Autumn Equinox 2022

Autumn Lady by Alphonse Mucha

Autumn Equinox 2021 arrives on September 22 at 9:06p EDT, 6:06p PDT and on September 23 at 2:03 UT
It is Spring Equinox for those in the Southern Hemisphere which is on September 23 at 12:03p AEDT

The Old Farmers Almanac gives you the basic info and always has beautiful photos too,  this Equinox is called Mabon in the pagan tradition which celebrates and gives thanks at harvest time (this site also has great free calendar downloads.)  In Japan the Autumn Equinox is a national holiday and in China it has been celebrated for centuries. Here are 9 Fascinating September Equinox Celebrations Around the World.

All seasons have their beauty but Autumn’s beauty is amazing!  Here are some Beautiful Places In the World to See Fall Foliage

The September Equinox marks the beginning of this new season and the chart for the Equinox indicates astrological trends for the season. Here is the Equinox chart cast for Washington, DC.

This Equinox is the moment the Sun enters the sign of Libra each year.  This year Mercury is retrograde and is at the exact degree (0*Libra) as the Sun. Venus the ruler of Libra is in Virgo, Mars is in Gemini moving along his 7 month Gemini path, the Moon is in Leo and Six major planets along with Chiron and 2 asteroids are retrograde in the Equinox chart -Mercury retro in Libra,  Jupiter retro in Aries, Saturn retro in Aquarius, Uranus retro in Taurus, Neptune retro in Pisces and Pluto retro in Capricorn, Chiron retro in Aries, June retro in Pisces and Vesta retro in Aquarius. The Karmic South Node (pull to the past) is in Scorpio and North Node (future direction) is in Taurus.

Two standouts in this year’s Equinox are the retrogrades – 9 planetary bodies total – a lot of retro energy! The other is Mercury, planet of communication also retrograde at the exact degree of the Sun in Libra. During this time of year the 3 outer planets along with Jupiter and Saturn are usually retrograde, but this year Mercury is too, along with Chiron, Juno and Vesta. In general retrogrades indicate internalization of the astrological expression of a planet, not negative but not as easily accessed either. Autumn is a time when after the hectic summer, energies turn more inward. All the retrograde motion this season encourages you to pay less attention to external events and put more focus on your own personal experience.

In the Equinox chart the closest aspect is Mercury retro exactly conjunct the Sun. Mercury turned retro in Libra  on 9/9 and at the Equinox has returned to 0*Libra the degree where he was on 8/25. Libra is ruled by Venus and represents balance, peace, harmony, fairness for all and rules relationships. The Sun at 0 degrees of any sign is powerful because it charges up a new sign, so when the Sun enters Libra these values become more pronounced for us all.

As I write this (on 9/19) Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is in process which exhibits these Libra qualities, peace, love, compassion and cooperation to people participating and those watching across the world. When Mercury is retrograde communication, and mental activities in general turn more inward. Queen Elizabeth who reigned for 7 decades was one of the most beloved and admired women in the world,  so for those in mourning time slowed down as her long life was reviewed and portrayed (endlessly!) in the media. Review is a Mercury retro trend.

Libra represents peace, and currently the world is anything but peaceful with the Ukraine war and Russian aggression continuing to rage while mass graves and other Russian atrocities emerge daily. And unlike earlier wars, the Ukraine war is up close and personal with constant media coverage so people are very aware of the violence. Mercury retro at the Equinox let’s us know that peace efforts are not likely to come soon. The divisive mid-tern elections in the US are this fall too on 11/8/22. The chart for this date is pretty intense! I’ll write more about that later.

Mighty Jupiter is retro in fiery Aries and forms an opposition to Sun/Mercury in peaceful Libra at the Equinox. Jupiter = expansion and Aries is the sign of war. Oppositions are inherently neutral – an opposition reveals differing, but potentially complimentary viewpoints. How it manifests depends upon the forces in opposition. They can help each other, or hinder each other depending upon how the opposing energies are integrated. Like a seesaw it can swing back and forth and a heavier kid can pull it down.  Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system is definitely the heavier kid! This too indicates more impetus for aggressive Aries “I am the Warrior!” versus “Let’s find ways to create peace.” especially since Mercury retro interferes with clear communication.

Venus is the ruler of Libra and is in earthy Virgo at 22* on the Equinox. She is closely opposite to Neptune in Pisces and reaches out to Uranus in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn forming a grand earth trine and also creates a kite formation with Neptune at the head of the kite. Uranus is unpredictable, Pluto is the transformer and Neptune helps us tune into higher spiritual values (and also tune into bat-shit crazy delusion!)  Venus represents values and Venus in Virgo at the Equinox is guiding the tail of this kite hoping to instill rational thinking and workable solutions. Good luck Venus!

