Mars in Aries 2020 – Rebuilding the World Together

Reading Time : 5 minutes

Mars in Aries 2020. A vibrant sword pointing up to the sky. A rising energy flowing into the arms. A runner at the start ready to sprint. A hand letting go the arrow stretched in the bow. Pure energy ready to burst, the lit fuse.

This is one of the most important transits of 2020. Usually Mars stays in a sign for roughly a couple of months. But this year the God of War is going to stay in his diurnal domicile for 6 months, till 2021 Epiphany.

Mars in Aries 2020: people camping together in the desert at sunset
Picture of Tomáš Malík By Pexels

As you can imagine Mars in his sign is particularly strong. Aries marks the beginning of spring, the time of the year when life forces of Nature are strongest. Just think about how quickly the vegetation cover changes with the arrival of the new season. Flowers and buds literally explode.

A warrior can definitely use all this life-force. In fact Mars is Aries corresponds to the archetype of the tireless warrior who fights to the end. Since we are going through a very hard time, having available all these fiery energies is a blessing. We all need a fresh start.

Mars in Aries 2020: a fist

Fighting with Courage through a Difficult Recovery

Mars in Aries is the right energy to tackle obstacles or enemies. To the point that if Mars doesn’t find any, he’s gonna make some anyway. This because the Warrior is in his element only in a battlefield, and for this reason he always tends to create one. We are far away from the reasonable compromises of Libra. Mars is a warmonger.

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Neptune Retrograde in Pisces 2020 – Imaginative Knowledge

Reading Time : 3 minutes

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
Edgar Allan Poe

As every year, Neptune in Pisces turns retrograde for about 6 months. The power of chaos and images fuels Midsummer dream state. Waves of shapeless colors, distant sounds, blurred encounters, expanding feelings, boundless horizons, mystical impulses. Nature whispers to let yourself go and give up control.

During its retrograde motion, Neptune is going to make two sextiles with Jupiter in Capricorn. As we know, Jupiter in Capricorn is in its fall, meaning that the planet of philosophers is dealing with hard lessons coming from the earthly realm of matter (Capricorn). And we all know what these lessons are, considering 2020 so far.

Neptune Retrograde in Pisces 2020, dream-like clouds
PICTURE OF Mont Photographs BY Pexels

Still, these sextiles are going to loosen the grip. Many people are dreaming about a better future, looking at the worldwide chaos as an opportunity for change. The neptunian energy can be the amniotic fluid that provides a space for these ideas to grow, a gestation for a better world.

The importance of dreams unfolds itself clearly before our eyes. No human vision can be pursued if we lack the ability to imagine it. Imagining requires escaping from the world of senses, emerging in a place of pure thoughts where anything is possible. A place where we risk to get lost, abducted by the fairies. But also a place where we can develop a real bridge towards higher realities.

Anthroposophy and Imaginative Knowledge

How is it possible to gain more consciousness about this inner dimension? How can we process the chaotic world of images we bear inside, to give birth to something completely new? Our modern world is insanely saturated with images that pull us from every direction.

One possible answer comes from Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy that indicates a way through this chaotic world of inner images, to develop a new state of consciousness called Imaginative Knowledge. Developing a new state of consciousness, especially in regards to the life of images, is a neptunian challenge for modern times.

You can think of Imaginative Knowledge as the transformation of our normal dream state to a higher octave. A state of consciousness that would enable us to penetrate in the world of the living Archetypes, Plato’s world of Ideas that he called Hyperuranion—a place beyond the heavens.

In this state of consciousness we experience each component of the inner image as if it was “intelligent”, a symbol constantly and intuitively streaming meanings towards our mind. It’s not a mere vision, something we passively undergo. We feel our will, as well as our whole inner world, actively united with the experience.

For more information about Imaginative Knowledge, and higher states of consciousness as described by Rudolf Steiner you can find more information in his book “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds And Its Attainment”, freely available online.

In addition, if you are interested in Anthroposophy I highly suggest Giorgio Tarditi Spagnoli’s blog. Specifically you can find a recent article about the 7 Nights of Midsummer Dreams that relates this period of the year with the 13 Holy Nights following the winter solstice. Check it out!

