‘Solitude is like a rain…’ Rainer Maria Rilke — Astrology Musings

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It is Rilke’s short collection, ‘Letters to a Young Poet’, which has inspired many people of all ages for around a century.

His messages to this one individual, Franz Xaver Kappus, now immortalised in print, convey the need to go deep within, to accept the human condition of loneliness and isolation and to absorb it. His most famous works included ‘The Book of Hours’, ‘The Book of Images’, ‘The Duino Elegies’ and ‘Songs to Orpheus’.

What kind of man was this? And how has such a message, seemingly contrary to the accepted ‘wisdom’ of our times, found such favour?

Dressed as a girl

Rainer Maria Rilke was born in Prague in late 1875, a member of the German speaking ruling classes of the disparate empire of Austria-Hungary in central Europe. He was always conscious of this and never entirely happy being within it. In his latter years, he would reject it entirely whilst living in Switzerland, where he composed solely in French.

His early situation was not helped by the fact that he had an older sibling, a girl, who died a year before he was born. When he arrived, his mother appears to have wanted another girl and Rainer, or René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke, as he was originally christened, was dressed in girls’ clothing during his formative years. This would have had a profound early psychological impact upon him.

Acceptance of Czech and Slavic culture

He was later sent to a military academy, which he despised, yet he looked back on it as a formative and even necessary experience. Unlike his mother, he always had a sneaking admiration for the Czech/Slavic majority culture, even though it was deemed lower class in comparison to the ruling Germanic. He had Czech girlfriends and got know an uncle of one who had visited Russia and knew Russian literature.

Then his life changed profoundly when he met Lou Andreas Salome, a married Russian aristocrat significantly older than him. Despite her marital status he accompanied her and her husband to Russia first in 1899 and again with her alone the following year, 1900. Here he met the Russian literati, including Tolstoy and Pasternak.

Mother Russia — his spiritual home, or ‘heimat’

But it was his experiences with the simple Russian and Ukrainian folk that had the deepest impact upon him; their complete involvement with the Orthodox culture, full of ancient tradition and festivities. This plus the largely unspoiled Russian countryside, the steppe and its agricultural calendar, opened his eyes to a God essentially created by Man, at least within his own existential thinking. And of course, this was the inspiration for all his later work, beginning most especially with ‘The Book of Hours’.

He would spend several years living and working with the sculptor Rodin in Paris too, another period of change which took him another step forward. In fact, he was restless, always travelling, searching outwardly, and most especially inwardly — the isolation of the individual, his self, which he cherished the most and encouraged others to learn to accept.

No pain killers

Rilke lived his philosophy to the end, too. When he knew he was dying, he was reluctant to take pain killers — they might have detracted from the profundity of the experience. So can a look at his astrological chart, as given, reveal what was going on within his psyche?

He has Virgo rising, showing an analytical and critical approach to life. The midheaven and 10th house in Gemini points towards a career involving communication and much coming and going. Both Virgo and Gemini are ruled by Mercury, who is found in Scorpio in the 3rd house of the mind, challenged by Mars in Aquarius in the 6th house. Scorpio is deep and penetrating, investigative. Here was no whimsy, but someone who dwelt upon issues, but who could also get highly irritable, agitated, to the point where it could affect his health.

A wanderer in body and mind

His Sagittarian sun of self and uniting Venus are in the 4th house of the home, family, ancestors. Sagittarius is another mutable or changeful sign, imbued with a wanderlust, particularly for longer distances. Sagittarius is noted for going far and wide. However, although this is true of Rilke, who travelled extensively in Russia, Europe and north Africa, it was always in search of something inside, his ‘heimat’, or true spiritual home. He was to find this in the much maligned old Russia prior to the revolution and was to carry this realisation always.

His 4th house Venus is supported by being trine Neptune and sextile Mars, indicating his spiritual and passionate yearning for the numinous, ultimately for God, although even with the best aspects Neptune is illusory. His attitude towards relationship (he had many) is typically idealistic, in which he sees each partner upholding the space between them, like guardians of their separate, lonely selves. So love was always going to be a very difficult thing for him, holding up such ideals, perhaps indicated by Neptune’s aspect here.

His sun ruler, Jupiter, is also in Scorpio, just like his chart ruler Mercury. So we have both planets associated with the mind in deep, penetrating Scorpio, in the house of the mind. Rilke gave a new meaning to deep, passionate thought.

