Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Does This Path Have A Heart?: New Moon in Sagittarius 2014

Spring path in Amayé-sur-Orne, Normandy (France);
photo by Roi Dagobert, April 2014.

New Moon @ 00 Sagittarius 07'
November 22, 2014
7:32 AM Eastern
4:32 AM Pacific

Take a deep breath, seriously. Take a moment out of your potentially busy day and just breathe for a minute. Close your eyes. Turn it into a meditation or whatever. Allow yourself to feel what that does to your body—how it immediately releases stress and tension. Yes, this New Moon is like that—a breath of fresh air permeating your lungs and entire body. You see, we’ve been in the trenches for quite some time, especially these past several weeks, months, or what may have felt like years. It’s been intense to say the least.

Much of that has had to do with Saturn’s transit through Scorpio—a sign that gets a bad rap which I seem to be potentiating here. No sign is inherently bad in astrology—though some combinations of signs and planets have a certain “negative” feel and are more difficult to integrate. With Saturn in Scorpio, we feel a sense of immense challenge and uncertainty. Okay, let’s face it; this transit has been, for many of us, like slogging through hell with no end in sight; though hopefully you’ve come out a “better”, more integrated person. Hopefully, you’re more aware of the dark side and wiser for it.

Knowledge is a really important thing. Scorpio is not a sign we associate with knowledge, but it is a sign that encourages an awareness of the “dark side” of reality, of the world and of ourselves. That awareness leads us to knowledge—which we must make the effort to seek ourselves. Saturn moving through this dark and secretive sign gave us that impetus to probe those places that make us uncomfortable, perhaps a little queasy even. Saturn pushes us to make the effort—to push ourselves to make things happen, to make things real, to face reality no matter how painful or scary it is.

This month’s New Moon occurs at the entry of tropical Sagittarius—a quixotic sign that seeks new horizons--physically, mentally and psychically. The “newness” of this New Moon finds itself at the fresh start of Sagittarius, the critical point of transition from the preceding sign of Scorpio and, in a way, it symbolizes a preview of coming attractions. Saturn is still in Scorpio, but in case you haven’t heard it’s about to dip into Sagittarius come December; though it will retrograde back into Scorpio once more before fully committing to its new journey in September 2015, but that subtle shift, that first foot in new territory is enough to get us excited about what’s coming next.

This New Moon packs quite a punch for it redirects us from what may feel like a suffocating bind to something else, something larger—to new possibilities and potentials. I’m getting pretty excited just thinking about it. I can feel the dawn of a new day coming—new vistas expanding, the spaciousness of infinite possibilities. Feel that in your body—that opening, that awakening, that feeling of weightlessness and levitation--new worlds, cultures, experiences, galaxies; that is the Sagittarian directive.

Maybe I’m being a little optimistic here—just a little, but that’s kind of the deal with Sagittarius. Besides, optimism is what gets most of us out of bed each morning. It’s perfectly necessary and it’s perfectly healthy to embrace it in moderation. Jupiter, the planet we associate with Saggy, is quite literally the god of optimism and happy-go-lucky attitudes galore. It’s a planet that just can’t say no for good or ill. Sagittarius takes on a bit of that positivism which elevates consciousness beyond the mundane and depressing truths of life’s existence.

Sagittarius is also a sign we associate with truth—though that truth differs from Scorpionic truths—less raw and disturbing and a little more gilded. Sagittarius seeks the “higher truth”, platonic truths that transcend mere logical conclusions about reality. Sagittarius is both the remedy and the root of existential despair. If we work with this sign correctly, we have restored our faith in the fact that life has meaning, purpose and design.

Astrology is an amazing tool that reveals this fact, but in reality, meaning is something we must create and strive for. Saturn through Sagittarius will certainly assist us with this. We are not born with a purpose, but rather we are born with a potential. Life is not inherently meaningful by itself. We give it meaning; as we reach for our potential, our purpose is solidified and becomes something tangible and real and as the old platitude goes: God helps those who help themselves. There is much truth in that statement.

No one is inherently special or significant in the larger scheme of things. Nature prefers to keep all options open and available. An oak tree drops a heck of a lot of acorns with the hope that at least a few will one day reach their potential destiny. Our specialness comes from what we do with our talents and abilities, how we use them and how well we develop ourselves. That takes a certain level of consciousness, intention and ambition.

Saturn’s entry into Sagittarius also coincides with the activation of the mutable signs. Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune will form a t-square next year, introducing this mutable energy to the collective psyche. That is quite a shift from the cardinal emphasis we’ve been experiencing with the Uranus/Pluto square. Cardinal energy is about initiative and action. Mutable energy emphasizes change, transition and adaptation—more on this to come.

Venus widely conjoins this New Moon and Neptune makes a square aspect from Pisces. Yes, this lends well to optimism, to restoring hope, faith and coming to peace with the world in some way. Though, let’s not be naive here. Let’s not assume that anything is handed to us without considerable effort on our part and some form of energetic compensation. Sometimes hard lessons and challenging life experiences are the only way to restore our faith in the universe.

Let this New Moon inspire you in some way. Allow these energies to restore your vision and direct you further upon your personal, spiritual quest, but remember that if we wish to live truthfully and authentically we must make the effort. If we wish to transcend the illusions that surround us, we must choose to see beyond them and ask some hard questions. Assuming that every magical synchronicity is some kind of divine affirmation of your specialness is a sure sign that you may be courting disaster.

Your destiny is not some preordained destination at the end of some linear path. Your destiny, while conforming to the archetypal dimensions described in the sky, has a multitude of possible expressions. Sagittarius reminds us of this—that the universe is filled with infinite potentialities. The challenge is which one to choose. That’s a little scary, isn’t it? You have a choice, and each decision will take you on an entirely different path. Each choice is unique and yet symbolically similar. In the end, the choice is always yours. Choose wisely.

“All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. ... Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.”
 ― Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

In case you didn't know, I do give personalized astrology readings. This requires an accurate birth time. If you are interested, please contact me by e-mail: kosmicmind@gmail.com

If you're reading this from an e-mail, head over to my blog page via this link for information on pricing and my methodology. Note: I adopt a sliding scale/donation policy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Something You Can Depend On: Full Moon in Taurus 2014

An oak tree in the midst of spring; Photo by Chad Woodward, 2012. 