Aspects of Neptune Retrograde (UTC)

Tue 23-06-2020  6:32:09 Neptune <20Pis57> S/R
Sun 12-07-2020 20:43:04     Sun (20Can51) Tri [20Pis51] Neptune
Mon 27-07-2020 18:06:20 Jupiter [20Cap39] Sex [20Pis39] Neptune
Mon 27-07-2020 19:47:45   Venus (20Gem39) Squ [20Pis39] Neptune
Thu 30-07-2020 20:44:21 Mercury (20Can35) Tri [20Pis35] Neptune
Thu 27-08-2020 23:12:31   Venus (19Can57) Tri [19Pis57] Neptune
Sun 30-08-2020 20:43:56 Mercury (19Vir52) Opp [19Pis52] Neptune
Fri 11-09-2020 22:25:44     Sun (19Vir32) Opp [19Pis32] Neptune
Mon 12-10-2020  9:06:44 Jupiter (18Cap45) Sex [18Pis45] Neptune
Sun 18-10-2020 16:48:45   Venus (18Vir37) Opp [18Pis37] Neptune
Tue 10-11-2020  7:11:31     Sun (18Sco15) Tri [18Pis15] Neptune
Tue 24-11-2020  6:39:41 Mercury (18Sco10) Tri [18Pis10] Neptune
Sun 29-11-2020  2:36:35 Neptune <18Pis09> S/D

As always if you enjoyed this article please subscribe to the Astronomical Newsletter using the bar at the top of the website. Thanks for reading, happy summer dreams everyone.

Anthroposophy and Astrology — PART 3: Mercury and Venus

Reading Time : 8 minutes

In PART 1 of the series Anthroposophy and Astrology we have discussed about the Horoscope, whereas in PART 2 we deepened the different zodiacs from an anthroposophical perspective. In this article we are going to talk about a very controversial topic: the inversion of the names of planets Mercury and Venus. For those not familiar with this issue, let’s jump right into it through this quote by Rudolf Steiner:

“Here I would like to add one thing, because misunderstandings have crept into the naming of the planets. In all occult nomenclature, what the astronomers call Venus is called Mercury, and vice versa. Astronomers know nothing of the mysteries behind this, because in the past it was not desired that the esoteric names should be revealed. This happened in order to conceal certain things.”

Egyptian Myths and Mysteries – Lecture IV – September 5, 1908

This is not the only time Steiner talked about it. Actually, there are many quotes referring to the same naming issue. I’d like to credit this important article by R. S. W. Bobbette that reports a huge list of Rudolf Steiner’s quotes about this topic. For the sake of this post we are not going through all of them, but if you’re interested check it out.

As you can see here Steiner is talking about the names of planets Mercury and Venus that were, at some point in history, interchanged. In his words, this was purposely made because it was not desired for the real names to be revealed. So Venus was called Mercury, and Mercury Venus. But why was that?

To understand the whole picture, the first thing I’d like to point out is that Steiner made a distinction between the esoteric (inner) knowledge of the Mysteries and the so called exoteric, outer knowledge. This is a very important aspect of the whole issue if we want to understand it correctly.

Mercury and Venus in the Copernican System

Now, with this distinction in mind, let’s take a look to the quote below. The quote is taken from the cycle of lectures “Spiritual Hierarchies”, and what’s interesting about it is that it comes with a diagram of the planetary spheres:

“You may be astonished at the sequence in which I have placed the planets [see picture below]. When the earth is here, and the Sun there, you would have thought that I should draw Mercury in the vicinity of the Sun, and Venus here. But no! For these Planets have had their names interchanged, in later Astronomy. That which is called Mercury to-day was called Venus in all ancient teachings, and that which is called Venus was called Mercury.

Thus, note it well, one does not understand the ancient writings when one takes that which in them is called Venus or Mercury for the Venus or Mercury of the present day. That which is said about Venus has to be applied to the Mercury of to-day, and what is said about Mercury to Venus. For those two designations were later interchanged. On the occasion when man turned the world system topsy-turvy, when the earth was deprived of its central position, the perspective was not only changed, but the designations of Mercury and Venus were also changed.”

Spiritual Hierarchies —Lecture VI — 1909
Mercury and Venus — Celestial Spheres — Spiritual Hierarchies
A picture of the Copernican System described in Spiritual Hierarchies —Lecture VI

The planetary arrangement in this picture is very peculiar. Here Steiner uses both the heliocentric model (Copernicus) and the geocentric model (Ptolemy) for the inner planets. As you can see the Earth, the Moon, Mercury, Venus and the Sun are drawn with both the heliocentric and geocentric orbits.

What Steiner is doing is starting from the heliocentric model that we all know. And he is arranging the planets in a specific position that makes possible the overlapping between this model and the old geocentric model. In doing so, he is suggesting that this overlapping is plausible. Honestly I don’t know why he doesn’t introduce the Tychonic System at this point, because what he is doing is basically describing it.