Mars in air sign Gemini is feeling giddy and seems eager to annoy Venus with an irritating square. “Don’t bother me with practical ideas, I just want to have fun!”,  says he. At the same time Mars forms a trine (ease and flow aspect) to Saturn retro in Aquarius. Mars = energy, action, aggression while Saturn represents structure, foundation and boundaries. This trine favors forming more progressive ideals, but since Saturn is retrograde any results get delayed.

The Moon represents public mood in the Equinox chart and she is at 26* Leo the royal Moon. This lets us know people are ready and willing to be in a good mood if given the chance. Will better moods come? Here is the Sabian symbol for 26* Leo – Day Break – the Luminescence of Dawn in the Eastern Sky. Here is the full interpretation, it is so positive and hopeful! This Symbol implies the gradual feeling that darkness is dispersing and that a new day is on the horizon; you may feel there is a chance for new beginnings. Things along the way have been sacrificed and there may be a certain emptiness, but you will see the light of day and move forward again. This Symbol speaks of transition times of letting go of operating in the dark and moving into a new day with new plans and fresh solutions. New ideas, opportunities, perspectives and realizations are emerging.

Maintaining these feelings may not be that easy because the Leo Moon is dealing with an itchy inconjunct aspect to Pluto in stern Capricorn. This configuration lets us know that old paradigm patriarchal structures (old white men!) want to continue their centuries long top down rule by trying to keep uppity women, gays, and idealist youth in check! Pluto is inwardly chuckling though, as he dreams about his grand entrance into Aquarius in March next year. He says “Just wait to eat my transforming dust you old control freaks!”

So friends, this is the big picture for the season which includes a partial Solar eclipse on 10/25 in Scorpio and a Total Lunar Eclipse on 11/7 in Taurus (the day before the US elections!).  Eclipses create a more profound time in general, you want to take time to go deeper, and dreams get more significant too. These effects last for weeks, so expect this season to be not quite as ‘normal’ as usual, but who can say what is normal now anyway?!

Here is some advice from Friedrich Nietzche born with Sun in Libra to keep in mind this Autumn,  No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Sidereal or Tropical?

 Vedic astrologers use the same zodiac as Western astrologers… but with a 24 degrees shift!



You can be born an Aries in Western, and be a Pisces in Vedic. I have listened to a video about Pisces by a Vedic Astrologer… Everything he says is very similar to the Pisces I know as a Western Astrologer. So, there is a real contradiction.


In Western astrology we call our zodiac “Tropical”. For us, Aries starts with the spring equinox, around the 21st of March. In you live in the Southern hemisphere, Aries also starts at that time, but for you it’s Autumn. 


What matters is that the tropical zodiac is based on the seasons – not because of the weather, but because of the equinoxes and solstices. 


Even our prehistoric ancestors, without any idea of the earth being round were able to observe that the days and nights become alternatively longer and shorter. 



If you watch the horizon every morning and every evening all year round, as you do when you have no internet connection, no TV, no radio, no books, no electricity and the local story teller has been eaten by a giraffe, or maybe a tiger, you keep watching and you can see that the Sun doesn’t rise and sets always at the same place.


In the Northern hemisphere, in Autumn, the Sun rises not exactly East, but a little bit further South every day, and it sets, not exactly West, but a little but further South every day as well. At the Winter solstice, the time of the shortest days, the points where the Sun rises and sets are as close to each other as they will ever be. After the Winter solstice, everyday the Sun rises and sets a little further North. When the lengths of day and night are equal, it is the equinox. The Sun carries on rising and setting a little further North on the horizon every day until the summer solstice – this point will apparently remain stationary for three days or so before the movement is reversed. 

Equinoxes and solstices were times of celebrations. When Christianity took over, the people would have gone to both Christian and Pagan celebrations. The churchmen decided to celebrate Christian ceremonies at the same dates as the Pagan ones to prevent this from happening. Thus, we have Christmas at the Winter Solstice – Just a few days after it actually, when it becomes possible to observe that the Rising and Setting points are now moving in the other direction. The solstice is a kind of stationary time.  

Christians celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the first Full Moon after the equinox.


I mention this to emphasise the importance of solstices and equinoxes as part of human life. 

They are astrological events: they are special moments of the relationship between Earth and Sun. For me, this alone is a powerful argument in favour of the tropical zodiac. Seasons are defined by equinoxes and solstices. Each season is divided in three equal parts, so we get twelve signs or one month each. 




More than 2000 years ago, at the spring equinox, the constellation that could be seen on the Eastern horizon just before the Sun rose was Aries. I say “just before” because once the Sun is rising, you can’t see stars anymore, but you can guess they are still there. According to Robert Hand, we don’t know if Babylonians were aware of the precession of the equinoxes. Given that the earth is wobbling on its axis – like a spinning top but more slowly – we don’t get the same constellation rising at the time of the equinox. 


Since the time of Jesus-Christ it was Pisces, but now, we are at the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Our zodiac signs are not aligned with the constellations anymore, but we don’t care. They are just named after them. 


