Friday, March 16, 2012

New Moon In Aries & Spring Equinox 2012

New Moon @ 2 degrees Aries 22'
March 22, 2012
7:37 AM Pacific
10:37 PM Eastern

This New Moon is a powerful force--electrifying and spontaneous, we've likely felt this energy over the past few weeks, alongside a tidal wave of accelerated time. Spirit indeed moves faster than matter, and at this time we can really understand just how true that is. It seems that what our minds and hearts desire--our bodies, and the physical world, are going to take a little more time catching up to--but that doesn't mean things won't eventually get going--it's just that this New Moon can be a bit conflicting unless we tread this territory very consciously. The New Moon conjoins Uranus and Mercury Retrograde, primarily, and with a rather wide conjunction with Vesta--all in Aries, and quite near the Aries point. With Uranus, this pulls us into the Cardinal Climax influx--Squaring Pluto in Capricorn. Naturally, such an intimate connection with the Uranus and Pluto Square, is going to create the experience, or illusion, of accelerated time--which could manifest as things moving very quickly, or possibly a desire to move rapidly but feeling as if things are not seemingly going fast enough. The primary image I get from this New Moon is of two cross currents, one composed of a mental and spiritual like ether--and another more dense and physical--creating the sensation that time and space are seemingly at odds.

With Mercury Retrograde, this is a natural juncture of revision--meaning it's an excellent time for reconsidering our stance with various things--questioning ideas, decisions, perceptions, situations--looking over life more thoroughly--such as taking notes of whatever faults might slip us up later on (usually this comes to our attention without much effort on our part), and addressing various mechanical issues, like changing light bulbs. With this comes a backward motion from the Retrograde force--but with Aries, and this New Moon conjoining Uranus, we feel equally propelled forward--so there is likely to be a lot of anticipation surging beneath the surface, awaiting to explode. Most of the newness that accompanies this New Moon, and the Spring Equinox--is likely to be a reinvention or resurrection of things from the past--like breathing air back into whatever we've set aside, put on the back burner, or even forgot about entirely. With the momentum of Uranus backing all this up--we have the potential to really evolve at this point, break out of the mold, and radically alter and restructure varying aspects of  our lives. We may feel impelled to reinvent ourselves, or experiment with different options, experiences, or decisions. Sometimes, however, that desire to push forward is balanced with an equally powerful urge to return to the past--through reminiscence or even physically visiting places of familiarity. The significant lesson floating around this Lunar cycle is teaching us about our responsibility to projects, plans, and intentions we've already put into motion--and showing us new and different ways of utilizing them.

There could be a lot of seemingly enticing and hot prospects popping up quite randomly, but simply take note of them--see if jumping on some new and foreign path is going to lead you anywhere--or whether there are other things which already have more ground, momentum, and investment. The earthy grand trine between Mars Retrograde in Virgo, Pluto in Capricon, and Jupiter in Taurus, is still in clear focus. This has us concentrated more on the physical plane, giving the potential to adjust, organize, and solidify financial and resource structures. This is also likely to bring up survival issues--such as feeling propelled to accumulate more--such as money, food, objects, opportunities--feeling as if there isn't enough, or that we need to stock up for the future. Naturally, this would be a good time to do so, just as long as it doesn't get too obsessive or restrictive--or at least we're mindful of this potential manifestation.

Mars Retrograde in Virgo, is in a very tight opposition with Chiron, widely conjunct Neptune and Pallas in Pisces. This combination in general could have us focused on health related matters--nutrition, cleansing, dieting, exercise, meditation--and the process of reinforcing our ability to assimilate--to improve the way we digest life, either literally or metaphorically. This could also have the potential to allow us to take action of a healing process, to confront our fears, wounds, pain, or suffering in life---it could also help to simply expose these areas by allowing us to look at them objectively, and come up with ways of resolving or integrating these aspects within ourselves--and with Pallas--we can anticipate all kinds of new ideas, solutions, and also the desire to dig for the truth of these matters. Many of us are likely to have already been involved in this process for some time, especially with the last lunation/New Moon, and the Mars Retrograde cycle by itself--although this cycle should help provide more clarity and sense of direction--less like the, being stranded on an island surrounded by fog without a compass kind of feeling.

The Sun conjoins Uranus on March 24th, intensifying the already active Uranian impulse, creating surges of innovation, electricity, spontaneity, or rebelliousness. Mind your step for the several days surrounding this new Moon--be as conscious as possible with your actions, and mindful of your innate humanness (hubris). The archetype of the Fool, and those 4th density tricksters, are likely to be quite active around these transits--and they could possibly combine forces with that notorious prankster Mercury retrograde if we aren't careful. Venus enters Gemini on April 3rd--where she will be spending a bit of an extended vacation for roughly four months, since, she'll be going retrograde in May. Venus will also be slowing down, and preparing herself, for her rare rendezvous with the Sun, during the Transit of Venus phenomena occurring early this June (stay tuned for an expanded article on this subject, which I should, hopefully, be completing soon).

