The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Lunar Eclipse in Leo, February 2017

Chart for the Lunar Eclipse - Full Moon in Leo
Chart for the Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in Leo

Everybody is talented because everybody who is human has something to express.
~ Brenda Ueland

Feb.10 – LUNAR ECLIPSE ~ FULL MOON in LEO (22:28 of Leo)

The universe expresses itself in infinite ways. It must. It's not an option or a luxury or a by-product. It simply does.

It's not even a matter of survival, because all energy when it dis-integrates from its current form simply rearranges itself into a different form.

Energy is in a continual process of reincarnation. "Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another." (Albert Einstein) This ongoing transformation is the self-expression of the universe as it morphs from one form to another.

It's a wonderful paradox: only when you have a changeless sense of who you are, can real changes take place.
~ Ilchi Lee

As human individuals, we too are forever in a state of change, flux, transformation and transition. With each new moment none of us is precisely the same as we were one moment ago, and are not quite the person we will be a moment from now.

Each tick of the clock brings fresh potential for a different form of expression of who we are. And as we cultivate self-awareness and become conscious of our ever changing state, this too influences what we might become in the next moment.

Every instant of every day we create and recreate who we are. And with each experience of awareness we develop an increasing capacity to choose who and what we may become in our next moment.

Yet we do not do this in isolation. We generate who we are in cooperation with the world around us. That world influences who we are and we in turn affect the world. Every one of us is a co-creator of the universe.

So don't tell me you're not creative!

Le Penseure (The Thinker) by Auguste Rodin

I don't care if you've never picked up a brush or touched a canvas. It doesn't matter if you've never done more with a pencil than write a shopping list. Even if you are paralyzed and cannot command your feet to dance, nor your voice to sing, you are still dancing with the universe at some level.

Just by the fact that we exist, each of us creates. Every decision you make shapes who you will be in the next moment as surely as Auguste Rodin fashioned his famed sculpture, The Thinker. Every choice, thought, action and emotion becomes a brush stroke in your self-portrait.

And each creative act, conscious or unconscious, contributes to the collective environment around you, making you a co-creator of the universe.

The question becomes: what do you want to do with this gift?

Elis Cooke The best advice I've come across about creating is "To create what you want to look at..." I love to look at work that is ambiguous and suggestive; work that leaves room for the imagination of the viewer. Thus I aspire to create something I've never seen, something I define as strange and otherly.
~ Elis Cooke, Canadian artist

It helps to have a vision of what you want to end up with. To engage your passion that longs to pull together the energy and materials that will create something new in the universe.

What do you want to see created in the world? What would begin to give your spirit a sense of completion?

After all, any act of creation is not simply building something "out there" that one can observe. Its value is also that it brings something from deep inside you and gives birth to it outside of yourself.

Leo is naturally aligned with the 5th house in the chart, and both are associated with children. This is not only physical, human children but anything that issues from you that is a product of your creative life force.

When Leo gives birth to an idea or a thing of beauty or a performance that portrays something about human nature, it uses the same power of life force as a mother who pushes a child from her womb.

Every act of creation involves labour.

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?
~ John Keats

The struggle and even the pain of natural childbirth labour is believed to have benefits over birth by cesarean section for both mother and child, including both during and after delivery.

It seems when you have to struggle to bring anything into being, the experience may not always be pleasant but there is a certain solidity and strength that can emerge out of the process. Too much struggle, of course, can have an oppressive counter-productive effect, while too little struggle could bypass the benefits that can only come through that effort.

The trick is finding the most constructive balance between ease and toil, both in the amount of each and in how they are directed to work together.

Mystic Rectangle aspect pattern

The Full Moon chart has just the thing for that � a Mystic Rectangle aspect pattern. It consists of 4 planets at the corners of a rectangle figure�Moon, Jupiter, Sun and Uranus�connected by easy-going trines (120�) and sextiles (60�).

The corners are also joined by 2 opposition aspects�Sun opposite Moon and Jupiter opposite Uranus. The oppositions (180�) are stressful, conflict oriented and full of struggle, ideally in a quest to find a balancing point of equilibrium.

Huber astrology sees this figure as a balance between the harmonious group hug of the trines and sextiles and the tense tug-of-war between the opposition planets, creating the effect of great internal struggle masked by a more tranquil, easy-going external face.

