Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Light Side of the Dark Night of the Soul: New Moon in Capricorn 2014

An amanita muscaria mushroom, quite the possibly the inspiration
for our modern day Christmas celebrations;
photo by Böhringer Friedrich.

New Moon @ 0 Capricorn 06' 
December 21, 2014
5:36 PM Pacific
8:36 PM Eastern

Winter Solstice

December 21, 2014
3:03 PM Pacific
6:03 PM Eastern

The current lunar cycle resets in the tropical sign of Capricorn alongside the solstice transition—winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and summer solstice in the southern portion of the planet. The word solstice literally means “sun standstill”, as it is a point along the Sun’s journey when the Sun has reached its highest (in summer) or lowest (in winter) point in the sky. For us northern dwellers, the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, which means decreased sunlight and colder months ahead. For those southern dwellers, the opposite is true—lighter and warmer months will follow.

When the Sun comes to a stall, though momentarily, it is a reflective and transitional point no matter which portion of the planet you happen to reside. It is a time to pause and gain perspective on the path you are on—to look forward or backward to locate your footing and assess your progress. The solstice transition occurs just a little over two hours before the New Moon; thus these two events are inextricably linked. That this New Moon occurs at the entry of Capricorn, touching the Aries Point, gives this lunation a certain power and momentum that connects the personal and intimate with the impersonal and collective.

Also on this day, Uranus turns stationary direct, just after its sixth of seven square aspects to Pluto on Dec. 14. We can rightly assume that this New Moon and solstice transition points dynamically to the collective events currently on the table. The Uranus and Pluto cycle has correlated with some dramatic changes on the world stage—principally involving the integration of what may have seemed too radical and impossible at the conjunction in the 1960’s. If we look back on the past several years, it is clear that the social infrastructure has been significantly altered, for good and ill.

We are living in a very different world—more “connected” though increasingly less intimate and personal. Also, that Uranian surge of progress relates to an overwhelming tidal wave of “change” and cultural transformation. It may feel a bit too much to digest at times, as if the world is moving too fast, too soon. And we are often left wondering, where are we going? From the battle over medical and recreational marijuana use, the revelations of the NSA mass surveillance program, the racial disparity sparked by recent acts of violence by law enforcement, the legalization of gay marriage in many states, the widespread awareness of the unsustainable and unjust economic system, to the recent revelations of the CIA torture report in relation to the events of 9/11, the world, and indeed the American infrastructure, has seemingly turned upside down and inside out.

As much as these changes and revelations have taken place, it seems that unlike the 1960’s, the revolutionary spirit of America has been substantially numbed out—perhaps due to the overwhelming shock of too much at once, or perhaps due to the widespread technological distractions and the “bread and circuses” fueled by the Empire. It’s easy to feel disempowered these days, with so much uncertainty in the air and the always looming threat of economic collapse. It was indeed just six years ago that Pluto entered the very same degree of Capricorn as this New Moon--which seemed to correlate quite poignantly with the Global Economic Crises, of which we are still recovering, though anyone with a shred of common sense knows that the problem hasn’t been rightly resolved.

Capricorn is the symbolic culmination of the zodiac, the highest point of manifestation and concretion of energy. While we associate the pursuit of achievement and success with Capricorn, it is also a very “inward” oriented sign. Capricorn needs time to reflect and retreat to get in touch with its core values and to connect authentically with itself, otherwise it’s  just playing for the crowd, seeking applause but unaware of who it is and what it really wants.

Outward success, while a noble pursuit, can only gratify us so much. There needs to be that awareness and acknowledgement of our soul’s true calling for us to reach outwardly in a healthy, balanced way. This inward focus of Capricorn energy is often ignored in a society that places more value on worldly accomplishment than it does on self-knowledge. As Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn, this New Moon works as a powerful point of focus and self-discipline. With so many planets clustered in this sign, there is a sense of seriousness and an emphasis on more practical matters.

Capricorn invites us to get our priorities straight, to have a clear plan or strategy for action, and to take the appropriate amount of time to reflect on ourselves and our true desires. We each come into this life with desires carried over from somewhere else. Perhaps those desires linger from some previous life experience. As we come into this world, we are conditioned and programmed by our family, friends and collective culture, and new desires are readily implanted. As we grow older, it becomes our task to differentiate between what our souls truly want and what we have been conditioned to believe that we want. Often that process of gaining clarity can be painful and wrought with frustration.