I was listening to Chris Brennan recounting the history of astrology on his podcast, and I learned that the Babylonians standardised the zodiac to include twelve signs of exactly thirty degrees each by the fifth century BC. This is worth thinking over. The constellations are of unequal sizes. In some cases, they overlap. When the zodiac became standardised, it became detached from the irregular reality of the constellations. 


When people argue that the sidereal zodiac – the zodiac that is used by Vedic astrologers – is the right one because it takes into account the real position of the constellations, they are wrong: the sidereal zodiac is also a zodiac of twelve equal signs of 30 degrees each and this is not the reality of the stars. Even if the current position of the constellations aligns better with the signs named after them in sidereal than in tropical, the constellations still are of unequal sizes and sometimes overlap. The sidereal zodiac doesn’t reflect this reality. The sidereal zodiac is defined thanks to the Fixed Star Spica. When the Sun opposes it, it is the beginning of the sidereal zodiac. (I should actually say “one of the sidereal zodiacs is defined thanks to Spica, there are other systems) 


Thinking of how important solstices and equinoxes are as astronomical events, and to the fact that the zodiac was standardised by the Babylonians in the fifth century BC – and therefore detached from the constellations, I had come to the conclusion that the tropical zodiac was the right one. 


I’ve come across a video by Vic DiCara. He mentions some passages of major Vedic texts which define the beginning of the zodiac at the equinox. Vic DiCara is a Vedic astrologer who uses the tropical zodiac. This definitely confirms my opinion. 


Still, how come the whole Vedic system that uses the sidereal zodiac works then?

I am thinking of various possible answers. I’m not happy with answers like “Choose the one that works for you”. I want to understand what’s going on if possible! 


Robert Hand, when asked the question about Vedic versus Western and the problem of sidereal versus tropical answered with another question: 

“What language is the right one? French or German?” 


Robert is a top scholar but I am not satisfied by his answer. You can’t say that 2+2 = 4 in one language, that 2+2 = 5 in another and be right in each language just because it’s another language. If the description of Pisces by a Vedic astrologer is the same as what a Western astrologer would say, but this description applies to someone who is actually an Aries in Western… this does not work. 


It’s possible to say that maybe the Pisces description applies to the Western Aries person but “at another level”. I’m not happy with that either. If an Aries Sun can identify as a Pisces Sun at another level, everyone of us can identify with any random sign, and with any random birth chart for that matter. 


So, if Vedic works, I think it’s because they have other techniques than the zodiac placements. For instance, they put a lot of emphasis on the lunar mansions, the Nakshatras; In Vedic the house placements and the aspects remain the same as in Western… so they have enough of it right.


Or maybe there is another explanation. 


But before that, I have to talk about another problem we have with the tropical zodiac. Aries is the beginning of spring… in the Northern Hemisphere, but not on the Equator, where days and nights are always the same length, and not in the Southern Hemisphere where the seasons are reversed. In the Southern Hemisphere, Aries starts with the beginning of autumn. 


This is annoying if we define the signs in reference to the seasons: Aries is the burst of energy as we can see it in spring, or Leo is the expression of mid-summer… In the Southern hemisphere, Leo time is winter time. 


So, to come to terms with this problem we need to stop looking for causes in the world of the senses. Astrology can only make sense in the context of a spiritual worldview. What comes first are not the constellations that we can see in the night sky, nor the seasons such as they pass in temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere.



What comes first is the universal soul, or the collective psyche, whatever you name it. Actually, not even soul or psyche come first, but Spirit. Spirit creates Soul and Soul generates Organic Life, something like that. 


We happen to find a great expression of the symbols of the zodiac, in the right order, as the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere, but that’s just a manifestation, not a cause. The archetypal zodiac, with its perfectly balanced geometry, is in the collective psyche, or in the spiritual world, or maybe in something like Plato’s world of ideas. I don’t see how it could work otherwise. 


So, to come back to the question of sidereal astrology. If causes belong to the world of the psyche, universal soul or collective psyche, why couldn’t the sidereal zodiac work for people who belong to a culture which has the sidereal zodiac in their collective mind? Maybe it could become real because it is created as a collective thought? Then it will work for babies being born through that wheel. Maybe? I just leave a big question mark here. 


The only problem we would have, then, would be to know what culture we belong, or possibly are attuned to…? I leave a question mark here, but my opinion is that tropical is the right system.


I am a modern Western astrologer. 



Jean-Marc Pierson


Mars, the knight, is fighting for the Sun-King!

 Mars is a centrifugal force. It’s glyph, the male symbol, is a circle – symbol of spirit and totality – which reminds us of the Sun. However, instead of a dot at the centre, we have an arrow moving away from the centre.



This symbol can also be understood as the representation of a warrior: the circle is the shield, the arrow a spear. Warriors, unless defeated and running away, also walk towards the front lines, sometimes beyond the borders of the kingdom, or in protection of them. A kingdom is a relevant metaphor for a personality.


Let’s start from the centre.

In our bodies, the Sun rules the heart. The Sun also rules over our spiritual heart.