In general, Venus in Gemini lends toward a desire and expanded appreciation for communication, diversity, and experience--and while retrograde, we will be reevaluating our resources pertaining to our ability to effectively communicate, multi-task, or even include or relate the ideas of others into our life experience. Venus in Gemini demands that we have all our facts in order, and collectively, there is likely to be a increased expectation of having well researched something before putting it forward, or acting on it. The Transit of Venus, or TOV for short, has had this impact historically for quite some time--as our collective spirit has been choosing to evolve and develop through the mind/mental/communication matrix for the past two thousand years--essentially focusing on the fusion and integration of our collective mind and higher self--bridging both hemispheres--as well as synthesizing all the foreign elements of the planet--bringing people, cultures, plants, food, etc, together--mixing and coalescing seemingly disparate pieces, and attempting to figure it all out--while also trying desperately to extract the essential truth.

Mercury goes stationary direct on April 4th---finishing up the Mercury retrograde cycle--which has us tying up loose ends and picking up all the pieces, or putting the last bits where they belong. Pluto turns retrograde on April 10th (which it does quite often), however, this will be the gearing and prepping up stage for the square off with Uranus, which will kick off their rather tense and potentially chaotic combination this summer--which will carry us a bit beyond the year 2015--Pluto and Uranus will square 7 times between now and then! Revolutionary movements of all sorts are quite in season--and it's likely we will see many attempt to prop themselves up with this new moon--which probably won't work out too well in the long run. However, this Summer forecasts some quite eventful, if not just plain interesting happenings going on. My recommendation, as usual--be mindful of what you get yourself involved with in these times (primarily large-scale social movements)--heed Venus in Gemini's message--do your research. Mixing unresolved emotional turmoil with politics is ugly--but seemingly inevitable in this day and age. Channeled to the personal and individual level, this allows us to, as I phrased earlier, "break out of the mold", which essentially means the time is ripe for social deconditioning.

Unfortunately, whether you want to call them the "government", the PTB, or transdimensional reptilian overlords--"they" are quite aware of this potential, and many many things are well planned quite strategically for the funneling and control of this impulse, which by the way, arrives quite predictably, just as it did in the late 1960's with the conjunction of the Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. I've written about this is some past articles--but basically, like i said, the root of this process is deconditioning. The late 1960's brought quite a psychedelic tsunami to the United States, as well as the rest of the world--and things became much more....well, "liberal" and abstract, then they were before (I don't mean this mainly in a political sense, but rather more on the individual, social, and cultural level--although politics are also included). After this, we also experience, of course, a contracting cycle which adds a dash of conservatism so things don't get too out of control--but--ultimately, history and culture were permanently imprinted by these signatures. Naturally however, many of the ideologies, beliefs, theories, and visions from that time need to be thoroughly challenged and expanded upon at this stage of the cycle--so those who cling to the way things used to be, back in the "good old days", are likely to seriously fail at this time, or come up against stagnation.

This is the time to take the very products and end results from that era, and evolve them to the next level--which demands that we are critical about whatever pops us now--and there will be quite a bit to choose from. Neptune in Pisces lends a bit of spiritualism and possible religious overtone to these political movements as well--as our collective psychology, until 2026, will be fermented with a desire to return to the womb, and find salvation from a greater force. Let's not confuse that "greater force", with something which is merely masquerading as omnipotence--things aren't always what they seem. This can also make the populace a bit more passive--even with Uranus in Aries, this doesn't lend well to conscious action, but rather action rooted in blind faith, idealism, or even delusion. On the flip side, these energies will definitely assist in propelling a truly beautiful creative and spiritual/psychic revolution, and the most authentic expressions will not be found in the mainstream--look deeper, and ultimately, look within. Real change starts with us.

Overall--this New Moon is all about going back to move forward--which at first might feel and seem counter productive, but if just go with it, you'll look back and be glad you did. Taking your time now and being conscious of any or all impulses to rush blindly without thinking, will indefinitely serve you well. If coming up against setbacks, delays, or things falling apart, try to see the reason and potential behind it all--the less attachment we have to how things turn out, and the more we simply trust in what is, the less stress we will experience in the long run--and the more successful we'll be when the universe is more in favor of aggressive pursuits.

The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon reads:

"A cameo profile of a man in the outline of his country"

I'd to share an interpretation of this symbol by Blain Bovee, excerpted from his excellent book, The Sabian Symbols & Astrological Analysis:

"[The symbol above] is an image of a side-view relief of a man that carries the impression of national identity. A "cameo" is a small piece of hard stone, often of differing colored layers with an image carved in relief against a background of a different color. Cameo is perhaps akin to "camera", a light-proof chamber from which the apparatus for taking photographs developed. "In camera" is hidden from public view; "camera obscura" and "camera lucida" are devices used to project an image in natural colors for tracing; a "cameo appearance" is a bit played by a distinguished performer. One gets the impression that a cameo profile shows a one-sided image like the profile of a Roman ruler on a gold coin, suggesting something more on the flip side".