Capricorn is a sign of single-pointed clarity and focus. When we know who we are we do not doubt what we want in life. There is no question. When we have that certainty and clarity, we are free to pursue our dreams with confidence and determination, but when we lack that deep, personal connection, when we ignore the need for solitude, we experience a disconnect between our true self and the mask we wear to appease the public. A New Moon in Capricorn is a dark night of the soul, but not necessarily in a negative sense. Often, that seemingly dark place inside of us simply lacks the light of our acknowledgement and love. What we ignore or cast aside takes on whatever form is best suited to grab our attention.

Alongside this lunation, Venus is separating from a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn—which brings Venus directly into the crosshairs of the square with Uranus. Capricorn also has a strong sense of “right-timing”—an intuitive gaze that allows those of a strong Capricorn nature to act when the moment is just right. Love and relationships are common Venusian themes, but so is the desire for beauty and rejuvenation. Pluto asks us the question, “How are you trying to control the flow of love and beauty in your life?” Must there always be a “right-time” for everything? When do we really know that this time is more right than any other? Pluto equally brings to the surface those false masks we wear to merely receive love and affection—urging us to get real.

There is, I feel, an unfolding plan that underwrites our experiences. There is indeed a “right-time” for everything; though that doesn’t always conform to our wishful thinking or expectations. Life happens, love happens, pain and heartbreak happens. Such experiences flow into our lives via some synchronistic thread we do not control. All of those external cues are reflections of embedded desires held hostage in the unconscious mind. As we confront them, we are fulfilling some deeply buried want or need. No matter the experience, we must learn to trust it, for it holds the experiential lessons our soul truly needs. When we break free of our attachment to the way things should unfold, we are liberated to open our hearts to the greater plan of the universe.

Take some time to honor the sacredness of this solstice transition. For the north, that inward focus is more pronounced with the onset of colder weather and darker days. There is a “magical” presence surrounding the winter solstice—reflected in the rich traditions passed down from the extreme northern latitudes. The muted sunlight opens up the potential to glimpse worlds undetected by the physical senses. The crispness of the cool, night air adds a vividness and intensity to the canopy of stars. It is a time to go inward, to connect with nature in some way, and to have a moment of clarity, if only to gaze upward at the infinite splendor of incompressible, cosmic beauty.

In case you didn't know, I do give personalized astrology readings. The Gregorian New Year is upon us; astrology readings are a great way to start your year out wisely. This requires an accurate birth time. If you are interested, please contact me by e-mail:

If you're reading this from an e-mail, head over to my blog page via this link for information on pricing and my methodology. Note: I adopt a sliding scale/donation policy.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Change Your Mind; Change Your Life: Full Moon in Gemini 2014

A galaxy overlayed over a human skull; artist unknown.
Full Moon @ 14 Gemini 18'
December 6, 2014
7:27 AM Pacific
4:27 AM Eastern

The mind is an incredible thing. Its complexity is what truly separates humans from the other beasts. We often associate the mind with the brain, but that is not an entirely accurate perception. Indeed, the brain has much do with our thinking processes, but the mind is much more ubiquitous throughout the body. When I think of the mind (as if that isn’t a paradox), I imagine something that permeates my entire body, something that exists throughout the entire nervous system.

The mind extends throughout the body as a whole. It’s in our brains, yes, but it’s also in our fingertips and our toes. So, what is this thing called mind? How do we come to understand it from an astrological point of view? Well, we could start with the tropical sign of Gemini which holds space for this month’s Full Moon. Gemini is an air sign, as well as Libra and Aquarius. We could associate all three air signs with “mental” processes. Air signs are mental creatures; they are objective points for the observation of reality.

The mind is a tool that allows consciousness to separate from its experiences to form ideas and understandings. It is the interpretive lens through which the observer (beyond the ego) perceives the universe. I don’t imagine that a dog or a cat thinks much about the meaning of life—the names of things, the deeper underlying mechanisms behind the façade of perceptual observations, or the symbolic meaning of disparate events. These are purely human activities. Perhaps, as mythology paints it, the mind is a gift from the “Gods” (it’s equally a curse for those ill-equipped to handle it). If the mind is some fairly recent evolutionary development, we are perhaps in the midst of a long struggle to master a symbiotic relationship.

