The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 399, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guests Claire Moon and Austin Coppock
Episode originally released on April 26, 2023
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released May 13th, 2023
Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode we’re gonna be looking at the astrological forecast for the entire month of May of 2023. Joining me today are astrologers Austin Coppock and Claire Moon. Welcome, both of you.
CLAIRE MOON: Thank you.
AUSTIN COPPOCK: Hello, hello.
CB: All right, so I’m gonna do a brief little introduction showing an overview of some of the astrology of the month. Then we’re gonna do a discussion for probably about 45 minutes to an hour looking at a retrospective of some major astrology stories from the past month of the past few weeks since our last forecast. And then after that, about halfway through the episode, we’ll jump into the astrology of May. So you can use, as always, the timestamps in the description below this video or the podcast website to jump forward to different parts of the episode if you’d like, but otherwise, let’s go ahead and jump right into the forecast.
So for the video viewers, here’s our Planetary Alignments Calendar, which shows the major astrological alignments that are gonna happen during the month of May of 2023. We start off the month right at the very top with the outer planet Pluto stationing retrograde in Aquarius for the very first time since its ingress a few weeks ago on May 1. And on the same day there is a Mercury-Sun conjunction marking the halfway point through the Mercury retrograde cycle. Then a few days later we get our first lunation of the month, which is actually a lunar eclipse in the sign of Scorpio on May 5. And that is the second and final eclipse of our current eclipse season, which began a couple of weeks before that. Then two days later, Venus moves into the sign of Cancer on the 7th of May. Then the Sun conjoins Uranus on the 9th.
Mercury stations direct and ends its three-week retrograde period on the 14th. Jupiter departs from Aries and moves into the sign of Taurus on the 16th of May, and then immediately after that squares Pluto in early Aquarius on the 17th. Then we get our second lunation of the month, which is a New Moon in the sign of Taurus on the 19th. And the following day, Mars ingresses into the sign of Leo, departing from Cancer, and then immediately opposes Pluto in Aquarius. On the 21st, the Sun moves into Gemini, and Gemini season begins. And then two days later, Mars squares Jupiter and we get one of our last major alignments or aspects of the month. So there’s some other details that we’ll get into during the course of this episode, but that’s kind of the big, broad outline of what we’re gonna be talking about later in the forecast episode. All right, so, hey, welcome, both of you. Thanks for joining me today.
CM: Thank you so much for having me.
AC: Hey, Chris.
CB: Yeah, thanks, Claire. So this is your first time joining us for a forecast episode, but you’ve appeared on the podcast at least twice before. One of our audience members just mentioned one of your first appearances was on the ‘Becoming a Professional Astrologer’ episode. And we were remarking that we can’t believe that was almost two years ago now, right?
CM: Yeah, yeah, it’s been a while, but that was great.
CB: Yeah, and I know that you’re thriving and still doing good in your practice of astrology and getting out there and doing good work.
CM: Yeah, yeah, it’s been slow and steady, a little plodding along—speaking of Taurus season. And, yeah, I’m doing great. Just doing consults and loving my life. Definitely thriving.
CB: Awesome. Keep it up. All right, and Austin, how are you doing? How’s April treating you?
AC: Oh, pretty good. I don’t know, it went by in a blur. I’ve been really busy. I’m always kind of really busy, but I think that if I measured and weighed it I was busier in April. I was getting my year two and three yearly classes up and going; and so, that takes some lifting and grunting and arrangement. Chugging away on Faces, chugging away on some other projects, getting ready for NORWAC. Watching what’s going on in the world, occasionally making sense of it.
CB: Occasionally, as we all struggle to do. Yeah, so there’s so much going on in the world. In terms of astrology though and in terms of news stories directly related to astrology—which is always what I try to focus on in this segment—there’s actually been some really interesting ones and some really interesting recent astrology-in-the-news stories. So one of them I wanted to mention and talk about is there was a new text of the work of the 2nd century astrology Claudius Ptolemy that has been rediscovered recently, and it was just announced recently over the past couple of months in a paper, and it sort of hit the news recently. And this was really fascinating ‘cause in the Middle Ages there was a book of Ptolemy’s that had been written in Greek, and a monk basically—because paper was so rare during that time period and so expensive—instead of writing on a new piece of paper, he sort of just erased over or wrote over this old text of Ptolemy’s. And as a result of that, recently, researchers have rediscovered it and used X-rays in order to actually see the writing underneath that text, and they were actually surprisingly able to recover the actual text of this lost work of Ptolemy’s that otherwise didn’t survive.
So here’s a picture of the text itself and what that looked like, and you can see the writing that’s on top. But for over a century now scholars have noticed that there’s Greek writing underneath that, and they’ve wanted to recover it, but some of the efforts actually—one of them involved using a chemical solution a century ago and that actually made it worse and made it more illegible; so somebody messed that up. But now due to advances in technology they were able to do X-rays, and then they could clearly see the writing underneath the text and eventually draw it out and see that it’s full sentences in Greek. Once they did that, one of the researchers—especially a scholar named Alexander Jones who’s done a lot of really good work on the history of astronomy and astrology—recognized that it was actually a text of Ptolemy’s that we’d seen allusions to that was describing an astronomical instrument similar to an astrolabe that was used in order to make observations and calculations of astronomical positions, including determining the position of certain planets potentially in the zodiac. So for the video viewers, this is what that instrument looks like roughly. And you can see it’s kind of similar almost to the function of an astrolabe or like an early version of something like that.
AC: Orrery or something.
CB: Yeah, exactly. So that was really cool because literally that was just like a lost work of Ptolemy’s that we were never gonna see or recover or know hardly anything about. And all of a sudden they’ve recovered I think large parts of it or the majority of it so that that device can be reconstructed. And it gives me a lot of hope that there may be other discoveries. And, in fact, I’ve started doing some research and looking through other papers that Alexander Jones had published recently, and I discovered one that he published just in the past year or two that had been kind of overlooked that was another major archaeological find related to astrology. And what this was is that he and a couple of other researchers wrote a paper saying that they had discovered a tombstone from Egypt that was the tombstone of a woman from the 2nd or 3rd century in Egypt, and it has an image of her, like a picture of her that’s inscribed on this tombstone essentially.
But then below it, in Greek, there’s a sentence describing her, and it says that her name was Heliodora, and it says that she was a mathematike, which means ‘a mathematician’. But in that time period, in the 2nd and 3rd century, mathematician was the word that astrologers always used to describe their science; there were so many calculations involved in calculating birth charts by hand that astrologers were commonly referred to as mathematicians essentially. So what this discovery meant is this is actually the earliest woman that we know of by name who was a practicing astrologer. And she lived in Egypt, she lived to be about 52 years old is what the description says, and she seems to have devoted her life to that subject of astrology and the mathematical arts.
So this is really amazing because I had previously done a study on this in previous episodes of the podcast, as well as in my book where I pointed out, up until recently, the earliest person we knew of that was a woman, that would have had some astrological training would have been Hypatia, who lived a little bit later in the 5th century. And then after that, the earliest figure that we know of would have been probably Queen Buran, who I did an entire episode on, who lived in Baghdad in the 9th century. But this pushes the date forward and gives us a definite name of the earliest woman that we know of living in Egypt, at the same time roughly as Ptolemy, Claudius Ptolemy, and Vettius Valens, and some of those other authors. So it’s really, really interesting and really kind of mind-blowing that there’s new things being discovered in archaeology pretty frequently that are telling us new things about the history of astrology.
CM: That’s super cool.
AC: That’s really good. So it’s gonna be the ‘Pentabiblos’ now rather than the Tetrabiblos?
CB: Yeah, maybe.
AC: Penta’s the Latin, right?
CB: Penta—yeah, or Greek. Yeah, so I’m hoping that at some point archaeologists will find the lost works of Nechepso and Petosiris or other texts that we only have little fragments of, like the lost texts of Hermes that was like one of the earliest texts on the 12 houses and different things like that; and it’s kind of exciting. That’s what I talked to my last guest about, Ian Moyer, where I just released the episode on Egyptian astrology. And we talked a lot about how archaeological finds in the Egyptian language are still changing what we know about the history of astrology. And I know we also talked about the decans, which I know is something you’re working on in your book right now, right, Austin?
AC: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to eavesdropping on y’all’s conversation.
CB: Yeah, for sure. All right, let’s see, any other points about that? Oh, yeah, people can find out more about Heliodora. Just Google the title of the paper, which is “The Funerary Stele of Heliodora, Astrologer,” and you’ll find out more information about that. Or you can search for the paper that outlines the new treatise that was discovered about Ptolemy by searching for “Ptolemy’s Treatise on the Meteoroscope Recovered,” and you’ll find more information about that. Yeah, it’s important—things like that—because it’s clarifying things that we already knew; like we already knew that women were using astrology and practicing astrology.
And actually recently some texts have been discovered just in the past few years from Demotic Egyptian, which are now some of the earliest horoscopes that survive from the first-half of the 1st century BCE. And I actually noted that the three named clients that those horoscopes were for—they were all for women basically in the ancient world who were getting their charts cast and then delineated by some of these Egyptian priests where one of their functions or one of the types of divination that they were using was astrology. So it’s like we knew women were using astrology as clients. We knew they were probably learning it and becoming astrologers themselves. But due to just the transmission of texts and everything that happened in the Medieval period, we had little documentary evidence until things like this now.
AC: Yeah, that’s awesome.
CB: Yeah. All right, so other news, other things that are going on in terms of contemporary events, there’s a ton of stuff. I keep mentioning this every month because it’s moving so fast, just the explosion of things that are happening with AI, both in terms of the broader things and in terms of the discussions about AI in general. And there have been some calls for oversight and regulation of AI over the past month, which I think is bringing up some of the themes we talked about in the Year Ahead Forecast that we were anticipating in terms of Pluto going into Aquarius and sometimes bringing up fears surrounding some of the archetypes involved in that sign, and one of the things that we mentioned was fear of technology. And I think that’s kind of interesting ‘cause, on the one hand, while sometimes those fears can be exaggerated, at other times those fears could actually be legitimate; there can be actual legitimate issues or legitimate threats that come up.
And one of the other interesting numbers that’s come out over the last month or two is they did a poll, and in terms of AI researchers, it was something like 50% thought that there was a 10% chance that the development of a sentient AI could lead to major negative repercussions for humanity or something like that. So there was actually even fear to some extent even amongst the researchers where they don’t fully know where this is gonna go and what it’s gonna lead to. And they’re aware of some possible downsides, but they’re still kind of pushing the envelope because of what they think the positive benefits might be for the world or for humanity or what have you.
CM: 10%? I’m kind of surprised it was only 10%. Thought it’d be more than that.
CB: Well, I’m not getting that number right. I’ll Google that really quickly.
CM: No, that’s fine. Yeah, everyone seems very nervous about it.
AC: Well, that’s 10% of the researchers who are working on it—
AC: Who at least have some fondness for it, if that’s their livelihood.
CM: Yeah, and they understand it better.
CB: 48% of respondents said that they thought there was a 10%-or-greater chance that the effects of AI would be extremely bad. Yeah, extremely bad. Yeah, just things like that. So it’s like the worst-case scenario. We’re kind of like in this stage where they were in the 1940s, where they were developing the atomic bomb, for example. And it’s like some of those who were developing it, they were like, “Well, there’s some percent chance that we explode one of these things and then it ignites the atmosphere and then destroys all of humanity.” But they’re like, “We don’t think that’s gonna happen, but there’s a chance.” And so, you kind of have a similar thing here where they’re developing something where they can see that it has this immense potential and immense power, but they also recognize the potential existential threat that it could cause at the same time.
CM: Yeah, it’s hard when things are like the ‘black box’ where we don’t quite know how everything works and yet we’re trying to move forward with it. So it’s a little dicey, but exciting.
AC: It’s a little dicey. Chris, back to fear and technology and Pluto in Aquarius, you said part of that is looking forward and seeing the potential, or what seems like the potential for catastrophes and then be like, “Oh, but maybe that’s just projection,” or “Maybe that’s just negative thinking.” “Oh, but maybe it’s totally real.” Like that ambivalent, back-and-forth kind of structure of fear is very much Pluto. Its very signature is that it can’t be resolved because Pluto brings about fear more through unknowns than knowns. Saturn and Mars can make you afraid, but they do so often by a visible, concrete threat, and so the fear gets decided; like, “Oh, I know that this is dangerous. I am afraid.” If a tank rolls up my driveway, I know to be afraid; I’m certain in that fear. Whereas the Pluto ‘fears’—we’re talking about a collective one, but this is part of what Pluto brings by transit on an individual level as well—they’re hard to resolve. “Am I crazy? Am I just being paranoid?” Or, “Am I paranoid, or are they really out to get me?” And the type of circumstances that Pluto brings about don’t allow for the resolution of that, so there’s an anxiety as well as a fear.
CM: What’s biologic—oh, sorry, Chris.
CB: No, go ahead.
