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