year-long cycle of Central Life Purpose with the month-long Moon cycle of Style of Living that Purpose, and we'll have the most important Couple of all the astrological Relationships. So important that, with just Sun-Sign and Moon-sign and an understanding of how to blend their meanings into one "chord", you can impress and astound anyone by explaining the Core of their psychology. Certainly, there are other important considerations, like two or three of the other planets close to each other or the Sun or Moon very near another planet, but Everything else in a chart depends on this "battery" of Sun/Moon. Nothing else would happen without it.

While we're here where astrology actually lives, it's time to get into a little more detail about what the Signs and Houses of astrology mean. We'll start with the Houses, since these are the Space within which everything else happens.

There you are, a newly born babe, taking your first breath (the most accurate moment to use in a birth chart). The space that surrounds you has Meaning. Your unconscious mind is already working overtime, though the conscious ego will take years to catch up, if it ever really does... The unconscious is noting the directions and the various cyclic energies that are ranged around you. Powerful connections are being made between your deep psychological state and the actual space that surrounds you. The imprint of this moment of birth is so profound that an astrologer can look at a chart's meanings and sometimes actually deduce some of the physical happenings at that moment. Certainly, the moment is powerful enough that it becomes, in the full detail of a complete birth chart, the "blueprint" for the rest of your life.

To the East, where the path of the planets rises, is what has been called the "Ascendant" or the beginning of the First House. At the highest point of the planets' path is the "Midheaven" or the beginning of the 10th house. These two positions define the circle of the Houses. There are actually twelve of them, and their meanings will be given in detail in The Instructions. For now, let's look at these two defining positions' meanings.

The Ascendant is the position of your most individualized perspective on life-your "mask", in the old meaning of that word-what the medicine man wore to let a part of his unconscious come out, certainly not something put on to hide behind. If you don't know your time of birth accurately and you can't find it in the records, you need to locate a well-seasoned and rigorously honest astrologer to do what's called "rectification". This is a complex method of working "backwards" to deduce a time of birth. Much can be told from a chart that's approximately correct, but it will be significantly general information, true for many people born at or around the time of your birth.

The Sign that was rising on the Ascendant when you were born is the energy you characteristically use to individually perceive the world. Any planets that are near the Ascendant will blend their functions with your perceptions and become some of your very best "tools" in life.

The Midheaven is the position of your characteristic way of Growing into the world. It shows the way you can best be "objective" about life and, with its accompanying Sign is often used to guide people toward a profession. (Again, I must stress that the chart doesn't "say" which specific profession. What's indicated is the meaning that the profession has in your life. Rather than saying "doctor" or "nurse" or "counselor", for instance, you might see the meaning of "helping others", although this is a very simplistic way of telling you what a good astrologer could say about your Midheaven and its relationship to other factors in your chart.)

All the other Houses in your chart derive their meanings from these two-your individualized way of perceiving life and your unique way of growing into it. The Houses can be thought of as the Activities of your life while the Signs are the Energies you use in those Activities and the Planets are the Functions that channel those Energies in those Activities. Another way to say this is that the Function "uses" the Energy to "perform" the Activity. You'll get a lot of practice with this basic astrological formula in The Instructions when you begin interpreting your own chart!

So, the Houses are determined by where and when you were born and define your Space of Activity. The Signs are determined by the motion of the Earth around the Sun and define the Energies that are used in that space.

There is a moment in the Earth's journey around the Sun that we call Spring-when day and night are equal and day is beginning to be longer than night. This moment and the place the Sun is in at that time is what we call the beginning of the Sign Aries. In a very important way, saying what Spring means is saying what Aries means. There is another time in the Earth's journey around the Sun that happens when night is longest and day is shortest and day is just beginning to increase again. This time and the place the Sun is in then is called Capricorn and (without using any of the negative meanings) saying Capricorn is the same as saying Winter. These two Signs and times determine all the other Sign's meanings, similarly to the Ascendant and Midheaven giving meaning to all the other Houses. I'll direct your attention to the web site link in The Instructions that goes to Khaldea where you'll find more than enough information to go as deeply as you desire into the lush fields of Sign and House meanings...