CM: Oh, I was gonna say just what’s biologically interesting about that that’s coming up is whether or not the circumstances are favorable or unfavorable—even if we’re dealing with a Saturn or a Mars thing that’s unpleasant—if you have that certainty it feels better in general vs. uncertainty, our brains literally squirt out ‘unhappy’ chemicals certainty, whether or not we’re right or wrong, we squirt out ‘happy’ chemicals. So that Pluto kind of anxiety with the uncertainty added is just like not a great feeling usually.
AC: Yeah, it’s a special treat.
CM: Yeah, it’s special.
AC: If we’re looking at the biology of it, your body doesn’t know what gear to be in. If the tank rolls up the driveway, it’s time to act. It is definitely not time to calm down. It’s time to get the fuck out of the house and then wish I’d put together a to-go bag; the course of action is very clear. Whereas with this, “I don’t know, should I be afraid? Should I calm down? Should I act? How do I act in relationship to this threat? Is it really a threat?” etc.
CB: Yeah, that’s really interesting because that makes me think of how, in the early Hellenistic authors—like in Ptolemy and Valens—the ancient astrologers have a wide variety of different philosophical and religious perspectives, but the one thing that they repeat over and over again as the purpose or the benefit for doing astrology is to learn about events in the future, so that you know what you have to accept ahead of time so that you’re not completely caught off guard. So maybe for them part of the purpose of doing astrology was to isolate or to fix that anxiety issue by having a better sense of knowing.
AC: Yeah, Stoicism is totally a prescription for low anxiety. It may not help with your depression, but it’ll definitely help with the anxiety.
CB: Sure. Yeah, I’ve been reading this new translation of Epictetus that Rob Bailey pointed to me. And Stoicism is all about controlling your perception of events and thinking that free will is an internal component to decide what you’re gonna classify as good and bad, or to accept the things that are outside of your control, but also to control your perception of things to whatever extent you can as the ultimate act of freedom in some way.
CM: Mm-hmm. Good ole Stoicism.
CB: Good ole Stoicism. So going back, I just want to clarify the quote ‘cause I just found it. It’s from a Vox article. But it says, “48% of respondents said they thought there was a 10%-or-greater chance that the effects of AI would be extremely bad.” And why I wanted to finish the quote—‘cause it’s funny—it then puts in parentheses, “(e.g., human extinction).” So what they mean by extremely bad is that 1-in-10 researchers think that human extinction is a possible side effect of developing AI over the course of the next few decades. And it goes on and it says, “It’s worth pausing on that for a moment. Nearly half of the smartest people working on AI believe there’s a 1-in-10 chance or greater that their life’s work could end up contributing to the annihilation of humanity.” The title of that article is “AI Experts are Increasingly Afraid of What They’re Creating,” by Kelsey Piper on Vox.
So I just wanted to mention that because I thought it was really interesting that that’s part of the zeitgeist right now and very descriptive and very Plutonian in terms of that Pluto in Aquarius transit that we’ve just barely dipped our toe into this month. On May 1, we get the first intensification with that slowing down and that stationing of Pluto, which any planetary station is like putting an exclamation mark after a planet. And so, it’d be interesting to reflect on that as one of the energies that’s about during this time.
AC: Yeah, that’s interesting. During previous podcasts, I brought up Pluto and its relationship to the spectacle of terrifying murder. With Pluto in Scorpio, the focal image for that was the lone, deviant serial killer like Jeffrey Dahmer. And then Pluto in Sagittarius that became school shooters and terrorists. But you bring up another side of that, which is how are people imagining terrifying murder, but of humanity, on a collective level. And so, because I just watched Dr. Strangelove, my mind is back with the decades-and-decades-long ambient fear of total nuclear annihilation during the Cold War. And it just occurs to me that the detonation of the first nuclear device and many of the hardest parts of the Cold War, as well as the establishment of that nuclear fear—that was all Pluto in Leo. And so, we’ve just entered exactly one-half Pluto cycle away from that. And this not that no one was worried about extinction or devastation for the last 20 or 30 years, but there’s been a lot less of that since the dissolution of the Cold War. Some of that sort of imagining the end has been clothed in terms of slow-moving but inexorable environmental catastrophe. But correct me if I’m wrong, or fill in what I’m missing, but it seems like with AI, whether it’s possible or not, it’s giving people a way to imagine annihilation again for the first time in a while.
CB: Yeah, well, because they’re trying to create a sentient, new species that would automatically be smarter than humanity, and also faster than humanity and able to think faster than we can just by the limitations of our own biology. And in that way some of them frame it as they’re almost creating a ‘god’ or something like that. Remember, Leisa Schaim pointed out that Mary Shelley, the author who wrote Frankenstein, had Pluto conjunct the degree of her Midheaven in Aquarius, so this was the last time Pluto was in Aquarius. And that was one of the things that she became known for was that idea of creating this machine or alternative thing, this monster, artificial life, that then gets out of control and ends up killing you or something like that; you’ve almost got a similar archetype in terms of what people are actually thinking about now. There’s this race amongst all these companies now to create this thing that would be incredibly powerful if they pull it off, but the discussion they’re having is about how to align an artificial intelligence and align its intentions so that it has the same alignment as humans. ‘Cause the problem—
AC: We need to do a lot better than humans. If it has the same motivations as humans—
AC: Then that’s not so good. Let me just add one thing. So, Chris, we’ve both been reading a lot of Firmicus lately, and one of the things that this reemphasized to me is the consistent reference to some signs as ‘human’ or ‘humane’ signs. Meaning that they bring about things that are human-shaped, and Aquarius being the ‘water-bearer’ is a ‘human’ sign. And so, with Pluto there, we’re worried about something that resembles us, and Frankenstein also was humanoid in form. And actually, if you’ve read Frankenstein, was tragically human in many ways. Some literary people will call Frankenstein proto-existentialist literature because he’s just created and alienated from his creator. And he does do a murder, but it’s more tragic, existentialist than slasher film. But again, we have the object of horror or whatever being human-shaped. “What if it can do the human things?” is the source of anxiety and fear around AI projects.
CM: Yeah, like we can either have replicators from Star Trek, which would be great, or we can have ‘gray goo’ theory; that intersection of what happens when we—well, maybe it already has happened. AI with nanotechnology. But, Austin, what you said peaked my interest. If Pluto is annihilation, and then we have Pluto in Leo, which is more like annihilation from a central point, like a giant bomb, what is it when annihilation comes from the edges? Like in the case of more environmental climate stuff, the edges of our civilization’s reaches in the form of glacial melt coming down—that’s coming from the edges for us already. Granted, that’s longer than Pluto in Aquarius. Side note—I’ve been hearing seemingly an increasing number of stories about that water situation in the last couple of months.
AC: Yeah, water keeps popping up. It’s gotta be Saturn’s entry into Pisces.
CM: Right. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.
AC: There’s just concern about water. One quick note on the bomb, so Pluto in Leo—it’s a fire sign. It’s literally the Sun’s sign. Fission is something that stars do. They also do fusion, but they do both in different phases. So it’s literally an artificial sun destroying everything, whereas with the Pluto in Aquarius, an artificial human.
CM: Mm-hmm. Totally.
CB: Yeah. Anyways, I’m bringing this up again for yet another month of the podcast just because things seem to be moving very fast. There’s so much happening in that area and it’s clearly connected with Pluto in Aquarius. And this is somehow just the start of the next 20 years and some developments that will have a transformative effect on the world and society during the course of that, so it’s very good to pay attention to the early beginnings of that as it’s happening. Yeah, one of the themes that came up this month was just calls for regulation, and that’s coming from even some of the AI companies who are like, “We would love to be regulated,” because they were like, “We think this should be regulated because we’re dealing with stuff that could have a huge impact on society.” But they said up till now there’s been no regulation, so everybody is just sort of creating their own rules. It’s kind of the Wild, Wild West, and it’s an area that hasn’t been explored before.
So that’s that. In more positive AI news, one of the things I’ve been tracking I mentioned briefly last month, but it’s exploded even more ever since Saturn went into Pisces especially. I feel like when Saturn was in Aquarius, we got the introduction of some of these new technologies. Like we were seeing some of the early image generators last year and we mentioned those in different episodes. But some of those image generators—after Saturn has gotten into Pisces recently, over the past month or so—have gotten really good, and there’s just been this explosion of creativity online of different people using these image generators to generate both very creative things, but also very surprisingly lifelike images as well, which the part that’s startling me is how good they’re getting.
So I’ve been playing an image generator called Midjourney, which is one of the main ones, and part of it is about learning how to use the language to get the AI to do what you want and what prompts to put into it in order to generate the image that you want to see or something that looks really good. So I borrowed a prompt from somebody online, on Twitter, and I asked it to generate a picture of a cat that was working as a detective in an office with a hat and a gentlemanly suit, and this is what it came up with. It generated this image in about 15 or 20 seconds.
AC: As I remember, Chris, the prompts were ‘cat working as a detective, gentleman-style’.
CB: Yes, gentleman-style, which is very crucial. For those listening to the audio version or not watching the video version, you should check out the video version for this. This looks like a picture that was taken of a cat in an office with a high-definition camera. That looks like a real cat, but it’s not. This is absolutely not a real cat, and I can kind of demonstrate that ‘cause I have the variations. At first, it gave me four different variations and asked which one I liked, and it created slightly different variations of the cat with different gentlemanly-styled hats. Either a flat hat or more of a top hat. Yeah, anyway, so that was incredible, and I’ve just been playing with it.
And I really encourage people to check it out only because it’s a really good and really tangible demonstration of what’s going on with the astrology right now, with Saturn having gone into Pisces and the start and the buildup to a several-year conjunction with Neptune, of the Saturn-Neptune conjunction, and I think we’re gonna be seeing a lot more creativity and a lot more interesting things like that. So I had it swap out like, instead of a cat, let’s do an otter, and it came up with a lifelike otter sitting at a table looking like a detective. And it’s pretty good. That’s pretty lifelike. But it can do all sorts of different things. I know both of you created some as well, right?
AC: Yeah, we’ve played with it a little bit.
CB: All right, here, I’ll show yours, Claire. What was yours?
CM: Oh, it was Randy Savage in all of his iconic gear trying to destroy the ‘One Ring’ at a volcano.
CB: Yes. So we see Randy Savage standing majestically in front of Mount Doom in Mordor, where he’s going on his quest to destroy the One Ring.
AC: Ohhh, yeahhh!
CM: Exactly. I feel like my life is just 10% more complete. Like I’ve unlocked some kind of achievement now that I’ve seen that. I’ve made it in my mind.
CB: Yeah, that was pretty. And then, Austin, you had a couple. You said, “Let’s do Mickey Mouse in the style of HR Giger,” who was like the artist that inspired the artwork for Alien, right?
AC: No, he designed everything for Alien. He didn’t inspire it.
AC: Yeah, he has a very signature, biomechanical horror style.
CB: All right, well, for the people watching the video version, this is what it came up with, what it generated in about, what, 10 or 15 seconds, which is pretty, pretty good.
AC: No, it was great. Yeah, the upper-left I think is the most faithful to Giger.
CB: For sure. It definitely looks like Mickey Mouse was in one of the Alien movies.
AC: Yeah, yeah. They found on some previously undiscovered planet just a strange temple with Mickey there worked into the strange motifs on the walls.
CB: That would be terrifying. I would be way more terrified by that if that’s what they found on that planet.
CM: I was just thinking, “I’m not sure. I would be able to decide whether to run away or whether to go say ‘hi’.” I’m not sure.
CB: Yeah, he seems friendly enough. He eats your face.
CM: What’s the worst that could happen?
CB: Right. That one with that little mouth that comes out from inside of Mickey’s mouth.
AC: Oh, that’s good. Yeah, the little second mouth, and then it whispers the secrets of the creation of humanity into your ear.
CM: Oh, Pluto in Aquarius, I’m already tired.
CB: Yeah, so a lot of fun stuff you can do. I was even doing some architectural stuff. I wanted to try to imagine the Library of Alexandria, and this is what it came up with which I thought was pretty beautiful. For both of you, yesterday, I invited you into Midjourney to show you how it worked. ‘Cause it’s one of those things you have to try out and you have to have an embodied experience of doing it in order to understand what it’s about. And until you do that it’s hard to really see what’s going on and understand the implications of it, which are kind of crazy. So, on the one hand, that’s gonna lead to a huge explosion—it has led to a huge explosion of creativity, as well as, interestingly, a lowering of the barrier to entry where now anybody, even if they don’t have the mechanical, creative skill as an artist, or many, many years of training doing digital artwork, they can create something that was in their head and see it realized, which is one of the interesting potentials.
Of course there’s also many downsides as well in terms of artists whose styles are being ripped off or replicated, as well as the loss of many jobs of digital artists that have built their career creating images like this, but now might be replaced. And so, there’s also some major challenges and other issues coming up as well in terms of both good and bad things. I’m not trying to necessarily pass a value judgment in terms of good or bad, but instead, like we always do, kind of documenting something as it’s happening in real-time, and especially noting the correlations astrologically. ‘Cause I just think there’s something incredibly striking and interesting about that in and of itself.
