…In deep reflection on last Saturday’s Full moOn in Aquarius (20 degrees), I have found it strange and intriguing that so many have reported intense fatigue and depression–including myself! Contrary to the nature of Aquarius and the Full moON, the celebrations were curbed to the wayside. Looking deeply into the chart of that day, I found it a challenge to figure out exactly what was going on, but then I listened to Eric Francis’ Planet Waves podcast, where he was talking about the nature of Nessus, and then my understanding ignited like a fire originating from the base of my spine. Nessus is another eccentric visitor/centaur, much like Chiron, who is currently transiting at 21 degrees of Aquarius (just a degree away from where the previous Full mOon was. What is also interesting about this area of the zodiac, is that it is also the Midpoint of the Pluto/Uranus square (the “2012 aspect” many Astrologer’s are talking about, which is creating this feeling of Revolution in the air). Midpoints are integration points between planets. You can use them in both Transits and in the natal chart, and they reveal an ultra sensitive point on “integration” for the relationship between two planets/Archetypes! Now, in this blog, I want to give you a background on Nessus, and then offer some of my musings and experiences that I have had since my reluctant discovery of this powerful Archetype in the sky….
Astronomy of Nessus
Astronomically, Nessus has a very elliptic orbit of about 124 years. It crosses the orbits of Uranus and Neptune but does not touch the sphere of Saturn’s orbit and only just enters the inner sphere of Pluto’s orbit; not crossing either in the process. It is important to note this as a planet’s orbit signifies its characteristics. For instance Nessus’s orbit suggests a Uranus/Neptune/Pluto influence.
The centaurs are kinda like strange octaves of Pluto, dynamically and physically. They are cometary visitors in our lives, full of magic power, and maybe like shamans are today figures of forgotten times and lands, psychopomps, that catalize our soul life. Astronomically, they cross the realm of the giant planets, travelling among them. Their orbits are chaotic, unstable, “in pain”. They are objects from afar running amok in a realm which is not theirs, coming to the Sun at right angles instead of circling it, and, unlike the other planets, they will die soon. This is the price they pay for their freedom.
Juan Antonio Revilla San José writes, “Imagine their orbits: they are very elongated, coming “squarely at us” and moving very fast, as they approach their closest distance to the Sun… even –at least in Chiron’s case– displaying a coma, an “aura” of “numinosity“, and then begin to go away from us almost to disappear in very slow motion. This type of movement is a catalyzer, it “hits”, opens, awakens, and, like the arrows of Hercules, inflicts pain, even to the point of desolation and death. This is why the centaurs can receive us from our pain and heal, not in the way of the doctor, but in the way of the shaman.”
…hopefully, I still have your interest, because the Mythology weaving into the Astrology is even more fascinating!
MYTHOLOGY OF NESSUS
(taken from Juan Antonio Revilla San José’s article on Nessus from http://www.expreso.co.cr/centaurs/articles.html)
To understand Nessus’ mythology, we need to re-introduce Heracles (Hercules.) (Hercules figures into the stories of just about every centaur, it seems.)
In one story, Heracles was very attracted to a young virgin by the name of Deianera, and so he slept with her….and then agreed to marry her. In another story (which may not conflict with the former story at all,) Heracles married Deianera because, while he was in the underworld, he promised Deianera’s dead brother that he would. Anyway, Eurytion (another Centaur…possibly one of the as yet unnamed ones) asked for Deianera’s hand in marriage, and her father consented (perhaps he was afraid of saying no to a Centaur?) Well, Heracles found out, burst angrily into the wedding celebration, killed Eurytion, and took Deianera to be his bride.
I am not sure if Heracles was on his honeymoon or not, but he and his new wife had to cross a river that was overflowing. Nessus, according to the myth, offered to ferry Heracles’ wife across a river…..and when he reached the other side, tried to rape her. Heracles, quite naturally enraged, shot Nessus with a poison arrow. As Nessus lay dying, he told Heracles’ wife that, should Heracles ever be unfaithful, she could bring him back to her by placing the blood-soaked cloak (now on Nessus’ back) over Heracles’ shoulders. (In some of the more graphic stories, though, it was a mixture of his blood and semen that Nessus told Deianera to scoop up….and to put on a cloak one day should Heracles stray in his affections.) Years later, she remembered Nessus’ words, and did precisely that. But Nessus lied….on his death bed, he wanted revenge. The cloak caused Heracles to burn up with flames of magic, and he was in terrible pain. Hera finally relented, allowed his physical body to die on earth, and translated him to Mount Olympus where he was made one of the gods for all time. (Something to ponder….it was Nessus’ poisonous act that, in actuality, healed the feud between Hera and Heracles.) It is interesting that, many years earlier, Zeus had told Heracles that he would be killed by a dead enemy!
(more from Jose…):
In the very little time since its discovery in 1993, Nessus has been associated with bad and ugly things, primarily coming from the mythological association it has with poison and death, and the proximity of its orbit to Pluto. This associations have been confirmed by observation, but have precluded an understanding of the process involved. This happens when mythology is used too literally.
Take the story of Deianira, for example; isn’t it also a part of the Nessus dynamics? Heracles, Nessus and Deianira are a triangle, a unity, like three aspects of the same thing. Heracles is a very violent and primitive “raw” type, hardly an archetype for humanity… it is more an archetype of what is raw in us, like a mythological counterpart of the centaurs. His ways are violently cruel and deadly like the creatures he kills.
