Asteroid Athena stationed retrograde on September 11th, placing a magnifying glass on the corporeal themes of the degrees between 12° and 14° Taurus- Athena’s wisdom here is found in the pace of life in tidepools, or in a cow chewing cud, the plodding, deliberate, stubborn pace of biology.
At 14° Taurus, Athena’s closest aspect is a sextile to Neptune at 12° Pisces. This sextile stays within a 2.5 degree orb between August 10th and October 16th, coloring the entire season with its subtle influence. A sextile has the same collaborative action as a trine, but requires conscious effort to open the channel. Neptune is superpowered in his home sign of Pisces, the gestational realm, the collective subconscious, the deepest part of the brain, and his connection by sextile to Athena in Taurus is an opportunity for bringing our identity rooted in subconscious awareness of the body, into alignment with the physical reality of the body.
Athena transited conjunct Neptune in Pisces on February 1st of this year, followed on March 14th by her momentous conjunction to Chiron:
I have always had a great interest in the connection between Chiron and Athena, especially as someone who uses astrology to understand, process, and heal from trauma, Chiron in Pisces has been a powerful tool and ally.
Athena Retrograde between the degrees of 14° Taurus and 25° Aries covers the natal Chiron of everyone born between March 1st 1976 and May 25th 1980. Those born between March 25th and April 9th of 1976 have Chiron conjunct Athena in the final degrees of Aries. Those born between October 28th and November 10th of 1977 have the opposition in the first degrees of Taurus(Chiron) and Scorpio(Athena). These groups have a much more prominent connection to Athena’s retrograde transit.
The generational cohort experiencing Athena retrograde conjunct their natal Chiron is between 37 and 41 years old, a phase where one’s relationship to their body changes drastically, as the habits of youth add up. A lifestyle is just the sum of all your habits, and Athena’s mentorship is now challenging us to reassess who we are becoming, encouraging us to evolve, improve our habits, invest in our bodies, and manifest a better quality of life.
I’m sure that regardless of age and generation, everyone’s bodies are throwing yellow if not red flags into the mind at this point. Athena stations direct conjunct Uranus, showing that collective unrest is the underlying obstacle to individual wellness that needs to be addressed during this transit. We are living through the endgame of our society, a broken system that does not take care of us. If we want to create a society where everyone is taken care of, we all need to do the work to acknowledge and overcome the trauma that distorts the way the mind creates our image of the body. But lets back up and take a complete look at the major checkpoints of Athena Retrograde 2017:
Athena played a powerful supporting role throughout August, forming a trine to Mercury Retrograde Conjunct Vesta in Virgo on August 12th, just as her sextile to Neptune was forming. That first sextile became exact on August 24th, three days after the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Leo.
Athena’s second, retrograde sextile to Neptune occurs on October 5th, forming a yod to the Libra Sun on the day of the Aries Full Moon, and also aspects asteroid Persephone in Virgo.
Athena stations direct at 25° Aries conjunct Uranus 24° Aries on December 17th, which is also the day of the New Moon at 26° Sagittarius- a perfect trine to Uranus and Athena.
On February 25th of 2018, Athena makes her third and final sextile to Neptune, and in a beautiful act of sky poetry, asteroid Persephone is transiting Libra, forming a yod with them.
Athena then clears her retrograde shadow on February 26th, and forms a sextile to Chiron in Pisces on March 27th.
Deborah Koff-Chapin is an artist with natal Athena conjunct her Pisces Sun and north node, and she also has natal Chiron exact opposite Uranus. The following autobiographical description of how she discovered her technique of touch-drawing, and her relationship with creating images of the body, gets right to the heart of Athena retrograde 2017.
Please visit TouchDrawing.com to learn more about this incredible artist and her work.
“While growing up, I held the artist as my highest ideal. In living close to the source of creation, the artist was close to the heart of God. During the tumultuous upheavals of the sixties, my involvement with art served as a stabilizing element. While other teens were turning to drugs, politics or parties, painting was my alternative mode of ‘truth seeking’. It was a vehicle for turning inward and realizing the companionship of solitude, as well as a means of communicating from the depths of my soul. My natural tendency was to reflect states of being through the human image. Once, frustrated by the authoritarian attitudes at high school, I went home and painted a giant red face that filled the canvas with great power and authority. It was a way to release my anger and make a statement that communicated my feelings in a universal form. Sometimes I would go into the woods, soak up the peaceful atmosphere and let an image surface into my mind. I would pour this out onto the canvas in one intense stream of effort. It felt as if the image had a life of its own. There was magic in these moments, a feeling of having helped God in the act of creation.
Upon graduating from high school, I attended art school in New York City. I enthusiastically leaped into the mystique of the art world, but existential nausea set in as I began to question the meaning of art. The human form disappeared from my paintings. As brushes began to feel like obscure instruments, I turned to pouring and dripping paint. I read art journals and learned to verbalize the concepts behind the work I saw in contemporary galleries and museums. “Art talk” became the high craft.
One day while on retreat in my school’s country campus, I came across a willow tree swaying gently in the breeze. The tips of its branches were etching lines in the sand below, creating ever-changing patterns on the beach. Ecstatic at the sight, I realized that I was witnessing the pure, unselfconscious act of nature drawing. I took a role of photographs and thought no more of it. In retrospect, I have come to recognize my joy in this experience as a sign of my underlying search for a more natural way to draw.
By my last year in art school, I had become fluent in the language of abstraction. It was pure and essential, but foreign to the eyes of all but those educated in the ‘esoteric knowledge’ of the art world. I was stunned into this realization one day when an old friend came to my studio and stared blankly at the paintings on the wall. I used to share the depths of my soul with friends through imagery. Where had I gone in those years to draw such a blank? The seed of an answer came one day as I scribbled some words onto a page…“What’s wrong with drawing a face?” With a shudder of guilt, I tentatively doodled some raw, primitive faces. Feeling as if I had drawn something ‘dirty’, I tucked the embarrassing doodle away.
Within a few weeks the seed that had been germinating in my being burst forth. On the very last day of my last year in school, I was helping a friend clean up in the print shop. As I placed a paper towel over an inked glass sheet, I felt an impulse to stop my intended motion. Instead of wiping, I playfully moved my hands on the paper towel. As my fingertips made contact with the paper, I felt as if I was blasted open. Thunderstruck, I lifted the towel off the ink and saw impressions that had been transferred to the underside by the pressure of my touch. Lines coming directly from my fingertips! I laughed ecstatically with this discovery. In a state of revelation, I moved my fingertips on one paper towel after another. The marks that were created through the pressure of my touch were so pure and natural. Like the willow in the sand, they were an extension of my being on the page, a record of each moment as it passed. Soon I realized I could draw faces – child like, simple faces. One after another, imprints of my ever-changing self poured through my fingertips and onto the paper. My soul was being reflected before me – raw, honest and direct.
Although this experience appeared to be one of childlike play, underneath I felt something profound. I sensed that this was an evolutionary creative process that was intended to emerge into the collective in the coming years. I had received a calling to share Touch Drawing with the world…
…In opening a way for people to give birth to images directly from within their bodies and souls, Touch Drawing is aligned with the rising of the feminine principle. It also is a counterbalance to the technological forces that are overtaking so much of contemporary life. Touch Drawing evokes our ancient roots in the handprints on the cave walls, and looks ahead to our evolution as multi-dimensional beings. May it serve the healing of the soul and the growth of a vibrant humane culture on the planet, in ways as yet to be imagined.”
))) ❤ (((