Welcome, Aries, to the Art of Becoming, your 2018 annual reading.
Here are the contents:
- Your 2018 annual reading | A4 PDF | US Letter PDF
- Charts for your reading
- In the Shadow of the Moon — our 2017 midyear video for your sign
- Your latest birthday reading
- Book of Your Life for Aries
- Links to previous annual editions
The Art of Becoming for Aries
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you’ve ever wondered when you were finally going to get your life together, I may have an answer for you: starting now. It’s not that you’re necessarily “un-together,” though a great many people are struggling to hold down the basics these days, or to remain hopeful, or to be happy. We live in scattered, emotionally challenging, economically difficult, and just strange times. It’s time to pull your life into focus, and to devote yourself to the changes you know you have to make.
The reason I can say “starting now” with confidence is that this year, Chiron begins its transition into your sign. Chiron will spend approximately half of the coming year in Aries, return to Pisces briefly, and then spend the next nine years in Aries; more time than it spends in any other sign, so it will be a fixture in your life for the foreseeable future. It represents an extended opportunity to devote yourself to a concentrated, meaningful healing process.
Yet at the moment, there’s something of more immediate relevance to consider, which sets the backdrop. Aries has been the scene of the Uranus-Eris conjunction. Both are slow-movers, though on different scales. It takes about six-and-a-half 84-year orbits of Uranus around the Sun to match one 558-year orbit of Eris (which is, incredibly but actually, spending about 120 years in your sign). Eris spends so long in Aries that we are currently experiencing the second conjunction of Uranus and Eris in Aries, the prior one having been in 1926-1927.
The current conjunction peaked in 2016 and 2017, though experience with these rare alignments indicates that rather than being over, it’s a door that we’ve just gone through.
Though it might be difficult to personalize such a vast, influential event, you should know that this is happening in your sign, near your Sun (perhaps very close to it), or in your rising sign (perhaps very near your ascendant degree). Aries always walks the thin line between the very private and the very public. The effect of this conjunction in your sign describes a public condition that influences every person on an individual level — and at the root of that condition is the digital environment.
We usually take this for granted. There are occasional articles written about the effects of wifi signals, or the social implications of social media. But they all miss the much wider point that we’re fully immersed in a world of disembodied communications. For anyone who thinks this can be remedied by using your cell phone less, or not having one, I would propose that this does not matter; the dominant technology of a society affects everyone.
The question is exceedingly personal for you. Disembodied communication gives you the power to leap across continents by dialing your phone, or speak to many people simultaneously through some electronic format. It’s difficult for most people to remember what their lives were like before this technology became ubiquitous (meaning everywhere, with theological origins describing the omnipresence of God, which is true enough — the internet is the modern incarnation of “god”).
The Holistic Principle
Chiron represents the holistic principle, which means living in a whole and integrated way. This is the goal of most, if not all, self-improvement programs. Yet these goals rarely engage or take root on a deep level. You can trust that Chiron will succeed at that, even if it’s a little inconvenient for you at times. Usually, self-improvement is directed at specific behaviors, or parts of oneself that one does not like. For example, that might mean embarking on a new diet or physical fitness program. Yet those changes are rarely holistic.
An example of a holistic approach is to develop an understanding of why your life is the way it is, and then from that viewpoint, gradually go about the process of making root-level changes. Sometimes this starts small, like you’re going to organize one drawer in your bedroom, and you end up reorganizing the dresser, then while you’re at it, you pull apart the closet, and then you make a big pile of old clothing to donate to charity. Then you pull out the bed and clean underneath it, and then decide you need a new mattress, and so on.
There are other circumstances, such as when the roof leaks and soaks your bed, and then you have to address that problem specifically; your response to which leads to other developments.
You might think of Chiron entering your sign as a homeopathic dose of yourself. Homeopathy is a branch of medicine where the remedy is designed to be in harmony with the situation it’s treating, rather than to counter it, or assault it in some way. Chiron’s increased presence in your life will serve to awaken you with your own thoughts, your own desires, your own ideas.
