The Planets Now

 

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Position of the planets based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
 
Sun:
08° 47′
in Aries
Moon:
16° 37′
in Aquarius
Mercury:
24° 17′
in Aries
Venus:
03° 04′
in Pisces
Mars:
27° 23′
in Pisces
Jupiter:
14° 31′
in Aries
Saturn:
14° 13′
in Libra
Uranus:
01° 06′
in Aries
Neptune:
00° 02′
in Pisces
Pluto:
07° 12′
in Capricorn
Aspects:
Conjunction: Mars Uranus 3º
Conjunction: Sun Jupiter 5º
Conjunction: Sun Uranus 7º
Conjunction: Venus Neptune 3º
Opposition: Jupiter Saturn 0º
Opposition: Sun Saturn 5º
Semi-Sextile: Mars Neptune 2º
Semi-Sextile: Uranus Neptune 1º
Semi-Sextile: Venus Uranus 1º
Sextile: Moon Jupiter 2º
Sextile: Venus Pluto 4º
Square: Sun Pluto 1º
Trine: Moon Saturn 2º
The Sun in Aries
Leadership qualities tend to come to the forefront. Optimism is high and challenges seem a bit easier to meet. Taking care of number one can be a main theme in this period. Aggression levels and the need for adventure are likely to rise as well. Impulsive, decisive, and courageous actions by even the meekest of souls are very possible at this time.

Sun Conjunct Jupiter
Optimism and confidence are likely to be high in many. Life’s positive energies are very strong. Gain through luck is very possible.

Sun Opposition or Square Saturn
One’s picture of one’s self may be a bit muddled at this time. Self-doubt will dampen the spirit of many.

Sun Conjunct Uranus
Balancing the need for personal freedom and social responsibilities may prove challenging.

Sun Opposition or Square Pluto
For seekers of power this should be a favorable aspect. The desire to distinguish themselves from the field will be strong in some. The need to control situations may lead some to become fanatical about their pursuits.

Moon In Aquarius
Friendships are likely to become stronger, but deeper emotional relationships may be a little “subdued.” Overly effusive behavior and negative behavior like jealousy are certain to meet with ridicule and intolerance.

Moon Sextile or Trine Jupiter
Now is an excellent time to mend past grievances. Sincerity and warmth will serve one well.

Moon Sextile or Trine Saturn
Keeping a cool head when faced with crisis is essential for success during this aspect. Those who take the lead in solving problems will be well rewarded.

Mercury In Aries
Mercury in Aries is an influence that does not favor diplomacy. Many will be far more outspoken than usual. Dissension will be prevalent. Traditional approaches to handling challenges are likely to be replaced by new, more affective strategies. The need to be on the cutting edge of things will be strong.

 

Venus In Pisces
Feelings are likely to run very deep. One may find themselves swelled with compassion that the need to help others becomes a major motivator. Creativity should be very strong and could lead to the development of exceptional innovations in the future.

Venus Conjunct Neptune
Passion’s fire will be high in idealists. Be wary of seeing things as being more than they actually are.

Venus Sextile or Trine Pluto
This aspect can drive deep passions to the surface. Unfortunately, the result of such eruptions is often negative, because those on the receiving end do not know how to handle unexpected emotional outbursts.

Mars In Pisces
This is an ideal time to pursue spiritual truths. Confrontations are best avoided. The desire to succeed may be low during this period. Creativity is likely to be at a peak at this time.

Mars Conjunct Uranus
The need for personal freedom may be very strong. Many will show a pronounced lack of patience. Look internally for inspiration and motivation.

Jupiter In Aries
Self-reliance and optimism are favored at this time. Those who enjoy challenges and competition are favored. Adopting a never surrender attitude is a key component to attaining success.

Jupiter Opposition or Square Saturn
This aspect tends to muddle the distinction between what is real and what one wishes to be real. Setbacks can be experienced due to this nebulous vision of reality.

Saturn In Libra
Intimacy may be more of a chore than a pleasure. Some will find their progress towards strengthening intimate bonds and attaining goals muted by feelings of inadequacy.

 

Uranus In Aries
The astrological influence of Uranus is measured in increments of 7 years. What this means is that the effects of Uranus influence an entire generation. Day to day the Uranian influence may be imperceptible, but when the period is viewed as a whole the impact of Uranus is likely to be strikingly apparent.

Iconoclasm, independence and self-sufficiency are likely to be major themes during this period. Traditional values will be challenged. Those with a pioneering spirit will flourish.

