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    The Awkward but Fruitful Marriage of Houses Three and Six

    The Awkward but Fruitful Marriage of Houses Three and Six

    We astrologers take the universe and all its possibilities that have ever existed or ever will exist, then we divide that huge pie into twelve slices. Each house of the horoscope represents an archetypal field of such epic proportions that it would require an infinite number of astrologers writing an infinite number of articles in an infinite number of Mountain Astrologer magazines to thoroughly explore any one of them. When Tem Tarriktar invited me to write an article about houses three and six, I breathed a sigh of relief — ah, only 1/6th of all infinity!

    My aim here in this brief article is not to offer an exhaustive analysis of these two vast subjects. Instead, I aim to explore the curious, awkward linkages between the two of them. Underlying everything is the fundamental paradox that both merges and divides houses three and six: They are forever joined at the hip by their common association with Mercury, while they are simultaneously forever at loggerheads via the fact that they square each other.

    “Rulership” is a fraught question in the modern astrological world, with many arguments about modern versus classical rulerships. Some astrologers object to the notion of specific planets intrinsically ruling specific houses. To my way of thinking, rulership is essentially about an energetic affinity. In my own practice and teaching, I employ (for example) the notion of Mars being the natural ruler of both Aries and the 1st house; Venus, of Taurus and the 2nd house; and so on. From this perspective, Mercury, as the ruler of Gemini and Virgo, also “rules” houses three and six. Semantic arguments aside, the foundation of what I want to present here is that there is an underlying pattern of common astrological DNA linking the 3rd house to the 6th via their shared symbolic association with Mercury.

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    Astrology And The Twelve Steps Programs

    Astrology And The Twelve Steps Programs

    Throughout the centuries, many people have been brought to their knees by addictions of various sorts. Many of them have found healing in twelve step programs based on the model of Alcoholics Anonymous. As most of us know, these programs of recovery are not limited to alcohol issues. They have spun off similar programs for drug dependencies. With only a few modifications, there are also twelve step programs for food addiction, sexual addiction, and codependent behavior. In a similar vein, there are the ancillary programs called Al-Anon and Alateen for people who have been in intimate involvements with friends, lovers, or family members who have suffered from such addictions. Those programs are based on the same twelve steps too.

    No surprise: many people engaged in recovery have also turned to astrological counsel for support. Over the years, many such souls have found their way to my office. As a group, they are impressive. I have learned a lot from them. To overcome a disease such as alcoholism requires two virtues in abundance: first, courage – and, second, enough humility to recognize and admit the existence of the problem.

    Inevitably, as an astrologer, I’ve often wondered about why there are twelves steps, not ten, or some other round number. Could there be some interlock between astrology and these life-saving systems? At one level, I’m confident simply saying “of course there is a connection.” No one needs to believe in astrology for it to work. Twelve is an organic, magic number, woven into all archetypal processes, not just astrology. That’s enough evidence for me right there.

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    Jupiter Enters Capricorn - What Does it Mean for You?

    Jupiter Enters Capricorn - What Does it Mean for You?

    by Steven Forrest

    Jupiter dominates the astrological headlines this month. As most of you probably know, it crosses out of Sagittarius and into Capricorn on December 2nd. The old astrologers called Jupiter the "Greater Benefic." One piece of corroborating evidence lies in how nicely it cooperates with astrologers, taking about twelve years to get around the Zodiac – and thus conveniently spending about one year, give or take a little bit, in each sign. This passage is no exception – Jupiter remains in Capricorn until December 19, 2020, when it crosses into Aquarius.

    When Jupiter does that, Saturn will have already been kept waiting for it there for three days. The two heavyweight planets of the solar system form their every-two-decade conjunction in very early Aquarius on December 21, 2020. 

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    Are Intercepted Signs a Problem?

    Are Intercepted Signs a Problem?

    When a sign is completely swallowed up by a house – never touching a house cusp, in other words – it is said to be “intercepted.” I get a lot of questions about that astrological situation so I thought it would be a good topic for a newsletter.

    Let me start by saying that in some systems of house division, interception is just not possible. Many astrologers nowadays are drawn to the old ways, using traditional “Whole Sign houses.” No interceptions are possible there, since, if you have Gemini rising, everything in Gemini is treated as being “in the first house.” Houses and signs are conflated in that Whole Sign system, so interception is simply not relevant.

