Monday, 29 October 2012

Howling at the Taurus Full Moon

Today’s Full Moon is between the Sun at around 6 degrees Scorpio and the Moon opposite in Taurus.

Taurus is mother earth, the Great Mother, representing  harvest, fertility, abundance, sensuality. She pulls us down to earth and helps us connect to our roots. Taurus nurtures.

Scorpio takes us to the edge, to our depths, to our fears, our sex, our death, our taboos and our obsessions. Scorpio transforms.
Full Moons represent polarity and tension between the unconscious (Moon) and conscious (Sun). At this Full Moon we will be pulled between our need for safety and nurturing and our need to transform.

The existing polarity is even more pronounced due to the added oppositions between Venus/Uranus and Mars/Jupiter.

This is intense, feisty, testy energy that may erupt in flare-ups and stand offs, or it could energize dynamic expression in a variety of ways.  It all depends on how we use it.

The New Moon two weeks ago in Libra highlighted the necessity to find harmony and to balance our need to stand on our own with our deep instinct for connection and relationship.

As this Moon cycle peaks now, the current oppositions will challenge us to accomplish that balancing act in our connections with family members, or work contacts, with lovers or long-term partners, with friends or enemies. Anyone we encounter now can set off these polarizing tendencies.

 Oppositions create an us-and-them mentality that results in situations where we have to choose between opposite parties or sides of an issue, or between commitment and freedom.

Venus opposing Uranus is stirring things up by demanding space; its instinct is to escape, to be free.

Feisty Mars in Sagittarius is itching for adventure … while its juxtaposition to Jupiter in Gemini sets off opposing ideologies and belief systems. This could result in a war of words that goes on and on, with people getting all blustery and acting like know-it-alls or zealots. Others are obsessed with rebelling against those horribly dogmatic or condescending a**holes!   

Everyone feels (and will argue to prove) that they are right.  (remind you of any current political scenarios?)

Satisfying the urge for freedom inherent in these aspects, while at the same time honouring our deep need for close connections becomes a tricky tap dance.  Choices are sometimes hard to make.

Should I stay or should I go now. If I stay there will be trouble. If I go there it will be double"           The Clash

There are many ways to work with commitment that do not equal containment. But it helps to sort out the differences between desire and jealousy, devotion and possessiveness, or a shared creative purpose versus a control drama. They often get confused.”    Eric Francis (Planet Waves)

Yes, easy to get confused when the Moon in Taurus opposite Sun (plus serious Saturn) brings out our need for security and comfort while simultaneously  taking us way out of our comfort zone. Its a challenge for sure. Both Taurus and Scorpio are possessive signs, and both are intrinsically loyal, yet Taurus is more naturally trusting, while Scorpios trust no one and are known for their jealousy and control issues.

This Taurus Full Moon could  therefore set off unconscious emotional issues that manifest, for example, in attempts to control others (Scorpio) in order to maintain a sense of security (Taurus). Paranoia, another Scorpio trait, can be triggered by even the slightest hint of that Venus/Uranus escapism, setting off accusations and counter accusations.

Saturn in Scorpio will ask us to grow up by facing our deepest fears and to stop projecting them onto others. 

On the other side of the sky, the Taurus Moon helps us to trust and relax  and to savour the richness of each encounter. 

 It might be a bit of a challenge to deal with these two very different energies… nothing like a Full Moon to bring out our issues!

Relationships are such powerful mirrors and can be used to see where we still have room to grow.  Whatever I react to in you says more about me (most of the time) than it does you. Though this is definitely a steep learning curve, it is also a great opportunity to develop self awareness through mindfulness. Just watch your reactions. Note them. Accept them. Learn from them. Then let them go.

It’s not always easy to do that. … so much easier to blame and project onto others…. especially in the current self-righteous atmosphere. (there’s a saying: when one finger is pointing at another, four more are pointing back at you…)

Yet despite this tendency for standoffs and ego clashes, the dynamic friction created by so many planets facing off has the potential to be channeled into positive outcomes. Think of a combustion engine. The energy created by continuous explosions in each tiny chamber can be harnessed to create forward movement.

No tension, no movement.

These oppositions also represent where we are struggling with the duality of our own nature.  We all contain Yin and Yang, masculine and feminine energies. Dark and light.

Oppositions provide us  with the chance for integration as we find ways to meet (ourself) in the middle.

Maybe one side of us that wants to escape (Uranus) our relationship (Venus) or at least have a little more space or freedom, and is in conflict with our deep feelings of insecurity and the need for comfort (Moon in Taurus).