I like the last sentence Bovee adds--correlating this image to the profile of a Roman ruler on a gold coin, and then the reference to the "flip side". Dane Rudhyar, in his book, An Astrological Mandala, interprets this symbol as "Participation in a greater life". Rudhyar suggests that the image, or side view of an individual in the shape of his country, suggests the notion of living a transpersonal life--and the realization by the individual that he or she is merely one part of a greater whole. What primarily stands out to me is the symbol's reference to the image of a man--the external presentation of the individual. This ties in with Mercury retrograde in Aries, and this New Moon and Spring Equinox aligning also with Uranus. These symbols strongly suggest radical reinvention of the self, in whatever form that takes. It suggests to us that we look deeper, at the flip side of who we are, and also cultivate the perception that who or what we are, is in fact a mirror image or representation of the greater whole--society, the earth, the solar system, the universe.

Perhaps along with this realization comes the notion that our identity is not something we will find without, externally on the outside--but rather, who we truly are is on the other side, deeper in our own personal world. So while the process of changing, or, seemingly acquiring our identity, may appear and feel like something entirely new, it's really a reunion with an old friend, because it was who were all along and we're just remembering. All these symbols suggest that we are being given the opportunity to tap into our more authentic selves, and to share and express that with the world at large, while also knowing that who we are is an extension of the divine--one piece of the greater whole we share. This is a time to question how we present ourselves, as well as the images and representations of other people that we've had. If you look carefully, you will see that there is much more than meets the eye, and that beyond our assumptions of ourselves and of others, is a more complex and profound reality than we could have ever imagined.

 Spring Equinox 2012

Spring/Vernal Equinox
March 19, 2012
10:15 PM Pacific
March 20, 2012
1:15 AM Eastern

 Spring Equinox occurs on either March 19th or 20th, depending on where you are. Because both the New Moon and Equinox occur so close together, their symbols inevitably blend and bleed together. Much of the energies from this New Moon are likely to forecast all three months of Spring. As I've mentioned above, we could interpret this to mean that this Spring has a lot to do with the resurrection and revision of self identity--which will involve processes and events fermented by the symbolism of Uranus and Mercury retrograde in Aries--radically breaking out of the mold, deconditioning, and further pushing who we are past the familiar and comfortable. This is a powerful force of radical destruction and of creation simultaneously. This cycle favors the tearing down of structures, which can be, at times, the first step of a creative process.

On the individual level, many may realize the vastness of their capabilities, and completely surprise themselves with how far they can actually go. The energies surrounding this Spring season may feel very overwhelming and possibly electrifying. With Mercury retrograde within both charts--the Equinox as well as the New Moon, we can be sure that the process of revising, reconsidering, rethinking, and making adjustments to various facets of our lives will continue on until Summer. This is further reinforced by Venus' retrograde cycle beginning in May. Pay very close attention to the unfolding of events around you now, as they all connect, synchronize, and coalesce. You will notice that many chapters are closing, and that many connections you've had with others are coming to some kind of climax or closure/resolution. We could look at all of this as very karmic, meaning, we are resolving and finishing up business we've had in many past lives, but also, simply things we've started in this life too.

It is the natural flow of life--one step forward, a few steps back, a few steps forward, one step back....and on and on and on we go, until we feel complete, whole, and integrated with the way things are--or that we've experienced enough and acquired the appropriate lessons. The retrograde process weaves this into our experience of time--allowing us to see beyond the linear perception of our conscious experience, to see that time itself is merely the result of cycles converging together-- interacting and flowing in a great cosmic dance. There are times in our lives where we need to go back to move forward, we need to go over things a few more times, just until we get it "right". This Spring is very much one of those times, and while that process is also coming to closure, it would be quite helpful to just keep it in mind.  Embrace all the changes that may be occurring within you, and while it may be tempting to revert or even cling on to the past and the way things used to be, we are invited to ultimately break through the barrier to keep on with the process of transformation.

In the solstice chart, the most striking aspect is the Moon, sandwiched between Neptune and Chiron, in opposition Mars Retrograde. Again, this hints at a critical process of deep healing, integrating, and the fusing together of disparate elements. It also shows us that the most success this Spring will come as a result of patience. We may feel a bit agitated or antsy, because it may feel as if things aren't going fast enough--and at the same time, we may feel more apprehensive because it isn't clear which direction to go, or where we're being lead. If anything, Chiron is about the process, it teaches us that it is in the actual enduring of experience that allows us to understand and fully integrate. Chiron also teaches about the holographic nature of reality, and how everything, every piece of our selves and bodies, are merely fragments of the greater whole.

With Neptune in the picture, we are likely to see many psychic and spiritual awakenings happening--along with heightened emotions and sensitivity. There will also be a greater ability to tune into ourselves and others, especially our bodies. The core message of this combination is: True healing is a process of surrender, and learning to trust that our bodies--which are an extension of the earth herself, knows what it's doing--we just need to trust it confidently without judgment, and without fear. There could also be greater opportunities for securing our boundaries, along with a desire and yearning for safety and protection. A major lesson from this could be that nothing outside of ourselves will ever fully protect us--that the ability to guard and defend oneself comes from an internal state within, a energetic force fueled by vitality and inner strength. Ultimately, we are learning that we don't need to know or even fully understand what's happening all the time, and that it is in our conscious surrender that we are gently led toward our true path.

