Archive for May, 2010

Neptune Goes Retrograde Today–Time to Walk Between the Worlds

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Neptune_by_InertiaK“Wake up!” says Neptune.  “Recently I showed you that there is more to your life than what can be experienced with the physical senses.  I demanded that you look deeper.  Now I’m telling you again:  it’s time to re-dream your life.”

Today Is A Pivotal Day
When a planet turns retrograde it makes a pivot in the sky and also creates a metaphorically “pivotal” experience for human beings.  Today, that planet is Neptune.  It’s as if Neptune is telling us, “You can’t go on avoiding this change forever.  Today I’m delivering a wake-up call.”  If Neptune is touching a planet in your chart this year, this message is for you and it will have very specific meaning, depending on what planet that is.  That planet, and the part of you it represents, is receiving a vision of what is possible; during this time you’ll be asked to re-dream that part of you.  Today is the peak of Neptune’s wake-up call, but it could happen anytime within 5 days surrounding today.

Initiation Leading To An Inner Journey
Sometime between now and the beginning of last November Neptune showed us an area of life in which we are due for a change.  What she delivered was an initiation and it was our first chance to catch a clue about the spiritual reorientation to come.  That clue may have been obvious or it may have been subtle, but we’ve been shown a way to become much bigger and much more like our ideal.  And we may have to push through some uncomfortable delusions to do it.

The clue was delivered, but did we notice?  It’s human to go into denial.  During the winter we may have said to ourselves, “Maybe I don’t have to do anything about this.  Maybe it was just a one-time thing.  Maybe I can just move on.  Maybe I can get away without paying attention to this.”

Or maybe not.  Today Neptune turns up the volume and gives us a reminder.  “That redreaming you’re going through?” she says, “You’d better get with the program.”  Today, Neptune’s retrograde journey begins and with it begins our journey into our personal land of dreams (and nightmares).  Neptune’s retrograde journey lasts until the day it turns direct, which is November 6, 2010.

Journey Into the Imaginative Realms
The veil between physical and nonphysical realities is thin right now.  If you close your eyes you can reach right through it.  You can enter that place between the worlds where nothing is actual and everything is possible, that magical, in-between place where imagination is rich and you can dream up your future to be whatever you want it to be.  Neptune is the stuff fantasy books are made of.

But Neptune is also the planet of illusions and delusions.  While Neptune is retrograde (until November 6) you will be pulled into circumstances that bring your delusions into sharper focus.  Examine your life carefully—are there places where you are pretending things are different than they are?  Are there places where you are living a fantasy because it’s nicer than the reality you face?  Sometimes a fantasy is a form of healthy escape that helps us cope with a painful but necessary reality, but at other times escaping from reality keeps us from coping and from courageously changing our reality to better match our ideal.

This transit can be great for those who live by their imaginations:  writers, artists, filmmakers and creative people of all stripes.  It can also be great for those who know themselves to be psychically sensitive.  Neptune’s action is gentle and so subtle that it can be hard to notice unless you are already the kind of person who pays attention to your imagination.  This is a great time to attend a dream-group or keep a dream-journal or to do Morning Pages.*

Is This Story Your Story?
If this feels true for you, it may be that you are personally touched by this transit.  Neptune may be triggering a planet in your own chart, thus bringing these themes up for you.  This year Neptune is covering the space between 25 and 28 degrees of Aquarius.  If there is anything in your chart in 25, 26, 27 or 28 degrees of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio, you will feel this.  And knowing it can help a lot if you’ve been feeling sucked into other worlds and you don’t know why.  Neptune has you in a walking dream this year, because she has an important message for you.  Your ideal life is calling and if you listen to her siren song, this could be the year you make a subtle shift in direction that leads to a whole new future.

What Area Of Your Life Is Being Affected?
Good question.  It will have to do with the planet in your chart that’s being triggered by Neptune.  If Neptune is affecting your Mercury, you may find yourself a little mentally fuzzy and more prone to daydreaming than usual.  What’s happening is an awakening of your intuition, so make room for that.  If Neptune is affecting your Venus or Juno, you may become aware of illusions you’ve had in your relationships.  You’ll want to clear those away.  If Neptune is affecting your Moon you may have a psychic opening or a very active dreamlife this year.  Pay attention to your dreams—they will contain wisdom for you.