We experience the Sun – heart – as located at the centre of the chest.

When we place a hand on our heart, if we are genuine, we mean “love”. We don’t place a hand on our belly or on our head to mean this. There is no desire, no expectation, just a kind of warm blessing. This is the Sun at the centre.

The Sun also symbolises the Will. The most fundamental will is the will to live and to be ourselves in this world. This manifests as vitality. According to clairvoyant and world class healer Barbara Ann Brenan – this will is the rear side of the heart chakra.

The Sun is the creative power within. If we “follow our heart”, we create – or strive to create – the life we want to live, and to become the kind of person we want to be in this world.  This is self-expression.

The Sun symbolises the Self. Buddhists are most probably right to say that our deeper Self has no separate existence. The source is the same source in every one of us. We can call it “God”, “Sun” or “Consciousness”. Or “Great Spirit”.

In astrology textbooks we read that the Sun represents the conscious will. I would rather say it is the Will that should be conscious. We are so easily forgetful of the heart. Why?


The Sun is at the centre and Mars is the force that moves away from the centre. If there is a source, there must be a stream. If there is the Sun, there must be sunrays moving away from the disc.

I don’t see Mars as an energy that is different from the Sun – sunrays are the sun. We are sun rays.

We, spiritual beings having a human experience are moving away from the centre of our own being, and rushing from essence into existence.

This movement is symbolised by Mars.

The word “existence” etymologically, means “to be out”. The root “ex” is also found in words like exterior or external or exit.  “Essence” etymologically means “To be”.

These are good old philosophical concepts.

In the world of existence, we manifest as a “me”, an “ego”.


We also live the ego at the level of the chest. We can put a hand on our heart, at the same place, to say something like “Me the Great One! Me the winner of the race!”. It’s also on our chest that we hang ribbons and medals when we get any. It’s the same place, but obviously much more external than when we join our hands in meditation or prayer.


We are sun rays, we are the Sun – the creator – expressing itself in the material world as you and me. The role of Mars is to fight all resistance and obstacles to our Self Expression. This is not supposed to be a violent fight, as our adversaries are not other people but the heaviness of the material world, the difficulties which arise from external circumstances and also from within, from our fears, our ignorance and so on.

The position of Mars in our chart tells something about the nature of our fight for self-expression.

Now, look at the crazy story we are living: once upon a time there was a sunray that was so focused on the movement forward, away from the centre that it completely lost the memory of being the Sun – and having a purpose. Mars got lost in the world of the Moon – the physical world.

It started to believe in separate existence and in its own death.

In the world of Lunar consciousness, everything comes into existence, grows, reproduces, declines and disappears, like the Moon does.

Sunrays hit the leaves of the plants and are turned into organic material.

Sunrays, in a spiritual sense, become embryos. They are born and then go through all phases of psychological development. This includes building an ego, a sense of self. But this psychological ego belongs to the Moon. As children, we learn to identify with our body and we take it from there.

In the biological dimension, ruled by the Moon, Mars fights for survival, assert itself as a “me”, competes for sex and power as instinct tell him to, and dies on the battlefield. Then the soul gets reincarnated. The Moon always reappears after the New Moon. We are caught in the wheel of Samsara. This is just an illusion though, the illusion to be cut off from the Sun.

The position of Mars in the chart also shows how we take action within the realm of the Moon.  The Moon rules over the subconscious realms and over the instincts, and so does Scorpio, water sign ruled by Mars and Pluto.


The Sun and the Moon are the King and the Queen, the Yin and the Yang. Everything is a combination of Yin and Yang; everything is a combination of Sun and Moon. We learn that the Moon rules Cancer and the Sun Leo, that’s correct, but in a larger sense they rule over the whole kingdom.

The other energies are not extra energies essentially separated from Sun and Moon. They belong to them. They specify them. 

Mars is the energy of Sun and Moon when this energy is moving away from the centre.

The spiritual path consists of remembering where we come from. The death of the ego is the remembrance of the self. The sunray has never been cut off from the Sun and with a bit of memory or intuition of who we really are, what we really want and love, Mars finds a higher purpose to serve. Mars is never the king, it’s a knight or a highwayman.


Mars rules over Aries and Scorpio.

Aries rules over the head and Scorpio over these things that we keep hidden most of the time. Head and genitals/anus are as far from the centre as we can get, whilst still remaining part of the trunk. When we practise meditation, we strive to sit still and become aware of our own centre – our heart, or the heart of the brain – and before we succeed Mars takes us to the head (and not to the pineal gland but rather the frontal mind)or the emotional dimension of desire and old wounds. That’s Mars. In meditation we don’t act out but in life we often do, unless Saturn bars the way.


If you are looking at a baby being born, at the moment someone says: We can see the head! This is a pure Aries moment. The symbol of Aries is a head facing you. Birth is literally coming into existence, which is Mars’ mission. However, we were not born from the Sun without help. To incarnate we need a mother, Mars comes through the Moon.

