Mortar and the Bricks

If you point at a wall made of bricks and mortar and randomly ask people what type wall it is, most will call it a brick wall. Rarely will anybody mention what holds the bricks together. In perceptual practice, the mortar is often taken for granted and hence is functionally invisible.


So it is for many people in the world, and also for some notable objects in astrology. Among the people most commonly taken for granted and rendered all but invisible, the largest group is women.

The last century or two has seen some progress in many places as regards to women’s most basic rights. Even so, the default cultural position worldwide overwhelmingly marginalizes the female half of the human race — despite the fact that it is women who have nearly always served as the mortar holding things together.

Whether at the tribal level or in more advanced industrial nations, economic, political or military power is (through physical advantage or institutionalized discrimination) conferred mostly to men. However, no army, no political system and no economy could possibly come together (or endure) without the role women play in continuing and cohering the human race. Every soldier has a mother, and often a sister or a wife as well. The same holds true for every tycoon, president and potentate.  

Unsurprisingly, the first four objects discovered in the main belt of (mostly) asteroids between Mars and Jupiter are named after mythical female deities who functioned to hold things together in the ancient Greek and Roman cultural traditions. Meaningfully discovered on the very first day of the 19th Century, there was Ceres — to this day meaningfully designated by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) number one. After that (in rapid order) came Pallas (MPC #2), Juno (#3), and Vesta (#4).

Time and again, the ancient myths (still serving as a significant part of western civilization’s heritage) demonstrated how those goddesses were disregarded or degraded at the peril of the good-old-boy system, which emulated the cultures creating those stories. Jupiter’s sense of entitlement was met in kind by Juno.
Mars consistently got his backside kicked by Pallas Athena. Ceres literally held dominion over life on Earth, and Vesta conferred the moral legitimacy of home and hearth to what would otherwise be exercises of raw and irredeemable power.

The written readings for all 12 signs of Vision Quest are available, and Eric is working on the audio astrology and rune readings! Order all 12 signs here, or individual signs here.

The written readings for all 12 signs of Vision Quest are available for instant access, and Eric is working on the audio astrology and rune readings! Order all 12 signs here, or select individual signs here.

With the ingress of Ceres into Pisces on Thursday at about 1:40 pm EST (18:39:51 UTC) comes as good a time as any to renew your appreciation of the goddess energies of the sky, and of the women of Earth who carry on courageously to keep the sky from crashing down on us all.

It will be worthy to note how Pallas recently entered Aquarius as if to take the baton from Ceres in the sign of the collective. It would be appropriate to observe Vesta moving through Aries towards Uranus, as if to mediate and bridge the gradually widening Uranus-Pluto square. You would also very probably find reason to give thanks for how Juno’s Scorpio conjunction with Mars this last weekend might well have correlated with things holding together (against all odds) for you.

Indeed, if there is anything to astrology, right about now would be a good time to be grateful for those who give birth, so as to keep mortal humans in touch with humanity’s capacity to imagine (and take inspiration from) the immortal. If you have a sister, there is no time better than the present to appreciate the parallel universe she represents. Most of all, these days — when the foremost (and nominally female) members of the layer of mortar between Mars and Jupiter seem to be taking a crucial symbolic hand in things — would be an excellent opportunity to actually see both the divine and mortal woman in yourself, all around you, and in the Earth itself.

For without both the tangible and symbolic representations of the feminine in this world, we would only have a useless pile of bricks. The time has come to no longer take that fact for granted.

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About Len Wallick

Besides endeavoring to be of service to all of you here at Planet Waves, Len strives to live in Seattle while working as a professional astrologer. To contact him for an astrology reading you can send an e-mail to: His telephone number is 206-356-5467. In addition to his profession, Len contributes to the Seattle community without monetary compensation by serving as a Reiki practitioner and teacher through classes and outreach offered by the Seattle Reiki Mastery Series modality.

8 thoughts on “Mortar and the Bricks

  1. Amanda Painter

    Right after I finished editing this piece, I saw this “breaking news” alert from the NY Times in my inbox:

    “Women should be screened for depression during pregnancy and after giving birth, an influential government-appointed health panel said Tuesday, the first time it has recommended screening for maternal mental illness.

    “The recommendation, expected to galvanize many more health providers to provide screening, comes in the wake of new evidence that maternal mental illness is more common than previously thought; that many cases of what has been called postpartum depression actually start during pregnancy; and that left untreated, these mood disorders can be detrimental to the well-being of children.”