But whatever planet Neptune is affecting, you can bet that the dreamworld is catching hold of you now.  You may find yourself more distractible, more prone to daydreaming.  You may even want to sleep more.  It’s as if there’s another you, who dwells in your dreams.  That other you is activated right now and when s/he is awake, you must sleep.  This is normal for a Neptune transit.  Get the rest you need.  Pay respect to Neptune and in return, she’ll make your dreams come true.

Want to know more about how this Neptune transit affects your life?
Contact Jamie at
to schedule a reading.

*Morning Pages are a creativity-priming technique devised by Julia Cameron and described in her book The Artist’s Way which I recommend highly.

Art by InertiaK


Saturn Goes Direct Today–The Pressure Is On

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Saturn_by_disjointdheartThis Is A Pivotal Day
If you are one of the millions of people having a Saturn transit this year, today is likely to be pivotal for you.  Sometime around January 13, when Saturn turned retrograde, you were cast on an inner journey to discover what your unavoidable responsibility is.  By now you should have done a lot of soul-searching and reached some conclusions about what’s in front of you.  You’re work is cut out for you and now it’s time to hunker down and, in a serious push lasting several months, complete all those tasks leading to a tremendous accomplishment.

“What is a Saturn transit like . . .”
When Saturn is affecting your chart it tends to feel heavy. You feel the weight of life more than usual. You feel serious, and the pressure to take a more professional approach is enormous.  You are more aware of your limitations than usual and you feel you must take steps to improve your situation.  A Saturn transit is never comfortable, but it calls out the best in us and demands that we perform to, or even beyond, our standards.

“. . . and how do I know when I’m having one?”
First of all, you know by feel.  If what I’ve described resonates for you, it’s likely you’re having a Saturn transit.  (If it resonates, but only a little, you may be having a transit, but by a planet other than Saturn.)  That sensation of heaviness and duty that’s peculiar to a Saturn transit is because there’s hard work to be done in some area of your life and Saturn is making you aware of it.

You can find out whether you’re having a Saturn transit by peeking at your chart.  This year Saturn is covering the space from 27 degrees of Virgo to 4 degrees of Libra.  It will affect you if you have any planet in the space from 27 to 29 degrees of any of the four Mutable signs (Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius).  It will also affect you if you have any planet in the space from 0 to 4 degrees of any of the four Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn).

If you don’t have your chart, or don’t know how to read your chart, you might want to order your own personal Astrology Chart Decoder.  This is a special tool I’ve invented that puts your chart’s details into English, instead of astrology symbols.  Your Decoder tells you where every planet in your chart is located:  the sign it’s in, the house it’s in and the exact degree it occupies.  When you’ve got your Decoder in front of you, check to see if you have anything at all in 27, 28 or 29 degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius.  Also check to see if you have anything at all in 0, 1,2, 3 or 4 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn.  If you do, you are definitely having a Saturn transit this year.  And knowing that gives you a chance to understand the change you’re involved in and to make use of the pressure, instead of feeling overwhelmed by it.

“How long does it last?”
A Saturn transit will typically last for about 9 months.  This year’s Saturn transit will be over in September of 2010.  Today is just one part of it, a pivotal day in its flow.  If this transits is affecting you, the timing of it will be unique to you.  It takes an astrologer to look it up—it’s not something I can just tell you in a blogpost.  In an astrology reading you can find out the timing of it and how to move through it consciously, instead of spending this valuable time agitated and disturbed.  You can also find out which part of you (i.e. planet in your chart) is feeling the pressure to take responsibility.  Is it Relationships (Venus)?  Career (Saturn)?  Home (Moon)?  Or it could be something more subtle.

“What do I do now?”

People generally respond to a Saturn transit one of two ways: either they roll up their sleeves and get to work on the area of life where the pressure is or they run away and stick their head in the sand.  Are you using the pressure as a motivation to accomplish things you’ve been wanting to accomplish for a long time or are you avoiding the responsibility you know darned well is right in front of you?  The good news is that the moment you decide to be responsible and you take action towards that responsibility, the feeling of heaviness lifts.  Saturn has been propitiated and he eases off.

