Mars – Awakening the Sacred Warrior

Pushing buttons and forging a path can be two sides of the same coin when it comes to Mars influence in the chart, but, positive and negatives aside, the red planet has his foot on the accelerator right now and is asking us to step up a gear on many fronts in the world as we speak. As a warrior archetype the challenge with Mars is invariably to bring the raw power of action into service. Harmonious aspects aid and abet this process and there is a plethora of these forming around Mars progress within the tropical chart at this time – infact it was at the new Moon on the 13th, just as Mars conjunct the Galactic Center, that the positive energy of the warrior began to connect with other planets on the galactic/stellar side of the Earth’s orbit, stimulating the collective archetypes of Neptune, Uranus, Chiron and Saturn within the matrix. The sextile aspects predominate and have given an edge to the bigger issues working themselves out in this world, bringing the immanence of  their numinous power up from the unsconscious and asking us to realise the warriors role, the emphasis now coming very much into one of service. We can feel the energy rising in amongst the events now underway all around us.

Mars is nothing if not eventfull and ‘Events’ with a capital E are where this archetypal influence is becoming most tangible within this lunation – these events are so multifarious and pre-eminantly collective at this stage that it is a challenge to identify where our individual place within them all is, but, they do impinge upon the lives of each and every one of us, which is perhaps central to Mars message at this time. Mars can also be the awakener. However, when Mars conjuncts Pluto on the full Moon/lunar eclipse, we will be able to gain a much deeper sense of purpose and insight into the unified drive that is now at work in the world. Before then, it serves us well to recap what Mars is bringing out through this process of change just now.

Sextiling first with Neptune, you may have noticed especially powerful dreams emerging recently, the influx of an undercurrent of pro-active energy at work as a quality present within everyday life, agendas being pushed, issues gathering the feeling of a growing need to be addressed. In sextile with Saturn the discipline and strategy necessary for putting this need into action is highlighted – we know that recklessness will not bring us resolution and a deeper appreciation of the dynamics between the passionate drive for justice and the necessity of holding form in the midst of action are key, as every warrior knows. Being prepared for any eventuality is a challenge that is fast becoming a reality, as reflected in the square to Uranus, but, the trust in our ability to weather the storm and take the knocks comes with Mars sextile to Chiron. This sextile also begins to clarify the nature of the sacrifices we must make if the changes that we want to see in the world are going to become a reality. The sacred warrior archetype is rising, but, if this defines anything it defines the form, rather than the theme that is now emerging. This too is stimulated in the coming days to become a matter of power management as Mars comes to conjunction with Pluto.

The Pluto conjunction is exact at full Moon, a lunar eclipse of some significance for the coming months, and, where the solar eclipse of the 13th opened the field to the emergence of unconscious dynamics that are shaping our reality from deep within, the lunar eclipse will help us to personalise and embody these dynamics with awareness and meaning. This will need looking at carefully, especially if you have planets at 7 to 9 degrees of Sagittarius or Gemini in your chart…..but, Pluto is also working a midpoint to those aspects already mentioned, so, with Mars joining Pluto in early Capricorn, we can expect the energy to rise in any area of our lives where power struggles and the transformation of agressive energy to higher causes are at work, so look also to the cardinal signs for indications of direct action that we can individually manifest in a positive way now. The  truism that ‘everything is connected’ transcends its philosophical significance and becomes a very tangible reality now. The Sacred Warrior is here the representative of this reality in action.

Pluto orchestrates the alchemical process of change at the root of all worldy power in our times, and Mars turns up the heat on this process – with the mutual reception between Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn, Mars arrival and collaboration with Pluto brings out the importance timing within this firing process. Saturn aids us in regulating the fire…..a matter of increasing pressure while intensely focusing the energy, the pro-active pushes we make through this time will bear fruit when Mars sextiles the Moon’s nodes at solstice…..

…..there is little that is not touched by this process in our world; if astrology can make a difference here it is to stimulate a sense of purpose and meaning amidst an otherwise chaotic and seemingly unco-ordinated process of change and transformation, and who would deny that we are in the midst of such a process. It is a struggle that is being fought on many fronts, but, there is a powerful underlying sense of direction that can also be felt within this.

In symbolic terms the Pluto Mars conjunction is the very image of the Great Mother flexing her muscles – we may not be familiar with Pluto in this role, but, this fact itself is so deeply symptomatic of the process that is now underway. Millenia of suppression and dishonouring of the creative power of the feminine is seeking release and Mars role is to actualise the process and martial the sacred warrior archetype into service to see it through. Big themes, but, themes that touch every aspect of living as we strive to birth a world that is in balance, in which we are in balance. Within this role there is deep appreciation for the immensity of the power that the Great Mother manifests through the living Earth and, with Mars sextiling Venus immediately after full Moon, the possibility of realising the truth of Her love within our own hearts raises the passion of our journey to new and inspiring heights…..