Earlier in this book I said something to the effect that nothing in astrology has meaning without everything else-kind of like your head means nothing without your neck... Even things like the Ascendant or the first House, which give meaning to other factors, don't have meaning by themselves. It's our position on the Earth and it's relationship to the rest of the solar system that give meaning to Ascendant and first House. When we get to the last chapter, you'll get a feeling for how even this solar system gets its meaning from the rest of space...

Most of my time on this Earth has been spent learning to find the core meanings of the various factors of astrology. The journey has been wild with discovery and, at times, perilous with risk. I mentioned two languages earlier-the one that astrology has crystallized into-traditional words and meanings-and the one that holds the truth. Even though you'll be able to interpret your own chart by the time you finish reading this book, you won't have reached the end of that interpretation until you die. The reason I've stuck with astrology for so many years is that its deepest meanings are the "seeds" that give meaning to everything else. The structure of astrology is, at root, the structure of our psyche.

Bold statement, that! Hard-won truth, too. Back behind all the lunacies of popular astrology, far deeper than anything I can say about the subject, is the ocean of our unconscious mind. Our mind, because, at that level, it is a collective mind-heir to the full history of humanity and parent to any individual ego consciousness. There is a man, someone I've called the Einstein of psychology-Carl Jung. If you want to delve into this magnificent arena of the origin of consciousness, read Jung...

And what about our feelings? Ah! We must travel to Venus to begin to unravel the mysteries of feeling...


Well-known member
ARM Chapter 11

Acid Love

It's been said by some astrologers that the Moon we just left behind has much to do with feelings. If it does, it's only in the sense of being the style of expression of the feelings. The Feelings themselves and the Values behind them belong to Venus.

We're approaching the planet that's been called Earth's sister, mostly because it's near enough to have a somewhat similar cycle around the Sun and it's just about the same size. If Earth and Venus are sisters, Venus is the "nasty" one. If the atmospheric pressure doesn't collapse your lungs, the acid in the air will eat your skin away, and the insufferable heat will fry your brains. If you somehow protect yourself from those dangers, you still have to contend with an extremely long day-243 Earth-days-and the disorienting way the Sun has of rising in the West! Yes, Venus rotates the other direction from Earth, and it takes a long time to do it. Also, this is the planet whose cycle has been associated with Love...

Notwithstanding its mythology, I wouldn't necessarily call Venus the planet of love.

If there were ever proof that the physical characteristics of the planets don't give them the meanings we should use in astrology, Venus is it. Certainly, there can be nasty things within the bounds of what we call a love-relationship. However, those less than nice things are not love.

Venus' cycle relates to how we Evaluate our experience. Whether we love something or not comes from the way we invest it with our values. We can't have love without values, but we can have values without love. Love itself is an expression of at least four of the planets' functions operating together-Venus, Moon, Sun and Mercury. Venus is the value, the Moon is the style of expressing it, the Sun is the purpose or reason for the evaluation, and Mercury is the rational side of the situation (if that's being used in the equation...).

Many of our "higher" functions, like love, are expressions of more than one planet's cycle. Motherhood, for instance, isn't just the provenance of the Moon. Thinking isn't just the job of Mercury. Action isn't done only by Mars. What you can learn from the system of interpretation in The Instructions is what you might call the basic vocabulary and grammar of astrology. Being able to converse fluently will take more than this book. It will take much time and effort. Still, if you were in France (actually, you might be...) and had to go to the bathroom, being able to utter a simple, basic phrase is just fine! Much meaning can be transmitted with simple, basic words. So, using the system at the end of this book (while referring back, every so often, to these more lyric chapters on the basic perceptions we need) will get you far, yet there's always more. Some folks don't like unending potential; I love it!