Saturn’s Gift
The principle behind Saturn’s pressure is extraordinarily simple:  do the work and you’ll get the reward.  That’s all.  It’s a simple input/output machine and there’s nothing complicated about it.

Face the hard work.  Approach it in a practical way.  Break down what there is to do into small tasks and do them.  Awaken your ambition to build something great out of what you have, and let it take over.  Paradoxically, practice, when done properly, does lead to flow, that elusive state where time melts away and you are one with your practice.  Ultimately your effort will pay off—that’s Saturn’s promise and believe me, his word is good.

When it’s over, it’s over
Every transit only lasts so long and this one will only last a few months longer.  I’m a big fan of taking advantage of transits while they are happening, instead of spending the precious time resisting or waiting for them to be over.  A transit is the most powerful while you are in the thick of it.  That may be the hardest time to change but it’s also time when the most pressure to change is brought to bear.  You cannot afford to be lazy during a Saturn transit because it feels so much worse than laziness usually does.  If you decide that Saturn’s pressure is your friend, you can get him on your side.  And with Saturn beside you, you can climb—and move—mountains.

Want to know more about how this Saturn transit affects your life?
Contact Jamie at
to schedule a reading.

Art by disjointdheart


Jupiter opposes Saturn: Expansion vs. Contraction

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

This month, Jupiter and Saturn come into opposition in the sky.  Since Jupiter is all about expansion, getting bigger and having confidence in ourselves and Saturn is all about contraction, being emotionally reserved and working hard to earn what we gain in life, you can see that they have a lot of places to disagree.

Imagine Jupiter and Saturn on Mount Olympus arguing about how you should spend your time.  Jupiter is a large, round, jolly guy with a benevolent glow around him.  Saturn is thin and ascetic-looking, with a kind of hooked nose and a miserly air.  Their conversation might sound something like this . . .

Jupiter:  I’m all about making things bigger.
Saturn:  Blowing them out of proportion, you mean.
Jupiter:  Why do you always have to be such a wet blanket?
Saturn:  Because I value substance over surface.  There’s no limit to what can be accomplished by someone who’s willing to work hard and create value.
Jupiter:  Actually, there is a limit to that.  If a person works hard but never takes a break, they will come to feel that their life is just drudgery—“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” you know?
Saturn:  If the work is done, it’s ok to go play.
Jupiter:  Is it really, Saturn?  Do you ever really let up?
Saturn:  I can let up after something really solid has been accomplished.  But I like to push until it actually happens.  You, on the other hand, are usually full of hot air.  All enthusiasm and no substance.
Jupiter:  How can people progress and build anything meaningful if they have no hope?
Saturn:  I’m perfectly ready to deliver the reward after the work is done.
Jupiter:  Your approach is harsh and judgmental.
Saturn:  And you’re too relaxed.  Promises are important and a person who cannot stand behind their own word is worthless.  Wait a minute, who’s that?
A human being has joined the gods on Mount Olympus and stands there struggling for breath in the rarified atmosphere.
Human Being:  I’m only mortal, but I climbed up here because I want to talk to you both.
Jupiter:  I’m impressed.
Saturn:  So am I.  For once we agree.  So, little Human Being, what do you want?
Human Being:  Your argument is confusing me.  Sometimes I want to be in touch with my ability to hope and to grow and to expand, and then I listen to you, Jupiter—
Jupiter:  Fantastic idea.  Good on you.
Human Being:  —and then other times I just need a solid kick in the pants, so I listen to the never-ending stream of self-judgment that you put in my head, Saturn.
Saturn:  Glad you’re listening.  That will take you far.
Human Being:  But right now I don’t know what to do.  You’re pulling me in two different directions.  I don’t know whether I should expand or contract.  Should I grow my business or prune and consolidate it?  Should I make promises before I know I can keep them and then scramble to fulfill or should I work hard behind the scenes until I have something solid to offer and then promote it wildly?
Jupiter and Saturn look at each other.  Both shrug.
Saturn:  It doesn’t really matter which you do first, as long as you honor us both.
Jupiter:  Couldn’t have said it better myself.  Just make us both happy, in whatever order you like, and you’ll find our argument is over.
Jupiter and Saturn pat each other on the back and stroll away into the beautiful Olympian twilight.


