Astrology 1/25-1/31: Extracting The Stone

Astrology 1/25-1/31: Extracting The Stone

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The Moon wanes through her third quarter this week, giving away her light one day at a time.  Meanwhile, Venus’ anaesthetic sextile with Neptune provides some succor to the end of a difficult January.  Nonetheless, it is Mercury’s direct station on Monday and subsequent reunion with the Uranus-Pluto square which defines the tenor of the week.  Under the early-morning light of all five visible planets, important matters clamor and jostle for attention.


StoneofFollyHuysMercury stations direct on Monday, January 25th, and does so while conjoined to Pluto, and in a tight square to Uranus, guaranteeing that some of the messages the swift planet bears will be sweeping in their consequence and profound in their concern.

With the resumption of forward movement, the labyrinth that we’ve roamed for all of January begins to shrink until it can be held between the forefinger and the thumb.  Mercury-as-surgeon holds the stone aloft, as if it were an excised tumor.

Ecstatic at our liberation, we might at first mistake it for the vaunted philosopher’s stone.  It is not.  It is instead the dark reflex thereof.  Yet it has similar properties.

Infectious MineraliaJosephWright-Alchemist-Cropped

The philosopher’s stone, the result of alchemy’s magnum opus, is not gold itself, but instead that which is capable of transforming other metals into gold.  It is a contagious node, which colonizes and transforms those substances which come into contact with it. The stone is thus not only a result of an ideal pattern, but an emanating beacon thereof.  It infects the systems it is present within, transforming its subsance in accord with its own virtue.

While alchemical texts go to great and convoluted lengths to describe the process by which the philosopher’s stone is created, we, in the laboratory of life, often produce the magnum opus’ villainous counterpoint- the stone of folly.  Just as our highest hopes and best intentions condense into seeds, so do our worst fears and habits.  The stone of folly is thus both the result of and font of pathogenic patterning, parallel in many ways to the less-commonly discussed procedures for the alchemical preparation of poisons.


Once the stone of folly is excised, it is tempting to toss it out with the rest of the biomedical waste and go about our business.  Yet the stone of folly, like the philosopher’s stone, is in part the fruit of the system that produced it.  Both pearls and kidney stones will both be generated again if the systems which bore them are not altered.

The logic of cancer makes this clear, as does the current condition of American politics.  Donald Trump may be a tumor, but his growth is only possible in a sick body politic.  While he might be removed, like the often-excised Sarah Palin, he will either be replaced or regrow if the system’s health is not improved.  Though quarantine is desirable, it is not sufficient.

Furthermore, we are bound by the tight ecology of the human psyche.  We cannot merely cut out the pieces of ourselves that displease us.  We are our hate, fear and pain as much as we are our love, acceptance and joy.  For it is within the cold fortress of our aversion that our love is held hostage, and  antivenin can only be created from the very toxin it negates.

This returns us to the question, though- once the stone of folly has been extracted, how do we extract ourselves from it?  The stone cannot be destroyed with violence- it is the product of violence.  While the branches which extrude from it might be hacked back with sharp blades, the stone itself resists such attacks.

No, the stone of folly, once extracted, must be immersed daily in the waters of forgiveness, its mineral body washed granule-by-granule into the ocean.  Yet the process by which the stone can be returned to the prima materia is as laborious, as time-intensive, as the process by which it was formed.

The stone, once removed, still leaves the question of the unhappy tissues from which it came.  Fortunately, the extraction leaves behind a field plowed and ready to receive a new pattern.  So plant the seeds of virtue and desire, and work toward a harvest of pearls.




Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer. They are fun and can be reasonably accurate, however. In addition to referring to your Sun sign, read from your Ascendant and Moon if you know them. If you don’t, find out! I’m a long time fan of the free chart generation software at
Aries: The Ram

Obstacles to professional progress which only a week ago seemed insurmountable shrink. These problems, now diminished, appear increasingly manageable. This week’s dwindling gravity may tempt to you to float off, but before you do, consider what patterns generated the obstacles you encountered this January. Now that the little crises are moving toward resolution, take the time to implement the redesigns necessary to prevent the recurrence of this month’s annoyances.