Full Moon @ 14 Taurus 26'
November 6, 2014
5:23 PM Eastern
2:23 PM Pacific

Last month’s Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio culminates as a Full Moon in the tropical sign of Taurus as the month of November begins. Taurus, a fixed earth sign, will help to calm and ground the collective energy from what may have felt like a temporary period of emotional and psychic turbulence as well as a time of some uncertainty and second guessing. With Mercury’s retrograde period coinciding with these eclipses, life may have taken some unusual and unexpected turns.

We’re almost clear of Mercury’s retrograde shadow, which invites us to make finishing touches and last minute alterations. While the retrograde cycle is complete, minor glitches and inconveniences may still pop up, though its “influence” is slowly dissipating. A Full Moon in Taurus brings to the surface that which we can depend on. This is a time to solidify and find our footing—to establish a reliable and stable position in some way.

Venus, in opposition to this Full Moon and conjunct the Sun, brings relationships, esthetics and the desire for peaceful resolutions into the conversation. The polarity of Taurus and Scorpio represents the dichotomy of growth and decay, construction and destruction. Taurus seeks to build and maintain while Scorpio desires to deconstruct and scrutinize.

While Scorpio appears more “negative” or even morbid, it serves an essential evolutionary function: to keep structures from becoming too rigid and to prevent stagnation within the flow of life. Venus in Scorpio probes the depths revealing hidden desires most likely suppressed or intentionally ignored. We are human beings with human needs. The past several weeks has brought forth a potentially harsh reminder that all aspects of our human nature must be acknowledged and expressed in some way.

Sexual lust, anger and even violent urges need a forum for their expression; otherwise such feelings take on more grotesque formations within the psyche. Scorpio is all things taboo within our cultural heritage. It represents the dark chasms of the psyche we are conditioned to ignore—shoving it all under the rug to deal with at some later time, though it’s usually far too overwhelming for us to process when it all comes bursting forth.

Hopefully, the past few weeks offered us opportunities to decompress and release some of the pressure. While this Full Moon in Taurus bathes us in light—both literally and metaphorically, we’re not quite clear of the underworld quite yet. Mars approaches a conjunction with Pluto (exact Nov. 10) and Mercury is about to return to Scorpio (Nov. 8); and, of course, the Sun will transit this sign for the next two weeks, until the lunar cycle resets on Nov. 22.

As Mars and Pluto meet up in Capricorn they stimulate power struggles both internally and externally. Going back to the theme of desires inherent to our human condition, Pluto and Mars may dredge up certain tendencies within us that our more civilized and conditioned selves find repulsive or even frightening. Again, I would caution you to be exceptionally conscious of this conjunction, because it may stimulate some unsavory outbursts; though I encourage full, conscious expression of this transit because it is a powerful one. Mars and Pluto coming together in Capricorn is a point of focus and an opportunity to discipline the will toward higher transpersonal purposes.  

Mercury’s return into Scorpio allows us to take a plunge and commit ourselves more fully in some way—seeing as we have had several weeks to think it over. With the retrograde and eclipse season complete, we likely have more confidence and certainty about where we’re headed. This Full Moon can give us an extra boost and the gusto to nudge us in the right direction—though Taurus prefers the slow and mindful start.

We also can’t forget that Saturn, that old devil, is still slogging through Scorpio. Venus conjoins Saturn on Nov. 12 followed by the Sun on Nov. 18; Saturn makes its first dip into Sagittarius Dec. 23. While Saturn will retrograde back into Scorpio next year, it’s reaching the end of its transit through Scorpio and these final conjunctions will help us integrate all the hard lessons learned since Oct. 2012. As this month progresses, and the Full Moon begins to wane, there is a sense of closure that permeates the air. We are approaching new territories to master—having braved the darkness and found the light within.

Take some time out with this Full Moon to just check in with yourself and your progress. Sit back and take the moment in. Taurus symbolizes the beauty of the here and now, the appreciation of silence and simplicity. Whatever you may be dealing with now, whatever complexities or problems nag for your attention, take some time to simply breathe and find gratitude for what is working and for what you can actually depend on. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Into the Deep: Solar Eclipse in Scorpio 2014

The Moon and the solar corona, Venus in
the distance; photo by NASA/U.S. Geological

Solar Eclipse @ 00 degrees Scorpio 
October 23, 2014
5:57 PM Eastern
2:57 PM Pacific

As we reach the final eclipse of 2014 (a Solar Eclipse in tropical Scorpio) we’re invited to look deeply into ourselves to assess the changes taking place there. As I explored in the previous Lunar Eclipse article, eclipses are moments of collective change and transition. While there are differences in the nature of each eclipse (whether lunar or solar), they each share this common attribute.

What I failed to mention (as if I can remember everything) was the sense of acceleration that accompanies an eclipse. This is not the same as “time acceleration” attributed to major aspectual contacts between outer planets, i.e., the Uranus and Pluto square. No, this sense of acceleration relates principally to rapid developments or a quickening of unfolding circumstances (either externally or internally). While related to the subjective experience of accelerated time (since unfolding events relate to a specific duration of time), they are slightly different experiences.

The eclipse has the power to open new portals into our lives, which can rapidly precipitate new paths of growth and development. These portals bring us opportunities to enter new territories, landscapes or narratives. Yet, with Mercury drifting backwards at this time, there is also a sense of familiarity to these “new” realms, since they are likely to be new expressions of unresolved past, experiences. Relationships are likely to be a major component since the Libran archetype is accentuated now—though we cannot limit our interpretation to that.

Libra is also a rather artistic and creative archetype; relationships can be forged between seemingly disparate elements to create an object of beauty. Libra is also a stabilizing archetype which can assist us in acquiring more balance and equilibrium. Thus, this month may have us feeling very creative and passionate as well as more aesthetically or romantically inclined (co-dependency or neediness would be the most shadowy expression).

The Solar Eclipse tends to place more emphasis on the momentary dissolution of the ego—to see deeper into ourselves and others to glimpse the more authentic elements of the psyche. The moment of the eclipse (the day or night of) is a time to simply observe and look more deeply at the symbolic meaning of the events unfolding around us. Much of the work that accompanies an eclipse is very unconscious, though what emerges into conscious awareness is often quite revealing and informative.