The 4 Elements, Caught Squabbling Again

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I just got an interesting question from a Twitter follower.  On Twitter, she writes:

foxyladye @pandoraastro why is water and earth always IN CHARGE! and fire(me-leo) & air except Libra! always gotta follow along

It’s an interesting question, @foxyladye, and since I couldn’t squeeze the answer into a tweet or two, I thought I’d move the question over here, where I can spread out a little.

My first thought is that I’m surprised, because Water and Earth often feel that Fire is overwhelming, overbearing and pushy.  And there’s some truth to that.  Yet, from Fire’s point of view (and yes, Leo is Fire), Fire is just being itself.  To Fire, Earth looks slow, dull, boring and painfully cynical, while Fire people are exciting and uplifting to be around.  It’s hard for Fire types to handle Earthy negativity.  From Earth’s point of view, Fire is all hot air and has no concept of the bottom line.  You see how these two are challenged to get along?

Water has problems with Fire too.  Water can be very sensitive and can feel that Fire comes blustering in with no clue about how they are affecting others.  Water often feels overrun and disrespected by Fire.  From Fire’s point of view, Water is too sensitive and should just get over it.  Fire doesn’t want to have to “hide their light under a bushel” just because water is being a “wet blanket.” (Those common phrases are no accident.)

My suggestion is to be the best Leo/Fire sign you can:  shine your light fully, be big, creative and expressive, but don’t be overbearing.  When your friends push back, it’s possible that you were being pushy first, but just didn’t realize it.  If you let your ego get in the way, you’re living your worst Leo side and it will push you away from your friends.  To be the royalty that you are, foxyladye, you’ve got to be gracious.  Because what use is it being queen if you have no citizens to follow your leadership?

Before I end this, I do want to add that a person’s “sign” is not all they are.  It’s quite possible, in fact it’s extremely likely, that those people you think of as Earth actually have some Fire, Air and Water in them.  Almost no one is all Fire.  And you yourself are a blend of the four elements.  Fire may be your strongest element, but maybe not.  It might be worth getting a reading to find out.  ;-)  If you want that, click on Astrology In Person, in the main page’s right sidebar.

Have a great day,



Taurus-the Calm at the Center of the Storm

Friday, May 14th, 2010


How does Taurus do it?  Stay grounded in the midst of chaos, find order in the midst of sanity and be the calm at the center of the storm?  And why do Taurus types have such a lock on inner peace?  In today’s article, discover 5 ways Taurus stays sane—and how you can too.

Enjoy Simple Pleasures. Taurus is endlessly entertained by the small, immediate yummies of life.  The Taurus type loves things—expensive things, shiny things, lots of things, quality things but definitely things.  Taurus loves well-crafted objects, fabric with a good drape, food with subtle flavors and lovely smells.  Even earthy smells—such as a freshly plowed field—can bring secret nostalgic delight to a Taurean (“ahh, the farms where I grew up. . .”).  Taureans are earthy creatures and this world is full of sensory delights for them to enjoy.  Where’s the nearest flower?

Be Still. Taurus is not only capable of stillness, Taurus revels in it.  This ability to be the eye in the storm, the rock everyone can cling to, the still point of the ultimate balance is the envy of all the other signs (especially Librans).  How does Taurus do it?  The secret is that Taurus loves to stop moving and simply be still.  Your friendly neighborhood Taurean type resembles Newton’s Laws of Motion:  Taurus is static, unmoved except by an outside force; they tend to go in the direction they’re moved until stopped or slowed by (again) an outside force; and every action causes an equal and opposite reaction.  Ponder that next time you ask a Taurus to do something for you.

Practice Yoga. The practice of gentle stretching is good for the Taurean soul as well as the body.  Not-for-Taurus are those high-impact, high-energy workouts that bring sweat and require uncomfortable bras.  The sheer slowness of yoga is soothing.  And if that wasn’t enough, doing yoga means engaging in a practice that brings flexibility to this sometimes very stubborn Fixed sign.

