Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kosmic Horizon: January 2014

Two time-telling systems collide at the beginning
of 2014, emphasizing a momentous and
significant year ahead.  Image: An astronomical
clock in the Marienkirche in Rostock, Germany.
Photo by Schiwago.
The New Year has finally arrived and it begins alongside a rather powerful and symbolic lunation. Jan 1 happens to coincide with a seriously striking new Moon in Capricorn, conjunct Pluto and Mercury. That places this nascent lunation in the cross-hairs of the Uranus/Pluto square, and I think this is a pretty important statement about the year ahead.

While the Gregorian New Year has little connection to any natural or astrological cycle, it does have a significant symbolic role within the collective consciousness since we’ve been using it for quite some time. Interestingly, there are moments when the astrology appears to be in synch with our synthetic calendar. This year is definitely one of those times.

Of course, we can’t disregard the fact that the tropical zodiac used by western astrologers is equally synthetic, but it is, at least, in synch with the Sun’s natural seasonal cycle. The Gregorian calendar is really a mystery. Who would have ever thought to begin a New Year during the coldest and darkest time of year, while the Sun is in a sign that symbolizes culminating maturation as opposed to new beginnings?

There may have been a conspiracy with that one. Capricorn is of course a very deep and spiritual sign, but it does have a strong focus toward worldly achievements and physical or sensory pleasures. We’re a part of an entire culture that begins its year with this mental orientation. It’s very possible that this further solidifies our cultural emphasis on social status, consumerism and a naive trust of authority.

The year ahead is rather interesting, to say the least. We are inching closer to some of the most precarious astrological configurations. While things have certainly been hectic and eventful so far, it seems that we haven’t really seen anything yet. I’m not saying that to frighten anyone. That’s certainly not my intention. 

We can never really know what lies ahead, specifically. But in looking at the situation politically and economically, it’s clear that we don’t exactly need astrology to tell us that there’s a long and arduous road up there.

Also, just because a particular configuration looks challenging theoretically, that doesn’t mean that it will actually be as profound or pivotal as we may imagine or anticipate. Lots of seemingly significant astrological cycles have come and gone throughout history without much really going on—at least on the surface. We certainly cannot exclude the reality that astrology tells us as much about our inner world as it does the outer.

So regardless of how eventful or significant this year proves to be—we’re all in for some serious shifts and changes within the unconscious realms. That’s where it all starts anyway. Personally, we’re each going to feel this in one way or another. Unless you’re completely numb and oblivious, there’s going to be some interesting changes happening, catalyzed by this year’s powerful alignments.

Venus retrograde is just heating up at the month’s entry. It’s the first of three very significant retrograde cycles in the early portion of 2014. There’s a lot of reconsider this year, for sure. Retrogrades, especially among the inner planets, urge us to back-track and reassess our position. Venus retrograde is fairly interesting in that it also has the power to bring significant relationships back into focus.

That most likely involves people, since Earth is so well populated. But we may rekindle a relationship with lots of other things while Venus is retrograde, it may not always be human or sentient (or appear to be). Venus retrograde can mend bridges we burned or left behind. She may remind us of the contracts we made long ago, sometimes beyond this lifetime.

Often many significant changes and pivotal turning points coincide with this cycle. A change of direction is definitely brought about by any retrograde; there will be plenty of opportunities to grow and expand into new directions the first half of this year. Here’s this month’s rundown:

As mentioned, Jan 1st begins with a momentous and significant New Moon in Capricorn; it’s a part of a dynamic t-square with Mercury, Pluto, Uranus, Mars and Jupiter. If that isn’t a poignant statement, I don’t know what is. Whatever resolutions you have this year, you’re likely to feel rather ambitious about pursuing them right as the New Year begins.

There’s plenty of incitement to keep things going this month, and if anything spurs things into action, it’s a tension building aspect structure like we see here. Mars will turn retrograde in March, so this new Moon is a key stepping stone and introduction to a lengthy retrograde process that lies ahead.  

Mercury in Capricorn opposes Jupiter in Cancer on Jan 2nd, heating up a conversion that challenges us to find a compromise between traditional beliefs and our own intuitive and emotional insights. Strike up a dialogue between the inner and outer realms and see what you learn.
The Sun in Capricorn opposes Jupiter in Cancer on Jan 5th, helping to boost confidence and to establish a firm position within the confines of a structure. All this energy concentrated in Capricorn this month gives an extra boost to help us achieve goals, plan for the future and to further take responsibility for our life path.

Mercury sextiles Saturn on Jan 6th. Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, lends a helping hand to further structure and solidify an evolving and maturing perspective of the world and our place within it. If you’ve been doing your Saturn in Scorpio homework, the depth of insight and understanding of yourself will help you to truly grow and gain wisdom.

Mercury catches up with Venus retrograde on Jan 7th. Venus pulls the mind into a subtle yet powerful vortex which allows us to reevaluate personal values against traditional or cultural values. There may be a lot communication with past relationships or thoughts about unresolved events that played a critical role in growth or development.

Mars in Libra squares Jupiter in Cancer on Jan 8th. This is the first of three squares that will take place this year. Be conscious of a tendency to waste time and energy as this aspect comes to exactitude. Be equally mindful of a tendency to get everyone else to jump on the bandwagon; just because it feels right for you, doesn’t mean others will be as enthusiastic or interested.

Jan 11th brings the culminating point of the Venus retrograde cycle as the Sun conjoins Venus. Today Venus crosses the threshold, slowly transitioning from evening to morning star--as she does so she sextiles Saturn in Scorpio. A period of reevaluation makes way for a critical restructuring of an inner landscape that drastically alters the outer universe.

That distinction between day and night, sunrise and sunset becomes momentarily blurred. The past, present and future meld into a whirlpool of pure being. Connect deeply with inner wisdom and instinctive insights to more authentically converge with what it is you truly love.  Additionally, Mercury enters Aquarius. The collective mind becomes more progressive and forward thinking, lending well to a clearer and sharper focus and perception. Mercury in Aquarius generates a more encompassing worldview, but one that deeply challenges more traditional perceptions.

A culminating full Moon in Cancer occurs on Jan 15th. Trine Saturn in Scorpio, a firm foundation solidifies beneath our feet. We may feel like we’re finally more established and rooted, since the month launched us full force toward some specific destination.

Mercury in Aquarius sextiles Uranus in Aries on Jan 16th--lighting up the neural pathways of genius and ingenuity. Thinking outside the box is almost second nature today, but making an effort to see things differently and to forge a new path will be required. While thinking and perception appears slightly enhanced, there may be a conflict of desires. Venus retrograde squaring Mars in Libra ignites friction within relationships, particularly involving past and unresolved emotional material. There is always tension between the image we want the world to see, and the role our relationships demand that we play out. Trying to please everyone will likely burn you out, so be mindful of where you expend energy.

The Sun joins Mercury as it transitions into Aquarius on Jan 19th. Something new and possibly unusual appears to be floating in the wind. The collective energy is gradually shifting away from structured and secure approaches and leaning more toward cutting edge and innovative strategies.
The collective mental pathways are again activated by Mercury trine Mars on Jan 24th. There is a strong drive to communicate new ideas or solutions to others, an easy flow and exchange of information flows all around. This is an excellent aspect to share unconventional thoughts or concepts with people who may normally resist otherwise.

The energy drastically shifts on Jan 25th as Mercury squares Saturn in Scorpio. Radical and progressive concepts must find practical and useful applications in addition to adding to a deeper understanding of life. Pre-established beliefs and tried and tested methodologies may meet resistance to any new and seemingly unusual thoughts or ideas.

The month ends with the Sun in Aquarius sextile Uranus in Aries on Jan 29th. Clean, sleek and simple solutions are a highlight of this aspect. This also creates an opportunity to easily express an unorthodox aspect of ourselves to the larger community today.

