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Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces | Aries | Taurus | Gemini
Cancer | Leo | Virgo | Libra | Scorpio | Sagittarius

Art Horoscope

by Leigh Oswald

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Jupiter moves from Taurus (having been in that sign for approximately a year), into Gemini on the 11th. Jupiter visits each sign once every 12 years and spends approximately 12 months travelling through it.

Wherever Jupiter is, is where he tends to spread his benevolence, or at least protection. The job of Jupiter astronomically is to deflect asteroids from Earth’s orbit, and indeed metaphorically in astrological terms, he is there to act as a protective influence, but he can also bring gain and often “good luck” that is often the result of hard effort. It has been said that luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity, and Jupiter often flags up this situation. Jupiter means expansion, growth, inner and outer, material or spiritual, and wherever he sits in one’s natal chart, one seems to be relatively blessed, call it good karma or what you will. Clearly as he moves through the signs during his orbit of the Sun, he will therefore bring to each sign he inhabits, some feeling of optimism and benefit. His influence can be subtle and those who just seek material gain and glory during his influence may be sadly disappointed. Looking a bit deeper can help his gift to become clear. It is self-evident that Geminis will be the main beneficiaries of his energy, but also by opposition, Sagittarius will feel some sort of boost, perhaps also with temptation to over expansion. Aquarius and Libra, both harmonious air signs to Gemini, will also be advantaged by his presence in Gemini. Because Gemini is an air sign, when Jupiter passes through that sign, it tends to emphasize the power of the mind, the intellect, curiosity, good communication and knowledge. Jupiter in Gemini is eclectic and information-hungry, auguring particularly well for the media industry, writers, and journalists and all for whom communication is lifeblood. Cities that may particularly benefit from this sign position are London and San Francisco, both being designated as under Gemini rule.

It is probably apt that the Olympics in London will be such a focus for the world while Jupiter is enhancing the city’s natal sign. Gemini is very much related to slick sales and advertising. It is therefore rather apt that the commercial corporate sponsorship of this London’s Olympics is so visibly overwhelming, with “in your face” monopolies dominating the Olympic landscape. McDonald’s, a major sponsor of the games is the only restaurant allowed to sell brand named foods, and will have three branches in the Olympic park and one in the Athletes’ village. Coca-Cola, another major sponsor, is the only company that can sell nonalcoholic drinks. The irony of the contrast between the Olympic ideal of the promotion of healthy athletic bodies and the domination of these companies’ sponsorships is not lost on many.

However, because Uranus (rebellion against status quo) in Aries is now exactly squaring up to Pluto (power bases) in Capricorn (England’s sign and the economy) all month, such events as the imminent Olympics will be no complete diversion from the fact that there will be much upheaval and stress still going on throughout Europe, and the political landscape will be changing fundamentally and with fallout for all.

The Greek elections on the 17th are followed up by the new moon on the 19th. . . suggesting that a new chapter for that country and indeed Europe will be etched out then. Eventually it will probably be for the best.

Mars (assertive, tough energy) has remained stubbornly in Virgo (Greece’s attributed sign) since last November, moving back and forth and now is moving through the last degrees, bringing his long stint through that sign to an end. The Greek situation will become very clear as to its final outcome. Events that started last November will, by the beginning of next month, be brought to full conclusion.

This indeed is Gemini’s own home month. Mercury is in that sign until the 7th and Venus is there all month in retrograde motion. The signature phrase for Geminis is “I think.” They love and feel safe with knowledge, facts and information. They are fast thinking, great communicators and can also be great salespersons with clever sleight of hand, and can talk themselves in and out of any situation. They can be superficially erudite, or profound, if well educated and well read. The lowest consciousness of Gemini can produce the used-car salesman type of mentality; the highest consciousness can be a high-flying academic. They often speak and express by using their hands and their arms. It rules the lung and chest area, which can be quite vulnerable. Gemini is restless, versatile and hard to pin down, the elusive butterfly (or monkey) of the zodiac. They like their freedom and variety. Being representative of the twins, Castor and Pollux, they tend to have rather dual personalities. One day they can think something as a matter of logic and the next day their logic will allow them to think something different, which can be confusing to others. Knowledge gives them security and they are eternally curious. They run on nervous energy and their ruling planet is Mercury, the messenger of the gods, equaling their great love of the dissemination of information, but just as the liquid chemical element of mercury (quicksilver) scatters into tiny balls running randomly in many directions, so Geminis can reflect this characteristic in their behavior and essence. The problem with Gemini is that because they are so versatile, they can be good at many things, but often they get bored and don’t go deep enough. They paddle rather than wade in diverse facts and information and need a good education and self-discipline in order to focus and give depth to their undoubted agile intellect. They need to learn patience and follow-through, and yes, they need to do three or four things at once, but not ten, otherwise they can fall between many stools and become a jack of all and master of no trade. They have a low boredom threshold and they hate to be pinned down. They make charming companions and are chameleon-like, as they get can on with all walks of life. They are mines of information -- every pub quizzer needs one on their team. They are witty and humorous and love words. They also have a Puer Aeternus quality, as life advances. Many journalists, writers and critics have the sign strong in their charts. It is an androgynous sign, and whether male or female, they present themselves to others primarily as a brain, a force of intellect and then secondarily as male or female. They filter everything through their minds and worship at the altar of rationale and logic. They can do many things at once and too much information, which they crave, can in the end exhaust their mind and nervous system, as everything is registered so vividly in their mind. They therefore need more rest and stillness than they realize. They can ignore their body at their peril. The esoteric ruler of Gemini is Venus, goddess of love, the arts (and money). They are therefore challenged to develop those qualities and potential. Emotion does not wash too easily with the archetypal Gemini mind-centered energy.