Our Values and Feelings give our lives much of its meaning. Meaning is what astrology can predict, and it's a basic indicator of the Venus cycle-about 225 Earth-days long. Notice how close the Venus day year are? In fact, the day is longer than the year. This durational quality of Venus (just imagine waking up, going through a day, and realizing a year's also slipped by) is central to the kind of meaning I mean. Oh, the tricks words play... I just checked Google and it actually has an entry for "the meaning of meaning"! To clear the air just a bit: Astrology defines many meanings, many functions of life. Venus is what we use, as a specific function, to give value to all those meanings. Hang in there, o.k.? Once you've done a little checking with the interpretive system in The Instructions, you'll begin to separate these meanings with ease. In fact, astrology's ability to contain and reveal so much meaning is its chief value...

Another important part of why Venus helps us see our values and the important meanings in our lives is that it is the first of the "Inner" planets. When we were way out with Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus, we were talking about deep unconscious functions shared by everyone and useful in gauging large social trends. Saturn and Jupiter cycles were also fairly social in their functions but due to the cyclic lengths involved-30 and 12 years-they're more personal-social functions-we have more personal control over how we use them. Mars is the first planet outside the Earth's orbit but is relatively near. It came to symbolize our personal reaching out to the social realm.

Then there is the Moon and Earth-the Place we live.

Now, we enter the very personal realm of functions, those which we "own" sooner and more fully. With the first of these inner functions, I want to introduce you to one way of seeing a Planet's Function operating in the various Houses' Fields of Activity. We'll start at the traditional beginning, the First House and see what having Venus in each of them could mean.

Venus operating in the First House:

With this placement, a person has their evaluating function operating through activities that focus on their own individual perception of reality. Their frame-of-reference for life will include a strong dose of personal values. They'll use their feelings about situations as their first line of approach.

Venus operating in the Second House:

Having the function of valuing in the activity of finding your personal resources makes for a rather focused placement. These people put their feelings to work finding what they most value in themselves and their personal history.

Venus operating in the Third House:

Values applied toward communicating with the "local" environment. Evaluation as the primary tool for learning. Evaluation used primarily for connecting with others.

Venus operating in the Fourth House:

This person's feelings are grounded in what can anchor them. Evaluations are used to make situations more stable.

Venus operating in the Fifth House:

Feelings become projected, and evaluation is used to gauge the effect of personal choices on others.

Venus operating in the Sixth House:

Here is where values and feelings are put to the task of improving things and people. Self-evaluation could be the strongest suit.

Those were all extremely personal uses for this inner function. Now we'll look at this personal function working itself out in the social realm.

Venus operating in the Seventh House:

Here is a placement of evaluation right at the spot where a person is most aware of others. Feeling is used as the primary function for bonding with people.

Venus operating in the Eighth House:

This is where Venus' function of valuing is taken deeper to bring relationships to a stable state based on mutual feelings.

Venus operating in the Ninth House:

This area of activity gives Venus' function of evaluation a lot of room to soar. Feelings broaden out and encompass more "territory".

Venus operating in the Tenth House:

Here is where evaluation becomes the prime determinant in the affairs of society. Feelings are used in career and business environments.

Venus operating in the Eleventh House:

Values operating in this activity field are used to bring bonding to social groups. Appreciations grow toward consensus.

Venus operating in the Twelfth House:

Evaluation blends with contemplation. Values are used to plumb the depths of all matters.

So, there's a brief look at Venus in the Houses. The Instructions will give you a chance to add the Sign to an interpretation. This is certainly nowhere near what could be said about Venus. But I think you've noticed by now:

I'm giving you just a taste of what the Functions of the Planets' cycles can mean, along with other basic astrological information. This is all aiming toward the end of the book where you'll receive a method that will let you be your own astrologer-distill your own Meanings from your own chart (or, others...).