Spring is all about new beginnings, it is the rebirth of the Sun after its long journey through darkness. Every Spring the Sun arrives in the East, and begins to ascend higher until it reaches Solar Maximum on Summer Solstice (in the north). It is the east which, heralds the dawn of the new day, of new life, and of fresh opportunity. In Winter, the Sun descends lower in the sky (toward the South), and the days are shorter. Our celebration of Easter, is actually a tradition of revering the Eastern Star (East Star), the Sun. The fulfillment of the promise made on Christmas morning, that the Sun would be reborn and would rise again, is made each and every Spring. The Sun has now returned to the earth, and will increase its light, warmth, and abundance to all who are ready to receive.

This is the natural time that new creations for the Solar cycle are planted--however, with all the retrograde activity, much of these creations are not entirely new, or even as fresh as we might think they are. As I hinted above, the symbols surrounding this Equinox can also suggest the creative potential of destruction--of consciously controlled chaos. This will likely manifest in our personal lives, and in the collective field. This process allows us to see and accept that if things fall apart in life, it is actually giving way to new life--that something else will reemerge from the ashes. When this reality is embraced, we see that it is merely our judgements and our attachments that make such experiences more challenging, or painful, than they need to be. With that in mind, this Spring is the perfect time for clearing the decks, allowing things to run their course and to go their own willful direction--and to surrender to the new potential waiting to bud forth and herald the Sun, the dawn of the new day.

Sunrise By The Ocean, copyright Vladimir Kush

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Earth Grand Trine/Venus and Jupiter Conjunction

Quite a beautiful and productive grand trine formed today---energies and events which have been building since late fall last year, could be brought back into focus--this is a very earthy, centering, and grounding influence--allowing for optimum organization with areas of finances, building and securing structures, and solidifying ideas into more concretness. Powerful expansion of the very material substance of reality--giving us an extended ability to shape and change the world around us--which includes our own bodies--through a razor like perception which could assist us in healing, assimilating, and integrating using disparate tools or bits of information. With Venus joining Jupiter, we feel a strong pull to the natural world and natural beauty--or just beauty in general, although our tastes are likely to be more focused on the simple, elegant, and organically inspired. Watch for indulgent tendencies--and most of the skies, at and just after sunset--Jupiter and Venus will follow the Sun as it descends, reaching exact conjunction late tonight on the Pacific coast. These beautiful planets are not hard to miss--quite the brightest "stars" in the sky indeed, and quite the eye candy--maybe just seeing them together will be enough to curb those cravings ;-) Above all--especially with Mercury Retrograde--this in an excellent time to check in with how you're pacing yourself with things--if you feel rushed, check in deeper and see if urgency is really warranted. Taking things step by step, one piece at a time, is the best way to go right now.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Full Moon in Virgo 2012

Full Moon @ 18 degrees Virgo
March 8, 2012
4:39 AM Eastern
1:39 AM Pacific

The Full Moon in Virgo ignites a desire for cohesion, tangibility, and usefulness. Emerging from the New Moon of Feb 21st, we somewhat get clear of the fog and placid water we may have found ourselves so enmeshed. With the ingress of Neptune in Pisces, we are feeling this impulse strongly, as if the floor beneath our feet has vanished or melted into a pool of dubiousness. This Full Moon brings to culmination many things--primarily it is a symbolic peak of the Mars retrograde cycle--what we are working on to make stronger and more successful should be known by now, as the Moon is currently illuminating our task at hand. Along with the sense of uncertainty, comes an equally powerful surge of excitement, of anticipation of tackling the great mystery--diving off the precipice as if anything were possible. We are not necessarily beginning now a completely new frontier, however--we are mostly mastering and bringing to culmination things we have already begun, in the past.

A lot will be gleamed by placing your attention on the sequence of events which brought you here, because each as served its purpose as a stepping stone and segway toward a much larger process that is taking place collectively. The Full Moon culminates, it brings forth from the darkness of potential into the light of manifestation. Are you creating or intending it? Maybe some of it, but we are also unfolding along with it, and it is creating us just the same. We may find ourselves strengthening our per-existent abilities--our dormant talents, skills, and capacities--finding new outlets  for their expression and utilization. Bringing back to life, breathing fire into--some forgotten project or task we set out long ago. This has the feeling of revival, of reawakening, of resurrection. Perhaps we are healing, integrating, transforming--bringing to a head a healing process by shedding more light on a health situation, resurrecting past wounds.

