Biography Work According to Anthroposophy

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Recently, I’ve come across a very interesting book: The Human Life by George O’Neil and Florin Lowndes. This is a book about biography work, a discipline well known among anthroposophers (Giorgio if you are reading this, thanks for the advice!).

For those who never heard about Anthroposophy, it is a conception of the world founded by the Austrian philosopher, social reformer and esotericist Rudolf Steiner. I don’t want to go into that because it’s a huge topic and this post would probably turn into an article about it. In fact Anthroposophy is the mother of Waldorf Education, Biodynamic Agriculture and the Camphill Movement (just to name a few). So if you are interested you can start from here.

Biography Work

In a nutshell, Biography Work is the dynamic understanding of the human life. It is a way of looking at your biography as a piece of artwork you consciously contribute to create. And I say contribute because your life is driven by its own laws. We can’t ignore them; we need to learn the way to listen to them and understand them. In other words, it’s never a creation from scratch. You can’t pretend to be someone you’re not. But you can definitely be an active part in order to live a meaningful life. That’s the goal of Biography Work.

The Chart

The book comes with a beautiful chart (it’s a poster by the way). It pictures the archetype of a human life divided in septennia (the rainbows below) in a way that they can also mirror each other.

The colors help to catch easily the relationship between events and experiences that we wouldn’t connect otherwise. Those correspondences are based on spiritual laws of rhythm and reflection discovered by Rudolf Steiner. You can think of it as a spiritual “breathing”: outer events and inner processing create together the game of life.

This chart is a potent, living symbol we can work with. Check it out, it’s stunning.

Biography Work Chart by George O'Neil

Planetary Spheres

As an astrologer I was at first interested in the correspondences between planets and septennia. From an astrological perspective they are indeed pretty obvious.

The chart starts at the top left corner with the Moon (0-7 years), and proceeds down through the spheres of Mercury (7-14 years) and Venus (14-21 years). This top-down representation means that as you grow your spirit gradually incarnate from the spiritual realms down to earth. This process ends with the formation of what Anthroposophy regards as the “body”. Please note I am simplyfing a lot, since Anthroposophy talks about a physical body, an etheric body and an astral body.

Then, the central part of the incarnation takes place. From 21 to 42 you are under the influence of the Solar Sphere. Here you go through a long threefold phase (3 septennia) of exploration and learning. If everything goes well, that should lead you eventually to understand who you really are. The central part of the incarnation is about the Soul: the second component of the human being.

Finally, the real spiritual journey begins (yes, at 42!). Now you know where you come from and who you really are. You have everything you need to do what you came down on earth for. It’s time for action, the influence of Mars kiks in (42-49 years). This is also called the “second adolescence” and it is a reflection of the experiences that took place on the Sphere of Venus (14-21).

You are now going upwards, ascending the ladder of wisdom. The Sphere of Jupiter (49-56) makes you a mature person, in the same way the Sphere of Mercury (7-14) gave you juvenile vitality and curiosity. At last, those vital forces begin to retreat as the influence of Saturn (56-63) grows stronger. These three septennia refers to the development of what Anthroposophy calls the Spirit.

In conclusion

The journey, of course, proceeds. But you are now a “child of the gods”: you are free from the influence of the planetary spheres. Or at least from the classic septenary, since the correspondences continue with the generational planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). Your life is now one with the life of others.

This article was just an introduction to a very complex subject. If you are not familiar with Anthroposophy the book itself is nevertheless an excellent compendium. If you want to deepen the threefold nature of the human being according to Anthroposophy I highly suggested the book Theosophy by Rudolf Steiner (you can find it here for free).

Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius 2017

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Sometimes the Universe wants us to be aware. And to do that we can’t rely too much on the outside world; we have to count on ourselves. The following weeks are going to be demanding, since today Saturn is joining the Retrograde Club.

When Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Saturn are all retrograde things are not easy. This because usually awareness comes with struggle: it is the impact with reality that makes us open our eyes. But it is also true that we can’t learn the lesson always the hard way. And maybe, this time there is too much to handle.

I know it’s wrong to generalize. We all have our own battles to fight, and the meaning of each planet strongly depends on the individual. But despite any particular interpretation, the level of emotional processing that we are asked this time is very high. We are challenged at the same time on our beliefs (Jupiter), relationships (Venus), sense of security (Mercury) and now also on our moral sense.

Let’s see together what this Saturn Retrograde is all about.

The ruins of an old church as a symbol for Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius

Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius

Saturn is a very slow planet. In fact, it is going to be retrograde for almost 5 months: from April 7 to August 26. This means that its effects are not necessarily going to manifest right away. Nevertheless, they will inevitably be felt. This is after all how Saturn usually works: it gives you all the time to get ready, but you’d better be when it hits.

Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius is about ethics and morality. We could say that it’s a sort of moralizing energy that easily turns into bigotry. Do you usually feel morally superior to other people? If that’s the case, this long lasting transit could be very important for you—as an opportunity.

When a planet turns retrograde, it mainly affects us inwardly. In that sense, Saturn acts like the super-ego: it constantly reminds us our moral flaws, making us feel guilty for everything. The more you resonate with this behaviour (if you are a person who tends to blame other people, for example), the more this inner voice is going to torture you. It literally turns on you.

The lesson to learn here is to be just. You shouldn’t judge other people on the basis of your moral standards without trying to put yourself in their shoes. Also remember that the way you treat other people is going to reflect on the way you treat yourself. I don’t usually quote the Gospels, but this verse makes the point quite nicely:

“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2).

Saturn Symbol

When will all this end?

Usually, I don’t like this question. But in this case I think it’s totally understandable. So, here’s the list of the end dates for the retrograde planets I mentioned above:

  • Venus goes direct on April 16
  • Mercury goes direct on May 4
  • Jupiter goes direct on  June 10
  • Saturn goes direct on August 26

Mercury Retrograde in Taurus 2017 – 4 Simple Tips to Handle It

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We have reached the second round of Mercury Retrograde for this year. From April 10 to May 4 Mercury is going to move backwards in the sky. As always, this is an important opportunity to tune in with the rhythms of the stars, and use them to our advantage. I say this because many people love to complain about Mercury Retrograde. Finally, they have an excuse for everything.

But the point is that Mercury Retrograde is about awareness. The retrograde motion suggests—and facilitates—introspection. The mind turns inwardly, and it’s time for retrospectives. So let’s see what lies ahead for the next three weeks and how we can handle it.

A bridge in the forest, symbol for Mercury Retrograde in Taurus

Sense of Security put to the Test

Mainly, Mercury Retrograde in Taurus is about money concerns. Usually they are triggered by delays or misunderstandings in payments—which sadly are very common. But we need to understand that this is only the outer side of the matter. We don’t have to fall in the everyday materialistic mindset: there’s more than that. There’s a lesson to learn.

As always, you are going to make it through. What’s really important here—the lesson—is the way you react to the situation. In other words, you have the opportunity to better understand the way you react to uncertainty. In fact, even though Taurus is strictly related to wealth, we can’t reduce this transit to money issues.

Please note that money is just a symbol. In this case, the meaning behind it is: “what makes us feel safe” or “the source of abundance”. Everybody knows that people with strong taurine traits love to stock food and money. For them it’s important to feel they can always afford what they love. Mercury Retrograde puts this sense of security to the test.

This is the way I interpret the entrance of Mercury back in Aries on April 21. Basically, our warrior personality (Mars-Aries-Fire) activates when we feel threatened. For this reason the second part of the transit is going to be about boundary issues, being Taurus the sign of our territory. The initial sense of insecurity can turn into the feeling of being invaded.