I don't think we should get too attached to hanging out around Venus :wink: so, let's get much closer to the Sun and go visit Mercury.


Well-known member
ARM Chapter 12

Messenger of the Gods

It's getting pretty warm now, so close to the Sun. Things are heating up as far as cycles go, too. We're at Mercury, dealing with a function that may seem very cut-and-dried, but certainly is not.

Mercury: Intelligence, Concrete Thought, Perception, Communication. All these things can seem so normal that they hardly need comment. But comment I must since they're all ripe for illusion and disarray!

As I've affirmed before, none of these astrological functions stands alone; they all work together. If we use our free will to hide, subvert or bury any of them, we open the floodgates to problematic living. That being true, our intelligence and our different ways of communicating certainly shouldn't operate in a vacuum. The first function that will help Mercurys' functioning is the planet we just left-Venus. Feelings and values are the perfect complement for intelligence and communication.

Wonder why they seem to be at odds so often? Check your culture; look closely at the social environment these functions develop within. From where I'm sitting in the United States, I must admit that this country's culture has been very unkind to a smooth marriage of these two functions for far too many years. I'm sure that the situation is similar in most cultures around the world. It hasn't always been this way. I know that there were times and social situations when it was different, families and groups within which it is different, and I predict that the whole world will get it right eventually.

Since the two planets are physically close, and since their cycles are similar in duration, one could wonder deeply at the rank perversions heaped upon using them together.

To cut our feeling from our thinking is a crime. Yet one of the most valuable uses for astrology is to hold our various functions and their proper relationships up to us in a symbolic mirror. We can See what should be and, most often, find the best way to iron out persistently irritating wrinkles-those warps of function induced by family, culture
and the press of living in a world changing faster than it ever has before.

I mentioned the phenomenon of "retrogradation" before-the apparent backwards flow of a planet's function. I pointed out that I hate that word "retrograde", but I haven't come up with a suitable alternative yet... I also pointed out that, when a planet is doing "that", it's a time to focus on the function's meaning in an internal way, to ponder the depth of the function in our lives, to let the function dive into our unconscious. Then we can return with fresh energy for the journey.

Mercury does this internal journeying about every three months; it lasts for about three weeks. This Mercury Retrograde period has gotten some of the worst astrological coverage! What's been said has had a quality of "negative truth"-an inappropriate reporting of only the undesirable aspects. The real problem is that this "negative truth" is touted as the Whole truth. Just because many people suffer from erratic thinking during these periods, just because they are forgetful or can't concentrate on what they think is important-these things are no reason to blame the planet Mercury or to make a bald-faced assumption that Mercury Retrograde is somehow automatically a bad time, to be merely suffered through.

Think about this:

People are told that they have an opportunity, every three months, to use their perceptive qualities to find fresh and highly individualistic solutions to things that may have been causing some bafflement in their lives. These people believe what they're told, at least enough to give it a try. So, they schedule time during this period, time apart, to reconsider a few things, to look at things from other angles, to Let some new thinking happen.

"Naw... I really don't have the time to slow down and rethink anything. My spouse and my boss wouldn't understand. Do you have any idea how hard it is already, just trying to keep up?"

Actually, I do understand. I pity this person's inability to understand that continuing to barge ahead when their natural cycles demand internal action might be the cause of the problem.

I just love to talk to the people I've met who have Mercury Retrograde in their birth charts. They usually have a lifelong ability to do this "backward" thinking. And they just happen to be some of the most creative, original people I know!

Being this close to the Sun is starting to get to me. Its' ferociously brilliant splendor is acting like a plasma magnet. I'm being pulled toward its' awesomely prodigious, life-giving waves of light...

Come on! You don't want to miss the fun, do you?


Well-known member
ARM Chapter 13

Plasma Love

The Sun. Our Star.

Source of Light and Life.

Mystery to this day!

Scientists are having a horrible time making sense of how the Sun works.