It makes sense to see Mars, ruler of Aries, as the natural ruler of the first house. The Ascendant is an indicator about how we were born, how we started in this life, and also how we will approach new situations and start new things. The Ascendant is the surface of our being, and that’s where Mars is taking us, pushing with energy.

Also: Aries rules the face. I started this video talking about our experience of Self and Ego at the level of the chest. The face is another part of the body we strongly identify with. We can play with a child at “Pick-a-boo! It’s me!” and what we experience as “me” when we say “Pick a boo” is different from what we experience at the level of the chest.

Our face has a lot to do with how we appear to others. It is also how the world appears to us: most of our senses are part of our face. Let’s face it, that’s the definition of the Ascendant. So, it really makes sense to see Mars as the natural ruler of the Ascendant.

The story of Mars, sunray under the illusion of being cut off from the sun and living exclusively in the world of the moon, gets its happy ending when we awake, when we remember our heart as centre and king of our own being. This can be metaphorically illustrated by the mediaeval picture of a knight pledging allegiance to their king. The King is the Self.

Now, of course, these metaphors may not please feminists, but I am not able to bin the old symbols and bring up new ones that would be relevant to psychic and spiritual realities that are infinitely deep and subtle.  

So please remember that Sun and Moon are in everyone. Being a man or a woman in this world is a question of biology, it’s relevant to our bodies.

As souls, we don’t have to conform to gender roles: women don’t have to play Moon, only Moon and Moon all the time, and suppress their own Sun. Men don’t have to play Sun, only Sun and Sun all the time and suppress the Moon in them.

Maybe the evolution of our culture will one day see the Sun as Feminine and the Moon as masculine, why not, I don’t know – but such evolutions, if they happen, must come from the collective unconscious, from the deep-down psyche, and not be forced by ideologies. Better not play sorcerer apprentices, and invite spiritual guidance instead.



I hope this helps deepen our understanding of ourselves and our energies. 







Summer Solstice 2022

Mermaid Mythological creature by Alexander Vitovskiy

The 2022 Summer Solstice arrives on Tuesday, June 21 at 5:14 AM EDT, 2:14 AM PDT and 9:14 UTC

This is Winter Solstice for those in the Southern Hemisphere which is on  June 21 at 19:13  AEST

The June Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and is when the Sun enters the sign of Cancer each year.  It is Winter solstice, the shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere. EarthSky has all the details and here are Five Beautiful Rituals to Celebrate Summer Solstice from Explore Deeply.

The chart for the Solstice sets the trends for the upcoming season. This year’s Solstice chart (cast for Washington, DC) is tightly woven across the solar system and has elements of defiance and harmony.

Summer Solstice
June 21, 2022

As always at this Solstice the Sun is at 0 degrees Cancer. Cancer is the first water sign in the zodiac whose waters are nurturing and healing. Cancer represents ultimate love.  The ruler of Cancer is the Moon who at the Solstice is in fire sign Aries. Aries, ruled by Mars, is dynamic and self absorbed, the antithesis of nurture. These signs form a natural clash which at the Solstice is highlighted by a tight square from Moon to Sun made more dynamic since the Moon rules the Cancer Sun. The Moon travels next to Jupiter also in Aries who pounds his huge passionate chest adding more challenge to the Cancer Sun.  Mars is happy to flex his warrior’s muscles in Aries the sign he rules and Chiron maintains his position in Aries close to Mars at the Solstice.

Mercury flies in Gemini, delighted to be in the airy sign he rules and he forms a sextile (60* angle) cooperating nicely with the Aries Moon and Jupiter. Saturn continues his Aquarius voyage but his karmic engine recently reversed course and he moves retrograde at the Solstice, so he is basically ignoring all the other planets. Uranus holds his focus in earthy Taurus keeping his steely eye on Saturn after their earlier clashes. Venus is almost at the end of her Taurus journey at the Solstice and reaches out favorably to Pluto retro in Capricorn. Neptune’s satellite dish is still tuned to peaceful Pisces, but the rebellious Aries energy is not interested in listening to Neptune’s tranquil tune. Pisces is a water sign which harmonizes with Cancer, but at the Solstice Neptune is too far away to make a good connection with the Sun, and on top of this Neptune is slowing down now in prep for his retrograde on 6/28.

To sum up what all this means in non-astrologese the Solstice energies have an over the top “let’s go to war!” or “let’s party til we drop!”( take your choice) laced with a mellow introverted vibe, “I’d rather stay out of the heat at home and follow celebrity gossip”. In addition softer tones float throughout like far away angelic harp melodies .

The Aries energy is evident in the January 6th Committee Hearings which outline their investigation into the connection between former President Trump’s voter fraud conspiracy claims and the insurrection on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The information these hearings have brought out is disturbing and foments anger (Aries!) from those who want to see Trump punished and his fervent supporters who believe his every word. Two hearings have already been held and the next one is scheduled on 6/21 the day of the Solstice! Communicator Mercury in Gemini is happy to oblige by pumping up news around this, and also supplies plenty of gas to the gossip mills churning up stories about well known celebrities so we can focus on them and not our own problems. And let’s face it, it’s always fun to forget your own situation as you watch famous folk fumble around!

