Monday, 14 April 2014

Out with the Old. In with the New: Full Moon Eclipse in Libra

An eclipse is a time of death and rebirth as we release parts of ourself that we have outgrown  and begin to enter into something new.

At around 2 am EDT/ 7 am GMT April 15th,  as the earth comes between it and the Sun,  the Moon will gradually disappear until all that remains is a glowing red ball hanging in the sky. This is a moment of profound pause as the Moon  gets transformed before our eyes. The remaining red orb  is akin to the glowing embers of a fire; something will be changed or removed from our life forever.

An eclipse in Libra brings a chance to offload some of the emotional baggage we have been dragging into our relationships for far too long. If we need to walk away from something that is not working, this is a good time to do so. The Full Moon will amplify and bring to a peak whatever going on beneath the surface till now. And the eclipse will then clear way whatever it is that needs releasing.

Some relationships will end under this influence.  Yet, though sometimes we do need to cut our losses and walk away,  the real issue often lies deep  inside of us, and any conflict is merely a reflection of our inner state.  

Mars, masculine planet of initiative and assertion,  has been moving through Libra for a couple of months now, making  relationships a tad bit testy to say the least. At this time of intense polarization, even casual everyday encounters can be fractious , leaving us bewildered, frustrated or  feeling very alone. It is too easy to project any pain and loss we feel inside onto the people in our lives. 

This is why we need to examine our relationship patterns as part of  a more fundamental issue.

We are so conditioned by our upbringing, our culture, our environment, our past experiences etc, that it never occurs to us to question the identity we have taken on, or the possibility of something more.  It is so easy to be so caught up in day to day survival that we never get round to asking:

 Who am I? Why am I here?

  I recently wrote about how the New Moon in Aries two weeks ago started a crack in the facade we hide behind. This fissure will continue to widen until can no longer tolerate any discrepancies or lack of congruence between our true identity and  the old, inherited false values.  There will be many 'fork in the road' moments where we will have to choose who we want to be. Today's eclipse is one of them.

As the Moon becomes dark for a few hours tonight, a small dwarf planet will come to the fore beside her. Ceres (also known as Demeter in earlier Greek mythology),  is the archetype of the  earth Earth Mother. She lost her daughter Persephone when Pluto abducted her into the underground. As she wept and grieved there was no grain and no harvest... because no spring came. After a year of winter the inhabitants of earth petitioned the gods to intervene, which they did by granting Persephone(the daughter) release from Pluto’s imprisonment.

But there was a stipulation; because Pluto had fed her pomegranate seeds(symbols of fecundity and sexuality) she had to return to the underground for half the year. When she goes back underground, Demeter Ceres grieves, and it is winter until she returns. When she rises,  spring returns once again.

There are many layers and meaning in this story. The main one today is around Ceres/Demeter , who symbolizes life cycles of the earth itself, and the process of death and rebirth.

“Ceres is not only representative of the life and death cycle, she protects it. In the myth she could not stop Pluto or the Underworld taking her progeny for a while, BUT she did influence Proserpine`s return.”

 If you like to work with symbols or rituals, this is a time to call on Demeter/Ceres to aid you in any process of  any release you may be undergoing.  She can hep us call up lost or fragmented parts of ourself that have been lost in the depths;  this archetypal mother energy (in us) can help nurture the fragile self that has been in the dark for so long...

Part of the lesson here is to claim our power to do so. During/after an eclipse we have the opportunity to break out of one more layer of our conditioning and step more fully into our authentic self. At this time of renewal and release, and  spring ( in the northern hemisphere),  everything is blossoming and flowering. It is time to plant seeds and water them so they will grow. 

Ceres presence at this eclipse is part of the greater 'wake-up 'that is occurring on our planet and in our innermost beings. If we have become disconnected from our original innocence,  and lost in the shadows for too long, this is a chance  to rise again.

Look at the tabs labeled ‘houses’ at the top of this blog to see the arena in which this shift wants to occur. If you do not know your chart, you can go to (you will need date, time and place of birth) or contact me for an astrology session(see sidebar).

Meanwhile, allow the mirror of relationship, reflected in any current discord, to guide you to what patterns you are repeating. Let the Full Moon Eclipse  activate the release you so desire as you walk away from anything that is not serving your best interests.  Use this energy to invoke the mother (Ceres/Demeter)  to help you grieve your losses, and to embrace your inner self as s/he returns to you. All is not lost. There is always hope.

 'Out with the old, in with the new,' ... the journey continues.