AC: Yeah. So one of the things that your brief tutorial reemphasized to me is—I guess you’d call it the ‘centaur’ hypothesis, or ‘centaur’ scenario. And I don’t remember where this originated from, I remember reading about it 10 years ago. But people thinking about how the increased ability to mechanize things—or to have computers do more and more labor with the development of AI—the reasonable, non-apocalyptic, likely scenario was that the most effective at any given task would not be a human or an AI, but in fact a human and an AI working in tandem, and you would have the benefits of both. And so, they referred to this as a ‘centaur’, like half one thing, half the other; like an HR Giger biomechanical centaur.
And it’s interesting because in order to create—how should we say—an interesting, striking, humorous image, you have to have a good premise. And then as you should me, one’s skill at guiding the image generating AI was very important; guiding it through iterations to get the best possible version of the premise. And the human lacking the artistic skill was not gonna be able to generate that quickly, but the AI couldn’t come up with a striking premise and go through iterations to find the best one without some human guidance. Because if we’re going to mention—how should we say—the apocalyptic scenarios, we should also mention the likely scenarios.
CM: I was listening to a 60 Minutes interview last night about AI, and it was a Google CEO. And I apologize, I don’t remember what his name was. But he was basically saying, yes, a lot of jobs are gonna be changed. They won’t necessarily go away—we will still need humans—but the job descriptions, there’s a lot of them that are gonna be changing.
AC: Oh, sorry, one reason why I wanted to bring up centaur and why that stuck with me is the first generation of workplace centaurs would likely be the Pluto in Sagittarius generation.
CB: Oh, that’s really interesting. Yeah, and to your point, just like other technologies in the past, to the extent that humans can use it to enhance things that we’re already doing or capabilities we have, or to do things to augment our abilities in a positive way, so that we can do things that we couldn’t do or do things faster—it’ll be like other technologies and other technological shifts and paradigm shifts in the past. But hopefully we’ll be able to navigate it over the next 20 years relatively well, but it’ll be something to pay close attention to for sure.
AC: Well, when we look at how humans have navigated every other technological revolution, maybe 20 years to get the hang of it, maybe not. A lot of times it takes 30.
CB: Well, and part of it’s also just in the 1990s, people had to learn how to use a personal computer, a mouse, and a keyboard, which is something that takes work to learn and doesn’t come naturally. But once you do that, you could do a lot more than you could just with a pen and paper, or at least you can do it faster, let’s say. You can send out a hundred emails in a day, or 50 emails in a day vs. just writing five things. And I think there’s something to your point in terms of the positive potential and this is why so many companies are working towards it; that’s just a basic example. But there’s so many positive things that can come from it and the way that it can speed up advancements in the good parts of humanity. I think that’s why a lot of companies are so focused on this as a potentially important shift in technology that some of them are saying could be more important than discovering fire or something like that, like huge paradigm shifts.
AC: Yeah, maybe.
CB: Yeah, so we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes. It’ll be an ongoing thing. One thing interesting, Austin, you mentioned the triplicity shift. And you and I had been talking about that and talking about Firmicus, ‘cause I had been researching some of what happened in the 4th century about how the Roman Empire had that pretty swift transformation to adopting Christianity in the Western Roman Empire, starting with the Emperor Constantine, and then his sons. We had an astrologer like Firmicus Maternus who was like right in the middle of that, in the middle of that century, first writing his astrology book in the early 330s, and then about 10 or 15 years later, he had converted to Christianity, and he wrote a really strong, aggressive attack against the pagan religions after becoming a Christian. And so, you can see sometimes in a single lifetime a person having a complete transformation. But you pointed out to me that there was a really major Jupiter-Saturn triplicity shift that was happening in that century. And I thought that was really interesting and really insightful because we’re going through the same thing now as that century where it was shifting from conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn in earth signs to air signs. And then recently we had where, in the 20th century, it was all earth signs, and now it’s shifted to air signs for the next couple of centuries, right?
AC: Yeah, yeah. That’s one of the things that if you do a little work on it, it makes Firmicus really relatable. ‘Cause he’s living in an anxious phase of late empire where things have been not going so well for a while and big changes are sort of already happening. Again, he’s living through the Christianization of Rome, but he’s also right around the period of time where the Western Roman Empire is going to fall very soon. And all of the Western empire shifted into what we call in retrospect—but they didn’t call it at the time—the Byzantine phase. They were just like, “It’s Rome, we just moved the capital,” but that shift into a very recognizable, second or third act for Rome is right around the corner. And when you read his text, which is written to the state governor—or is that loosely equivalent to a state governor, Chris, or would you sub in a different role?
CB: Yeah, something like that. It’s his friend, Mavortius, who’s climbing the political ladder and eventually gets up to the highest ladder at some point later, which was consul, I think he eventually became.
AC: Oh, he obtains consular power, which Firmicus gives like 38 different combinations for a nativity that will attain consular or proconsular power. But anyway, I find it very relatable living in the late stages of a Western empire that has either just changed a lot or has big changes right over the horizon and there’s a sense of anxiety. You also read in Firmicus—and if you read about that time period—there’s a lot of, “Oh, do we need to go to the founding? We’ve fallen. We’re lazy and debauched. We need to re-obtain those virtues.” Yeah, you have this concern about the debauchery of late empire. “Do we do something else? Do we return?” There’s some very strong, ‘Make Rome Great Again’ energy in Firmicus. It’s like that makes sense.
We’re just over the cusp from an earth period to an air period. Whereas ours is definite in the sense that we are now just doing air for almost 200 years, the 4th century in Rome has an unusual number of going back and forth between earth and air. Are we doing the old thing, the more solid thing, the known thing—earth? Or are we entering this more chaotic, who knows what’s gonna happen period—air? And it’s often that there’ll be that one false-positive where it looks like we’re entering the new era, but actually it’s gonna be another 40 years. In Firmicus’ case, It’s almost the whole century. It takes almost a whole century to decide on which era they’re living in.
CB: That’s really funny ‘cause later in the century there was that one random emperor, Julian, who, after the empire had been Christian for a few decades, he tried to reinstitute paganism. But then after his reign was over after a few years, everything just went back to Christianity, and it stayed that way for centuries.
CB: So I just wanted to bring that up because it’s such a major intellectual shift in terms of world history and in terms of the Western religious and philosophical and intellectual tradition. Everything was like paganism and polytheism up to that point vs. everything after that point—for the most part, at least the majority—becomes monotheism and Christianity, and this one religion becomes the dominant religion in the empire for many, many, many centuries. Obviously, we’re not necessarily going through that religious shift as far as we know. But in terms of intellectual shifts right now, I think paying attention to what are the emerging intellectual shifts and paradigms that might be shifting at this time that could have a much more far-reaching impact for several centuries might be a good thing to do. Whether that’s what we’re seeing with technology and some of the implications of that, or whether there’s other intellectual trends that might shift in a way that’s dramatic and more permanent or more lasting I think remains to be seen, but it’s something to pay attention to.
AC: Yeah, one, I would say maybe not religious, but I think it’s pretty inarguable that Western culture has had a pretty significant value shift over the last, let’s say, 40 to 60 years, depending on how you want to measure it. We could say since the ‘60s. And that can be parallel to the transition from an expansionist polytheism with Rome to the more—how do we say—orthodox Christianity that followed it and then continued onward. If we’re examining in terms of what are beliefs and values of the state cult—which in Rome looked like which gods were endorsed and which weren’t—I do feel like if we’re looking at Western history, we have lived through a shift in values, and if we named them ‘gods’ it would be easier to understand; but a shift in which gods are venerated by the state cult and which are not.
CM: We’re gonna have to change our minds about so much if this AI technology is part of all of this and the big shifts. If we value certain ways of living or ways of being, or throw in the word ‘meritocracy’, all of that kind of gets thrown out the window with all of the changes in technology. So, yeah, ideologically, what do we value, and how does that change us? Or how do we change with that in a way that’s skillful vs. skillful? Yeah, it’ll probably take like hundreds of years.
CB: Right. Yeah, for sure. All right, and I just want to quickly also shoutout to—going back—the Twitter user who I got the original prompt from for the cat AI that I sort of tweaked and changed, but their name is ArtichokeAI on Twitter. So if you do a search for them, you’ll see their cool AI profile where they show lots of different prompts and different images they’ve generated. Yeah, so I think that’s that in terms of news stories. I’m trying to see if there’s anything else I really wanted to mention. Of course we had eclipses. There was one little, minor news story that I thought was interesting. And, Claire, you had mentioned that there was a solar eclipse, and it was like that day that rocket blew up that Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, was trying to launch. It blew up shortly after launch.
But then also around the same time, Elon made a major change of removing the blue checkmarks and the verification from Twitter profiles also over the past week, which I think is interesting. I’m only mentioning it because it was so notable. We all remember that he took over Twitter on that solar eclipse in Scorpio six months ago, at the end of October. So for some reason important stuff is still happening with him on eclipse cycles. Not just related to SpaceX but also with Twitter. And I think he also recently announced the launch of a new AI company. So that could be important as well if he’s trying to get in on that.
AC: Yeah, one quick note on the recent solar eclipse. One thing that’s interesting about the series which that inaugurated—which will have half of its eclipses in Aries—this first eclipse, Sun in Aries, was a hybrid eclipse. We’re dealing with an eclipse of the Sun in the place that it’s supposed to be exalted, which is more of a shift. We’re not shutting off a dim light, we’re shutting off a bright light, insofar as the Sun has to do with discrete identity. The Sun is how do people know you, how do they see you? Oh, that’s Claire. That’s Chris. The removal of the blue checks opened the gate for lots of impersonations. And identity theft or impersonation is something I’ve seen repeatedly with afflictions to the Sun, especially nodal afflictions to the Sun.
And I would also add, again, with a solar eclipse in the first of a couple of solar eclipses in the place where the Sun is supposed to be exalted, we get sort of a reference to some of the more archetypal ‘hierarchy, Sun, monarch, leader’ type stuff. And it was interesting to think that the blue checks are literally a mark of hierarchy and we have the eclipsing of that, so now it removes that visible differentiator. There was only one differentiator of Twitter accounts and that was it, and it was a hierarchy. You had to earn a blue checkmark, blah, blah, blah, blah, you couldn’t just have one. And so, we have the eclipse of the Sun there and the removal of that, and that opening the way for a blurring or copying or impersonation of identity.
CB: Yeah. And it did create that hierarchy, but that was like a side effect. Almost an unintended side effect of the attempt to stop identity impersonation, which was the big threat of removing it. And that’s really a good point ‘cause that’s additionally something we’re gonna be seeing a lot of in the future. Myree Mascall on the live chat mentions deepfakes. And that was a really notable thing we saw a month ago, the first big instance of some of this AI technology being used to create something that was fake politically. There was that big thing that Trump announced that he was about to be arrested, and then the day came and went without anything happening, but somebody created an AI-generated image of him being tackled by some cops that went viral and got spread around. So I think that was the first big instance—I’ll have to look at what the day was, it was about a month ago—of AI being used to create something political in order to create a fake news story in a way.
And with Saturn coming up on Neptune over the past three years, and now co-present with it, I think one of the biggest things that we’re gonna see as a recurring theme is the blurring of the difference between what is real and what is not real, and the increasing challenge to tell the difference between the two as there’s this dissolving of the boundaries between them. ‘Cause it’s like that’s happening, and there’s also crazy advances in voice technology. Now you can take a recording of somebody’s voice and AI can pretty impressively and pretty convincingly just create brand new sentences that that person’s never said before just using AI, and just a lot of things heading in that direction we’re heading. And this is somehow just the beginning of that Saturn-Neptune transit, which is just kind of wild to think about.
AC: Yeah, well, the phrase ‘fake news’ was popularized during the 2016 presidential race, which was Saturn square Neptune.
AC: So now we’re at the next angular configuration of Saturn and Neptune, yeah, we’re back there. We’re back there but it’s the conjunction this time, or the co-presence rather than just a square, so it’s at maximum volume and increasing for the next couple of years.
CM: Yeah, and I think that ‘square’ story that you just mentioned speaks to, have we adjusted? Have we done the necessary adjustments now? We haven’t. But, yeah, the square speaking to adjustment feels right as well.
CB: Yeah, and it’s gonna be a long period for all of us to adjust to. But it’ll be interesting to see where we’re at at the end of that and what we’ve learned at the end of that process in three years when Saturn finishes up in Pisces; but then is not fully finished until three years after that when Saturn departs from Aries. Saturn and Neptune will move into Aries around the same time, about three years from now. So I think I’m just gonna focus my Saturn-Neptune energy on continuing to create cat pictures that blur the line between reality and non-reality and we’ll see how the rest of the world does. All right, so I think that’s good for the news segment. Shall we do a mid-show transition at this point?
CB: Okay, cool. So one of the things is I did want to give a shoutout to our sponsors for this episode. The first one is the Northwest Astrological Conference, which is actually happening this month, in May, from the 25th-29th, 2023, just outside of Seattle, Washington. And this conference is a first for them ‘cause they’re actually doing a hybrid conference where you can either attend in person or you can attend simultaneously online to a live version that they’re gonna be streaming at the same time. So I believe there’s 27 speakers that are each gonna be giving a bunch of different lectures, as well as pre- and post-conference workshops. I believe, Austin, you are one of those lecturers, right?