Venus also in Gemini all month points to a predominance of art that has to have an intellectual motivation, rather than a pure emotional or spiritual one. Art that is a commentary on the conditions and times we live in will be very much in the ether, with wit as part of the package.

Indeed, Jupiter in Gemini for the coming year will be a full-blown invite to the power of such socially and politically motivated art. . . with the power of the information media, social networking blogging and tweeting being also totally influential and of the Gemini zeitgeist to an explosive degree. New angles on social media will be born.

A very interesting and very rare Venus event is occurring on the 5th and 6th. Venus will, from Earth, be seen to pass actually over the sun by transit. This acts rather like an eclipse. Because Venus and the Sun are in Gemini, there is a suggestion that Venus will harness from the Sun, the power of intellect being used for the common good. A scientific breakthrough may well be in the ether during this time, that is a positive turning point for us all, much needed in the planet’s current rather parlous state. The arts then can also be very powerful and ignite attention. This event is straight after the lunar eclipse of the 4th, so a powerful few days is in the air.

Fittingly, as Gemini is so much about the mind, an exhibition “The Human Brain” is currently at the Welcome Collection in London and runs till June 17th. It is a melding of art with science celebrating the wonders, mysteries and beauty of the physical brain. The brain in fact becomes art in this show. There is much we are completely ignorant of about the brain and its billions of neurons, partly because we try so hard to understand scientifically areas that relate to the emotional and the spiritual. There are 150 brain images and actual brains on display. What is explored is the history of brain surgery, past experimentations on the brains of living people, brains of the dead who have left them to science, images of artists’ brains, and of those with dyslexia (a common characteristic in artists, as their visual and three dimensional awareness is often so strong). There is also a desire to show the botanical beauty of the brain. Its coral patterns mirror the ubiquitous fractals in nature. The curator Marius Kwint wants to meld art with science so he can, he says, “subjectify the objective.” There are also emotive gothic images of brains in jars. The whole exhibition demands that the visitor looks to the inevitable philosophical angle on our study of and concept of the brain alongside the (limited) fascination of the scientific understanding of the brain. Artist Andrew Carnie exhibits a video, called Atlas, which is created from a book of photographs (put together 1893, before x-rays were around) of sliced brains created for surgeons who were operating on brain tumors. He says by viewing the work one gets to think about “the very thing that one is thinking with.” Carnie is also in close communication with scientists researching the often-reported psychic effects on recipients of heart transplants. This is a phenomenon where patients who have had heart transplants find, post-operatively, that their personality changes. They have reported to start to have memories and to develop certain attributes that don’t relate to their preoperative persona. It seems as if the emotional and personality attributes of the donor have also been “transplanted” along with their heart, i.e. these traits and memories have become intrinsic to the donor’s physical heart. We don’t really understand the interface between the mind and the soul or that of our organs and life experiences and this exhibition as artist and paramedic David Marron says, is indeed to excite emotion and wonder and to aid both the subjects of art, science and indeed also of philosophy.

The new science of Epigenetics is indeed a realization about the interface between human emotional and physical experience and how it can affect the genes.

Venus indeed also moves direct on the 27th, which will be the beginning of a period when people feel that over the last few weeks between May 15th June 27th when Venus has been retrograde (in reverse gear) they have awakened and realized some important truths of life which they will now wish to express and put into operation, particularly vis-à-vis money and their own and global value systems (and relationships).

