Thursday, June 26, 2014

Recharging The Soul: New Moon in Cancer 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mars Direct in Libra: Taking the Reins

An original card from the tarot deck of
Jean Dodal of Lyon, a classic "Tarot of Marseilles" deck.
The deck dates from 1701-1715.

I'm excited to introduce Kosmic Mind's new guest writer, Elizabeth Michaud! Elizabeth will be writing in-between my lunation articles, whenever she feels compelled. I hope you enjoy the additional updates; I know I will.

For the rest of the month of June the astrological energy is offering up the chance to tap into our strength and direct our course with dynamic purpose. Mars, the planet of driving force, is moving forward through Libra, and getting our personal motors running as it makes its last contact with the Uranus/Pluto square.

Mars entered Libra last December, turned retrograde from March 1 through May 20, and is now building momentum as it chugs along in the cardinal air sign. Libra seeks harmony in relationships, but not codependency. It is the sign of balance-- meaning equal expression of personal desires while still meeting the needs of others. With Mars the Warrior transiting partnership-oriented Libra, this time period may have disrupted or reoriented the way we feel about the relationships we are in.

Perhaps we've wanted to protect or maintain something in our lives, but realize we can no longer play that role. Or maybe we've finally become aware of some part of ourselves that has been stifled or ignored-- and we see that it just isn't fair to hold back anymore. The idea that "that's just the way it is/I am" is no longer valid.  Whether in personal friendships, intimate bonds, or professional teams, there can be some tension as the planet that fights for "I" and "me" churns up the sign of "us."

Mars formed an exact square to Pluto in Capricorn this past Saturday, June 14, and will oppose Uranus in Aries on June 25. This potent T-square symbolizes a powerful opportunity to break away from old forms that no longer serve us, old skins that need to be shed in order for us to align with our inner truth. We are in a phase of transformative healing-- but Mars demands that we make the move.

It's important to be aware of this energy. It can feel like a pressure cooker as the planet of action ignites the revolutionary and destabilizing influences of Uranus and Pluto. If we can direct the passion to create what we want, rather than destroying what we fear, or lashing out in chaos and confusion, we will be harnessing the power of these transformative times. So steer wisely, be mindful of your vision, and aim high.

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Wider Perception and What Really Matters: Full Moon in Sagittarius 2014

Yodo-gawa from Setsugekka, Snow, Moon and Flowers. A traditional concept that provided the subject for sets of paintings and prints by Ukiyo-e artists. Shows boats being hauled up the river, which flowed passed Osaka, under a full moon. Hokusai, circa 1833, via Wikimedia Commons.

Full Moon @ 22 Sagittarius 06'
June 12, 2014 
9:11 PM Pacific
June 13, 2014
12:11 AM Eastern 

The current lunar cycle culminates on June 12/13 with a Full Moon in the tropical sign of Sagittarius. What is blossoming for you now? What great, gestating truth emerges into the light for you to embrace? It may be some small thing, but that does not negate its relevance by any means. 

With the Sun in Gemini and the Moon in Sagittarius, we come to a point of integration, a confrontation of the mind with the truths of a higher awareness.With a Full Moon in the Gemini/Sagittarius axis a truly profound, unfathomable awareness can now be mentally processed and integrated into a logical construct and form.

With Mercury retrograde in Cancer those intellectual filters are momentarily cast aside, widening intuition and empowering our gut responses. We are feeling and thinking in some new and different ways—opening doors and widening perception.

A square to the Full Moon axis from Chiron in Pisces opens up channels to numinous dimensions; but the “spiritual insights” it offers must be intentionally sought through the active pursuit of truth. Chiron’s awareness brings healing and integration to the mind, which may extenuate certain wounds or blocks that have stymied the flow of higher consciousness.

But the most poignant aspect present with this lunation is an exact opposition between Venus in Taurus and Saturn in Scorpio. As the Full Moon seeks to widen our field of perception, Venus and Saturn create yet another confrontation which may play itself out quite dynamically in certain relationships.

Venus and Saturn shed light on what really matters between those we are relating to. Once you cut away all the clutter and all the facades you wear for social appeasement, you’re left with the bare essentials: what keeps you connected and engaged with another soul.

It may be something “karmic”—that is, something unresolved or seemingly incomplete. Whatever we choose to call it, there’s “glue”, a gravitational force that attracts us toward others that is truly beyond conscious awareness.

Venus and Saturn ask us to get real about that cohesive bond, to look beyond intellectual rationalizations to see to the heart of the matter. That realization is something we simply feel, somatically. It’s simple and primal. It doesn’t need to be analyzed to death.

While the Gemini influx is strong now, the Full Moon’s power momentarily supersedes the mind’s grip on awareness--broadening its reach in ways that doesn’t overpower it. Sagittarius seeks to break free of limiting routines and beliefs that keep us stuck in a rut.

Perhaps that urge for freedom manifests in our relationships. Perhaps it manifests as a desire to expand our personal worldview, or modify some theoretical framework. Maybe we see something from a broader vantage point, opening up space for acceptance of what is and an anticipation of what could be.