Sometimes it seems safer to hold it all in, where the only person who can judge is yourself.
~ Sarah Dessen

At its best, this figure invites you to delve deep inside to understand the inner nature of the conflicts that haunt you, while giving you creative problem-solving resources to help you disentangle the knots.

On the other hand, this combination of energies can also be used as a denial of those problems if one can find a way to hide them behind a cheerful face or a convenient rationalization and pretend they don't exist. When someone ignores or dismisses out of hand the struggles of others, it can come across as a bit arrogant or short-sighted; kind of "I was able to figure this out, what's your problem?" Hence, the Hubers have a different name for this aspect pattern: the Righteousness Rectangle.

The key is to start with the difficult part of the problem and work through it (the opposition aspects), but to take the high road in your journey � with grace, honour, compassion and dignity, both for yourself and for others. Otherwise there is the risk of becoming so focused on your own discomfort that you are unable to see that in others.

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
~ Albert Einstein, The World As I See It

The Mystic Rectangle holds a process of seeking sublime oneness with All That Is which is propelled by a current of discontent and angst. In that sense, it is like the path of the mystic (hence, its name).

The spiritual side of this particular figure is emphasized by the Jupiter-Uranus opposition. Jupiter seeks to understand, to reach out to connect with a context of life that is greater than itself. Uranus is the Great Awakener that shakes you up and grabs your attention in order to break you out of your stuck places.

So part of the struggle in the Mystic Rectangle is how to bring into harmony the conflicting needs of Jupiter in its quest to gain a heartfelt understanding of life versus Uranus that tends to see only the need to shed outmoded ways of understanding in favour of something completely new.

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Uranus keeps the creative energy moving. You can't create something new without to some extent destroying the old. That universal transformative process is a cosmic recycling program, where the old form must be relinquished in order for it to be reborn in a new form.

We can think of Uranus as the dis-integration process that enables the old to rearrange itself into the new. From our perspective it can look like destructive chaos, and yet even random chaos has a pattern that comes together as something recognizable. In mathematics and geometry, this is the basis for fractal designs. So even something that seems antithetical to creation is actually a fundamental, essential part of that process.

However, this can be confusing and disturbing to the Jupiter part of us that wants to see it all come together as a cohesive whole that we can wrap our minds around and use to guide our journey through life. How can you choose a next step if the stairway keeps changing??

When you make music or write or create, it's really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about at the time.
~ Lady Gaga

Counterbalancing this Jupiter-Uranus dilemma in the Mystic Rectangle is the Sun-Moon opposition (a.k.a. the Full Moon, and since it occurs close to the Lunar Nodes, also a Lunar Eclipse). The Sun is in Uranus' sign, Aquarius, so your sense of self is sensitized to the need to tread lightly on unstable ground.

Hopefully you're finding it a little easier to do just that; however, the Moon being in opposing sign Leo means that there is also an emotional need to have your individuality affirmed in some way. That shifting ground can make it tricky to feel like you have a solid footing.

As a result, the Sun-Moon opposition can evoke a similar experience as the Jupiter-Uranus � dancing on a whirlwind on one hand, while feeling a bit vulnerable, unsafe or uncertain about how to keep from getting swallowed up by the tornado on the other.

You use a glass mirror to see your face;
you use works of art to see your soul
~ George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah

In your most tender moments, you might find you feel the need to occupy the centre of attention to some extent. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but deserves to be understood in context � having that attention can give us the mirroring we need to remember who we are in the face of a jumbled environment. Having that connection to others is part of our human need to belong, and that part of you might need some extra affirmation and reassurance right now.

Your intuitive wisdom has a chance to fall into place in a positive way right now. The Moon-Jupiter sextile (60�) makes it a little easier for you to feel like a Child of the Universe who is blessed by its innate magic. Not quite feeling the love yet? That sextile means it's not a far reach to find it.

Yod aspect pattern

What might interfere with it is Chiron, which forms a very tight Yod aspect pattern with the Moon-Jupiter sextile. Chiron makes a quincunx aspect (150�) to both the Moon and Jupiter, which could disrupt or confuse the sextile simpatico.

The quincunx is a tricky aspect, since there is no common connection between the signs involved. They don't share an element, nor have compatible elements or the same polarity; nor do they share a modality. It means for the planets to work together they must be inventive enough to transcend the contradictions between them. This is about working with paradox and increasing your tolerance for ambiguity.