Cultivate Body Awareness. A Taurus who is living the best of this sign is really in touch with her body.  She loves her body and her body gives her good messages.  It’s not easy to cultivate real body awareness in this modern world, with its continual barrage of sexual images, but the Taurus side of us can do it, needs to do it.  A woman who’s really in her body knows when something feels wrong.  And when something is wrong she has to set it right or she’s just not comfortable in her skin.  The enlightened Taurus is not distracted by bling or pulled off center by men’s offers to “take care of her.”  Instead she checks with her abdominal compass and holds her own dignified center.

Have a Low Tolerance for Drama. And here we get to the heart of it.  The Taurus part of us is very much a practical person.  Unnecessary shouting (and to Taurus, all shouting is unnecessary) is met with raised eyebrows.  Willful pushing and manipulations are useless, because Taurus has grappled with some of the finest manipulators ever (perhaps they are attracted to the challenge).  And when you get out the really big guns and throw a screaming hissy fit in front of a crowd of people, hoping to embarrass a Taurus into capitulation, you can almost see those heels dig in.  And once that happens, forget it.  To Taurus, you just look crazy.  To Taurus, drama is ridiculous.  Gentleness and reason will always work far more effectively with a Taurus of any age.  And this keeps life simple—exactly the way Taurus likes it.

Want to know more about your chart and your unique style?
Contact Jamie to schedule a reading.

Art by Melora. Here’s her page on

This is a repost of an article I wrote for the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal.  You can find the original here.


Why The Moment Of Birth?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

I just had the pleasure of answering a question that comes up a lot and thought I would share it with you.  I found this question here on Facebook.

Q:  “Why is it that the moment of birth is so important in terms of astrology? Why not the moment of conception, the end of the first trimester, or the onset of puberty?”

Your question is a natural one.  The answer is simpler than you’d think.  What astrologers use is not exactly the moment of birth per se, it is actually the moment of first breath.  Physically what happens at the first breath is that the baby is, for the first time, an entity of its own.  Up until first breath the baby is, for all practical purposes, a part of its mother’s body, running all its functions through her.  But at first breath the umbilical cord is cut and the baby now breathes for itself, and must learn to eat, poop and run all its biological functions outside the mother’s systems.  After birth, the baby becomes a person.  Before modern technology, parents did not even know their child’s sex before birth and could not choose a name.

I believe there is a spiritual thing happening at the birth moment that parallels these physical symptoms of autonomy.  When that first breath delivers oxygen into the brain, each and every cell in the baby’s body is imprinted with the quality of the moment along with that initial hit of oxygen.  The baby then becomes an agent of that moment, linked to it by its very life, and the baby’s job is to be the finest expression of that moment possible.  A moment is a temporally holographic picture which can be read from any number of divinatory angles—casting of runes, divining entrails, tarot cards, etc, including the precise positions of planets in the sky at that moment.  What I like about using astrology as the divination method is that it is more detailed and precise—more granular, if you will—than any other personality system out there (compare Myers-Briggs, enneagram, etc.) and thus eloquently suited to reflect our complex human nature back to us.

Hinduism has spoken for millennia about prana, the breath of life or universal energy.  With that first breath we take in prana and we become a person.  And when we die, our breath, our anima/animus, our indwelling spirit, leaves our body for the last time.  Goodbye, prana.  And while prana may not be measurable, we sure do know when it’s there—and when it’s gone.

As to what hospitals and midwives record, that could be anything: the moment of crowning, the moment the baby emerges, the moment of first breath.  Fortunately, those all tend to happen pretty close together.  But a smart, technically knowledgeable and experienced astrologer will usually question a birth time, knowing as we do that nurses often record births later in the day and are approximate in their notations.  Whenever I see a birth time that’s exactly on the hour or half hour, I suspect that a little tweaking of that birth time may well lead to a more accurate chart.

All this brings up the question of caesarian births and of induced births.  Some people come to me with their birth time, “but,” they say, “I was induced” or “I was caesarian.  I wasn’t born when I should have been.”  That may be so, but the first breath is still your birth moment, even if it was on a hospital’s schedule, not yours.  And many astrologers and spiritual guides believe that even the random factors of life fit into a great design, such that an individual could choose a birth moment that included the eventuality of interference.