Mercury’s backtrack from Scorpio to Libra is about re-establishing trust and equilibrium. Scorpio, which holds space for this month’s Solar Eclipse is a sign of depth and intensity as well as intimacy. As I stated before, the Scorpionic impulse must follow the establishment of trust. Can we trust ourselves to move forward? Can we trust someone else enough to make a deeper connection beyond the façade of social niceties? Ultimately, can we trust the universe to bring us what we need at any given moment?

As the Sun and Moon conjoin toward the end of October, they also conjoin Venus and Pallas Athena (an asteroid) at the very entry of Scorpio—the place where trust has been established on some level and consciousness decides to take a risk.  This is a partial eclipse of the Sun so its impact is less intense than the Lunar Eclipse two weeks prior, but all eclipses are significant from the astrological perspective.

Similar to last week’s Lunar Eclipse, another occultation occurs, but with the planet Venus. That is to say that the Moon conceals Venus due to its relative declination; however, if looked at from above, if one were hovering in a spaceship just above the solar system, Venus would be on the far side of the Sun, thus further concealed by Sol’s irradiation. Again, we are dealing with layers of concealment or obfuscation with this eclipse.

Occultations are seen as highly pronounced conjunctions—an accentuated infusion of archetypal energies. The expression of the planets involved is fermented by the presence of the planet or planets they conjoin.  A planet that is occultated in a natal chart has a far more vibrant expression; the occulted planet is also seen as a hidden talent or capacity which must be probed consciously to fully access its potential.

With Venus as the concealed element in this eclipse—again, we’re brought back to the theme of relating, the urge is to seek souls with which we can authentically connect. In Scorpio, there is, of course, an element of intensity, passion and excitement. Needless to say, this eclipse may lead to some dramatic and emotional interactions, which may assist in deepening pre-established bonds or cementing something new—though we must also be careful.

I say this because this eclipse symbolizes a moment of intense vulnerability. The Sun becomes porous and translucent during an eclipse—revealing layers within the psyche usually concealed. This may have the effect of dissolving boundaries which are necessary most of the time, to keep us from revealing too much, or to protect others from things we wouldn’t share in more casual circumstances. Scorpio likes to get straight to the point; it is relatively matter of fact in its expression. But that doesn’t mean that Scorpio lays all its secrets on the table but that it is often quite blunt about what it wants or needs.

As you go about your interactions in the days surrounding this eclipse, keep your mind sharp and be conscious of what you reveal to others. What we feel in the heat of the moment may not always be entirely appropriate for various reasons. While the eclipse itself has a momentary ego dissolving effect, we must be conscious of what we are actually projecting. Are we sharing ourselves as we truly are, or are we merely presenting an image that will receive immediate approval or get us what we want?

Remember, at the heart of Scorpio is the impetus to probe and reveal deeper chasms within the self and others. At its highest expression, Venus helps us to establish relationships that truly feed us on a soul level, not simply for reasons of convenience or to temporarily ease a bout of chronic loneliness. What isn’t true or what isn’t real at this point, is simply reflecting the fact that a deeper connection to ourselves is needed at this time. What doesn’t feel right may still feel good at the moment, but will it last? Will it sustain us? Is it truly what we need?

Only you can answer those questions for yourself. For current relationships, this eclipse may prompt us to look at our connections from a different vantage point—to see things we have been avoiding. If worked with consciously, we can bring to light certain blind spots that could potentially trip us up if we continue to remain unconscious of them. Mercury retrograde will assist us in talking things out and changing our perspective.

Mars makes a sextile to the eclipse while Neptune connects through a trine aspect. Mars’ presence from Sagittarius excites and stimulates these highly charged emotional energies, again amplifying an impulse to blurt the truth in some raw or intense way. Truth-telling isn’t necessarily a bad thing with this eclipse if we are fully conscious of what we’re sharing with another—aware of the deeper motivations for doing so as well as the ramifications. Neptune’s “favorable” aspect adds a spiritual or visionary dimension to the conversation, which can prompt an awareness of numinous realities.

Neptune and Venus are, however, prone to idealizing things beyond what they really are. Idealism must be tempered with rationality and common sense. All archetypal currents must be handled cautiously and with care if we are to make proper use of their impulses. If we can navigate this eclipse carefully, we’ll be able to reap its potential benefits far more successfully. As this eclipse builds momentum in the collective psyche over the coming days, be exceedingly mindful of the impulses that arise within you.

It’s best to simply explore impulses that suddenly arise from within the psyche before choosing to act them out. If we’re grounded and balanced, we can approach this sensitive material in a way that doesn’t overwhelm us or those we’re likely to interact with. Utilize this energy to open up on a much deeper level than you would otherwise. Be wary of the fact that many of the secrets locked deep inside are often concealed for very good reasons and must be approached cautiously. 

Scorpio, above all, is a symbol of transformation—shedding the skin we have outgrown. As we pass through this final eclipse portal, something is shifting within each of us and that may be a little uncomfortable initially. We are letting go and awakening to new realities that lie before us. Transformation is often a very scary thing, but the more we cling to what no longer serves us, the more frightening it will become. 

Also, this transformative eclipse is a release of pent-up emotional and psychic energies, related specifically to our relationships and interactions. Keep this in mind and try to have compassion for what others may be experiencing now. Not everyone is comfortable with these energies. Mercury turns retrograde on Oct. 25 and will gradually shift the collective awareness from an inward, introspective focus back to the way things usually are. If you're brave enough with this eclipse, take the plunge now and do some inner work. You'll be grateful that you did. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Genius Hides in the Deep: Total Lunar Eclipse in Aries 2014

Sculpture of Prometheus by Hungarian sculptor
Imre Varga; 1978; Szekszard, City Centre; Photo
by Csanady via Wikimedia Commons.

Total Lunar Eclipse @ 15 Aries 05'
Oct 8, 2014
3:51 AM Pacific
6:51 AM Eastern

The paradox of light is that ­­­­­it reveals artifacts within the visible spectrum but obfuscates that which is hidden from perceptual view—the unconscious, ethereal, and unseen chasms of reality. The visible world is a façade; all spiritual teachings tell us this (this has been a redundant theme in the astrology lately). Deep down, we intuit this to be true, but what we see with our eyes is so convincing and palpable; it’s all we really know. Who we think we are, our identity or ego, is equally illusory, a momentary garb to interact with the visible world.