The process of change is almost always mysterious. Chiron is entering your life at the same time another influence is moving on: Uranus has been in Aries for the past seven years. Living with Uranus in your birth sign can be unnerving, as if you’re constantly on the edge. There were many unexpected changes, and then the anticipation of instability. Uranus has also pushed you to grow and to stretch your capabilities, though this has been a somewhat messy, disorganized process.
Chiron will provide a focusing influence. One of its roles is to be able to process the erratic energy of Uranus and direct it in focused ways, more in the style of Saturn — and Saturn, too, is taking a leading role in your life, which I’ll get to in a moment: the effect will be similar to that of Chiron.
Given that you’ll be reading a lot about Chiron in your sign in the coming years, because many astrologers will have something to say, I do want to offer a caution about misleading writing on Chiron. I try not to make it my practice to disparage astrology too much, though I feel a deep sense of responsibility to caution you that much writing about Chiron is misleading, incorrect and sometimes psychically dangerous. By that I mean it often points to self-defeating spiritual concepts, or ideas that just don’t help.
I am aware of the power of astrologers (and other seemingly spiritual teachers) who inject negative thoughts into peoples’ minds. Those are difficult to get out of one’s consciousness once they take root; and while one is busy doing that, you’re not busy taking advantage of the benefits of the transit, or working through the material that it presents.
If you have questions about Chiron, please bring them to us. We can recommend articles and resources (we have many). I’m planning a Chiron Clinic teleconference, and I’ll do my best to get underneath the most common and some uncommon concerns here. Also please see the two-part video that comes with The Art of Becoming, which is my one-phrase summary of Chiron in Aries.
Chiron in your sign means embodying Chiron, which means taking up the role of being your own healer. This will be a transition. It’s probably already begun, and it’s not going to happen all at once.
The fact of Chiron crossing back and forth between Pisces and Aries is what makes this year distinct. Pisces and all its mysticism, contact with source, creativity and clairvoyance, is lurking right beneath the surface of Aries. You can think of Chiron as conveying the numinous essence of Pisces to you, then bringing some of that Aries fire back to your deeper levels of awareness, then bringing another cupful of Pisces back to Aries — and then the journey begins.
I cannot over-emphasize the value of this transitional phase, this meeting of the dreamtime and normal waking consciousness that Chiron is guiding you through this year.
The essence of Chiron’s long visit to Pisces and your 12th house has been about finding the voice of spirit within you — what some traditions call making contact with your inner teacher. Another of Chiron’s roles is teaching and mentorship. In Pisces, this has been a mostly inner phenomenon. Ultimately, spiritual awareness is awakened within. You contain all your own potential, and Chiron’s presence has guided you to tap into that in genuine ways.
Essential to your happiness in these years of Chiron in Aries is remembering what you learned about connecting with your inner teacher, and what you learned from this entity of consciousness, between approximately 2010 and today. This is about doing something that most people find challenging: taking your inner life and the deeper meaning you’ve made contact with, and drawing it through into your outer personality. This inner-outer reckoning is a classic example of Chiron’s mode of action. You will be presented with opportunities to connect your potential with your reality; and those, in turn, will afford you the opportunities you need to make the changes you know are necessary.
The key here is focus. Chiron rewards voluntary action. The more you resist making changes yourself, the more inconvenient Chiron will feel. The more you use your awareness, and use what you know, the more Chiron will feel like a power tool. One gift will be to take you to the meta level, where you shift from seeing individual problems or situations and evolve an understanding of your existence as one unified living system.
It’s possible to see each decision as something that influences every aspect of your life. When you’re thinking along those lines, you know that you’re starting to pick up the idea of living holistically.
Saturn from Sagittarius to Capricorn
This process has a more immediate parallel: Saturn has now moved from Sagittarius to Capricorn. Saturn made a three-year trip through Sagittarius — which is your 9th house of potential, your vision for the future, and an important source of contact with your inner being — between late 2014 and late 2017.
Saturn in Sagittarius had distinct similarities to Chiron in Pisces, in that both transits were designed to draw you inward, and to push you to make contact with your potential. Like other transits in your life, this was challenging in that it did not provide an easy point of expression.
