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.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Getting Back on Track: New Moon in Virgo 2014

A supercell thunderstorm forms over Chaparral, NM April 2004;
Photo by Greg Lundeen.
New Moon @ 2 Virgo 19'
August 25, 2014
7:13 AM Pacific
4:13 AM Eastern

This month presented some conflict of interest. At its genesis, August contained some rather “light-hearted” astrology as several planets congregated in tropical Leo. One of those planets, Jupiter, will be there for an entire year; but the rest will move on to other signs and this New Moon appears to break up the party—at least for now.

The conflict arises between the need for spontaneous, creative playtime which comes up against the need to address some heavy responsibilities and “karmic duties”. Saturn and Mars conjoin in Scorpio just after the exact conjunction of the Sun and Moon—heralding a change of focus to a more structured and pragmatic gaze.

At its best, the now fading surge of Leonian energy catalyzed new creative directions. Now, as Mars and Saturn conjoin in Scorpio, we’re challenged to see how far that creative juice will carry us.

Leo and Scorpio are naturally in conflict. For Leo, life is to be enjoyed, everything is possible—with Jupiter, optimism abounds and knows no limitations. But limitation is what this Mars and Saturn conjunction is all about.

In Scorpio, that limitation may be the reality of the mortality of all creative progeny. Some things may sound great in the realm of what could be, but can they hold up to the tests and challenges of reality? Can they be funneled into something more compact and realistic?

Cutting away all the fluff and streamlining the baroque is the role of Virgo, the sign holding space for this encroaching New Moon. If we go along and play by the rules, this lunation can help bring about a change of focus, to assist us to structure and channel our enthusiasm more productively.

Mars and Saturn conjoining in Scorpio can help us rid ourselves of procrastination, time-wasting and self-sabotage. As these two rather intimidating planets come together in one of the most intense signs of the tropical zodiac, we have to face the reality of our current path with honesty and humility.

Mars and Saturn conjunctions are inherently intense. They tend to produce tremendous pressure and sometimes aggressive tendencies. Mars meeting Saturn can represent the need to crystallize our will in some way. If we work with it we can use this intense focus to bring solidification and manifestation of our efforts. Perhaps something we've been chiseling away at finally comes into focus. 

While Leo tends to outshine everything else around it, we must look beyond the glamour and into the heart of what we really want to achieve right now. Take the time to check in with yourself and your priorities. Are your activities conducive to the manifestation of your goals and objectives? If not, it’s time to clean up and toss out whatever is getting in the way.

Neptune, one of the most intangible of archetypal constructs, makes a wide opposition to this New Moon. On the one end, Neptune may invite us to face some delusions surrounding our capabilities. On the other end, Neptune stands as a beacon of inspiration—a dream on a faraway cloud that we must work hard to reach.

Mercury, which rules the New Moon, stands powerfully in one of its (two) home signs. Just beyond exact opposition to Chiron, Mercury brings our focus to a higher calling, our responsibility to ourselves and to the larger, global community.

All talent and creativity must ultimately find its way toward humble service. Our gifts are meant to be shared. When our passion or bliss is lost, we often succumb to addictive undercurrents that work as a surrogate creative process.

Whatever stands in your way toward the accomplishment of your divine mission must be dealt with, or else it will consume you, left to manifest as demons that taunt until you awaken to what you’re really here to do. If that sounds a little scary, then you’re getting the message. Saturn and Mars take center stage; sometimes we need a good kick in the ass to get ourselves back on track.

Once you’re back in the swing of things and moving to a steady rhythm and beat, you’ll be unstoppable. Trust that a little hard work pays off in the end. Okay, make that a lot of hard work. But that feeling of accomplishment goes deeper than the ego; it nourishes your soul and acknowledges its greater purpose. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mars Meets Saturn: Inwardly Focused, Outwardly Sensitized

Woman doing Yoga; Photo by Robert
Benjil; March 6, 2011.
By Elizabeth Michaud

Structure is sometimes a difficult concept to embrace in our lives, coming as it does with rules and regulations. Many of us feel frustration or resistance when we confront boundaries, especially if we are driven by inner purpose or passion. Limitation is often accompanied by a deflating sense of powerlessness, and we tend to miss the beneficial lessons of being restricted or reigned in.