Eclipses are mysterious moments in time when the light that emanates from the Sun becomes eclipsed and the visible world becomes momentarily obscured from view, symbolically and literally speaking. During a Lunar Eclipse, which occurs on Oct. 8, the Sun’s light is concealed (though not entirely) by the presence of the Earth which casts its shadow upon the Moon. This alignment of celestial objects emerges within each of us as a bursting forth of unconscious content.

The light that illuminates gives way to that which it hides from view. For some, that is a precarious situation, for others a moment of clarity and ironically, illumination. A Lunar Eclipse, we could say, is an amplified Full Moon—a critical culmination of psychic energies from the depths of the unconscious. Eclipses are collective opportunities to make shifts and adjustments within ourselves—to respond to messages arising from our very souls and to acknowledge what it is we really are.

When you strip away the exterior garment, you’re left with only the essence of your true nature. The degree of your attachment to that façade indicates whether such times present you with a liberating experience or a crisis (or both). Naturally, during a Lunar Eclipse, as well as a Solar Eclipse, we are encouraged by the universe to simply observe our very nature, to see consciousness as it truly is, not what we project on to it.

A Lunar Eclipse, specifically, is a time to recharge our souls and to allow that which is eternal and authentic to imprint itself upon the very fabric of the external. I can’t help but overemphasize the profundity of these events, which happen (usually in pairs) two times a year. When we embrace the Eclipse process we come out the other end renewed and reconnected to our life path and potential. We are given the opportunity to change our course which happens only after we have made a shift within ourselves.

Mercury is still stationary and changing direction at the time of this Eclipse—indicating that we are stepping back to essentially move forward. To complicate matters, this month’s Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse (total as in complete obfuscation of light and thus more impactful) occurs in the tropical sign of Aries—which, to say the least, is a very action-oriented sign, a sign that emphasizes the power of the will to take action and make change.

But only fools will actually jump off the precipice with this lunation—that is, take the archetypal impulse literally. Change begins inside of us; remember that. If you want to see changes in your life, you have to shift your inner life first and foremost (thinking, beliefs, and emotional reactions). During times such as these, we are usually better off to remain stationary while the events unfold around us. What we have already put into motion will simply transform accordingly. All we have to do is watch and respond appropriately at the opportune moment.

In other words, life doesn’t stop, but rather the usual process—the dynamics of cause and effect often becomes inverted. If we are aware of this, we can simply be in the moment and not push ourselves into forcing anything to happen through willful action. That is how we can work and flow with the Eclipse and retrograde energies. Mercury’s retrograde cycle encourages us to make changes and adjustments to a project or process that we’ve already put into motion—to deconstruct and ultimately refine. If you come up against resistance it’s usually a sign to back off and adjust your strategy.

Interestingly, there are many layers of obfuscation with this Eclipse. The Moon, prior to coming to full opposition to the Sun, occults the planet Uranus, concealing it from view; or looked at another way: merging completely with its archetypal nature. The two become one, both Moon and Uranus. Of course, without a telescope or good pair of binoculars, Uranus is invisible to the naked eye; it belongs to the trans-perceptual realms. Its vibration is subtle yet that does not lessen its influence upon the psyche. That which is unconscious (invisible) often has more power over us than we wish to admit.

Yoda meme exemplifying Uranian wisdom.

That which we don’t see, or worse, what we refuse to acknowledge, tends to direct our lives, often to our detriment. The need for emotional individuation is strong with this lunation, but the risk of drowning in overt subjectivity is equally tenacious. Uranus must be acknowledged and heard: you are not the product of your conditioning; you are vastly more powerful and eternal than you have been led to believe. The paradox of this lunation is that freedom is essential but ultimately limited and finite. While we all need our own space to become who we are, we depend on others for optimal survival. Freedom is always a double edged sword.

This South Nodal Eclipse opposes the Sun, Venus and North Node in Libra—emphasizing relationships and negotiation. Often, our facades become mechanical and routine—our interactions scripted and banal. Uranus hiding behind this dimly lit Full Moon reminds us that we need not hide who we are. We can be authentic and still interact with the world. Whether the world approves of us or not isn’t the point. The risk of being authentic nourishes our soul and that is reflected in the external environment. Eventually, the more we remain true to our nature, we attract those (soul mates) that can respect and love us as is.

As this lunar cycle culminates, we are encouraged to face our stale and mechanical acts—to nourish our soul essence and allow the true being to burst forth. Beyond all those layers of social conditioning lies the divine genius, who revitalizes us through bursts of spontaneous creative inspiration. How have you lost touch with such a force? How can you revitalize your connection? A fire grand trine between Moon/Uranus, Jupiter and Mars connects this Eclipse in a web of passion, playfulness, motivation, adventurousness and the eternal fire that fuels the life force within all sentient beings. Creativity is strong here and there is certainly no shortage of supply.

To access these energies, we must step back and face what’s true, real and raw within us. Pluto’s square may challenge us to face fears that have shaped our lives, holding us back from what we have come here to do. Introspection and honesty are needed. The opposition with Sun/Venus in Libra presents a challenging balancing act: to be true to ourselves yet to make peace with the world the way that it is—regardless of whether it approves of us or not. In the end, the external is always a mirror of the internal. What’s out there is inside of us. The separation is merely an illusion of our limited, human perception.

*This eclipse will be visible throughout much of the world including North and Central America, Greenland, some parts of Austrailia and most of Asia. South America will only see the onset of the eclipse. It will not be visible in Africa, Europe or the western portion of Russia or Asia. During a Lunar Eclipse, the Moon will gradually take on a red-orange hue often called a "Blood Moon". The effect is quite ominous looking and hard to miss (if you're awake, of course). 

The West Coast of North America will have the best view, since it occurs several hours before sunrise; thus the Moon's reddish-orange color will be particularly striking. If you can stay up or get up for this Eclipse, it will be worth your while, especially if you've never seen one. I've seen several, so I may actually skip this one (sleep is far more valuable for me these days). For more on the astronomy of this eclipse, check out this article over at Space.com.

In case you didn't know, I do give personalized astrology readings. This of course requires an accurate birth time. If you are interested, please contact me by e-mail: kosmicmind@gmail.com

If you're reading this from an e-mail, head over to my blog page via this link for information on pricing and my methodology. Note: I adopt a sliding scale/donation policy. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Reestablishing Trust and Equilibrium: Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio/Libra

"Mercury with caduceus" on ceiling mural
Allegory of the Planets & Continents (1752)
by Tiepolo (1696-1770),
Würzburg Residence, Germany

Every three months the planet Mercury turns retrograde—that is to say, that Mercury appears to move backwards from our point of view. This optical illusion happens with all the planets and objects used in astrology, with the exception of the Sun and Moon. The reasons for this are quite technical, but have to do with the disparity in the speed and distance of two moving objects as they meet at a certain point along their designated paths. Imagine the perceptual illusion created when looking out from a fast moving car or train; objects moving at a relative speed yet slightly slower appear to float backwards in relation to the objects (telephone poles and trees) racing by in the background.