The volatile Aries energy is also evident from the war in Ukraine, which Putin seems to be hell bent on continuing no matter the consequences to his own country and people. Putin came to power in 2000 when he first became President of Russia. Aries rules the vigor of youth and young Russian soldiers being sent as fodder to serve Putin’s insanity have only known him as the ruler of their country, so they follow him blindly.

I pulled up my Spring Equinox post and noted that the Moon was in Libra, the sign of peace which is the opposite sign from Aries, where she is at this Solstice. The Moon held a very significant place in the Equinox chart, like a string holding and guiding a large kite. In the Solstice chart the Moon which as the ruler of the Cancer Sun is very significant,  has lost interest in peace and is eager to fight. Think about the animosity engendered in the Ukrainian people as their beautiful, fertile country is being brutally destroyed. Sadly this bad blood toward Russia will be a river running deep for years and generations to come, one of the most disturbing elements of war. The connection between Mars and wounded healer Chiron at the Solstice offers a choice – to punch up more or turn a key away from war and anger.

The major fiery Aries energy of Moon, Jupiter and especially Chiron and Mars at the Solstice also indicate it will be a hot summer too. Much of the US and Europe are already sweltering in above average temps for this time of year.

More aggravation arises from economic and weather related troubles, both ruled by Taurus which Lord of Chaos Uranus has been stirring up for years.  Average people around the world are suffering from high fuel prices and inflation across the board affecting the food you buy, the appliances you need, to the vacation plans you made that will now cost much more and that you may not even be able to get to, like Yellowstone Park which had floods not seen in 500 years!  There have been more devastating eras in history but those of us alive today have never experienced this combination of economic and political upheaval, natural disasters with the addition of a pandemic! Like it or not, you gotta admit, we live in fascinating times.

The softer edge to these Solstice energies gets help from Venus in Taurus who forms an exact trine to potent Pluto in fellow earth sign Capricorn who moves retro at the Solstice, so his potent transformational power is a bit sleepy. Using her melodious Taurus tone Venus croons softly to Pluto sweetly urging him to transform our world in less dramatic ways. Pluto wakes up and moves forward again on 10/6/22, so let’s hope she is successful!

Divine Dreams beyond imagination | Beautiful fantasy art, Angel pictures, Anime art fantasy

More lovely energy comes from Neptune in spiritual Pisces who makes a good connection (trine) to the karmic South Node in Scorpio lifting the dark Scorpionic force to the White Eagle level.  This same trine was active at the Equinox.  Here is what I said then, Neptune rules Pisces so is more powerful in his home sign, and like a satellite dish is tuning into more love and empathy for all. This cosmic beam softens hearts and creates more kindness and willingness to help others… Let us hope this ray of love spreads further to overwhelm the spectre of war forever and all of us, no matter where we are, can add our own heart energy to expand this ray! Venus steps up again forming a nice sextile to Neptune at the Solstice so there is beautiful music playing in the heavens for those willing to hear it.

And as always the Sun in Cancer helps spread love and kindness and 0 degrees of any sign is more powerful. So although the Solstice Sun is a bit lonely in Cancer he will happily energize anyone who wants to radiate more love. Cancer rules home and family so you may not be able to personally affect worldly conditions, but you can spread more care and nurturing to your close loved ones which radiates out onto the psychic highway and ultimately affects the whole world with more positivity.

The Dalia Lama, born with Sun in Cancer, also Mercury in Gemini and Uranus in Taurus, has some good advice on how to handle these Solstice energies, If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is disaster. If you nurse hatred, you will never be happy, even in the lap of luxury. By contrast, if you control your anger and show its opposite – love, compassion, tolerance, and patience – then not only do you remain in peace, but gradually the anger of others also will diminish.

May you celebrate the Solstice in wonderful ways and enjoy a beautiful new season with the ones you love!

Winter Solstice – Truly Teach Me Tarot

Musing on Saturn in Aries and the 12th house

 I have a chart here with Saturn in Aries in the 12th house. 


It gives me a headache… 


A headache is a relevant interpretation. Aries rules the head, Saturn is often painful, Saturn in Aries gives me a headache. Literally or metaphorically. 





Metaphorically a headache means struggling with thinking. Thinking is usually associated with Gemini and Mercury. I won’t contradict that, but the exciting difficulty of astrology – is that it is never so simple. 


Mars and Aries rule the head, and thinking doesn’t happen in the lungs as far as I know. We often hear that Mercury rules the mind so how does this work with the association of Mars and Aries ruling the head?… let’s just refine a bit: 


 Mercury connects. There is an expression: connecting the dots. Mercury does just that. 