Mars (the planet of action) and Saturn (the planet of form) will conjoin in Scorpio on August 25, proceeding the New Moon, making this aspect influential now through the end of the month. What we have is an opportunity to actively manifest our desires, but that may not be what it feels like to many. 

Saturn's gifts do not come easy; we have to work for it. It is in the effort and struggle that we learn, we grow humble, and we strengthen our resilience and our competence.

As astrologer Liz Greene wrote, "The frustrating experiences which are connected with Saturn are obviously necessary as they are educational in a practical as well as a psychological sense. Whether we use psychological or esoteric terminology, the basic fact remains the same: human beings do not earn free will except through self-discovery, and they do not attempt self-discovery until things become so painful that they have no other choice."

Mars in Scorpio is focused and driven by passion. There's a depth of intensity in the astrological atmosphere as Mars transits this fixed water sign, a potential to dig deep into previously feared or avoided areas of our life. 

Willpower is a potent tool right now, making it a great time to set goals or quit bad habits. So much can be healed when brought to the light, and Mars in Scorpio suggests a fearless (and sometimes ruthless) ability to face our shadow material.

But fear and anger may seem to loom as Mars, the forceful warrior, meets Saturn. When we are overly assertive, we inevitably encounter confrontation. Saturn is reminding us of our structure -- the organized civilization we are a functioning part of, the larger environment in which we play a role. 

When we act purely on our own desires, without consideration for others, we create a ripple effect of selfishness. If you feel like you are meeting unnecessary obstacles, ask yourself what good is served by the current course you are on. Saturn wants us to succeed, and this transit is a clue in to where work needs to be done.

The key to using this astrology wisely is to look at what you want to fix in your little world. Mars and Saturn want a project to work on, a problem to solve or a wound to heal. Instincts and precision are major tools at our disposal. 

During a recent yoga class, one of my teachers reminded us to stay "inwardly focused; outwardly sensitized." That seems to be a message of this Mars-Saturn conjunction. How can we contribute to building a healthier structure and releasing toxic baggage? How can we act in integrity, for the greater good?

Elizabeth Michaud is a writer and astrologer based on the New England coast. She is a contributing writer and editor at Planet Waves.net, and has been studying astrological cycles for 15 years. 

Elizabeth is available for personal readings and can be reached at elizabeth@planetwaves.net

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Containing The Vision: Full Moon in Aquarius 2014

Two Perseid meteors visible over the thrones of Kokino,
Aug 12, 2013. Photo by Algorit007, via Wikimedia
Commons.
Full Moon @ 18 Aquarius 02'
August 10, 2014
11:09 AM Pacific
8:09 AM Eastern

This month’s lunar cycle culminates in tropical Aquarius Sunday August 10. The Sun, naturally in opposition to any Full Moon, is joined by Mercury and the dark Moon Lilith in Leo. Additionally, Saturn in Scorpio makes a square to the Full Moon axis.

Aquarius, ruled by Saturn and Uranus, seeks to establish and revolutionize social structures; but above anything, this sign desires independence and the road less traveled. The Full Moon culminating here brings about a collective desire to question authority, to go one’s own way, and to think outside the paradigmatic box of culture.

However, Saturn’s square to the Full Moon axis tempers this transient, revolutionary streak. In other words, every rebel needs a cause and a deeper sense of purpose. Eccentricity must find its footing within established traditions.

A surge of creativity and a sense of confidence emanates through the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter in Leo. Saturn urges us to use discipline, focus and hard work to bring our creativity forward into tangible forms and to balance confidence with humility and perspective.

This Full Moon may bring to light a creative vision that challenges the status quo without toppling the whole structure. If you’re in need of an answer to any creative frustrations, this Full Moon helps to get things moving in a practical direction—as long as we make the effort and do the work to get there.

In many ways, Saturn’s square to the Full Moon axis brings about a sense of restriction that can feel like a stranglehold on our need for free and uncensored expression. To resolve this, we have to be honest with ourselves and our limitations.

While sometimes uncomfortable, Saturn’s influence assists us in gaining real results from our efforts. Working with Saturn requires integrity and pragmatism. Saturn in Scorpio suggests that the only way for that creative vision to solidify, is to get dirty and work with the process.

We have to dig deep, see what we’re made of and burn away any self-sabotaging behaviors. Check in and attempt to look at what’s holding you back from the successful execution of your goals; it’s probably stemming from within yourself, from fears you may not be aware of.

