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A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party: there is no battle unless there be two. Seneca

Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box. Italian proverb

It is one of man’s curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of resolving them. Joseph Marie De Maistre

Sometimes you have to move backward to get a step forward. Amar Gopal Bose

What a strange game. The only winning move is not to play.  Anon—On war games

Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake. Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower—Chess master

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game. Goethe

May’s Sagittarius full Moon occurs on May 23. This full Moon is full of promise, growth, realisations and breakthroughs on many levels. This full Moon has many political themes, and many things are likely to be shown on the collective level, but, as we know, we all have personal ‘political’ thoughts, reasonings and ideas, along with our strongly held beliefs. And our beliefs and personal aspirations for outcomes may be challenged in some ways, particularly if we feel like we’ve been compromising our conscience in some way. This is a lunation that requires that we be honest with ourselves and others, and, our sense of personal power and integrity can be strengthened as a result. We may also find that some ‘battles’ that we’ve been involved with, with others or with ourselves, are best let go of in order to effectively move ahead.

The Sabian Symbol for this full Moon is Sagittarius 3 (always remember to round up one degree): TWO MEN PLAYING CHESS. The following is the interpretation of this degree from my book The Sabian Oracle: 360 Degrees of Wisdom: –

Commentary: ‘Two Men Playing Chess’ is an image of people concentrating and planning moves in order to defeat their opponent in a game. They have to be quiet, focused and attuned to what it is they’re doing if they want to succeed. The theme of a ‘Chess’ game is to knock the opponent out, to literally kill the king, and to take his position and his territory. There can be a certain degree of tension in the air as each tries to “checkmate” the other. First, one may appear to be “winning”, and then the other may make a sudden, sometimes completely unexpected or unforeseen move, get the upper hand and take the whole game. Alternatively, it could be an all-out slaughter if one person is more practiced or efficient at the game than the other.

Oracle: In the current situation you may need to be very thoughtful and cautious about the moves you make and the risks that you are prepared to take. It’s important to take into account the wider picture and all the possible outcomes of any actions taken. Impulsive acts with no forward planning will probably be risky and may lead to others taking advantage of the situation. The same can happen if you show your weak side. There can be a lot at stake here if you lose, but there may be much to be gained if you win. Effective strategies and forward thinking maneuvers are needed. Take some time to compose yourself and assess what’s really going on: you may then find the way forward or out of the maze or conflict. However, it can be very difficult to relax in this type of competitive environment—one often feels that they can’t let their guard down for one moment in case they are taken advantage of, or overtaken, in some way. Keep your concentration focused on the main aim and outcome. Take one step at a time, thinking all the while, and move with purpose and forethought.

Keywords: Strategic competition. Seeing the picture several moves ahead. Arguments that can go on and on. Finding justification for being combative. Throwing down the gauntlet to the other. Taking lives. The need for peacekeeping. War strategies. Matching wits. Facing each other head on. Being royalty or being a mere pawn. Tactical maneuvers. Lawsuits. Custody. Having the bigger stick. Divorce. Disputes. Wit against wit.

The Caution: Depending on pure luck. Underestimating the opponent’s skill or strategy. Arguments and arguing for the sake of it. Bickering and trying to get the better of the other. Always taking an opposing side, no matter what is really happening.

The Karmic Condition (the previous degree) of this full Moon is Sagittarius 2: THE OCEAN COVERED WITH WHITECAPS.  Things, emotions, situations, responses can get whipped up with this energy. This can lead to realisations as things come to the surface, or, it can show where situations have got out of hand in relation to the actual depth or reality of the situation. The following are my interpretations from Solar Fire software:-

This Symbol implies the possibility of getting whipped up about things, often out of proportion to what’s really going on OR staying calm and centered when events or people are getting out of control and making a big deal out of situations. You may find that surface emotions get whipped up and this can led to concerns that are disproportionate to the depth of the situation. Emotions, intelligence and situations probably have a far deeper sense of strength and permanence than it may seem. Get below the surface where things are calmer and more stable. However, don’t withdraw completely as you could find it hard to surface and show your true feelings.

