Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mars Conjunct Uranus in Aries Transit: Dare to be Different

Today, transiting Mars in Aries is exactly conjunct Uranus in Aries. This is a transit that will continue for the week and it’s a particularly powerful one, especially with Mars traveling through its dignified placement of Aries. What does it all mean? Uranus has been in Aries since about 2010. Uranus is the planet of freedom, similar to Jupiter, but it’s more of an intellectual freedom. It’s feeling free enough to just be yourself, in spite of the expectations or demands of other people, and to also promote this freedom all around you, either through acceptance of those different from you or actions that could bring about progress and change. With transiting Uranus in Aries, this kind of freedom requires bravery, initiative, and self-motivation on our part.

Since Mars is now in Aries and conjunct Uranus, even more bravery, initiative, and self-motivation are being demanded of us. This is a time where we are being challenged to do something different. You should take a look at the house in your birth chart that this conjunction has fallen in. Things have probably been operating quite strangely or unpredictably in this house recently for you. If this transit is occurring in your 7th House, your close, personal relationships may feel like they’re being turned upside down. If it’s in the 10th House, career matters or relations with the public could become topsy-turvy this week. The house that is currently occupied by Mars conjunct Uranus in Aries is not going to function in a “normal” manner now. So, you should just get used to it. 

In getting used to it, you will open yourself up to be able to think differently about this area of your life and perhaps make a very proactive change. Uranus in Aries has likely been transiting this house for years now. So, you have already been pushed to throw out some of the conventional rules and expectations when it comes to what this house represents. Mars is coming to visit in order to give you an extra kick in the pants, in this regard, and to expect the unexpected, whether it’s in regards to your relationships (7th House), your public/professional life (10th House), your finances/sense of security (2nd House) or whatever else. It might feel a little “weird” but this transit is daring you to do things differently in this life area. In the end, it will make you stronger and more courageous.

Interestingly, both Mars and Uranus are now opposing Jupiter in Libra. This is going to create an intriguing combination in your birth chart because the house that transiting Jupiter is in will feel quite limitless in its possibilities. You might feel as if things in this area of life are really paying off while the house that is currently occupied by Mars/Uranus is more of a challenge. For instance, if Jupiter is now transiting your 1st House, it can seem as if whenever you’re doing things on your own or only really worrying about yourself and your point of view, the sky is the limit! But, transiting Mars and Uranus in your 7th are causing other people to constantly go left when you expect them to go right or, alternately, are compelling you to go right when other people want you to go left.

The solution to this dilemma is to gain enough positive energy and rewards from the house that Jupiter is transiting in order to ride the wild roller coaster of the Mars/Uranus transit. Keeping with that example above, with Jupiter passing through your 1st, you should be appreciative of how good things can be when you just rely on yourself or focus on yourself. You can develop enough faith in yourself and in your individual perspective to be able to engage with other people on a close, one-on-one level, no matter what happens. Jupiter in Libra is actually teaching us how to really benefit from balance and equilibrium. Life will open up for us these days when we are concerned with fairness, kindness, and thoughtfulness. Yet, Mars conjunct Uranus in Aries will prevent us from being too eager to please people, instead reminding us of being true to our own desires, even if it doesn’t win us approval from others or makes circumstances in our life feel strange.

Mars and Uranus are also trine transiting Saturn in Sagittarius. The Sagittarius Saturn transit has been stressing the importance of having strong beliefs that can properly structure our lives and give us a sense of purpose. If our beliefs are holding us back or creating negative consequences in our life, through self-righteousness or a lack of critical thinking, we must work on that now. Saturn in Sagittarius is, as I’ve said a few times before, showing us that freedom and responsibility aren’t mutually exclusive. We can be mature adults but still believe that the world is ours and anything is possible, never losing that sense of faith while also working hard to achieve.