Taurus: The Bull

With Mercury’s direct station this week, the bit of sand you had in your eye is finally flushed free, allowing you to see your personal direction and travel trajectory with increasing clarity. Yet before heading back down the now-cleared road, consider what patterns brought about this January’s difficulties. There is much for you to do, and it is tempting to merely plunge back into it, but if you do not address the root causes, you are sure to encounter similar obstacles further down the line.

Gemini: The Twins

Mercury’s direct station this week sees clarity dawning on your affairs. Contracts and commitments which have been muddled are likely to shake out one way or another, making it clear where you stand. Regardless of where you ended up, the time is likely ripe to start imposing a little more order onto your life. A bit more discipline might kill your buzz, but it won’t kill you.

Cancer: The Crab

The direct station of Mercury this week sees the frog climb out of your throat, clearing the way for a number of truths to emerge. Significant conversations you’ve been trying to have may finally find a voice this week. Conversely, you may find that what you thought you wanted to say to someone else need only be whispered to your own heart.

Leo: The Lion

Mercury’s station, which begins the week, is due to clarify a variety of practical details for you, particularly those which have gotten bogged down over the last several weeks. With problems clearly defined and answers in sight, things are likely to become increasingly manageable this week. While some slack emerges, consider carefully what patterns you can enact to avoid a repetition of this month’s difficulties.

Virgo: The Virgin

Mercury’s direct station will likely come with some relief. Now that the surgical extraction of your creative blockages is nearly complete, you’ll have the opportunity to allow homeostasis to return to the system. Relax, sink and let things circulate according to their nature.

Libra: The Scales

The week begins with Mercury’s direct station, which sheds increasing light on issues involving your living space and familial relations. Answers to lingering questions emerge, and ongoing squabbles or disagreements will tend toward dissolution. Yet the larger questions of people and place which began this cycle still beckon. What land do you trust to build upon, and which roots do you trust to nourish you?

Scorpio: The Scorpion

Mercury’s direct station comes this Monday, and signaling the beginning of forward movement. Lines of communication, pathways and circuits open up, and soon little rivers of words and information begin to fill them. As pattern and movement return, consider the circuits you’re establishing, the sigils you’re drawing, as you’ll be tattooing them into your life over the next several months.

Sagittarius: The Centaur

Monday sees Mercury station direct, which signals the return of clarity to financial matters. You may or may not like what is revealed, but either way, accurate numbers are superior to fuzzy facts. As things begin moving forward again, take the time to consider the last month’s events, and how best to incorporate what you’ve seen into your personal economic policy for 2016.

Capricorn: The Goat

The week begins with Mercury’s direct station in your sign. This clarifying moment radiates throughout the week, bringing answers, or at workable solutions, to many of January’s conundrums. External difficulties, in particular, will tend toward resolution on their own, but you would be remiss if you wasted this opportunity to consider what this January revealed to you about yourself. Somewhere within its swiftly receding days there is an obsidian mirror, and your image within it is worth reflecting upon.

Aquarius: The Waterbearer

Mercury’s direct station on Monday starts the week off. The swift planet’s resumption of direct motion will help lead you from the odd catacombs you’ve been exploring back to the daylit world. It will be easy to forget what you learned in those strange spaces, so remember to make a note of what you dreamed, as it may come in handy sooner than later. Oh, and happy birthday to you January Aquarii.

Pisces: The Fish

The week begins with Mercury’s direct station, which should see some of the difficulties you’ve had handling everybody’s expectations begin to clear up. A few lead walls, strategically placed, should serve to provide enough insulation from the constant demands of the social. Just remember that those walls need doors. There is a fine line between privacy and solitary confinement.

Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.

1 Comment

  1. Mackenzie Greer 4 years ago

    You’re the best. So articulate and spot on, as always I am impressed. Can’t thank you enough for every time I receive my weekly email!

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