Friday, 1 February 2013

The Turning Point

Imbolc/Candlemas/Groundhog Day

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. (

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!

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away--
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing--

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

T.S. Elliot


  1. This post has influenced me personally. I too, have Scorpio in the 12th house and that is where Saturn sits. For the previous 2-3 years, Saturn was in my 11th house and Sun sign Libra. It has been the most difficult years of my life and I do fear facing the Depths of the unknown. I have experienced deep wounds and desperately need healing and renewal but I have almost given up. I feel as if this is life and I should accept it and live with it. There have been times when I tried to adjust or redirect some facet of life and for awhile it looks like it may work and then something happens, usually unexpected and I'm back where I started. I can't seem to make even the smallest gain or have a sense of peace or happiness.I am looking forward to Saturn crossing my AC and Jupiter moving into my 8th house Cancer where it will conjoin my natal 5 degree Uranus.At least there something, anything will happen.

  2. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Please don't give up. What you are in is the kind of transition that can feel overwhelming, yet can be the making of you (if you survive it lol). Having Saturn on your Sun, then now in the 12th, and also meeting itself there in a Saturn Return .... whew!! That's a lot! 12th house and Scorpio energy are not easy, as the 12th house is the most hidden and mysterious part of our chart. It is all about transformation and healing the deep self. With Saturn in the 12th house, the weight of past emotional trauma can feel like a cement block around one's neck. Thing is, you have been carrying it all your life. Saturn Return means everything is coming full circle. The lord of karma's job is to get you to face it and work with it...hopefully to release it for once and for all. Not easy. We often react to Saturn with resistance and foreboding, especially in the 12th house. The Persephone story really relates to a 12th house decent, so reading the whole story might be cathartic for you. There is a lot of symbolism in that story that might be helpful. And remember, Spring does come in the end!

    Also, having a reading can also be really helpful. Knowledge is power.Plus it's very healing having someone to talk to about what you are going through. The positive thing is what doesn't kill us makes us stronger!! You will be amazing by the end of this. (and if you want to talk about this, my contact details are on the side link.

    I wish you peace.