AC: Yeah, I have two lectures and then I have the pre-conference workshop. So I will be kicking off the whole thing, and that is a discussion of all 35 combinations of the three planets all interacting with each other. And so, we’ll be going through all 35, as well as establishing some rules and ways to make that thinkable so it’s not all just a blur. But I’m really excited, I’ve been working on that. It’ll be, like a lot of my work, as much historical material and research as possible as a trampoline to get into interesting places. And it’s sort of an unofficial sequel to what I did last year with the pre-conference workshop, which was dealing with all of the pairs of planets, so I’m very excited. I don’t believe it’s sold out yet. It sold out last year. So if you want to sign up, please do so now, so that they don’t have to turn you away ‘cause I would feel bad.
CB: Yeah, I think there was an announcement not too long ago that they are filling up, and it probably will sell out just like it did last year pretty soon. So get your tickets if you want to attend in person. But even if you can’t or you don’t, you can sign up to attend live through their website or afterwards. One of the things that’s great about NORWAC is they always record all of the lectures and workshops, and then you buy those or purchase those after the conference is over through their website. So you can find out more information about that at norwac.net. And I’ll put a link to it in the description below this video or on the podcast webpage for this episode.
AC: Quick question, Chris.
AC: NORWAC is the only major astrological conference this year, correct?
CB: Yeah, it’s the only major conference ‘cause there’s no other big organizations right now that are hosting one. Like the NCGR isn’t, nor is ISAR. Nor are they pooling their resources for a mega conference for UAC. So I think NORWAC is kind of it this year for big conferences.
AC: Right. Yeah, so if you want to meet some astrologers that’s literally your best opportunity.
CB: For sure. And I think Demetra’s doing a workshop there and lots of other astrologers that have been on the podcast in the past, so check it out at norwac.net. Other than that, we also have another sponsor this year of a product that I’m actually pretty stoked about, which this new oracle fixed star card set and guide called the Behenian Fixed Star Oracle and Guide Set, which was created by astrologer and past guest on the podcast, Ryhan Butler, as well as artist and astrologer Terry Johnson, who put together 15 illustrated cards that illustrate each of the 15 most important fixed stars that were used in traditional astrology and in different branches of it. So the cards and the booklet give a brief history of the Behenian fixed stars and their planetary correspondences and their use in magical practice. In addition, each card can be drawn as an oracle to aid a person in the deliberation of a question. I know that’s something you’re a fan of, Austin, in terms of using the tarot for deliberations and things like that. And you gave me some advice recently on that that I thought was helpful.
AC: Yeah, yeah. No, cartomancy is great. There’s much less competition between astrology and—I use the Rider-Waite tarot—various cartomantic methods like this. I often use cards where the astrology ends. Like I can see up to this point, but I still need guidance or information, and then that’s where the cards start, and vice versa. Sometimes I’ll start with reading cards and then need to get more of Google Earth view from astrology.
CB: Yeah. Let’s see, so the book and the cards provide a three-tiered approach to incorporating them into a personal practice of study, contemplation, and divination. The booklet gives the history, like I said, and explores the symbols, myths, and meanings and correspondences of these fixed stars. But it can also be used as a tool for contemplation where each card features original interpretations of images passed down through the tradition, and includes constellations and glyphs of the stars that invites us to have a deeper understanding of the star’s lore and significance.
So each deck contains 15 illustrated cards and a 68-page study guide, and the illustrations are just incredibly beautiful. For those not watching the video version, Terry just did an amazing job illustrating these cards, and I was actually really impressed just by how pretty they are, in addition to the information that Ryhan packed into the book. So you can find out more information about this, or you can order your deck by heading over to medievalastrologyguide.com/starcards. So medievalastrologyguide.com/starcards. And I’ll put a link to that on the description page for this episode. So the cards are just $38 for a pack, and they literally just got these together and just shipped out the first set of them recently. So it’s pretty exciting seeing an up-and-coming astrologer—not up-and-coming—but somebody who was an up-and-coming astrologer, Ryhan Butler, who was on very early episodes of the podcast, and was one of the younger astrologers back when me and Austin were coming up. And now we’re all kind of like old people at this point doing these amazing projects with different books or these cards or other things, and it’s really heartening to see.
AC: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it’s funny—
CM: Take my money.
AC: It’s funny to think of someone as ‘up-and-coming’. It’s like, “Oh, yeah, in 2012,” and it’s only a few years ago.
AC: More than 10 years ago. But I would just add one more thing about cards—cards are an ideal way to just learn things. If you’re divining with them or contemplating with cards, you’re also reinforcing the meaning set and the associations. They’re also educational. ‘Cause I know everybody loves educational things.
CB: Yeah, it’s that. And also, glyphs are really important, and that’s one of the things that came up in the Egyptian astrology episode that I hope people check out. One of the things we talked about is recent research has shown—even more than past research had in the earlier part of the 20th century—how some of the glyphs or the symbols that astrologers use for the signs of the zodiac were actually derived in some pretty clear cases from Egyptian hieroglyphs, or in some instances, symbols that were used in Demotic Egyptian. So some of our tradition of using just a single pictorial symbol to represent astrological placements—like planets and signs of the zodiac—actually derive from that older tradition going back to Egypt of using specific little pictures or hieroglyphs in order to represent words and phrases and things like that. And I think that was really interesting and also of course ties into what you’re working on, Austin, where the decans were originally illustrated with these figures—these exotic figures that would represent each of the 36 decans—and those illustrations were meant to convey visually something deep about the symbolic interpretation of that decan.
AC: Yeah, I mean, they weren’t just originally illustrated or imagined visually. That conspicuously visual quality of the decans goes for, measurably, thousands of years, and the styles change and the conventions change. But you can look at ancient Egyptian versions of that where the gods in a certain circumstance are associated with a given decan, but then you can go 15-16 centuries, 2,000+ light-years later and you’ve still got figures involved in a situation with particular implements often sort of blurring the line between, “Oh, this is an image of a person in a situation,” vs. “Is that a god that somebody like scratched the name off of? Like why are they holding a lamp and a huge ax, and why are their eyes on fire?” but, yeah.
CB: Yeah, for sure. And there’s just something about what an image can convey that sometimes is deeper and more nuanced and wider than words. Like you can try to convey something with words, but you can actually pack a lot into an image that it’s kind of surprising how much meaning and subtlety you can actually get into something. And I think that’s what things like tarot or oracle cards or even glyphs or things like decans really get to; it’s the heart of something. Yeah, I hadn’t thought about it in that way in a while until I was doing that Egyptian astrology episode.
AC: Yeah, it’s almost as if when we have a completely abstracted language, where the letters don’t resemble or evoke anything, it’s like the original communication is both an image and a sound—a sort of primordial communication is going to be both. And you can say left and right side of the brain, we’re just hitting different centers simultaneously. And as esoteric as that is and sounds, that’s also why memes work. That’s why people are like, “Oh, that’s perfect, I have to spread that everywhere,” ‘cause it’s hitting both sides.
CM: Language is limiting. It’s limited.
CB: Yeah. And here’s actually the table that we talked about in the Egyptian astrology episode. This is in an article by an Egyptologist named Andreas Winkler. But he showed how the symbols used in Demotic Egyptian to represent the signs of the zodiac are pretty well tied in with our current glyphs. For example, Taurus and the bull, and the horns of the bull. But specifically, Libra was the symbol for the setting Sun or the horizon. Or Sagittarius is like an arrow that’s pointed up and to the right. Or Aquarius is like three wavy lines in Demotic Egyptian apparently. We’ve simplified it to two wavy lines, but it’s still sort of the same thing. So you can see those clear parallels and how it’s just really crazy ‘cause it means some of our basic symbols go back to these Egyptian priest-astrologers that were using this in the temples.
CM: So neat.
AC: So with Capricorn, that’s an ankh and it’s a little head?
CB: Like a head, or goat head. But, yeah, the problem is that Capricorn is always weird ‘cause it’s like the ‘goat-horned one’ is what it says in Greek, or in the Babylonian tradition, it’s like the ‘goat-fish’. So it’s like people always kind of struggle to render that, so they’re like, “Uh, this is the best I can come up with.”
AC: In Vedic astrology, the word translates kind of to ‘sea monster’ or ‘water monster’, which often kind of gets interpreted as ‘crocodile’ or ‘alligator’, which is sort of aquatic, but not, and monstrous, etc., etc.
CM: I’d be down with that. I’d love to be a sea monster. That’s sweet.
CB: Right. Yeah, I like that. Saturn is a ‘sea monster’ right now. I thought that’d be good on the forecast.
AC: Yeah, it certainly was.
CB: Yeah, it was.
AC: And crocodiles work for Saturn in a lot of ways for a Saturnian sign, especially the earth sign, ‘cause crocodiles just sit there for 99% of their lives when they don’t explode into death. They’re very low energy. They intervene with situations only as needed.
CB: I like that analogy ‘cause crocodiles have tough skin and a very soft interior.
AC: And like aquatic kind of, but not like a graceful dolphin or agile fish. They just kind of hang out.
AC: And so, it’s an earth sign, and it’s mud, but water. Yeah, I like alligator/crocodile. Actually when Kait did the Saturn in Cap series for Sphere + Sundry, there was a sub-variant alligator series where actual alligator bone, and in some cases, swamp mud that alligators had been in was integrated into the material.
CM: That’s perfect. Last note on that, I was just seeing a meme and it was about how when a crocodile is on the water, you can just see its little eyes and its face and it looks very scary, very competent, and intimidating—like a Capricorn. But then you look under the water and they just look kind of silly. It’s perfect.
AC: When you see them at night, their eyes are hyper-reflective. And so, if you have any light source at all, the eyes appear to glow red-orange.
AC: I got to see that in person many years ago. A friend of mine worked at a nature conservancy swamp in Florida, and was like, “Hey, come visit me,” and then literally we went spearfishing in alligator-infested waters. And he has an adrenal problem where he doesn’t feel fear, and so he led us into extremely physically dangerous situations that made a good story in retrospect.
AC: Five planets in Scorpio.
CB: That’s good, not feeling fear. Also, alligators are kind of, like you said, sedentary, but they can move quickly when they want to. Like they can do that explosion of energy, which is like that cardinal sign which is really good.
AC: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
CB: That initial explosion of getting out fast, but just not having a lot of long-term staying power.
AC: Yeah, yeah, the ‘alligator’ cardio is not top-notch.
CB: Yeah, it’s those tiny, tiny legs. All right, so I think that’s pretty good. Shall we transition into talking about the astrology of May?
AC: Yeah, let’s do it.
CB: All right, so I’m gonna put the graphic up one more time just to show people where we’re starting here at the top of the month. Right at the top of the month we have Pluto stationing retrograde in Aquarius and make its very first station there; the very first station of the next 20 years. And it’s gonna make many, many, many, many more stations over the next 20 years. This is the first one, so this is notable and one to pay attention to. And it’s interesting that it falls right in the middle of that Mercury retrograde cycle where Mercury is gonna conjoin the Sun on the same day. Because what I’ve noticed—especially over the past 10 years of doing these forecasts—is sometimes there’s an issue that’s setup when Mercury stations retrograde at the beginning of the retrograde phase. But by the time you get to the conjunction, there starts to be some turn or some shift towards a resolution of whatever the retrograde issues were. And it’s really interesting that it’s sort of coinciding at that point.
AC: Mm-hmm. One way that change in the quality of the retrograde is addressed in Dorotheus in terms of elections is that if you do something Mercury before it’s had the conjunction to the Sun then it’s got that ahead of it; you have this really dramatic combustion and aspect that’s in the future. Whereas even if it’s still retrograde, once you’ve had the conjunction to the Sun, Mercury’s not coming back to the Sun at that point; you don’t have that in the future. The future looks like it’s rising again rather than returning to the Sun and being invisible.
CM: Right. Like if Mercury retrograde is a story arc, and that cazimi is the middle point, then of course, yeah, the last half, half of it’s over. And if we know that things should be wrapping up in the next few weeks then, yeah, it’s probably gonna be a better outcome or circumstance.
AC: An outcome that’s more in accord with what you intend.
AC: Or if the Mercury retrograde is an underworld journey, the conjunction with the Sun is the bottom. And even though you’re still beneath the surface, the path is leading up and back to the world rather than into the interview with Hades.
CB: Yeah, ‘cause one of the things Mercury retrogrades can coincide with is doing something once at the beginning of the retrograde and having it fail, or having things go awry and needing to do it over again. And usually by the time of the conjunction, whatever that second or third attempt is, things start to work out. And usually on the second or third attempt, you do a better job of it because you’ve had the experience of the first two attempts and you’ve sort of learned from those. So even though it can be annoying or frustrating or sometimes kind of painful, sometimes it can also be constructive. So that Mercury retrograde, as we talked about in last month’s forecast, began on the 21st of April. So people can pay attention if some major things started coming up for them around that time in terms of Mercury retrograde issues and starting to see a resolution of that by the 1st, and then perhaps things not being fully resolved until later in the month when Mercury actually stations direct on the 14th.
