Veronica's Garden

Rachel Creager Ireland on writing, living, the Flint Hills, and the Post Rock Limestone Caryatids

Tag: astrology

Mars Conjunct Venus

There’s a rabble-rouser in me.
Likes to fight. Likes to shut down
a discussion with his jury-rigged
arguments made of home-canned
logic and duct tape. Lives with his gang
in an abandoned barn on the outskirts
of my mind. Strutting around shirtless
and sweating like he owns the place.
His girlfriend, she’s interesting. Titian mane
falling over a thrift-store feather boa.
Laughs like the bell grandma used
to call everyone in for dinner. Sings
like cold water from a deep well.
I’d be friends with her, if I could
just get them apart. We watch them,
my little girl and I, hidden under the
low-hanging branches of an evergreen.
We only see shadows through the grimy window,
but we can hear their voices, laughing,
shouting. Firing off the shotgun just for kicks.
If they knew we were here,
they’d torch the place and scatter.
We’d never see them again. But they’d
still be around, out there somewhere,
causing trouble.

Rowan at window2

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Dark Is the Shadow

Dark is the Shadow, yes, but
Dark is also the Indweller,
silent eternal Divine Love
within you, shrouded for
your protection from light
a thousand times brighter
than the sun. Brilliance that
would burn your eyes to see it.

When the moon crosses in front
of the sun, you can see stars
you never knew of. Forget the
crickets and monsters, there’s light
out there, for those who stand in the shadow,
cosmic rays from elsewhere, beyond
the sun, rushing in in just this brief moment.

Be there for it. Seek it, go wherever
it takes you. Pay whatever is
required to go into the Dark,
to see the light you can
only see from the Shadow.
Accept and claim its alien gifts
rushing in for you and you alone.
Upheaval is only another word for change.

50 years: thirties

Part four, a memory for every year I’ve lived. First decade, second decade, twenties. Here are my thirties.

31.The best Valentine anyone ever gave me was when Kevin (the cool bass player from last decade) surprised me by renting a car and driving from Chicago to Strong City to bring me our cats. It was a difficult time in my life, and having them with me helped me maintain my shaky sanity.

Toulouse and 23

Toulouse in the foreground, the late 23 behind him.

32. Another time he was visiting me and drove me to work at a fitness club in Emporia, then took my little ’85 Celica for the day. (All-time favorite car, stick shift.) While I was working, a big storm came up. When Kevin came to pick me up, the sky was dark and menacing. Back in Strong City, the cats were outside, so we rushed to get there and bring them safely in. The rain was so heavy, we might have waited it out in Emporia, had it not been for the cats. On the highway, visibility was severely limited. We had the radio on, and the remote reporter was talking about a barrage of hail near Saffordville Road. Before we got there, the hail pelting the car was deafening, and the reporter’s voice dissolved to static. Kevin was at the wheel. We were afraid to stop. A vehicle approaching from behind might not be able to see us before we were all dead. I kept my eye on the white line to make sure he didn’t cross it, until the hail and rain were so thick I couldn’t see the line. I couldn’t bear to think what terror and danger the cats were in.

Finally I could see the line again, then the hail was behind us. We were past Saffordville Road, in an ordinary thunderstorm at night. We got to my house a few minutes later. The cats were waiting for us on the front porch, barely wet, their luxuriant coats not the slightest bit ruffled.

33. I celebrated the birth of a new millennium at The Light Center in Baldwin City. Shortly after that, I moved back to Chicago. Kevin appreciated me and supported me, and it wasn’t clear that I made much difference to my family in Kansas. He deserved me more.

34. One of the things I did in Kansas was go to the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, the third weekend of September. Kevin went with me the second year I was there, and when September rolled around again, we decided to make the trip from Chicago. We didn’t want to leave our precious cats for any longer than we had to, so we decided to drive them to Kansas and board them with Kevin’s parents, who are animal lovers too. 23, the tabby, would suffer motion sickness in my little Celica, so we thought it kinder to rent a nicer, bigger car for his comfort. On the day we left, first thing in the morning, we got in our car to drive to the rental agency. Kevin turned on the radio and we found out that the World Trade Center had been destroyed.

We still managed to get the rental car. As we left Chicago, not yet knowing the extent of the attacks, I felt that I had what I needed, if we never came back. The cats were in carriers in the back seat, my violin and guitar were in the trunk, and we were together.