As this Full Moon culminates remember that what you know is limited. What you see is always filtered, but we’re always given what we can handle. We see only what we can deal with. There is a need to jump off a precipice and take a leap of faith on some level, but don’t take that literally.

There is a need to exercise caution with this lunation, because Sagittarius’ fiery passion can sometimes go to extremes. It can break off more than it can chew. Too much awareness can be overwhelming, sometimes perilous.

Too much enthusiasm can lead to regrettable mistakes. Mercury’s retrograde cycle reminds us to take our time to process and integrate whatever we’re working on. Remember that as you navigate this terrain

Friday, June 6, 2014

Open Hearts, Open Minds: Mercury Retrograde In Cancer/Gemini 2014

Guido Bonatti, De Astronomia Libri X
(Basel, Nicolaus Pruknerus, 1550)
Stationary Retrograde: June 7 @ 3 Cancer 10'

Stationary Direct: July 1 @ 24 Gemini 23' 

Mercury is about to turn retrograde on June 7. That flighty, witty and lightning fast archetype is coming to a standstill and changing directions. While we’re likely still recovering from Mars’ retrograde through Libra and its dynamic interaction with the Uranus/Pluto square, Mercury gives us a chance to reflect and reexamine.

All this retrograde activity often results in a profound shift of energy in our personal lives. The most reliable attribute of any retrograde (from an inner or outer planet) is this “shifting of the tides”. That usually manifests as a rerouting of our focus and attention—sometimes altering our life path in quite significant ways.

We may feel more reflective during a retrograde; we may also find ourselves forming a connection to the past, to something unresolved or incomplete. This is why many astrologers advise us to refrain from embarking on new territory at these times; there may be some loose ends that need to be tidied up first; though this is not to be treated as dogma.

When we’re dealing with Mercury, we’re playing with a highly mutable energy. Things are never so black and white in Mercury’s realm; the world is an ever changing reality. Congruent with this mutable nature, Mercury will retrograde through two signs this cycle: Cancer and Gemini.

Mercury will spend about 19 days retrograde in Cancer as it gradually shifts gears. Cancer, a sign we associate with the Moon, adds more emphasis to the tidal influence of this process, this shifting of the tides. Cancer is a realm of feelings while Gemini a realm of thoughts.

This switch from emotion to mind lends itself to a reexamination of our feelings, and then a focus on what we think about it. Obviously, astrology is more multidimensional than that, but that simple phrase sums things up quite well.

While Mercury is in Cancer, thoughts take on a fluid-like quality, feelings and subjective impressions override logical and analytical processes. Mercury retrograde through Cancer can feel rather nostalgic, as well as allowing for a reconnection to our basic feelings and inclinations.

Ask yourself how you really feel about anything that comes up. Really explore that feeling or reaction more than you usually would. Reconsider your basic needs and ask yourself whether they’re being met effectively. Mercury retrograde in Cancer can open us up to feelings we may have held back, allowing us to process and integrate deeply embedded emotional material.

Mercury retrogrades into Gemini on June 18—shifting from the heart and back to the mind. It’s a rather curious thing that Mercury retrogrades often correlate with a process of retracing our steps. Keep that in mind as Mercury moves back into Gemini. Keep your mind open to missing bits of information you may have left behind, or unresolved communications reemerging to be clarified.

And consider that Gemini, the purest zodiacal representation of duality, tends to consider multiple perspectives. As I stated above, things are never so black and white in Mercury’s realm (and by extension, Gemini’s too).  

Intuitive and emotional insights can be properly analyzed when Mercury dips back into Gemini. We are being gifted an opportunity to see things from a renewed perspective, to learn something we didn’t know before. This requires an open heart and an open mind.

Of course, we can’t forget the other aspect of Mercury retrograde. Yes, shit happens. It’s hard to explain sometimes. Though I believe everything in life is symbolic of some “higher” process, sometimes Mercruy, the trickster, likes to keep us baffled. So as usual, Mercury retrograde is going to keep us on our toes.

Technical or mechanical breakdowns, changes in plans, delays or cancellations can be expected. This is just a common side effect of Mercury retrograde. But the breakdown is a part of the process.  Perhaps that problem with your car is simply a reflection of what’s going on deep within you.

But Mercury doesn't just leave us hanging. If we’re persistent and open to new ways of doing things, a solution is likely to be found—but perhaps in the most unexpected of places. Also, be cautious of signing important contracts, making big business decisions and purchasing electronic devices or appliances—especially anything costly.

Take your time over the next three weeks. This is a time for processing and integration. The tides are changing, and they bring new realities to our shores. What we’re usually blind to suddenly takes on a dynamic presence in our field of vision.

What wasn’t apparent may suddenly become blindingly obvious. Sink deep, reflect and reexamine your mind and emotions this retrograde cycle. Embrace any and all inclinations toward introspection and self-analysis. This is a natural time to tune in and check in. Like the tides, we are changing, fluctuating, growing and expanding.