Archive for July, 2012

The dangers of Jupiter

The planet Jupiter is usually considered a beneficial influence in astrology, representing expansion and sometimes wealth.  However, Jupiter in the natal chart, along with the sign (Sagittarius) and house (9th) associated with it, can sometimes point to the areas where we have too strong a conviction that we are right.  Ultimately, this over-confidence can harm both us and our relationships with those around us.  The following exercise helps us re-calibrate our Jupiter expression so that we more frequently portray Jupiter’s wisdom and tolerance rather than its potential for arrogance.

Exercise for Jupiter balance

Stop and think about those traits you can’t stand in other people.  When you describe people you dislike, what words are you likely to use to justify your negative reaction?  When you describe people you like and admire, are you prone to describe them partly by what they are not, praising them not only for what they have but for the lack of certain attributes?

On the left side of a sheet of paper, write a list of the personality defects most likely to arouse a negative reaction in you, putting these traits on one side of the paper.  Then, at the top and center of the same sheet of paper, write down this quote:  Happy the man when he has not the defects of his qualities.  Using your imagination think of positive personality qualities of which the defects you listed might be a twisted manifestation.  For example, someone who seems to display weakness may be trying to show compassion.  Someone who expresses unkind viewpoints may be acting out of a misplaced loyalty to the person who taught them that narrow way of thinking.  Write down the positive qualities which may be the source of the negative traits on the right side of the paper.  In considering this, we are not justifying unkind or selfish actions—we can still see the behaviors as wrong.  What the exercise does is help us enlarge our capacity for imaginative empathy.

Positives and negatives

Now draw a line beneath the first list and start a second list:  your own most positive qualities.  Then, again using your imagination, consider what may be the defects of those qualities and write those traits down.  See if any of these negative attributes resonate when you consider personal conflicts or difficulties you may face.  To continue using the example from above, could the personal strength which is your justification for condemning weakness sometimes be viewed as bullying?  Are there areas in which your espousal of your own beliefs might be viewed as just as unkind as those you hate?  Just as the first part of the exercise does not mean we must justify the hurtful behavior of others, this exercise is not meant to detract from your own self-esteem, merely to widen our range of vision.

In both parts of this exercise, we are using imagination to remove our own unconscious mental and emotional blinders.  This exercise does tell us that we are wrong, but it does help us admit the possibility that we can be wrong.  We each hope our own failings, those moments when we fail to live up to our highest self, will not be held against us.  Too often, however, we assess others, particularly those who are dissimilar to us in some way, more harshly.

As we grow in our studies of astrology, we move beyond the need to use it as just another tool for stereotyping others by saying we like one sign and dislike another.  Astrology enables us to see both ourselves and the world more clearly, and heighten our skills of compassion and self-understanding.

(photo: Lobo via Wikimedia Commons*)

How the planets line up for the Holmes-Cruise divorce

Besides being a powerful tool for self-understanding and personal growth, astrology also offers us a lens for viewing everything from history to the current political landscape and even the part of the news that falls under the heading of celebrity gossip.  A recent item in this category, the Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise divorce, caught my eye because it seems like manifestation of the powerful Uranus-Pluto square now taking place.

Intrigued, I did a bit more research, including looking up the natal charts of the people involved.  Here is what I found about the astrology of these this story:


Katie Holmes’ natal chart and transits

Katie Holmes recently announced that she is divorcing Tom Cruise.  The stories I read online speculated that the timing of the action is related to Holmes wanting to prevent her daughter from being schooled by the Church of Scientology.  Katie Holmes was born on December 18, 1978 at 9:32 pm in Toledo, Ohio, giving her a Sagittarius Sun and a Leo Moon in her 12th house only 5 degrees from her Leo Ascendant.  When looking closely at issues of relationships, I like to use the goddess asteroids as these intensify the focus on that area.

A glance at Katie’s chart reveals that transiting Uranus sits near the edge of her 8th house of shared resources and secrets, almost on the border of her ninth house, related both to courts and religion.  Pluto, meanwhile, is transiting her fifth house of children and, at 8 degrees, conjuncts both her natal Mars (4 degrees) and her natal Pallas (13 degrees), the asteroid connecting to the warrior queen energy of the goddess Pallas Athene.  Transiting Pallas, meanwhile, is conjunct transiting Uranus, so it is squaring its natal position in her chart.

This seems to confirm that the celebrity gossip columns are correct—that Katie is taking action to protect her daughter.  On an astrological level, she seems to have been spurred to the divorce by the Uranus-Pluto square.  She seems to have very good instincts or a good astrological advisor as well as a good lawyer counseling her about timing the divorce.  With Jupiter and Venus both transiting her tenth house of reputation, public opinion seems to side with her.  The asteroids also transiting this house in her chart speak of the reasons people feel sympathy for her:  Ceres, which relates to motherhood as well as Sedna, whose energy reveals issues of victimization.

With today’s Full Moon at 12 Capricorn one degree away from Holmes’ natal Pallas, there are bound to be further revelations about this case emerging soon.  However, the July 15-August 8 Mercury retrograde in Leo will take place in her 12th house, near her natal Jupiter and moving backwards over her natal Lilith, so there are likely to be attempts to smear her.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the astrological angle of this story in the comments section, or to suggest a story you’d like me to write about from the perspective of astrology.


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