Purpose, Place and Choice

Posted by Len Wallick


Astrology is not destiny. Len Wallick begins with that simple fact, and walks you through some other facts about how the Sun and Earth relate to bring the seasons and indicate your place in the universe. With the Libra equinox coming again on Thursday, it’s a good time to refresh your memory.

Astrology is not destiny. If you retain only one fact about astrology for the long run, remember that one. It is the key to freedom and the door to responsibility. The next thing to remember is that the type of astrology nearly always referenced here on Planet Waves (tropical astrology) is so named because it is synchronized with Earth’s seasons.


With a change of season only a few days away, it’s a good time to review valid principles and free yourself from invalid conclusions. Begin with the fact that the season you are experiencing at any given time depends on two factors.

The first factor that determines the season you experience is where Earth is in its orbit around the Sun. The second parameter is where you are on Earth. Those two variables function as they do because our Earth is tilted on its axis of rotation. The degree of tilt is essentially constant and steady at about 23-and-a-half degrees. In other words, Earth does not flop around like a fish.

Instead, the orientation of Earth to the Sun changes as the Earth orbits the Sun. Once a year, for one day, at one and only one part of Earth’s orbit around the Sun, the northern pole of Earth’s axis is pointing directly at the Sun. On that day, the Sun is shining directly overhead at about 23-and-a-half degrees latitude north of the equator. That latitude is called the Tropic of Cancer, and on that day the Sun enters the sign of tropical Cancer. From the surface of the Earth we see the Sun rise and set as far north as it will ever get on that day, which is called a solstice.

See how it works? The same principle holds true for the one day (about six months after the Cancer solstice) when the southern pole of Earth’s axis is pointing directly at the Sun. When that happens, we see the Sun rise and set as far south as it will ever get. The Sun is directly overhead at the latitude commonly called the Tropic of Capricorn, precisely as astrology’s symbolic Sun enters the sign of tropical Capricorn to mark the southern solstice.

In between solstices we have two equinoxes. You guessed it, that’s when the Sun is directly overhead at the equator. One day each year we get the Aries equinox, which takes place when the Sun’s risings and settings are about half way through the process of moving north, and the Sun is entering tropical Aries. Then, as if to balance things out, about six months after the Aries equinox comes the Libra equinox, which will be taking place in two days.

On Thursday, shortly after 10:21 am EDT (14:21:03 UTC) the Sun will be directly overhead at the equator, about halfway through its process of rising and setting farther and farther towards the south. At that time, the Earth’s poles will be pointed neither toward nor away from the Sun. From the surface of Earth you will see the Sun rise directly East and set precisely West no matter where you are. On that day, everybody — no matter where they are — will get the same length of day and the same amount of night as everybody else.

Equator. Equal. Equinox. Who needs groundless speculation about destiny and fate when you have such amazing and undeniable facts? It is a fact that we will all literally be equal under the Sun on Thursday, the first day of solar Libra. It is a reminder from the cosmos that our place in the universe is defined in part by equality, which is the basis of justice, which is essential for peace. In peace, cooperation is made possible. With peace, communities can thrive.

Cooperation and community is how we survived this long. If we are to survive any longer, cooperation and peace are what we will have to practice. And it all comes from the Sun and its relationship to the surface of Earth where we all live. It’s that simple. One would think we could remember it.

One might think we could finally understand that destiny is the cumulative result of choice. Your choices, their choices, his choices, her choices, all flowing together to create fate. Astrology can help you to make those choices, but not if you give your powerful place in the universe away to astrology. Astrology can only be of constructive use when you take your power from it.

Take your power in order to practice cooperation. Take your power in order to form and strengthen communities. That is what we are here to do. It’s so simple. If we forget more often than not, it is not because we are destined to do so. It is a choice, and we can get better at making it. If you can remember only one thing to think about on Thursday, think about that.

Offered In Service

This live audio class (with a video introduction) covers the most basic level of astrology: where things happen, the houses. If you understand the houses as environments and groups of themes, you can read a chart. We will hold the class by teleconference at noon EDT on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. You may sign up here.

This live audio class covers the most basic level of astrology: where things happen, the houses. If you understand the houses as environments and groups of themes, you can read a chart. We will hold the class by teleconference at noon EDT on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. You may sign up here.

Posted in Columnist on | 14 comments
Len Wallick

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: lenwallick@gmail.com. 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.

14 thoughts on “Purpose, Place and Choice

  1. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    Thinking about choice, the Sun, equality and your earlier posting this week about love and echos, Len. Thank you, lots to ponder –we are what we think as we become what we live. Our intentions create (our fate) so choose wisely, so do we dispense with astrology? No more than we can dispense with the Sun, considering that it is our intentions that placed astrology there in the first place!
    I so appreciate how you write the dance of the Sun and earth that in turn, explain our seasons. Unfortunately, most of us cannot trust ourselves to look to the sky and rely upon our own basic knowledge of the planets to know exactly what is happening. We rely upon clocks and calendars (on the internet no doubt) and of course, experts to tell us these things. I have to believe (and definitely want to believe) that our genetic code remembers, even if our minds and local history have forgotten. The leaves have been dropping for some time, a gentle reminder of the changing seasons. But if we were trained in reading the sky, as previous generations before us, perhaps we’d know that it is the Libra equinox approaching. We’d also revere the earth and harvest, and perhaps ourselves more than we do now.
    Without glorifying the past, b/c man seems very certain upon fighting the good fight against himself and his neighbors back then as in now, it seems still that social man, nonetheless, has been inching toward some modicum of progress towards loving himself and others. Imagine if we can, what mankind could gain, if s/he became aware of the knowledge gained by the sky! To live in knowledge of the earth and sky would mean to live holistically in the universe, more than man had in the past, for the connections are clear, and although there is no predetermined fate, there is a choice that will determine our destiny. If we separate ourselves from the sky, and the seasons, we unwittingly separate ourselves from the earth. When we do that, we can’t help but separate ourselves from each other. For example, those unintentionally set intentions, of purchasing fruits and vegetables harvested from foreign lands b/c they are “out-of-season” in your local market, comes at an economic and environmental cost. We propagate habits that we don’t want to quit. Small choices, add to larger consequences. Higher transportation fuel costs and oil dependency, pollution due to long-term shipping of the fruit and vegetables, and so on. So for today’s intentions, I will set mine to buy local, consider the seasons and the sky, know that I am not the Sun (and therefore the world does not revolve around me!), and strive to love myself and others more! I, also, join Aword on this one Len, I appreciate and love you too!

