WELCOME TRAVELERS! In addition to the transits and configurations mentioned below under the card for the week, Venus will also form an Inconjunct or Quincunx with Pluto on the 21st, Summer Solstice. This is considered a difficult aspect, but like all difficult aspects there is potential for positive growth (see the card for the week THE HIEROPHANT below). One of the things we may be shown with this aspect is where the structure of our lives is not communicating with or supporting our creativity or love. We may fear the loss or consistency of something stable in our lives like a job or a relationship, but when we address the fear we could realize that this discomfort is a signal that the job or relationship needs to shift in order to accommodate our creative or romantic nature.
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The Hierophant in the tarot is sometimes seen as the masculine counterpart to the High Priestess. He represents moral or spiritual authority and also institutional or formal education. Saturn, the planet often described as the “great teacher,” has moved back into the last degrees of Scorpio. A move reflected in some of the conflicts brought up by the Hierophant. The Hierophant and the Saturn have some similarities, both are concerned with boundaries and limits, but their approach is different. The Hierophant typically reflects and reinforces what society deems appropriate, while Saturn’s lessons have more to do with discovering our own boundaries and limits which may fall inside or outside of the moral or spiritual authority suggested by the Hierophant. The Hierophant tends to be more instructional, he is a spiritual advisor and so he also represents someone you would consult directly for advice. Saturn’s lessons are typically learned through the living of them. Some might say that these are lessons learned the “hard way,” the kinds of tests for which there can be no preparation. An overly simplistic way to say this is, Saturn shows and the Hierophant tells.
When I pulled this card in Amy Von Harrington’s deck I found myself thinking about the lessons we set out to learn and the ones we learn almost inadvertently. On a recent visit with my parents in Colombia it was the enthusiastic four year old granddaughter of our cab driver who patiently instructed me in Spanish. Because she was in the process of learning the rules of her language in school she was excited and committed to repeating and enforcing those rules with me. The linguistic lessons I had hoped and expected to learn, but I had not anticipated that the instruction would come from a child or that my classroom would be a cab on a dirt road at night. This is an example of an inadvertent lesson of the Hierophant variety.
Also this week Jupiter, Uranus and Pallas Athene form a Grand Fire Trine, further emphasizing the potential to acquire information or learn lessons we weren’t perhaps consciously seeking. When my parents and I first moved to Brazil when I was a teenager I had never lived in an apartment building before. I was excited to be able to watch life below unobserved from the window of our third story apartment. I got to know certain faces from this perch. There was a homeless woman who spent much of her time camped out in our neighborhood, she seemed to be so lost in thought that she didn’t have time to travel very far on foot. One day when I was watching from the window I saw her come to a crossroads. The sidewalk forked and I found myself anxiously wondering which one she would choose. She seemed to live in her own world and suddenly she was being forced to acknowledge this one. “She’ll have to make decision,” I thought. Her head moved slightly from one path to the other, but, to my surprise, instead of proceeding down one or the other, she threw the black garbage sack she had over her shoulder down on the fork and sat on it. I was delighted, it was a choice I hadn’t considered an option.
Saturn in Scorpio at the last degrees of Scorpio takes us back to the lessons we were working on when Saturn was at the same degrees in December of 2014. With Scorpio I often think of alchemical changes, changes you may not or cannot even be conscious of until after the dust has settled. Now that Saturn is moving retrograde through the last degrees of Scorpio, the reasons behind or impetus for changes and decisions we were trying to make back in December may become more clear or evident now. We may need to rethink a decision we made or approach we took back in December. Again, this brings up the Hierophant. While the lessons the Hierophant points to, on the surface, may show us what the “right” or “moral” thing to do is by societies standards, he also shows us often by contrast, what is “right” or “moral” by our own standards or definitions. Last night I had dinner with a good friend of mine. I was expressing my own desires for change and my frustrations around not being entirely clear what the changes were that I needed to make. She listened and then she said, “Enjoy this moment at the crossroads of not knowing, because life will eventually push you in one direction or another.”