Bearing his cross

Dominating his chart is a loose grand cross in fixed signs and cadent houses. This could be seen as the cross he bore throughout his life. The Moon conjunct Saturn in Aquarius in the 6th house in itself suggests a difficult, restrictive, isolated childhood with illnesses, plus a trying relationship to the mother; so much so the health is also likely to be affected. He seems to have carried this sense of loneliness with him all his life, perhaps the major astrological indication of his philosophy of solitude.

Endless flux of life

This conjunction is opposite the rebellious Uranus in the 12 house of the inner life; sudden, deeper psychological issues are highlighted here, eruptions perhaps from problems stemming from his restrained childhood. Undermining Pluto is opposite Jupiter from the 9th house of travel and the higher mind, which may indicate issues like falling out completely with Rodin and the many new starts he had while abroad. This grand cross represents the continual flux he experienced in life, his difficulties and the existential challenge which he took up.

Finally, the north node of the Moon in the 8th house indicates he was born karmically with deep personal security issues. Individuals born with this tendency need to explore more deeply (8th house/Scorpio) through involvement in deeper, more profound psychological areas to do with security. Rilke appears to have instinctively understood this challenge and taken it up.

Copyright Francis 2021

The Age of Pisces and the Transition into Aquarius (Reblog)

Last time we did some historical speculation about the previous astrological ages from Virgo to Aries. In this post we’ll explore the current age in …

The Age of Pisces and the Transition into Aquarius

The Sign of Aquarius — Astrology Musings

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Many assume Aquarius is a water sign, mainly because the name means literally ‘water’ (from the latin Aqua), and the glyph represents dual flowing waves of some medium.

A more elaborate symbol of the sign is a figure pouring water from a jar, the ‘water bearer’, or ‘water carrier’, further underlining the assumption that Aquarius is a water sign.

No Water In Aquarius

But Aquarius isn’t a water sign; the name and the glyph are kind of metaphorical, showing a way of working, a process, a methodology, rather than something definitive. Aquarius represents a free flowing process, an openness, perhaps something like the world wide web, where in theory at least, information en masse is available for all to assess and discern using their own wisdom.

And what does a water carrier do? It’s not so much the actual medium of water that is important. Anyone could get a drink of water if they so wish. But the water carrier symbolises pouring out for all, being of service to the many.

Hopes, Dreams & Wishes

Aquarius is the fixed air sign. The medium of air is to do with communication, mentality, sociability. But how fixed can air be? Perhaps one way of viewing it is concentration. A concentration of air is like a strong wind, or maybe a fresh breeze to blow away the cobwebs, in preparation for something new, fresher, better.

Aquarius is the second sign after the winter solstice, when the sun appears to stop and begin to move northward again. Capricorn begins the process, like some earthing or crystallisation, laying firm foundations, as befits the Saturn rulership of that sign.

The Great Teacher Saturn

So Aquarius is also ruled by Saturn (not Uranus, in my opinion), but it’s a different side of ‘the great teacher’. Saturn plans ahead, systematically with ideas, and with Aquarius this builds for the future — the hopes, dreams and wishes of mankind, upon the materialistic foundations of Capricorn, for the coming spring in the north, the fall in the south, as the sun moves relentlessly northward.

The water bearer’s energy is powerful at present and change is on its way. Not the violent, revolutionary change of Uranus, but the instigation of ‘plan a’ of the ages — the beginning of a ‘golden age’ which we are blessed to witness.

Copyright Francis 2021

Watch for the Ghost of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 — Ohio Astrology (Reblog)

In this year 2021 on President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12) there will be five planets transiting his birth sign of Aquarius. Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, sun and will all be in this fixed air sign that’s focused on humanity, technology, futuristic ideas and shared ideals. The day before, February 11, will also see the […]

Watch for the Ghost of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 — Ohio Astrology

Astrology of Today – Wednesday, February 10, 2021 — Astrology Cafe (Reblog)

Today’s Moon: The Moon is in Aquarius. There is no void Moon period today. The Moon is waning and in its Waning Crescent phase. The Third Quarter Moon occurred on February 4th, and the New Moon will occur tomorrow. Retrogrades: Mercury is retrograde (Mercury is retrograde from January 30th to February 20th). **Times are Eastern…

Astrology of Today – Wednesday, February 10, 2021 — Astrology Cafe

A New Beginning? Aquarius New Moon, February 11 2021 — Astrology Musings

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The astrological climate continues to suggest great changes are underway.