Jan 1: New Moon @ 10 degrees Capricorn 57’
Jan 2: Mercury opposite Jupiter
Jan 5: Sun opposite Jupiter
Jan 6: Mercury sextile Saturn
Jan 7: Mercury conjunct Venus
Jan 8: Mars square Jupiter
Jan 11: Venus sextile Saturn; Sun conjunct Venus; Sun sextile Saturn; Mercury enters Aquarius
Jan 15: Full Moon @ 25 degrees Cancer 58’
Jan 16: Mercury sextile Uranus; Venus square Mars
Jan 17: Mercury sextile Uranus
Jan 19: Sun enters Aquarius
Jan 24: Mercury trine Mars
Jan 25: Mercury square Saturn

Jan 29: Sun sextile Uranus

Step up and Step In: New Moon in Capricorn 2014

A mountain goat overlooks the village of Axams, Austria.
The mountain goat is an apt symbol for Capricorn's determined,
ambitious nature. Photo By Svickova
 via Wikimedia Commons
New Moon @ 10 Capricorn 57'
Jan 1, 2013
6:14 AM Pacific
9:14 AM Eastern

This month’s new Moon just so happens to coincide with the first day of the Gregorian New Year. That’s an interesting coincidence, since our calendar has no connection to anything natural or astrological. The astrology seems to be telling us something important here. It seems to say that 2014 is a critical year, so pay attention.

The new Moon occurs in Capricorn, a cardinal earth sign. Cardinal signs are all about action and initiation. Earth signs help to consolidate, condense and practically actualize intentions, desires or goals. Once Capricorn has fixated on a certain position or ambition, there’s no stopping it.

Thus, the start of the year may give us all a sense of unstoppable determination to actualize our goals or to clarify who we are or what we stand for. If there was ever a year to set resolutions, this would be it. To make an even more impactful statement, this new Moon conjoins Pluto and Mercury, forming a grand cross with Uranus in Aries, Mars in Libra and Jupiter in Cancer. It's also a Supermoon*, a term coined by astrologer Richard Nolle to describe any lunation that occurs at the Moon's perigee, it's closest approach to the Earth.

That’s a whole lot of energy to deal with since the Moon's power is greatly expounded. There’s also a lot to be cautious and mindful about. There is a strong need to publicly define ourselves and to break free of a limiting social role that restricts authentic self-expression. Use this energy consciously and wisely to make a statement, but make sure this statement is a truly authentic representation of who you are.

Also, be mindful of intruding upon the boundaries of those in your life. While it’s important to be true to yourself, be mindful of the bigger picture, and how your actions affect everyone around you—the people you love and care about. Be on the lookout for shortened tempers and people who appear a little on edge; you don't want to be the one to set them off! 

As we enter 2014, there is a clear message that big changes are needed and must take place this year. That's kind of the theme lately, isn't it? Stagnation and procrastination are best left at the door. That worn out persona you've been carrying around is clearly outdated. It’s time to step up and step into an entirely new role. This new Moon can help us all do that, as long as we have a plan and a clear intention.

The powerful tension that accompanies this lunation will naturally bring about resistance from others, specifically people closest and most important to us. But that tension is a powerful catalyst, and it helps us to more clearly define our motives and to get things going.

Mars in Libra squaring this new Moon foreshadows many elements that we are likely to encounter during its lengthy retrograde cycle beginning the first of March. With Mars in Libra, the battleground is relationships and the never ending fight to maintain peace and homeostasis against the chaos of the universe.

Pluto’s conjunction to this lunation gives a sense of immense power, which can boost confidence or appear as a daunting, overwhelming obstacle we must surmount. Mercury’s presence means that communication and an open mind will be our allies as long as we’re conscious of our shadow, lest it usurp us.

Be on the look-out for secret, occult or esoteric information that could drastically shape your outlook on life. There is a strong urge to uncover and communicate something taboo or merely concealed from everyone else; but be careful how you use this information, and don’t let it go to your head (and inflate your ego).

The pull into the future is a strong one, but the past has equal say in the matter. Mars in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries presents the challenge of the moment: finding that ideal balance between independence and mutual cooperation (i.e. conscious co-creation). There are a lot of needs that require acknowledgement and validation—the challenge is to give just the right amount of attention to all of them.

This powerful moment encourages us to dig deeply and express something very real to the world. This is a powerful catalytic lunation that offers plenty of fuel to truly make leaps and bounds. Whatever you decide to do with this energy, remain conscious of the world around you. As you take off full speed, just be mindful that the blazing trail behind you doesn't cause some kind of damage, or that you somehow unintentionally leave everyone else behind in the dust. 

*Supermoons can sometimes stir up anomalous earth changes, i.e. erratic weather patterns, earthquakes, etc. Just something to be mindful of as a possibility. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Full Moon in Gemini 2013: Listen to the Crumbling Tower

The Tower tarot card from Aliester
Crowley's Thoth Tarot deck. 
Full Moon @ 25 Gemini 36'
December 17, 2013
1:28 AM Pacific
4:28 AM Eastern

This month’s full moon occurs in the mentally energized sign of Gemini. As if time wasn’t already whizzing by fast enough; a culminating full moon in this cerebrally speedy zodiac sign can further enhance that feeling of intense time acceleration.

On the other end of the spectrum sits the Sun and its close companion Mercury in the sign of Sagittarius. Of special significance is the fact that the Sun additionally sits close to the galactic center—a super massive black hole at the epicenter of our milky-way galaxy.

So, while the illusionary perception of time is emphasized here, there is a space of timelessness opening with this full moon as well. That’s a bit of a contradiction; but imagine buzzing by so fast, quicker and quicker until suddenly, a boiling point is reached and something pops.

And in that instant, there’s a sense of suspended animation while timelessness shrouds consciousness. It’s a beautiful, all-encompassing moment. The Gemini/Sagittarius polarity is all about that delicate balance of rational and irrational, factual and abstract.

Gemini seeks to construct a logical framework of what reality really is. The catch is that it never fully understands it because reality is truly beyond complete comprehension. We fashion theories based on our perceptions of how things actually work. But our theories are always ultimately flawed, because our perceptions are ultimately limited and finite.

So, things aren't ever what they appear to be. Collectively we have accepted theories about how nature works and functions. But one day, those beautifully crafted and carefully constructed ideas will come crumbling down.

Eventually our ideological tower collapses. We’re left with a shocking and jostling revelation. Another layer of the onion has unfolded revealing yet another enticing perception of the truth. And so it just goes on and on.

None of what we think or believe is ever how things actually are. We can greatly humble ourselves by embracing this truth. But each theory, idea or perception is important. It’s part of a seemingly endless evolutionary process [or maybe that’s just how we currently perceive it].

Each layer of the onion activates an awakening and blossoming of new awareness. With each unveiling further fueling our curiosity of what else there could be, what more we can attempt to comprehend? Gemini, in its full and healthy expression, is ever seeking to know and understand while filled with child-like awe and wonder.

Unhealthy Gemini clings to its petty little theories out of fear. A made-up mind is a closed mind. It has shut itself off from the bountiful, flowing revelations and mysteries of the universe.

The galactic core, a black hole, is something really beyond our comprehension.  Looming in opposition to this full Gemini Moon, the galactic core reminds us to continue seeking and exploring the great mysteries of the universe. But, in order to understand the curiosities of life, we must interact with it. Evolution requires active participation and engagement in the here and now.

What is culminating invites us to involve ourselves with it in some intentional and meaningful way.  The vibrant and stimulating energy that is emerging calls on us to engage and experiment unattached to any particular end result or outcome.  

A new awareness and reality waits. Pay attention, because this solar/lunar conjunction is a momentary and fleeting event. Keep your mind and awareness open to signals that you don’t usually perceive. Something revelatory is floating in the wind. You just have to listen.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Reweaving Fate: Venus Retrograde In Capricorn 2013

Venus and the Pleiades star cluster, April 6, 2012.
Image copyright Fred Espenak.
Venus Retrograde In Capricorn 2013
Dec 21, 2013- Jan 31, 2014

Shortly after the Sun enters Capricorn on the day of winter solstice (here in the northern portion of the globe), the planet Venus turns retrograde.  You may have noticed her brightness and captivating beauty gracing the night sky just after sunset. She’s hard to miss. Venus is always at her brightest a little over one month before she conjoins the Sun.

