Today’s Moon: The Moon is in Sagittarius. A void Moon period occurs from 10:24 PM forward. The Moon is waning and in its Last Quarter phase. The Last…Astrology of Today – Thursday, February 24, 2022
Today’s Moon: The Moon is in Cancer. There is no void Moon period today. The Moon is waxing and in its Waxing Gibbous phase. The First Quarter Moon …Astrology of Today – Sunday, February 13, 2022
Today’s Moon: The Moon is in Cancer. There is no void Moon period today. The Moon is waxing and in its First Quarter phase until 12:33 PM, after …Astrology of Today – Saturday, February 12, 2022
Today’s Moon: The Moon is in Gemini until 6:26 PM, after which the Moon is in Cancer. A void Moon period occurs from 3:22 AM to 6:26 PM today. The …Astrology of Today – Friday, February 11, 2022
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 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.
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.
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
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
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