Mobilization of energy and emotions. Safety in deeper, secure layers of responses. Energy that needs an outlet. Churning thoughts. Flighty and changeable. Drama queens.

The Caution: Getting fussed and irritable over nothing or at least very little. Nervousness. Overblown reactions. Responding too readily. Gathering gloom. Fussed and irritable.

The Quest Degree (the following degree) of this full Moon is Sagittarius 4: A LITTLE CHILD LEARNING TO WALK WITH THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF PARENTS

This Symbol implies the necessity of those older to be teachers, exemplars or guides to the younger or less experienced. The “Child” needs the “Encouragement” of “Parents” in order to feel supported or guided. At times in your life, you are likely to fulfill the roles of child or parent to others. As you learn and grow, you may move into new phases of learning that, despite all your previous experience, are surprisingly difficult. Patience and step-by-step progress is needed, as is a guiding hand and a kind word or two. There may be those around you that don’t take your difficulties or responsibility seriously, but your struggles will pay off, particularly if you care and share.

Genuine progress. Instinctive determination. Feeling mother earth under your feet. Taking delight in the smallest progress. Teachers, parents, children. Driving schools.

The Caution: Relying on skills that are not mastered. Not taking the initiative. Preferring being at risk rather than accepting help. Being left alone. Tripping others up.

The Sabian Symbol for the Sun is Gemini 3: THE CHARMING COURT LIFE AT THE GARDEN OF THE TUILERIES IN PARIS. This Symbol can be a very political one: It speaks of the elites in society and their ability to enjoy ‘the charming court life’, and, there is luxury and privilege. Of course, this can talk about those that hold power and wealth in society, but we also can feel a sense of flourishing of our personal lives through spending time with others in beautiful settings. Above all, though, out in the collective, this Symbol at the time of the full Moon can bring to mind the old saying of ‘let them eat cake‘. This also reminds me of my mother’s oft said expression as we were having a special meal “I wonder what the poor are doing” (tip of the hat to my Mum :) ).

We can feel like we’re outside these walls: The walls that protect the elites from the population that may have other ideas of what constitutes freedom and liberty and equality. (They all sound good, but, well…). We do, of course, have our own ‘garden’, those things that we have cultivated in our own lives.

This Symbol speaks of enjoying of having the finer things in life; luxury, big estates, good food, beautiful gardens, a fabulous social life and mixing with the elite of society. This implies enjoying the rewards of self confidence and authority that you and others have developed and achieved. This does not make you greater or better than others, but the work you’ve done entitles you to a little luxury, comfort and prestige. Are you relaxed and comfortable enough to be able to sit back and join in with others and enjoy it all?

A loving of tradition. Cultivation of beautiful forms. Symmetry of form being shown at its best. Gardens. Statues and fountains. Good food and bottles of wine. Polite society.

The Caution: Behaving in an elitist fashion. Being bossy. Snobbery that separates people. Being spoiled and shallow. Expecting others to do everything. Class-consciousness.

There is the fabulous conjunction of Venus and Jupiter – the two planetary benefics together – on Taurus 30: A PEACOCK PARADING ITS SPLENDOR ON THE TERRACE OF AN OLD CASTLE. Here again, we have the impression of luxury and politics. The ‘Old Castle’ – the political past, may be crumbling and there may be those that are guarding the entrances (perhaps also the exits) with the ‘Peacocks’ suggesting the need for observing the boundaries, to signal any ‘intrusions’.

This is the second Symbol to indicate homes, property rights perhaps, the ability to enjoy safety and security or, perhaps, the feeling of having a roof over one’s head. Venus and Jupiter together on this degree can bring all kinds of strokes of good luck, fortune, love, dreams and realisations. The love of beauty and colour can be emphasised now.

This Symbol shows the beauty and splendor of private estates, wealth and riches. Behavior and presentation of form is of vital importance. Situations are likely to be well established, but could also be slowly breaking apart. There is a need to maintain your grace and pride while also maintaining the center of attention. Peacocks, because of the many ‘eyes’ on their feathers are said to be the ‘watchers’ – they watch for intrusion and deception. Be wary of what’s going on but enjoy the beauty and elegance that surrounds you.

