There’s still a deep chill in the air here in wintry Canada, though the days are definitely getting a little bit longer. Tomorrow is Imbolc, a Celtic celebration marking the midway point of winter … also known as Candlemas. On this day, we light a candle to chase away the shadows as we wait for spring.
Speaking of shadows: Feb 2nd is also Groundhog Day!! My fav! You know…where the huge rodent crawls out of its hole in the ground and if it sees its shadow, it scurries back in for another 6 weeks of winter. I can relate!!
Tomorrow I am going to watch the film with Bill Murray where Groundhog Day repeats over and over till he finally gets it; that he is the orchestrator of his own life! Love it!
Another link to Imbolc is the Persephone/Demeter myth. Pluto, god of the underworld, abducts Persephone, and while her earth mother Demeter mourns, spring never comes.
Demeter petitions the gods, who eventually release Persephone for half the year, and thus spring returns. Yet because Persephone has eaten some pomegranate seeds that Pluto gave her (symbols of sexuality), the gods have to allow him access to her for the other half of the year. Thus our winter season, as each year Demeter mourns anew.
There is so much in this myth that links to our current astrology. It's all about owning our shadow side. Saturn in Scorpio, Nessus (obsessive love) in Aquarius, being hit by Sun, Mercury, Mars and squared by Saturn etc. There are buried parts of the self needing facing and healing, and there’s nothing like a long cold winter to force us underground!
Here in the Great White North, people escape in droves to Mexico or Hawaii to avoid the winter doldrums. Friends in England are finding hope in seeing snowdrops appear. I remember being pretty surprised at the ferocious storms that followed the snowdrops. Don’t be fooled. It’s not over till its over!!
Some of us stuck in colder climes and long winters find ways to stay awake and alert, while others choose to travel deep within the underground realms.
I seem to have chosen the latter, as a long detox process continues to keep me in a low rev. Though I have managed a few forays out for winter fun (skating on a near by lagoon), I do find myself spending a lot of time in inner process. Right now Saturn is sitting exactly on the cusp of my Ascendant... leaning on the side of the deep and mysterious 12th house. This is where the hidden secrets and deep wounding/healing lie. Its been a tricky passage and I will be glad when it is over. The gift of is the treasures I find when I explore those hidden realms. Some days I don’t make the effort, and find myself in a kind of stupour watching too much television and feeling life is passing me by. I do find I have to make a conscious choice to use this down time productively. One can only watch so many afternoon movies!!
For all of us, planetary aspects now are adding to the downward pull, and it takes a strong effort to stay awake and use this energy for transformation rather than unconsciousness.
Every year a kind of death takes place over winter… just like Persephone loses her innocence through her encounter with Pluto. It’s no accident that he is co ruler of Scorpio which represents sex, death and transformation.
Saturn in Scorpio continues to push us to face our deepest fears and taboos, working synergistically with Pluto in Saturn ruled Capricorn, who is busy shaking up the solid foundations of our outer world.
If you feel like both your inner and outer self are under construction, know that the end result will be a better and brighter you, without all that old baggage.
Till then, if you are feeling a bit heavy or under siege, it means there is work to be done. I have been exploring current aspects to the centaur planet called Nessus. Planets crossing over its current position in Aquarius are stirring up dark issues hidden in the wounded corners of our psyches. (as if Saturn in Scorpio wasn’t doing enough) The Nessus story involves abduction, obsession and jealousy, evoking again the Plutonian theme of Demeter and Persephone. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nessus_(mythology))
Facing negative stuff can be extremely daunting. If difficult issues are coming up for you I hope you have support and counseling to get you through it. Hang in there and remember, there is a hidden treasure at the end. Consciousness and healing await all those who are willing to make that dark decent.
Scorpio is symbolized by the Phoenix, who dives into the fire and rises again from the ashes.
In winter we light fires to keep us warm and bring us light. According to Rudolf Steiner, spiritual scientist and philosopher, though everything may look dead and dark in winter, this is in fact a powerful time when so much is developing deep down beneath the earth. Seeds and roots and elemental forces are working hard in preparation for the coming spring. So much is happening that we don’t see.
And hurrah, tomorrow marks a turning point, as we in the Northern Hemisphere are halfway toward the spring equinox. Till then, the planetary energies will be slowly beginning to shift. A lot of water energy is soon going to be emphasizing emotional fluidity. (more on that in my next post)
In the meantime, personal rituals can bring pause and reflection to help us through challenging times. Light a candle and hope for spring … and invite the renewal that inevitably does come.
There is always hope!
Oh I almost forgot! As if to verify this very fact, Jupiter, planet of hope and joy, has just turned direct, bringing optimism and forward movement and positive energy flow. It’s has been travelling backward through Gemini, rewiring our belief systems and getting us to re examine our thinking processes. In fact, at this moment, all the planets are now travelling direct.
They are all calling for us to seize the day!!
Light a candle and let it shine!