Chiron is the planet of persistent woundedness and the painful struggle that this can bring, but it is also the healing process that can occur in unexpected ways as a result of that struggle. By wrestling with the most vulnerable parts of us that seem incapable of becoming better, there is an existential healing and wisdom that gradually forms.

As we come to understand of our own woundedness, we begin to gain insight into others' woundedness as well. It is precisely because we have been there and know what it feels like that we become more inclined to respond with compassion and a desire to help others along the way.

However, until we reach a certain level of proficiency with our own struggles we may become overwhelmed by our suffering and respond to others in a similar situation with anger, resentment or denial, in an effort to avoid more of our own pain.

The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.
~ Anton Chekhov

This is the dilemma of the Yod figure in the chart. If I am a Child of the Universe, why must I suffer so? Does this mean I'm not that blessed Child after all? Or maybe the process of the Child growing up is different than I thought it was? When I am beset by pain, do I rage against the Universe for its betrayal, or do I reframe my understanding of my place in that Universe?

The Yod requires a creative solution to a complex question. There's no way to draw a simple straight line from point-A to point-B and then dust off your hands and consider the matter closed. The problem requires a dynamic, open-minded response that remains flexible so you can adapt as the situation changes.

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.
~ Pema Ch�dr�n

In this case, it is your whole relationship to All That Is � whatever you see as the context greater than yourself that you aspire to connect with, be it God or the greater potential of humanity or the natural laws of the physical universe. How you perceive yourself within that Big Picture is being challenged, and your deepest longing, aspirations and fears about being separate from it are likely to rise from your depths.

Eclipses often bring extra difficulty, so this Full Moon may give you some additional homework to work on. One possibility is that you could find your usual ability to think creatively is a bit inhibited. Or, you might be so wrapped up in fear or worry about the practicalities of your situation that your creativity is out of reach.

An obstacle on the path often means one of two things. Either you need to stay put and learn something about the situation without running away from it, or you need to be inventive about how to get around the obstruction.

In both cases, you'll need to do something different than what you have been doing. A creative approach will enhance your ability to do whatever needs to be done. But first it will probably seem impossible. And that's your cue to put on your thinking cap. With the clown nose, preferably.

It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength,
and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much,
and what is done in love is well done.
~ Vincent Van Gogh

'Almost' Grand Sextile aspect pattern

There's another aspect pattern that could be a blessing or a problem, depending on how it's used. This is an "almost" Grand Sextile figure. It starts with a Grand Trine involving the Moon, Saturn and Uranus (more about that below), in addition to the Sun and Jupiter forming sextile aspects in between the Grand Trine planets.

The one point that's missing would be 21°-25° of Gemini. If you have any planets or points in your Natal chart in that range, it could enable you to tap into the Grand Sextile energy more readily.

Grand Sextile patterns are a mixed blessing. On one hand, the potential creative energy contained in them can be enormous. All that easy-going connection through the trines (120�) and sextiles (60�), balanced with the stress and struggle of oppositions (180�).

When used constructively, you could move mountains through the ability to find creative solutions to even the most stubborn problems. On the other hand, there is the danger of forcing something to work even if it creates more problems than it solves. So it's important to use this energy with wisdom, awareness and good judgment.

Manipulation, fueled with good intent, can be a blessing.
But when used wickedly, it is the beginning of a magician's karmic calamity.
~ T.F. Hodge

Grand Trine aspect pattern

The core part of the Grand Sextile is a simpler aspect pattern, a Grand Trine in Fire signs � Moon in Leo, Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries. Fire will ignite your enthusiasm, intuition, drive and desire! This Grand Trine figure is a wonderful mix of energies.

Uranus makes sure there is nothing to hold you back from reaching out with your passionate life force. Saturn lends endurance and stability so that the driving force isn't overly erratic. The Moon allows you to harness these balancing energies through your personal involvement. And the most meaningful, fulfilling way to do that is through some form of creativity.

Now, again: I don't want to hear that you're "not creative." We've already had that conversation! ;-)

If you do happen to be artistic, this is a great time to dig out the brushes or dust off the potter's wheel or get your dancing shoes on or bring your journal out from under the mattress.