The perception is quite convincing but not quite accurate to reality. Then again, what is reality but an illusion itself—an agreement made within consciousness about how things should or shouldn’t work? We could get rather philosophical with all this, but my point here is that time itself is relative to motion; all matter is energy in motion. You catch my drift? “Truths are illusions about which it has been forgotten that they are illusions,” said Freidrich Nietzsche. In a sense, Mercury retrograde is an illusion within an illusion. While not what it appears to be, it still has a profound effect on consciousness, as does everything else.

Mercury retrograde is probably one of the most well-known of astrological phenomena. Even the conservative home maker next door is probably aware of it, and likely has something to say about it. With anything that reaches a level of consensus understanding, it’s plagued with myths and misunderstandings. Mercury retrograde has reached the status of a cursed deity, the ubiquitous symbol of everything that’s going wrong in our daily affairs.

Yet, with every stereotyped consensus perception, there’s still a modicum of truth. For good reason, Mercury retrograde is known for its correlation with a higher incidence of “unfortunate” happenings—most usually involving something technical, mechanical or dealing with communications (in all its varied manifestations). Did your computer crash? Oh, it’s Mercury retrograde! Your car is having trouble? That e-mail didn’t get delivered? Well, you know, it’s probably that damn retrograde.

This is all quite true, but not entirely true. For instance, lots of cars break down and computers crash when Mercury isn’t retrograde. So how do we explain this? The key is in the fact that I stated above: Mercury retrograde seems to correlate with a higher incidence of “unfortunate” happenings. Can we prove this statistically? No. Do I care to? Not really. I do believe there have been studies on this in some shape or form, all of which were pretty inconclusive. That usually happens when you put astrology under the scientific ringer. It doesn’t work out too well for astrology’s reputation.

So what is happening when Mercury is retrograde? Well, on one end (and highly subjectively I might add), things do get a little wonky, especially electronics and machinery. This is most noticeable during Mercury’s stations—that is when Mercury is slowing down to change directions, coming to a standstill. For our purposes, this happens on the days of and surrounding Oct. 4 and Oct. 24. At least in my experience, this has been a consistent observation. Of course, the whole period of Mercury’s retrograde is wrought with “unfortunate mishaps”, as well as its shadow periods (Sept 29- Oct 4 and Oct 24- Nov 10).

The truth is, Mercury retrogrades will not affect everyone the same, nor is there any way (that I’m aware of) to predict whether this one is really going to nail you or not. Maybe if Mercury were to hit a planet or sensitive area in your chart, it might be more significant, but then again, maybe not. How I view Mercury retrograde is this: Hermes, the Greek representation of Mercury, is a trickster. The trickster is notorious for throwing a wrench in our plans and expectations; not because he’s out to get us like some psychopath (though maybe Hermes was a little sociopathic), but because he’s like the cosmic wild card. Not even the “Gods” are immune to the trickster’s antics.

When Mercury is retrograde, its trickster side seems to come out to play more than usual (though let us not forget that all planetary archetypes do have a trickster side to their expression, regardless of whether they’re stationary or direct). A bi-density/bipolar being, the trickster doesn’t take sides. He can fly from this world to the next with the greatest of ease, poise and elegance. But his “curses” can also be blessings in disguise. Like the illusion of a planet moving backwards in the sky, it’s all a matter of how you choose to view it. Lewis Hyde, in Trickster Makes This World, says of Hermes:

“Accidents break the surface of our lives to reveal hidden purpose or design. The carefully interwoven structures of thought and social practice provide stability and structure, but they bring a kind of blindness and stupidity, too. Gifts of Hermes tear little holes in those fabrics to offer us brief intelligence of other realms”.

To quote Meister Eckhart, “We are made perfect by what happens to us rather than by what we do”. As I’ve often written, Mercury retrograde helps us to see outside the suffocating bind of beliefs. If you really take a look, beyond all the “accidental mishaps” that may or may not surround you at these times (which, as we have just learned may be helping us break free of our perceptual prisons); you will see what you have refused to see before.

If Mercury retrograde does one thing consistently, its challenge our perceptions of the world and our beliefs about what is or isn’t truth. Still, your computer might crash, light bulbs burn out, or a rock might bless your windshield while driving on the freeway (yes, that happened to me a few retrogrades ago). But maybe, just maybe, that really annoying and seemingly meaningless mishap is trying to tell us something, trying to break us free of our blindness or stupidity. Maybe, like Carl Jung said, “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate," Mercury’s retrograde foibles reveal deeper layers of the psyche, bringing to the surface those artifacts clogging up the mental septic tank.

We need order and structure to survive, but the trickster’s purpose is to keep our structures loose and flexible, free from becoming either too rigid or oppressive. When taking a look at the world around us, consider it a blessing that Mercury turns retrograde every three months; it keeps our minds and the structures they create open, fresh and alive. Astrology is often blind to the trickster. I think that on some level, our attraction to astrology is/was a way to gain more control of the chaos inherent to the world—and by extension the cosmos itself.

When we include the trickster in our pantheon of astrological symbolism, we open to an entirely new perceptual field, one that reveals the ever changing nature of life predicated on the unexpected. Hyde’s brilliant book is chock full of ingenious insights that can help us to understand this process. I highly recommend it. Often, the most rewarding things in life come to us from out of the blue, when we aren’t expecting them. This is often what can happen during a Mercury retrograde cycle. As with any retrograde, its purpose is to redirect consciousness from some rigid path or expectation, to reveal a broader field of possibility, and to help us step back and do things differently.

While it’s probably best to stick with some of the usual advice, to avoid signing major contracts, purchasing expensive equipment, executing some big project, coming to a critical, conclusive decision or to be more clear and redundant in your communications while Mercury is retrograde, we can’t forget that sometimes the unexpected turn of events are actually blessings from the gods. To appreciate these “accidents” and “mishaps”, we need to remain open to the unexpected. To quote Hyde once more, “The agile mind is pleased to find what it was not looking for”.