Or perhaps our sexual needs hook us into a relationship that really doesn’t serve us or offer any true security or commitment. 

Maybe we mother and feed everyone (Taurus) but are afraid to ask for what we want/need/desire (Scorpio)

There are so many ways we can end up in these push pull situations, and as the Full Moon shines a light on these things may come to a boiling point.

A plus side:  with so much steam in the air, and all that Taurus/Scorpio frisson, the sensual and erotic will be activated …  which gives us a lot of potential energy we can use in oh so many ways!!!

Full Moon howl: ooooowwwwwwww!  


Saturday, 20 October 2012

It's all in the Neurons

Mars in Sagittarius is moving into an exact opposition to Jupiter in Gemini. This is about aggressive beliefs, blustery ideas and feeling absolutely sure we are  “right’.  In keeping with the strong Jupiter and Sagittarius emphasis right now, today's post is about the science and philosophy of belief.

 I just watched an interesting video (link at bottom of page) about the neurons in our brains and how they form patterns of thought and behaviour.

Apparently, it is the very nature of the brain’s left hemisphere to label and box things in a linear, rational fashion. This side of our brain has a drawer for everything we experience; it needs to define things very specifically and it is hard-wired to do that. When we are in left brain mode, it is much more difficult to receive new information that challenges those logically defined set of files, drawers etc .

Because the left brain remains an inherently closed system that has been programmed a certain way, it is hard for this part of us to think creatively.

The right side of the brain, on the other hand, is designed to do just that. It sees holistically and three dimensionally, so can perceive and process data that is outside the box, enabling us to experience more than our left brain logic could allow. This intuitive part of the brain takes us beyond the file system and allows us to access new information in a new way.

The book Drawing on the Right side of the Brain applies this understanding to teaching art.  Artists who are naturally right brained may display intrinsic drawing abilities for example, yet they can be taught to almost anyone through right brain development.

Creativity, meditation, music etc all allow us to step outside our more rational and programmed reality to access alternative layers of experience. 

A key point in this is not that we don’t need the left brain.  Of course we do. Yet because the right brain is able to see more sides of an issue, accessing it can help us become more holistically attuned, and therefore hopefully more accepting and aware of difference (things or people that don’t fit inside our boxes or labels).

In contrast to the separation and division of linear thinking, creative development can increase our connection with each other by helping us step  outside the place we store judgements and limiting core beliefs to connect to the greater whole.  This right brain approach is much needed in our adversarial and war driven world.  

Especially right now, as current astrological dynamics are increasing the polarity between the rational mind and intuition, exaggerating our attachment to beliefs and causes and  increasing our judgmental, holier than thou attitudes. 

This tendency toward polarizing opinions and righteous indignation can get us into trouble, so  it is really important to be be hyper aware of how this operates (ego) and also to recognize how our conditioned beliefs can limit us from seeing the bigger picture.

Ironically, Astrology itself can fall into the category of belief system, and can easily become just another bunch of concepts and explanations; another way to define everything so we can feel in control in the midst of our chaotic lives. 

Explanations can actually deaden our inherent curiosity and openness to life, rather than expand it.

Of course that would be defeating the higher purpose of Astrological study, which is to help us see our patterns so we can become more awake and aware.

Yet the danger inherent in any form of study is that that words and concepts do have to be processed through the left brain, and it is very easy to stop there and be satisfied with what is merely a new and more exotic set of labels.

At its best, Astrology helps us step outside our existing belief systems and stretches our perception to include the archetypal patterns that underpin our very existence.

The planets are mirrors of , and triggers for , the cosmic energies that course though our very being.  The real goal here is to encourage self-reflection and self-awareness. 

Everything we are looking for is inside of us.     As within so without.

Monday, 15 October 2012

New Moon in the sign of Love (Libra)

 Today’s New Moon kick starts a fresh energy cycle and highlights the next phase of our emotional development. Moon cycles remind us of the eternal circle of life, always arriving back from where we came, only to move forward again.

Round and round the circle we go… dancing, dancing, to and fro….

A New Moon is a Sun Moon conjunction, where the Masculine (Sun) combines with the Moon (feminine) to bring about an  alchemical union called the ‘conjunctio,’ or “Sacred Marriage”.  With the merging together of these Yin and Yang energies, all of life is balanced along the negative/positive axis, which is a source of great energy.

 The new energy  born of this union ripples out into our lives, carrying our intentions  forward.  In the sign of Libra, connections with others will be activated, as the New Moon brings a surge in the 'urge to merge… '

A benevolent aspect from Jupiter brings expansion and joy, creating the potential for a positive re-visioning  of our relationships. If you have a wish to find love, or to improve your relationship(s) this is an excellent  time to put that out into the universe.