 

Neptune In Pisces
Because Neptune takes approximately 14 years to move across Pisces its day to day influence may be imperceptible, but when the period is viewed as a whole the impact of Neptune in Pisces is likely to be strikingly apparent.

Gentleness, creativity, and the pursuit of spiritual truth are strong influences at this time. Many may find mysticism and unorthodox religions very attractive.

 

Pluto In Capricorn
Because Pluto takes approximately 15 years to move across Capricorn its day to day influence may be imperceptible, but when the period is viewed as a whole the impact of Pluto in Capricorn is likely to be strikingly apparent.

Strong economic gains can be made during this period. Pluto in Capricorn favors those who are able to make logical decisions and devise pragmatic solutions to the challenges before them.

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for 3/29

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

The Cat

The Cat represents the need for stealth and the freedom to act without restrictions. Acting stealthily in no way implies the need for underhanded behavior. Instead the suggestion here is to move quietly towards your goals and reach out for them when they are within range. It also denotes a need to free yourself from restrictions imposed by others.

As a daily card, The Cat suggests that the opportunity to attain your goals is very strong at the moment. However, you need to keep your intentions to yourself and shed whatever limitations have been put on you by others.

Your Daily Chinese Horoscopes 3/29

Rat

If you have strange and compelling dreams tonight, write them down so you can refer to them later. They could have disturbing symbols, but they are really instructive of the kinds of changes you need to make in your life. If you feel stuck in a rut, pay extra-special attention.

Ox

You have an opportunity to make a new friend today, but they may be a little odd or strange. There may be a health or emotional problem you have to deal with, and while that may be something of a challenge, it could turn out to be more than worth the effort.

Tiger

If you have an argument with your spouse today it is likely to be about career, social status or your ambitions. You’ll either be labeled completely lazy or a workaholic. The truth lies in the middle somewhere, but emotions are high and reason is absent today.

Rabbit

If your work involves the media, publication or large volumes of paperwork, you are going to find this to be a confusing and frustrating day, even though there are terrific opportunities. Take extra time getting to and from work and don’t push yourself too hard.

Dragon

You will have an opportunity to explore your spirituality or religious beliefs today. You may experience a moment of enlightenment or an insight into the foundations of your beliefs, and may chose to donate time or money to a spiritually-based charity.

Snake

You could have unexpected or unusual arguments with people today. The biggest challenge comes from your significant other, who may be under pressure from an elder parent to make some major changes to the status quo. You are not ready to meet their demands just yet.

Horse

You may have a good laugh at a sour-puss of a coworker today. All their prophecies of doom and gloom will come to naught when suddenly some unexpected resource becomes available. You may make a big sale or get a larger department budget.

Goat

You may find that your newest hobby turns a little frustrating today. Maybe you need more time or money to enjoy it properly? Keep plugging away, and you will figure things out eventually. Don’t give up on something just because you haven’t mastered it right out of the box.

Monkey

The old homestead may need some repairs. You could have a leaky roof, a problem with the weather stripping, or a problem with your garage. You may get some phone calls today that focus on a recent spiritual interest or experience you have shared.

Rooster

You may feel that no matter what you say that people are finding excuses to disagree with you today, but that is not exactly true. You may find in one case that your silver tongue comes in handy in charming some shop keeper into giving you a really good deal.

Dog

Financial stress continues, but there are opportunities to change the picture if you are prepared to use a little personal creativity. You may face unexpected challenges from authority figures, but overcoming them is not the obstacle that you are fearing.

Pig

A dramatic change in your attitude or appearance could have a negative impact on your work or career. You may not have done anything as drastic as dreadlocks or a mohawk, but you could risk making a bad impression with a new coworker or manager at just the wrong time.

The Changing Role of Men in Wicca

The Changing Role of Men in Wicca

Author: Morgan Ravenwood
It is unfortunate but too often true that male Wiccans find themselves relegated to a passive, almost non-existent role in Wicca and many other Pagan traditions, thereby depriving their female counterparts of some potentially useful interaction, observations and teachings.

While many Wiccan women would defend this stance by pointing out that the Abrahamic faiths are male-centered and that they came to Paganism to avoid being forced to submit to male authority, they fail to realize that any faith that places emphasis on one gender over another is simply out of balance and deprives its members of both spiritual satisfaction and education.

We Wiccans must remember that it was a man, Gerald Gardiner, who originally gave birth and identity to the faith we practice today. However, he didn’t do so all by himself—he a lot of help and encouragement from women such as Doreen Valiente. Perhaps that is why the Gardnerian tradition has always promoted gender equality. Since then there have been some notable male Pagans such as Stuart Farrar, Oberon Zell, Isaac Bonewits, and more recently, Kerr Cuhulain and Christopher Penczak (who has written a great deal about gay Wiccans, whose numbers continue to grow) whose knowledge and experience have benefited us all.