AC: Yeah, and it’s worth noting that Mercury’s reemergence into the world, the going direct being visible again, is relatively dramatic because it’ll put Mercury right next to a newly-ingressed Jupiter, which has also recently become visible again. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of this retrograde is pretty nice. It’s like a well-stocked Easter basket. I’ve tried to stay focused on how much I like where this Mercury retrograde gets us to rather than the process. The process is not so good, but where we end up on the other side of it is pretty cool.
CB: Yeah, ‘cause you gotta get through eclipse season basically. Everybody’s gotta make it through this Mercury retrograde and through eclipse season and the intensification of the Pluto transit, with Pluto stationing in Aquarius. So it’s like the first week or so of the month is still kind of tumultuous, and there’s a lot of things that are still up in the air and not resolved, or even new things that are kind of being thrown up in the air. But then later in the month, you’re right, once Mercury stations direct, we get our second lunation of the month, which is that Taurus New Moon on the 19th. We get our first non-eclipse lunation and hopefully things start to settle down by then.
AC: Yeah, things look pretty good by then, which is two-thirds of the way through the month.
CM: Yeah, the dust settles by the end of the month, but that’s the end of the month.
AC: Yeah, first-half vs. second-half I think is pretty stark this month. I like the second-half way more. So, Chris, as you mentioned, we basically entered eclipse season and also began a Mercury retrograde within one day of each other.
AC: And so, one of the things that both of those have in common is that they both have a lack of vision, not in some sort of spiritual or ambitious sense, but like it’s hard to see where you’re going; that’s what eclipses are. There’s supposed to be light that you can navigate by: during the day, Sun, or during the night of the Full Moon, the brightest night of the month. The lunar eclipse—there’s a removal of light that’s supposed to be there which allows you to navigate. And then a big part of a Mercury retrograde is that it also becomes invisible. You can no longer see Mercury during the morning, nor in the evening. And so, not being able to see where things are going is its own kind of malefic quality. I was giving an example the other day when I was teaching about how obscurity is malefic, but not like Mars and not like Saturn. When I come to my bedroom, when I stumble into bed a minute before dawn, and it’s dark, I can hurt myself—and I have several times by wracking my shin on the bed frame. The bed frame is not a weapon—it is not poison; it is not bladed; it’s not actively malefic—but it acts as if it were malefic, as if it could do harm simply because I can’t see where the fuck I’m going.
CM: And then Uranus being co-present just adds another layer of, whoa.
AC: Of wracking your shin in the dark.
CM: Yeah, suddenly.
CB: Surprise. Yeah, that’s a really good point. It’s like the Sun is the source of light in our solar system, and light becomes associated with seeing that which is illuminated; that which we can see when it’s light out vs. when it becomes completely pitch dark and you can’t see. And I like those notions of obscurity because one of the things that’s important that happens with eclipses is sometimes really monumental events happen in our life where you start doing something or there’s a shift towards something. But under eclipses you don’t always realize how monumental it is until some time later, in retrospect basically. So I like what you’re saying with that, Austin, because eclipses can sometimes be really important turning points where something starts to shift and there’s a major beginning or ending in a person’s life. But it’s not always readily apparent and sometimes it’s only when you look back on it, you realize, “Oh, I met that person,” or “Oh, I started working on this at that time,” or what have you, and then you realize the full significance of it, but there’s something almost inherently obscure or hidden about eclipses.
AC: Yeah. One way I think about and work with eclipses is the nodes are transiting signs all the time, but their work is inherently obscure. They’re like underground rivers. They’re flowing, but you can’t see what they’re doing. And then eclipses bring that energy—for just an hour or two, four times a year—into intersection with the visible world. It’s like how when a planet stations. It’s been working on stuff for a while, but there’s a bit of a pivotal point or an exclamation mark. And eclipses—they let what has been collecting and latent make a very temporary dent. They turn that potential energy into kinetic for just a second, which may change the direction of things.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. So we’re talking about all of this because we’ve already had one eclipse as we head into the month, which was the one in April, and now we’re coming up on the second one right in the first week of the month. So as soon as that first eclipse happened, it’s like the door to eclipse season has opened, and we’re about to go through the next door here when the Moon hits 15° of Scorpio on May 5 it looks like. So that is our next lunar eclipse in Scorpio. And this one’s important ‘cause it’s a continuation of the eclipse series that’s been taking place, bouncing back and forth, between Taurus and Scorpio over the course of the past year or so. And we’ve seen a lot of things thrown up in people’s lives, especially with fixed sign placements, during that time.
AC: And this is the very last eclipse in Scorpio. There’s one more in Taurus, so on the axis. But this will be—for those who dwell in Scorpio or have important investments in Scorpio—this is the last one in Scorpio.
CB: Okay, I like that. Yeah, so we’ll see the closing down of the major shifts and the major tendency towards there being new beginnings and new endings with this eclipse. And then it’s finally fully brought to completion six months later when we have that final one in Taurus in, what is it? October. I believe at the very end of October, on October 28.
AC: Yeah, and that’ll be the lunar in Taurus.
CB: Yeah, so this one, it goes exact at 15° of Scorpio. And then the very next aspect it makes is that opposition to Uranus, which is at 18° of Taurus. So there’s still a major unexpected or disruptive Uranian element to this eclipse, which I think is made—as we’ve talked about before—a little bit more disruptive because it’s happening in those fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio; which as fixed signs already don’t do the best with changes, especially sudden or unexpected ones. And I’ve seen a lot of that happening in different people’s personal lives in terms of it just destabilizing certain things in order to make room for other things.
CM: Yeah, and I was noticing too—‘cause I always like to look at where the Moon’s headed after a thing that it does—it hits Uranus, and then it’s also gonna run into Mars and then Pluto and then Saturn. So it just feels bumpy. Even after the eclipse the next day too, it just feels bumpy.
AC: Yeah, one of the things that struck me when I looked at it was how much is going on in water signs and how not great it is. So we have a partial eclipse of the Moon in its fall in Scorpio configured to and in a mutually-received relationship with fallen Mars in Cancer. We also have a malefic in Pisces and then the Neptune in Pisces. And so, what ran through my mind was all sorts of toxic water. There was a song I was listening to the other day where one of the lines references ‘a raging river of manure at my front door’, and so I thought about that. I also thought about a toxic ‘Grail’, a toilet desperately in need of flushing. With the South Node—it’s the Dragon’s Tail. And if the Dragon’s mouth eats, the Dragon’s Tail poops; there’s this purgative quality to the South Node. And so, this just looked like ‘ucky’ water that needed to be flushed, be purged, be sent to the waste treatment facility, whatever.
CB: And I say in all good friendliness and all good intention that right now I regret showing you how to use an image generator yesterday, being reminded of some of your evocative metaphors over the years.
AC: Right, Midjourney. Imagine ‘poop’ dragon, gentleman-style.
CM: With different hats.
CB: Right, with a top hat. All right, now I understand what the AI people are feeling like, and what Oppenheimer felt like in terms of developing the atomic bomb and just thinking like, “What have I done?”
AC: Yeah, well, I’ve become the God of Death.
CM: Scorpionic tools.
AC: So I would be surprised if there weren’t some literal, physical things involving toxic water or sewage. But on a psychological, psychic level, I think this one’s gonna bring up a lot of feelings, which it’d be good to barf out or to purge, to ‘cathart’.
CB: Yeah, and that was something you mentioned earlier, Claire, in terms of just water pollution issues with Saturn in Pisces. It seems like they’re coming up a lot recently.
CM: Yeah, and just like water erosion, displaced communities from all the water. So, yeah, all kinds of stuff.
CB: Were you gonna say something before that?
CM: Me? I mean, I was just thinking too on that more psychological, ‘armchair’ psychologist kind of thing with the water and all of the feelings that could possibly be coming up. And then on the other side of the Moon, over in Taurus, we’ve got Mercury who’s supposed to be kind of the rational person in the group, amongst others. And then in Taurus, which is a sign where it’s earth, it’s material, it’s kind of like we see what is really in front of us. What am I tasting, smelling, seeing? And that faculty is compromised because Mercury is retrograde with the Node, with Uranus. So it’s like we’ve got all these feelings happening and perceptions, but what are we perceiving, and is that actually accurate? Feelings are real, they’re not always accurate. So when it comes to practical advice, what do you do during this configuration? I mean, my personal thing is nothing. You don’t do anything. Don’t do anything, unless of course it’s like taking care of your plumbing. Like take care of that. But, yeah, you might want to pump the brakes with the feelings.
AC: Yeah, drink lots of distilled water or the emotional equivalent of that.
CB: Yeah, so heightened emotions for sure. I mean, I’m thinking back to the eclipses in October and just the intensity of some of that towards the end of October when we had our last Scorpio eclipse, and I think we can expect some of that happening here. In addition to that, just going back, having that first Pluto station in Aquarius, for people that have planets in early fixed signs—some people may have felt that. If you have a planet that’s getting aspected by Pluto as soon as Pluto ingressed into Aquarius, it’s really those first stations oftentimes that will activate that aspect and make it much more clear what that’s gonna be about both internally as well as in terms of external events in a person’s life. So I think that’s a really important thing underlying this eclipse here in that fixed sign of Scorpio as well—having Pluto activated in Aquarius for the first time also at the same time.
CB: Have the two of you been seeing anything coming up with Pluto in Aquarius so far in terms of natal things with clients or with other observations?
AC: I was talking to one of my students the other day who has a 0 Sun in Aquarius, and they were feeling it, and it was very classical Pluto stuff. But other than that, it’s been so clear on the collective. But I don’t know, I have lots of things in water signs, I usually feel the transits very deeply, but I haven’t really felt it on a personal level or seen it up close.
CM: I’ve been noticing it’s the clients with stuff in very early degrees, 0°-1°, that are aspecting that, and they’re just going through big transitions that were already kind of in the works as Pluto approached that by degree from Capricorn. Like kids moving out to college for the first time and having that big transition with Pluto in the 5th or something. So nothing bad, just very normal, big transitions in that area of their life. But, yeah, very early degree connections are necessary. Well, my Ascendant is at—or, no, my Venus is at 5° of Aquarius. I mean, I plead the 5th on exactly what it is, but I feel like I’ve been noticing, but I need time.
AC: I have Venus at 2 Aquarius—
AC: And I was expecting a little bit more from the inside, but not so far. But when any other planet is 2° away from one of your natal planets that means it’s about to hit. When Pluto is 2° away, it could be two years away from actually conjoining it.
AC: And so, the translation from the distance in space on a chart into distance in time from how far from now is that is so different with Pluto.
CM: Mm-hmm. Just a quick side note, I’ve been noticing that with Neptune on my Moon. Like even just a degree away has been a big difference vs. being right on top of it ‘cause it is so slow.
CB: Yeah, for sure. Well, let’s check in with all the Aquarius placement people and other fixed sign people after that station and after that second eclipse in Scorpio and see how things are going.
AC: Yeah, I’ll let you know.
CB: Okay. There’s one other thing that also happened that, Claire, you mentioned, which is Jupiter’s gonna make a heliacal rising and appear early in the month out from under the beams of the Sun as a morning star. Early in the morning just before sunrise, you’ll see Jupiter rise up over the eastern horizon. And it’s within that 15° range of the Sun, so that it’s finally gonna be far enough from the Sun that you’ll see it briefly in the hour or so before sunrise as a star over on the eastern horizon. So Jupiter’s completed its passage. And speaking of going into the ‘Eye of Sauron’ and into Mordor, it’s completed its underground journey through the beams of the Sun, and now it sort of emerges in the morning anew and sort of revived at this point.
CM: Yeah, I always like to watch what happens when planets come out from under the beams. In the case of Jupiter, maybe being the spirit of the law, court rulings, opportunities, truths, understandings. Maybe those might be easier to find or probably to find with Jupiter visible vs. that planet’s significations being hidden and not visible. Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see if some of those things come up in the next month.
AC: Yeah, part of what I’m really excited about this month is Jupiter reemerging and then going into Taurus, and Mercury also coming back to that first decan of Taurus to station direct. And so, we have this really fresh Jupiter—like a purification-by-fire combustion sweat lodge/ready to start a new thing, and then also moving into a new sign to start new work, and then having what will also be a freshly-arisen morning Mercury right there with it in the same decan. It just occurred to me, Claire, that Jupiter in Aries in those last few degrees. Jupiter freshly arising in Aries is so ‘The Macho Man’. Like that’s very much an, “Ohhh, yeahhh!” sort of moment.
CM: It truly is. And that decan too being ruled by Venus and Jupiter and just like flamboyantly so.
AC: And the transition into Taurus is, “Oh, yeah, snap into a Slim Jim.” Like literally selling these products.
CM: Exactly what I was thinking when I was making this prompt.
AC: Okay, okay.
CM: And I was telling Chris before the show too, and we’ll talk about it in a minute, but that T-square between Pluto, Jupiter, and Mars—once Mars gets into Leo—this is where Randy Savage came from. I was intuiting, like, “What could that be like?” And I was like, “Randy Savage could be one of those things, but in a spirit sense.”
AC: No, no, that works, the Mars in Leo.
CM: So powerful.
AC: I could see how Mars-Jupiter is—I mean, he’s—
AC: We remember him more for his enthusiasm and big presence than his actual combative efficacy.