Just remember to be careful what you wish for.

We all know that illusions abound in the land of romantic love. Right now, aspects to Chiron and Neptune bring both healing and deceptive elements to the energy field, making it prudent to  wipe clear those misty visions enough to examine what is  fantasy and what is fact.

Healing can now come from facing  lost parts of us  (often reflected in others) that need so much love (Venus, Chiron).   Self-examination and inner refection yield high rewards. Relationship is a spiritual path. Believe it!

Libra is represented by the sign of the scales. The New Moon here brings us face to face with an inner polarity that is reflected in our need for another, versus our need for freedom and autonomy. Finding that balance is not always easy, especially right now when the pull toward merging is so strong at this time.

Yet Libra is all about finding that balance and harmony, so rest assured, there is mega support for us for us around our love connections.

People often ask for readings to see how a relationship will work out. While it is almost impossible to predict outcomes, one can get a lot of information about relationship dynamics by seeing what planets have lined up in what signs etc and how they relate to each other. It is always fascinating to explore the planetary dynamics that describe a bond that has pulled people together.  Seeing what is operating between two charts can provide understanding of not only why you chose that person but how you can work with the energies flowing (or not) between you. Outcomes often depend on our level of awareness.

Knowledge is power.  

In today's chart, the combined energies  of the Sun and Moon  create a dynamic charge that we can all tap into.   We must remember that the sacred marriage is ultimately within the self.  Personal alchemy is about healing inner opposition/fragmentation to form a greater whole.

A few days ago a good friend who practices native spirituality explained some aspects  of the sacred pipe ceremony.  The pipe bowl represents the feminine and the  stem is the masculine. They have a ritual of putting the stem into the bowl four times to signify the sacred joining of masculine and feminine energies.

The  pipe is then offered up to spirit with prayers and smoked. The inhaled smoke represents the holy breath, the source of life, which needs the masculine and feminine to be joined together in order to be utilized.

I will leave you with that beautiful and sacred symbolism, which is totally in keeping with this New Moon in Libra, where we seek to find balance between self and other,  and between polarized aspects of our own being.

May you find the center of your being where true love resides and all is one! 

Make your intention now and let it be so.

 If you knew yourself for even one moment, 
if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn't slumber so deeply in that house of clay.

Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! 

For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, 
and always have been. 

Didn't you know?

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Times They Are a Changing

Here in Canada it’s Thanksgiving Weekend. 

The recent Harvest Moon marked the gathering in at this time of year as we prepare (in the northern hemisphere) for the coming winter.  Tomorrow or Monday families gather for turkey (or tofu) dinner and good company, to express our Thanks for each other and for all the good stuff in our lives. We celebrate all we have and give thanks for the earths bounty.

 Happy Thanksgiving from Canada.

Astrologically, things are a movin’ and a shakin’.

If you have been feeling bored or blocked, or just plain frustrated by how slow things have been all year, you may have noticed that finally things are moving right along.

The first half of the year many retrograde planets caused that feeling of being held back or stymied. Plans were put on hold; agreements re examined  and relationships went though an overhaul.

Slowly things have been shifting forward and the recent repeat of an exact Pluto Uranus  square lit up the atmosphere with an almost  palpable drive for change.

This week, four personal planets change signs. Venus entered Virgo on Wednesday, Mercury and Saturn slipped into Scorpio together yesterday, and Mars charges into Sagittarius today. This marks some major shifts in energy, as things really start moving forward at quantum speed!

It may take a while to adjust; that’s a lot of changing energy all at once.  Apparently it is rather unusual to have so many personal planets changing signs (all within a five day period) and it is all happening against the background of the ongoing Pluto Uranus tensions, which alone has been heating things up.

This is definitely a time  where personal and global transformation intersects on many levels, and these sign changes will bring new fresh input.

Virgo will ground and stabilize Venus love energy, Scorpio will deepen and intensify our thoughts and communication (Mercury) as well as our need for limts and boundaries (Saturn). Mars in Saggitarius will inspire our sense of adventure and ignite our drive to change the world!
All the planets currently moving  make immediate aspects to Neptune as they change signs, which in itself is highly significant.

Neptune, currently in its home sign of Pisces, is calling us back to our source, it is calling us home.

I have written a few times about how Neptune in Pisces signifies a general atmosphere of spiritual awakening, just in time for us to (hopefully) save our planet from imminent destruction.  Neptune rules the seas, the unconscious, the soul… and both Neptune and Chiron in Neptune ruled Pisces are bringing waves of deep creativity and healing energy to help us through these crazy times. 