One look at her stunning visual brilliance and it’s certainly no surprise the ancients named her in honor of the goddess of beauty and desire.  For those so attuned to the magical and energetic pulsations of the cosmos, one glance at Venus creates a slight tug on your heart chakra.

Venus has a powerful magnetic appeal and resonance. Aside from her obvious visual beauty in the heavens, her cycle around the Sun, from our geocentric perspective, is mind boggling in its precision, perfection and accuracy.

Venus’ synodic cycle forms a near perfect rose shaped pattern. And within this perfectly symmetrical natural formation lies a stunning pentagram--each end formed by her retrograde stations that alternate between five zodiac signs.

[For those visual learners or for the people wondering what the hell a synodic cycle is, check out an article I wrote for the last Venusretrograde in 2012.]

The cycle of Venus moves to a very predictable rhythm and beat, with her retrogrades occurring in approximately the same location (within 2 or 3 degrees) every eight years.  

This knowledge alone explains her archetypal affinity with aesthetic beauty, symmetry, homeostasis and equilibrium. These qualities are embedded and etched into her cyclic structure.

As Venus travels through the great firmament, she weaves a beautifully intricate web that interconnects various timelines. She weaves our fate, so you could say, and when Venus turns retrograde many “fated” encounters begin to emerge from the shadows of time.

The same could be said of a Mars retrograde cycle too (which will begin in March of 2014). New people, or creatures, with a familiar vibe suddenly emerge. Have we met them before? Perhaps from another life—perhaps a long time ago in another dimensional plane of existence, or another planet, maybe.

That sense of familiarity is important, and it’s all that matters. From that point on you know: there’s some important business to settle, some desire to exhaust fully. If not now, then maybe later, maybe next retrograde. If not, we’ll meet again, that is, until we feel complete with this whole crazy trip.

Venus is magnetic and attractive. These connections reemerge because of this attractive force field inherent to the psyche. This whole matrix, this web of Maya, the illusion, it’s enticing. It draws us in; it draws us deeper.

We associate Venus with Libra and Taurus, which reveals some level of deeper understanding. Libra is all about making associations (between people, objects, concepts, creatures and constructs), building bridges, and maintaining balance and homeostasis. When Venus turns retrograde, we must re-connect bridges we may have burned but regretted. We must balance the scales in some way.

We turn our gaze backward; our “karma” attracts some “unfinished business” with a particular association or experience our soul (or maybe ego) felt was incomplete, unresolved or unfulfilled. Something deeply fateful begins or comes to conclusion.

Either way, the pain, the joy, or the indifference is curiously familiar. It’s all happened before. This is a familiar crossroads. There was a lesson we didn’t learn, and now we get a chance to see it.
Taurus is all about the moment—the beauty of the here and now. Taurus also deals with personal values, our sense of self-worth, and what we accumulate that makes us feel valuable. That equates to physical objects, ideas, beliefs, people or places.

When Venus turns retrograde, as with all retrogrades, we must reassess some things. With Venus one keyword is reevaluation. Our value system gets scrutinized, by ourselves or by others. Our relationships reveal shadows and blind-spots we usually push aside to keep the peace or to maintain a veneer of social grace or politeness.

A Venus retrograde can bring about a reevaluation of issues of dependency, self-sufficiency and emotional communication within relationships. Whether her dark side or light side emerges, something shifts, something changes. Values are called into question, as well as the personal sense of feeling valuable, lovable and worthy.

Into The Heart of the Sea Goat

Venus will be doing a sort of tango with Pluto. As she turns stationary retrograde, in Capricorn, she slowly makes her way back to conjoin Pluto and fire up the “sign of the times”, the Uranus and Pluto square.

That’s pretty significant. But probably not worrisome like the upcoming t-square with Mars retrograde in April. I’ll get to that later (in another article). Venus, even when retrograde and revealing her more “unsavory” or shadowy side, has a calming and rejuvenating nature.

Venus is more aesthetically, artistically and peacefully inclined. Coming into contact with the Uranus and Pluto square could set off some truly remarkable and “out of the box” artistic, scientific and philosophical creations.

This retrograde cycle can be incredibly useful because it helps to create or reevaluate strategies to effectively and precisely break free of controlling or stifling circumstances. The seriousness and focus of Capricorn lends well to getting to the bottom line, dealing honestly and authentically with things we don’t usually see, and very efficiently dealing with unresolved and deeply embedded karmic issues.

I would imagine this cycle in Capricorn will direct our attention to tremendously stifling material that’s inhibiting forward growth and the ability to direct one’s own life they want to; or preventing the collective energy from moving forward in more positive creative directions.

Radar image of the surface of Venus.
Photo by NASA via Wikimedia Commons.
Venus retrograde in Capricorn is about changing and reevaluating priorities, ambitions and social roles. Use this time to seriously examine all the things you give the most attention, time and energy toward. Look intentionally into the dynamics of your relationships and the people currently in your life.

In addition to her conjunction with Pluto, Venus will oppose Jupiter in Cancer. The past and the future are at odds here. A desire to mature, grow up and restructure our lives finds a strong counter desire to remain in the past, to keep from rocking the boat.

And because the past hits us like a tidal wave of nostalgia via all this retrograde madness (just beginning, mind you), we may feel that sense of paralyzing immobility. But while Venus is retrograde, we must keep in mind that this is a natural time of reflection and reassessment. The ghosts of the past come out to bring us messages and reveal lessons. This is a highly growth oriented cycle.

At the heart of Capricorn is a profound need for solitude and inner validation. Capricorn requires time alone to deeply reflect and rejuvenate its soul. This may be more of a time for intimacy with oneself, to practically restructure personal goals, relationship needs, and inherent values. This may also be a time of sorting through or processing painful emotional material.

With the presence of Pluto in the sign of Capricorn, this is a cycle that deeply emphasizes letting go and allowing those decaying elements to leave our experience. This may be a time to sever connections with rotting attachments we are afraid to let go of.  

With Venus turning backwards, there may be a profound change of heart. There may be a need to face deeply embedded fears and realities that are holding us back. Whatever happens, Capricorn, and its ruler Saturn, teach us about trust. Can we trust the process at hand? Can we trust that letting go will eventually lead to something new and rewarding?

Technical details

The last time that Venus was retrograde in Capricorn was Dec 2005-Feb 2006. You are likely to find yourself dealing with similar themes and issues from that cycle.

All cardinal signs will be the most impacted by this retrograde process: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Significant planets or placements in any these signs, such as the Sun, Moon or Ascendant—and to a lesser extent Mercury, Venus or Mars—will respond most strongly to this particular retrograde.

Venus turns stationary retrograde at 28 degrees of Capricorn and 57 minutes, and will turn stationary direct at 13 degrees of Capricon and 34 minutes, closely conjunct Pluto. The 28 th-29 th degrees of any sign are highly sensitive points. They tend to indicate a critical process of culmination, or events with an explosive quality or symbolism.

Venus entered the shadow of her retrograde on Nov 20, 2013. Venus will turn retrograde on Dec 21, 2013, the day of the solstice transition, when the Sun enters Capricorn. Venus turns direct Jan 31, 2013 and will leave the shadow on March 5, 2013, just after Mars turns retrograde.

The Venus/Sun inferior conjunction takes place on Jan 11, 2014, sextile Saturn in Scorpio. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Big Plans, Small Steps: New Moon In Sagittarius

The Milky Way from Wellington, New Zealand. Photo by Andrew Xu.

New Moon @ 10 Sagittarius 59'
Dec 2, 2013
4:22 PM Pacific
7:22 PM Eastern

The Sun and Moon conjoin in the sign of Sagittarius--a dark Moon in a bright, expansive sign. The contrast of archetypes is explicit, but natural to any mutable sign. This solar lunar conjunction breaks through the intensity and heaviness of the placid Scorpionic waters that have flooded the collective vibe.