CB: I like that. All right, so that’s our image for this, especially with Jupiter in the tail-end of Aries and whatever the good things or the positive things or the period of growth expansion that some people are getting from that transit of Jupiter in Aries. This is the very tail-end of it where some of those lessons are short of finalized and, yeah, brought full circle before Jupiter departs and moves into Taurus mid-month.
AC: But worth noting also is that Jupiter in one system is the ruler of the third decan of Aries. In the other, it’s Venus. But the third decan of Aries—ruled in two systems, in both cases by a benefic—has much more to do with the flamethrower of charisma rather than an actual flamethrower, which you might see in the first decan of Aries. It’s very performative. You can think of Jupiter in the third decan of Aries like a preacher at a revival, like a stand-up comedian, like a one-person show—it’s that kind of Aries energy rather than the more literal, martial standard type.
CB: Yeah, that’s a really good point. All right, so other things that we need to mention about that first week of the month—I think this is looking pretty good so far.
CM: Yeah, the other thing I was kind of wondering about in this first week—as it leads us into the eclipse—is there’s gonna be a square between Venus and Neptune. Which the last time we had one of those was early December when all of that Lensa app stuff was going on, and we had all this illusory beauty and romanticized versions of beauty and all these things. So I don’t know, relationally-speaking of course, a hard aspect with Neptune does not confer for us to have a good understanding necessarily of what our relationships are doing. And having that leading us into the eclipse, I don’t love it. But, yeah, I don’t know what your thoughts are on that.
CB: That’s a great point. That aspect of Venus-Neptune goes exact the day before the eclipse on May 4, while the Moon is already in Scorpio. So it’s like the emotional intensity of that eclipse is softened, or at least we have this other element that’s being thrown into the picture of this Venus that’s super idealizing things and is doing the ‘Venus-Neptune’ thing, which is like the idea of being in love with the idea of being love in some ways.
AC: Yeah, or just checking out and doing something pleasurable. So the first week is ‘sewery’. Mercury’s still super retrograde, we’re moving into this eclipse. And whatever foul waters are due to erupt, we’ll probably be feeling that for several days leading up to it. But like a good puke, you feel so much better afterwards. I think the positive way to regard that upcoming eclipse is like, yeah, it’s a good shit.
CM: Purgative. Purgative is like the triple-word score word. Love it for that.
AC: Okay. Yeah, thanks. We’re on to new things after that.
CB: Just really quickly—because that’s one of our signatures of close aspects with the eclipse, could we just give a couple more keywords of Venus square Neptune? That was a really good instance, Claire, from last year when the Lensa app happened and everybody was making these super idealized and oftentimes much more visually-engaging or beautiful images of themselves. And there was something that was both interesting and beautiful about that, as well as deceptive at the same time. So I guess that’s the issue. It can be very positive because there can be something very romantic and engaging about Venus-Neptune hard aspects, but also something potentially deceptive. So maybe part of the advice is to enjoy it, and enjoying the ability to get lost in that as something that’s enjoyable, but also to be careful because you have to realize that your expectations or that your picture of reality might not be the clearest right now, and you might not be seeing things or seeing people for who they are.
CM: Exactly, yeah. And Venus in an air sign too would like to be a little bit more intellectual and fact-based, but that aspect from Neptune is not really supporting that.
AC: I would just say that it’s like watching a television show. It’s entertaining, and hopefully a good TV show is going to be pretty to watch and entertaining, engaging, but don’t mistake it for what actually happened. It’s loosely-based on a true story, but you don’t make important judgments or decisions about relationships based on what you’re getting during a Venus-Neptune square.
AC: It’s only loosely-based on a true story, though it may be entertaining.
CB: Ideally. Although when you’re in the middle of that, that advice always falls flat.
AC: It doesn’t always. What are you talking about? Yeah, it’s easy to recognize. Someone’s like, “Oh, this is great. We’ll see how long this lasts.”
CM: I mean, if Mercury’s retrograde, and we get intense stuff with the eclipse—in my mind this is not a time to be making sweeping decisions about anything—
CM: If you can avoid it.
CB: Yeah, one of the things that’s been nice since Venus is getting towards the end of Gemini is that’s really come to have a soothing effect or put on some ointment—over the past several weeks—on that area that just burned for months with Mars going retrograde there in Gemini. And I feel like for a number of people, we’ve seen Venus come in and sort of smooth over the rough edges or sort of put some aloe vera or something on the areas of irritation in that part of their chart over the past several months.
AC: Yeah, speaking as someone who’s Moon got ‘Mars-ed’ for eight months. Venus’ time in Gemini has proved an indispensable part of the ‘Make Gemini Fun Again’ campaign.
CM: Mm-hmm. And I’m kind of hoping too—to the same point—Venus going into Cancer, after the eclipse, on the 7th is gonna be kind of a balm for whatever Cancer’s been going through with Mars in there.
AC: Yeah, that’s one of the things I’m also really looking forward to later in the month.
CB: Yeah, good point. So Venus into Gemini started April 11, and then it ends on the 9th of May. And then we get Venus in Cancer from the 9th of May forward, all the way into early June. All right, so that’s good for the first week. That really brings us into transits for the second week where we’re talking at this point about Venus going into Cancer on the 7th. Mars hasn’t departed yet. Mars is still in Cancer, so there’s still some tension. There’s still the potential for some irritation or some fighting or some discord that’s been going on in that sector of our chart ever since Mars went into Cancer, what was it? A month or two ago now. But now Venus is coming in in order to help balance things out a little bit more and help to offset the extremeness of the fieriness of Mars.
AC: Yeah, and—go ahead.
CM: Oh, I was just gonna say she’s getting a nice trine from Saturn too when she gets in there.
CB: That’s nice, yeah. So as soon as Venus goes into Cancer, it starts applying to a trine with Saturn. And Venus will complete that trine around May 12 and May 13 around the same time the Moon moves into Pisces and conjoins Saturn at the same time. So that timeframe of around especially May 13—May 12-May13—has a little bit of a sobering quality with Saturn there. But hopefully it’s like a good type of sobering quality with Venus trining Saturn at the same time. There’s like a ‘coming down to reality’ and a realistic assessment of things, especially relational things, after the square between Venus and Neptune that we encountered at the end of Venus in Gemini.
CM: My thoughts exactly. I was thinking it was gonna be, yes, somber, but a stabilizing influence, particularly relationally, after all of the kerfuffle of the days prior.
AC: Yeah, there’s definitely the potential for that. One thing though is that Saturn’s now in Pisces and not necessarily doing a great job being Saturn and objective. The Saturn in Pisces is pretty water-logged. It’s not that cut-and-dried quality that we’ve gotten from Saturn for like five years with Saturn in Cap and Aquarius. It definitely has some gravity and is certainly less fantastical than Venus square Neptune. But Saturn’s not going to ground us anymore ‘cause it’s not on the ground.
CM: That’s fair.
AC: There’s an emotional weight to Saturn in Pisces; yeah, it’s a different Saturn. I look forward to Venus departing from trine to Saturn.
CM: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Saturn might not be as helpful as it might have been in trine somewhere else.
AC: Okay, so let me say something nice about the Saturn-Venus.
CM: I mean, you don’t have to. You can totally say it.
AC: What comes to mind—
CB: Don’t give him free reign. Don’t tell him to only say negative things.
AC: No, I have a positive thought. In my recent rereading of Firmicus and important planetary combinations and what not, I see a lot of Saturn-Venus, especially by trine, indicating excellence in aesthetic crafts. Creating an art thing. Not a fully-imaginal thing, but creating something solid. Firmicus talks about Saturn and Venus making people who make beautiful textiles and then dye things; like royal textile dyer. I was like, “Oh, that’s working in fashion.” We could take craft—not just art, not just ideas—but craft. Like Saturn anchoring Venus’ aesthetic cognitions into the creation of things that have a weight. Yeah, Saturn is useful for disciplining Venus to get a project done rather than just having a fun idea.
CB: Yeah. One of the things that I’ve gained a greater understanding of after originally reading Firmicus 10 or 15 years ago—and just all the things he says about Venus and Saturn aspects and coming to a better understanding of it now—is just what do you do when you run into a major difference in a relationship that causes major obstacles for a relationship, even if the relationship itself is something you really want, and the negotiation of that which is a deal-breaker in a relationship that stops one from happening vs. that which can be pushed through to allow a relationship to happen if it’s something you really want. And that might be an interesting thing to think about here with Venus trining Saturn on this date—just the ability to push through and identify what is a surmountable difficulty that you can overcome if you really want something to happen, as opposed to those things that might happen if it was like a square or an opposition or something that might be complete deal-breakers or non-starters for a relationship.
AC: Yeah, and Saturn is in the sign of Venus’ exaltation, so he’s willing to work with Venus here.
CM: Seems like a very tempered expectation. Yeah, it seems reasonable.
CB: All right, so that’s looking good for that, so let’s move on. We are firmly in the second week and moving forward now.
AC: And this is where it starts getting exciting basically halfway through the month.
CB: That Mars action. Mars starts getting towards the very end of Cancer and—
AC: Mercury stations before any of this.
CB: Okay. Well, that’s nice. So Mercury is stationing May 14 and 15. It’s finally direct at 5° of Taurus. One of the things that’s very nice about that is that immediately after that, the next day, by the 16th, Jupiter’s ingressed into Taurus. So we’re not just getting Mercury stationing direct and the resolution of some of those Mercury retrograde issues that have been going on for the past three weeks up to this point, but also Jupiter moves into that sign where it has that special ability to improve and affirm and sort of just smooth things over in whatever the Taurus sector of our chart is and that specific area of our life and whatever house that coincides with for each of us.
CM: Yeah, I’m looking forward to that.
AC: Yeah, so when we talk about Aries and we talk about a fresh start, this is its own kind of fresh start, but it’s Taurus. ‘Cause Mercury is, again, like gone through the ‘purificatory’ meat-grinder of the retrograde. It’s come out the other side, freshly-arisen in the east. Jupiter is freshly-arisen in the east and also freshly-ingressed into a new sign; so fresh, and so clean-clean. And that first decan of Taurus, which is ruled by Mercury in one system, you see it pretty overwhelmingly is about not a new idea, but new plans. Like how am I gonna do all of this? What is the process? The go-to metaphor for me is imagine you’re a farmer, you’ve got all this land. What do I plant this season? Is it gonna be corn over here? Serranos over here? What am I gonna plant? How am I gonna subdivide all of my terrain? Is it all corn? Is it all jalapenos? Is it all whatever? That planning. And Mercury boosted with Jupiter is really nice here. The North Node can create problems certainly, but it does give hunger and ambition, which I think can work with this combination; planning something ambitious. Not imagining yourself succeeding at something ambitious, but actually planning something that’s going to have tangible results, and you have a tangible plan for.
CM: Yeah, and I think it’s nice too ‘cause Jupiter is that more expansive, wider perspective. Mercury’s more of the details. We’ve got both of those in the same place working together, which is great. My take on Rahu being there is—to your point of ambition and drive—as long as we’re not getting greedy.
CM: As long as we’re reading the fine print, not getting ahead of ourselves, it could be really, really cool.
CB: Yeah, I like that idea of growth and expansion in the tangible, material realm. Those are really good keywords for Taurus. And something I’ve come to understand much better over the past year—especially after doing the Taurus episode about a year ago in the zodiac series—was just how much Taurus revels in the earthiness of a garden, but also taking delight in the material pleasures of being in the physical world and all of the good things that come along with that, both in terms of tangible, physical things, as well as in terms of nature and the appreciation of nature and the supportive role that that can play to each of us, not just physically, but also psychologically. So I’m excited to have Jupiter in Taurus for the next while and how—
AC: And—oh, sorry.
CB: Go ahead.
AC: I was just gonna say—and I just looked it up—until May 26 next year.
CB: Wow. So it is a full year, okay.
AC: No regresses back into Aries. Just slow, steady, reliable Jupiter in Taurus.
CM: Let us all go into a forest and walk around, take it in. It’s gonna be so nice.
CB: Good. And so, it’s really inaugurated here with that Moon also ingressing by May 16 and 17 into Taurus. And then a few days later, we get that New Moon at 28° of Taurus in that sign. So this full lineup or stellium of planets in Taurus, mid-to-late month, before we have the next shift of Mars, but just focusing on that Taurus stuff. The Mercury retrograde that was the precursor to that may have thrown some things up in the air and caused people to go back and have to reevaluate certain things about that part of their life in some instances. But it’s nice to have this grounding, sort of stabilizing set of transits that come in and not just allow things to settle down, but also repair things.
One of the things that is often mentioned with Jupiter in some of the ancient texts is ‘allies’ and having friends and allies, but also people that come in and help you and give you a hand when you need it. And that might be of relevant significance here with Jupiter moving into Taurus at this point. The ability of people to reach out and to get help if they need help in a certain area of their life might be a good piece of advice or a good keyword to keep in mind with that ingress, both in May, as well as just as a longer-term transit over the course of the next year.