There was a study done (I forget by who, sorry—it might have been Carl Jung) that showed that astrological family patterns, such as the frequent appearance of a particular Sun or Moon sign, tend to be disrupted by births that are induced or caesarian, giving a greater likelihood (with the increase of these birthing techniques) of modern people feeling a sense of not belonging to their families of origin.  Interesting idea, isn’t it?


Orpheus–Going the Distance for Love

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Mars retrograde may be over, but it isn’t really finished until Mars has exited the “retrograde patch,” that span of 0-to-19 degrees of Fixed signs he’s been in for the last 2 months.  So themes of anger management, self-assertion and the need to be a hero will pervade the atmosphere through May 17 and I’m continuing my thread about the virtues of a hero as told through classical Greek and Roman mythology.  Today’s heroic virtue is devotion—the capacity to place one’s talents and abilities in the service of a greater power, to be a worthy instrument in the hand of God.  Orpheus, legendary musician and charmer of beast, men and gods, was such an instrument.

Legends of Orpheus: Music, Charm and Devotion
Orpheus was a legendary musician of extraordinary talent and ability.  He played the lyre so beautifully that he made rocks dance and stirred the hearts of even the most hardened individuals.  While playing, he created a trance so beautiful that no listener wanted it to end and using his lyre he could tame wild animals.  Nothing could withstand the charm of his music; it was like a superpower for him.  Once, during the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece, he even appeased a storm with the power of song.

But Orpheus’ greatest accomplishment was to bring back his wife from the dead.  Here’s how it happened.  He had just won the woman of his dreams, lovely Eurydice, and had married her, when, just a few short weeks after their union, she was bitten by a snake and died.  He mourned and played a dirge for her that stirred not only men, but gods also.  He would not stop his grieving until he had made his way to the underworld, where he sang and played for those cold deities Pluto and Proserpine.  And there he bent the will of the Lord of Death himself, and obtained a reprieve for Eurydice.  But there was a catch—he was not allowed to look at her, but had to trust that she was following him, until he got her aboveground again.  At the very last minute, because her footsteps were so quiet he could not hear them, he turned to look back at her, and she was carried away back to the underworld, with no recourse to try a second time.

Heroic Virtue #6:  Devotion
Orpheus had a tremendous power to charm and could probably have made any woman fall in love with him.  But his love for Eurydice was greater than his love for himself.  She was, for him, an inspiration, a muse and the meaning behind everything beautiful in his life.  So although his gift was great, his ability to be inspired by love was even greater.

Love does not have to take human form to serve as an inspiration to bring out a person’s heroic greatness.  What is needed is to be devoted to something greater than yourself, something that endures beyond physical death, something divine.

Upon his own death, Orpheus went to the netherworld and was restored to the arms of his loving wife, who had been waiting for him there with a devotion equal to his own.  It is said they wander the Elysian Fields together, hand in hand, and that Orpheus’ lyre now dwells in the sky as the constellation Lyra.

What Mars is Asking of You
Do you have a gift that you want, or even need, to give to the world?
What is your cause, your mission, the flag that rallies you?
What is the beautiful purpose that guides everything you do?
When you know that, you have transformed from a warrior, who lives for war, to a hero, who lives for a truly higher purpose.

Articles in this thread:
Mars Retrograde: The Hero’s Journey
Hercules, Hero of Strength
Achilles, Hero of Courage
Resourceful, Clever Odysseus
There’s Still Time To Be A Hero
Castor & Pollux:  Brotherhood in the Trenches
Alexander the Great & the Gordian Knot
Orpheus:  Going The Distance For Love


Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Mars retrograde may be over, but it isn’t really finished until Mars has exited the “retrograde patch,” that span of 0-to-19 degrees of Fixed signs he’s been in for the last 2 months.  So themes of anger management, self-assertion and the need to be a hero will pervade the atmosphere through May 17 and I’m continuing my thread about the virtues of a hero as told through classical Greek and Roman mythology.  Today’s heroic virtue is invention—the strategic capacity to solve a problem in such an unexpected way that the problem itself is rendered irrelevant.

Legends of Alexander, Warrior-King:  The Gordian Knot
Alexander the Great was a historical figure of the 300’s BC.  He was a great warrior and king who expanded his empire greatly through his exploits.  The famous story of his approach to the Gordian knot is a wonderful illustration of inventiveness.