The Occupy movement, which certainly is a stance against the values of the status quo, has moved into the arena of the arts. There are those that claim that it is a new artistic movement leaving the gallery world behind. The Poster Protest has become more ubiquitous. Fine art has melded with Street Art, with the pavements of Manhattan becoming an outside gallery system, engaging with the outside world in the occupy spirit. The Illuminators shine revolutionary logos including the now famous Bat Signal onto buildings, to symbolize a desire for a reclaiming the rights of the “99%.” Such art that is both functional and persuasive is and will continue to be on the rise. There are crowd-sourcing donations to fund protest and socially relevant art. Street Performance art has arisen with caricatures of spoof policemen and officials and a sort of culture war is afoot. New York artist Mark Read says there is in the arts movement a “global uprising for democracy.” Brooklyn is the home to many of the “Gwaf” generation (graduates without a future) and this movement is very relevant to them. This is art not to be bought or privatized, but to be socialized. Polly Crabapple, the young New York-based Street Artist, is resolutely outside the gallery system. She says of the movement, “I think Occupy. . . took us out of ourselves. Outside the gallery system; outside this very arid self-referential way of working and it made us engage with real people, and the outside world.”

Christopher Kulendran, an artist and curator in London and New York, says, “Occupy signals the limitations of what we’ve come to call contemporary art. Because the art of Occupy doesn’t really work as contemporary art, it’s bad art, if you judge it in contemporary art terms, as it is not open to interpretation. . . . it goes where contemporary art can’t go. . . because the latter is useless in situations of political urgency.” This Occupy art movement is, uniquely, in modern times, not pandering to society or taking advantage of it. It truly wants to change it. That is truly reflective of the current Uranus in Aries spirit, now manifesting also in the arts world.

The “Artists’ Spring,” perhaps.

We are entering an era of post-post-modern capitalism (whatever that may manifest as) and the artistic movements are reflecting this and are even trying to drive it.

Over the period of Venus being retrograde much of the globe has had a growing sense of collective rebellion against the prevailing socio- economic value system. The uprising in Europe by populations against austerity as an ideological drive by government and autocrats is a collective statement, not about wanting to get back to spending and borrowing indiscriminately, but about a distaste for the fact that the status of money has now become the center of the global community, as opposed to the conditions for the general populace -- the 99% if you will. The financial markets are calling the shots. A total market driven society becomes a largely dehumanized society, not to mention often lacking in morality, and which also erodes democracy. More and more people feel this in their waters. The so called “shareholders’ spring” (a title that is an bit of an insult to those truly oppressed peoples involved in the Arab spring uprising) is a new phenomenon whereby company shareholders are standing up and objecting to the often obscene pay packages awarded by the big players to each other in the company board room. The plutocrats (Pluto) are indeed being challenged (Uranus).

However, Pluto will fight to the death in primeval fashion to maintain its power. It often would rather take everyone down than admit defeat. The self-induced nervous breakdown that modern capitalism is having in many parts of the world, could lead to its suicide, unless it acknowledges a need for fundamental therapeutic self-analysis and change. Pluto, which is all about power, demands in order to heal, a deep confrontation with the misuse of power represented by whatever sign he is in. He has been in Capricorn since 2008, a sign all about economics and the establishment.

With Pluto we have to confront our devils, in order to find our angels. Someone once said of the rare and intense power of Pluto when active in our lives, collectively or individually, “The gates of Hades are thrown open to the unwilling victim at their own unconscious request.”

He brings an evolutionary journey of the soul.

It would, it has been estimated by some economists, probably in the long term cost less for us all, if the Greek debt were written off, than it would if they defaulted and left the European monetary union. Logic and compromise however is not an option with obsessive Pluto fighting for supremacy. For Greece, and other European countries including Britain, the increasing of the austerity measures that are already so devastating to much of the population, is the equivalent of putting an anorexic on a diet and expecting them to eventually gain weight, with no convincing explanation as to how this magic might happen. Many commentators are feeling that democracy is under threat.

Originally a democratic forum in the birthplace of democracy, Greece, allowed any free citizen (male only!) the right to stand up in a public assembly area and address the crowds and explain and justify in detail the advantages of certain policies with a practical and philosophical argument. Then another citizen could give a detailed counter stance and justification and so on. No media to distort and dictate, no serious global vested interests to sway, no sound bites to hypnotize and no extreme party ideology to appease and no necessary wealth and commercial backing to drive and fund their candidacy. Only pure logical and detailed strength of argument was the basis on which individuals were voted for. Saturn (karmic justice) currently in Libra (fairness, justice, symmetry and rational balance) is a sign representing democracy and is indicative of the ongoing fight for a return of more true and fair representation of peoples’ desires in their government. The very word Liberal comes from the word Latin word “liber” (freedom) and so too the sign Libra gained its name from the same linguistic source.

Ironically, Greece, the birthplace of western democracy two and a half millennia ago, will decide in large measure the future of much the west and indeed maybe of democracy itself, in the next six weeks or so.