Tradition feeding ego-centered attraction. Splendor. Etiquette. Gardens and buildings. Enjoying the environment. Beauty and nature. Wealth. Empires that require protection.

The Caution: Risking integrity to display success. Strutting one’s stuff may invite envy from others. Noisy displays. Over lording others. Neglected buildings. Envy from others.

Topping it off for this newsletter is Pluto sextiling the Moon and trining the Sun. This is a very strong indication of breakthroughs, resolutions, along with the good coming to pass, particularly when employing powerful intent.

Pluto recently went retrograde on Aquarius 3: A DESERTER FROM THE NAVY STANDS SUDDENLY AWARE OF A DAWNING TRUTH: FREEDOM IS NEVER THE RESULT OF COMPROMISE. I’m including my full interpretation of this degree from my book The Sabian Oracle. I consider the retrograde of Pluto on this degree to be a very strong pointer to the need for one to listen to one’s desires, one’s conscience, and possibly, to admit where one has been compromising themselves for the sake of going along to get along. Perhaps there is a commitment that you signed up for (possibly a long time ago) that you are now realising that you have to fully let go of. We ‘sign up’ and commit to many things in our lives and some are outworn, or, we’ve realised the compromises we’ve made along the way.

And yet again, we have another quite political message although I feel certain that we can see where this is manifesting not only in the collective – the world at large – but also our personal lives.

Commentary: ‘A Deserter From the Navy Stands Suddenly Aware of a Dawning Truth: Freedom is Never the Result of Compromise’ shows someone who’s come to the conclusion that staying in a situation that stretches, tests or ‘Compromises’ his needs, desires and values in some way is not worth the energy that has to go into it. Like being in the ‘Navy’, perhaps he had signed up for something for the long haul. He was expected to fulfill some employment, destiny, mission, or perhaps staying committed to a relationship. Now there’s been a realization that the mold cast for him just doesn’t work. It doesn’t satisfy his inner desires and longings. He may have been able to adjust to the situation for a while, but the time has come when he has to leave, bail out or jump ship.

Oracle: A decision to opt out may be based on moral or ethical grounds, where someone doesn’t want to perform some duty or act because it is against their principles, or in order to maintain a sense of free spirit, mobility or independence. You may find that the rigorous restraints and rules of the situation are no longer comfortable, bearable or tolerable. This can be about you, or it can be about someone (or something) else. Being “signed-up” to some commitment can be restricting, limiting and sometimes confronting. There can be a feeling of being taken away from loved ones, home and family for a reason you don’t really understand and not wanting to accept the pressures of separation. However, it could be the exact opposite—home and family life can be too constricting and there may be a desire to leave to pursue another, more independent life. However, there are always consequences for opting out, running away or not playing the game. Are you prepared for them? Is there a ‘Sudden’ realization, ‘A Dawning Truth’ that what you’ve been doing is not necessarily what you want to be doing?

Keywords: Rebellion. Leaving, although allegiance had been pledged. Opting out because of pressure, harassment or bullying. Taking risks to get out of a dangerous/destructive/alienating situation. Being left behind by someone who’s “jumped ship”. Going AWOL. Standing by personal truths. Refusing compromise.

The Caution: Not playing by the rules of socially structured games. Self-ruin. Refusal to face social consequences. Not turning up. Withdrawing support in a physical, emotional or spiritual way. Blowing security. Rats deserting the sinking ship.

Of course, there are other planetary things to consider at this full Moon. Mars conjunct the north node for a start. I’ll leave this at that. I hope to speak more in a separate newsletter about the recent goings on with Chiron/the node/Mars etc in mid Aries. Major help arriving in the form of help, nature spirits, healing and all sorts of good things. More, hopefully, on that later.

Shop notes:

If you purchase my book The Sabian Oracle: 360 Degrees of Wisdom book and card set, I will be posting it from Australia. I had a rather large consignment of printed books go missing in the States some months ago, so I’m posting them from Sydney. The cost is the same however the added bonus is that I can personally sign the book for you (please do let me know if you don’t want your name included i.e. if it’s a gift for someone else).

I’m back doing recorded readings. Not doing phone or Skype, I record a reading and send you a link to the recording. Easy as. Here’s the link: