Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of February 16th - February 22nd,  2001

Learning to Fly

Columns Archive

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Feathers

Spirit Feathers

   As an astrologer, I've been stretching my wings of late, flying over Washington, DC, Richmond and Charlottesville, VA, en route to a landing just south of Shiloh, NC. Because time is tight, I'm typing this as I glide over Interstate 81 east of Knoxville, heading south for a quick visit with relatives in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Next month, I'll be winging my way to Crested Butte and Antonito, Colorado, and in April will be alighting in Austin, Texas.

Learning to Fly

Learning to Fly

   There's no question this entire expedition has been born of Pluto, and its fuel has been more powerful than any I've ever experienced. When one becomes closely acquainted with death, the entire panorama of feelings associated with this planet are flushed to the surface. Pain, guilt, grief and fear flood the consciousness and become a consumptive focus which cuts across time. Pluto rules the fixed water sign Scorpio, and it deals with the primordial passions. It is what anchors us at our roots. Telling someone that they shouldn't feel guilty about loss is like standing on a 60 foot high platform over the water, and telling someone that they shouldn't be afraid to jump. It's not a difficult concept, as long as you're not the one who's having to jump. It's hard to quietly listen to the rationale of the mind when your guts are screaming at you. The obsessive qualities of Pluto fixate on the pain of severance, probing every possibility, desperately searching for an escape from an already sealed fate.

   After Pluto was discovered in 1930, there was a considerable amount of debate about whether its rulership should be over Scorpio or Aries. While most have now come to accept the former's sign as the more obvious choice, there is no question that the rebirth and renewal associated with this energy lends a favorable nod to Aries. It represents the rebirth of spring after a particularly difficult winter.

Learning to Fly

Trying out different wings

  With time, the flood of emotion which initially sweeps everything in its path begins to give way to a new appreciation and understanding. The waters part, and one looks at others with new eyes. Things which were taken for granted are reexamined. Life carries a renewed vitality, with an awareness of living in each moment. If not overwhelmed in the process, much of the superficiality of daily living is stripped away. Being able to reach out, to embrace joy and love together with their shadows, experiences a rebirth. This month, I found myself dancing naked with the Full Moon deep in the Virginia woods to music that spoke to my soul. Mortality is both its own tragedy and triumph. Death is precisely what makes life so precious. It is the ultimate template against which all is measured. Pluto focuses the mind, and if one is not pulled into the undertow of its wake, there can be a strength and appreciation which flourishes as a result. Looking back, it was the little things which were given away that became the greatest treasures. Indeed, all of life is a dance with death, but to a greater or lesser extent, we mask these rhythms in an attempt to minimize their pain, but unconsciously also minimizing their fundamental power and beauty.



  Some say life, will beat you down.
Break your heart, steal your crown.
So I started out, for God knows where,
I guess I'll know when I get there.


-Tom Petty


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