Saturday, April 26, 2014

Beyond Stasis: Annular Solar Eclipse In Taurus 2014

The Sun beaming through a canopy of Oak
Trees. Photo by Chad Woodward, Murrieta,
Ca, 2010.

Annular Solar Eclipse @ 08 Taurus 52’
April 28, 2014
11:14 PM Pacific
April 29, 2014
2:14 AM Eastern

Life is a little different during eclipse season. Things have an unusual hue; something mysterious seems to lurk behind appearances. We may find ourselves traveling some new terrain at these times, and quickly moving past obstacles that once hindered us on our path.

That’s all good news, right? As long as we consciously work with these passages and make the appropriate changes necessary we will find them much less frightening to deal with. When we resist the flow of change that the eclipse tends to bring about, we feel the weight of these events much more profoundly and often something from the external forces us to change in quite uncomfortable ways.

With the cardinal grand cross heating up this month, which peaked mid-month just after the previous Lunar Eclipse, we are unlikely to stay stuck here. The cardinal energy is hard to resist, it urges us to get up and move toward our desires, goals and objectives.

But, Taurus is a fixed sign. That means that it’s more set in its ways. Taurus likes consistency, security and predictability. So what happens when an eclipse (a symbol of change) occurs in this solid and dependable zodiac sign? Well, fixed patterns need to be adjusted.

Since this is a south nodal eclipse, there is more focus on letting go of the past and shedding things we have outgrown. Taurus deals with physical security, so think of this as a good time for a garage sale after you've cleaned out the closet. This may also be symbolic of a deep emotional and physical cleansing.

So, with Taurus, we are likely to feel the urge to break free of safety nets that are holding us back from further growth. There is the sense that things cannot continue in their safe, predictable ways. That doesn't mean that everything has to go, but merely those elements that have outlived their usefulness and are no longer working as they once did.

Taurus is also an earth sign; it has grounding, condensing and solidifying qualities. A powerful eclipse in this earthy sign can bring our attention and focus toward the earth, to practical affairs that support our self-worth. This is a time to connect with what matters the most to you and to look within for clues. Reflect deeply on what you really want, not what everyone else wants for you.

A Solar Eclipse is an amplified New Moon, the start of a new lunar cycle. While the eclipse energy can be intense, bringing about a rapid series of developments, Taurus likes to take its time. That’s a bit contradictory, but imagine these changes evolving and developing over an extended period of time.

Mercury conjoins this Eclipse. That’s not particularly unusual since Hermes likes to travel close to its solar companion. But whenever Mercury is prominent, there’s new information coming in, sometimes a new perspective that may be rather jostling but potentially awakening us to something we were blind to before.

In Taurus, think simple. Mercury in Taurus favors the simplicity of the Tao, ancient wisdom that says a lot without saying very much. Keep your mind tuned to subtle advice from the most unexpected sources. It’s like humbling yourself to learn profound things from a child, or someone perhaps not so intellectually savvy.

So a key to navigating this Taurean Solar Eclipse is to embrace a sense of mindfulness, to take a moment to ground and center yourself and approach the world consciously, conscious of every action and spoken word. If there ever was a time to think before you speak, this would be it. Let go of your preconceived notions about what is or isn't possible.

Open your mind to the possibility that there may be more to the picture than you currently see. It may actually be a lot more simplistic than you have allowed yourself to imagine. Over-thinking things will likely lead to a dead end; embrace the simplistic solution that lies just beneath the surface layer of conscious awareness.

The eclipse also makes a quincunx to Mars retrograde in Libra, which means that when we’re faced with the challenge of having to integrate our own values with those of others, take the higher road. That is, make love not war. The quincunx is not easily resolved, but consciously making adjustments where needed can help negate the irritating quality inherent to this aspect.

Neptune makes a sextile to the Eclipse, bringing in the numinous, imaginative, spiritual and ideal. This could be a potentially creative and artistic Eclipse, where inspiration appears to be available without much effort on our part. Take this opportunity to tune in and connect on a much deeper level—first to yourself and then to those around you. 

A sextile from Jupiter allows us to change while maintaining a connection to our roots, to retain our center of comfort and stability. These sextiles also lend a helping hand, providing spiritual and emotional support if needed.