Every new Moon brings about a sense of new beginnings; the emergence of some new process or development takes hold. Sagittarius is a sign that opens consciousness to the infinite and ever expanding cosmos.  It is a sign that reminds us that there is far more to reality than we can possibly comprehend.

What we see with our eyes is a mere fraction of what actually exists. That truth is inspiring but equally frightening. The unknown is much vaster than the mind will allow us to entertain; but feel that sense of infinite potential just within your grasp. It is a powerful feeling; it drives humanity toward ever increasing vistas of achievement and aspiration.

This dark and invisible Moon opens the flood gates to higher consciousness; it directs our gaze to the ever churning stardust that envelopes the solar system. In this dark of the Moon, feel that primal connection to something larger, something omnipotent, that sense that somehow, divinity underwrites the world.

But infinite potential and higher density inspiration must be harnessed and brought down to human levels. Big plans, dreams and goals need practical strategies to make their way into reality. That’s sort of the theme with this new Moon, since it finds itself in the midst of t-square tension between Chiron in Pisces and Pallas Athena in Virgo.

Chiron can direct us toward our life mission, our soul’s purpose. Athena, a warrior goddess, is a mastermind strategist that can clairfy the path ahead. In Virgo, Athena’s strategies hone in on intricate steps and maneuvers, demanding precision. Chiron points to our debilitating wounds and blind spots so that we may strive toward wholeness and completion of our potential destiny.

The tension is strong, but it effectively wakes us up, it gets us thinking, planning, moving. The significance of any new Moon differs for each of us, but use this energy to simply open a dialogue about the bigger picture, the broader path ahead and the priorities that need to be put in place.

Are you going somewhere? Is there a clear intention, ambition or focus? Sagittarius draws our gaze upward and skyward, toward larger questions and meaningful ambitions.

Maybe take some time out with this lunation to reflect on or remember the bigger picture. Use this powerful t-square tension to find the passion or motivation to pursue something, but to make an effective plan toward that pursuit.

If you aren't where you currently feel you ought to be, trust in your ability to change it, to make things different, one step at a time. Are we always where we need to be, or where we choose to be? When things aren't moving, isn't some form of resistance holding things back?

Whether its fear, apprehension, ignorance or pride; we always have a choice to face the truth and step up to the next challenge. What challenge, whether big or small, have you come up against? What must you do to get to the next level? Have faith, and as Sagittarius reminds us, always strive for the higher truth, no matter how daunting the path.

Kosmic Horizon: December 2013

The winter night sky from the Swabian Alb.
Photo by Til Credner. Wikimedia commons

As December begins, we approach the second solstice point of the solar cycle. For those in the northern latitudes, that means gradually increasing darkness reaching a nadir as the Sun enters Capricorn halfway through the month.

Whichever portion of the globe you happen to live in, the solstice point can be described as a magical or mystical transition. For me, the winter solstice creates a subtle sense of increased lucidity and even slight, psychedelic awareness.

Modern consumerism has many of us running about mindlessly, increasing the incessant stress-load during the rush of the holiday season. Culturally, we’ve lost our connection to the astro-theological origins of the celebrations and traditions that form the basis of the Christmas traditions.

For the extreme northern lattitudes [where our holiday traditions originated from, such as Siberian shamanic santa claus, aminita mascara mushrooms and reindeer] the Sun completely disappears on winter solstice. From the perspective of ancient peoples, enmeshed in the natural world, the Sun would die for three days. Its rebirth was anticipated on Christmas morning; the Sun would no longer descend, and would continue rising until the summer solstice.

This astronomical event was perceived to mirror an inner transformational process—it was a collective spiritual communion with inner and outer divinity. That doesn’t sound too much like what we celebrate today. Christmas has been subjugated to meaningless gift giving and painful family gatherings. But as we approach this sacred and indeed magical time of year, remember that it all started with the stars [and possibly, well, most likely, psychedelic mushroom trips].

The Resurrection of Santa Claus.
Copyright 2004 jimmy b

As much as our attention is drawn externally this season, Capricorn is a sign more inclined toward deep self-reflection and solitude. That need is strongest this time of year, and it is deep within that we discover the magic we’re really looking for.

If you feel more inclined toward soul searching and reflecting on the deeper meaning, you’re simply responding to the collective vibe. Go with it. Pay attention to that deep and subtle transition within yourself this solstice. Both Sagittarius and Capricorn hone in on the bigger picture and perspective.

As the month begins, we’re greeted by a Sagittarius new moon on Dec 2. The Sagittirian directive is about stretching outwardly, physically or mentally, toward unlimited new horizons. Sagittarius is a sign that propels consciousness toward searching for something it has yet to attain or comprehend. Allow this New Moon to pull you out of the intensity and claustrophobia of the Scorpionic realm we’ve been so focused on.

The further amplify the need for more breathing space and expansion of awareness Mercury enters Sagittarius on Dec 4. While both Mercury and the Sun sojourn through Sagittarius, we are reminded that the end of the autumnal season is about opening our soul to the unlimited potential of the universe.

Mars enters Libra on Dec 7, entering the battleground of its retrograde cycle that begins in the spring of 2014. I’ll be publishing a more extensive article on the Mars retrograde cycle in a few weeks—it’s kind of a big deal. Mars will be in Libra for roughly eight months.

Needless to say, we can anticipate relationships to be a significant theme; but also decision making and the maintenance of homeostasis in our personal lives. Mars finds itself in foreign territory while in Libra. Mars wants to act and assert itself, and yet it will be spending a good amount of time in a sign that needs to think things through, while weighing the pros and cons.

As Mars enters Libra pay attention to the subtle themes that begin emerging, because as Mars enters its retrograde shadow, we’ll be covering this material quite extensively come March 2014.
Jupiter makes its third trine with Saturn in Scorpio on Dec 12. There appears to be an easy flow between growth and consolidation throughout these contacts. Take advantage of this time to invest energy or resources into something sustainable—but don’t be too optimistic about it, because the calmness and stability won’t last forever.

The present lunar cycle culminates into a Gemini full Moon on Dec 17. This full Moon may invite us to question certain assumptions we have about reality. An opposition from Mercury in Sagittarius brings awareness to contradictions and potentially shocking revelations that allow us to mentally or intellectually cross new boundaries.

The solstice occurs on Dec 21 as the Sun reaches the topical sign of Capricorn. Just hours later Venus turns stationary retrograde, and begins her backtrack through Capricorn until Jan 31, 2014. This is a powerful karmic portal where “new” connections appear vaguely familiar. This cycle creates a reevaluation of strategies, intentions and goals—an opportunity to go within and to more authentically connect what we project with what we really are.

On Dec 24 Mercury’s transition into Capricorn adds more structure and focus to the mental currents. This creates an opportunity to mentally zero in on more specific areas of concern, beyond the smorgasbord of possibilities during its transit through Sagittarius.

Christmas day, Dec 25, presents some rather tumultuous and potentially hostile transit activity. Both the Moon and Mars make an exact opposition to Uranus, creating a rough T-square with the Sun and Pluto in Capricorn. Any anger or frustration that’s been lingering beneath the surface could potentially explode from specifically targeted emotional triggers.

There’s a collective surge of strong rebellious and freedom seeking tendencies which will violently resist anything that attempts to control or stifle it. Be on the lookout for moodiness that turns into rage. Today is a day for full self-expression and having the courage to break free of blockages in certain relationships or personal routines. Just be mindful of impulses, and keep emotions in check.

Mercury’s sextile to Neptune helps to soften the collective intensity on Dec 26. Useful or practical insights are floating about in the ethers, but require a sustained focus and concentration to invoke successfully. Allow this brief moment to flood the mind with subtle impressions or clairvoyant perceptions that can be used constructively and intentionally.

The intensity picks up again with a Sun/Mercury conjunction square Uranus, creating a more precise t-square with Pluto and Mars on Dec 29. Used constructively, we can verbally communicate intentions in an impactful way that allows us to break free of stifling and limiting patterns.

But on the darkside, communication may be used destructively to dominate others or to attempt to dictate or control situations that appear threatening. Break free of perceptions that limit or control reality to the extent that creativity no longer flows. That may require a confrontation with uncomfortable personal truths, but facing them will lead to lasting maturity and growth.

Dec 2- New Moon @ 10 Sagittarius 59
Dec 4- Mercury enters Sagittarius
Dec 7- Mars enters Libra
Dec 12- Jupiter trine Saturn
Dec 17- Full Moon @ 25 Gemini 36’; Uranus stationary direct
Dec 21- Winter Solstice; Venus stationary retrograde
Dec 24- Mercury enters Capricorn
Dec 25- Mars opposition Uranus; Moon opposition Uranus, conjunct Mars
Dec 26- Mercury sextile Neptune
Dec 29- Sun square Uranus; Mercury square Uranus

Dec 31- Mercury conjunct Pluto 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bring It Back To The Body: Full Moon in Taurus 2013

Leonardo Da Vinci
Trunk of female human body-Quad. Anat. I, fol. 12 r. 
Full Moon @ 25 Taurus 26'
November 17, 2013
7:16 AM Pacific
10:16 AM Eastern

As always, the full moon is a boiling point of culmination. It brings something to a head or apotheosis. Occurring in the sign of Taurus, November’s full moon condenses and stabilizes collective energies. There may be the impression that things have settled down into some solid, predictable routine. But the intensity of Scorpio is still seething beneath the surface.

The Sun, Saturn, Mercury and the Moon’s north node lie in the shadows directing us to the bottom line. Not all is as it appears to be. This is further punctuated by a rather wide square from Neptune in Pisces which seems to suggest that looks can be deceiving.

With the Moon’s south node in Taurus, the shadow side of this earthy sign is emphasized. The temptation to “keep the peace” to maintain an illusion of stability is enticing.

Who the hell wants to hang out in those dark trenches with Saturn in Scorpio, anyway? While on the surface all seems calm and serene, something intense is bubbling beneath. There’s some seriously deep territory the evolutionary impetus requires us to tread.

The pressing question that arises is this: can we stay calm, stable, solid and grounded while embracing an uncomfortable or unfathomable truth?

Can you keep your cool while standing on the razor edged precipice above that abysmal black hole? Naturally, a little vertigo sets in. We might feel slightly queasy thinking about it. This is a time to go deep. This full moon juncture, ideally, allows us to integrate psychologically challenging material into our bodies.

Neptune demands that we equally acknowledge the larger spiritual force guiding the whole show. Venus, the ruler of this full moon, is separating from a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn--placing emphasis on the “sign of the times”, the Uranus and Pluto square.

That brings about some deeply penetrating structural changes within relationships. A lightning bolt jolts the collective out of sexual and creative stagnation. This is a transformational and potentially cathartic passage for sure, as long as we allow it to penetrate.

Clinging to a safe and limiting perspective or routine is an invitation for an unwelcome and possibly painful shock to the system. 

Mercury’s approaching conjunction with the north node of the Moon brings about an equally powerful highlight and message: your perspective of reality may be dull and confining; if you want real change, you need to break out of the mold, challenge yourself intellectually, and hold nothing back.

Mercury’s retrograde cycle allowed us to process and sit with some rather heavy and pressing emotional material the past three weeks. Its direct passage over the Moon’s north node is a green light for us to do something with it, to share it with the world in some way.

Uranus’ quincunx with Merucry creates a radical revision of deeply ingrained worldviews—popping paradigmatic bubbles left and right. And yet, with all this seemingly erratic energy, this Taurean full moon may feel like a saving grace--pulling it all together into something tangible and substantial.

The minor planet Sedna also conjoins this Full Moon. She calls out from the icy depths of the disowned unconscious demanding that we face whatever we've drowned out, or were afraid to deal with consciously. 

With an array of emotions and desires generating crossfire, Taurus reminds us that everything is centered in the physical body. When the intensity becomes too much to handle, remember that your center lies not in your mind or emotional currents, but in a physical vessel your soul temporarily calls home.

We are physical beings with limitations that need to be respected, and needs that require our acknowledgement. As this lunation culminates, we reach a point of integration within the physical vessel. We are reminded of the power of the body, and its own innate intelligence. Let it guide you; listen closely. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Kosmic Horizon: November 2013

Photo by Chad, Temecula, 2013.

This month begins in the heart of Mercury’s retrograde cycle in Scorpio. To further amplify the perception that reality seems to be turned entirely upside down, a hybrid/total solar eclipse in Scorpio occurs just three days into November. I wrote about this and Mercury retrograde in an article here.

To reiterate: this eclipse conjoins Saturn—a planet that governs real, tangible results which stem directly from our efforts in the world. Saturn is serious, disciplined and focused. It is the archetype of pure structure and consistency. Think of Saturn as a containment vessel, or the framework that supports an entire system.

What Saturn touches needs to be strong; it needs to withstand the chaos inherent to the universe. Scorpio is a water sign; its nature is fluid and ethereal. But it is also a fixed sign. When these archetypes come together, we get a hardening of fluid, like ice, or a condensing of spiritual or psychic forces.

Imagine this: the earth is a solid mass composed of hardened minerals. At some point in our planet’s evolutionary process it was a hot mass of molten rock. It eventually cooled. Today we see great mountains of solid structure and stability. That process of cooling and condensing chaotic and turbulent liquid is sort of an apt analogy for this eclipse.

During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes over the Sun. For a brief period of time, the hidden, unconscious and primal lunar archetype casts a shadow over the visible and conscious awareness. It presents the ego with a crisis. It reveals the absurdity of the illusionary self. In that brief moment of time, things get real.

The effect is even more powerful if you can actually see it. The eclipse is a mysterious, beautiful and ominous event. This one is pretty heavy, but it isn’t an omen of doom and gloom. Of all the planets, Saturn brings us the greatest sense of purpose, accomplishment and strength.

Hopefully, for most of us, we will feel the solidity of this eclipse. We will glimpse deeply into places within ourselves we have forgotten or pushed aside. We will embrace our own darkness and learn to love it the way that it is. Along with Mercury retrograde, we may reconsider some aspect of the world we have been afraid to look at, seeing it in an entirely new and different light.

Saturn is also the archetype of death. As the lord of time, Saturn confronts us with the reality of finite existence. Scorpio also deals with death, decay and unnerving, uncomfortable truths. But death comes in many shapes and forms. In a way, we die each and every day.

There are usually two responses to Saturn. One is that it overwhelms us, and we succumb to depression, futility or hopelessness. The other, we step up to the challenge and let go of the shell we have outgrown. Push through this eclipse, charge your way into the darkness; light will once again return.

If we’re “on track”, doing what we need to do—taking responsibility, allowing ourselves to grow—Saturn reminds us of our hard work and effort, we feel a sense of fulfillment and meaning. If we’ve been slacking off and evading responsibilities, we feel that Saturnian “kick in the ass”. Ideally, the latter response simply gets us back on track without too much drama. However, sometimes, more serious measures are required.

As the month continues on, we gradually find our way out of the eclipse passageway and Mercury’s retrograde cycle, back into calmer waters. The most significant events are compressed at the very beginning of the month. In way, we get a slight reprieve and some time to get back into the normal flow of things.

Due to other projects and responsibilities, this month’s Kosmic Horizon is a bit shorter and simplified than usual--my apologies to those who enjoy these posts.

As the month begins we’re greeted by the fourth square between Uranus and Pluto--the sign of the times on Nov 1. This is a powerful background transit that generates a profound urge to incite social reformation. This kicks the intensity up a notch as we move into the solar eclipse energy field. This is also a pivotal day because Mercury retrograde conjoins the Sun; and both planets sextile Pluto and trine Chiron.

It feels like a new beginning. The Sun and Mercury’s synodic mingling incites a new creative cycle. Whatever we find ourselves reworking now will likely carry on and have significance until the next retrograde. We’re more interested in deeper subject matter that has a transformative impact on perceptual awareness.