So, rather than pushing against life, trying to force our will and exceptions onto reality, Mercury retrograde is a time to step back and see things differently—to not look, but rather allow the unfolding to reveal “brief intelligence of other realms”. We shouldn’t fear this pertinent astrological cycle, hiding out in our house until it’s all over; and we certainly shouldn’t follow some rigid rules that tell us to put everything on hold until Mercury is direct and moving forward. Some of those rules are helpful, and can assist us to simply see that there may be holes in our game plan that we aren’t quite aware of; but Mercury, the trickster, is always lurking in the shadows, waiting to remind us that rules are meant to be broken.

Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio/Libra

Sept 14, 2014: Mercury enters retrograde shadow 
Oct 4, 2014: Mercury stationary retrograde (retrograde begins)
Oct 25, 2014: Mercury stationary direct (retrograde ends)
Nov 10, 2014: Mercury leaves retrograde shadow 

Mercury’s retrograde cycle occurs just beyond the equinox transition and the New Moon in Libra. These two events bring a dramatic yet subtle shift in collective focus and priorities. As with all Mercury retrograde cycles in 2014, two signs are involved, both water and air signs. While spending more time in air signs with these cycles, the slight dip into the proceeding water sign has a certain symbolic significance.

Mercury will retrograde through Scorpio from Oct. 4 to Oct. 10—just under a week. It then dips back into Libra for the remainder of the retrograde. In the zodiacal cycle, Scorpio symbolizes a certain kind of relationship—one that takes commitment to a whole new level. The Scorpionic relationship is imbued with a kind of intensity and passion that takes a little bit of time to get used to. When consciousness reaches Scorpio, it’s ready to take the plunge and go really deep. That Mercury backtracks into Libra, a sign that favors social niceties and the seeking of common ground, indicates that this cycle alludes to that fact that we may, collectively and individually speaking, need to backtrack and get more acquainted with certain formalities before we take a leap and get really dirty. This could apply to a whole host of things. Relationships might be one of them, but there are many variations of this.

In order to merge deeply with something or someone, we need to have a certain level of trust established first. That’s what Libra is all about—gaining trust in another human being or what have you. If we can’t trust someone, we can’t let down our guard and release certain barriers to allow for the free exchange of energy and resources. So we may find ourselves needing to test the waters, to talk things out, re-negotiate or re-communicate our intentions so that everyone is clear about where the other truly stands. 

The fact that things aren’t moving as quickly as you may like them to may have much to do with this process that needs to happen first. There may be a sense of restlessness with other commitments or attachments made previously, as if we feel stifled or too co-dependent. Again, this retrograde process allows us to see the holes in the current framework so that we can reestablish our commitments or our point of view. Keep the trickster in mind. Let the unexpected do its thing. New relationships may pop up or old commitments may fall apart. Let the chaos work its magic; embrace the contingencies. Mercury retrograde in Scorpio/Libra can help us see those dynamics within our interactions (personal, intimate or otherwise) that we were blind to before.  

Beyond the symbolism of the signs involved in this retrograde cycle, Mercury retrograde is a time to go back and review those things we’ve been working on to gather more information, to look for loose ends, and to return to things we’ve forgotten about or have left behind. The past often plays a significant role at these times. With Scorpio/Libra, that may involve past relationships and the karmic dynamics generated between the individuals involved. Keep your eyes peeled, your ears receptive and your mind loose and flexible. When Mercury changes gears, we need to be agile and prepared in case things go awry. When we go with the flow and trust the process that presents itself to us, we’re less likely to experience the many frustrations so prevalent at these times. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beyond Ambivalence: New Moon in Libra and the Equinox

Astrologer observing the Equniox and a scene of the parting of Adonis and Venus; by Domenicus van Wijnen; circa 1680.

New Moon @ 1 Libra 08’
September 23, 2014
11:14 PM Pacific
September 24, 2014
2:14 AM Eastern

September’s New Moon follows the equinox transition, initiating autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere. For those of us just above the equator, the onset of the autumnal season heralds the beginning of shorter days. Whichever end of the globe you reside, the Sun’s entrance into Libra is a balancing and integration point within the Sun’s annual cycle. The equinox is literally such—a balancing of day and night, where each are of equal length. Both hemispheres experience this same effect.

The symmetrical equinox occurs when the Sun enters Aries, balanced by two solstice points in between. There are various symbolic interpretations of each equinox transition, primarily influenced by cultural and geographical differences. Less sunlight is a blessing to some, while unsettling to others. Here in the Southern California desert, autumn is usually perceived as a welcome relief from the intense, dry heat, and our winters are fairly mild compared to more northern locales.

Psychologically speaking, the Sun’s descent mirrors a process of turning inwardly and intimately. This makes perfect sense, seeing that less sunlight and colder weather reduces an emphasis on outer activities. The upper signs of the tropical zodiac—Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces—lend more emphasis to intimate relationships and ideological, political, communal and spiritual constructs.

There is not one universal interpretation of the equinox transition, as this will vary depending on where you live; but we can all agree that the sign of Libra deals with balance, at the very root of the archetype. Western astrology obtained its symbolism from ancient, northern dwellers and their agricultural activities. Virgo, the harvest, comes to an end at Libra. The bounty (or lack thereof) of the growing season must be sorted and prioritized to prepare for the darker, colder months ahead.

This is a time to take stock. For most of us living in modern society, obtaining most of our food from grocery stores or the labors of local farmers need not worry about rationing our food supply for the approaching winter season; though, we will find ourselves, perhaps instinctively, taking stock of our personal lives in some way. This New Moon occurs in the sign of Libra since it happens to coincide with the equinox transition. At first glance, not much seems to be happening with this lunation.

There are no striking Ptolemaic aspects from other planets to consider (aside from a rather wide conjunction with Venus in Virgo and a quincunx from Neptune in Pisces), but it would be a mistake to say that this is an irrelevant New Moon. For one thing, this month’s lunation hits the “Aries Point”, which is a potent position for any planet or object situated at or around (generally within a degree) zero degrees of all cardinal signs.

The Aries Point itself is actually located at zero degrees of Aries, but any planet occupying the very formative degrees of Cancer, Libra or Capricorn are by effect in aspect to this point. In mundane astrology, there is enough evidence to know that any event touching the Aries Point has truly global ramifications; its symbolism often jumps dramatically onto the world stage, in some shape or form.