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    Healing the Collective Hurt

    Healing the Collective Hurt

    by Steven Forrest

    The month of October brings us a hot combination of Scorpionic energies and quite a lot of nodal stimulus as well. This promises to provide us all with a bouncy ride, but one which might do us all a lot of good. We will see it reflected in our own lives and hearts, and it will certainly leave its signature on the headlines.

    One quick take-away is that this panel of astrological energies is guaranteed to bring out the best in the best of us, while simultaneously accentuating the worst in the worst of us. All in all, I expect that bodes well for the kinds of people who are motivated to read or listen to this newsletter. 

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    Botched Transits and Progressions

    Botched Transits and Progressions

    I got a great question from a client a few weeks ago. I felt it was rich enough territory for a newsletter. Let me open with her words:

    “When you have come through a major transit or progression and totally fail to get it right, what does the high road look like from there? In practical terms, we often just have to live with whatever consequences that may become a non-negotiable part of our lives after a less-than-optimal response. Life goes on, the stars continue to spin, new challenges await. But is it worthwhile to ask if any of the higher potentials of a "botched" transit/progression are actively recoverable? Or is it simply a time to assess, acknowledge the loss and the lesson, and move on?  Is it all, you know. . . starlight under the bridge once a transit is over?”

    Let me get rolling here with a question that has become a cliché: is there really any such thing as a mistake?  I’m a Capricorn, so my answer is pretty simple: yes indeed – mistakes are part of life. The word serves a useful purpose and we need it in our vocabularies. And when we do make mistakes, there is always a price to pay.

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    Goodbye Tem

    Goodbye Tem

    Tem Tarriktar, the beloved publisher of The Mountain Astrologer magazine, passed away last July 8th. He had thyroid cancer. In the Age of Facebook and Instagram, most of you reading this probably knew of his illness and his heroic battle against it over the past many months. Likely, you knew of his passing within hours as well.  Astrology is a small world, and at times such as this, our field and all of us who comprise it feel like a family. Death draws us all a little closer to the ancient hearth-fire.

    All the standard things one might say in the face of such a loss remain true, even though familiarity might weaken them to the point that they sound like cliches: Tem will be sorely missed. Our hearts go out to those he left behind. We will always remember him. We know he lives on in spirit and in his legacy of great work.

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    Mercury Goes Retrograde July 2019

    Mercury Goes Retrograde July 2019

    by Steven Forrest

    Beware! Beware! Mercury will be retrograde from July 7 through the last day of the month! I’ve found that Mercury doesn’t even have to be retrograde for it to be blamed for every minor misfortune, miscalculation, and misunderstanding that might arise.  Say “Venus retrograde” or “Jupiter retrograde,” and you get a blank look. But utter the fearful words, “Mercury is retrograde” and the blood drains from people’s faces."

    For some reason, this little piece of technical astrology has lately entered the popular imagination just as deeply knowing that you are a Gemini or a Taurus. And, to people who only know a little bit about astrology, Mercury retrograde spells trouble.

    Ask any experienced astrologer, at least one who does not require mood stabilizers, and you are likely to hear a more nuanced attitude: “Mercury retrograde is a real phenomenon – but don’t sell your earthly possessions and join a doomsday cult because of it.”

    Keep some perspective, in other words.

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    My 12th House Progressed Moon

    My 12th House Progressed Moon

    Saturn is transiting over my natal Sun, so I am trying to walk my talk – working like a maniac, in other words, trying to keep my eye on the prize.

    At the same time, my progressed Moon is passing through the twelfth house. True to form, I don’t know exactly what I am doing.

    It is a strange astrological combo-platter, as you can plainly see.

    At times such as these, my appreciation of astrology really goes through the roof. I look into that bright mirror in the sky and, among other benefits, I feel a whole lot less crazy than I might feel without astrology.

    I bet that you feel that way too, or you wouldn’t be tuning into my monthly astrological ramble.

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    Spiritual But Not Religious

    Spiritual But Not Religious

    by Steven Forrest

    There is a growing group of humans on the earth who have turned their backs on religion while maintaining a personal connection with the divine. Sociologists label them “spiritual but not religious,” which seems like a fair enough term. The category is an emerging one since there has not been much precedent for it in history – as with so many truly new things, you first have to believe it before you can see it.

    For a long while, in other words, there was no “spiritual but not religious” box to check on anyone’s survey.  It was strictly, are you a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, or a None of the Above?

    Behind this cultural development, there is a lot of astrology. And it is the kind that suggests a lasting sea-change rather than a passing fashion.

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