The Gordian knot was tied by King Gordius of Phrygia and it was quite a piece of work.  Legend arose that whoever untied the knot would rule all of Asia.  Many tried to untie the knot and failed.  Alexander himself came to the area and tried but became frustrated with the incredible complexity and resistance of the stubborn puzzle.  Ultimately, impatience overcame him and he took out his sword and sliced the knot in two—and went on to conquer all of Asia, thus fulfilling the prophecy.

Alexander’s solution to the problem of the knot was unconventional.  He refused to solve the problem on its own level by following the rules the knot presented.  Instead he made his own rules, which transcended the rules of the knot, and solved the problem with a single blow.

Heroic Virtue #5:  Invention
Invention is the ability to see a problem from such a startling angle that it becomes solvable in a new way—and probably a simpler and faster way too.  If you can invent a solution, you can save resources and live to battle another day.

What Mars is Asking of You
What knotty problem are you struggling to solve in your life right now?
Have you taken the rules of this problem for granted?
What if you operated outside the rules of this problem?
Is there a way to solve it from outside that leads to the same (or better) results and saves time, money or resources?

Next: Orpheus–Going the Distance for Love

Articles in this thread:
Mars Retrograde: The Hero’s Journey
Hercules, Hero of Strength
Achilles, Hero of Courage
Resourceful, Clever Odysseus
There’s Still Time To Be A Hero
Castor & Pollux:  Brotherhood in the Trenches
Alexander the Great & the Gordian Knot
Orpheus:  Going The Distance For Love


Castor & Pollux: Brotherhood in the Trenches

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Mars retrograde may be over, but it isn’t really finished until Mars has exited the “retrograde patch,” that span of 0-to-19 degrees of Fixed signs he’s been in for the last 2 months.  So themes of anger management, self-assertion and the need to be a hero will pervade the atmosphere through May 17 and I’m continuing my thread about the virtues of a hero as told through classical Greek and Roman mythology.  Today’s heroic virtue is alliance—that connection that people develop when they’ve gone through battles together.  The best example I can think of is the myth of a pair of brothers called Castor and Pollux.

Legends of Castor & Pollux:  “I’ve Got Your Back, Brother”
Castor and Pollux were identical twin brothers, born of a single egg after their mother Leda had an encounter with Jupiter in the form of a swan.  Yep.  Classical mythology is full of this kind of stuff—it’s best not to take it too literally.  Castor took after mom and was mortal while Pollux took after dad and was immortal.  The boys grew up together and did everything together, despite the huge rift between them—that Castor was always destined for death while Pollux was going to live forever.

The Twins engaged in battle side by side on many occasions, including the Trojan War, which was fought over their stunning sister Helen.  During one battle Castor was slain and fell right next to his brother.  Castor’s soul was carried away to the underworld, as inevitably happens to all mortals.  Pollux was inconsolable and begged their father Jupiter to take his immortality, so that he might join his twin in the underworld.  Jupiter relented and placed the two devoted brothers among the stars as the constellation Gemini.

Heroic Virtue #4:  Alliance
We joke about male bonding, but there is a special connection formed between warriors who hold each others’ lives in their hands.  It is a bond that can last a lifetime and does not lessen with the passage of time.  It is not a sexual bond, nor a familial one, but a bond of brotherhood or sisterhood forged between two who are not related.  It is a bond of shared experience and stress.

But to gain a brother, you must be a brother.  If you can be an ally and you can win an ally to your side, you are rich indeed.  Without alliance, you must fight your life’s battles alone.

What Mars is Asking of You
What does it mean to have someone’s back?
Do you have a comrade-at-arms that you can absolutely depend on?
Whose back have you got?  Who can depend on you?

Next: Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot

Articles in this thread:
Mars Retrograde: The Hero’s Journey
Hercules, Hero of Strength
Achilles, Hero of Courage
Resourceful, Clever Odysseus
There’s Still Time To Be A Hero
Castor & Pollux:  Brotherhood in the Trenches
Alexander the Great & the Gordian Knot
Orpheus:  Going The Distance For Love