The problem is that reason, so beloved by the ancient Greeks, is so often now not how we grapple with problems, especially when it affects how we live and our general sense of well being. Emotion and prejudice rule our stances. It is all too true that as writer Samuel Butler said, “life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.” Modern political rhetoric is certainly replete with that.

As Pluto and Uranus increasingly challenge each other, so we see a polarization of views and increasing extremism whether liberal (Uranus in Aries from March 2011) or a right of center clinging to the old status quo (Pluto in Capricorn). Emotions rather than pure logic inflame the mood. This is because the insipient battle is felt increasingly as a primeval fight for survival.

An excellent book by the American political scientist Jonathan Haidt called The Righteous Mind is an impressive exploration of the social psychology of politics and of people’s political allegiances.

Haidt outlines how Liberals rely heavily on the power of pure reason, and do not so readily resort to instincts, or a historic sense of loyalty to a nation or to a particular subgroup, which can cause reason to become subordinate to a passionate, knee-jerk response, which is often a recidivistic tribal loyalty emanating from the family, school, religion or workplace. The Right Wing view often appeals more to that latter power, while liberalism tends to employ and appeal to the abstract objective logic of fairness and compassion applied to the needs of the total stranger. When as a principle this is ignored, it also stirs real passions, re perceived social injustice. However, liberalism can also of course be an inherited stance fostered by school, family or professional milieu. The power of intellect without the power of emotions is often weaker in force than the power of emotions without the input of the intellect. It is true that some things are too important to leave to the head alone, but equally there are many things that are too important to leave to the mercy of mere passionate emotion alone.

Astrologers would analyze a birth chart and know fairly quickly whether someone was more instinctively likely left or right leaning. The predominance of air signs (especially Aquarius) often tends to a more detached liberal stance and a predominance of water signs can lead to a more instinctive, knee jerk emotional stance. It is no coincidence that Obama has Aquarius rising and his call is for Europe to boost growth (also a controversial holy grail when ruthlessly pursued) rather than pursue single-minded austerity for the general populace.

Incidentally, President Obama is fortunate this month in having Jupiter conjunct his Moon in Gemini between June 25th to the 30th. This once every 12 year hit affords public popularity and a lucky, feel-good factor.

Reason originally was a way of grappling with problems from an objective, non-partisan viewpoint, whereas, as Haidt points out, reason is now more commonly used to persuade others that our own prejudices and partisan views are right. In both the U.S. and Britain angry mutual political hostility is growing between the polarized extremes (Uranus versus Pluto) and is ruthlessly divisive.

We can rub along together with our differing either conditioned or reasoned political opinions and allegiances when times are relatively easy, but when times are tough, recidivistic extremism and anger is born from a desire to protect oneself and the groups and values we feel loyal to.

As Gemini native and poet W.B. Yeats said in The Second Coming, “the worst are full of passionate intensity, the best lack all conviction.” The fact is a lack of knee-jerk passionate total conviction about any ideology is indeed often the most well balanced and humble response. All extremes are pathological.

Added to the mix of current planetary powers in operation is Neptune is, who is relatively newly in his home sign of Pisces. Hence we now have an input of a powerful water and therefore strongly emotional combination. This planetary position is however also one of compassion and downgraded materialism. Pisces and its ruler Neptune are all about redemption. It also gives a boundary less sense of the wholistic interdependence of the planet, its ecology and ourselves. With this new power thrown in to the picture, the need to incorporate more spiritual and compassionate values into political goals is felt strongly and this will, over the next 13 years while Neptune does his work, be forced upon the powers that be.

Einstein said, “I know truth never triumphs, but its opponents eventually become extinct.”

Times of likely sociopolitical and even geophysical upheaval and crisis are at the end of the month, around the 29th and 30th, when the Sun is squared by Uranus and opposed by Pluto simultaneously, which is a pretty hefty planetary challenge.

Times of real innovation intellectually and creatively when the future is leapt into are around the 20th and 21st when Venus sextiles Uranus, and a time when measured discipline is successfully utilised is around the 13th. Financial and economic issues come under severe stress around the 5th when Venus squares up to Mars.

The full Moon and a partial lunar eclipse falls on the 4th at the 14thº of Sagittarius and the new Moon falls on the 19th at the 29thº of Gemini. The lunar eclipse will be visible over Australia, and as it rises, over eastern Asia and as it sets, over western North America and western Canada. Traditionally esoteric astrology suggests that a lunar eclipse marks the entry of dark forces into the sphere of the earth, and denotes the end of a chapter. It is interestingly the day when in England we have a bank holiday to celebrate the Queen Elizabeth 11’s Diamond Jubilee and when over 2,000 beacons are to be lit in high places around the country. A very pagan feel will be created with a possible rather strange and maybe uncomfortable twist.

 Interesting times.

LEIGH OSWALD is a London-based astrologer and teacher. She welcomes your comments to her website at

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