CM: Yeah, that’s definitely what I’ve been telling my clients. Wherever Taurus is in your chart, whatever that signifies for you, when Jupiter gets in there, if you’re asking for something—and Jupiter is affirmation, a yes—then that will hopefully be what you find. And then particularly for Saturn’s challenges in Pisces—if you’re having challenges there in the Pisces part of your chart, where is Saturn gonna look for help? Well, now there’s actually eyes between them and they can see each other and exchange resources. So that was another really cool point about that.
CB: For sure.
AC: That’s a great point. It’s not only a sign change for Jupiter, but the sign change creates a new and much more favorable angle between Jupiter and Saturn. And, Claire, like you just said, Saturn’s in a Jupiter-ruled sign, so it’s very important. Saturn will be less of a dick if it has a nice aspect to Jupiter, and so it makes those challenges easier to navigate.
CB: Was that Dorotheus I hear you quoting? I think that was an ancient delineation.
CM: Be less of a dick?
AC: It was actually the Medieval Latin translation of Dorotheus.
CB: So there was like a ‘U-S’ added to the end or something like that, grammatically?
AC: It was Church Latin, not Koine Greek.
AC: And I think that’s relevant for Jupiter in Taurus. One thing I’ve noticed with a lot of people I’ve known who have a prominent Jupiter in Taurus placement is they love the accumulated weight of good scholarship that people have done. People have already done so much work, why not enjoy that and let that support your own work.
AC: Jupiter in Taurus takes knowledge out of the abstract. That 10-volume, 1,200-page set is full of knowledge; it’s right there. It’s actually hard to carry up the stairs.
CB: Let me avail myself of this, the funny, cliché of Taurus—one of the negative stereotypes that’s not necessarily true—of laziness. But, here, that laziness is just, “I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Let me take advantage of all this scholarship and all this work that other people have done and put it to good use,” in that context.
AC: Yeah, it’s a Venus-ruled sign, take pleasure in it. The Jupiter in Taurus people I’m thinking of—just really take pleasure in well-done work. Like, “Uh, it’s such a nice job reviewing the 4th century of Rome.” It’s not only an ‘asset’ benefic, but it’s also a pleasure.
CB: Yeah, and also the enjoyment—Taurus and Virgo share this a little bit. Especially with Jupiter there—the enjoyment of something that’s done really well, or done to a high standard, especially of material, physical things. ‘Bespoke’, is that the keyword for it? Just that trend over the past several years of things being done in a really nice way, or in small, limited batches. Like craftsmen-type things. Like having the ability to do something very well.
CM: My most cherished objects that I value the most highly are all the bespoke ones, for sure.
AC: Yeah, the artisan-crafted whatever.
CB: Right. Okay, so those are the good things that I wanted to make sure we mentioned about the Jupiter in Taurus and the positive things that’s gonna bring. I have to mention the aspects because there’s some tense aspects once it goes in that are tied into this whole picture. First, one of the biggest outer planet configurations this month is that as soon as Jupiter goes into Taurus, it’s gonna immediately square Pluto, which is still in Aquarius for a little bit longer at this point before it retrogrades out of Aquarius and moves back into Capricorn in early June. But also, Mars is coming up at this point. It’s coming up to the end of Cancer, and it finally ingresses into Leo by May 19 and 20, at which point it immediately creates an opposition with Pluto, as well as a square with Jupiter. And aside from some of the eclipse stuff earlier in the month, we get one of our most tense aspects—this T-square that occurs between Mars and Jupiter and Pluto around May 20.
CM: Yeah, leading up to this we’ve had all this shaky ground with the eclipses and the retrograde, and now things have stabilized a little bit, and hopefully we’ll be feeling so fresh and so clean-clean, as you were saying. But the image that I got in my mind was like we’ve been used to having this floppy paper plate and not being able to put a ton of food on it. I feel like by the time we get here to this T-square, we’re gonna have this robust stoneware plate, and we’re gonna want to fill it with a bunch of stuff—but that doesn’t mean that we can actually consume all of it, eat all of it. It’s just like ‘eyes bigger than stomach’, that’s my concern with this. It’s just like overextending too much.
AC: It’s very bold.
AC: If it was just Mars-Jupiter—Mar-Jupiter is often favorable. Jupiter often just reigns in Mars just a little bit while also being supportive of assertion and action; your image of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage snapping into Mordor, that hell imagery of Pluto. Let me just say if it was Mars-Jupiter or Mars-Pluto alone, very different. Mars-Pluto is very dark and turbulent. Mars-Pluto will bring up power dynamics in a half-shadowy, uncomfortable way, and then Mars-Jupiter is just raw power enthusiasm—that’s Randy Savage cutting a promo—and so it’s an interesting combination. One thing I will say is that I would rather have this with Jupiter as part of it than just the Mars-Pluto.
AC: The Mars-Pluto is just like dark, broody. So with Mars being in such an extroverted sign, prone to explode. Jupiter both supports some of that action and boldness, but tempers it a little bit but doesn’t temper it wholly. I think this is one that doesn’t have to go one way. I think this configuration will be kind of a disaster for some people and work out really well for other people.
AC: There’s such a difference between Mars-Pluto and Mars-Jupiter in terms of what kind of results we would expect.
CM: Let’s say Jupiter is the quintessential opportunity making sure that you feel empowered, whoever you are, in pursuing that opportunity vs. if you do sniff around and find anything funky about it then you can be like, “Oh, I know astrology. I know Pluto is involved. I’ll be careful.” But that definitely throws a bit of an interesting dynamic into it.
AC: Oh, go ahead.
CB: Just those keywords of ‘power’, and especially ‘empowerment’ are really good Mars-Pluto-Jupiter keywords in that tension, and that’s probably one of the major ways to take advantage of that and use it productively around that time. Some people will be able to use it probably for extreme forms of empowerment and forward movement almost to the point of being ruthlessness; like a ruthless focus on one’s goals and motivations and objectives, almost to the detriment of anything else. And sometimes there can be a useful or a positive way in which to manifest that, and other times that ruthlessness can be not good. Especially with oppositions that can sometimes manifest externally as you’re trying to move forward with something and be enterprising, but you’re having to deal with at the same time extreme levels of pushback and a counter-push from extreme forces that are attempting to get you to do something else, or influence you from the outside.
AC: Yeah, so that Mars-Jupiter is boldness and enthusiasm. And then the question with Pluto is Pluto puts forward this potentially terrifying challenge or environment, which I think you captured Claire with Mordor. Like the threat of annihilation or whatever makes me think of—what’s the fiddle contest with the Devil? What’s the name of that song?
CM: Devil Went Down to Georgia?
AC: Yeah, Devil Went Down to Georgia. It’s a classic, and there’s a Primus cover that’s great. But instead of a pro-wrestling match with the Devil, it’s like are you willing to try to suplex the Devil? Will you bet your soul on it? The Pluto is like, are you willing to risk what feels like annihilation in order to obtain whatever the glorious end is? Or does that back you off where you’re like, “I’ll suplex maybe a minor devil, but I don’t want to face the King of the Underworld?”
CM: Right. And what you were mentioning there about, “Do I? Don’t I? How much do I want to get?” there’s like this kind of wobbly, shakiness to it, that also I feel like is echoed by Jupiter being co-present with Uranus. So whatever ways in which we are trying to grow or expand or have opportunities, with Uranus there it’s like a slightly dangerous opportunity; something out of my comfort zone. So that might be a little highlighted here too, just a little out of the comfort zone maybe. Which is fine, and can be totally awesome in building confidence. And feeling empowered is doing something out of your comfort zone.
AC: So I think just in the news, we’ll see people making big moves that are risky.
AC: Do you think that’s a fair statement?
CB: Yeah. Even just with Mars-Pluto hard aspects on their own, we often see that. But if you put Pluto in the mix that’s just gonna amplify that and exaggerate it.
AC: Yeah, I’d also be surprised if this didn’t mark a much more vigorous season of fighting in the Ukraine.
CM: That makes sense.
CB: Just broadly I was thinking Mars-Pluto opposition is tough because that’s already kind of like violent; I’ve already said ruthless. But also, Mars-Jupiter, we’ve seen in the past, can be kind of like an explosive combination. But I’m hoping that the tense, almost ruthless or violent quality that the Mars-Pluto opposition has, I hope that Jupiter is able to come in and play the role of mediator or peace-broker. And I think we’ll see some situations like that where you just have two sides that are just ruthlessly set against each other and unable to find middle-ground because they’re just completely mutually exclusive. But then having a third party that comes in in an attempt to find some sort of reconciliation between the two of them is one of the potential or broadly positive manifestations I could imagine.
AC: Yeah, it’d be nice.
CB: Yeah. What else? Jupiter-Pluto. I’ve also talked about the manipulation of information in order to attempt to get people to do something which seemed like a previous recurring theme under hard Jupiter-Pluto aspects. So I would pay attention to that also as a potential theme with that Jupiter-Pluto square. We saw a lot of that especially in 2020 when we were seeing the conjunctions between Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn.
CB: All right, so that’s the beginning of a couple-month, Mars transit through Leo. So that’s just the start of a longer-term transit, but it just begins kind of explosively, so it’s not one of those ones that’ll have a slow buildup or something. But it’s just like Mars ingresses, and we’re right into it, and it’s like this is what this transit’s gonna be about. And then a lot of what comes after that is just like dealing with the aftermath of that in some ways.
AC: Yeah, and it’s worth noting that these are all in fixed signs, and fixed signs indicate fixed trajectories. Cardinal signs—like we were talking about with alligators earlier—it’s like a burst of activity and then, I don’t know, kind of a lull. And mutable signs give you this sort of doing a thing and then going and doing something else, and then coming back. With fixed signs you get straight lines, and so there’s a certainty to the movements that are initiated under fixed sign configurations. Just for reference, even though Mars enters a few days earlier, when the Moon hits Mars in Leo on the 24th—and squares Jupiter and opposes Saturn—if you can’t see it by then you need to, like me, get your eyes checked.
CM: Yeah, and that’s a good point too because like it’s not just one day with this one. I mean, even the Jupiter-Mars square is applying and setting itself up before the Jupiter ingress, then Jupiter ingresses. Or maybe that’s before the Mars ingress. And then even after that, for a few days, then Mars is separating from all that, and then the Moon comes in on the 24th and pings it after all of that. So there’s like a 10-day swath of time in the middle of May—middle-end—where all of that is gonna be happening.
AC: Yeah, at the same time we have the Mercury-Rahu-Jupiter, there are plans coming together. Oh, is it time to act immediately with certainty? There’s a lot brewing.
CB: Yeah, and something else worth mentioning—Mars going into Leo. For some people it’ll be just putting in a lot of extra energy and effort, having a burst of energy and a burst of productivity in a certain area of your chart or area of your life. For others though Mars can sometimes bring up strife or conflict or irritations or major setbacks in that area. And one of the things that’s gonna happen this summer is that Mars is gonna go through that sign and then depart somewhat relatively quickly. But then later in the summer we’re gonna get that Venus retrograde in Leo, which is gonna come in and, on the one hand, hopefully smooth over a little bit of the harshness of what just happened with that Mars transit. But on the other hand, for some people it’s also gonna put a much more extended period of attention on that sign and on that area of our chart at the same time and bring up some relational stuff with Venus, but also doing some looking back and some retrospective looks at that part of our chart or that part of our lives that the Mars transit itself, which begins this month, might first stir up.
AC: Yeah, yeah, Venus is following in the wake of Mars.
AC: Just like you said earlier, Chris, Venus is right now—and for the first part of the month—moving through Gemini, which Mars spent a bunch of time. And then it moves into Cancer, and it’s following Mars there. Although the Venus ingress into Leo doesn’t happen this month, Venus will follow Mars into Leo and then stop just shy of the conjunction. And so, yeah, the Mars is a lead-in. Where Mars treads, Venus will follow for the next bit. A quick, quick side note, I just quickly looked it up, and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage had Jupiter in Taurus.
CB: Oh, no. Wow.
CM: He is very robust.
CB: All right, he is our spirit person for—
CM: Kind of our mascot.
CB: Our mascot for this episode, so I’m gonna put him back up on the screen. That’s the combination that we’re talking about. And the combination that inspired this image, I think you said, was that specific alignment.
CM: That was what brought him to mind for me, and then I did an AI thing about it.
CM: Oh, I love it.
CB: Good. I’m trying to quickly generate an image of him with the planets in the sky. It’s not quite working out, but this is the best I could come up with. It looks like he’s standing on Mars, which is not quite what I was trying to get it to depict, but that’s pretty good.
CM: Is he smiling in one of them?
CB: In one of them, he is. In one of them, he has a weird frown down here on the bottom-right. I don’t know what’s going on there, but good times.
CM: Clearly we have more work to do.
CB: Yeah, we’re still tweaking it, but we’ll work on this.
AC: Yeah, see if we can get one with him suplexing the Devil on Mars.
CB: Okay. All right, so we’re now getting into the tail-end of the month and the final things that we wanted to mention. As we get to the very end of the month, what do we have? Where are we at at this point?
AC: We’ve kind of got what we talked about. Everything sort of holds; Mercury’s moving very slowly. So it never conjoins Jupiter or the North Node, but it’s right there for the rest of the month, and then it’s starting to get towards Uranus. But it’s that Mercury-Rahu-Jupiter-Uranus in Taurus. Mars in early Leo departing from the opposition with Pluto. Venus is still in Cancer. This is the shape.