Just reflect back to the spring of 2011 when Uranus hit the Aries point itself. An earthquake and tsunami led to the world’s worst nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan, the consequences of which the world will be dealing with for hundreds and thousands of years in the future (I am not predicting anything of this magnitude, as I don’t make predictions here; I’m just pointing out the significance and potential of this zodiac hot spot).

Without getting too much into the political events currently on the table (ongoing war in the Middle East--business as usual), I will just say that this lunation is a symbolic and rather significant marking point in the current political narrative. If we stretch our orbs quite a bit, or if we approach things from a more classical astrological perspective, Pluto (which moved direct roughly two hours before the equinox) makes a square to this New Moon from Capricorn—adding heavy negotiations and the dealing of karmic consequences.

At the heart, this lunation could symbolize some deep transformation and or death of certain ties we’ve established in the past, but with every death/transformation comes something new and different. With Libra, we are making new connections, sorting out past relationships and re-establishing equilibrium in our personal and intimate lives. There may be a need to commit ourselves more fully to something, a need to move on to better things, or an ambivalence that requires us to wait things out before making any drastic decisions.

That Libra deals with relationships is true, but it misses the very heart of this sign, for many signs also emphasize relationships, just in different ways. Libra symbolizes those bonds where we must be conscious of an equal playing field; open communication, honesty, and objective awareness are needed for things to work harmoniously or productively.

The key to Libra is commitment—commitment to ourselves, to others and to certain goals or objectives. There’s not much fence sitting with Libra; this sign requires decisive action (though Libra’s are known be indecisive in their more shadowy expression). There can be a lot of conflict and complexity in this process. This point of integration is a meeting place of personal and shared objectives and the awareness that what one side does deeply effects the other.

An understanding of chemistry makes clear the Libran process of balance. At the microscopic level, the very particles that construct our reality are in a process of constant, split second negotiations we cannot fully fathom, less so when looked at through a quantum lens. So, sit with that and see how it comes up in your life over the next several weeks, as the Sun chugs along in Libra.

What needs harmonizing and balance? What balancing act are you in the midst of? What seemingly disparate pieces need to be brought together for clarity, sanity and peace of mind? If we are to feel confident of our ability to survive the darker, colder months ahead (symbolically and literally speaking), we need to make sure we have what we need, that loose ends are effectively dealt with—which will be critical as we're in the midst of Mercury’s retrograde shadow period.

Mercury will turn retrograde Oct. 4 through 25. So, whatever you’ve been on the fence about, putting off or procrastinating needs to be dealt with now, or it should probably wait until the end of October to fully address. This primarily involves the signing of contracts, important paperwork filings, major purchases/financial transactions or anything to do with beginning long-range or large-scale projects. 

As I mentioned above, Neptune does in fact quincunx this New Moon. That doesn’t lend well to making critical decisions at this point, or actually committing ourselves with full conscious awareness. Neptune here may not so much cloud our judgment (though that is a possibility), but it seems that our intuition or certain psychic impressions are telling us one thing and our logical sensibilities another. That is, no doubt, frustrating to deal with. To resolve it and move forward, we must simply acknowledge that while we need to have clear intentions to proceed with our lives, we need to remain open to the reality that often, life, the unfolding, has plans of its own.

I always get annoyed when someone asks me questions like, “Where do you see yourself in such and such amount of time?” Yea, I have an idea, but I’m also wise to the reality that at the root of it, I have no clue, because life often just does its thing. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t set goals, or commit ourselves to something, but that we’re open to the possibility that everything could change at any moment.

If you’re feeling that way, just take note. Do what you have to do, but know that as Mercury stations retrograde we may have a change of heart and mind about certain things we’re dealing with right now. Mercury’s retrograde cycle is a natural time to step back and reassess our journey—in Libra, we’re likely to reconsider certain commitments and relationship dynamics.

Jupiter makes a trine to Uranus on Sept. 25—bringing some heat back into the picture. This is a potentially stimulating transit, creatively speaking. It also invites us to take the lead in an unconventional leadership capacity. Coinciding with the onset of Mercury’s retrograde cycle, Jupiter and Uranus invite us to creatively experiment and embrace more unconventional ideas or tactics.

This new lunar cycle culminates in a dynamic and powerful Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse conjunct Uranus on Oct. 8. That means that we’re also making our transition into Eclipse season as every Lunar Eclipse is either preceded or followed by a Solar Eclipse. This emphasizes the fact that very deep, profound changes within ourselves are forthcoming—changes that often have the power to catalyze us into new directions or territories, if so choose to release our attachments to past patterns.

Do what you can to bring about a harmonization of elements in your current process. Take care of some important matters before the month is over. Settle in and get ready to see things from a renewed perspective in the coming weeks. Above all, open your mind to alternate perceptions, especially provided by those you interact with most personally or intimately. As the season comes to its inevitable transition, a new phase of growth and development is upon us—asking us to possibly change gears and consider directions we weren’t likely anticipating. Such is the natural flow of life. We can either flow with it or against it. I highly recommend the former. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pushing Through the Light: Full Moon in Pisces 2014

Inside view of the pantheon in Rome, Italy with the typical light
 beam glaring from the occulus in its rooftop; via Wikimedia Commons.

Full Moon @ 16 Pisces 19'
September 8, 2014
6:38 PM Pacific
3:38 PM Eastern

This month’s lunar cycle culminates in the sign of Pisces—the symbolic end of the tropical zodiac. There is always a sense of nebulous dissipation with Pisces, as the world of form meets a point of transcendence, an apotheosis.

The summation of biological and ideological evolution must, at some point, dissolve—at least from our point of reference; though the dissipation is merely an illusion. We know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, that it can only change form.

The next stage of the journey is hidden from us; it has expanded beyond our perceptual reach; but that does not mean its presence evades more subtle faculties. Thus there are things just outside our visual perspective that not only exist, but that have tremendous power over us.

Symbols are potent and dynamic forces that can shape entire cultures. They can spur humanity into an emotional and psychic hysteria—creating movements which have the longevity to endure several thousands of years.

It’s funny, comical really, how the current western paradigm downplays the significance of anything that doesn’t fit into a Newtonian framework of reality. The world of the “supernatural” is often disparaged as a silly, childlike belief--something akin to fantasy and make-believe.