We are going to talk about it later as the solution to this riddle. But for now, let’s go back to Mercury and Venus. In the quote, Steiner says that “these Planets have had their names interchanged, in later Astronomy”. But was it really so? Did Copernicus inverted the names of these two planets? That would be something extremely well known by common astronomers because it has to do with the history of astronomy itself.

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Anthroposophy and Astrology — PART 2

Reading Time : 9 minutes

In PART 1 of this series of posts about Anthroposophy and Astrology, we have discussed about the Horoscope from an anthroposophical perspective. We have also talked about Steiner’s point of view on Astrology. We have pointed out the differences between spiritual science and symbolic interpretation, and explained why their approach is fundamentally different.

In this article we are going to tackle one of the main issues for astrologers interested in Anthroposophy. What is the “right zodiac” to use in astrological charts? This is an old debate in the astrological community. But what has Anthroposophy to say about it? Let’s jump right into it.

Tropical, Sidereal or Astronomical Zodiac?

Signs and constellations are not the same thing. Explaining the differences between Tropical and Sidereal Zodiac is not the purpose of this post, so if you are new to the topic you can deepen it further here. Long story short, we can say that zodiacal signs are not strictly speaking a group of stars (constellation) but a uniform division of the ecliptic into twelve segments. They depend on seasons, not on the actual position of the stars.

This is a very well known topic for astrologers. Tropical Zodiac is the zodiac that refers to signs, whereas Sidereal Zodiac—sidus meaning star—to constellations. Every year the two zodiacs slowly separate, to the point that right now they are one sign distant from each other (see the picture below).

Both zodiacs are used by ancient and respectable traditions. It would be inconclusive trying to demonstrate which is the “right zodiac”, simply because they are the result of different types of investigations. But what does Anthroposophy say about it? What’s the zodiac used by Rudolf Steiner?

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Anthroposophy and Astrology — PART 1

Reading Time : 9 minutes

If you are reading this article most likely you are going to find what you’re looking for in this series of posts. Many people have the interest—sometimes the urge—to answer to many issues regarding Astrology in the light of Anthroposophy. Do know that you’re not alone.

In this first article I am going to touch the main issues that any anthroposopher interested in Astrology would stumble upon. The same applies to any astrologer concerned about what Anthroposophy has to say in regards to this hermetic art. There are indeed a few controversial topics that need to be clarified and this series of articles goes in that direction.

Please also note that this is part of a research: any valuable piece of information you might have to contribute—or deny—the content of this post is highly appreciated. We’re all seeking the truth.

The Horoscope

First of all we need to understand whether Astrology is plausible or not from an anthroposophical perspective. As any practitioner knows, Astrology holds its foundation in a very simple principle: the life of anything born on earth is described by the configuration of the sky at the moment of its birth.

Astrology is the art of interpreting this sky configuration (the astrological chart) to get a better understanding of the object of our investigation. Potentially, this could be literally anything: a person, a dog, a tree, a marriage, a company, etc. Their astrological chart describes both their life and potential.

From an anthroposophical standpoint, it does exist a strong connection between a person and the heavens at the moment of birth. This quote from Rudolf Steiner will dispel any doubt:

“Now it is the active forces of the stellar world that impel a man into physical incarnation; and when clairvoyant consciousness observes a person, it can perceive in his organization how this has resulted from the co-operation of cosmic forces. And if one were to photograph a person’s brain at the moment of birth and then photograph also the heavens lying exactly over the person’s birthplace, this latter picture would be of exactly the same appearance as that of the human brain. As certain centres were arranged in the latter, so would the stars be in the photograph of the heavens. Man has within himself a picture of the heavens, and every man has a different one, according to whether he was born in this place or that, and at this or that time. This is one indication that man is born from out of the whole cosmos.”

Spiritual Guidance of Mankind: Lecture III, 8 June 1911

In this passage Steiner clearly and undeniably confirms the validity of the aforementioned astrological principle, specifically in regard to human beings. In my research I’ve never found such a clear statement about something else—plants, animals, a marriage, or a company for example.

However all Steiner’s instructions regarding biodynamic agriculture point out the importance of the appropriate moment for sowing according to the position of the stars. This also applies to other operations such transplanting or cropping, but sowing better reflects this principle.

Regarding non physical beings (marriage, company and such), we will return on this later on discussing about the laying of the foundation stone of the first Goetheanum. For now we can all agree on the fact that Anthroposophy validates the foundational principle of the natal chart or horoscope.

The First Goetheanum
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Biography Work According to Anthroposophy

Reading Time : 3 minutesRecently, 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).