This blends well with the Mars conjunct Uranus in Aries energy because daring to do something different can not only free us but make us feel strong, capable, and accomplished. We can figure out if we’re asserting ourselves and our freedoms in a way that is actually successful. The house that transiting Saturn is passing through in your chart is where you are being pushed harder and this area of life can feel particularly demanding now. But, by meeting these demands, you will learn to believe that you can push yourself to achieve what was once believed to be impossible. And with the trine to Mars and Uranus, you can become more open to the unexpected and welcome into your life this week because, no matter what happens, you’ll have the strength to handle it.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jupiter in the 2nd House

What does it mean to have Jupiter in the 2nd House of your birth chart? It can potentially be one of the most misleading placements for Jupiter, the planet that is stereotyped to be all about luck, luck, and more luck. Pair that up with the house that is often stereotyped as being just about money and it makes it sound like having a 2nd House Jupiter means that you’re going to be filthy rich. The 2nd House is not just about money and Jupiter is not just about luck. But, Jupiter is a planet that represents the most positive and often the most effortless area of life for you. This is just where amazing things naturally happen for you and while this can mean financial prosperity, it can also mean just feeling good about yourself and having an overall sense of security.

The 2nd House is the house of security in numerous ways. It’s not just about being financially secure but feeling secure within yourself. It follows up the self-image of the 1st House in order to give you a solid sense of self-worth. One of the best ways I can describe the 2nd House is that whatever is in this house shows what you have to love about yourself in order to feel comfortable and at ease in your own skin. With Jupiter being the planet of faith and of belief, this planet being positioned in the 2nd House indicates that you will have to not only have strong beliefs and convictions but really value this part of yourself. This is what gives you that feeling of security.

Since Jupiter represents the potential excess in our lives, the influence of Jupiter in the 2nd means that there can actual be an excessive amount of security in your life. This can manifest as having an abundance of self-esteem. Many 2nd House Jupiter people can actually feel exceptionally good about themselves and about their footing in life. It’s a self-loving attitude that can take place regardless of how much money you actually make. But, this excessive security can also mean that you end up making a lot of money. It is true that this placement can show someone who ends up being very financially well-off and possibly even wealthy. However, it could also mean that you are always just financially comfortable, never having to struggle or want for anything. 

The drawback of the 2nd House Jupiter is that you can go overboard in your yearning for this level of stability. It can create an excessive kind of greed or materialism that always leaves you wanting more and more. Those with this placement can easily become shopaholics if they let themselves, as your spending habits can get out of hand on a regular basis. The motivation for this can depend on the sign that Jupiter is in. Jupiter being in Earth could mean that you just shop a lot to boost your status while Jupiter in Fire could indicate impulsivity or immediate-gratification urges when it comes to shopping. Either way, your spending can become flat-out ridiculous. You could max out your credit card very quickly or spend everything in your checking account without even realizing it.

It’s the catch-22 that everyone experiences with Jupiter: it brings you these gifts and these fortune circumstances but you can push your luck or take all of that good fortune for advantage. Jupiter in the 2nd House people can be so accustomed to financial comfort and stability that they think that they are always going to have it (although, of course, other placements and aspects can modify this). You can have such faith that there will always be more resources, more money, and more possessions around the corner that you take what you already have for granted, being wasteful or careless with it. Jupiter in the 2nd could cause you to look forward to what’s on the horizon financially so much that you neglect to appreciate and take good care of what you already have.

Therefore, it’s important for you to turn more of your energy toward having true gratitude for your resources and possessions. Such gratitude will require you to manage your money well and spend it with greater moderation, instead of just throwing it all out of the window. Still, there is something deeply gratifying to you about spending and buying things. Making a new online purchase or going out on an excursion to the mall can really lift your spirits, more than the average person. It would be quite unlikely to see a stingy or cheap person with this placement. Money-minded? Yes. Practical? Okay. But, you do not believe in being cheap. Jupiter in the 2nd House makes “treat yourself” your motto because you believe that you deserve nice things and deserve to actually enjoy your money. After all, the reason you make money is to use it.