Discarnate entities, aliens, or UFOs are likened to mythologies—which to the vast majority of modern peoples are merely stories relegated to a form of entertainment. Yet, the past reveals something truly incredible (and equally frightening) about the power of myths, symbols and archetypes.

Christianity, Nazism, Scientology and many facets of new age fundamentalism are powerful movements which have little scientific or rational basis; yet, it’s obvious their addictive power to lure the masses into activities that seem to defy all logical sensibilities.

The holocaust is a grim example of how a symbol can warp and contort basic human instincts. In the wake of such atrocities, we’re left to wonder whether such things are truly human….or the byproduct of something else.

For me, that something else is hard to describe, for it resides in a realm we cannot fully comprehend in a human body. Try explaining Einstein’s theory of Relativity and all its flaws to a cockroach and you get what I mean.  Yet, when we take a step back, and really look at things from a much vaster vantage point, it becomes obvious that human evolution is guided by profoundly intelligent agents.

Who or what they are can only be speculation. The more asleep and unconscious we are as a society, the more prone we are to truly disturbing behaviors and compulsions. The path of entropy is the path of least resistance.

As Carl Jung once said, “There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” Most of us would rather avoid the pain. Most of us would rather stay asleep and feel good and comfortable most of the time. That’s all fine and well, and probably best for most people.

But truth and beauty arise only from unbearable struggle. Take a look at the natural world. Really notice the most beautiful flora and fauna that surround you. They are masters of evolution; they have painstakingly chiseled away, rising from the abysmal void to take on a form all their own.

I’m running into a tangent here, I know. Bear with me. The point I’m trying to make stems from a centaur object that is obscured by the brightness of this Full Moon. Chiron has confounded astrologers ever since its discovery in 1977.

No one seems to quite agree on its meaning. We know Chiron as the “wounded healer”. Yes, mythically, that’s what he was. Chiron was a centaur—half man and half beast; he was also quite astute in the healing arts and was immortal. Therefore, Chiron was likened to a god.

Yet, as the story goes, Chiron was not immune to pain and suffering. Like everything else in the universe (or everything confined to the illusion of separation from oneness), Chiron was vulnerable. In a nutshell, Chiron was struck, accidently, by an arrow shot by one of his inebriated students, Heracles.

You see, a bunch of centaurs had a bit of wine. In their drunkenness (which we could say symbolizes a state of unconsciousness), an arrow had struck Chiron, who was not participating in the raucous. In a way, Chiron was a helpless victim.  

The arrow contained a poison from the Hydra. Since he could not die, Chiron was left to endure unbearable pain for eternity. To relieve his suffering, Chiron chose to die. He took the place of Prometheus, who was bound to a rock and tortured by an eagle that relentlessly pecked at his liver for bringing fire to humanity.

 "The Centaur of Tymfi". Centaur skeleton prepared and articulated by
Skulls Unlimited International as a work for hire commissioned by Bill Willers.

Chiron transcended his physical vehicle and became a constellation in the sky--what we now know as the archer, or Sagittarius (but not to be confused with the tropical sign of Sagittarius used in western astrology). Chiron reached an apotheosis and moved beyond the world of form and structure to become a symbol, which still haunts humanity to this day.

What’s the moral of the story? I suppose, like any myth, it all depends on how you look at it. What does Chiron mean? I have the same answer: it’s a matter of the perception you choose to view it. One thing I think we can all agree on is that Chiron represents a wound—something deep that festers within us.

But that wound really reveals something about humanity. It reveals the struggle to find reconciliation between our innate, primal (or lower) tendencies and the painstaking struggle to evolve beyond them. The irony is that we can’t escape what we are; we can only strive for something more.

Pisces symbolizes that “something more” we all fight to achieve. We probably shouldn’t give up, but we should equally not beat ourselves up for not being perfect, and then, at some point, we see the futility of it all.

Sometimes that realization leads to nihilism. At other times it brings about an acceptance of our inevitable human fate and imperfection. In the end, all forms reach a state of dissipation—from either transcendence or annihilation (which is actually a form of recycling).

In Buddhism, the objective is to reach a point of joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. We need not escape reality, but rather awaken and return and become a part of it, yet not attached to the illusion it truly is (to detach ourselves from eternal suffering).

As this Full Moon culminates in the sky, conjoined Chiron, we are faced with the opportunity to awaken from some deep sleep that has come upon us—individually and collectively. That bright and luminous Moon irradiates the placid and mysterious Piscean sea.

Two weeks ago, the New Moon in Virgo redirected our awareness back to a path more suitable for our evolution. That was accentuated by Saturn’s conjunction with Mars. With the now fading cavalcade in Leo, that lunation brought in some rain clouds that may have put a damper on some things—that is, if we refused to focus ourselves intentionally.

Saturn is easing the pressure with this Full Moon. Mars is moving on into Sagittarius and progressing slowly out of orb of that conjunction. If we choose to awaken, to clear the fog that has blinded us from certain truths, Saturn’s trine to the Moon and Chiron helps to bring what was once intangible into some concreteness.

In other words, we can make some real progress here, but that only comes about in a Piscean sort of way: through a meditative observation of reality the way that it actually is. That means allowing the light to clear away all wishful thinking. With Chiron, the wound has the potential to become an asset of some kind, if we choose to accept what is inherently inevitable about us.

As human beings, we’re vulnerable. That much is true. No amount of scientific progress will ever negate that truth. Our woundedness is a part of the deal, no one escapes it; but our woundedness can teach us truly valuable things--like humility, compassion and the attainment of awe.

In the end, all wounds stem from the original wound: our perception is limited; what we see is merely a shadow, an after image of something we couldn't possibly perceive in its entirety. In a nutshell, we are caught up in an illusion—the world of Maya.

It can take a soul thousands of lifetimes before it realizes that. Why is this significant now? Well, because it seems that we are on an interesting course—collectively speaking. It’s a lunation like this that can quench our spiritual and perceptual thirst.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide what that would look like. As you go about your daily affairs, look deeper into the events and sequences of your life. See beyond the appearances to what they actually symbolize. Yes, the universe speaks through symbols.

When we finally grasp that, we gain the opportunity to transcend cycles of seemingly endless pain and suffering. When we awaken, the light is blinding; it hurts our eyes. If we endure and keep pushing through the light, resisting the temptation to retreat, we find ourselves transformed and adjusted to a new perceptual framework.