Eastern Daylight Time ( I will let you figure out your own time zone)
Moon enters penumbra: 2014 Apr 14 23:51:46
Moon enters umbra: 2014 Apr 15 00:57:45
Start of totality: 2014 Apr 15 02:06:08 <—
Maximum eclipse: 2014 Apr 15 02:45:25 <—
End of totality: 2014 Apr 15 03:24:44 <—
Moon leaves umbra: 2014 Apr 15 04:33:08
Moon leaves penumbra: 2014 Apr 15 05:38:57

Friday, 11 April 2014

Becoming a Master of Paying Attention!

The astrology right now continues to be INTENSE!!  The Cardinal Grand Cross is in Full activation, plus we have two eclipses coming up. Everything is going so fast right now that it will take a concerted effort to stay focused and centered. 

 All of April will be like this, as  the combined planetary pressures continue to bear down on us (read last post by scrolling down) with the Uranus/Pluto square peaking Easter weekend (April 20th). Mars' extended transit through Libra, sign of relationships, will continue to be active well into July.

Though a bit daunting, this is also a very exciting, dynamic time. Much can be accomplished if the energy is handled well. We will be tested to see if we can be Masters of our own destiny! 
It is time to step up folks.  Seize the day!!  

Caution: there is a highly impulsive, almost primitive streak within these elements as Uranus in Aries clashes with the obsessive/compulsive influence of Mars and Pluto. All three together are extremely reactive and potentially violent; i.e. an immovable object meets an unstoppable force. 

We feel pressured; yet blockages continue to frustrate our ability to act. Impatience or anxiety pushes us to move too soon.  We push too hard, and  end up getting sideswiped by our own momentum,   (or we get pushed there). 

 Try to bring in some of the famous Libran diplomacy. Be careful of your words as well as your actions. Feel your way through rather than listen to your reactive mind. Remember what I said last week about the zen balancing act it will be to stay on two feet in this push-pull energy field.

And when all else fails... DUCK!!

A sense of humour helps as well!

Luckily, alongside all this wacky energy, there is also a beautiful wave of beauty, ease and grace coming our way. Venus is merging with Neptune right now, and both are in sweet harmony with expansive, joyful Jupiter. This lovely fluidity can help smooth out t the oppositional energy field that is triggering some of us.

Neptune brings us into the spiritual realm, Venus is the planet of love. Jupiter expands both by taking us deep into our soul self, which is love and joy. It shows us there is a third option, which can save us from ourselves.

As this aspect taps into the infinite healing potential of love, it also brings forgiveness. So if you are in conflict with someone, and feel stuck, remember,  there is another way. It doesn’t have to be about being right, or getting revenge. Something surprising and beautiful just might  come shining through when you least expect it.

Use this harmonious aspect to access prayer, mediation, music making, artistic expression,writing. Listen to those gut feelings right now. Open your heart. Take time for stillness. Walk in nature. Connect to your feminine side. Breathe in. Nurture yourself.

And stay in the here and now.  With so much tension in the air,  is tempting to try to escape … yet there is too much going on to allow for a total retreat (well you can try)  

We can use our activated creative side to channel some of the angst, as my sister did with her soul collage practice. Her wild images certainly express the powerful feelings that are surfacing for her as Mars crosses her Libra Ascendant (safer than dumping it on someone). Art is one way to claim our power in a creative and positive way. Physical movement helps as well. 

The increased intuition can also help us navigate some of the crazy stuff, as long as we pay attention.  If you try to float away or get too spaced out, the oppositional stuff could hit you from behind.  With so much chaos all around we need to be awake and alert. Use this inner focus to be more present, rather than to escape difficulties.

 "Become the 'Master of paying attention’."          
                    Prem Rawat

P.S. If none of this applies to you and your life is 'ticking along quite nicely, thank you very much', just be aware that some folks are really going through the mill right now. Compassion for others is a huge part of the Venus Neptune conjunction in Pisces. Don't forget to use it.

Part Two:  Tuesday’s Lunar eclipse (Monday for some)
 The Moon is in Libra, and having crossed over Mars (the agitator) the day before, will now be joining  the North Node (Destiny Point), while the Sun sits opposite on the South Node in Aries.  Both amplify the power and meaning of this Full Moon Eclipse, making it a kind of Super Moon....  (to be continued)

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A whole lot of shakin' goin' on!!!

This weekend, when the Moon in Cancer crosses over Jupiter (sunday), we can expect our emotional responses to be a bit over the top. With  Jupiter in Cancer, sign of the mother our childhood  patterns are triggered, bringing up old memories, insecurities etc, expanding and exaggerating our need for emotional nurturing.

Eckert Tolle (The Power of Now) speaks of the 'pain body', an energy field of residual pain and angst that lies in the unconscious.  As the Moon/Jupiter combo taps into this vulnerable place deep in all of us,  it is easy to feel swept under by a wave of feelings that seem to come out of nowhere.