Allow this eclipse to be a point of integration. April was a pretty intense month astrologically speaking, and while every eclipse demands some kind of shift of focus, direction and priority, Taurus can help to bring it all together into a more unified and solid whole.

One other side note. With Mars retrograde the collective energy is slowly moving beyond stasis. That doesn't mean we're not compelled to move forward, but rather we're more likely retracing our steps--strengthening and solidifying paths we previously laid for ourselves and contemplating the results.

You’re probably not the same person you were when the month began. Of course we change, subtly, each and every day, but moments like these are truly rare in their manifestation, and the rapid changes they tend to bring about within us are truly profound. When in doubt, find your center. Locate the still-point within; once you have that, you’ll be unstoppable.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nourishing Self, Nourishing Others: Total Lunar Eclipse In Libra 2014

In Roman Mythology, Ceres was the
goddess of grain, fertility, agriculture,
and motherly relationships. Statue of
Ceres, Rome, Italy. Photo by
Yellowcat, via Wikimedia Commons.

Total Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon @ 25 Libra 16’
April 15, 2014
12:42 AM Pacific
3:43 AM Eastern

This month’s Full Moon is a Lunar Eclipse in the sign of Libra. That means that we are entering eclipse season this month; and that’s yet another reason April is such a significant month, as it correlates with the peak of the cardinal grand cross involving Mars retrograde, Uranus, Pluto and Jupiter.

Those are some pretty heavy omens compressed into a very short period of time. So what does it all mean? Should we hide under our beds until this whole thing passes over? You could do that, but you’d probably miss out on some truly transformative and creative energy.

It is times like these that we’re called into action (literally, due to the cardinal energy) to make some changes in our lives. Yet, that word, change, gets thrown around quite a bit these days. What does it actually mean? Is the world really changing? Isn’t it always?

Yes, it’s true; each and every day is different than the day before. So what makes this period of time more unique than any other, since change is a ubiquitous presence lest we all die from the stranglehold of stagnation? I suppose the answer is that we’re in the middle of very rapid and intense changes, where things begin moving much more quickly and at an accelerated rate.

At least that’s what this month is likely to feel like, or has felt like already. In fact, this cardinal energy has been active ever since 2010 and really started heating up in 2012. One “side effect” of the Uranus and Pluto square is a sense of time acceleration—that is, the perception that time is speeding up and that events are unfolding faster than we can keep up with.

We may equally feel like we’re being pulled in many directions, since literally each planet occupies four different and conflicting signs. We may find ourselves expending energy in a multitude of life arenas, which can be a healthy expression of this energy unless we find that we are somehow overextending ourselves.

So, taking action is all well and good, and truly supported by this cardinal energy. In fact, this month’s catalytic modus operandi is likely to drown out the more subtle and inwardly oriented nature of the eclipses, which makes them a bit more challenging to interpret.

But, another aspect of eclipses is….yes, you guessed it, change! Eclipses signify brief yet impactful moments in time where personal growth is accelerated; inviting us to push through barriers that once intimidated us. These are moments that offer us the opportunity to move on into new realms.

With Mars retrograde, we are in the process of reinventing ourselves, as well as strengthening and supporting many facets of our lives. We’re also in the process of reorienting ourselves on the current timeline we travel. All this energy comes to a peak mid-month, just as eclipse season begins with this truly interesting and powerful Lunar Eclipse.

So with that all said and clarified, let’s take a look at this eclipse. As I said before, the Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon) occurs in the sign of Libra, where apparently a lot is going down. Yes, that’s the same sign as Mars’ current retrograde cycle. While the Eclipse doesn’t exactly make contact with Mars (unless you stretch the orb quite a bit, which is technically appropriate for the Sun or Moon), it is still highlighting this sign and thus drawing attention to this dynamic cycle.

In fact, we could say that this Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in Libra is in many ways a culmination point of the current Mars retrograde cycle (though technically, the peak of Mars retrograde occurred on April 8, with the opposition of Mars and Sun). That means that whatever you’ve been focused on (reinventing yourself, strengthening some component of your life) is likely to reach some kind of climax alongside this lunation. Because it is an Eclipse, this culmination is greatly amplified more so than usual.