The mind does a lot of connecting, so much so that we end up associating Mercury and the mind. In reality, all planets are involved in everything. 


So what is the Aries or Mars quality of the mind? Let me show you. In meditation we want to be conscious of who we are, at the core, in our heart. In meditation we are coming back to the dot at the centre of the circle – the Sun within. Or at least we try. It takes some training because we have a tendency to rush away from the centre, like the symbol of Mars, an arrow rushing away from the circle. With Mars we go back to the front of our being, to the frontal mind, and we’re already thinking of what we are going to do next. 


Joan Hodgson in “Astrology the Sacred Science”  says that Mars (and the Moon incidentally) rule over the frontal mind. In this respect we can say that it takes our awareness away from the heart and we live in our head instead – and not anywhere in our head but at the front. This can be a positive attribute, we need Mars to exist on the material plane, confront reality and act in the world.



Now let’s turn to Saturn….


Saturn is a power that wants control – and better than control, to  master. In the 12th house, one of the best ways to live Saturn is “spiritual discipline”. 


Someone who practises meditation, yoga, Qi Kung, Fasting, prayer… is doing something Saturn – 12th. There are other possible expressions of course, but I am not here to make a long long list of positive and negative expressions, it would never be complete. What I suggest is to get the spirit of the placement… 


As we have seen, Aries is an energy that leads. What leads our consciousness is our attention. Saturn the old master in Aries and the 12th house wants to be able to master attention. Being able to focus, in the middle of the sea of desires and dreams… 


So Saturn in Aries in the 12th wants to master this tendency of the mind to take our consciousness away from the centre and rush into worldly concerns. 


An awkward way of doing that is trying to block the thoughts. This is a lost battle. However we do manage to suppress a number of thoughts, for instance thoughts charged with anger – anger sounds like Aries – 


When we suppress an angry thought, we are like a magician who puts a bad spirit in a bottle, seals it and throws it at the bottom of the sea – at the bottom of the 12th house. Then later on when we meditate we find it difficult to just calm the mind down because if it calms down we are like the fisherman who finds the bottle and opens it. Then there is a big smoke of anger coming out of it and it is very unpleasant to say the least. 


But unlike the fisherman of the Arabian nights who tricks the Bad Genie back into the bottle, we need to understand and soothe this anger, because it belongs to us, to the child or the young person we were a long time ago…

And if we can do that, we achieve a little bit of mastery… 


Let’s think about these themes in another way…


Saturn wants to control. Aries wants speed. 


In Aries mode, Saturn says: “Hurry Up!”… or “Slow down!” according to the context. For example, in a chart with Taurus Rising, Saturn in Aries is more likely to say “Hurry up!”  


But because it is in the 12th, it may be felt as an inner feeling coming from the depth. “I have to hurry! Why am I always in a rush? Even when I could take it easy I manage to be late and I have to rush!”…


 Once I asked a Libra Rising with Saturn in Aries near the Descendant but in the 6th… Do people tell you to hurry up? She smiled and said “All the time!!!” –even if it’s in the 6th and not in the 7th it is in the Western part of the chart – so more likely to be met through others…


 Another picture comes to  mind: the dissolving effect of the 12th house made me think of children building sandcastles quickly, very quickly, before the next wave washes the fortifications away… It’s just a game, it’s fun but aren’t we often living our lives racing against time to achieve things that won’t last? 


The presence of Saturn reminds us that our Aries-like efforts to remain eternally young, strong and beautiful can create a bitter existence unless we remember the immortal beauty of our souls and the impermanence inherent at the core of life… 


 I am Jean-Marc, storyteller and astrologer. I write astro stories. If you want one… use the contact form on my website! It’s there:

There is certainly more to Saturn, to Aries and to the 12th house than what I have been able to conjure up in this storyline, so much more… But that’s what came up for this time. If the flavour is there, there is the spirit.

Self or ego? What is the Ascendant?

 Hello there! 


The first house, defined by the Ascendant, is called the “House of Self”. 


The Sun is said to be the ego. 


What is ego?  For people on a spiritual path, the “ego” is the obstacle. I don’t agree with this negative definition. In a more psychological sense, the ego is simply our sense of identity, our sense of self. 


Is there  some form of competition between the Sun and the Ascendant? 


The symbol for the Sun is the dot at the centre of a circle. It is one of the most powerful symbols. The self is at the centre.  


Let me tell you a metaphor. 



Imagine you’re planning to visit the bottom of the sea. There are beautiful fish down there. 

You can’t go just as you are.  The sea is very deep.  There is a lot of pressure deep down and you wouldn’t be able to breathe. You need a submarine. 

So you embark on a small one. 


When you reach the bottom of the sea, there are already many submarines going about. Some are there to chase the fish, like you, while others are there to study the ocean floor and underwater rocks.  Others are there to test the new submarine technology,  while others are there to control the traffic.