Now, however, Saturn has entered Capricorn, which is your 10th solar house (or 10th by whole signs for Aries rising) — the one addressing your professional goals, your reputation, and matters of accountability. The 10th is also an important house when considering family matters, since the family is where we do all of these things for the first time. Both Saturn and the 10th address matters of authority, and of taking personal responsibility for your actions — and gaining the privileges that this affords.
Saturn’s move into Capricorn is the first (as in earliest) of several major transits you’ll be experiencing this year, and it’s the most tangible of them. Neither Saturn nor Capricorn nor the 10th house is content to deal in abstractions; they are about tangible results. That’s what’s leading the way. Saturn often describes the most pressing necessity, and this transit would seem to say that the place to focus is on the work you do.
The mistake most people make where their work is concerned is to consider it an appendage to their life, or as a way of making money but not fulfilling a purpose. The combination of transits you’re having precludes that working out for you. Particularly with Chiron heading for your sign, with its impetus for healing and fulfillment, it’s essential that you think in terms of your whole life, and aim your professional aspirations in a way that works for you in a complete way.
It’s worth mentioning that Saturn in Capricorn in the 10th house is about as ideal a placement as Saturn can have. This is Saturn in full dignity, with all of the assets and very few of the problems typically associated with it. You can, under this influence, present nearly anything in a dignified way, no matter how unusual it may be. You have opportunities to succeed in ways that you never thought possible. And you are very likely to; unless, of course, you decide the whole commitment, responsibility and accomplishment thing is just not for you. Then Saturn will find other ways to manifest.
One way or another, you’ll be advancing your career as an aspect of your life, or as your life itself. The resistance to the “whole life” approach to career is that most people don’t really want to live their work. There are some who are thrilled to have a couch in their office in case they need to pull a few overnights; they’re usually the ones who love their work the most.
It would be wise of you to think in this direction. This is not about being a workaholic; it’s about living in a meaningful way. Once Chiron is in your sign, you’re likely to become obsessed with purpose. And your purpose has to be more than about your personality, the face you show the world, or your inner process of healing. With Saturn so well placed in your chart, you’re in an excellent position to drive the purpose aspect of Chiron through a practical, necessary means of expression.
Yet Chiron expressing itself so boldly in your chart means that you have license to be different. Another characteristic of Chiron you don’t hear about much anymore is that it favors distinction — that is, standing apart from others, and expressing oneself in an unusual way. Chiron is never afraid to be different, particularly when it manifests in your 1st house or anywhere near your Sun (and in other positions), and this it will be doing.
Chiron pushing distinction and Saturn granting credibility are an excellent combination, one that gives you a passport to succeed in any way that is personally meaningful to you — and yet that is the key. What you do must be relevant to your values, and express something that’s actually true about you, and for you; something that genuinely matters to you and that you know is relevant to the world around you.
Keep in mind that Saturn is joining Pluto in Capricorn and your 10th. This tells us a few things. One is that the ground has been prepared. Pluto has done a number on the world, cracking and sometimes shattering conventional expectations, methods, relationships and authority structures. The effect of this is to make room for you to be who you are, and to express yourself as you need to.
However, this is going to take some work on your part, because you’ll need to construct in what is essentially a demolition field. Largely that exists in society; however, Pluto moving through your 10th house may have caused some damage over the years. While it’s probable you’ve moved past that, you may feel some apprehension about trying to accomplish too much, lest your good work meet some fate similar to what happened in the past.
However, we are in a new era, and it’s essential that you get over your fears and carry on. We are living in an era of ‘shit happens’ and things getting very real and all that, which are some of the best times to begin new enterprises. Many old institutions are on their way out, vital needs are emerging, and a good few people are discouraged from even making an effort. You have many reasons to be motivated, you have options open, and you have some real ideas.
Never fall for the belief that you’re too strange for the world, for three different reasons. One is that Pluto has changed the world, and made much more room for strangeness. Two is that Chiron is giving you permission to be as different as you want or need to be. Three is that Saturn is giving you both the cloak and the reality of social acceptability. This is a setup for success. Other transits are describing just how far you can push that.
A Values Revolution: Uranus in Taurus
Speaking of values, one of the other major transits this year involves just that. Uranus, the planet of revolution, is about to ingress Taurus, your 2nd house of personal resources, self-esteem, priorities, values and ethics. Like Chiron’s transit into Aries, this will phase in between this spring and next, which leaves you time to adjust, respond and get accustomed to the changes.