We dropped in on my Dad in assisted living in Emporia before we went to the festival. Years prior, he had been disabled by a stroke, which left him unable to speak or write. Kevin and I came into his apartment to find Dad hunched in front of the TV. When he saw me, he made a frantic noise in his throat, and held up a hand imploringly. It hit me that for two days he had been watching the nonstop coverage of the collapsing towers and their aftermath, unable to tell anyone that his daughter lived in New York City. “Melora’s okay,” I couldn’t tell him fast enough. “I talked to her. She’s okay. Sebastian’s fine. Hollis is fine.”

35. Before we married, we went to an astrologer named Bovani for a consultation. She told us that if we married in June, it should be after the 21st, because Gemini isn’t a great sign for beginning a marriage, but Cancer is much better. She said there was no doubt we were meant to be together (which we already knew), and that Kevin’s job was to keep me uplifted, while my job was to ground him. Being on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius, he was really an Aquarian, but came in on the goat side to ensure he’d be good at getting things done. She also said that when we have sex, the angels like to watch.

36. I was thirty-six when I read The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen, after Amy Carlson gave it to me for Christmas. I had a strange affinity with every character in the book, as if I could be the person that character was modeled after. They were like mirrors of my essential nature, even though they were all different from each other. The main character Chip is kind of a loser who’s never been able to get his shit together, despite high intelligence. His lack of success is a source of anxiety, and whenever confronted with failure, he looks for the nearest attractive woman and creates a fantasy about her. At one point his anxiety is particularly acute, but there’s no one he can fantasize about because he’s in Manhattan and every woman in the vicinity is thirty-six and pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant, but I felt I could be one of those women.

37. We had a contract to buy a motel in Strong City, near both of our parents. We quit our jobs, packed everything into a truck, and took our cats to Kansas to purchase our first property and start a business at the same time. Shortly before we left, we found out I was pregnant.

38. After Rowan was born, I had an incredible surge of creative energy. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. I’d always been creatively stifled, but suddenly I knew I could do anything. But how long would it last? I was terrified that this newfound ability would pass, and I’d have done nothing with it, because I had a sweet little baby who needed my constant attention. I could get about thirty minutes between nursing her to sleep and having to pick her up again. So I put her in her little baby rocking chair just inside the patio screen door, and went into the back yard. There were some switches that had been trimmed off the hedge. They were mostly around three or four feet long, and flexible enough to weave together into geometric shapes, which I hung on the fence around the yard. Kevin was baffled as to why I was doing that, and I couldn’t really explain it either.

39. Rowan had night terrors. It was terrifying to me too. She would huddle up to me, stiff with fear, and bury her head in my arm. I would ask her what she was afraid of, but she was too afraid to talk.

40. Both times I was pregnant, I slept as prescribed on my left side. As my belly got bigger, cat Toulouse found my torso and belly made a nice spot to sleep on. It was comfortable for both of us.

 

Autumnal Equinox

Karen Carmack reminded me via a facebook meme that tomorrow is the Autumnal Equinox, as well as the day of the sun’s entry into the sign of Libra. She writes,

Today and the next two days are perfect times to find balance in your life. Use this opportunity to surrender and let go, reset your system and prepare . In Chinese Medicine Theory Autumn is a time for letting go. To surrender. To release. To exhale.

Honoring transitions helps bring us into alignment with nature.

I shared her post and another friend answered that he could use balance himself.

I hadn’t really thought about this before, but I instantly knew what to tell him: Sit and clear your mind. Feel the perfect balance of the earth’s rotation, that brings us to this moment when night and day are equal, neither dominating the other. Feel the balance of all the forces of the solar system—gravity, inertia, centripetal force—that keep us eternally rotating around the sun, at the perfect distance to enable our kind of life to thrive. It’s true that earth’s rotation has a wobble, but even so, it always moves through this balance point twice every year, with utter predictability. That too is part of the perfection.

These forces are immensely bigger than we are. They act upon us so constantly that at times we are completely unaware of them. So it shouldn’t even really be all that difficult to align ourselves with them, within them, to allow ourselves to be a conduit for forces greater than our individual selves, as well as to ride them and utilize them to our highest purposes.