It also shows up in the melting ice caps and rising sea levels which will drastically change our world in a very short time frame.... or trigger escapism and addictions if we try to avoid facing the reality of it all.

The spiritual aspect of the Neptune influence occurring right now can bring palpable, inner experiences as we undergo a process of profound transformation and change on both inner and outer levels.

The Pluto Uranus square  will not be a quiet revolution. Look around the world as people stand up and ask to be counted. Tensions abound as many struggle to have their voice heard. It can be tricky to find sure footing in  uncertain times of change.

As everything on the planet (and in many personal lives) begins this much needed and rather major overhaul, Neptune represents the eternal and unchanging heart residing in all of us.

The Neptune link creates a strong pull to find sanctuary against the storm,  urging us to connect to the bigger picture. It reminds us that all of this upheaval and transformation is part of a greater awakening and is worth it if it puts us in touch with our deepest soul longing.

Creativity, dream work, meditation etc can all help to connect us at this time to our intuitive, less linear side, as we are  called,  just for a moment, to leave logic behind and trust that our inner voice is as valid and as real as what we see on the outside.

Knowing what that inner voice is, and testing its reality, is going to be important, as we are prodded and poked by Saturn, the planet of karma, moving through Scorpio for the next 2 ½ years.

While Neptune pulls into the depths of our soul, and stimulates our creative and visionary side, Saturn in Scorpio will ask us to walk our talk and make those dreams and visions into something concrete. It wants us to get real.

Scorpio, ruled by Pluto, god of the underworld, is associated with sex, death, shared resources, taxes. Saturn here is about the stuff we don’t like to talk about and the issues we wish would go away. Saturn in Scorpio is intense!!

Called the Grand Task Master, Saturn’s placement shows where there will be challenges and tough lessons. It gives us structure, boundaries, and maturity by forcing to own up to fulfill our duties and responsibilities.

Also associated with Chronos, the personification of time, Saturn is linked with karmic cycles. The seven year itch is one such  cycle, as well the seven year learning stages often used in education (each 1/4 of the complete 28 year Saturn journey around the zodiac)

Ever heard of Saturn return? At ages 28/9 and 56/7, the karmic planet returns to its original degree in our birth chart, brings us face to face with our ‘stuff’!  Those of us approaching our first or second Saturn return now have Saturn in Scorpio and will be especially attuned to this transit. Major decisions, choices, changes will ensue.

Saturn also represents authority and father figures, duty and rules; time and restrictions, structures and systems. Wherever it travels, we are asked to hunker down and take some responsibility.

The last few years that Saturn has been moving through the sign of Libra, many a relationship or partnership has been firmed up or let go as we  sh** or get off the pot!!!

In Scorpio, Saturn will dig up deep issues, as our survival instincts come to the fore.  Struggles with sex and desire,  power and control, shared resources (money issues) like inheritances, legal agreements etc, will put many of us under great pressure or scrutiny. Any lack of integrity or dodgy dealings will come to our attention under this transit.

As can be expected, this kind of exposure is not always welcome. When Pluto (ruler of Scorpio) passed through Scorpio IN THE 80's, stories of incest and sexual abuse filled the headlines as  people seemed to suddenly remember what had been forgotten or repressed. Though some immediately tried to deny the validity of what was being exposed, in general it was a positive (if difficult) process of finally and often publicly facing stuff no one wanted to admit was happening.

Right now, Pluto in Capricorn (ruled by Saturn) echoes this energy in other ways right, as abuses of power are coming to light more often, and despots and unfair systems are being exposed almost daily it seems.

In a general way, Saturn asks us to take responsibility, to grow up.  And there is no playing around in Scorpio.  This is the real deal.

All of the above changes and challenges will help us grow by us/forcing us to take stock of how we operate when our survival instincts are triggered!   Is it through blame and shame? Power over/power under etc. Saturn can also create resistance. It may show us where we resist transformation and growth.

As we go through the next couple of years, we can align our root chakra (Scorpio) and step into integrity (Saturn in Scorpio)  which will ultimately empower both ourselves and others.
Meanwhile, the newly shifting planets /signs will bring fresh energy to move forward with. It’s all for our greater good to help us renovate, renew and revision our commitment to life, to each other, to the planet.

And as the Neptune aspect awakens our higher selves, lets make our choices from a more enlightened awareness, from a deeper truer self, rather than from fear based egos.

This is it. This is our time. 'We are the ones we have been waiting for.'

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
                                                                                 Marrianne Wiiliamson