In sum, it describes a personal revolution, or maybe just connecting with your inner revolutionary. Among the characteristics that make Aries one of the more traditionally oriented signs of the zodiac is the prominence of Taurus in your chart, on the 2nd house. Normally Taurus describes a traditional and even conventional approach to things, though not under the influence of Uranus. That will be enough to bring out the revolutionary in your heart.
Uranus in the 2nd can influence your level of affluence, that is, your bank balance. Given that this is Taurus, we need to pay attention to this on a much wider than individual level. There are matters that will influence the entire economy, though you’ll be in a good position to take advantage of any changes, as long as you pay attention to what’s happening, and you hedge some bets. This is not the kind of astrology where you want to keep all your eggs in one basket.
There can be radical swings of fortune under Uranus in the 2nd house, and the potential to both gain or lose a great deal. You will need to work this energy to your advantage one way or another. If you know this potential is there, you have a greater chance of making it work for you. One key to doing this is to understand any risk that you take as best you can.
Yet the deeper meaning of Uranus entering your 2nd house is making contact with just how radical your values really are. This transit describes you as someone who is far from being a moderate. You want to get to the root of things, and you’re motivated by the desire to make actual changes, both in yourself and in the world.
The closer you get to the truth of this, the better you will feel about yourself.
Mars Retrograde in Aquarius and Capricorn
On June 26, Mars changes to retrograde motion, which ends Aug. 27. Mars retrograde will set the tone of the summer. The most recent Mars retrograde, in Sagittarius and Scorpio (in spring and early summer 2016) was part of the conditions under which the current political situation manifested. Retrogrades can be associated with one another; there are similar themes from one to the next, and Mars retrograde always calls for a review of the masculine principle.
This will happen in signs associated with Saturn; and in your chart, areas associated with your reputation — late 10th house (referenced above, professional reputation) and 11th house (social standing). This is challenging astrology, though the question is always how to make the best of that.
Remember that Mars is the planet associated with your birth sign or rising sign. So to some extent, Mars represents a process that you’re moving through, which looks like a careful reassessment of where you stand with society. This ranges from whatever you think society is, in its widest manifestation (social media, the nation, the world, your community), to your personal social environment, meaning your circle of friends and acquaintances.
We are talking about Mars, and there is an extra signification for issues of maleness and of men. Since the last Mars retrograde, we’ve all experienced a diversity of ways in which what I’ll call the “male issue” has made itself known, ranging from Trump’s admission of being a sexual abuser to the outing and downfall of many others accused of the same. This is obviously a complex issue, compounded by the fact that a majority of Caucasian women voted for Trump despite the revelation (or claim) that he would kiss or grab by the pussy anyone he felt like, and many women coming forward saying that he had been inappropriate or violent with them.
We have yet to see the last of this, though we’ve also yet to see a productive response (by society). It’s not that there’s been no response at all, just not anything that might address the actual underlying issues, which involve social equality, aggression and (in my view) mostly unresolved sexual questions.
One question that you might encounter is: what do you allow the public (again, however you define that) to know about your actual sexuality? How different is your public relations position from your private reality? There’s always a necessary difference; the question is, how far do you take that? Do you tend to flaunt your sexuality, do you conceal it, or do you try to reach a balance where you present yourself in a way that reflects who you are and how you feel?
Your Inner Life and the Dreamtime
Let’s return to activity in Pisces, which is your 12th house.
The 12th is the realm of the invisible, of denial, and of that which seems to have disappeared. It’s also the seat of what some schools of thought describe as the “unconscious,” which ranges from a personal region to a collective one, and the place where the two meet. This region of consciousness can contain everything from personal messages from your psyche, to ancestral material contained in your DNA and karmic patterns. The 12th also contains a portal into a kind of basement, attic or some other rarely visited place that connects all of society.