I have to rush to get to a full day of massages, which might crimp my own balance a bit; but the good news is that I have clients who are manifesting balance in their lives, and I get to be a part of their process.

Take some time to feel that balance in the next couple days, even if only for a few minutes. Or, make it a theme of your day or week, and incorporate balance into everything you do.

How are you aligning yourself with the perfect balance of the universe?

Moon at Dawn

Saturn Square Neptune

Everything at odds with everything else.
The refrigerator heats up the kitchen.
The air conditioner gives the kids nosebleeds
and the washer backs up the kitchen sink
and leaks water somewhere under the floor.
The clothesline runs through a gauntlet
of chiggers. Bug juice and sweat and
I shower and change into clean clothes.
Mud oozing up between the tiles.
And health insurance. Whole days lost
to the phone and the clock and the
checkbook. The premiums are
so high I can’t afford the deductible.
Maybe some yoga will detangle things
so I can write. I focus on my breath until
it’s too late to write. Do you see what I mean?
Sometimes everything hinges on
everything else, but sometimes everything
is a dog fight to the death
of everything else. And this blue-white light
through my core: is it lighting me
from within? Or splitting me apart?

Mars Retrograde Haiku and Discussion

mars

Photo by Hubble Space Telescope, 1997

He lost his key. He
borrowed mine, and lost it too.
This is all his fault.

Retrograde is the period in a planet’s orbit when it appears, from Earth’s perspective, to move backwards through the sky from night to night. Recall from high school science that this backwards movement was an important clue for Johannes Kepler to the fact that Earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around. He wasn’t the first to posit a heliocentric solar system, but he was (so far) the last who had to.

Modern astrologers are well aware that nothing in orbit actually moves backwards; but during the periods when a planet appears to, its influence is said to be delayed, truncated, inverted, or otherwise screwed up.

The red planet is symbolized by its eponym Mars, Roman god of war. He’s involved in violence, conflict, and decisive action, as well as passion and the most animal sexual drives. When Mars is retrograde, don’t be surprised if it’s next to impossible to get anything done, to get motivated, or to take initiative. You may also notice minor irritations that would usually pass become major conflicts for no apparent reason.

I became aware of Mars retrograde as a factor in my life years ago, when I noticed that by some strange coincidence, everything in my life that I was unhappy about was caused by one of my male bosses (I had a lot of jobs in those days), or by my male partner. I had female bosses and friends, but they were all innocent of making me unhappy. When I see unlikely patterns in my thinking, it’s a good time to reflect and ask if perhaps the patterns I see aren’t generated more from within than without. I made a conscious decision to let go of my anger toward men, and, within a couple months, my irritation with all the men in my life passed. Those men I was angry with didn’t actually hold as much power over me as I had imagined.

Recently my dear husband lost both our keys to the car I drive. By a convoluted series of events I found myself alone with the vehicle in a town 20 miles away, and no way to start the car. (Don’t ask, it’s too ridiculous.) Blaming him for this problem did nothing to solve it. Realistically, I participated in the creation of that situation too. I repeatedly reminded myself of these two facts, and everything worked out fine, without even much delay. It wasn’t until yesterday that I found out that Mars went retrograde on April 17, and won’t turn around until June 29.

So I’ll need to watch myself until then, and keep a rein on any man-bashing I find myself falling into. It really doesn’t make me happy; it’s a distraction from what truly matters. It doesn’t even provide sufficient material for a good poem, beyond a haiku.

Chiron Return

Let’s get this out in the open: I rush to publish earlier than is probably advisable. Last week I published a poem that I edited twice in the next two days, then revised it so substantially that it should probably get another post altogether.

If I come across as half-assed, and valuing my work beyond its worth, I’m okay with that. That’s what blogging’s all about, right? Take it or leave it.

But it appears some people actually do like my poetry. For you, enjoy.

 

Chiron Return

Did Chiron get fed up with the body
he’d been issued, that stubbornly refused
to heal? Did the master healer hope,
month after month, to find an efficacious
blend of herbs to stanch the bleeding,
or did he know this injury
would be the downfall of a demigod?
Did he struggle to comprehend
the incongruity of a wounded immortal?

Was he annoyed to hear humans claim
as identity afflictions that ought to have
healed decades ago? “I hate to cough because
sixty years ago I had pertussis.”