At the New Moon we may have felt more consumed by uncertainties, wounds, pain, or paranoia--but the Full Moon brings the light of awareness, and it is now that the potential exists to see how many pieces connect and inter relate with one another. The process itself is illuminated now: I see and I forget, I hear and I remember, I do and I understand. It is through the doing, through the repetition via application of knowledge that we truly grasp a thing, that we truly come to know what it's all about. I see this image of repetition, of going in circles--or spirals even, over and over--all of it. It feels as if timelines are converging here, overlapping-chapters closing and new doors opening. Emerging from the fog, finding our footing, our ground--we remember why we're here, where we're going--if only but a hint which suggests an intelligence to it all.

A striking Earth grand trine forms between Venus and Jupiter, Mars Retrograde in Virgo, and Pluto in Capricorn. This same configuration occurred in November, during the direct pass of Mars while Jupiter was retrograde. Perhaps a spark, vision, idea,  or revelation occurred to you then--and now it is likely to solidify more, and we may feel compelled to put it to use, master it--give it more power. With Venus conjoined Jupiter in Taurus there is a streak of financial expansion, abundance, and opportunity--however that shows up for us individually. There is much potential for productivity, especially with things that you have been working on or toward for some time now. If you've put forth the necessary time, effort, and dedication towards something, you are likely to experience a tremendous boost of success, or perhaps just a slight evolutionary leap.

This is also a time of finding the logic within the natural process--really connecting with all the fragments of the unfolding, and seeing how they connect to and effect one another. Equally, these configurations could allow us to unearth some hidden potential within us, or from the past, that we had no idea existed. Get grounded and then expand this Full Moon, there is a beautiful synergy between the physical and spiritual--listen closely to all the subtleties, and all the intricacies--but be mindful that both god and the devil are in the details.

Mercury goes retrograde just four days after the Full Moon. Oh what? Another retrograde? Seriously? Is anything moving forward these days? Well it seems the outer planets are holding down the fort for now--it is this transpersonal force beyond us which is seemingly the only beacon of sanity at the moment (if that's fathomable). Everyone else is seemingly undecided as to which way is up--or down. And that's ok, because it's times like these we realize that we're so not in control, I mean really--how did we ever think we were? Just as Mars goes direct, Venus takes her retrograde (May 16)--and so it seems, that until the latter part of Summer, we are in this inevitable stage of reinforcement, revision, and reconsideration. It's important to understand the intention of retrogrades, because when we take these symbols as negative omens, a lot of confusion occurs--especially as we are experiencing so many overlapping among the inner planets concurrently.

Retrogrades, first and foremost--bring up the past, in many ways (people, situations, projects, goals, desires, memories, etc). These past connections can be viewed as opportunities for clearing unresolved energy--and most of the time it is simply our experience of the situation which provides the clearing and release. Secondly, retrogrades often give us a "second chance", or a way to go back to something and enhance its potential. With that in mind, the root archetype of a retrograde impulses us into a state of questioning, of skepticism, and toward a desire to go beyond what we already know or understand. This leads us to the third major component, which is the experience of conflict which arises from our "pushing forward", while the universe is seemingly pushing the other way--going against the current.

This is almost always is experienced when an individual resists the need to gather more, to learn more, or to reinforce things, upsurging it with the desire to make it happen now--or even to go after and implement something entirely new, fresh, and unfamiliar. With that said however, one should not feel paralyzed into a state of inaction--but to simply be mindful of the difference between needs and impulses. Retrogrades, however, redirect the energy into the opposite direction from what we are "used" to experiencing. So, for example, if we are usually not "moving forward" or pushing on with things, then we can actually experience these times as more productive and actually quite different from most other people. Ideally, when one, or in this case, several retrogrades are occurring simultaneously, it is a time of preparation, of getting ready, of going over, and over, and over again. These are ideal conditions to further solidify our position, to make sure we have all "our ducks in a row", and our feet firmly planted. However, if you need to start something, or make something happen, do it--do not fear a retrograde as something which will curse you or make your efforts meaningless. Retrograde planets are powerful teachers and tricksters which offer us valuable lessons.

If you allow these forces to guide you, you will see that above all, they redirect your attention toward areas you may have forgotten all about--and they allow us to see and experience things from an entirely different perspective than we are used to. Projects, plans, businesses, or whatever started under a retrograde, may not exactly "fail" or "fall apart" as is commonly believed, but they are fermented by the retrograde archetype, meaning their very nature will be very much beyond our control and intentions. When beginning or attempting to implement something important to us during a retrograde, just be aware that the entity itself will have much more to teach you than you ever anticipated, and there will likely need to be much more effort, work, and dedication to keep it all running.

At this juncture, just keep in mind that while you may feel the impulse to hurry up and act now--in reality, there is no rush. That sense of panic is merely the modicum of control our ego had getting sucked into that cosmic void. Relax, take your time, don't fret--there's no need to--the universe supports us in going back and making sure that things are on the right track--and to also shake things up, and get things going in a different evolutionary direction so that we don't suffocate from stagnation. Keep an extremely open mind, be in a state of absolute receptivity and humility as best you can, and realize that the universe has an intention and plan for us, if only we'd just get out of the way. Let everyone else burn out if they need to, but know that you're much the wiser ;-)

The Sabian symbol for this Full Moon reads....