If you're not prepared to be wrong,
you'll never come up with anything original.
~ Ken Robinson, Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Or just employ some creative problem-solving to the challenges you're facing right now. That could mean finding innovative solutions by thinking outside your usual sphere of perception about the problem. How? Try changing one element in the situation and see if any new ideas come to mind.

For instance, if your kitchen is too cramped and you're running out of cupboard space, how about hanging things from the ceiling? Or having a mobile cart that can be pulled out of the front hall closet when needed? Think in new dimensions.

The Burning Giraffe, by Salvador Dali
The Burning Giraffe
by Salvador Dali
Click for larger image

Another idea � try seeing it as something other than a problem, but instead as something fun or valuable. Look at it upside down or inside out or discover ways to laugh about it. For example, imagine that someone had actually worked very hard to create exactly this situation � why would they do that? What would they be looking to get out of it?

Try exaggerating your view of it so that it's absurd or silly or abstract. That cramped kitchen might be so full that only a paper-thin person could use it. Or perhaps you could add some extra drawers to your body, like a Salvador Dali painting (note the overcooked giraffe...).

Laughter can be very creative because it gives you a fresh perspective. Example: maybe this kind of brainstorming leads you to invent an apron with many pockets where you could store your favorite cooking utensils.

The possibilities are endless�as long as you allow your creative imagination to get carried away and have fun!

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
~ Erich Fromm


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Feb.11 – Sun trine Jupiter (23:05 of Aquarius/Libra)  (Feb.12 in AU)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it can click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time, finding new meaning in your live and the events that unfold around you. Self-confidence can run high now, and you could feel inspired to fight for justice or some cause. At the same time, there is a chance that all this self-assurance and "knowing" could go overboard into over-confidence, dogmatism or over-indulgence if it's not grounded in realism and humility. Just use your best judgment and enjoy this warm, shining energy!

Feb.14 – Sun sextile Saturn (25:43 of Aquarius/Sagittarius)  (Feb.13 in HAST, AKST, PST, MST, CST)

You have an opportunity now to make some progress in obtaining results in your projects, career, ambitions and creative expression. It is possible to tap into a disciplined mindset, which can be used to take some steps toward goals that you're trying to manifest. You are surrounded by potential to achieve this, although it will not simply be handed to you – you will still have to work for it. Your mind and purpose are likely to be clear and strong now, enabling you to be decisive and productive. Leadership, management and organizing abilities are potentially high right now. Asserting your authority in a situation that calls for it can be done successfully, as long as you don't let yourself become rigid or bossy. It can be a good time to learn or practice new skills, or to apply yourself to any kind of serious study. It is also a time when you could formulate some solid plans for future projects or make some progress with current undertakings. Make the most of it!

Feb.16 – Mercury sextile Mars (14:29 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Feb.15 in HAST)

There is a potential now to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, if you focus consciously on doing so. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Communication is probably easiest and most effective when it's direct, concise and quick, although it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps a bit too forceful when a more delicate, sensitive touch is called for. It is a time when you might find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). This is a good transit for creative problem solving and trying on decisions to see if they fit.

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Feb.18 – Sun enters Pisces (until Mar.20)

Happy Solar Return to all Pisces! While the Sun travels through Pisces we all have a chance to attune ourselves to our intuitive, creative, spiritual and reflective nature. This can be a time when dreams may become more important, meaningful or frequent, as the unconscious swells into consciousness. It is a time to spend quality alone time with yourself away from the noisy world, so that you can tune in to the still, small voice within. This might be done through meditation, prayer or seclusion. Although not necessary to do in seclusion, you might also connect with that inner space through music, art, dance, yoga, Tai Chi or walking a labyrinth. This is a non-rational space (not necessarily the same as irrational) that emerges from the formlessness of the unconscious full of possibilities for manifestation. Pisces holds the gateway to our source of creativity and our spiritual Source. It points the way to the Great Unknown, where all life begins. Therefore, while the Sun is in Pisces, we have a chance to meditate on our relationship to this womb of creative energy. So try your hand at writing poetry. Or, try drawing or painting, especially with your non-dominant hand. Immerse yourself in a warm bath and listen to the most beautiful music you can find. Walk through a labyrinth, or walk through a forest. Take some time to just BE.