    Sounds like auspicious timing, given the theme of your piece, Len: finally, the medical establishment truly taking seriously the issue of depression in pregnant women and women who have recently given birth, and getting proactive about it.
    Full story is here:

    Worth reading in full; as it mentions, screening is only part of the puzzle — states also need to have the resources for treatment available for women after they’ve been screened. And as a couple people in the NYT comments have mentioned, this whole issue also points to the need for more comprehensive paid maternity leave (and, I’d argue, paternity leave so fathers can help out, too).

  2. Barbara Koehler

    I saw Vesta as a bridge too Len – trans. Saturn made a trine to her on Saturday, and because transiting Uranus is now acting the role of apex or release point in a Yod he is forming with the 50 year old sextiles he and Pluto in Virgo made to Neptune in Scorpio,. . . trans. Saturn (not quite in position to exact a trine to trans. Uranus himself) seems to send his daughter Vesta off to bridge the difference. Have they, Saturn and Uranus, reached an accord? In turn then trans. Saturn (grounding) will sextile the trans. Sun (consciousness) on Feb. 3, in preparation for Sun’s sextile with trans. Uranus (breakthrough) as he releases all that ’60’s energy.

    So, you aren’t running for office are you Len? You are surely winning votes among us ladies by writing about the feminine nature that binds things together and we appreciate the spotlight on that fact. I would say that Saturn too has a binding quality, not quite the same thing, but it leads me to think that because the feminine principle is part and parcel of Capricorn, it would follow that it could be part of the Saturn mystique as well. I like that idea anyway.

    Trans. Saturn now leaves his conjunction to the U.S. ascendant and by Feb. 1st will be conjunct the Great Attractor, where he will be when he sextiles the Sun on the 3rd. You may remember that the 3 outer planets, Uranus, Pluto and Neptune had something in common, which was all 3 had an important symbol at 11+ Aquarius when they ingressed their present signs. The transiting Sun will be at 11+ Aquarius on February 1st. It seems probable (to me) that while trans. Saturn is being enveloped in the GA Effect, trans. Sun will likewise be under the influence of the outer planets through their emissaries (for Uranus it was Venus, for Neptune it was Mercury and for Pluto it was the North Node and Nessus) at 11+ Aquarius.

    So on the 1st day of February, the Sun (our consciousness) is absorbing the outer planet influence via his arrival at 11+ Aquarius, just as Saturn is being rather overwhelmed by the GA, which comes shortly after Vesta makes her trine to Saturn en route to a conjunction (on Feb 4th) with Uranus who is acting as point man for a Yod made up of himself and the revolutionary mid ’60’s sextiles between Neptune and the famous conjunction of Uranus and Pluto. And the State of Iowa holds its famous caucus that will initiate the electoral process for selecting a new president of the U.S.

    Following that we all experience the (outer planet influenced) Sun – sextile – (the Great Attractor influenced) Saturn and then 3 days later (during which Vesta delivers Saturn’s message to Uranus) the Sun (under the influence) will – sextile – Uranus (and all that 60’s energy) and the transformation begins.

    If Vesta is telling Uranus that Saturn is ready to capitulate to certain change brought forth from the Uranus-Pluto conjunctions of 1965-66, then she has more than served an important purpose. She might just be the glue that holds the Nation together.

  3. Len Wallick Post author

    Barbara: No, i’m not running for office. i would have to cut my hair. Heck with that. i was just feeling my inner feminine, checked the astrology and noted the Goddesses in action. Vesta and Pallas are very interesting right now. Even up to tonight’s news. Pallas and Vesta are both accidentally exalted in the chart for the arrest of the Bundy Gang contingent on their way to a purported speaking engagement (4:25 PM in Seneca, Oregon). Add in the Ceres ingress and Juno applying to a cross-quarter point while separating from Mars, and something is definitely up. Bless the beasts and the children. Thank you for noting the solar position coming up on February 1 (and its correlation to the outer planet ingresses earlier in this century. That could be a really important date given current developments. Once again, you are the best. May Vesta indeed be the glue you have anticipated it could be.

  4. Gwen

    Thank you Len for honoring The Goddess(es) and women of the world! It is astounding to find our nation going backwards into the future with respect (or lack thereof) to the rights of women, and just about everyone else, for that matter, who does not happen to be an entitled politician or corporate supporter of our “lawmakers”! Might the cosmos indicate why the backwards turning wheel is turning backwards, and when we might be starting to experience the collective shift to forward movement?
    Blessings-You totally rock!

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