With the Moon at perigee—it’s closest approach to the Earth, this lunation is also considered a Supermoon. This Aquarian Full Moon will be the largest Supermoon of the year; the Moon appears just slightly larger in the sky than it normally does. That subtle perceptual shift is just enough to amplify the Moon’s power in our personal and collective lives.

When the Moon is extenuated via its perigee, feelings and emotional undercurrents have more prominence and expression.  If the Full Moon touches a sensitive zone in our natal charts, its effects are always magnified, indicating an eruption of awareness from the unconscious realms.

Venus is about to enter Leo on Aug 12 as it teeters on the edge of Cancer.  For three days, until Aug 15, when Mercury enters Virgo, four major planets will be in Leo. This adds more weight and gravitas to ego needs and desires.

We may feel more confident than usual, more generous, playful and care-free. Leo’s childlike nature invites us to play and experiment with our creativity. But with Jupiter in Leo, we must expand consciously without exaggerating or inflating self-importance.

The Full Moon’s square from Saturn, however, reminds us to find a balance between work and play—breaking and following the rules. Too much of one thing and we wind up in trouble and important matters go neglected. Don’t fall into that trap. Let loose and allow yourself some playtime, but don’t lose sight of your responsibilities and larger purpose (destiny).

Also, we must be conscious that this fun Leo energy will be rather short lived this month, as Mars and Saturn team up in Scorpio as the month comes to close. Don’t let that rain on your parade, but keep at least one foot in reality, grounded and aware, prepared for the final exam as the month comes to a close. 

Enthusiasm is helpful; it catalyzes us into places we're usually more cautious to venture into, but enthusiasm without a plan or a strategy is just wasted energy. Saturn and Mars conjoining in Scorpio require a structure to contain our creative vision if it has any chance of lasting beyond a fleeting moment of inspiration.


One final note: the famous Perseids meteor shower will peak on Aug 12-13, just as Venus enters Leo and the Full Moon begins to wane. Unfortunately, that waning Full Moon is still bright enough to outshine much of the show; but the Persieds are well known for spontaneous bursts and explosions that could truly rival the Moon’s encompassing glow. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Confidence Tempered by Humility: New Moon in Leo 2014

One of the Louvre Museum lions from the famous glazed bricks friezes found in the apadana (Darius the Great's palace) in Susa (Shush). Pavillon Sully at the Louvre museum, Paris, France, July 2008. Photo by Patrick C., Wikimedia Commons.

New Moon @ 3 Leo 52'
July 26, 2014
6:52 PM Eastern
3:52 PM Pacific

The Sun and Moon conjoin in Leo this month, renewing the Lunar cycle alongside the most gaseous of gas giants, Jupiter. Yes, Jupiter has moved into Leo as of July 16. Its journey through Cancer amplified a collective emphasis on healing, nourishing, nurturing and introspection—connecting to our roots and establishing ourselves somewhere.

Jupiter’s elevated expression guides us with optimism toward a higher path and pulls us out of some precarious sinkholes. Through Jupiter’s expansion we are guided to opportunities for the advancement of destiny; we see something new on the horizon, some hope for a better set of circumstances.

Now, Jupiter moves into Leo, changing things quite a bit. This New Moon is an announcement of Jupiter’s latest journey since it sits within a degree of conjunction to this lunation. Mercury’s retrograde cycle is now in the past, putting an end to the lengthy chain of inner planet retrogrades we experienced at the start of the year.

First, take a look back at the past six months to see how far you’ve come. How has your life path changed? If you have but a modicum of conscious self-awareness then you’ve probably come pretty far. Now that things are direct and “forward flowing”, this lunation provides the gusto and momentum to make a statement.

Leo is the most ostentatious sign of the zodiac. After all that inward reflection, nurturing and healing, we’re ready to take a break, let loose and play a little bit. Jupiter, associated with fire sign Sagittarius, finds ample room in Leo for showcasing the ego’s greatest talents and abilities. Jupiter’s transit through Leo can help us all acquire more confidence to tackle our destiny head on.

As the Sun and Moon conjoin in fiery Leo, sink down and feel that reservoir of inner strength within you. Notice the life force that permeates all living things. The Sun, ruler of Leo, is the most primal symbol of this life force that enlivens all sentient beings. Connect to that sense of natural, inner joy that is every human’s right.