According to the Greek version of a very old story going back to Mesopotamia, Prometheus brought “fire” to humanity against the wishes of the other gods. This fire gave humans something “god-like” that profoundly changed human behavior. For this act, Prometheus was punished, chained to a rock island and beleaguered by a tumultuous sea, to forever suffer the agony of having his liver pecked out by an eagle. As an immortal, Prometheus couldn’t die. That’s a pretty rough deal. Fortunately for him, Chiron saved the day. He gave up his own immortality to free Prometheus from his imposed bondage.

So, what was this “fire” that Prometheus brought to humans? Similar to the biblical story of Adam and Eve and the tree of knowledge, this fire gave humanity a shift of perception; it allowed them to see things quite differently. It allowed them to glimpse what the God’s could see, and that was understandably quite threatening, for it elevated humanity to a level not possible before. We could say that this “fire” is both a symbolic reference as well as a literal one (a conversation a bit beyond the scope of this article).

This Full Moon in Gemini highlights the nervous system, the mind in general and communication in all its varied forms. You’re thoughts, perceptions and ideas about life have an incredible impact on the body. And Gemini, a mutable air sign, indicates the plasticity inherent to the mind itself: the ability to change your mind with the attainment of new information or insight. Imagine the power of a single experience to change your entire life--how a single book, conversation or interaction can alter your outlook and transform your perception. That is an amazing thing and it demonstrates the flexibility inherent to human perception.

Chiron in Pisces squares this Full Moon axis—indicating the potential for sudden, spontaneous awakenings and a shifting of thought, perception and outlook. When Chiron is worked with consciously, it opens a hidden, creative potential that we often deny, inviting us to activate our gifts and talents, or else we succumb to a soul-deadening meaninglessness--swallowed by the void deep inside, devoured by the wound of separation. Sometimes that manifests as a very real disease process in the body. Chiron’s square is a challenging call to action that invites us to do something about the way we think and perceive reality, and how we integrate and acknowledge the bigger picture.

The New Age circus is chock full of ideas about mind over matter. The “create-your-own-reality” bandwagon has quite a bit of momentum these days. Do you really create your own reality? Well, kind of. I mean, to some extent. Personally (and I’m not attempting to topple anyone’s paradigms here), I think the idea as some validity, but it’s also a bit delusional when taken to some extremes. I don’t make the Sun rise each morning. It does so whether I choose to believe it does or not. I don’t think gravity into existence either. There are laws in this reality that I have nothing to do with, but my attitude, how I feel about the way things are, that I can control, and that does impact my reality and the experiences I attract into it.

Chiron helps us to change our toxic attitudes, and when contacting planets in Gemini or Sagittarius, it seeks to shift our thinking, beliefs, or ideas about how things are or should be. As the Full Moon illuminates this Gemini landscape, we are given the opportunity to see that mental clutter more clearly and to do something to change it. That won’t come about without some effort on our part, and it may feel a bit challenging at first, but persistence will lead to a renewed perspective, however drastic or subtle.

The asteroid Ceres also joins in on the conversation. Ceres stirs up issues surrounding nurturance and nourishment—often pointing to some very practical issues involving food. We often underestimate the importance of food and its impact on our physical, mental and emotional health. A nourished body leads to a clear and happy mind. Our cultural conditioning convinces many of us that we’re victims of disease and that we can’t do anything about it without the help of pharmaceuticals or surgery. Sometimes, those things are necessary, but a lot of the time, they’re quite counter-productive to the healing process.  

True healing takes time; though sometimes, dramatic changes and shifts come about quite spontaneously when we choose to change how we see it. When things seems bleak, lost or hopeless, no matter how dire the situation, there’s always a way out and there’s always something guiding us toward a resolution and integration of our experience. The pivotal moment lies in one single choice: the choice to change your mind, to never give up on the pursuit of wholeness. That determination to thrive can make all the difference in the world. It’s all just a matter of how you choose to look at it. 

In case you didn't know, I do give personalized astrology readings. This requires an accurate birth time. If you are interested, please contact me by e-mail:

If you're reading this from an e-mail, head over to my blog page via this link for information on pricing and my methodology. Note: I adopt a sliding scale/donation policy.