Today could be a potentially insightful and meaningful day. Mercury sextile Mars generates an energizing excitement that propels us to probe deeper. The key is to allow yourself to feel insights--analyzing them to death will get you nowhere. Give the mind a break, and try to go at it psychically or intuitively.

Also be on the lookout for Mercury retrograde mishaps (communication breakdowns and technical foibles). While initially annoying, they often point us to highly relevant weak spots. What pops up today may actually be a lot more helpful or useful than usual.

On Nov 3 the solar eclipse in Scorpio creates a sense of transparency of the world around and within us. Perhaps certain aspects of reality are suddenly more visible, obvious or apparent. While the eclipse sextiles Mars, the planet of action, take more time to tune out of the constant barrage of activity and simply pay attention to your own awareness.

Channel any sudden surge of energy into exploring inner and intimate realms. Some of us may feel more inclined toward isolation, while others won’t be able to stand the silence, requiring social distractions. Directing your gaze inwardly will be illuminating and rewarding.

The eclipse energy may feel pretty heavy and intense. It’s certainly not a day for making any serious decisions. If you can, take some time out and just tune in with yourself or get more intimate with a partner.

Venus entering Capricorn on Nov 5 adds another layer of seriousness and focus to the collective backdrop. Practical strategies and intentional action are more in vogue. The collective taste leans more toward simplicity, practicality and minimalism.

The Sun’s exact conjunction with Saturn on Nov 6 allows for an integration of material stirred up by the eclipse over the past few days. As the Sun and Saturn meet today, a razor sharp focus helps to facilitate a deeper penetration of personal issues. The conjunction is also supportive of self-discipline and an ability to pursue goals or ambitions.

Mercury will make a unique double trine to Neptune Nov 9 through Nov 11. As Mercury retrograde slows to stationary, it trines Neptune first on Nov 9, and then makes another contact after it turns direct, exact on Nov 11. This creates an interesting and unusual double take. That flash of inspiration or vision may not be so as fleeting as usual.

These three days may bring about a powerful opening within the mind. Vast spiritual insights come pouring in, changing perceptions and assumptions about how reality really works. Mercury trine Neptune gives us several days to verbally articulate elusive concepts and personal dreams. You might be surprised by what comes out of your mouth, and how deeply and profoundly it comes across.

Venus forms a t-square with Uranus and Pluto, entering the tumultuous cardinal zone Nov 14 through 15. This has tremendous collective impact. Venus seeks peace, diplomacy and aesthetic expression. This configuration could trigger artistic inspiration that motivates and encourages radical social change.

It equally brings up issues within relationships, and asks if we’re ready to make some critical changes and compromises. If conflicts arise, Venus in Capricorn suggests that going inward and taking some time out to reflect in isolation will help bring about a clear intention of what needs to be done.

Venus conjunct Pluto brings out all those blind spots we’d rather just push aside. Taking responsibility for the shadows in your relationships will help you to transcend the blame game and truly grow past stagnation. Power tripping or an attempt to dictate everyone else’s life will likely backfire instantly.

The Full Moon in Taurus on Nov 17 effectively breaks up the energy of the past few weeks. It brings about a grounding sense of stability. With so much acceleration of energy from the eclipses and the Uranus/Pluto square, this Full Moon allows us to take stock, slow down and come back to Earth.

The Sun enters Sagittarius on Nov 21. In a way, this helps to lighten up the intensity of the past few weeks. The Sun’s journey through Sagittarius can stir up collective enthusiasm and a pursuit of truth. However, the truth may be a bit elusive as the Sun squares Neptune on Nov 24.

Reality may not match ideals or carefully laid out philosophies. Before jumping on the bandwagon or enthusiastically espousing a convincing revelation, you may want to take some time out to ponder all the possibilities and the veracity of supposed truths.

Mercury makes its third conjunction with Saturn in Scorpio on Nov 25. Serious and deep conversations may be ubiquitous. Psychic communication can be directed to acquire incredibly useful insights. Projects that have been on hold or delayed may begin to finally come together and solidify.

November’s final significant event occurs on Nov 28 with Venus opposite Jupiter. Venus and Jupiter usually get along quite well—but sometimes a little too well. Coinciding with Thanksgiving in the United States (a holiday where we celebrate the mass slaughter of Native Americans and the confiscation of their land by eating a lot of Turkey and tubers), I would imagine this aspect may result in over the top self-indulgence.

For everyone else not stuffing their face on this day, Venus opposite Jupiter is all about moderation. It can go either way. A desire to stick to necessities and essentials may be at odds with the desire to find happiness, however fleeting, by any means possible.

Uncertainty about what’s really wanted can likely send us chasing tails and going in circles trying to figure it out.  If you stick to the middle road, without going to any particular extreme, things should work out more favorably.

 Nov 1: Uranus square Pluto; Mercury sextile Mars; Mercury conjunct Sun sextile Pluto trine Chiron
Nov 3: Solar Eclipse @ 11 Scorpio 16’; Sun sextile Mars
Nov 5: Venus enters Capricorn
Nov 6: Sun conjunct Saturn; Jupiter stationary retrograde
Nov 7: Venus sextile Neptune
Nov 8: Mercury sextile Venus
Nov 9: Mars sextile Saturn; Mercury trine Neptune
Nov 10: Mercury stationary direct
Nov 11: Mercury trine Neptune direct
Nov 12: Sun trine Jupiter
Nov 13: Neptune stationary direct
Nov 14: Venus square Uranus
Nov 15: Venus conjunct Pluto
Nov 17: Full Moon @ 25 Taurus 26’
Nov 19: Mars sextile Jupiter
Nov 20: Mercury sextile Pluto
Nov 21: Sun enters Sagittarius
Nov 23: Venus sextile Saturn
Nov 24: Sun square Neptune
Nov 25: Mercury conjunct Saturn
Nov 27: Mercury sextile Venus
Nov 28: Venus opposition Jupiter

Nov 30: Sun trine Uranus

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Crossing the Threshold: Lunar Eclipse in Aries

Photo by Chad Woodward, 2010, Murrieta, Ca.
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse @ 25 Aries 45'
October 18, 2013
4:38 PM Pacific
1:38 PM Eastern

October’s full Moon is a lunar eclipse in the sign of Aries. As this powerful lunation approaches, we may notice a slight shift in our awareness of the world around and within us. Things are a- changing, fast. As we enter the final eclipse season for 2013, we have little time for adjustment. This lunation appears to hit us like a ton of bricks! Aries is a dynamic sign.

While this eclipse certainly grabs our attention, there may be a sense of ambivalence and uncertainty permeating the atmosphere. Mars, the ruler of Aries, approaches an exact opposition to Neptune the following day. Shifty Neptune tends to cloud, distort and confuse the assertive forward momentum that Mars usually exerts so decisively. It may be hard to pin down a specific target or goal; and the ultimate directive may appear to avert our grasp.

And yet, welling up inside of us is this urge to break off into a new, unexplored frontier. So, where are we going exactly? It appears that the destination is, for the most part, unknown. If you can let go of a need to have it figured out, make it happen or take control, you will likely find yourself guided by some “higher” omnipotent force.  Trust and surrender are two keywords we should get well acquainted with. Look around for signs and clues; synchronicity may be louder than usual.

But don’t just blindly follow everything that appears to be divine guidance. Reflect on the meaning of the messages deeply; they can be interpreted from a variety of perspectives. Be wary of any impetus that urges you to charge forward with a sense of invincible, divine mission. The key is to let change happen as opposed to trying to force it to.

Blindly rushing into a battlefield is not a wise tactic. You need to know what you’re actually getting into. This eclipse will bring about an acceleration of changing circumstances. How well we handle them is entirely dependent on our ability to be receptive, observant and conscious.

Jupiter in Cancer makes a dynamic square to the full Moon axis. Jupiter is slowing down as it approaches stationary retrograde on November 6. Jupiter retrograde is a time to go back and nurture what is growing and expanding in our lives. This square challenges us to integrate something that culminated in the past, to bring it into the present moment.

This too can spur one into action. Jupiter can inflate egos with overconfidence, excessive enthusiasm and mindless optimism. If we aren't mindful of what we’re doing now, we could end up facing several setbacks and obstacles once Mercury turns retrograde. But with the warnings aside, here’s the deal: something must change, but that is ultimately an internalized process.

This lunar eclipse brings about a powerful shift of focus, priorities and sense of direction. It serves to wake us up, and get things back on track, even when we may feel unclear about where that track is leading. If you have found yourself drifting, wandering and uncertain about what you need to pursue, this is a critical turning point to take advantage of. Ultimately, Jupiter assists us to grow deep roots and expand into something that will require great stability.

To effectively step up to the challenge requires letting go of whatever is holding things back. The Mars/Neptune opposition is also a challenge to gain clarity, awareness and an expanded consciousness. So, do what you need to do now, but know that we walk a fine line right now. Reality is much harder to pin down and make sense of.

Things that were once solid and dependable are dissolving and dissipating. Paths and directions we once charged toward are suddenly irrelevant, ambiguous or lack meaning. Be honest with yourself and what you’re actually capable of—avoid blowing anything out of proportion or exaggerating things just to make a point or to get attention.

The trickster is afoot. The lunar eclipse roughly conjoins Eris, the planet that upstaged Pluto. Eris has a powerful warrior like quality, but it also carries the archetype of the trickster. And what does that mean exactly? It means that whenever Eris is prominent we are crossing a threshold; we are entering into a new reality. However, the trickster tends to incite chaos and make a mess of things, but it does so for a very specific reason: to create new forms, to change the way things work.

Nothing is safe from the trickster’s grasp, because the trickster is a boundary crosser; it blurs the lines between black and white, up and down, left and right. It confuses distinctions. This is just another warning to remain open and flexible to change. If something falls apart, there is a specific reason for it. The less attachment, the easier it is to let go and embrace the new.

Something powerful and strong is culminating with a lunar eclipse. In Aries, its influence is about taking center stage and refocusing our priorities. If things turn in unexpected directions, let it happen and accept that it’s all for the greater good. Anger, frustration and impatience will be common side effects. If you should succumb to such feelings, take a time out and center yourself.

Cross this threshold with confidence and consciousness. The uncertainty keeps us humble. Boldly step up to the challenges ahead, and no matter what, just keep going. Push through it. This first eclipse portal is a strong one, but don’t let it fool you into taking things too seriously, or giving up entirely, overcome with futility. There is a powerful process at work deep within each one of us, and great changes are taking place. Move with it, flow with it, and simply go along with the process. We will move into new lands eventually. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How Deep Is That Rabbit Hole?: Mercury Retrograde and the Solar Eclipse In Scorpio

Mercury Retrograde In Scorpio: October 21—Nov 10, 2013
Hybrid Solar Eclipse In Scorpio: November 3, 2013

Mercury entered Scorpio on Sept 29th, where it will stay until Dec 4th due to its final retrograde cycle of the year. That’s nine weeks in Scorpio. With a Solar Eclipse on Nov 3rd (conjunct Saturn) in the sign of Scorpio; we get a heavy dose of depth, intensity and transformation this fall. Back in April of this year, a lunar eclipse conjoined Saturn in Scorpio; so we’re already familiar with this terrain. The difference is that Mercury’s retrograde cycle will occur alongside this weighty hybrid solar eclipse of the Sun.

A solar eclipse begins a powerful process of change and brings about an overwhelming sense of renewal. And in this case, occurring in Scorpio, that meaning is amplified. Scorpio is the sign of the zodiac that completely embodies the word transformation and all that we associate with it.

Letting go, releasing, dying, emptying, shedding, and rising from the ashes—these are all keywords inherent to Scorpio and its modern planetary ruler Pluto. And these qualities often accompany an eclipse of all kinds, because eclipses signify moments of deep inner personal change and transmutation. During eclipse season the personal self becomes porous and translucent. Our identity is a bit like putty; we have an opportunity to change or shape it into alternate forms. These are also moments of tremendous growth, but only if we so choose. They can just as well pass with the current they arrived upon—to become like a faint memory of some uncertain or seemingly precarious moment.

With the exception of this year when we experienced three eclipses this past spring, eclipses generally occur in pairs twice a year. Not too rare, but their interest lies in the peculiar ambience they generate and the impactful force of their presence within our own psyche.

During eclipse season, we may find ourselves more uncertain of who we are, and most of all, where we’re going. Eclipses are opportunities to adjust our course ahead; we get a chance to significantly alter the timeline we currently travel. That’s exciting and equally terrifying. The eclipse has the power to reveal just how much of an impact our choices and decisions have on our lives. It is a portal of transformation, and whether we participate or not, we come out the other end a slightly different person. With Scorpio, we can double the significance of that statement.

Saturn’s involvement brings a sense of seriousness and challenge. And Scorpio, as a fixed sign, suggests that this is likely to be a highly demanding eclipse passageway. The only way to work with it is to do your homework and show up on time. This is no time for slacking off, putting things aside, evading responsibilities, or sweeping unsettling realities under the rug. Mercury retrograde reveals that this is a time for making critical adjustments within very deep chambers. Failing to do so could be detrimental, and I’m tempted to say, that in specific cases, even life threatening.

So Mercury’s retrograde cycle in Scorpio, alongside this rather intense solar eclipse, seems to ask the question: How deep does that rabbit hole really go? This has tremendous personal and collective meaning. Just how deep? Well, ultimately, we may never know completely. The true workings of the universe are shrouded in secrecy, and possibly for good reason from an evolutionary standpoint. Most of the time, we’re quite contented with superficial explanations; they get us through the day; they keep us sane and productive.

Other times, like we’re experiencing now, we’re likely to have a little more curiosity than usual. But as the saying goes: curiosity killed the cat. Consider it a warning. There are secrets that humankind was never meant to know. Secrets that could destroy the feebler minded. Unless you’re well equipped with strong planets in Scorpio or the eighth house; be careful where you tread, and how deep you go down that abysmal rabbit hole—and actually, even if you meet the above criteria, be careful anyway; it might actually get you into even more trouble!

However, if you approach this passage with maturity, discipline and focus—you will reap the valuable rewards and revealing insights it offers-- all in due (and lengthy) time (it is Saturn we’re dealing with here). A critical and sharp focus and an eye for miniscule details will be required. This retrograde cycle brings about a hyperaware state of consciousness, maybe a little paranoia, and an introspective gaze and focus. Saturn’s involvement lends well to a process of reflection and a bout of solitary confinement. So, unlike many retrograde cycles, this one isn’t much of a break or vacation; there’s important work do be done.

The sign of Scorpio symbolizes our raw and primal instinctual urges. They keep us alive in more ways than one. When we encounter danger, it is the Scorpionic influx that gives us that “funny feeling” that something isn’t right; that feeling like, “maybe I shouldn’t turn down this street”, or “I just don’t feel right about this”. Mars, the traditional ruler of Scorpio, infuses Scorpio with an inherent fight-or- flight reaction, even a sense of premonition.

Scorpio also symbolizes that instinctual drive that contributes to the boon of overpopulation. All of us who made our way past puberty are well familiar with its seductive allure. There’s no denying its power and influence, with its arsenal of hormones and chemical release. Healthy and balanced sexual expression is a potent psychic force. Unfortunately, modern western culture completely distorts it in grotesque and dysfunctional ways. And also, while Saturn is moving through Scorpio, it can stagnate and gum up the wheels of our sexual instincts and desires.

Perhaps this a time to refocus and recharge our sexual energy-- which, by the way, it isn’t solely reserved for sex or an orgasm. Sexual energy is a current of personal power, creativity and magnetic attraction. And like all energy, it can be wasted if it isn’t employed wisely or strategically. We use it in our everyday interactions, whether we’re conscious of it or not.