The creative impulse that animates our cells is pure joy and bliss. It is a wellspring of endless energy and enthusiasm for life. It flows through each and every one of us. Think about that. What keeps you going, exactly? What motivates you to do what you do each and every day?

When things seem bleak, difficult or challenging, just remember that the creative life force is within you and it’s always guiding you toward a higher path. Jupiter, the cosmic helping hand, coming into Leo can assist in pulling us up and out of any rut to rejuvenate our creativity and our thirst for life experience.

This New Moon can act as a powerful launching pad to put ourselves out there in some way. The seed is being planted now, kicking off Jupiter’s latest journey. It’s time to explore the inner creative realms, to grasp opportunities for self-expression and to rediscover joy in our every-day lives.

Also, sometimes a giant tub of ice cream and a funny movie can be just as healing as psychotherapy and a tissue box. Sometimes simple laughter can bring us back to a point of integration and sanity like nothing else. That’s Jupiter in Leo. If you’re feeling it, let yourself indulge in playfulness for a bit. Get in touch with your inner child in some way.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games. This Jupiter/Leo combo can also amplify the ego and its drama like no other astrological fusion. Keep that in mind. Confidence must be tempered with humility and perspective. Without that, we end up looking like fools, jumping off every precipice, throwing all caution to the wind.

Also, since Jupiter was exalted in Cancer and trine Saturn, events on the world stage have been relatively mild--politically and economically speaking. But Jupiter's movement through Leo is likely to heat things up quite a bit, quite possibly in some dramatic way. 

Mars recently moved into Scorpio July 25, the day before the New MoonMars has been in Libra since Dec. 2013 due to its most infrequent retrograde cycle. There’s been a particular emphasis on relationships with this transit—redefining ourselves within that context.

Mars’ retrograde cycle through Libra also helped us to break out of certain molds or expectations placed on us from other people. We may have experienced a process of redefining ourselves in some drastic way—breaking out of the box, so to speak.

Mars in Scorpio makes a square aspect to this New Moon, applying some tension to this otherwise joyful, expressive, and enthusiastic lunation; but I think this square is the perfect aspect to temper the fiery passion and optimism inherent to this lunation.

Scorpio brings up depth and perspective; it also reminds us of our impermanence. We’re challenged by this aspect to showcase ourselves honestly—to be true to ourselves and realistic about what we’re really capable of. If we fail to do so, we may be in for a rude reminder of our limitations.

The catch is that all this energy is urging us to take a risk of some kind; but to do so in a way that doesn’t lead to overreaching or exaggerating our capabilities. Saturn, now moving direct as of July 20, also occupies Scorpio and so emphasizes the fact that there are no shortcuts to success. All the talent in the world is useless without the proper discipline and focus.

Mars in Scorpio square this lunation gives us the focus and perspective needed to attain what we desire. Saturn’s distant influence can help mold and direct that wild, creative impetus bubbling up beneath us in some practical and realistic way. So, needless to say, this New Moon is quite conducive to taking action.

If you feel the creative impetus emerging from within you, you’re not alone. Whatever’s been holding you back for the past several months is likely losing its grip, clearing the way for a fresh, new start that’s bound for success if we really believe in ourselves and our ability to make it happen. If you’re in need of a confidence boost, look no further than this New Moon and Jupiter’s transit through Leo.

If you’ve inflated yourself beyond realistic capabilities, look to see how you can temper that over-confidence so that it fits neatly with reality the way it actually is.

SolarScopes July-August 2014

Yes, I’m trying something new this month. Maybe it’s Jupiter conjunct the New Moon in Leo. Well, truthfully, it isn’t entirely new. I’ve experimented with Sun sign horoscopes in the past, on this blog actually; but it’s always been a rather unnerving process—a love hate relationship of sorts. Anyway, the muse struck just prior to this lunation, and this is where she led me. I hope you enjoy and benefit from these oracular messages from the tropical zodiac.

