A pair of trilliums. © Pat Paquette, 2012.
This week is dominated by jarring squares and inconjuncts, with Mars and Mercury still retrograde – the latter back in Pisces, the keyword of which is “I believe.” What beliefs are being upset and turned on their heads?
We start right out Monday with inconjuncts from the Sun to Mars and Mercury to Saturn. Make sure you’re hearing what the other person really said and vice versa. There’s huge potential here for mixed and messed-up messages. When we get angry and frustrated, chemicals are released in our bodies that unfortunately don’t disappear on the spot when we find out 20 minutes later that what we believed we saw or heard isn’t true.
In my documentary class last quarter, we watched an episode of This American Life in which an Iraqi filmmaker living in the United States tries to understand American beliefs about the war. The piece ends with his observation:
Everybody hears what is easier for them to believe.
Pisces, you’ll recall, isn’t the Fish but the Fishes. There are two of them, and they swim in different directions. “Belief” is a double-edged sword. Used positively, with intent, it can create miracles. Used in ignorance, it produces something like you see in this mini-documentary.
It so happened that I watched another documentary this weekend that featured a lesson about beliefs, also involving war. The lesson was from the unlikeliest of sources, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who was scorned by many for escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The film offers not only a very different perspective, but the reflections of a man at the end of his life looking back on decisions that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings.
“Belief and seeing, they’re both often wrong,” McNamara says. Specifically, he refers to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which he says the Johnson administration misread. “We were wrong. But we had in our minds a mindset that led to that action. And it carried such heavy costs.”
“We see what we want to believe,” filmmaker Errol Morris interjects.
More than 20 hours of interviews went into the making of The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, which won an Oscar for best documentary in 2003. Part of what makes the film so riveting is the haunting music of Philip Glass. Morris and Glass, both Aquarians, worked in close collaboration.
In an interview with Senses of Cinema, Morris discusses the ambiguity that his film brings to McNamara’s character. The public may not want to see their leaders this way, but they should, he says. “They should see the world in complex terms. I prefer the word ‘complex’ to ‘ambiguous.'”
Therein lies the dichotomy of Pisces thinking. There is faith, and there is blind faith. Many people, when confronted with ambiguities and complexities, rely on faith. But when taken to the extreme, it’s blind faith.
With Mercury retrograde in Pisces, it’s time to examine and question our beliefs. You might even want to question your belief in astrology … starting with the belief that it’s a belief. I would love to do a man-on-the-street interview and ask people whether they believe in astronomy. Or psychology.
Speaking of Pisces and former defense secretaries, Dick Cheney is in the news this morning following a heart transplant. Yeah, I know, I can just hear the jokes: “Cheney finally gets a heart,” etc. This man has been a real puzzle to me and to astrologers in general. Somewhere I read one astrologer’s theory that there are two kinds of Aquarius – those ruled by Saturn, the traditional ruler, and those ruled by Uranus, the modern ruler. According to this astrologer, Cheney falls in the first group. Sorry, but that’s not a satisfactory explanation. And anyway, the bigger puzzle is Cheney’s Pisces Moon. I’m an Aquarius with a Pisces Moon. It’s almost enough to make you stop believing in astrology … except that there really are some good explanations.
Cheney is a Rising Virgo. That gives him a sixth-house Sun, which in some ways functions as a Virgo. Aquarius and Virgo are inconjunct signs – they have nothing in common. So right away you have a conflicted personality. Add to that the Pisces Moon, and you’ve got an individual of exceptional complexity and ambiguity.
My theory about Cheney is that his Pisces Moon is way too sensitive for the time and place in which he was born. Men in our culture have a particularly tough time integrating a Pisces Moon, so they tend to overcompensate to protect their soft underbelly. Apparently he started drinking at an early age; escapism through drugs and alcohol is a weakness associated with Pisces. His heart troubles also began when he was relatively young, which isn’t surprising to an astrologer. Planets in the natal sixth house often indicate inherent physical weaknesses. The Sun rules the heart, and Cheney’s Sun is afflicted by a tight square to Saturn in Taurus.
So here you have hypersensitive Moon in Pisces, forced to live side by side with a Sun-Saturn square that points not only to a weak heart but to unresolved father issues and sweeping material insecurity. It’s interesting that Cheney’s ancestors were French Huguenots – a sect persecuted by the Church in the 16th and 17th centuries. Pisces Moon often indicates past-life connections, and this is the karmic baggage Cheney is carrying. It’s enough to make a Cold Warrior drink and drug himself into oblivion.
Of course, being an astrologer, I immediately ran to look at the chart for his transplant. It’s astounding! For starters, last Thursday’s New Moon conjunct Uranus and Mercury was in his eighth house of death and regeneration. The eighth house also is associated with surgery. On Saturday, when the transplant was performed, the conjunction of Uranus and the Sun (ruler of the heart) was exact. Cheney’s lunar South Node is at 2 degrees Aries, the degree of the New Moon, which also was trine his natal Pluto.
Of course, Mercury and Mars (ruler of surgery) were retrograde – Mars is in his first house, within a few degrees of his Ascendant. Is that going to work to his advantage? According to press reports, he’s been waiting nearly two years for a heart – in other words, since the cardinal T-square in 2010. At the height of that configuration, Cheney was in the hospital being fitted with an artificial blood-pumping device.
Heart transplants must be performed when the organ is available, so the timing wasn’t within his control. Ironically, Dick Cheney is now one of the biggest guinea pigs ever in our cosmic astrology lab! We’re going to learn a lot by the success of this operation, his rate of recovery, and any changes in beliefs that result from his near-death experience. Maybe he’ll even end up believing in astrology.
Back to this week’s aspects, the Sun squares Pluto on Thursday, providing a preview of what we might expect when the Uranus-Pluto square is exact starting this summer. Revolution and crackdown are becoming a way of life. Depending on where this square falls in your chart, you may experience your own version of rebellion and harsh response by an authority figure. Don’t push your luck with your boss or parents.
On Saturday, we have another pair of inconjuncts, this time from Mars to Uranus and Venus to Saturn. There’s an explosion waiting to happen, but for some reason, the fuse won’t light. Stifled arguments may come out in passive-aggressive ways. Venus and Saturn are more about feelings of isolation and loneliness, but this should be fairly easy to handle with a nice hot bath or a walk in the park. If there’s no one to buy you flowers, get your own. And remember, chocolate is the goddess’s gift to mankind.
Much love and courage to all,
P.S. StarGuide Spring forecasts are now ready! I’ve still got a backlog of a few days, but I’ve caught up enough to reactivate the PayPal button on the report order page. Many thanks to everyone who has been waiting so patiently.