It’s easier to describe the 12th as the dreamtime. Let’s check the Wikipedia definition of that term, which is true enough, even if we leave out certain specific cultural references:
“Dreamtime” is commonly used as a term for the animist creation narrative of indigenous Australians for a personal, or group, creation and for what may be understood as the “timeless time” of formative creation and perpetual creating. In addition, the term applies to places and localities on indigenous Australian traditional land (and throughout non-traditional Australia) where the uncreated creation spirits and totemic ancestors, or genii loci, reside.
There’s an interesting idea contained here, which is that certain physical locations on Earth provide a tap or access point into the dreamtime. You might think of those as sacred places, though they’re unlikely to be what you might find on a New Age tour of Mexico. You need to have your own access points; though where the dreamtime is concerned, the most relevant portal is your dream life.
There is some controversy over the “meaning of symbols” in dreams. What does a ham sandwich mean? What does a dark alleyway mean? What does a talking giraffe mean? You’re not going to find this in dream dictionaries, which are psychically dangerous in that they will almost always be misleading. All the symbols in a dream are you, and if you want to know what they mean, give them a voice.
Chiron is the planet of radical awareness, which has been probing the space of your dreams, making them more personally relevant than ever. So you can look back over this nine-year phase and review all the ways you’ve been called into yourself, called to investigate or evaluate the past, summoned to address ancestral material — and called into the dreamtime.
Chiron arrived in Pisces — the sign associated with the large bodies of water — on April 20, 2010, the day of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. This called attention to the oceans, and served as a reminder of how literal astrology can be.
As mentioned earlier, Chiron, as of this writing in January 2018, is still in Pisces. It will enter Aries on April 17, return to Pisces on Sept. 15, and return to Aries on Feb. 18, 2019. This sequence of events describes a transition in your awareness, wherein you’ll take what you learned from this journey through Pisces and begin to apply it to your life in a new way. Just remember, Chiron is not done with its work in Pisces. This is an important time to make contact with the specifically healing-oriented focus of Chiron in Pisces.
Once Chiron leaves, there will be several points left in Pisces, which will be influencing you from behind the scenes. One of them is Nessus, which you might think of as a shadow Chiron. Instead of inventing medicines and using them to help people heal, Nessus dispenses a poison, planned for revenge on the Greek hero Heracles. In practice, Nessus addresses the darker aspects of psyche and sexuality that people tend to deny. It represents the very essence of shadow material, which includes the residue of sexual abuse, incest, or the psychic transference of these experiences from your ancestors’ lives onto you.
In order to work with whatever Nessus might deliver or reveal, you will need to use what you’ve learned working with Chiron — this is one marker of why in this transitional year of Chiron entering your sign it is so vital to pay attention to what you observe or are taught, or to what knowledge otherwise comes your way. And in the true spirit of Chiron, you must use what you know.
Neptune and Borasisi in Pisces
Among the slow-movers remaining in Pisces are Neptune, which in Western culture is the god of the dreamtime; and Borasisi, a rather Piscean influence focused on the theme of belief, truth and lies and how they interrelate. This influence, though, is also contained in Neptune, but gets a specific voice in Borasisi (themes of which also include environmental influences, such as nuclear issues).
At the moment, Chiron is serving as a kind of 12th house pressure regulator for the enormous volume of material coming from Neptune. In Pisces or the 12th (and in your solar chart, you have both going on), Neptune can be an especially unrealistic influence, though also a boldly creative one. The idea is to harness the creative side of Neptune without getting lost in the deception/denial/delusion aspect of Neptune.
It’s necessary to keep things positive, and also to be honest and realistic. It will be especially necessary to keep your mind focused on what is real, rather than on fantasy. One influence of the Uranus-Eris conjunction (among other influences, including Neptune in Pisces, and the entire internet phenomenon) is an obsession with fantasy. Scroll through Netflix, Showtime, Hulu, Amazon and numerous other services and you will see row after row of made-up stories. More than ever, we are being pushed out of our body by digital technology, and lured into imaginary realms of fiction, while the world is literally burning, flooding, melting, and warping under moral strain.
Neptune cautions drowning in this maelstrom of the unreal, and Borasisi cautions that the toxins could spread to the point where there’s no turning back. Chiron in Aries is going to introduce you at first, or shock you if necessary, back into your physical body and your basic senses.