A quick overview of some of the major Wiccan traditions certainly doesn’t inspire a man to want to join most of them unless he is willing to play a subordinate—and submissive- –role. While ones such as the various Druid groups and the Alexandrian and Gardnerian traditions seem to be more welcoming to the male practitioner, others such as the Dianic and Avalonian traditions are strictly matrifocal with no male participation at all. There are endless lists of Wiccan female-only groups on the web as opposed to barely a handful for men. All of this amounts to the same kind of sexism practiced by the mainstream religions, and is just as counter-productive.

We are all familiar with the concept of the Triple Goddess, which is of course worshiped by male and female Wiccans alike. While most female Wiccans relate the phases of the Goddess to our own lives, how do we apply this to the God, and in so doing, contemplate how this concept can be applied to men?

In my long years of study and correspondence with other practitioners, I have learned quite a bit from some very wise male Pagans. I recently asked some of them their opinions on this, and actually got some pretty similar answers, though one male friend said, “I hadn’t really ever thought about it!”

I can’t help but feeling that that is a very great shame indeed.

Equal gender identification really isn’t that difficult when you think about it. When we see the young Goddess as the Maiden, we could see her male counterpart as the Youth/Warrior/Student. As She reaches Her Mother stage, Her consort matures into the Father/Warrior/Hunter.

Opinions vary on when a woman has aged sufficiently to regard herself (and be regarded by others) as a “Crone, ” but on the other side of the coin, we again have her consort becoming an Elder/Sage/Grandfather. Though male Wiccans revere and venerate the Goddess in these various incarnations, might they not feel a little more comfortable if the God was given equal consideration?

Those female Wiccans who may belong to covens who worship the Goddess to the exclusion of the God might feel a little more in balance also.

When we look at the history of Paganism we find a large number of male deities such as Cernunnos, Dagda, Lugh, Cuchulainn, Pan, Osiris, Zeus, Apollo, and so many more. In ritual, particularly when petitioning for a special purpose, it is wise to aim such petitions towards a deity who may have certain characteristics particular to the object of the petition.

Male Wiccans especially may have certain issues that they feel more comfortable sharing with a male deity as opposed to a female one. That doesn’t mean, however, that they would (or should) eliminate worship of the Goddess in Her many forms—on the contrary, the male Wiccans of my acquaintance are very devoted to Her.

As in everything, balance and moderation are the keys.

We need look no further than our own Wheel of the Year to understand how important the God is to our religion. From Yule, when we celebrate the birth of the God, to Samhain, when He dies and prepares to be born yet again at Yule, our Sabbats are ironically centered on the God, with the Goddess both assisting and participating in a supporting (but no less important) role.

Consequently, it seems illogical and counter-productive to relegate the God along with male practitioners to a minor role in other Wiccan rites. While I am certainly not advocating the dissolution of all female-only covens, I DO encourage them to give some serious consideration to allowing serious male practitioners to participate in their rites. This would present many opportunities for fellowship and the sharing of knowledge, which would surely outweigh any perceived disadvantages.

The Religioustolerance.org website contains Edain McCoy’s description of the worship of Wiccan deities thusly: “We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation.” And yet, the same article also says, “Wiccans celebrate the sexual polarity of nature.

For example, the fertilizing rain is one manifestation of the male principle; the nurturing earth symbolizes the female. Females are respected as equal (and sometimes at a slightly higher rank) to males. A priestess is often the most senior person among covens — a local group of Wiccans. They aim for a female-male balance in most of their covens (local groups), although men are typically in the minority.”

The last sentence really reinforces the imbalance that exists in Wiccan practice and brings up a salient point: perhaps if more men chose to become involved in Wicca, it would drive up the numbers of Wiccan adherents and consequently make us more of a force to be reckoned with. The days of “broom closet” Wicca are coming to a close and we are already seeing the benefits such as the V.A. approval of the pentacle on the headstones of Wiccan veterans.

However, we must keep in mind that in order for more men to become interested in Wicca, they must be allowed equal consideration and status.

It’s a concept whose time has come.

The Pagan Man

The Pagan Man

Author: Panisch Lockelear

When you see images of the green man, Hermes, and the horned gods of many pagan religious paths, it is easy to deduce that the male role is important within out pagan society. When I was younger, I went from elder to elder seeking to understand my role as a male in the ways of the various pagan paths. Although my findings were varied, a single idea prevailed. One of a strong man, full of wisdom. A protector of the innocent and a hunter and provider.