And one doesn’t have to be a lover of star signs or a psychic to believe we are living in extraordinary times, although the problems we all face are faith and finding some clarity.

Take the Aquarius New Moon on February 11 2021. Here we have half a dozen planets in the fixed air sign (Aquarius), which is striking.

The Old and the New

Now I am one of those astrologers who do not assign Uranus as ruler or even co-ruler of Aquarius. I am a bit of a traditionalist in this respect. There are two sides to Saturn, ruler of both Capricorn and Aquarius. In the cardinal earth sign of Capricorn, Saturn is materialistic, practical, systematic, realistic, all necessary functions of our lives. In his Aquarian mode, however, Saturn’s ‘gravity’ turns to forward planning, practical and realistic thinking in preparation for the future of humanity.

The Uranian side of Aquarius, I contend, is wrong, as is Neptune’s rulership of Pisces and Pluto’s of Scorpio. These three so-called outer planets are invisible to the naked eye, after all, and I agree that they do not represent anything positive at all. They are in fact forces which we should not knowingly dabble with, merely try to overcome and understand.

Hope, Dreams, Wishes

So, accepting this premise, what does all this Aquarian energy mean? Aquarius, traditionally, is the sign of hopes, dreams and wishes — it plans ahead, reflecting the sun at this time of year moving steadily north in preparation for the vernal equinox.

In other words, this New Moon on February 11 represents a new beginning of hope, where our dreams and wishes can be planted like seeds, with full expectation of a flowering, soon. One of the most beautiful aspects of this New Moon is that at the same time, the two benefics are in an almost exact conjunction in Aquarius.

Venus loves Jupiter — but platonically, idealistically in Aquarius

Jupiter, the greater benefic, and Venus, the lesser benefic, enhance one another, creating a beautiful idealistic, platonic vibration, strongly tinged as it is with the Aquarian energy, forecasting peace, justice and freedom for humanity as whole. But we must be patient. This is only a step.

And of course it’s not straightforward either. At this time Mercury, also in Aquarius, is retrograde, so there is a sense that nothing much is happening, or being heard; information is not clear and things keep going wrong. Aquarius demands a free flow of data.

Mercury turns direct on February 20, so we may not begin to see too many signs of a ‘spring thaw’ until around then, or into March as Mercury exits post shadow. Also, the Jupiter/Venus conjunction is loosely square (difficult) both Mars and Uranus in Taurus. The latter has been bringing chaos to financial markets in recent times and will continue to do so, whilst Mars steaming through the same sign has only agitated the situation — none of this to the benefit of humanity, whose hopes are invested in this Jupiter/Venus love-in for all.

Impasse

In other words, there continues to be an impasse between these two forces, those who want to ‘progress’ to that restoration of true human values, against what could be some chaotic ‘manipulation’ which has led us into this crisis in the first place.

We should not forget Saturn’s continued presence in Aquarius either, the true ruler of that sign. Interestingly, he is in challenging aspect to Uranus in Taurus in this chart, perhaps bringing a touch of stability which we might not have had; Uranus is saying ‘I want to turn over the financial markets’, while Saturn is saying ‘slow down!’

Lack of Clarity in America?

The first chart above is set for Washington DC, so might cast light onto the situation in America. I won’t say too much here, except that using my favoured house system, all that Aquarian energy is housed in the eighth house, which in mundane astrology represents other people’s money, i.e. investments, big finance, and thus business — but also secrets.

We should expect to hear a lot about these issues in the coming weeks, especially when Mercury goes direct. However, in this chart, Neptune is also almost exactly conjunct the midheaven, bringing little clarity, confusion and outright befuddlement in governmental issues and circles. The actual truth may be very hard to discern.

Nevertheless, with the Moon being the ruler of this chart (Cancer rising), it makes the importance of this new moon paramount. And what happens in America invariably affects the whole world.

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The above chart, set for London and therefore the United Kingdom, shows the Aquarian energies within the sixth house, strongly emphasising public health and work related issues, perhaps also the armed forces. Neptune’s presence in the seventh house could also leave the United Kingdom wide open to deceit in regard to diplomatic issues over the next month.

Most intriguingly too, the fixed star Aldebaran is exactly conjunct the midheaven on this chart, emphasising possible success in trade and/or military affairs over the next few weeks.

It is also worth bearing in mind that soon Pluto will reach the exact same degree it was in the USA Declaration of Independence chart, July 4 1776. Pluto warns us of surreptitious behaviour on a grand scale, although one can’t help but wonder what this might mean for the constitution — we shall see over the next year or so.