How to Handle this Mercury Retrograde

  1. Give it a Context. It is very important to understand where this challenge is going to manifest. To do that, simply check where 5° Taurus and 25° Aries fall in your Natal Chart. Which houses (areas of life) are involved? If you don’t know it, prick up your ears. You will realize it soon by yourself.
  2. Double-Check the Information. When it comes to Mercury Retrograde, communication is key. Most concerns can be contained—if not completely avoided—by an effective communication. Misunderstandings are very common during these transits, so you must learn the art of not worrying until you are a hundred percent certain of the actual problem.
  3. Know Yourself. How do you react to uncertainty? For example, I react trying to plan everything up and keep things under control. Like most of us I don’t like uncertainty at all. So what I usually try to do is to make the uncertain, certain. This is a clear expression of my Mars in Virgo—my warrior side. Efficiency and effectiveness are my weapons, what are yours?
  4. Practice Mindfulness. Taurus are hard workers, but they usually have a very calm pace. Sometimes this makes them look lazy, even though they are not. What we want to do is to embrace this attitude inside, bringing it in our mind (Mercury). To do that you can try with mindfulness, a widely practiced discipline that can give you extraordinary results.

Happy Spring Equinox 2017

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A small green plant as a symbol of the Spring Equinox 2017

Hey everybody, happy Spring Equinox 2017!

Today light and darkness are perfectly balancing each other out. This is the day when we can celebrate the forces of light taking over darkness. The promise of the new light we witness every year at Christmas (Yule, the Wheel) is kept in this day. It’s part of the great process of Nature.

This is a very important date for astrologers. According to our art, this is the first of the year which starts with the entrance of the Sun in Aries. Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac, a powerful fire sign that grants us the initial boost typical of new beginnings.

So, what about you?

  • What were your Resolutions for the New Year? After all they are just like seeds, so this is the right time for making them sprout. Start to work on them, as the fire energy of the new year rises.
  • How is it going with Venus Retrograde and Jupiter Retrograde? They are important opportunities to work on our belief system. In addition, they are part of the Astrological Chart of 2017, so they are going to affect us for the following 12 months.
  • What does the warrior side of your personality look like? How did it help you to overcome darkness in the past? Since Mars is the ruler of Aries, this is a great time to reconnect with this powerful archetype.

Also remember to take a break and have a walk in Nature. Sometimes it’s all it takes to clear your mind and recharge the batteries. We are so taken by our daily life that we often forget to simply look around and appreciate beauty. As Dostoevsky once said, beauty will save the world. And what is it, if not symmetry and balance?

Take care and have a good week 🙏

Sun Entrance in Aries 2017 – The Spring Equinox

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The Spring Equinox is upon us! Temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer and longer. Have you already gone for a walk in nature? You definitely should, the Sun is smiling at us (here in Italy at least). But what about the stars?

As you may know according to Astrology the Spring Equinox is the first of the year. It is the moment when the Sun enters Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. A new cycle starts, and since Astrology holds beginnings in high regard this event is huge. As your life is affected by the moment of your birth, so is the next year.

Let’s take a closer look to the chart of the Sun entrance in Aries.

Sun Entrance in Aries 2017 - The Spring Equinox - Astrological Chart

A Pressure Cooker

First of all, we have an excess of fire energy here. Usually it’s  not uncommon to find—as in this case—both Mercury and Venus in Aries as well. This because they never stray too far away from the Sun. But this year we also have Uranus, the Moon and Saturn: six out of ten planets in fire signs. Uranus is nothing new: it is in Aries for several years. On top of that, Saturn is in Sagittarius since 2015. But the Moon? Seriously? Do we really need other fire?

Fire is the element of action, will, passion, desire and ultimately transformation. No need to say that the last year has been quite… eventful. So we can expect this trend to continue the next year.

But how is it Mars? We want to check it out because the relief valve of all this fire is usually the god of war. It is in Taurus, though—duh! Taurus is about stability, consolidation and tranquility… so basically the relief valve is not going to work properly. He tends to defend the castle and never come out! And those left out—well—they can go to hell.