This may or may not become a consistent, monthly addition to my New Moon readings, so don’t get too attached. I’m a Gemini. I’m allowed to change my mind, right? These are probably more accurate if read from the perspective of your tropical zodiac Sun sign; but further insights could be obtained from reading your Moon or even Ascendant signs. Hey, this isn’t a science; it’s astrology for God’s sake. See what resonates for you. (Btw, tropical is just your Sun sign as you likely know it; unless you’re into Jyotish or something like that; but I doubt you would be reading my blog)

 Aries

The heat is off, for now, despite the fiery energy inherent to this New Moon. It may have felt like you were shoved into a pressure cooker there for a while. Take a deep breath, and embrace this period of momentary relief from tension. You’ve earned it. Look around for opportunities to use your talents in some way. Indulge your creative side, explore and experiment. Laughter will be your medicine the next year or so, but especially right now in this moment. Yes, laughter is sometimes a mask for pain, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the best way for you to relieve tension and stress right now.

Taurus

Awareness is often the greatest gift. The more you know about yourself and the world around you, the better equipped you are to take on life’s challenges; and the less vulnerable you are too. The more awareness we have, the more we seem to grow and evolve through life experience. You are being blessed with the gift of awareness; embrace it and use it wisely and constructively toward creating the resolution you now seek within yourself and with your environment. Doors are now opening, allowing you to enter a more intimate as well as psychic space. Sink in, get comfortable and play with it.

Gemini

The greatest ideas can’t shine unless we share them in some way. Also, sometimes, the greatest ideas aren’t as great as we thought they once were. Where are you on that spectrum? It’s time to figure it out. There’s a fine line between too much confidence and not enough. Ideally, we find the middle ground somewhere. Ideally, we step back and assess what it is realistically. But, now, you’re feeling the need to let it out and to be heard. The only way to find out how “great” those ideas really are, is to put them out there or into motion somehow. The universe will provide you with valuable feedback.

Cancer

You may be feeling the urge to prove yourself in some way. But I invite you to ask yourself to whom are you proving yourself to? Often we find ourselves trying to make a statement to appease someone else’s expectation or ideal; but have you really assessed your own? What do you expect from yourself? No, really. Think about that for a moment, what do YOU expect from yourself? That might be harder to do than it sounds. When you figure it out, you might realize that the only person you have to prove your worth to is yourself. It’s that simple and it’s that complex.

Leo

If there ever was a moment to shine, this would be it! But, uh, don’t let that go to your head. I mean, really, we know how you are sometimes. Jupiter entering your sign for the next 12 months is an exciting prospect and one that you would do well to utilize consciously and responsibly. I throw those words out there because it’s the smart thing to do. But seriously, there are opportunities that beckon, in whatever shape or form. There is a wellspring of confidence emerging into the light. Do you see it? You may feel bigger and brighter than usual. It’s time to expand your personal horizon; lead with confidence but know your limitations.

Virgo

The creative muse is emerging from behind the scenes, whispering inspiration when you least expect it. True creative energy is something transient—emerging from realms we neither see nor fully understand. When the muse strikes us, we know it based on a bodily sensation, an adrenalin rush of sorts. You may be gifted with unasked for inspiration. Chances are that it takes the form of something you need to communicate truthfully and honestly. Forget about offending anyone—that’s likely inevitable. Not everyone will understand your vision as you do. Let it take whatever form it desires, even if that pushes someone else’s buttons, or worse, goes against their beliefs about reality.

Libra

You may have reinvented yourself over the past several months. That’s perfect. But now you’re getting used to this new you, taking it out for a test drive to see how the world responds. What you seek now is something a little deeper than physical appearances. You may want the world to not only accept the fa├žade, but the deeper values that lie beneath it. Sometimes, we have to take a risk to stay true to ourselves. That’s a little scary for some of us, and it may be for you now too. The only way to know what you really believe in is to see it stand up to criticism or, if necessary, scrutiny.

Scorpio

The heat is on and it’s burning with fiery passion! There is this energy in the air it seems, motivating you to take on your destiny in some direct and dynamic way. Perhaps it’s a small step, but they add up over time until you realize you’ve built a mountain through the sheer power of your will. Your will is strong now; it cuts deeply into reality. It may take some work to see anything tangible emerge now, but Saturn in your sign has been teaching you those hard lessons for the past two years. Like a warrior, you have the ability to take on giants. Have confidence, but be wary of overdoing it. Small steps can build mountains, but all in due time.

Sagittarius

Our cultural conditioning has convinced us that we should have some rigid plan for our future. Those that really believe that usually end up disappointed, or soon realize that it’s not entirely how life actually works. Some of us never quite shed that belief. When I was seven I wanted to be an actor. That probably would have worked out; but life unfolded unexpectedly, and well, I couldn’t have imagined doing what I actually do now. Life, when given full expression, unfolds creatively. We start somewhere and end up some place completely unexpected. Embrace this wisdom. Trust the creative impulse urging you to break out of the template and explore something you never thought you would.