One of the most vital and also overlooked themes of the 12th house is sex. The realm of sexuality is in a sorry state these days, as there are so many sources of assault, and so little understanding of sexual healing, and much less of the dynamics of pleasure within healthy social relationships. The sources of assault include the apparently endless aggression that we’ve been hearing about since October, ongoing Christian-style indoctrination into abstinence, and the influence of about a hundred million five-minute “sex ed” videos that consume most bandwidth on the internet. While there’s nothing immoral about porno, the problem is one of obsession with the fantasy realm rather than with the body and the physical senses.
Chiron’s influence will include getting real about sex. That means getting real about how much you want or don’t want sex and why; getting real about your hormones; getting real about your feelings and your history; and understanding the nature of the sexual healing that you need.
We have heard a lot about sexual assault the past several months, and very little about how to heal those injuries, as if outing one’s harasser was the magic solution to the problem. (It is not, and this rarely happens except on TV and among high-profile stars. Most survivors have not named their harasser/attacker and few have breathed a word about it, such as in therapy or even to their partner.)
Chiron is providing a bridge between your inner and outer worlds, which will allow you to tap into your inner reality, ambiguous as it may be, and translate your feelings, ideas, needs, desires and experiences into some tangible form.
In the end, how you feel about sex is up to you, though it’s worth remembering that sex is not only the central metaphor for existence and creation, but also the way that we all came into the world. How you feel about sex is how you feel about life.
One planet I have not mentioned is a slow-mover called Salacia, which is now in your sign and will be for many, many years. Though Salacia is the namesake of the word salacious, which is a cheap view of sex and sexuality, it’s also the root of salt — the salt of the ocean, of the Earth, of our bodies, and of sex.
In fact, most people take a salacious view of sex, and are happy to have it used to sell anything from cars to ice cream. Despite various efforts to wrap desire and pleasure in sacredness, spirituality, legitimacy, political correctness or moral acceptability, the underlying mental and emotional reality ranges from embarrassment to reticence to repugnance. Were sex not thought of as embarrassing, we could talk about it as openly as we might discuss the flavor of wine, the aesthetics of art, or the beauty of nature. We bar ourselves and one another from merely being sincere, a practice that must end if we’re going to be happy people, or have any possibility of getting out of the political mess that has engulfed society.
As much as you will learn to embody Chiron, you might choose to embody Salacia. That will probably be inevitable, as the two will be in a long conjunction spanning from this spring well into 2020.
Return to Capricorn: Family Matters
Early in this essay, we discussed Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn. There’s one last theme to cover, which involves the ingress of two minor planets into this sign and thus your 10th house: Pholus and Quaoar. These will be present along with Saturn in your 10th house, and all three call attention to family matters, both historic and present. This provides an opportunity for you to look closely at material related to your immediate and ancestral versions of family, as you engage in the process of taking charge of your life.
Saturn in Capricorn, your 10th house of authority and achievement, is insisting that you be your own authority, which also means not projecting authority onto others. This is about being your own boss, and taking over all forms of parenting from those who previously held the role.
Pholus, a centaur, and Quaoar, a Pluto-like object, present us with enough material to write a book; please check references in the other cardinal signs (Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) for additional information there. However, in summary, Pholus gives you the opportunity to go back several generations and really understand the influence of your great-grandparents and grandparents on your experience. (Note that in centaur studies, Pholus points more to the great-grandparents and Chiron points more toward your relationship with your grandparents, though all centaurs reveal ancestral information).
Quaoar takes you to your prehistoric roots. It’s about the family pattern, in the deepest and widest sense of that idea, which it’s necessary to understand — lest you repeat it, or continue what you don’t want.
You would have to be a therapist or astrologer to understand the negative influence of family on people, and the struggle to escape that’s so persistent. If we’re not careful, our parents and other ancestors run our lives, whether they’re on Earth or not. You, however, have a compelling need — and, I reckon, desire — to run your own life, to make your own choices, to take up your own success, to meet the challenges of healing, and to reap the rewards of doing so.
You have everything you need, if you want to do just that. You will be told everything you need to know, as long as you’re listening.
Aries 2017 Midyear Reading
Aries 2017-18 Birthday Reading
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