This was somewhat different from the images I was exposed to as a younger pagan male. The men that made up most of the pagan community seemed to be a little more and a little less, when measured to this general sense or idea of a pagan man.

On first impressions of the male pagan, I saw a man full of strong drink, drumming from dusk until dawn, a savage sexual appetite, and servant to the woman of their choosing. On the other hand I could also see a man that cared about his own and all children. I found a wealth of teachings about the land we call mother, and the ways and order of the circle of life we all share.

I must say that many ways and experiences from the pagan men who influenced me greatly, were in my mind conflicting. How could a strong man be a hunter, provider and protector of his clan or those who he was sided and also be sub servant, nurturing and bow to what seemed like a lesser position within our religion?

The men, who I learned from, were all of these things and more. Why then would they seem to take a lesser position within our pagan community?

In talking to a man who had the greatest impact on me as a pagan young man, I learned a lot from my mentor and elder Pond hopper I think he had the greatest impact on me, because he seemed to always have time to answer my often strange questions. He took the time to explain this to me and what I noticed was these were teachings he himself actually lived by.

I remember getting into the subject of pagan male role models and I asked him who his were. His answer surprised me. He said ‘ the Grey Squirrel’.

His words hit home for me. ‘You see, the Grey Squirrel helps his mate to make a house in the trees for the family, he helps her in gathering nuts and food for the long winter’. ‘ When a wayward bird comes along to attack him and his young, he becomes a fierce fighter, yet to see the male Grey Squirrel with his young, he is tender and playful.’

I thought on this and quickly replied to Pond hopper asking him, ‘ well what about sharks or fish, who eat their young or leave their young to fend for themselves, never becoming a part of their life?’

I realize his reply to me now was to make me think for myself. He said to me, ‘ Have you ever heard on the television or read in a paper where a man hurt one of his kids or left his family alone?’

Then he asked me…’ Why do you think that is?’

Of course I had no idea at that age as to why. Later on he explained by simply asking, it is funny how we mirror nature and nature seems to mirror us? The fact is we are not being mirrored at all, because we are apart of this circle of life.

We must play our role in this circle. The only difference between the animals and us is the fact that we can choose. We can choose to either be like the Grey Squirrel or like the shark. I pondered this for many years and found a lot of honor in his teachings.

I slowly began to understand that a good pagan man could be fierce and strong when need be. He can be a hunter and he can be a teacher as well.

A mature pagan man also understands that he is apart of a larger circle as well and must learn to adapt, live and work within both the clan family and the natural circles he finds himself in. I learned that there is a natural order and there is a wisdom needed to be able to navigate this order. This is something the pagan male will strive to become comfortable with by making mistakes and testing his bounds.

Falling down, becomes our teacher and the prize is wisdom. I have fallen down a lot in my life and on my pagan path. For that, I thank the gods and pond hopper for the effort and the gift of time they took to raise me to be a pagan man.

I still strive to understand the mother Earth and her circle that I must be a part of. I learned that I would fall down and in doing so I will learn. I know now that the role of the pagan male is something different to all of us depending on the teachers we have had. The way we have gained our wisdom to navigate the circles we are in are important. They are as important and those elders who take the time to teach us.

I am reminded that in my life as a pagan male, I am a role model for those younger men who watch me. They look to me for the knowledge needed to find their place within the circle as hunters, providers, protectors, servants, and men of real wisdom. I know that I owe a debt to the circle of life.

I know now that Pond Hopper was a man that understood the need to lead by example. I also know that while I may fall down, this is not the end of me. To be strong enough to do that means that I am not relegated to a lesser role within the pagan religion. My role is very well defined and the gods and my mentors are my guides.

Daily Zen Meditation for 3/29

Far, far, the mountain path is steep
Thousands of feet up,
The pass is dangerous and narrow
On the stone bridge the moss and lichen green
From time to time, a sliver of cloud flying
Cascades hang like skeins of silk
Image of the moon from the deep pool shining
Once more to the top of Flowering Peak
There waiting, still
The coming of the solitary crane.


– Shih Te (c 730)

Daily Motivator for 3/29 – Be well on your way

Be well on your way

If you’re uncertain, your action will make you much more certain. If you’re not sure how, your action will enable you to quickly learn.

When you’re feeling discouraged, action will focus your mind in a more positive, productive and creative direction. In circumstances that seem overwhelming, action gives you a welcome sense of control.