The 2nd House is what you would call “the lifestyle you become accustomed to.” With a 2nd House Jupiter, you will certainly become accustomed to a very comfortable lifestyle. Even if you aren’t rich, you are going to want to live as richly as possible. That does not mean living beyond your means but just having plenty of fine taste and living in true comfort. Jupiter does not want to be limited and those with Jupiter in the 2nd don’t want to feel like their lifestyle is limited. You don’t do “broke” very well. Even if you don’t make the most money, you can find a way to still live an enjoyable, pleasurable lifestyle. Having to live in a terrible apartment, eating cheap food and never going out or doing anything fun, would be a total nightmare to you. Not necessarily because you’re materialistic (although the possibility is there) but because that hinders your Jupiter from all of its potential.

If our Jupiter house is where we are the most positive, then Jupiter in the 2nd means that you don’t want money matters getting you down. In fact, it can be to the point where you really don’t seem to care much, if at all, about money. In many ways, you don’t because it’s such a simple and pleasurable matter to you that it’s not worth all of the stress. And this is an attitude that attracts more of it your way. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that a check will come in the mail if you wish really hard for it. But, I do think that there is a general Law of Attraction at play when we venture into the 2nd House. Whatever attitude you have surrounding money is how your financial situation will play out. Jupiter in the 2nd House people prove that by having a genuine trust in their potential for financial security and for living a lifestyle of abundance, this is what will end up happening.

This is all something that boosts your self-worth. The 2nd House Jupiter can actually result in so much self-worth that it turns into complete self-indulgence. Again, you might be a little too eager to treat yourself. You also may be so intent on sticking to your values that you aren’t even interested in giving any other values a try. This can create an attitude of rigidity when it comes to others’ lifestyles. It’s not necessarily judgmental, unless Jupiter happens to be in Virgo or Capricorn. It’s more so that you know what you love, so you can easily feel like there’s no point in trying anything else because you’ve already found the pleasure and comfort you’re looking for. I could say, metaphorically speaking, that you eat at the same restaurant all the time and don’t want to try any other place. But, this could also literally be a problem that you have in your life. 

Venus, the planet of love, is the natural ruler of the 2nd and the 7th. While the 7th House is who you love, the 2nd House is what you love. Jupiter in the 2nd means that you really, really love these things that you get attached to, whether it’s your favorite place to eat or that sweater you wear all the time or the new bed set that you just bought. It’s just important to not place too much importance on these possessions and patterns. It can easily feel as if there’s nothing you don’t own (whether it’s an item or a way of living) that isn’t held on to with an absolute vise grip. People may realize this, too late, when you absolutely cannot budge on these things. Moving in with you could be overwhelming to some because it can become a question of what to do with all of that stuff.

Yes, Jupiter in the 2nd House can definitely make someone a candidate for being a complete hoarder. Jupiter could be in Cancer in the 2nd, making the hoarding very sentimental or emotionally motivated, or it could be in the sign of Aries, causing you to be willing to fight over all of these accumulated possessions. In any case, you need to be able to let go of the things that you love, only seeing it as an opportunity to accumulate more important possessions down the line. 2nd House Jupiter people can actually benefit greatly from becoming excellent collectors of rare or valued items, especially because of the monetary gain. Financial investments are also the way to go for you and you could have many positive experiences in the stock market.

In making all of these financial and material gains, it’s just also important to remember that your worth is not wrapped up in these things. With Jupiter in the 2nd, you must truly believe that your personal value works from the inside out and not from the outside in. There are many people with this placement who have to learn this but just as many who seem to inherently know it already. It’s what puts you in a position to live such a lovely, cushy lifestyle because you already possess much personal security. That inner security will attract the outer security that you seek.

Much of this security with yourself can be due to you not only having plenty of conviction behind your values but really valuing your convictions. Jupiter in the 2nd can be the embodiment of that old saying “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Therefore, your beliefs are very substantial and solid. Whatever you believe, you will believe it firmly and it will be tough for others to dissuade you on it. Again, you can easily get too attached to and stuck on these beliefs, just because they think they are worth standing up for or believing in. But, it’s important to check and see if these convictions are past their use by date. If so, maybe you need to toss them in the trash and find something else to believe in that will actually enhance your life.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The 6th House and the 12th House: Physical and Mental Illness

I had planned on writing more lately but I spent all week sick. That’s per usual for me because when I do get sick, it just seems to linger for a while. Now that I’ve bounced back, my sickness made me start thinking about the illness that can be represented by one’s birth chart. If we’re talking about physical illness, we will look at the 6th House. This is the house that is naturally ruled by health-conscious Virgo, so this all makes sense. Many people say that your bodily health is governed by your 1st House/Ascendant and I think that this just manifests in a general sense. I think the physical energy that you feel, or the lack thereof, is symbolized by whatever is in your 1st House or on the 1st House cusp, aka the Ascendant. But, when it comes to your actual physical health and how it functions, we will look at the 6th House.