Did he see the forty-nine-year-old woman
with the heavy bleeding, the torpid thyroid,
incontinent bladder, presbyopia, insomnia,
and toothache—close his eyes, feel the throbbing
of his own nagging wound, and think,
this is what it’s like to be mortal?

Palermo house

Diamond Rain

One shouldn’t choose favorites, but my favorite planet might be Neptune. WordPress informs us that lots of people are reading about Neptune these days; I don’t know why. Maybe their attention was arrested by the thought of 1300 mph winds; or by its mysteries: the unknown source of Neptune’s intense heat (5000º C near the solid core), or its pure, piercing blue hue, much bluer than would be explained by the small amounts of methane near the surface. Maybe it’s the diamond hailstones falling into a liquid diamond ocean.

Ah Neptune, you invite us to dream, whether of the day or night sort makes no difference. Still, Mars and Saturn are calling us to activity on this sunny day, so we will leave off dreaming until night.

Reader, what is your favorite planet?

Neptune Direct

Dear friend, at last you return.
Now I visit your dark Dreaming,
two eyes closed, the third open.

I find myself on fertile ground,
painting the laundromat yellow,
evading the wasps on the back porch.
And here is my grand old house,
which I’d forgotten I owned.
This time I’ll take the children to the attic
to explore and choose small treasures,
this time I’ll move in for good.
I’ve sent my dead mother to enjoy
a tea party with the ladies who teach
manners. At a music festival,
an old friend hands me an envelope,
something psychoactive.
Sandwiches of taco meat and
butterscotch pudding are served.
On one side, a girl with her pet beaver
on a leash, on my other side, a boy
recording sounds with his camera.

O Divine Neptune, I sink, a stone,
into your watery depths.
Never leave me again,
in that dreamless sleepless bleak
of your retrograde.

 

 

 

 

 

Transit of Venus, Astrology, and the Integration of Masculine and Feminine

So after I wrote yesterday on the transit of Venus, I got some housework done, and it reminded me of how writing helps me get other things done. It isn’t rational, but it often happens that way. So today I’m giving myself permission to study and write more about this event. It’s getting exciting. I can feel energy building and shifting in my body. Maybe I’ll clean the kitchen today before we go watch the transit at ESU.

Nick Anthony Fiorenza says, “An eclipse of this nature creates a relaxation and re-stimulation both in Earth’s energy grid and in our neurobiological resonance providing an opportunity to release the past and engage in a fresh start. Although occurring in the Taurus constellation and sidereal sign, which is somewhat stabilizing, it lies in one of a few tempestuous areas of Taurus, in this case produced by the nebulous Pleiades star asterism. The Pleiades and the conjoining stars of Perseus, in part, stimulate physical heroic action to seed new paths forward in our lives and to create infrastructures that support our fundamental nourishment and domestic wellbeing.” He also has lots of numerology, which I think you have to buy his book to read, but it has interesting observations on the orbit and rotation of Venus, and relative to those of Earth.

Others say that the conjunction of Venus and the Sun symbolizes a union of feminine and masculine, a major shift in consciousness from polarized thinking to desire for cooperation and integration.

Eric Francis likes to talk about politics. He suggests that the political hot-button issues regarding sexuality and reproduction are not merely distractions from the real, important issues such as the well-being of the earth, but that these issues are all symptoms of an essential rift in our collective consciousness, a deep inner conflict between the masculine and the feminine. Francis sees today’s event as an opportunity for the world to choose a new consciousness, one which re-empowers the feminine, which balances the masculine and feminine within and in relationships.

While several astrologers are talking about dwarf planets, or minor planets, or asteroids (just what are those things????), including Juno, Ixion, and Chaos, Francis notes that this conjunction is also exactly conjunct the (not visible today) asteroid Sulamitis, named for the female voice in the Biblical Song of Solomon. “The story has many twists and turns, but ultimately its theme is devotion and what it means to be in love, with a comment on how authentic balance between male and female energy feels. With this event happening in Gemini, the first place to seek and find that balance is inside ourselves. I could not think of a more beautiful visitor to stand guard over this rare event, at this vital opportunity for rebalancing our hearts, souls and our relationship to the Earth.”

Isn’t it time? Let’s all look at the sky today. How will the union of masculine and feminine manifest in your life?

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