    1. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

      Pisces Sun: Thank you for picking up where my small offering of service left off and really running with it to extend, deepen and broaden the subject matter. All of your shared perceptions and elaborations are deeply appreciated.

  2. Amanda MorenoAmanda Moreno

    Astrology as the key to freedom and the door to responsibility? That is one of the most perfect lines I’ve read in recent history. Mercury retro has done your word smithing well, Len! I can’t even get out an articulate compliment. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    1. Pisces SunPisces Sun

      Michael, A friend of mine once said that somethings are meant for the “mean time and between time but either way know that it is always the right time.” I recall when you moved to Colorado to study and wish you success in staying in the program or if you are not in the program, doing what is the right moment for you at this time. I have been finishing my own studies, also delayed by a year plus from where I wanted to be, but I also lived a very rich year of life experiences during that delayed year (some good, some bad but all enriching).

      When the time is right, the actions will follow. Namaste’

    2. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

      Michael: i admire your courage in holding an institution to its word. In my experience, the usual response of the institution in question through its human interface (department chair, human resources manager, et al) has always been coldly rote at best and disproportionally hostile at worst. Perhaps your experience (in this case, at least) will be more encouraging – I sincerely hope so. Your effort to hold up your end of the bargain deserves a response in kind.

  3. Glen Young

    Reminded of the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, and how the Earth will (deeply) inhale during the summer, then exhale during the winter. Been thinking how Jupiter in Libra resonate with Aquarius, because of its esoteric rulership. How Aquarius ruler, Uranus resonate with Libra,
    its esoteric ruler. Yes, lot of work to be done, if we are to survive, in this New Age.

    1. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

      Glen: Good catch on the esoteric connection. Brilliant, really. It gives the air-trine relationship some additional edge, and even further depth. Thank you so much for provoking my imagination so.

  4. Barbara Koehler

    Spoken like a true Aquarian, thanks Len. Add to the above, tomorrow’s equinox – when the chart is set in Washington, DC – the Sun at 0 Libra 0 will be in the 11th house. It too is all about equality. I’m wondering if the Yod (Venus sextile Mars both quincunx Sedna) pointing to Sedna in the 7th house also indicates cooperation, at least in the arena of environmental preservation. That would be a good place to reach accord this Fall.

    In speaking of justice, you remind me that Native Americans certainly deserve some justice and respect. Perhaps Sedna’s need to “adjust” at her Yod apex position might suggest a turning point in our country’s consciousness (people + government + Big Oil business) this season. That would be regarding the degradation of sacred land, water shared by all, pollution of the planet’s air vs. greed. Surely that’s not groundless astrological speculation on my part, is it?

  5. Len WallickLen Wallick Post author

    Barbara: Talk about a good catch – thank you so very much for bringing up that yod with Sedna at the apex. Your further connection of that yod with current efforts by First Nations people to serve in the role of humanity’s conscience regarding the wholesale desecration of Earth by petroleum fueled greed is not groundless speculation at all. It’s yet another example of your gift for interpreting astrology and your special expertise with yod aspects. Of course, with Venus moving relatively fast in its apparent motion, that particular yod is quite ephemeral. It has me wondering if that yod is part of a series of successive aspects related more by implicit correlation than technical factors. Between your comment and that of Glen Young, i’m now back at the drawing board, scratching my head. Humbled i am.

    1. Barbara Koehler

      Humanity’s conscience indeed Len. Ephemeral as a transit, yes, but as part of the Fall Equinox, Venus parlays that brief moment in time into a 3 month endeavor. And yes indeed, she initiates a sense of value that the Sun (consciousness) vehemently echoes when it makes its quincunx to Sedna mid November, and when next February Saturn (establish) quincunxes Sedna, as Mars is now doing (not to mention the Galactic Core’s quincunx with Sedna), the action (Mars) taken will show concrete results.

      About the time transiting Sun quincunxes transiting Sedna there will be a Full Moon in the degree where the last Jupiter-Saturn conjunction took place. At that time transiting Neptune will be exactly conjunct the transiting South Node and me thinks that will banish the land/oil/water grabbers chances to ride roughshod over the Native Americans rights. I say that because in the chart for that Jupiter-Saturn conjunction (May 28, 2000) Venus (values) in Gemini was sextile the Moon (the People) in Aries, and Neptune was conjunct the U.S. South Node in Aquarius.

      Also at the time of the present Jupiter-Saturn cycle start the Sun at 7+ Gemini was conjunct the U.S. Sibly chart’s natal Uranus at 8+ Gemini. How symbolic it becomes that the Jupiter-Saturn cycle began in the earth sign of Taurus and now transiting Venus begins this “adjustment period” with transiting Sedna in Taurus. In May 2000, transiting Sedna at 16+ Taurus was only 3 degrees away from the U.S. natal Vesta (what we invest in) at 19+ Taurus. Told you this was going to be a big year for Vesta!

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