You know that you are you! You are not a submarine. But  to others, you appear as just another submarine. They see the colour and the shape of your submarine.  They see your driving style. They see that your submarine gets very excited when there are fish, but that you don’t care much for  rocks. You are not a submarine, but for others, you are one. You have a submarine personality. You may even identify with it so much that you forget that there is a life beyond driving a submarine.  


Liz Greene says that it’s not possible to practice astrology without a philosophy.  Here is a basic metaphysical statement: 


“We are spirits in the material world. The body is our vehicle.” 


 So you see, the bottom of the ocean is the material world, the submarines are our bodies and we, the spirits, are the drivers. 


Now this may sound very like the  Cartesian notion of the ghost in the machine, so please don’t forget that this is just a metaphor. Our bodies are not machines. Body, mind and spirit are much more deeply intertwined than that. I would rather think of our bodies as extensions of ourselves rather than mere containers. 

But the metaphor is good enough for my point. One day the body dies, and we survive. Once the submarine dies, our driving style – our incarnated personality – disappears as well. 


This is how I understand the Ascendant and the First House. It is our “incarnated personality”, how we are in the flesh. 


My view is consistent with what we know about houses: they are about the most material expression of energies. The Ascendant, Descendant, MC and IC form what astrological tradition calls the Cross of Matter. 


The way the submarine behaves at the bottom of the sea is an expression of the intentions of the driver. The submarine is not just a fake “mask” that hides the authentic being within. 


There are various types of submarines. In my own chart, Cancer is rising. It’s a very sensitive sign. My submarine carries cameras, probes, and antennae. I’m able to sense the environment with great accuracy. This makes me fragile. Don’t shout in my sonar please. I’m here to detect subtle vibrations! 


I am driving this Cancerian type of submarine on a Scorpio expedition: my Sun placement. The purpose of this incarnation has something to do with confronting intense emotions, exploring the unconscious side of the mind, things like that. If my Sun  were Scorpio and my Rising were Sagittarius, I would have a thicker skin. I would confront intense emotions as an adventurer stepping out of my comfort zone.  With Cancer Rising, the intensity comes to my home. I’m more like a scorpion hiding under a rock. 

We usually say that the Ascendant is how we appear. Words are tricky. To appear means “to look like” – but it doesn’t mean only this. 


To appear means “to become visible”.  The Sun becomes visible in the morning on the Eastern horizon. Everything that rises appears in the East. 


We are spiritual beings. Spirits are invisible. We become visible thanks to our physical body. That’s our Ascendant. 


We appeared for the first time when we were born. Planets conjunct to the Ascendant give indications about how we were born. People with Pluto on the Ascendant often had a difficult birth. It felt like a life or death moment. People with Saturn on the Ascendant may well have felt stuck from the start. If it were Jupiter or Venus, the experience was  most probably much more easy going. 


Psychological studies have shown that there is a correlation between how birth happened and how well people do later in life. First impressions and first moments always have a great impact. 


Not only our body but also our behaviour is how we appear. It is on the surface. If I’m being polite with you, it’s behaviour. You can see that I’m being polite, but you don’t know why. Maybe I am a complete hypocrite.  Maybe I am polite because I have something to sell and it would be stupid to be rude. Maybe I just wish to avoid trouble. But maybe I am genuinely treating out with respect because I do respect and love you. What comes up to the surface may come from the depth of my heart.


But if I am a hypocrite or if I am playing poker, then I am using the Ascendant as a mask. We have this choice. 

I’ve seen videos where psychologists analyse video recordings of people who are lying  like, for instance, politicians. I am not saying that all politicians are lying, but surely some do sometimes. 


Looking closely, psychologists can see that the body language of liars betrays them. There are subtle clues. Everything comes up to the surface actually, in more or less obvious ways. 

However, even if everything comes to the surface, we are not able to show ourselves such as we are deep within. We can’t expect people to plug themselves directly into us and to perceive our soul with absolute clarity.  Maybe a very talented psychic could do that but not every lover can. 


The alternative to being psychically perceived is to express ourselves. Self expression: this is what the Sun’s mission is.


To ex- press literally means to push out. We need to be creative to express our inner spirit. The Ascendant is the way out. For instance, I just imagined a picture book with little submarines of various colours and shapes interacting at the bottom of the ocean to make my point. Even a child could understand what I mean. Cancer Ascendant here. 


Metaphors are always approximations for the sake of clarity. The Sun is also the central power. So you may imagine the driver of the submarine as being the power generator at the same time. Body, mind and spirit are intimately connected.  The submarine may even change its form under the influence of its driver! 

The driver has a double personality. He is a mechanic as well. That’s the Moon. As a mechanic, he is not interested in the fish but in submarine maintenance and also in reproduction.  But here, my metaphor becomes far too inadequate. Feel free to imagine whatever and forget about it! 


The Moon is an intermediate between the spiritual and the material planes, but that’s for another day. I hope I have given you keys to interpret your Sun-Ascendant signs combination.  


Jean-Marc Pierson