There’s Hope — But Don’t Expect Too Much

I believe the February 11 New Moon represents another step along the way of some form of transformation, which may only reach top gear by around 2025 when Pluto itself enters Aquarius. By then I truly hope that we will be on the way towards creating a peaceful federation of locally based communities within our countries, which can stretch the hand of friendship and cooperation worldwide — now these are true Aquarian values.

This New Moon could be quite interesting and enlightening, therefore, but don’t expect too much. We may have to wait until after February 20 to get some more clarity. Hang on in there.

Copyright Francis 2021

Mercury Retrograde — Astrology Musings

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I might be mistaken, but over the past year there seems to have been a growing interest in a retrograde Mercury and what it means. I hear people with little astrological knowledge even referring to it. This may be simply due to us having had more time to investigate such astrological facts.

But of course, Mercury, like the other planets, do not actually move backwards at all, they merely seem to due to our perspective here on the good earth.

Technical Aspects

Then there is the technical side, like pre and post shadow phases which enclose the actual retrogradation, or backwards motion. Whilst the times are exact, there is not as much agreement as to the effects of retrograde planets as one would think. In fact there are some who don’t give it much credence at all.

However, if retrogradation is significant for any planet and ourselves, I would think that Mercury must top the list, purely because it is the ‘winged messenger’, Hermes in Greek, the mind, communication in all its forms and the media in general.

Misleading

The whole period in which Mercury goes through pre shadow, retrograde, and post shadow, can therefore represent a phase of time in which communication is not straightforward at all, and at times flagrantly misleading.

Right now, in early February 2021, we are in the middle of the retrograde phase of Hermes/Mercury, so we could be experiencing a higher than average occurrence of communicative problems and challenges, such as misunderstandings of all kinds, computer problems, travel issues, not only personally but as a society.

Trusting Intuition

We should therefore also be cautious about what we read — anywhere — and take nothing for granted. This is a time to trust our intuition more, to meditate, contemplate, basically go inward; we need to get our ‘news’ directly from source rather than through a medium, if at all possible.

Mercury turns direct around February 20 and moves out of post shadow around March 13. Bearing this in mind, we are likely to remain somewhat misled, perhaps confused, until around that first date, when things may become a little clearer, whether in regard to personal issues, or more mundane ones. Full clarity about what has transpired over the previous two months may not be obvious until the latter date, in the middle of March. Let’s see.

Hermes Exalted in the Watercarrier?

One interesting thought, Mercury is in Aquarius throughout this period, which to my mind is very well placed. I think there is a case that Mercury is actually exalted in Aquarius rather than its traditional exaltation in Virgo. The fact that there is much other Aquarian activity at the moment is also highly significant I feel, underlining the importance of Mercury’s presence in Aquarius right now.

Aquarius is an air sign and therefore, like Mercury, communicative — but in a profound, truthful and humanitarian way. This would put Mercury’s fall in Leo, an interesting thought which I won’t go into here.

A Turning Point?

So Mercury turning direct in Aquarius around February 20 and moving beyond through post shadow, could potentially represent a revelatory few days and weeks, with much profound insight. There could be a slow unravelling of a certain situation, and then from middle March, things may begin to ease somewhat towards the first day of spring on March 21.

Maybe the New Year will truly begin around that date.

Copyright Francis 2021

The real deal on the Age of Aquarius — Tara Greene,Tarot Reader, Astrology, Psychic (Reblog)

When does the Age of Aquarius really begin? There are many many dates for this. The December 21, 2020 Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn marks a beginning point. Read this in depth article.

The real deal on the Age of Aquarius — Tara Greene,Tarot Reader, Astrology, Psychic

Age Of Aquarius – The Next Chapter — (Reblog)

“When the moon is in the Seventh House And Jupiter aligns with Mars Then peace will guide the planets And love will steer the stars This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius” – 5th Dimension, 1969 Every 2,150 years approximately we have a new Astrological Age. The much-anticipated Age of Aquarius begins when […]

Age Of Aquarius – The Next Chapter —

Transits – January 12 to February 10, 2021: In With the New — The Stars Within Their Courses (Reblog)

I have been doing these transit reports for a couple of years now. My aim with these is to give a forecast of the general astrological weather and to help my readers navigate times in which world events may impact their personal lives. I also try to address the higher, metaphysical side of what is […]

Transits – January 12 to February 10, 2021: In With the New — The Stars Within Their Courses