Capricorn

Western culture has such a perverse perspective of death—and equally, sex too. In astrology those two things are intimately related in an archetypal sense. For all of us, death is inevitable. Sex, well, optional. Neither has to be so shrouded in taboo. Both experiences bring humans together in an intimate way. In death or orgasm we glimpse beyond the veil; for a moment we sense something larger than ourselves. You’re invited now to play with other worlds beyond the palpable reality. Things that were too scary to look at now seem much friendlier than before, inviting you to touch the depths of human experience with confidence and a light-hearted attitude.

Aquarius

Commitment might not be too appealing right now. You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive first, would you? Don’t beat yourself up just because you aren’t more decisive. What you need now is a more playful attitude. Sample the dynamics that emerge between you and another. How does it taste? How do you feel after certain interactions? Most of all, whatever comes up, let it unfold naturally. You might be looking more for playmates as opposed to soul-mates. That’s okay, go with it. You need people around you now that feed you joy—that bring laughter into your life.

Pisces

Fad diets and their marketing strategists have us all convinced that a healthy lifestyle equates to gnawing on raw vegetables and cutting our caloric intake until we’re left with saltine cracker crumbs. Sometimes, that might be helpful; but is it healthful? A healthy lifestyle requires that we nourish ourselves—body, mind and soul. Nourishment takes on many different forms. Sometimes laughter is nourishing, sometimes ice cream. What everyone tends to believe about health, usually the opposite is true. You need to find a way to bring more joy into how you choose to improve yourself. Get creative with it! Expand your definition of self-improvement; it can really be fun! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Introspection and Honesty: Full Moon in Capricorn 2014

A full moon is visible in this view above Earth’s horizon and airglow, Photographed by Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao on the International Space Station on (24 February 2005). 
Full Moon @ 20 degrees Capricorn 03'
July 12, 2014
4:23 AM Pacific
7:23 AM Eastern

While those of us in the northern hemisphere are likely feeling a little warmer with the onset of the Summer season, this Capricorn Full Moon brings in a different archetypal influx, a cold and serious tone. Accompanied by Pluto in Capricorn, the Full Moon takes on a tint of Pluto’s icy, distant aura.

There may be a desire for deep and introspective solitude alongside this Full Moon. There are shadows to face, demons to acknowledge, addictions to fess up to. What are those things covering up? They’re concealing pain, lots of collective and personal pain. It seems that suffering is a natural part of the human experience. Few of us ever get off the wheel.

Don’t get me wrong here; I seem to be painting a rather negative picture, generating dread for this Full Moon. That’s not the whole story, but I put it out there because it seems a prominent theme—fessing up to addictive tendencies to cover up something painful, possibly traumatic.

At the root of it, this Full Moon brings to culmination and brings to light, aspects of our reality we don’t want to acknowledge. There’s a need for raw, uncensored honesty here, whatever that looks like for you. It may be some small thing, but whatever it is it should be dealt with truthfully by seeing it the way it actually is.

The Full Moon squares Mars, Ceres, Vesta and the North Node in Libra. This prominent conjunction points to relationships and the compromise needed to sustain them. Too often, we get into relationships because we feel that they’ll somehow fulfill something missing within us and we commit to others without understanding ourselves.

Eventually, the hormonal spell wears off and we’re left to deal with that void, usually projected onto the other person. Ceres and Vesta speak about nourishment and passion. Mars points toward directed and willful action.

How can we nourish others without first nourishing ourselves? How can we find passion in a relationship without first connecting with our own inner passion? When we place too many expectations on a relationship to fulfill our inner needs, we end up disappointed and sometimes angry that it isn't working out the way we desire.

The New Moon seed that was planted two weeks ago brought our attention to the need to recharge and connect with the soul energy. Now, that seed is culminating, bringing to light those desires and fears that block us from successfully integrating with the world.

Check in with your compulsions, what’s motivating them exactly? Instead of acting on the compulsion, sit with the thing you don’t want to feel. Go into it, acknowledge and nurture the void.  When other people aren’t cooperating or falling into alignment with your expectations, ask yourself whether there’s something you need to look at within yourself first.

