Sunday, 31 August 2014

Play or Penance?

This may have been a tricky weekend for many. The Sun in Virgo is urging us to focus in and get things done, while Neptune sitting opposite is blurring our attention and distracting us with fantasies and dreams. Neptune activates our creative urges as well, and if we can get those to meet in the middle with Virgo, something concrete and beautiful can result.

The Moon (our emotions)  is hanging out with Mars (action) and Saturn (boundaries) in Scorpio (depth) and all of them together agree strongly with the need to get to the work at hand.  

Then again, with Jupiter in  Leo (play), personal enjoyment could take precedence over work  or details.

Which one was it for you?

The Moon in Scorpio (serious) square Venus in Leo (me, me, me) has added inner stress and tension around our social and intimate relationships. Venus in Leo's sense of entitlement 'wants what she wants' and will accept no substitutions. Moon in Scorpio has no patience for this waste of energy. Our emotions can so easily become a battleground in this push-pull dynamic between seriousness and play,

With our feelings (Moon) so  powerfully polarized, a fear of losing control over them may result in repressive behavior. For instance, it could seem easier to retreat from anything or anyone that brings up a strong inner reaction, than face the core issues these reactions point to.  

Saturn in Scorpio can block our own feelings as we do our best avoid situations that trigger or awaken these deeper emotional responses.  Ironically, Saturn will at the same time, push us to take responsibility for the dramas we are creating. Seems like we just can’t win!!!

So Moon Mars and Saturn are busy aggravating our dark hidden stuff, Venus and Jupiter in Leo just want to have fun, and Neptune has us ignoring everyone by distracting us with pure escapism.

It doesn’t want to feel the rejection, judgment or failure that comes to us now via someone we respect or look up to (Saturn). Our pride (Leo) does not like this. Yet through this whole pruning process, if we face down our inner demons of shame, fear, guilt etc , we have a chance to reclaim all the parts of ourselves we have rejected.  Saturn is a hard task-master but also gives us the strength and maturity to face ourselves and persevere to the other side.

I watched a video on Netflix last night about a plant called Ayawaska that is used in healing rituals in South America. This plant brings people into deep trance where they come face to face with buried layers of their psyche. Under the care and guidance of a shaman or healer, they each grapple internally with hurt, fear etc that they had managed to avoid till then. It also puts them in touch with something far greater than themselves. Through a kind of ego death and surrender of control brought about by the power of the plant medicine (not for everyone), many of them expressed a deepened connection to universal love/oneness of all (Neptune) .
 It was that opening that seemed to allow them to let go of the false ego protection that hides so many layers of hidden hurts and wounds. The depth their emotional expression was truly touching…  and was interestingly (and synchronistically)  in line  with the  energies we are surrounded by right now.

I have not experienced this particular process myself, though I have had my own ego deaths via years of meditating.  I am also familiar with12-step programs, where they do a different kind of soul searching called a ‘moral inventory’.  ("Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.")
 This process is to honestly and fearlessly list your own positive and negative traits and habits, and then share them with a neutral person).

Whatever your method, the astrology of the moment is pushing us to do this type of honest inner work. Neptune’s influence increases our compassion as it both softens our ego and links us to the divine.

Though it is not an easy process, letting go can be truly liberating. Once we have faced our limitations (as well as our strengths) and can still love and accept ourselves, we will be more able to forgive and allow for others foibles as well.

‘To thine own self be true, and thou canst be false to any person…’

Monday, 25 August 2014

New Moon in Virgo: 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going!'

Have you noticed a sharpness in the air this past week accompanied by the (sad) feeling that summer is ending? As autumn gradually approaches, it is time to reset and refresh our energy, to let go of the lazy days of summer and gather our plans and projects for renewed effort.

Today’s New Moon in Virgo brings us determination, focus, and an increase in both mental and physical endurance. If we plant our intentions in the soil of hard work and clarity something wonderful is sure to result.

Sitting at the same exact degree in Virgo, the Yin energies of the Moon and the Yang forces of the Sun merge together to form a potent seedtime, where we get to plant new intentions and set new goals for the coming month.

Virgo is a perfectionist who likes efficiency and organization. She can be highly critical because she wants us to pay attention to details and get our shit together.  A New Moon here will fine tune our planning strategies as it gets us making lists and sorting out our drawers, closets or filing systems.

Yet even with this Virgo energy sharpening our attention, there is also the urge to dream…  brought to us via Neptune sitting opposite in Pisces. Neptune can be highly creative, deeply inspiring and slightly distracting. The trick will be to find a balance between our creative vision and the need for practicality.

The  reining in of our wild horses (Venus in Leo) 
will be required and brought about by an exact conjunction of Mars and Saturn (will and duty) at 17 Scorpio, which challenges Venus (our money and our love) who is feeling opulent and spoiled in magnificent Leo (its all about me).

Big hearts, big egos, big dreams (Leo, Leo, Leo) combined with intense passions (Mars in Scorpio) could get us caught in the push pull between duty and desire. Saturn represents the limitations and responsibilities we have to face in life. That is the wall that Mars (our physical drives) has just come crashing into. The message is we must slow down take responsibility for what we do and how we act in this world.