The Cardinal T-Square

So, what’s cooking? The Cardinal T-Square, of course. We have already discussed about it, so let’s sum it up briefly. Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter are battling in the sky, so to speak. They represent respectively the financial elites (Pluto in Capricorn), the people who stand up all around the world protesting for social justice (Uranus in Aries) and the legal systems (Jupiter in Libra) that abide mainly what is formally correct rather than what feels right for the people.

In the chart of the year we find Saturn conjunct the Moon. This means that the public opinion (the Moon represents the mass) is going to feel blocked and oppressed. The conjunction with Saturn is always very challenging; and in this case it is partile, meaning that the planets are on the same degree at 28° Sagittarius. In the end, having a weak Mars we can expect that the general discontent will increase. Coincidentally, the Saturn-Moon conjunction makes a trine with Uranus. This means that the protests will definitely rise, but their effect for this year will still be very weak due to Saturn.

On top of that, Mercury in Aries will set the media on fire. This will contribute to the above mentioned general discontent. Nothing new, right? This is after all a very well known media strategy to make us feel vulnerable and scared, as the Moon conjunct Saturn aspect suggests.

Both the Benefics are Retrograde

In the chart of the year Jupiter and Venus are both retrograde—which doesn’t help at all. Usually the benefics are able to balance tension with harmony (Venus) and pessimism with confidence (Jupiter). But in this case they are retrograde, which means that mainly they are going to make us question ourselves.

We can say that all that rising frustration can be an opportunity for questioning what we think to be right or wrong (read Jupiter Retrograde in Libra 2017 for further details) and the way passion affects our relationships (see Venus Retrograde in Aries 2017).

In Conclusion

I am not going to lie: this year is going to be tough. Obviously this is a very general interpretation that concerns the collective unconscious on a global scale. Each single country, as well as each single person, is going to be affected in a very specific way that doesn’t necessarily match this reading. However, the dynamic aspects involved (T-Square), the benefics retrograde, the Moon-Saturn conjunction, the excess of fire and a very weak Mars are all symptoms of both tension and energy stagnation.

Venus Retrograde in Aries 2017

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Venus is going to be retrograde soon. From March 5 to April 16 we are going to see her moving backwards in the sky. In this article we will explain the general meaning of Venus Retrograde, as well as her entrance back into Pisces.

A red flower, symbol for Venus Retrograde

First off, Venus Retrograde. As every planet moving backwards, Venus Retrograde directs her energies inside instead of outside. This means she is mainly going to affect your inner life. This is a moment for second thoughts, because among other things Venus represents our judgment. And in Aries (where she is in detriment) she is not good. She is the cause of decisions made on a whim, rushed conclusions and self-overestimation issues. This because Aries simply can’t listen to reason and always wants to be right.

Hard Self-Criticism

As you can see having second thoughts comes naturally here. Venus stops (literally), turns and says: what am I doing? The first step of this process is ruled by a very strong Mars in Aries. This means we can expect us to be very hard on ourselves. That self-criticism will regard the particular House (area of life) affected by the transit—especially if we have messed it up. Just check 13° Aries on your Natal Chart.

My advice is to simply accept it. Everybody is hard on themselves sometimes. After all we need to be, in order to grow and learn. It’s all right. But if your Saturn (basically your super-ego, the voice of your conscience) is very strong, it may be distressing. So keep that in mind and don’t overdo it.

Overwhelming passion

Venus is of course the Goddess of Love. From this perspective, her transit in Aries (which also featured a conjunction with Mars) had a strong passionate symbolism in the last month. But was it maybe too much? When retrograde, Venus tends to second-guess her feelings: “Was it just sex? Am I really in love with him?”. To answer such questions is not going to be easy, since the passion of Aries clouds your judgement.

My advice is to just take your time. Let everything settle down a bit. Again, Venus stops because she needs a break. All this has been intense, maybe too much. Her personal boundaries are at risk, and she feels like she is too involved. Just slow down.