It’s a magnetic force that attracts us to other people. It brings us together. It’s the reason we’re drawn to a certain person without knowing why, even when that certain person isn’t necessarily sexually attractive to us. And when we band together with like souls, with a shared creative interest, goal or desire—magic happens and amazing things result.

At the heart of Scorpio is its relation to the osmosis of souls. In the realm of Scorpio we become something more than we currently are; we fuse with an external symbol. But that in itself is some risky business, because naturally, we risk losing ourselves. There are times when this is completely appropriate, but in all cases, it requires a strong sense of self and a hefty amount of discipline and solid boundaries. Be mindful of this.

As usual, Mercury retrograde warns us of making permanent commitments, and if we must, it is highly suggested that we deeply reflect on the matter and look at it from a multitude of perspectives. This retrograde cycle suggests the notion of resurrecting critical elements from the past, building off of previous foundations, and looking for missing or hidden essential pieces to the puzzle we’re working on.

With the eclipse, this is a potent retrograde cycle. Powerful emotional or psychological breakthroughs are possible, especially for those of us with significant natal placements in the sign of Scorpio. Deep inner personal insights are floating around like CO2, so don’t resist the inner work these two events are pulling up for us. Embrace it and shine your light into those places you usually avoid like the plague.

Oh The Horrors….

Yes, Scorpio is a “dark” sign. It gets a bad rap for that. But that’s just because Scorpio and its 8th house associate deal with some of the most sensitive and taboo of subject matter. Ultimately, our repulsive reaction to Scorpio has more to do with cultural conditioning than anything else. Sex, death, collective power, early childhood trauma, inner psychological terrain and so forth; they’re all elements our society suppresses or significantly distorts.

There’s a multitude of distractions to keep us from thinking about it all. The more time we spend on the surface, the more productive we are and the more we contribute to the current industrialized civilization. “Keep calm and carry on”…right?
Well this certainly isn’t a time for ignoring what lies in the deep. Willingly and consciously make your way down that rabbit hole. It beckons. Scorpionic material is generally uncomfortable to the ego. It points us toward that one undeniable truth: eventually, you’re going to die. You are impermanent. It’s unsettling indeed; nobody really wants to think about it. Even the most dark and macabre of souls, when it gets right down to it, will have some resistance to their own death. It’s natural.

In a society that glorifies youth and outer achievement--the inner world, the sensitive zones of life experience, goes on quite neglected. As a result, it takes on more ominous forms within cultural expression. At certain moments, when we least expect it, something explodes, there’s a collective catharsis. The external world is merely a reflection of the inner world. What happens out there is inside of us, a part of us; it is us.

That means that in order to heal, grow, and evolve toward our collective potential, we must embrace the horrors. We need to look them straight in the eye and process their realities and truths as we see them for what they truly are. This retrograde cycle and Scorpionic/Saturnian solar eclipse also urge us to step up and take responsibility for the horrors of the world. Instead of running away, or pointing the figure at everything except yourself, really step into it and see your part in creating it.

It is you and you are it. The segregation is an illusion. With that said, we may encounter some material that makes us uncomfortable, perhaps a little squirmish. But if it shows up in your awareness; there’s a reason for it, and it’s important that you look at it. It will help you mature and grow.

The Mind Hath No Substance

We all agree that Mercury is a symbol of the mind, the vehicle of ego consciousness. It’s the hardware that runs the software of the personal self. The mind is a network of pathways within the body, not particularly the brain. It is the intelligence within the nervous system. Without Mercury, and without a mind, we would have little success navigating the “real world”. But too much attachment to the mind, and we end up missing a whole heck of a lot.

The mind doesn’t like paradox. In fact, its sole purpose is the reconciliation of dichotomy. That’s how we make sense of the world. Mercury seeks to assimilate disparate pieces to make an intelligible pattern or formation. Without Mercury, what would we see? Without a mind, what would the world look like? Well, there are a few chemical substances that could quickly answer those questions, but there are also a few cosmic events which can momentarily provide us a glimpse beyond the veil.
The truth is that the universe around us is utter chaos. Order, symmetry and structure are created by conscious beings. What we see around us was created by focused awareness and attention. 

Does that mean that you’re “creating reality”? Well, not exactly. You aren’t that omnipotent. But yes, you’re definitely directing the scenes and arranging the scenery around you. Every choice you make alters what you experience in every moment. You’re thoughts play a crucial role in what comes into your life.

Your level of awareness and your beliefs about life severely affect what unfolds. The mind, in reality, has no substance. It’s a software program, and so is our identity. It can be readily deleted. But behind the software, there’s a ghost in the machine. We refer to this as the soul. Whatever you call it, we all know deep down that there’s something else inside of us, something behind the fa├žade of the personal self.

That something else is what you really are. No matter what, it cannot be destroyed. Perhaps then, the soul is the only real thing that exists at all. And ironically, it is the most mysterious and intangible of concepts humanity has ever entertained. When you die, something lives on. That something isn’t necessarily who you think you are. It’s only your essence and your awareness.

My point here is to illustrate this image for you because it will play a critical role in this upcoming passage. Understanding it will allow you to benefit most deeply from the insights it offers.  When Mercury turns retrograde, the mind reconfigures itself. During eclipses, we enter a mild psychedelic state of awareness; we see the mechanizations of consciousness more clearly than usual, and we step outside the illusion of the personal self.

Pay more attention to yourself and to the people around you. This is a time to more authentically peer beyond the masks we wear in our daily interactions. It is within this altered state that we can actually make structural changes to the ego. We can let go of what no longer works, and we can release our attachment and enmeshment more than at any other time. Take advantage of this, because once eclipse season passes, it all comes rushing back in, as we attempt to further tighten that illusionary barrier.

Side effects may include:

Mercury retrograde is notorious for all sorts of technical mishaps, setbacks and annoyances--although, that’s not always the case. Mercury is a trickster. The trickster has the ability to work between realms, densities and realities. The trickster’s intention is to break down structures so that new forms can emerge. It’s a noble mission indeed. Reality would become rather sterile and banal if it weren’t for the trickster’s deeds.

When Mercury retrograde strikes, it initially appears as an inconvenience. But its lesson is always the same. Stop, pause, reflect and slow down. Notice the wind, look at the trees, and see the geometry in your lover’s eyes. What do you see now? How does it appear differently than it did before? What can you create from it? How can you do things differently? Take a few steps back, and really take a good hard look.

Mercury retrograde is not conducive for active forward movement; it’s a time for reflection and for making adjustments where needed. Usually, the more we push the more resistance we encounter. We may make adjustments to things that are solely tangible and mechanical, or we may adjust the way we see the world around us. Always, with each retrograde, we’re offered an alternate perspective, and it would be wise to consider it deeply.

Often, a specific outlook needs to change. We attract people or situations which seek to bring our attention to this need. Let go of the old and make way for the new—it will make you a more complete being. Take stock, double check, and reiterate everything you communicate. This is a time to be clear and direct in your dealings, because all sorts of blind spots and loose ends frequently emerge.

If you’ve been delaying or putting aside something, a Mercury retrograde cycle often serves as an opportunity to deal with it—sort of like a second chance. Often this comes together without much planning or foresight, it seems to be a natural consequence of Mercury retrograde. People and situations from the past may come back into your reality, to surprise or haunt you.

So don’t panic, worry or freak out. Even though this happens to be a pretty significant and heavy cycle—considering the involvement of Saturn and a Solar Eclipse—it could serve as a rather productive and insightful period of time.
But, also keep in mind the fact that we’re entering into a sensitive and deeply personal process. There may be some very significant insights and revelations about your own nature—a perspective about yourself that you didn’t see before. This can only come about by paying very close attention and observing yourself from an objective perspective.

Naturally, those of us who would rather stay on the surface and maintain the status quo are likely to have a far more difficult time with this. Uncomfortable truths are never digested easily. But, if you’re aware and well prepared for some challenging, yet deeply rewarding work, it won’t be such a shock when it arrives.