Venturing into 6th House territory is like going to the doctor or looking up symptoms on WebMD or going to the store to get that medicine that always works for you. It’s all of the practical steps that you take to assess your physical well-being and remain healthy. How you do so depends on what you have in the 6th House. Those with Mars in the 6th tend to be very aggressive when they get sick and often fight it off very well. Neptune in the 6th could make you too passive about being sick as well as too deluded. You might insist, “No, I’m fine”, as you sneeze your brains out and feel increasingly fatigued. But, you are often a better caregiver to others when they are sick, engaging in acts of selflessness this way. Pluto in the 6th can make your illnesses manifest in a very dramatic and painful manner. Yet, you are transformed through the process, rising from your sick bed, sometimes overnight, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. 

I actually have Chiron in my 6th House and in the sign of Cancer. I still haven’t fully put my finger on Chiron but I do feel like I’m understanding it more and more. Chiron seems to be the place where you’ve been really damaged and hurt in the past. There is a lot of accumulated pain in this area of life but there is also the potential for wonderful healing here because of it. I actually would get sick pretty regularly growing up. I remember one point, as a teenager, where it was happening once a month. I also went to the ER twice, when I was five and fourteen, and had to spent weeks slowly recuperating in bed because of those major accidents. The latter time involved some physical therapy, too. And one of my worst early childhood memories is getting one of my shots at the doctor’s office. To say I freaked out and cried is an understatement.

So, with Chiron in the 6th, there is a lot of unhealed stuff around the idea of being sick. It’s also why I unconsciously can “dwell” in my sickness and have a hard time shaking it off. It feels almost as if when you get sick, it’s supposed to be happening, with this placement because you’re so used to your health tormenting you or being an Achilles’ heel. With my Chiron in Cancer, it often felt like I was treated with the most sensitivity when I was physically sick. So, that only fueled the psychosomatic element that the 6th House is driven by, often making me gain some sort of emotional comfort from sickness, which made it even worse.

I think I’ve learned, though, how to handle my Chiron more in adulthood. I did go through a three-year period where I never got sick and I have been recently wondering why. But, I think that, during that time, I had begun giving myself the actual emotional care that I needed so I didn’t need to find some unconscious solace in being physically unwell, which is, in the end, not really comforting at all. And I’m understanding how much emotional health and physical health can be intertwined. The better I am to myself emotionally, the better my immune system is.

Since it is naturally ruled by the planet Mercury, one’s thoughts determine how your 6th House plays out. For those with Neptune in the 6th, for example, trying to not think about your sickness can have one of two effects: it may make it “magically” disappear (which, while healing, can be a pattern that eventually becomes counterproductive) or it could make it something that becomes increasingly troublesome until you just have to deal with it. A part of you may actually be crying out for help. But, if you ignore those thoughts, you’re never going to get over that cold or, even worse, you may not find out it’s the flu until it’s too late. Mars is an expression of anger and your anger can help burn off any illness that manifests in your body. However, if it’s not being constructively expressed, your rage and frustration may also fuel this illness. That’ll happen when it’s an “impotent” kind of rage; the bottled-up frustration that you can’t do much of anything about.

Therefore, the 6th House Mars person’s immune system stays strong when they are honest about their anger and get it out in a healthy way. For Jupiter in the 6th, the key to a healthy immune system is to have a truly positive attitude and to not let yourself feel held back or be kept down for long. The Sun in the 6th House can indicate that have healthy confidence and a strong sense of your identity is going to keep your immune system powerful. For those who have placements in the 6th, you can think of them as the “vitamins” you have to take or the “exercise” you have to do to help you maintain your physical health. For me, with Chiron here, I’ve realized how healing it is for me to exercise, to take my daily vitamins, to be health-conscious. The consistency and regularity of these actions and attitudes is what will keep your physical constitution at its best.