This eclipse also conjoins the North Node (currently ingressed into Libra) as well as two asteroid goddesses, Ceres and Vesta, with an opposition to the asteroid/goddess Juno. First, let’s deal with Libra. We all know that Libra is the relationship archetype of the zodiac. So, quite simply, Libra deals with issues of interrelating, connection, negotiating and reflecting (that is, seeing your inner content reflected in another).

When Libra is highlighted, we’re invited to see things through the eyes of another—to walk in their shoes, so to speak. We’re making concessions, compromises and adjustments to accommodate the viewpoints of those we are relating to. Libra is also a sign that seeks to “beautify”; to makes things more harmonious, balanced and stable and is thus associated with homeostasis.

The North Node points to a suggestion for growth and change. It may feel like our “destiny”, or some demanding desire we must fulfill. Collectively, the North Node in Libra is urging us to grow most significantly through new forms of interrelating. This requires constant and conscious communication, as well as the need to ask for feedback and insight.

The presence of Ceres and Vesta brings to us a critical question: Are we being properly nourished in our relationships? Vesta can also bring in the theme of sexual nourishment—since Vesta deals with sex as a sacred act of service to another, beyond self-fulfilling pleasure.

Sexual nourishment is different than merely “getting off”. It’s the conscious exchange of energy between two people that leaves both deeply satisfied as well as energized. Ceres, known as Demeter in Greek mythology, is an Earth goddess, and deals with themes surrounding the food supply as well as painful and difficult emotions  surrounding loss (from her association to the underworld and the kidnapping of her daughter, Persephone).

So this is a rather powerful eclipse which pulls in many heavy themes. Food and sex may be of significance here, inviting us to assess our relationship to how we nourish ourselves and how we nourish others. This may be a time to reflect upon these issues and see what insights emerge.

Juno’s opposition to the Eclipse again pulls in the theme of partnership—since Juno often points to the joys and challenges inherent within relationships. Juno places emphasis on what we need in a partnership as opposed to what we idealize. Thus, we have another powerful theme coming to light and into awareness through this climactic Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse.

What must you unveil and uncover related to your relationships with this eclipse? What do you need to do to maintain balance in your partnerships, so that both sides are deeply nourished and nurtured? How can you express your sexuality in a healthy way, so that neither person is drained or taken advantage of?

The eclipse energy tends to draw our attention much deeper than usual, to look beyond the fa├žade of reality into what really matters. Juno invites us to reflect on what is essential for a partnership. Are we lacking close connections in our life? Is there a desire for deeper connections? Alternatively, do we have too many superficial connections, do we need to cut back and focus on those relationships that mean the most to us?

Venus conjunct Neptune puts the focus on our idealized relationships versus what is closer to reality. Be careful and discerning with this energy as we may find ourselves seeing only what we want to see in another. As the eclipse heats up, we may find our bubble has burst, leaving us disenchanted or confused.

Uranus conjunct Mercury seeks to shock us into a new awareness and perception of the world. We may find this energy channeled through conversations that serve to break up stagnation and to get things moving. Sudden, shocking or revelatory insights and ideas may also coincide with this eclipse.

Pluto turns stationary retrograde the day before the eclipse, drawing us again much deeper than usual, into the underworld to uncover what has been subjugated or disregarded. This is an interesting side note, since Ceres is conjunct the Moon at the time of the eclipse. This may be a time of deep healing and acceptance of something we have lost or something we were forced to let go of in the past.

Come through this eclipse passageway consciously and carefully. While the cardinal energy urges us to take action, which we must do in some way, use the peak of the eclipse as a more reflective moment to consider what you need to do exactly. Also be mindful of amplified emotional responses, so common during a Lunar Eclipse. What you don’t deal with consciously may erupt in more unfavorable ways.

All of this energy (the cardinal grand cross and two eclipses this month) can feel a little intense and overwhelming. On a purely mundane level, these events can foreshadow many catalytic changes in the political arena, as well as many earth changes (earthquakes and anomalous weather). While all this is a possibility, it’s no reason to go into hiding or to avoid the world; just be prepared for the unexpected should it arrive.

Remember that the outer world is simply a mirror of our own inner process. This may sound a little egocentric, as if the whole world is purely reflecting you, which is true, but not entirely true. The whole world is reflecting itself, mirroring the face of god/goddess. It’s true that all desires separate us from oneness, but accept where you are and work to consciously exhaust them.