"A swimming race"

This is an interesting symbol for the symbolic peak of Mars retrograde, seeing as Mars is what would drive such an affair. Mars, however, isn't too fond of the water element, Mars in any water sign tends to get a bit diluted (sometimes with the exception of Scorpio). A swimming race brings to mind a large body of water, individuals splashing around, water being flung into the air--people coming up for a breath briefly, maybe some cheering--it's all pretty wet. A swimming race usually takes place in a very short amount of time, I imagine this paroxysm of splashing about--followed by a scene of water calming and slowing down, bubbles simmering, frothing. While this image brings to mind the notion of competition, I don't really get too much of that from swimming. In other words, I imagine the swimmer, in that moment and burst of action--sort of in their own world, simply because they're submerged--there's not much paying attention to the other swimmers.

I get the feeling this symbol also deals with emotions, with psychic energies, given the obvious connection of water to the spiritual realm. Perhaps this image suggests a process of moving through emotions, just diving in and allowing oneself to be immersed in it, to really feel it, to get to the source of such feelings. Also the sense of competition, not for the end result of "winning" per say, but the idea of sport for fun, just because. Simply achieving something for the experience of doing it, for oneself, or maybe, for a greater cause beyond personal gain. So while this image suggests a race of sorts, and many will surely be impulsed with this archetype of urgency and competitiveness, I feel the deeper message is found in the water element as the foundation, the medium through which these swimmers compete. I get the sense of winning a race without too much effort, urgency, fear, or motivation--rather, winning the race because it is one's destiny to do so. There is a larger force which is assisting--and all we have to do is show up, and literally get carried along.....because in the end, we're already there.

Full Moon Effect:
 We may feel we have a greater attention span, able to zoom in with super critical perception. Especially occurring so close to Mars retrograde, we may feel impulsed toward organization, cleaning, straightening up, integrating, and putting things together and in their proper place. This is an excellent time to focus on projects or tasks which require a great amount of attention to detail--we can focus more heavily on the process and each step of the way. Use this time to be of service to others somehow--in fact, many may feel quite useless unless they are of some assistance now. Others may be more critical or hypersensitive to criticism under this influence, as well as being very one sided in their thinking, or focused on some project or task. This is a good time to make more sense out of things, and to bring some extra order and cleanliness into your life.  We may also experience more of a concern with health, nutrition, and more effective ways of nourishing our bodies. In fact, this is an excellent time to tune in more deeply to one's body and its subtle communication signals.

Venus in Taurus/Conjunction With Jupiter

Venus moves into Taurus on March 5th (til April 4th, entering Gemini the day Mercury turns direct), joining Jupiter in this earthy and grounded sign. With Venus in Taurus, collective tastes and preferences lean more toward the more subtle, peaceful, serene, relaxing---sort of more inclined toward a zen like ambiance. Since Venus is quite at home in this sign (from which she rules), we can anticipate more of a concern and inclination toward finances, possessions, resources--physical things as well as abilities and capacities which makes us valuable and skillful. Venus in Taurus inclines us toward focusing more on our own value system, and what it is that we place importance and significance toward.

As Venus closes in on Jupiter, peaking March 13th, we will feel this influence quite strongly. There may be a strong desire to indulge oneself in myriad ways, and the usual warning over not over-doing it is in order here. This is an excellent time to relax, unwind, maybe get a massage--or go outdoors, connect with nature, really take the opportunity to stop and smell the proverbial roses. The natural world and its inherent beauty are all enhanced under this influence, so take the opportunity to get out and about more than you usually do. This energy perfectly compliments the other symbols which are active at this time, and further reinforce the need to take things easy, do things step by step--and to be methodical and meticulous with everything. Enjoy the beauty of life, take the time to cultivate it and surround yourself with it. Keep in mind that there is no shame in indulging in the pleasures of the world, as long as they're functional of course.

This cycle may also be quite advantageous financially for some of us, depending upon whether we are more personally effected by it. Venus goes retrograde in May, which often correlates to a cycle of monetary sluggishness. As I mentioned above, however, retrogrades tend to bring the inverse influx from the norm--so individuals who have been struggling financially may experience a reverse or shift in this energy during Venus retrograde, and likely also during this particular cycle and conjunction with Jupiter. For whichever way the wheel is turning, this is an excellent time to expand your resources, and there will plenty of opportunities floating about to do so--this is not just financial as in money, but also material goods, services, and capabilities. Of course, the only way to attract such opportunities is to be in a state of complete receptivity--so open up, allow yourself to receive the great bounty of the planet--the earth mother shares all.

