In Part I of this article (November 2003) we discussed what Black Holes were, how they functioned and what they represented astrologically, and their importance as metaphors for our experience of the postmodern world. In this installment we will focus on the differences between Black Hole interaction with celestials in the birth chart, by progression, and in the transit sky.
In general terms, the essence of the interaction is always the samechange. Black Holes are like Pluto to the tenth power, with a dash of Chiron and Uranus thrown in for good measure. Whatever celestial they are contacting, Black Holes seek to change, not so much the planetary archetype's functioning, as the manifestations that function evokes. When Black Hole energy is present, the native feels herself on sinking sand. Firm foundations for any length of time are rare, and sometimes what appears on the surface to be permanent and stable is a seething mass underneath. The Black Hole seeks to extract whatever energy it can from the manifestations the planetary archetype evokes, and once it has drained the current circumstances of their energy and power, it requires fresh, new circumstances to sate its voracious appetite.
Imagine this: a celestial of this system contacting a Black Hole forms a sort of vibratory kaleidoscope; the lens nearest us, which we look through, is 'colored' by the flavor of the celestial's planetary archetype; the far lens is the Black Hole, rotating and changing its appearance with the tiniest flick or turn of the tube of space/time which connects them.
Just as a kaleidoscope constantly reacts to our motions by organizing, disorganizing, and reassembling colored bits into ornate patterns, so, too, does the Black Hole create, destroy and recreate the structures in our lives pertaining to the archetype activated. If we are looking through the green lens of Venus at our kaleidoscopic Black Hole, for example, we will see constant change in matters of finance, personal values and self-estimation, romance and intimacy, and aesthetic sense.
If this sense of constant change is based on a contact in the nativity, and is therefore something we consider "normal," we become accustomed to this mode of functioning in our Venus lives, and its effects will be less debilitating than if this is an energy which is experienced for a prolonged period via progression of natal Venus over a Black Hole region, or by a transit sky activation of Venus which aspects us strongly for a short time.
The native born with this aspect may be used to frequent "dry" periods in romance, punctuated with the sudden emergence of lovers or partners, who then recede once more. The individual dealing with this contact by progression may find during this period the loss of an old, long-term relationship and the emergence of a new, lasting love, while the person who experiences a jolt from a transit sky activation may find himself on a blind date with his future partner, or stood up by that same blind date.
Black Holes give and they take away; they seek to evoke that which will create the most energy for their needs. This energy may come in the form of the psychic accouterments with which we, as individuals and as the collective, imbue our planetary archetypes.
Think of Black Holes as great cosmic vacuum cleaners. As we navigate our daily lives, we are constantly putting out psychic energy, in the form of assumptions, expectations, desires, wishes and aspirations. These mental/psychic energies become projected onto our archetypes, thus metaphorically onto the planetary bodies representing them. As Venus transits the zodiac, for example, she accrues vast amounts of our projections about love, romance, intimacy, and the female sex, to name a few of the icons in her bailiwick. When Venus contacts a Black Hole, this "psychic atmosphere" (in her case we might consider it a lace chemise) is unceremoniously ripped from the planetary body by the gravity suction of the Black Hole, thus cleansing Venus and preparing her for a new round of projections.
At these times, ripples of manifestation in Venusian affairs bombard the planet, fillips culled from the parallel universes of potential beyond the singularity (center) of the Black Hole, which it imparts to us in exchange for the vast amounts of energy it receives from the stripped archetype. Couples "choose" this date to become engaged, file for divorce, have their first date or their first argument, marry or separate.
My favorite example of this type of Black Hole activation of Venus occurred March 12, 1992, when, with Venus conjunct the singularity of Black Hole Hekate at 28 Aquarius, two major relationship (Venus) shifts (Black Hole) were announcedlong-time, almost notorious bachelor Warren Beatty had become engaged to Annette Bening, and Tammy Faye Bakker had filed for divorce from jailbird televangelist hubby Jim.
Women and their changing status in general often make the news on a Black Hole/Venus day: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg gained her post with Venus conjunct a Black Hole; former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders lost hers with a similar conjunction; Nicole Brown Simpson died under Venus squaring a Black Hole.
If a celestial transiting a Black Hole is like a carpet getting a good sweeping, one conjoined a Black Hole in the birth chart is like something in a food processor. In the first instance, the contact is brief enough so that only the psychic accoutrements are ripped away; with natal contacts, there is a slow but steady chipping off of the material substance of the archetype itself, which is ground to a fine powder, then reinvented and reborn, only to be ground to a fine powder again.
With natal contacts, although this means of interaction becomes the norm for the individual involved, there is much more of a sense of the ceaseless Dance of Shiva, the whirling dance of creation and destruction which rules the world. The planetary archetype involved is hopelessly trapped within the confines of the Black Hole's supergravity, and its functioning exists almost solely for the accumulation and acquisition of energy to feed the Black Hole's appetite.
Progression, in contrast, is the very image of the myth of Inanna's descent to the Underworld, where at each of seven staging posts on the way down, Inanna is relieved of one of her accoutrementsjewels, clothes, marks of rank or badges of honor, until at the pit (the singularity, or center, of the Black Hole) she is left naked and defenseless, to face the wrath of her dark sister Ereshkigal. On the return journey her accoutrements are returned to her, and progression through the event horizon (orb) and singularity (degree) of a Black Hole is just like thisa slow, steady process of losing everything one associates with the norms of functioning for that archetype, followed by the dramatic shift of the status-quo reality concerning the archetype, and then the gradual reacquisition of the new circumstances which will pertain when one crosses the far event horizon and returns to life in the Light World.
In summation, the essence of our interaction with the Black Hole is changedramatic, sweeping or overwhelming at some times, at others merely the change which is the fabric of our everyday decision-making processes. Whether we experience these periods of Deep Space intrusion in our terrestrial lives as a phenomenon of daily (natal), prolonged (progressed) or momentary (transit) duration, they are the stuff of transformation, and their catalyzing effects leave us irrevocably altered.