Venus Retrograde back in Pisces

On April 4 Venus will be back in Pisces. This is a happy ending scenario since she is going to be in the sign of her exaltation. We are talking about universal love and compassion, fueled by both romanticism and wisdom (Jupiter). This means that although in this process you will encounter many doubts and second thoughts, eventually you will be able to shed light on your feelings.

At best, it is true love. In the worst case it wasn’t, but you will be nevertheless able to clearly recognize your mistakes, to the point you won’t be angry with him (or her).

In conclusion, I’d like to point out that Jupiter is still retrograde (and it will be up to June 9). When both the benefics are retrograde, it can be a challenging moment, since we can’t count on them for protection. Still, we are definitely encouraged to transform both our belief system (aka Shadow Work) and  the way we judge people.

 

Annular Solar Eclipse in Pisces 2017

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An Annular, Solar Eclipse is like an ovule. The Sun disc appear bigger than the Moon, creating a ring of light in the sky at the peak of the event. We can think of it as a sort of “egg of change”—fecundated by the solar force.

As we have discussed before, a Solar Eclipse is about new beginnings. If the North Lunar Node is involved, they are constructive, amplifying and positive. Whereas if the eclipse occurs on South Lunar Node—as in this case—they are destructive and negative. But don’t freak out.

Solar annular eclipse of January 15, 2010 in Jinan, Republic of China (source: Wikimedia)

Positive or negative are relative concepts. Destruction can be functional just as construction can be dysfunctionalTwitter . It all depends on what you need right now. If you are turning your world upside down this eclipse might be right for you. But if you’re looking for a peaceful stability it could definitely get in the way!

Mars and Mercury activating the Eclipse

Mars will give dynamism to the event (as if it was needed!). In particular, the Cardinal T-Square—Jupiter in Libra, Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn—will be triggered by the transit of the God of War. Being in Aries, Mars will give the major configuration a great boost. The conjunction with Uranus (freedom, revolution, sudden changes) is an explosive mix that will not take long to manifest.

The Cardinal T-Square is about tension between legal justice (Jupiter in Libra), social justice (Uranus in Aries) and financial power (Pluto in Capricorn). Before long, we can expect the political landscape to suffer a serious shock, especially for the areas most affected by the eclipse (see below).

In addition the Sun and the Moon are going to be in conjunction with Neptune, lord of the collective unconscious feelings. This means all this will touch deeply the public opinion.

As always, the effects of the eclipse will reveal themselves in the following months. Since it’s going to take place at 8° 12′ Pisces, we need to monitor that spot for upcoming transits. In particular Mercury is going to hit 9° Pisces on March 3, which is also when Jupiter and Uranus are going to perfect their opposition.

We can conclude that the eclipse effects will show up very soon. If you want to see how the eclipse is going to affect you please check 9° Pisces on your Natal Chart to see if any planet or angle are triggered. If so, the houses affected are mainly the ones represented by the planet.

Most affected areas

The eclipse is going to take place on February 26 at 14:58 (UTC Time) at 9° Pisces. It is going to be visible in South/West Africa, Much of South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Antarctica. However we must not think that those places are also the ones most affected astrologically.

The power of any astrological event depends on the houses. The closer to the angles (Ascendant AS, Midheaven MC, Descendant DS and Imum Coeli IC), the more powerful it is. Through Astrocartography we can discover exactly where the eclipse is going to thrive.

Below is a list of places most affected:

  • AS: USA, North/West Coast (east of San Francisco/Portland/Seattle), Canada (east of Vancouver)
  • MC: Brazil (east of Rio de Janeiro, west of Fortaleza)
  • DS: Russia (east of St. Petersbourg, west of Moscow), Finland (western border), Iraq (west of Baghdad)
  • IC: Japan (South/West Tokio, Mt. Fuji), Australia (Adelaide)