The people in our lives are powerful mirrors of our internalized stuff. Look around at those you associate with daily, and see what they’re showing you. Sometimes a little solitude and self-reflection is all we need to get a clearer perspective. Capricorn’s highest expression is the mastery of desires, taming the beast within us and directing its energy toward some higher calling.

That’s certainly no small task, but we may get a taste of that process with this lunation in some way. When feeling angry or frustrated, it’s probably best to take a time out and check in with yourself first. That could save everyone from a lot of grief later on. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Recharging The Soul: New Moon in Cancer 2014

Me (Chad) enjoying the sunset behind the distant mountains.
I wasn't really meditating, but it made for a good picture.
Mt. San Jacinto, Ca, 2010. Photo by Ashly Smith. 

New Moon @ 05 Cancer 37'
June 27, 2014
1:08 AM Pacific
4:08 AM Eastern

This month’s New Moon occurs in the tropical sign of Cancer, just proceeding the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere. Thus, this lunation ushers in a new chapter, a marking point in the Sun’s annual cycle through the zodiac. Everything sentient takes notice of this change; we feel it mentally, emotionally and biologically.

Our cells know that something has shifted. If we listen carefully we might just  hear what they have to say about it. That might take some practice, but I think it’s possible. Here in the northern latitudes, the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year; the Sun is at its highest ascent in the sky; it will never be as exalted in the heavens as it is on the day of this transition. It begins its descent at the Fall Equinox.

There is a climactic quality inherent to the Summer Solstice, a sprouting forth of energy and potential. With each solar cycle we are creating something, whether we’re conscious of it or not. When the Sun enters Cancer we’ll have some sense of foundation—of being rooted and grounded, ready to move forward with the full manifestation of that creation.

When the Sun and Moon conjoin in Cancer we may feel the urge to “withdraw” into the more intimate chasms of our personal life. That may manifest as a desire for more alone time—to reflect and connect with some deeply internalized process; or that may show up as a need to stay within a more close knit group of souls—tribe, kin or family.

The dark of the Moon in Cancer is intimate, but gentle. Cancer is a “sensitive” sign; it emphasizes feelings and transient moods. Like the perceptibly slow undulation of the ocean’s tides, Cancer is sign that amplifies the constant fluctuation of emotion.

Needless to say, our feelings and gut responses need much more attention at this time because we’re checking in with ourselves, fine tuning intuition and recharging our souls. Let that sink in a bit—the notion of feeding and nourishing the soul’s energy.

With Mercury retrograde in Gemini, the need for some time out, to step back and take in all the pieces, is greatly emphasized. While Gemini is all about the mind, disparate facts and logical conclusions, the power of this New Moon in Cancer draws us deeper into more sensitive and vulnerable territory.

Give the mind a break, and most of all, give yourself and your soul, some time out. Cancer, and by extension, the Moon, governs the enteric nervous system—which controls our digestive processes. Think of this New Moon as an opportunity to properly digest your life in some way.

Let all the elements sink in; absorb the complexities via osmosis as opposed to trying to sort them all out manually. If we get caught up in the extraneous stuff, we’re likely to experience the more negative side of Cancer—exaggerated emotionality or emotional isolation, feeling disconnected from the world and as a result, disconnected from our true nature, the soul’s energy.

In order for proper digestion to take place, we need to be in a more parasympathetic state—that is, we need to feel safe. Environmental stressors can wreak havoc on digestion, drastically slowing the process. Mercury retrograde reminds us that there’s no need to rush—that would be quite detrimental to the process.

Mercury turns direct on July 1, just three days after the New Moon. This opens up space for healing and integration. Within a few weeks we’ll be ready to take on the world. But for now, tune in and listen to your soul. A trine to the New Moon from Neptune in Pisces opens up channels to “higher” perceptions—ecstatic visions, spiritual insights and something transpersonal.

That transpersonal component may invite us to see beyond our own personal cocoon—to consider some larger sense of purpose. Whatever it is it will come to you with this lunation; there’s no need to go looking for it. The answers we seek now are to be found within us—in our bodies, in our souls. Sink in and find a comfortable, safe place you know well, if that’s possible.

If not, find that safe place within yourself—that well of abundant nourishment and joy. Remember what that feels like, what it does to your nervous system; and as the Moon continues in its waxing phase, try to hold on to that space and carry it forward as best as you can throughout the rest of the solar journey.