Mercury Retrograde in Aries/Pisces 2012

February 26th- April 4th 2012

Initially in Aries, Mercury retrograde connects us to Mars, who also happens to be retrograde--so it's as if Mercury is taking all that stuff we've been strengthening and building up (over the past month or so), and mentalizes it--reconsiders it, revises, reworks it, thinks it over--makes more sense out of it intellectually--like writing it out or sharing ideas with others. This is very valuable time to really connect with impulses, desires, and most of all--addictive habits and behaviors. Mars retrograde is notorious for bringing up these issues within us, and now with Mercury retrograde, we can reflect much more deeply on what's come up over the past month or so. Pay attention to what drives you, and see if you can reflect on the root of those motivations, whatever they may be. Where do they stem from? Do they seemingly control your actions and behavior?

 Mars retrograde is a bit easier on us, in the sense that it tends to be much more obvious in what it's doing--we can see those events unfolding for a mile away if we payed much attention. Mercury retrograde, however, enjoys carrying around that metaphoric wrench, and you never know where he'll throw it (usually at your head, when your back is turned). Used productively, we can take this time to go back over things, to be more precise, more thorough--making sure everything is in line. Whatever breaks down now, falls apart, simply revealing to us the flaws which we have ignored for too long, and it's the natural time to address these things. Naturally, Mercury retrograde tends to bring up all kinds of mechanical breakdowns, technical failures, setbacks, and minor annoyances. These things tend to escalate the more we fight against the flow. But sometimes, it's just the natural time for check-ups and tune-ups of all kinds, and Mercury just likes to help out by bringing it all to our attention ;-) The best advice--surrender, seriously. You will find that by just kicking back, throwing up your hands, and saying....OK universe, show me--all will be well--for the most part.

All these mixed and coalescing energies can feel confusing, it is likely that one part of us wants to push forward so badly--and yet another part doesn't know where the hell it's going. This occurs right in the midst of the Spring Equinox, which is usually this ideal time for new beginnings. Well it is, really, there is a lot of new energy cropping up here--but if you look carefully, it is really a new beginning with the past. All these symbols point to a process which is occurring collectively and individually, that is bringing a new beginning to past constructs. Many flashbacks, people, situations, memories--from this life or another, are likely to really crop up consistently in the first half of the year, begging for our attention. Logically then, we can conclude that this is a time for closing and completing cycles, chapters, relations, karma, connections, ties--it is a time to process, integrate, and move on into the new beginning just around the corner.

Mercury will conjoin Uranus during its retrograde, which will peak on March 18th. Hold on tight for this one, you don't get an electrifying omen like that everyday. This cycle has the potential to be a shocker, which could be quite stimulating--this is a time to seriously keep an open mind--because if anything, Uranus hates solidification on any matter. Let loose, open up, and ultimately--let go of your preconceived notions. This is an excellent time for breaking out of the mold, experimenting, trying things out, and seeing what new perspectives they offer you. There is such opportunity this cycle to really free yourself, really connect to yourself authentically, and learn to love and embrace who you really are. On the practical end, it might be wise to clear your computer up a bit--get that anti-virus software you've been thinking about, run your Spy Bot Search and Destroy, or back up those files your intuition keeps bugging you about--consider enhancing your technological boundaries. I'm not saying there will be surge of hackers coming at everyone, but I definitely get the feel that such issues will likely arise, or at least in metaphor.

This could also manifest as a sudden identity crisis--or we may find ourselves sorting out the details of our self image, and all the fragments that make up our identity. Perhaps needing to break out of the mold of how others have perceived us, and creating a whole new image. Perhaps reconsidering our impact on others, and how to uniquely define ourselves, our internal drives, and passions. Going deep into our inner workings to really see ourselves as fragments of all creation, and the responsibility we share. With the conjunction with Uranus, this will likely allow us to reconsider our connection to technology, such as technological devices, systems, etc. Perhaps we get more involved with it--or conversely, realize that too much techno saturation is keeping us from what we really need to be doing, and feel the need to withdraw and find out who we are. Most of all, it feels, that the most complications and turmoil we experience this cycle will likely stem directly from our own actions, and hubris. It would be wise to think before you speak, or before commencing with anything you are aggressively pushing or pursuing.....really reflect deeply on things before acting.

Above all, let go of who or what you think you are, and let the universe show you some alternatives. Some may feel very weak, drained, and unmotivated at this time--and if so, it's likely you've been striving and pushing for a bit too long, and it's time for a break. On the other end, this particular cycle, with the inclusion of Mars retrograde, could kick some into high gear, feeling more motivated and ready for action after a period of stagnation or rest. Whichever end of the spectrum you're on, don't fight or second guess yourself, go with your intuition, and let it all guide you.

Mercury retrogrades into Pisces on March 23rd, switching its rulership over to Neptune--whom we are quite well acquainted with this lunation. As Mercury dips into nebulous Pisces for the remainder of the retrograde, there may be another influx of spaciness, confusion, mystery, paranoia, or uncertainty. Conversely, this process could allow for enhanced intuition, psychic receptivity, miraculous synchronicities, and an ability to "see behind the veil" a bit more deeply. Again, with the remainder of the retrograde process, it would be wise to heed Neptune's greatest-lesson.........surrender! If things become unclear, foggy, or if everything appears intangible--just disengage from trying to figure it out and let the universe show you--paying attention to everything around, allow yourself to see the inter connectivity in all creation and how each event is apart of grand and intelligent unfolding of consciousness.