We must see the whole process involved and not only the negative part. What is the dynamics of Nessus that manifests itself in a monstrous, poisonous way? The vulnerability of Deianira, Nessus lust, and Heracles rawness are part of the same cruel story. If I take Heracles as “raw” humanity, then the “bad blood” associated with Nessus is the consequence or continuation of the cruelty and violence that Heracles represents. What Nessus does is leave Heracles violence and cruelty naked, which means he could be the cure, for example, not only the disease. Like an homeopathic remedy or a vaccine, the disease has to come out in order to heal it…
History and the past, from a psychological point of view, are alive, not dead, and will “come to hunt us” as if from the future or from “destiny”, but it is really the unredeemed past transformed into something that seems to poison us. However, we are the poison, we created it. Nessus “beast” is our creation, and he will do what he was programmed to do. Our dark and raw past is not that bad. Inside of it, in its heart, is the vulnerability of Deianira, our inner child…
Nessus as the Beast!
Wild beasts may be an excellent example of our relationship with Nessus. The beast is in all of us; but it is this beast that teach us the beauty and the harmony of life. For example: when you have a very intense and prolonged (physical or emotional) pain you are in hell, and would like to die, but when it goes away you are able to feel the beauty and the immensity of the most simple things of life. When we learn to face our Beasts–our demons–we essentially are facing fear, and ask yourself, “When was the last time you faced a fear and werent rewarded???”
We can learn to respect the wild, as we learn to respect darkness, and death. The Centaurs, as our Inner Shaman visitors, confront us with all our most venomous aspects of self. They show us our deepest personal lies, and where the healing most take place. With Nessus, there seems to be a strong correlation with the re-visitation of a ghost of the past, to pay its karmic dues, much like with Hercales death in cause of the spell. Through our repressed memories and emotions, monsters are created, and Nessus seems to relate to the process strongly. (Which I will talk about more in a second…)
The Astrology of Nessus
Astrologically, wherever Nessus is placed in the chart is where we need to deal with issues of power and lust. It is where we feel deeply hurt and in need of revenge or where we may become obsessed about a person or about getting even. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Remember, Nessus was the cause of Hercules’ death after he himself had died. And so it is here that we may have to deal with issues relating to the past or that we may have inherited from previous generations. It is where we need to work hard to understand our motives and to consider our actions in order to be able to make the transition and to move on to a new stage in life. How easy or difficult this is will depend on the aspects from Nessus to planets in the natal chart, in particular to the personal planets and angles.
…Note: Again, The Full moON was on Nessus on Saturday, along with it being conjunct between the Uranus/Pluto square!!!
::::::Like being cloaked….in a blood & semen soaked talisman,
We were up in flames Saturday
and may still be feeling the burn::::::
….for me, 21 degrees falls in my 6th house (The House of Healing). Last night, when I was in a potent meditation under the Pisces moOn, watching the Persiads go off, I had an epiphany about how Nessus is functioning in my own life. Through my own experience, hopefully you can gain some insight into your own experience!
My realization came directly through the eyes of both Uranus and Pluto, and how they have been reworking me for the past decade or so. Pluto is currently leaving my 4th house, where he has been since the late 90’s. This was a time of great change in my life, mainly because my best friend and my father died in this chapter of my life, which completely transformed my relationship to both myself, and my idea of what “family”/”home” means. Uranus (who is squaring Pluto currently) is attempting to leave my 7th house (the House of Love), where he was been since 04′. This was a time of my life where intimate relationships came to the forefront of my life for the first time. Ever since then, I have been “upgrading” (Uranus) my intimacy skills by having not been out of a relationship since the beginning of the Transit! The combination between these two themes–transforming my relationship to home, and swiftly evolving my spirit through intimacy–has taken quite a toll on my physical health. This is where Nessus comes in! By constantly moving my home, changing my environments, and allotting nearly all of my energy into “Other,” I have been overtaxed and perhaps wounded! My health, my reserves, my rhythm, have all been altered. I felt it Saturday with the Full moON, and I saw it clearly last night in my meditation. The cloak of Nessus is draped over my shoulders, and if I’m not careful from this point forward, I will be dis-eased. I actually had a vision of Nessus in my meditation, and he was pointing to areas of my body, that are influenced by my psychology. He told me that is I did not change, I would fall ill, and possibly even die. Having this insight was of course sobering, but it was ultimately liberating. With awareness, we change. Thank you Nessus!
Looking back to Saturday, think deeply into what could have been the origin of your suffering. What is causing this fatigue? Why have we lost some of our inspiration? Where is the Cancer growing? All these questions point directly to Nessus. And he waits for you with his nasty magical cloak, wanting you to try it on, for the sake of remembering….for the sake of healing! Don’t be shy.
…..You can contact me at KOSMOGNOSIS@GMAIL.COM if you have any questions, or if you feel inspired to receive a Reading from me. I also teach one on one classes, and offer a myriad of other Astrological services!….
These are words by Peter T. Young (June 8, 1945 – June 19, 1998):
Did you hear him? Listen…I hear an Angel deep off in the brush….Howling at the moon…The Wolf…Did you ever think…Of the Wolf as an Angel?God sends Angels of every form…Protecting all that lives…And the Wolf…He is an Angel too….Standing tall and stern upon the rocky cliff…Singing with his roaring voice…To the Heavens…Making a call….To God…This Wolf…He is an Angel…Do not fear him…Listen to the beast speak…Frightening…Alarming…But tame in spirit…Fighting to survive…Among all that threatens his being…No harm to you…No harm to me…The Wolf…..fighting to be set free…