Take action, and you’ll quickly go from where you are to a perspective that’s highly positive and effective. Take action, and even the most intimidating challenges become more manageable.

It’s good to think through what you will do, but don’t overdo it. At some point all that thinking becomes counterproductive.

No, the circumstances are not perfect, but then they will never be. Go ahead and take action, from where you are, with what you have.

It is not the condition of the place you start, but rather the journey itself, that gets you where you want to be. Go ahead now, take action, and soon you’ll be well on your way.

— Ralph Marston

Daily OM – A Special Goodnight

  

A Special Goodnight
Creating a Nightly Ritual

 

Behind us lies the previous day and all that has come before; ahead of us, dawn heralds all that is yet to be.

At the end of the day, as the sweet, dark stillness of night beckons us to lay down our bones and rest, we find ourselves at a clear transition point: Behind us lies the previous day and all that has come before; ahead of us, dawn heralds the unfolding of all that is yet to be. While many of us have morning rituals that connect us with our center and help us to set intentions, we may want to explore the magic and power of nighttime ritual as well. It holds for us a beautiful chance for self-appreciation and blessing. Before you go to bed each night, you can send gratitude, compassion, and healing to the being you have been up until this moment. And you can send lightness and love into the future for the one you are in the process of becoming.

Though simple, this action honors the journey you have taken thus far, while opening you to the wonderful possibilities still ahead. When you consciously engage with your own evolution this way, you may find that your sleep gets sweeter, filling your night with a deeper sense of trust and relaxation. As you rest, you can surrender to these peaceful hours, knowing that the road behind you has been seen and acknowledged with respect and kindness, while the path ahead now holds your own benevolence and well wishes.

This bedtime ritual empowers you as the only one who can determine the meaning of your own past and the hopefulness of your future. By setting this special time aside each night, you can begin to orient yourself on your path of growing. It allows you to let the past have its place, to trust that the future is taken care of, and to simply rest yourself in the graceful arms of the present moment.

Choices vs. Fate

Choices vs. Fate

Once in awhile, I ponder the question of whether a different choice in life would have drastically changed my outcome. And I often wonder, do we really have choices or are we destined by fate?

Perhaps there is such a thing as reincarnation, where the laws of the universe work whether you believe in them or not; where karma is dealt to our particular situations because of what we have done or not done, good or bad. This also includes the idea that ‘like attracts like’ and any negative or positive energies we release toward others bounces back to us a hundred times greater.

I remember my aunt used to tell me, “Be careful what you think and what you say!” She believed, as many Edgar Cayce followers, that any negative energy (like hatred or anger) would quickly tie you to that person in a next life, so that both parties must come back to work it out. What a perfect way to receive punishments and rewards for our bad or good deeds.

So, getting back to choices vs. fate, I realize that certain situations in my life have caused me to choose certain paths – whether I was trying to get away from a bad situation or whether a particular choice just appealed to me more. The key thing to understand, though, is that it isn’t so much the choice (because no matter what we choose, it has a way of working out to what we need to learn anyway) it is the way we reacted to the situation that is the real issue. How we ‘choose’ to react is far more important than the choices we make.

My grandmother used to tell me, “You can’t avoid problems in life. Every time you try to go around them, they meet you in the face. You have to go through them and deal with them in order to get rid of them.”

This is part of what it means to ‘live in the present’. Deal with it, good or bad, and you won’t have to deal with it again, but try to avoid it or fight it, and you will find yourself in an unhappy and long struggle until you’re ready to accept it as it is. Allow ‘what is’ to ‘be’. Any resistance on your part just prolongs your suffering.

Do I believe in fate? To a certain extent I do. I believe that we are put here to learn lessons, and we have to keep coming back until we get it right. We are born into the very situations we need in order to learn what we must learn. But once again, it is how we react that is the key to getting us out of our own hells. How we react is the key to turning our fates around. That’s when great things start to happen in your life – miracles that you might not ever have experienced had you not learned the lesson you were dealt.

And do I believe we have choices? Oh, yes! But only if we are ready for them… only if we can change our negatives into positives do we get some choices that lead us out of our self-imposed dungeon of sorrow.

The key: How we react determines our happiness, our fate, and our choices. So, start by putting those positive energies out there and watch the magic happen! Greet hatred with love, violence with peace. Judge not. Love thy enemy.

Copyright © 2011 Dolores Owen
Dolores is a Legal Administrative Assistant for the Law firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P. She is a life-time member and on the advisory board of Missouri CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants) and enjoys genealogical research in her spare time.