But, what about mental health and illness? If we step away from the physical and look at what happens when mental illness takes over, we look at the 12th House. This is the “sickness” that you cannot see and that is less about the body and more about the soul. There is often an unfair stigma on mental illness, even though that’s decreasing as time goes on. But, if a person can need medicine to support their bodily well-being (6th House), why is it shameful that a person should need medicine to support their emotional well-being (12th House)? This is the direct contrast between the 6th and the 12th House. The 6th House symbolizes the practical, the day-to-day concerns that are simpler to understand. When we venture into 12th House territory, we move into a place where things are more mysterious, complex, and even downright overwhelming.  

And there is not too thick of a line between these two houses. It’s why exercise (6th House) is prescribed as an effective antidote to depression, that 12th House affliction. It’s why anxiety can be a dilemma of either house, whether it’s the kind of anxiety that stresses you out (6th House) or the existential kind that is emotionally draining and makes you question the meaning of life (12th House). The origins of 12th House illness are not as easy to pin down and there is something quite primal about it. It stems from the collective-unconscious, which describes the enigmatic forces that link us all together. We’ve all known loneliness, we’ve all known sadness, we’ve all felt like the end is near. But, when these emotional states are magnified within an individual, it results in a psychological sickness. 

Again, this is not something that should be stated as a terrible thing that makes you a bad person. It’s just a part of life for many 12th House people. Those with placements in the 12th regularly struggle with an existential kind of anxiety or have battled or still battle depression. I have Saturn and Neptune in the 12th and I fall into that category myself. It’s just harder and more confusing because it’s trickier to figure out what to do with that feeling of being emotionally or mentally unwell. You could put yourself through therapy and take the proper medication to make yourself feel better. But, the 12th House’s remedies are not as cut-and-dry as the 6th House’s. Even though medication works for some, it doesn’t necessarily “cure” everyone. The flip-side is that it may bring some sort of mental stability but it can create a numbness that is equally unpleasant and causes you to feel like something is missing, like cutting your arm off just because it’s hurting.

So, the “medicine” that the person with 12th House placements seeks may have to be more imaginative and intuitive. As someone with Saturn in the 12th, I can tell you that depression can happen very easily for me. It’s as if there’s always some dark rabbit hole of melancholy waiting for me to fall down into it. But, I have to constantly medicate myself by venting all of that through my artistic outlets. That’s my way to get out all of those overwhelming feelings and thoughts so I can feel better and function in real life. Since Neptune is also here, entering that other consciousness helps even more. Mercury in the 12th can indicate someone who self-medicates through writing, in particular, like keeping a journal. Mars in the 12th means that you can work through any sort of mental/emotional sickness by staying active, doing things that are competitive or will push you.

Also, 12th House people do have the option of finding their special medicine through alone time of any sort (with Venus in the 12th, this could involve solitary crafting activities) or even via some kind of spiritual devotion. Maybe reading something astrologically related, like about your current transits, will help you make sense of everything and bring you to a state of well-being. Regardless, whenever you hear people suggesting art therapy, coloring books, yoga, or spiritual studies as forms of healing, they are talking about the 12th House medicine. Because, believe it or not, placements in the 12th do not guarantee that your form of self-medicating will be a bottle of wine or a line of coke. I personally would never recommend doing drugs. Not to act as if I’m better than anyone but I have never touched the stuff. However, if you are a 12th House person and you are going to enjoy your alcohol or weed, make sure that you’re enjoying it not to escape something or feel better but just because you want to. The former motivation is the route to addiction.

So, when it comes to your well-being, you should figure out if you need, to reference that cheesy series from forever ago, some chicken-noodle soup for the soul or some actual chicken-noodle soup for the body. Chiron actually opposes my Saturn and Neptune. So, for me, I have to find a middle ground that gives me both kinds of healing: the physical and the metaphysical. In the end, both forms of health are equally important and both deserve your attention.