Astrologers miss many of the most important aspects of the cycle of this Function. Many people feel that this function is the only part of astrology. (Except, of course, for those twelve Signs of the Zodiac that are popularly given costumes and asked to play parts they've never read the script for...)

You might think that, this being the next to the last chapter of the book, I'd want to calmly summarize and draw all the other chapters' information to some grand conclusion. The thing is, I don't intend to actually "conclude" this book. I want you to enter The Instructions with Wings! I want you to soar through the Realms of Astrological Meaning!! I want you to Really Live!!!

"Calm down, Alex. These people may not realize what treasure lies at their feet. They may still think this astrology-thingie is a fancy parlor game that makes for witty conversation. They may not understand it when you throw out concepts that aren't accepted by most reasonable people."



All I can say is that this very close Star, this fantastically beautiful beacon of Purpose has me all fired up! So...

Start to get used to the idea that our solar system is not what you may have heard it was in high school. The planets may not have always been where they are right now. The Sun and its orbiting progeny may not be floating in some lonely backwater of the galaxy, like many astronomers would like you to believe.

The Sun has been said to hold the planets in orbit with its gravity. This is not capable of being true, which is born out by the latest interdisciplinary scientific studies. There are many aspects of the planets, individually and collectively, that want to tell a very different story.

For instance, the ancients talked about a "sun" but its characteristics don't match the one that gives us a tan. They do match the planet Saturn. Also, Venus was thought to have been much closer to Earth in the past and so was Mars. As a matter of fact, there was a time when people saw Venus in front of Saturn, Mars in front of Venus, Jupiter hidden behind Saturn and the whole party steadily revolving at the north pole. There was also a time when this configuration broke up, and there were shudderingly graphic "wars of the gods" in the heavens which rained debris, electromagnetic bolts, and terror on our ancestors.

"Oh, my! Poor Alex has gone off the deep end and doesn't even have a spaceship's lifeboat to crawl into. He's Sun-drunk and his little brain is melted."


I'm putting some information in the references at the end of this book that will help you find sources that confirm everything I just said. At this point, I'm going to say that this magnificent Star, our Sun, is the Center of our solar system, and it's also the Center, the Focus of any interpretation you dare make with astrology. Focusing, Centering, Life-Giving, Light-Bringing, Purpose-Revealing Sun.

One extremely important fact of astronomy that every person using it should know is that ninety-nine percent of the universe is plasma. You surely remember your solids, liquids, and gases, right? Plasma is the next state of matter, the most rarified form of substance, yet capable of organizing, moving, and creating new organizations of the other three forms of matter. Our Sun is floating in a Sea of Plasma, electrified Plasma, powerful Plasma.

If you've seen neon signs or arc-welders, you've seen small versions of the process that lights our Sun and every other of the billions upon billions of stars. The regularity of the orbits of our planetary system (as well as the previous orderings and the transitioning chaotic states) are maintained by the streams of plasma and the power contained in this almost "spiritual" form of matter. Even the weather on our Earth (as well as the weather on the other planets) is influenced and driven by the power of this all-pervasive Plasma.

It's much more the case that the planets are ordered by a form of Cosmic Love-a force that transcends mere gravity and material forces-a power and vitality that centers all our concerns.

If "Love" holds it all together, it certainly must be a Plasma Love.

And, if love is the power that binds it all together, we could say that:

Pluto is the Regeneration of Love.

Neptune is the Vision of Love.

Uranus is the Transformative Power of Love.

Saturn is the Clarity of Love.

Jupiter is the Expansiveness of Love.

Mars is the Externalizing of Love.

Venus is the Valuing of Love.

Mercury is the Perceptiveness of Love.

And, our ol' familiar Moon is the Style of Love's expression.

The Sun is the Center of it All...