Jupiter is just one of four powerful planets all at right angles to each other ,  creating a 'Grand Cross or Square'.  Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries are currently the key antagonists, with other planets moving into and out of the other corners of the square. Any one corner carries a lot of tension, and all four together form a kind of crucible for the compacted energy forces that are now starting to implode. This has been there in the background for a quite a while, moving in and out of focus as planets step into exact degree.

On April 20 -24, when the Uranus Pluto square becomes exact again,  the energies will  peak for the fourth time in the last two years. Every time they do this, whatever issues have been simmering begin to come to a boil. We also have two eclipses coming up, which will mark significant endings/new beginnings in the signs in which they occur (more on that next week). April is clearly the turning point of this whole year.

It started with last week’s New Moon in Aries setting off a small crack in the grand cross container. This will begin to ripple out and get bigger and wider, until it becomes a fracture. That fracture will break open what has been stuck and immovable for too long, making way for new energies to enter. This is a time of radical change.  Soon, what needs to move will finally move, and there will be no looking back. It has already begun.

Some of us will become lightning rods for this tension, depending on how close these planets are to key areas of our charts.

As emotions get amplified, and the pressure increases, our relationships, and particularly our family relations, could very easily become  areas of contention.

The big challenge now is to become very aware of our emotional reactions and see how they reflect underlying family patterns. This requires becoming present and nonreactive and developing mindfulness. That is not easy when someone is pushing your buttons.

Mercury (thinking, communicating) in Pisces just passed over Chiron, the wounded healer, adding to our touchiness and making some of us hyper-reactive and more vulnerable than usual. Under the current topsy-turvy sky, it is easy to get lost in victim consciousness.

“Being a victim has nothing to do with being a good person. You are already a good person. It need not be earned or achieved. It is your birthright. Nothing can change that. What can change is YOUR perception of self. You can choose to honour yourself based on the truth, or you can choose to believe those who you see as your victimizers. Speaking your mind and setting boundaries with those who do not respect you is a very healthy and necessary way of loving yourself.”           (Planet waves)

Setting boundaries while remaining fluid is a zen art form.  Everything  is about becoming conscious (vs. unconscious),  as we stand up for ourselves and claim our right to be here (and to love). Finding where love really can be sourced is a spiritual journey as well as a very human one.

As Mars moves backward through Libra ( relationships), and activates one corner of the Grand Cross,  it becomes another key player in the current dynamic. Mars is about action and aggression, and under these pressurized conditions, our reactivity to each other heightens.  Many of us struggle with anger issues: how to express it, what to do when it comes toward us from others etc (especially when it comes springing out at us out of seemingly nowhere).  This is an important time to develop some strategies to deal with it.

In martial arts there is a practice called ‘push-hands’. You stand hand-to-hand (or hand to elbow)with someone… and then push forward, and the other person has to maintain contact, while adapting to the energy by balancing and integrating the push (without stepping back or otherwise losing ground). Then they push back and you have to do the same.

That a bit like what we are in right now. It takes focus and balance and gentleness, combined with strength, to maintain our space while allowing others energy to be there as well.
To do so with clarity and love is part of the lesson.

Don’t expect much advise from me in this area. My own Mars in Pisces is soft and overly adaptive; so I tend to be generally more passive aggressive. When my anger finally rears up, it shocks me as much as the other person. I am well in the thick of it right now along with the rest of you.

Teenagers exemplify so much of what is going on right now. While demanding freedom and pushing away from their parents, at the same time they still want food on the table and their laundry done!! Like a teenager, we cling to what is comfortable, or familiar,  while at the same time pushing for change,  eager to enter new territory.

Uranus (the Awakener) in Aries (I am) is the teenager right now...  amping up a need to assert our individuality and bringing the urge to break free from authority, family restrictions, emotional manipulations (real of perceived) power plays etc. Rules will (and should) be questioned. Presumed status is suspect. Nothing is sacred.

“Our era has been defined by falling monuments. The statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down in Iraq gave us "that extraordinary image of him just held in mid-fall". The collapse of the Twin Towers provided "the kind of crucial phenomenon of all our lives, because it was the absolute collapse of the ultimate phallocentric object, and them coming down as though they were curtseying.”                                         Planet Waves

The old way is toppling, and the new way has yet to appear. We are all a bit touchy as we wait to see how things will unfold.

Advice: T
read gently.  Set boundaries but don’t push too hard.   Give everyone a lot space.  Give yourself a lot of space.  Take care of yourself. Nurture yourself. Spend time in stillness. Be kind to others as well as yourself.  (hmm sounds like the Desiderata...)   Take time to be sure of communication.  Listen... to yourself and to those you are interacting with.

And remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.  
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him (or her) to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. 

Be careful. Strive to be happy.
                                         © Max Ehrmann 1927