Savoring the Solstice

Introspection interrupted….

The Summer Solstice recently passed, leaving me in a state of reflection. Astrologically, this day marks the passage of the Sun into Cancer, which I find interesting as Cancer is ruled by the Moon. All the other solar festival placements make sense to me:

  • Spring Equinox – Aries, ruled by Mars: Everything is waking up and aggressively looking for resources after the scarce winter.
  • Autumn Equinox – Libra, ruled by Venus or Ceres: The Sign of the Scales already speaks to the equal nature of night to day in an Equinox and, depending on the ruler you pick (astrologers differ), we’re looking Venus, a receptive planets as the Earth starts her final stage of harvesting and prepares for winter, or Ceres, a harvest deity.
  • Winter Solstice – Capricorn, ruled by Saturn: Saturn was once considered the outer reach of our solar system and is one of the coldest planets, Capricorn reflects the winter hardy qualities of  hard work, discipline, ambition, and a reserved nature.

One would think that the Sun would rule the day where the Sun stays longest in the sky and that the Sign ruled by the Moon would be in place during the longest night. Like the star chart should be flipped and the darkest part of your chart is not during the brightest time of year (granted, I know it isn’t everywhere, but it was in the place tropical astrology developed).

But, when I really think about it, the Moon reflects the Sun and the Sun represents the Ego. In terms of personality in astrology, we look at the Sun, the Moon, and the Ascendant. As the Ascendant is our projection of ourselves, which we often tailor to the specific people we are projecting to (ourselves included), this intersection of just the Sun and the Moon represents who we are at the most basic levels – the Ego, telling us what we need to nurture in ourselves to grow, and the Spirit, telling us what we need to nurture in our relationships to grow. The Sun is our need for individuality, the Moon is our need for connection.

If Leo or Aries were in this position at the height of the Sun’s power, the Ego would be overwhelming. Here Cancer reminds us that, even at the height of personal abundance, we need to nurture our relationships with the Earth and the people in our lives or that abundance will be short lived. Immediately the days begin to shorten and, while it is easy to forget that winter is coming, it will, inevitably, come.

There are many lessons one can glean from this. Share your abundance. Remember your relationships. Everyone has an individual lesson they can take away. The one that I am working on incorporating is remembering that our connections are brighter when we are at our brightest. Yes, coming back to that same old self care, but it’s a lesson that I am thick headed about.

Incoming rant

This blog has been derailed by an insensitive comment overheard on a five minute conversation with my ex. I’m bringing it up because it’s messing with me finishing my post, it pissed me off good and proper, and it is illustrative of some of the issues you run into while trying to do self care.

The situation: My little boy is 9 today! Celebration is only partially planned because someone isn’t great with communication and I finally gave up several years ago on trying to make that a thing that happens. It’s a lot of ineffectual work on my end (see, self care happens sometimes). The plan is still a little up in the air, but an ending time of 7-8 was suggested to which I said, “Ok, but then I will need to leave for a bit to get some things done.” To make a long story short, some things were said that make it clear that they believe me leaving during this time is just so rude.

And if this had been the first time what I do with my time had been commented on, I’d let it go as a one off. But it’s every time that I ask if they would take him for anything non-work related or -family related (which is really rare – maybe twice in the last 2 years) and sometimes when it’s actually their time to have him, but I’m not going to work, which happened the week before last. The implication is that the only acceptable reasons for me to be away from my child is work or a downer family event. It’s just a little extra social and emotional crap to deal with when it’s already hard for me to take time off for self care, which, much as I love my little boy, being with him does not qualify as self care. It’s hard enough to remind myself that I am allowed to take a day off and to use that day for fun and relaxation without being told that I’m really not allowed and I need to justify the use of my free time.

So, I was planning on spending some of that free time on practical things, but instead I am going to do some guided self love meditation and relax. I’m going to do my best to feed my soul, so I have the energy to not be destructive to some of the above mentioned relationships. I’m going to try to be active about this for the week and come back to partnerships later on. What can I say? I’m a work in progress.

Exploring Other Opportunities

“How can i be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole.”
~Carl Jung

I have finally finished up (mostly) the 6th House and, thus, the southern hemisphere of the chart, which is primarily concerned with the self. It is time to move into the northern hemisphere and the concept of the Other.

Jung fits right in with astrology – there’s even the duality of Libra hanging out at the bottom of the Shadow Side.

This starts in the 7th House, known usually as the House of Partnership and Marriage, but it also covers such Others as enemies and, especially with the Descendant (the cusp of the House), even our own shadow side – the parts of ourselves that we consider not ourselves, but something Other. It’s the mirror we resist looking into and can’t help looking into. We are attracted to an opposite, not because it is truly opposite and opposites attract, but because we see parts of ourselves that we haven’t accepted and, deep down, long to embrace. The House is traditionally ruled by Libra, the Sign of fairness, justice, and balance, which is in turn ruled by Venus, planet of pleasure, romance, manipulation, and values.