To make sure this chapter goes out with a sense of the ineffable-the truth that defies rigid expression-here's a poem by Emily Dickinson:

Love reckons by itself - alone -
"As large as I" - relate the Sun
To One who never felt it blaze -
Itself is all the like it has -


Well-known member
ARM Chapter 14

Galactic Visitors

The last chapter may have been a bit weird for some people: planets not forever circling in stable orbits, catastrophes that ravaged our ancestors, plasma that powers the stars...

Let's take that last fact. If plasma does make the Sun glow so ferociously, where does it come from? Well, it's pretty much all over the place when you look at things from a universal perspective; ninety-nine percent of all the stuff there is. So, it comes from the space that surrounds the solar system. All those atomically-small charged protons and electrons that make up the plasma that's streaming into the system and lighting the Sun are the most obvious and most continuous Galactic Visitors there are.

But astrologically, just like the case of the hordes of small bodies we considered earlier, in this perpetual stream of particles, it's not the particles that concern us; it's not the particles that can be used to give meaning in astrology; it's the Stream itself-the patterns and convolutions and dance of the plasma stream have meaning.

Naturally, since humans have only been considering this plasma in any serious way since the space age dawned, there isn't a heck of a lot of considered opinion about what this Galactic Visitor means. Except, maybe, this:

The universe is literally teeming with a tenuous and yet powerful substance that can create stars and galaxies-a substance that has the characteristics of a Cosmic Mother.

In early Egyptian mythology there were the archetypes of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis: Atum, the first god, and his descendants: Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nuit, Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. Nuit was the sky goddess, in contrast to most other mythologies, which usually had a sky father. So, just maybe, we can consider Nuit, as Cosmic Mother, contributing the essence of her body to our Sun. This causes the Sun to burn with Purpose. The Sun gives birth to the planets and (with the help of the plasma streams it, in turn, creates) our Sun brings about a dance that we, creatures of this system, have lodged in our unconscious minds. This internal Plasma Dance resonates with the one in space and, we, if we let ourselves, see the synchronicity and wonder of it all, can draw maps of these cycles, attribute psychological meanings to the interactions of the cycles, bring meaning into our lives...

There isn't much more to say.

And also, I could go on forever attempting to describe the insights I've gained in the past three and one half decades of courting my sweet lover, Astrology. Back when I first met her, I really wasn't capable of appreciating her beauty and strength. I misunderstood her motives, misinterpreted her signs, attributed things to her that were all my fault. But she hung in there; she loved me enough to not leave while I went through many convolutions of perception and understanding.

She remained, always, so attractive that I could never abandon her to the people who would try to pimp her secrets on the newsstand.

But she was much more mysterious than they could imagine.

She let them do whatever they wanted, completely unconcerned about her "reputation"...

How could the Spirit of the deepest unconscious archetypes worry what a few mortals said about her?

How could the daughter of the Sky Goddess trouble herself over people that not only didn't understand her but actively tried to pretend she was something else...


Well-known member
Thank you, Alex!

I'm going to remember the forumla:
Function (planet)
Energy (sign)

to perform Activity (house)....

there is so much on the Astrology Weekly forum

today it feels to me as if we are experiencing

lift off!




Well-known member
C1 said:
I'm going to remember the forumla:
Function (planet)
Energy (sign)
to perform Activity (house)....
It only took me 11 years to figure that one out...:oops:

I really like that *Truth is the Heart of Our Sun*


Well-known member
Hi Amzolt,
Finally! :)

(For a while there I could not recall where
you posted the repair manual...
it's the "other branches.")

So, now that I find these chapters again,
after figuratively climbing around the forum like a monkey
in some 5th dimensional tree's branches,
I'll say...

the 'Truth is the Heart of Our Sun' --
this just came out from somewhere
in the vicinity of my 5th house where natal Taurus Sun (& Venus) square
natal Leo Moon, Ceres and Pluto stellium in
my 8th house...

so, thanks to Radu for suggesting we add a "tag line"
in our posts!

Ahh, the genius of this forum and all of us here!!....
....we are all quite plasmic - divine!