Mars is very rash and impatient and always striving to move forward, while Saturn is very critical and cautious, creating doubts, fears or blockages in the best-laid plans. Together in Scorpio, sign of death and transformation, they are a formidable force, pushing us to

 “make firm decisions, understand the right way to proceed forward, and get rid of the BS and take charge of your life.
 Because this conjunction occurs in Scorpio, there is a battle between the good and destructive use of this force.”
                       (The Mountain Astrologer) 

 Scorpio  puts us in touch with our most basic drives, needs and desires, as well as the shadow created by our denial of same. Mars  pushes us to act on those desires. Saturn forces a reckoning.

So if things feel a bit tense, its because our survival issues may be rising up at the same time we are being put to the test. 

Resourcefulness and perseverance  result from working with these energies in a positive way, or defeat, if we let them get the better of us.

“When the going gets tough the tough get going!!! “

This pressure may make us defensive and too quick to judge situations or people. Avoid rashness… a slow and sure approach is best right now. Keep your heart open (Venus/Jupiter in Leo) and avoid taking sides in any conflict. Give everyone extra space and let many things pass...

Extra note: Virgo also rules health issues, which may be brought to a head under all this tension. At the same time, new solutions will appear  as we find the discipline to take better care of ourselves, set up new and better eating habits, start that daily yoga practice etc.

All in all, this New Moon brings us an intense but promising new start, involving determination and self-improvement, a bit of imagination and a whole lot of heart!

Make your intention and let it be so.

Sky's the limit!

Times of adversity are the reverse of times of success,

but they can lead to success if they; befall the right person.
When a strong man or woman meets with adversity,
 s/he remains cheerful despite all danger, and this cheerfulness is the
source of later successes; it is that stability which is stronger than fate.

She who lets her spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success.

But if adversity only bends a person, it creates in them a power to react that is bound in
time to manifest itself.

Thus the superior person stakes their life on following their will.

No 47. I Ching

Friday, 8 August 2014

Full Moon in Aquarius: We are all in this together!

 This Sunday’s Super Moon is the closest Moon to the earth of the year…(called perigree)  and will appear significantly bigger than usual. it occurs In the sign of Aquarius at 7pm EDT 9 pm GMT etc.

This Full Moon in Aquarius taps into the sacred feminine as well as our collective angst, and we will need our deepest inner strength and courage (Sun in Leo) to overcome feelings of discouragement and despair. (Sun and Moon squared Saturn in Scorpio)

The Moon in Aquarius links us to all humanity and asks us to step out of our self-centeredness (Leo) into a greater awareness of others (Aquarius).

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is the latest horrific example on the global scale of our need for all of the above… as human beings continue to run amok and kill each other (and particularly women and children)  in droves. It can be more than depressing to watch fellow human beings get destroyed by automated drones designed to totally shred whatever they come in contact with. Yet compassion fatigue can result in apathy and resignation if we feel helpless in the face of ‘mans inhumanity to man’.

More personal battles may also be invoking similar emotions as we face off with whatever challenges our lives bring us. This Full Moon is bringing whatever needs to be dealt with into the open, as forcing us to face issues we would rather avoid.

Aquarius is an air sign and prefers to distance from feelings. Though in extremes that is not helpful, in this case the Aquarian ability to step back from excessive emotions can be useful. The current heaviness of tensions with Saturn (associated with lead) can trigger depression, and fatigue, and some of us may feel completely overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) and shift into avoidance.

If this is you, use the Aquarian energy to step back and see your situation from a different perspective. It can help us avoid taking things so personally. Things are often not what they seem. Then again, sometimes they are worse.

The feeling of blockage coming from Saturn in Scorpio can trigger fear and survival issues, adding depth, intensity, as well as sexual tension, causing us at moments to become numb or paralyzed by the immensity of what is gong on.

Thankfully, the warmth and joy of the Sun shining out from heart centered Leo, though tempered by this Saturnine reality check, still has the ability to keep us buoyant in the midst of adversity. Behind every cloud the sun still shines, and even in the greatest darkness, there is always hope.

So while both Sun and Jupiter in Leo encourage and expand  our urge for personal expression, fun, celebration, etc … and put us in touch with the need to celebrate our unique self, Aquarius reminds us that we are linked us to each other, and to what is going on in the larger world.

The Full Moon will bring things to a peak and it also carries the possibility of a breakthrough, revealing strategies that can move us out of deadlock.
In the meantime, this is a perfect occasion for gathering with others… as we all get more in touch with our humanity.

Other astrological aspects emphasize the rising sacred feminine energy that has been long suppressed, making this a particularly good time for the sacred gathering of women… or anything that involves celebrating our feminine side (whether we identify as male or female)… and the great goddess.   That includes celebrating mother nature, mother earth, our feelings, our intuition, nurturing, birthing new energies, dancing singing etc. Music has a powerful transformative power and can take us out of our stuck places into heart centered connection.(Leo and Aquarius unite)

Venus (love relating) is in sensitive and nurturing  Cancer  and both Chiron and Neptune in Pisces continue to bring transformation and healing to our existential pain.

So although Saturn has injected a somber tone to the proceedings, anything we do this Full Moon weekend, with an awareness of our interconnectedness, promises to bring a deep sense of inner meaning and peace.

Peace starts with each one of us. Pass it on!