AC: These bold plans for the future. In some cases, bold action pretty immediately from those. In some cases, daring, seemingly, foolhardy, or high-risk with that Pluto energy thrown in. A very sweet Venus in Cancer that feels increasingly loving as it moves into a trine with Neptune in Pisces, and Mars is no longer in the same sign.
CB: Yeah, that trine starts getting pretty close towards the end of the month—and then goes exact in early June—between the Venus and Neptune on June 2 at 27 Cancer. I noticed that the Sun hits a square with Saturn on the 27th and 28th of the month. So the Sun hits about 6° of Gemini and squares Saturn on the 6th. And strangely, at the same time, the Moon goes into Virgo and opposes Saturn and squares the Sun at the same time. So we’ve got both of the luminaries in Mercury-ruled signs making a hard aspect and creating some tension with that Saturn in Pisces.
CM: Yeah, I was wondering about this one here, this little T-square. That caught my eye too in thinking about the fact that we just had that New Moon at the very end of Taurus, then the Sun enters Gemini. And then this is that first quarter Moon of that lunation cycle. And usually the first quarter Moon is that first square, first little need for adjustment in the month, but then that opposition with Saturn is just emphasizing that point of tension even more. Let’s just say you start a plan in Taurus, this is like the first little speed bump. You gotta take care of this first before ‘collecting $200, passing go’ and all of that.
CB: Yeah, for sure ‘cause Gemini season, with the Sun in Gemini, is usually such a light social energy. But this reminds me that this is the first time we’ll have a Gemini season where Saturn is kind of overseeing it and putting a bit of a damper on things by squaring that Sun and forcing there to be a little bit more seriousness and a little bit more reservation to some of the mutable signs than we would see in a normal year, in an average year where Saturn has previously been just doing that to the fixed signs. So having that Sun square I think will be a really interesting initial insight into that and what transits through Gemini are gonna be as we move through the next couple of years, and as Mercury eventually gets into Gemini next month.
AC: Yeah, it makes the Sun’s time in Gemini—especially the early part—more dutiful, more obligated, more mandatory, more emotionally-heavy than they would be otherwise. Which may not ruin or destroy what you’re doing, but there’s a little additional weight. It’s a little more serious than maybe we’re hoping for.
AC: You have less free time than you were hoping for.
CB: And especially with that Moon hitting the opposition with Saturn at the same time from Virgo. Virgo and Saturn both share that quality of discernment, but also being able to see the errors in things; like errors being really obvious. And so, having that function of being able to see the problems with something starting to arise, but then that being sometimes a good thing that could be used constructively. ‘Cause once you’ve identified a problem or something that’s out of place, you can get rid of that thing hopefully, or at least start working towards that in order to make things run more smoothly.
CM: Yeah, that—oh, sorry, go ahead.
AC: No, go ahead.
CM: Okay. On that point, when Saturn went into Pisces, that was something I was kind of wondering about myself, just the monthly lunar opposition with Saturn; every month the Moon opposes Saturn. Historically, in the last several years, we’ve been having it across Aquarius and Leo, which is just so different. There’s not a lot of affinity one way or the other just in a qualitative sense. Leo-Sun, very expressive and outgoing. Aquarius, very objective, separate. And I don’t want to dismiss anyone who has placements in Pisces or Virgo. I don’t want to dismiss the difficulty of having Saturn there, and then having that lunar opposition across that every month, but there is a qualitative affinity between, like Chris said, the discernment of Virgo and Saturn also being discerning, and both having high standards, but in the name of quality. And that might be kind of a constructive thing, which I don’t feel like we had when Saturn was in Aquarius.
CB: Yeah, and especially in Pisces, that Saturn tendency; but sometimes that Virgo tendency of criticalness can be experienced by other people externally. But especially with Saturn in Pisces, I can see that energy being turned internally as well and just being very aware of one’s faults and one’s defects in those areas where you have problems that you need to work on. But the identification of that is the first step towards moving towards improvement and self-improvement, especially on an internal level.
CM: Yeah, you gotta see the realistic thing—Saturn. You have to see what is really there. And then with acceptance, Pisces, we can maybe move forward. And then to that point of Valens saying Saturn was ‘self-deprecating’ and ‘hypercritical’ and pointing that inward, that can be helpful. But staying in the middle of the road with that one, not going into the ditch on either side of just self-loathing, we don’t want it to go there necessarily.
CB: Right, for sure. All right, and then immediately after that, Becky in the chat reminds me that I meant to mention our auspicious election for this month, which actually does fall towards the end of the month once we away from eclipse season and then those hard aspects—the exact ones at least—with Mars and Pluto and everything. So the auspicious election for this month that we picked out is set for May 30, 2023, around 2:45 PM local time. So set the chart for around 2:45 PM locally in your own time, and then adjust the Ascendant until the Ascendant is in early Libra. So what you’ll end up with is a chart with Libra rising, and the ruler of the Ascendant is Venus, which is up there at 24° of Cancer in some of those later degrees of Cancer that Austin was mentioning earlier, where Venus is in pretty good shape at this point in the month, and is moving away from the sextile with Uranus at 20° of Taurus, and it’s moving towards that somewhat flowing trine with Neptune at 27° of Pisces.
So Venus is the ruler of the Ascendant. It’s up in the 10th house of career, public reputation, and overall life direction, doing a pretty good job and being pretty productive. It has some zodiacal strength and dignity because it’s actually exchanging signs in a mutual reception with the Moon, which is at 15° of Libra. And the Moon is in the 1st house and applying to square with reception with Venus. So there’s an interchange between the ruler of the 1st house and the ruler of the 10th house of career, which is tying together but also strengthening both of those areas of the chart.
Let’s see, what else is going on here? We’re well out of the Mercury retrograde. One of the things I would recommend doing if you can in your location is try to pick any degree of Libra rising, but also try to get the degree of the Midheaven if you can in your location to be about 3° or 4° of Cancer. Because if you do that you’ll get a nice sextile with Jupiter, and you’ll get a nice trine with Saturn, which is gonna help mitigate the 8th house position of Jupiter and make it a little bit more constructive. And it’s also gonna mitigate the 6th house placement of Saturn at 6° of Pisces and make that a little bit more constructive at the same time. So I think this is a really good chart for 10th house matters pertaining to career, reputation, the public, overall life direction and things like because of the ruler of the Ascendant being in the 10th house. It’s not as good of a chart for 11th house matters pertaining to friends and groups and alliances because it has Mars in the 11th house in a day chart. So if your election or what you’re starting at this time is mainly focused on friends and groups, it might not be great for that. Although there is a little bit of mitigation coming from Jupiter, which is overcoming Mars at this point, and that aspect is separating.
So that is the monthly election for the month, or at least that’s the best electional chart that Leisa and I were able to find. And we actually have picked out three or four other charts this month that we’re about to record for the Auspicious Elections Podcast, which is available to patrons, where we go through each month and we pick out the four or five most auspicious dates that we can for the month ahead. So you can find out more information about that podcast and get access to it at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/elections.
All right, and that kind of brings us to the very, very end of the month at this point. I think we’ve actually covered a surprising amount. We’ve covered just about everything. Let me put this ArchetypalExplorer.com transit timeline up that just shows a visual graphic of all the major transits for this month, both the major ones, as well as the minor ones. And it looks like we’ve covered just about all of them at this point, yeah?
AC: Yeah, I mean, it only took us two-and-a-half-hours.
CB: Yeah, pretty impressive. Hey, I just released a five-and-a-half-hour podcast episode. So you better thank your lucky stars that I did not turn this into one of those, and we were able to get this month ahead forecast out in a meager two-hours-and-twenty-five-minutes. Yeah, you smile grimacingly slightly.
AC: Oh, I’m just having flashbacks to recording the yearly. I don’t know what the recording time was, but as far as ‘sitting in the chair’ time, I think it was around seven hours.
CM: That’s a full day.
CB: That was grueling. That was more than a full day—
AC: Well, yeah.
CB: Even though it doesn’t sound like it. Most normal people think, “So, what? Everybody does an eight-hour workday?” But talking for that long—I think the way you explained it to me, Austin, recently was you’re using so much brain-computing power to be on for that long, and also thinking and trying to say things and pull up all those memories that your mind-computer is actually running much more than you would think it is. Sort of like those studies of how many calories a chess grandmaster burns while they’re playing chess ends up being surprisingly high.
AC: Yeah, well, ‘cause you’re not just talking for six hours. You’re trying to talk as well as possible while thinking your very best thoughts, and then trying to offer that in a way that is engaging or socially-acceptable or whatever.
CB: Right. Well, I’m glad to have the ability to do that and sometimes to do those longer episodes. If we were able to do a day-long or a weekend workshop on a topic and just say everything that we know or wanted to say about that topic, that’s sort of the ability the podcast has afforded me, and us, over the years. So it’s been really cool developing that and having this platform. And I wanted to thank everybody, both in the live chat, and all the patrons that joined us today and gave us some comments because it’s been some actually really useful stuff that’s actually informed and helped change the scope of the discussion. And thanks to all the listeners as well that listened and support the podcast every month ‘cause they make it possible. Thank you both for joining me today. Thanks, Claire, for joining us.
CB: This was great. You did an amazing job. It was great having you on the forecast. What do you have going on in the future? Where can people find out more information about you?
CM: Yeah, thank you, this has been an honor. I’m very delighted to be here. What do I got going on? I am on a website, www.aligninglightastrology.com. Bookings are wide open all the time. I am doing a couple of offerings on YouTube every month. I do my own forecast at the end of every month, live on YouTube. I also do more of a student-focused, Q&A on just general astrology, chat-chat time. It’s like—what is it? The second Thursday of every month, 7:00 PM Central Time over on YouTube. Other than that, I am doing personal exploration/research based on a technique that I got from Ancient Astrology, Volume 1 from Demetra George called ‘the Moon under bond’. There’s an offering on my website for research consultation if anyone’s interested in that. I need help. I need people. So if you want to help me demonstrate that technique, that would be great. But, yeah, I think that’s about it.
CB: Awesome. And, yeah, your YouTube channel is youtube.com/aligninglightastrology—all one word, right?
CM: Correct, yep.
CB: Cool. All right, and I’ll put a link to that in the description below the video, or on the description page on the podcast website. How about you, Austin? I guess your main thing is you got that big conference coming up.
AC: Yeah, for me, I’ll be doing the pre-conference workshop at NORWAC on planetary trios. Then I have a lecture on the natural years of the planets, and then a lecture on the Lot of the Father as applied to the charts of the Menendez brothers who quite famously murdered their father, and it’s a sordid tale that the astrology tells beautifully. But much more interesting than any of that is Sphere + Sundry is due to announce on May 23 what I refer to as the ‘Manhattan Project’, which is clearly a magnum opus. This is a project Kait has been working on actively since 2018, and it’s finally going to be announced. And I can’t give any details about it yet, but it’s fucking fantastic, and it’s sort of a new, high-water mark for astrological magic. So that’s coming on the 23rd.
CB: Nice. So people can sign up for the Sphere + Sundry newsletter for that at sphereandsundry.com. Is that the best way, or social media?
AC: Or they could just keep the window open and feverishly refresh. There’s actually a countdown timer on the website now.
CB: Oh, nice. Okay, I like that. So you can just watch until it happens, until the mystery is revealed.
AC: Yeah, and it’s a magnum opus, ‘magnum Oppenheimer’, I don’t know.
CB: Yeah, and that movie’s coming out, Oppenheimer, this summer. So that’s funny that this has been like a recurring theme for us in this episode.
AC: Yeah, yeah. Well, hopefully this episode is ‘the bomb’, Chris.
CB: Exactly, Austin. All right, well, I’ll put a link to your website in the description page for this episode. It’s austincoppock.com and sphereandsundry.com. As for myself, I’m gonna just keep doing the podcast—that’s gonna be my focus—and continue doing research and episodes. I’m hoping to do an episode on Heliodora soon, and I’m also working on an episode on an ancient astrologer. And, yeah, so I’m basically just gonna keep doing these great workshops on the podcast. And if you want to support that work, or if you listen to the podcast frequently and you’d like to give something back, you can sign up for my Patreon at patreon.com/astrologypodcast, and get early access to new episodes or other subscriber benefits like exclusive podcast episodes. So that’s it for this forecast. Thanks everyone for watching or listening, and we’ll see you again next month.
A special thanks to all the patrons that helped to support the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on Patreon.com. In particular, a shoutout to the patrons on our Producers tier, including: Thomas Miller, Catherine Conroy, Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Mimi Stargazer, and Jeanne Marie Kaplan. If you appreciate the work I’m doing here on the podcast and you’d like to find a way to support it then please consider becoming a patron through our page on Patreon.com. In exchange, you can get access to bonus content that’s only available to patrons of the podcast, such as early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the monthly forecast episodes, our monthly Auspicious Elections Podcast or another exclusive podcast series called The Casual Astrology Podcast, or you can even get your name listed in the credits at the end of each episode. For more information visit Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.
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