There are several significant dates during Mercury's retrograde cycle as follows....

February 26- Mercury enters shadow--Circumstances and events which transpire in the initial shadow, will give us clues as to what we will be revising, reconsidering, revamping, renovating, etc during the rest of the retrograde process.

March 12- Mercury goes retrograde @ 06 degrees Aries 49'

March 18- Mercury  conjunct Uranus--This is an electrifying archetypal configuration. On one end, prepare for Mercury's trickery to hone in on techno gadgetry--and on the other, opportunities to radically alter perceptions, through sudden insights, breakthroughs, or discoveries which could greatly affect one's worldview,their place in the world, or how they impact the larger world. Pay attention to sudden revelations about yourself, such as self presentation, image, projection, etc....and look for ways to radically alter or change how you initiate action, or present yourself to others.

March 21- Mercury conjunct Sun--Mercury meets the Sun near the Aries point, which is the Spring Equinox epicenter. Events which stimulate this point have wide reaching effects which can impact the whole world--pay attention to Mercury's influence to be coated in collective events in the days surrounding this date. As Mercury moves into Pisces, this suggests many of these events will not be what they appear to be--look for the truth behind appearances.

March 23- Mercury Retrogrades into Pisces--Mercury's archetype shifts backwards into the sometimes placid, and sometimes magnificently miraculous waters of mystery. This phase of the cycle will focus more heavily on getting behind the truth of things, uncovering hidden secrets, knowledge, and information lying dormant in our lives and psyches.

March 29- Mercury sextile Venus--For the most part, a mild combination--perhaps allowing for a time to revise financial or relationship issues.

April 4- Mercury goes direct at @ 23 Pisces 51'

April 16- Mercury re-enters Aries- If you've felt stagnate, drained, blocked, fatigued, inhibited, during the coalescing of Mars and Mercury retrograde, then this will mark a period where energy will likely return collectively, circumstances will begin flowing back to normal and more in the favor of aggressive action and forward movement. Mars goes direct two days prior, on April 14th. 

April 23- Mercury leaves shadow--This is, for the most, the completion of the cycle, and situations and events which occurred from April 4th to this point represent the finishing up phase, where we are tying up loose ends and putting things in place. 

Ultimately, this Mercury retrograde cycle allows us to turn more inwardly, to reflect upon ourselves and our abilities. We may discover insights which allow us to see how truly capable, and how powerful we really are. True strength comes from within, from the preservation of our inner reserves, talents, and capacities. "Doing, doing, doing" isn't always productive, sometimes it has us going in circles without really going anywhere. Trust that you can actually move forward, you can actually grow and evolve by sometimes not doing too much at all--going within, deeply reflecting, allowing the universe to reflect back its timeless beauty, it's endless wonder and mystique. There are many paths toward growth, success, and achievement, and not all of them conform to our society's pre-made image. Trust that you can lead your life, by sometimes letting the universe take the reins. Conversely, if you feel impelled toward action, be mindful of doing things carefully, piece by piece, step by step. This is a good time to be methodical, and allow yourself the time to hone in on what you want to achieve. This is a highly useful time for preparation, so relax, and then make use of it.

 Additional Mercury Retrograde Tips

--Practice impeccability, be very clear and sincere when communicating with others--you may need to go over or repeat things more than once to make sure there isn't any confusion.

--Double check all transactions and dealings, especially when it comes to money, and especially if the process is electronic. Don't just trust that things will work out or function as usual, it doesn't hurt to pay extra attention.

--Go over things in your mind that you know need to be fixed, adjusted, or serviced--cars, computers, appliances, etc....before and during the retrograde. Mainly anything that you consider to be important for things to function more smoothly, or could be costly if broken down.

--Avoid making serious or major agreements, such as signing contracts, or making big business dealings. Take this time to reconsider other options before jumping into action right away.

--Keep an open mind when dealing with others, especially when it comes to opinions or advice--there may be much to learn that you didn't know or understand before. Practice humility and receptivity.

--Be patient, just know that things are not going to flow or move as they usually do--so practicing patience by remaining calm if things "go wrong" can reduce a lot of unnecessary stress, anxiety, or confusion.

--If you find yourself coming up against resistance in attempting to make something happen, try backing off, and allowing things to work out on their own.

--Focus mainly on the "Re" prefix--any activity which incorporates doing something over or making adjustments--all such activities are highly favored and will be successful: Revising, reworking, reassessing, revamping, reconfiguring, resettling, reverting, refurbishing, reapplying, reassembling, reassociating, reattaining, refocusing, remembering, regrouping, reclaiming, repairing, reducing, replacing, reconnecting, rekindling, etc......

--Keep a sense of humor, and approach things from a playful mentality--this is the natural time to experiment without much attachment to the outcome. Allow yourself to be guided more now, you will be surprised with where things lead you and how they end up.