Tales of Unrequited Love, Mourning and Good Counsel

The heavens have quite a tale to tell today, drawing on themes of human and divine love, heartbreak, tragedy and sorrow. Happily they also have some words of wisdom and suggestions for beautiful songs and poetry, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

Let us begin with the Sun, in Greek mythology Apollo was god of the sun and music and today we find the Sun moving in close to asteroid Daphne. Now this is interesting because Apollo (the sun) and Daphne have some history between them. The tale goes that one day Apollo found young Eros playing with a bow and some arrows and took the young god to task, chastising him for playing with weapons more fit for stronger and more serious gods. Eros didn’t think much of Apollo talking to him in this way so he took two arrows, one made of gold (to cause love and admiration in whoever was shot with it) and one made of lead (to cause hatred and repulsion). He shot Apollo with the golden arrow and the nymph Daphne with the leaden arrow, thus causing Apollo to fall deeply in love with Daphne who in turn could not bear to look at Apollo, let alone be anywhere near him.

ApolloAndDaphne – Gian Lorenzo Bernini

In fact, Eros’s leaden arrow made Daphne want to reject the approaches of all men who wanted to marry her, but her father wasn’t too pleased with this and told her that she was too beautiful to be able to avoid getting married eventually. Nevertheless Daphne continued to spurn all men. Eventually Eros took pity on Apollo and helped him get close to Daphne, but Daphne in her distress cried out to her father to help her, and just as Apollo was taking Daphne in his arms she was turned into a bay tree. Apollo, distraught that he could never have his love vowed to tend her faithfully and blessed her with eternal beauty, which is why the bay tree never loses its leaves.

So this little tale is being re-told in the skies at the moment as the Sun chases Daphne through the relationship sign of Libra.

In another manifestation of the god Apollo, the rather mysterious Uranian celestial object Apollon is conjunct Saturn at the end of Libra. Sitting alongside Saturn and Apollon is Erato, muse of lyric poetry. It looks here as though Apollo has come face to face with his own limitations and the constraints of time (Saturn). He is feeling old and sees time running out on his chances of achieving a happy marriage (after all, he’s right at the end of Libra). He now composes love songs and erotic poetry, celebrating his beloved and full of unfulfilled desire. The rueful and tragic sense of this tale is reinforced by another Uranian, Kronos (a further manifestation of the god Saturn) being challenged by Pluto (death) – Kronos is caught up in the cardinal square, increasing the tension he is feeling.

In a separate but equally tragic tale, in fact even more tragic, Chiron is currently conjunct Niobe – a pairing full of tears, loss and regret. Niobe was a proud Queen of Thebes, married to Amphion the King, who made the mistake of boasting about her fourteen children to Leto who only had two – Artemis and Apollo. Leto sent her children to punish Niobe and Apollo killed all her male children while Artemis killed all the girls. Upon seeing the death of all his children Amphion committed suicide. Niobe’s life was in ruins and she fled to Mount Sipylus in Asia Minor where she turned into a stone and her eternal weeping causes a stream to flow from that stone to this very day.

The Punishment of Niobe – Tobias Van Haecht

Chiron’s presence here is suggestive not only of sorrow but also of the possibility of healing and learning from the past. Niobe was punished for her sinful pride but maybe Chiron can bring some understanding of past wrongs and some means of moving past them. Kronos is again involved in this as he is trine to the Chiron/Niobe conjunction – time is a great healer and even though things are being squeezed by that cardinal square at the moment the gentler trine from Kronos to Chiron is an optimistic sign that for those who are sad, mourning a loss or punishing themselves for their pride or arrogance; things will get better.

I find it interesting that both myths end with someone becoming rendered motionless, paralysed by fear or guilt or sorrow and unable to do anything more than weep or watch. However, all is not lost – just as Chiron indicates a possibility of healing and moving forward we can also see other moves afoot that indicate things might be about to shift. Jupiter (chief god) is close to turning back on himself and undoing or re-doing some of the events that have happened in the last months. He can clearly see some of the unexpected consequences (remember he is close to Chaos) of these actions. At the same time he has Themis and Eulalia whispering in his ear – Themis is a titaness and is reputed to give good counsel, while Eulalia is known for being well spoken – so Jupiter is getting some good advice right now that will help him sort things out.

Themis – from the Temple of Nemesis, Rhamnous. Themis is linked to nemesis through similar ideas about balance and social order – it’s interesting that at the moment Nemesis is opposite Jupiter.

Mercury is trine to Jupiter, an aspect good for listening, and at the same time Zeus (another manifestation of Jupiter) is closely conjunct Mercury – it looks like Mercury is being given a message from Jupiter, maybe some words of advice or support. Plus, it looks like this message is intended for Saturn because Saturn is the next planet that Mercury contacts and he does so just before Saturn enters Scorpio, which they do together. Mercury invites Saturn to enter the deeper waters of Scorpio where he may feel less comfortable than he did in Libra, but where new opportunities for a deeper connection and fulfilment await.

So what does all this mean for us mere mortals? Well, it is likely we will have our attention drawn to sad stories of rejection and unrequited love, frustrated desire, regret and longing. That we will see more examples of how pride comes before a fall and the punishment that comes to those who are too arrogant. The news may become more full of good advice, clever words, plans and ideas for how to get out of such situations. And personally, if any of these themes ring true for us then we would be well to listen out for good advice. It might come from a friend, a colleague, a respected person or a magazine, a TV programme or an article you chance upon while surfing the net. For those who are sad and dejected there are glimmerings of hope, for those who are sorry there are chances to put things right. For all the coming days mark an opportunity.

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