I have no planets in this House, but it is ruled by Aquarius, known as the Friendship sign and whose keywords include independent, unique, detached, scattered, humanitarian, rebellious, thoughtful, unpredictable, and tolerant. I’m attracted to people who are different, both in appearance and, especially, thought processes, but who are still good friends and focused on humanitarian, scientific, or occult things. Aquarius is also the sign associated with eccentricity and, even, a little madness. Which, yes, in some ways, I am both attracted to and do attract people with these qualities.

In all honestly, I’m not sure where I want to start. On the one hand, it makes the most sense to me, logically, to start with the Shadow side stuff. But on the other, I have recently made some progress in the area of partners as well as some realizations in the area of enemies. So, for now, I’m going to put out this basic intro to the House and do some ruminating on these subjects, maybe start each of them and see which one I have the most coherent things to say about.

Until next time.

Looking for a Mind at Work

An attempt at the illusive work-life balance.

Satisfied from Hamilton

I picked the above song because I think it’s a good mix of Virgo and Capricorn – Angelica is in love with Hamilton, but instead hooks him up with her sister Eliza because she is hyper-aware of societal conventions, her expected role, and her sister’s love for him as well. Ambition and responsibility; analysis and self-sacrifice.

So in the song, the mix is pretty clear. Capricorn on the cusp of my 6th House, traditionally ruled by Virgo, is less clear. The 6th House is not a fun house (traditionally malefic) – it’s a house of responsibility, daily routine, work life, health and illness, service to others and those we serve – when something goes wrong here it can fuck up your whole chart.

I don’t have any planets in this house, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have experiences. Astrologically, that just puts more emphasis on the cusp ruler and that Sign’s ruler: Saturn in the 4th.

I’ve been chewing on this for a bit: Work (when I was young, it was school because I considered being a student my job) has always been important to me. I work hard, I put time into mastering my jobs, no matter what they are, and I feel responsible for them – with Saturn in the 4th, I can’t help it, it’s part of the core of who I am. I’m very critical of my work (Virgo) and I both love and hate recognition for it (Capricorn and Virgo respectively). It’s not really that I want to be rewarded for working hard or attaining mastery; that’s what I expect of myself, so a reward feels more like a participation trophy or pandering depending on the context. By recognition I really mean I want to be told what I’m doing well and where I can improve (as long as it’s not the manager training 2 things doing well for 1 thing that needs improvement), I want to be trusted to work autonomously, and I want to be pulled for bigger projects or new situations where my skills are needed. Put another way, the best way to reward me for working hard is to either give me more responsibility or to give me the freedom to work unfettered.

Not gonna lie, the typo is driving me nuts.

That’s a problem.

I’m never satisfied that I’m doing a good enough job. There’s always something I can do better or that I can work on. If there isn’t, I don’t believe that or I get bored. If there is, I focus on it.

The other thing that comes up is that my cusp’s planetary ruler is in the 4th House traditionally ruled by Cancer and the planet is in Scorpio. Cancer, like the moon, waxes and wanes and Scorpio transforms through sudden change. My work life, sometimes through no fault of my own, contains sudden ups and downs. I was active military for just over 4 years and, in that time, I did 2 deployments, was assigned to 2 duty stations, and did long term training at a 3rd. While moving a lot isn’t unusual in the military, that’s still a little high compared to a lot of the people I served with. I’ve worked in jobs where funding that had been there for years was suddenly pulled or contracts they were sure of weren’t awarded. And, of course, there was the latest fiasco. My resume has gotten to be quite long.

All in all, it has created an adaptability coupled with a certain amount of pessimism that I deal with in a practical, hard-working, unrealistic way: have too many jobs. You know, just in case. Right now, I’m working 3 and, even though I intended to quit the 1 I have the fewest hours and make the least amount of money at, I have only just today written my resignation (cuz I do that, even though this is a coffee shop job). And that resignation, in and off itself, is more of a step down, leaving in an option to use me as a back up or as a holiday worker. I can’t help but feel justified doing that, though, because the pressure has poured on at my primary job as of Friday to fix our contract’s timeliness problem or risk losing the contract and, consequently, our jobs. And it comes at a time when I’ve had an increase in expenses due to a sudden roommate issue.

That being said, I think that my Mars conjunct Uranus in Sagittarius probably thrives in this constantly changing landscape of employment. It digs the new environments and the required quick-to-catch-on mentality, the flying-by-the-seat-of-the-pants problem solving. It just freaks the Virgo/Capricorn/Home Stability portion of me out. I’m not afraid of working hard. I’m afraid of hardly working.

My goal as I work through this house is to worry less and make sure I make time to focus on my health, which is also under the auspices of this house. I want to find the time to take care of me and to find a work/life balance that I can sustain and not be critical of. Usually my approach to this is just to do more stuff. I don’t want to do that this time around. Instead, I want to focus on doing the right stuff to rejuvenate myself. Creating, meditating, getting good sleep, spending quality time with my son. All the things that sometimes fall by the wayside when I’m focused on getting stuff done. It will help me keep my mind at work.

Hopefully me this week