Feb.20 – Mercury sextile Uranus (21:44 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Feb.21 in AST, NST, UK, AU)

There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them.

Feb.21 – Mercury trine Jupiter (22:45 of Aquarius/Libra)  (Feb.22 in AU)

This transit can make you quite talkative and flooded with ideas, along with those around you. Your stream of consciousness can flow abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. Your outlook is usually optimistic and open-minded under this transit, although it might simply neutralize an already pessimistic frame of mind. You are likely to be more open to spiritual or philosophical perspectives, being more able to see yourself as part of something greater than yourself. You might even find that luck comes your way because you are more receptive to opportunities and possibilities.

Feb.21 – Sun conjunct South Lunar Node (03:23 of Pisces)  (Feb.22 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This transit involves a creative release or a letting-go of a piece of your self-image that you don't need anymore. However, this letting go can often be difficult, especially if what you have invested a lot of your sense of self in whatever you're letting go. It might feel like circumstances are wrenching it away, or you could feel quite relieved to let go of this old baggage. Letting go can free up a lot of creative energy, life force and joie de vivre, which can then be rechanneled into other forms of self-expression. Follow your heart! It is time to begin letting go of something in yourself that no longer serves you well. This could be a negative belief about yourself, or perhaps dropping an inhibition that has eroded your self-confidence. This transit only happens close to the eclipses, so its energy is likely to come out around the timing of those events more noticeably.

Feb.22 – Mars square Pluto (18:36 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Feb.21 in AU)

This can be a volatile combination of energies, which can generate enormous stress and conflict, but can also motivate you go beyond your perceived limitations. The biggest dangers with this transit include obsessive control, violence in response to frustration, and natural reactions of anger being blown out of proportion into rage. However, if you are able to harness this energy and put it to productive use, it can fuel your ambitions and drive you to push past the barriers that are in your way (including your own discouragement or lethargy). There can be a fine line, though, between empowering yourself with determination and courage versus forcing the issue in a way that creates more problems than it solves. And there is a difference between being obsessively attached to the outcome versus discovering that you have more courage, strength and tenacity than you thought you did, when your back is against the wall. Sexual tension can be strong under this transit, so it is wise to use some good judgment about whether or how to act on that. Power struggles with others can become very intense, so strive to be clear in yourself about what you really want and how you can assert your interests without inflicting the emotional equivalent of nuclear war.

Feb.23 – Mercury sextile Saturn (26:24 of Aquarius/Sagittarius)  (Feb.24 in AU)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.

Feb.25 – Mercury enters Pisces (until Mar.13)  (Feb.26 in AU)

Imagination, dreams, creativity and intuition are more easily accessible while Mercury floats through Pisces. You may be more impressionable, appreciative and open to ideas that previously had seemed improbable, unrealistic or silly. This is a good transit for any creative work – writing, music, artistic projects, or just putting ideas together in new ways. Problem solving could benefit now, because it may be easier to think beyond the limiting boundaries of the situation. On the other hand, it might also be easier to become caught in confusion, ambiguity or ambivalence, since the sharp edges of definition may be easily blurred or distorted. This is a time when the "Right Brain" – the intuitive, creative and non-rational side of the mind – can be more active. As a result, meditation, dreams and daydreams may be more accessible. Unfortunately, illusion and deception might also be more convincing and enticing, since critical and objective thinking could be a bit harder to maintain. You might also experience some mental lethargy and need to give your mind a rest. Try going to a movie, or read an entertaining novel, or spend some quality "alone time" with yourself. Or, take a long walk in a park or by a body of water, where you can enjoy the luxury of just appreciating nature and "being" instead of "doing." Some harmless or entertaining escapism can be a great way to give yourself a mental vacation – just don't get stuck there. Explorations of spiritual experience and thought can also bring new insights and inspiration under this transit.

Next Update:  SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ NEW MOON in PISCES. Available by February 26, 2017.

© 2017 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at Image of Leo the Lion by Stockshoppe via Sailor's Delight, watercolour by Canadian artist Sue Allison (used with permission). Sculpture Le Penseur (The Thinker) by August Rodin; photo by Kaisching (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Painting Metamorphosis IV by Elis Cooke via Art of horseback acrobat by Fisher-Photostudio via Painting The Burning Giraffe by Salvador Dali via WikiCommons.

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