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A Quest for Beauty – Venus enters Scorpio, Sun enters Sagittarius

The astrological matrix undergoes a shift of tone and significant adjustment over the 22nd through 23rd November 2012 – within a period of just 24 hours Venus enters tropical Scorpio, the Sun enters Sagittarius, the Moon leaves Pisces for Aries and, as this is happening, Mars, now in Capricorn, comes into exact square with Uranus in early Aries. Initiating the 2nd waxing quarter of the current lunation, the process reaches a point of culmination in the Mars Uranus square, strongly accenting and bringing an emphasis to the changes intrinsic to the Sun and Venus’ ingress. The tone of the moment suggests that this is a ‘hinge point’, a moment of discontinuity and departure from qualities and characteristics of a time that is now ending. If the eclipse of the 13/14th November opened a ‘time out of time’ this is the dynamic of the emergent energetic field that came in through that opening.

The matrix is shifting gear and injecting an accelerating impulse of energy into the ongoing process. The changes will continue to build beyond this moment, but, by the time of full Moon, the outer manifestations of the resonances at work will have become visible to all. These will reflect back to us and offer a clear mandate for the crucial inner changes needed to bring the new sense of purpose and direction into the world that is now emerging and bring a boost of energy that will serve us as we cross the threshold of the much anticipated December solstice 2012.

Venus role here is one of widening creativity and emotive healing within a quickly sequenced network of aspects as she aspects no less than six luminaries in tight synchronicity over the immediate period up to full Moon. There is an expansive quality to Venus energy at this time, bringing creative energy into a new social context – we can choose to bring the broken promises of the past into a new light, to repair the wounds of relationship where we once knew beauty and where we value this beauty still. Nothing is lost to the goddess of love and beauty if these twin powers are brought to bear in the world – this is a message of profound import for our times. Venus will develop this theme over the coming month, but, now is a time when appreciation can extend to the less than perfect aspects of ourselves, our valued possessions and to Earth herself….there is great healing available in this.

The ingress of Venus into Scorpio also brings the goddess into trine with Neptune, now direct in Pisces. As she moves further into Scorpio, and as she approaches conjunction with Saturn, Venus will come into trine with Chiron. Venus’ dynamic develops further over the coming days as we approach the full Moon/lunar eclipse, coming into tightening sextile with Pluto and Mars, and quincunx with both Uranus and the Moon. What is set in motion through this time will be tested at the full Moon and we will face another moment of deep choice with the lunar eclipse.

Venus in Scorpio also brings a fresh sense of passion and deep appreciation to the creative impulse through which we express our belonging in the world. Re-evaluating the capacity each of us has to draw sustainence from our inherited roots, and doing so in terms of beauty and heart centered values, the trine with Neptune will enhance the sense of spiritual value, the very immenance of spirit we experience in our creativity, within the world. This will be a powerful time for envisioning beyond the known. As the coming days see the trine with Neptune give way to the same aspect with Chiron, the partnership between creativity and healing is very much a center of focus here. The symbol of the broken shards of a beautiful clay pot being re-assembled and brought to an even higher level of beauty is fitting – there is a tradition in Japan of filling the cracks in broken clay vessels with gold, and this illustrates well the energetic values at work here….

…..essentially, there is an ecology of the soul to be gained through this reparitive work – Scorpio is the shadow sign of Venus home, Taurus, and the trine to Neptune can increase our sense of longing and melancholy for the ‘other’, the desire to be re-united not just in spirit but in body, and too know the transcendence of completion. Mending our relationship with Earth is a vital quest for humanity now, one that has an emotional charge and carries both the sadness of seperation and the passion for redemption and reclamation.

We no longer tend to associate melancholy with either creativity or the divine, these are images very much belonging to the great spiritual traditions of the past in Europe and the Near East – for us melancholy has developed a depressive quality over time, an emotional tone that reflects the dehumanising processes of industrialisation and seperation from the divine feminine in Nature. However, if we move closer to source we discover that this sense of melancholy is at the very root of creativity and profound divine love. It is expressed in the longing for union with the ‘Beloved’, the troubadour’s courting of the divine feminine and in the transcendent mystery of conjunctio, so characteristic of immersion in the Neptunian field. The flavour of this ingress is a balm to an ailing world of aggression and conflict and gives an heroic context to the struggle, one that is further enhanced by the Sun’s own entry into Sagittarius.

When the Sun enters Sagittarius a boldness in approach and outgoing philosophy on Life begins to illuminate the field. The search for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, of lost riches and new horizons, the re-covery of values that reflect a broader view on life, and the largess of a philanthropic heart that aims to harness the greater energies of the universe in beneficiant service come to the fore.  This is also reflected in the Sabian symbol for Venus’ degree of ingress into Scorpio…

“Individuals coming from a variety of places and backgrounds “commune” in new awareness of a greater whole of human existence, an organized whole with its own rhythms of multifarious activity. New feelings and an expansion of consciousness result…….”

The key phrase of the Sabian for Scorpio 1 is ‘A Widening Of Experience’……..in times of great upheaval, amidst evolutionary processes and strivings, the call to reach beyond our familiar boundaries and grasp the moment, in all its magnitude, and be lifted into a higher state of engagement in the world comes loud and clear……we might find that the coming times see the energies of the Venusian and solar ingress working alongside each other in the world…..this is a time of redemptive and meaningful action. Being able to see the beauty in the wound is healing of the highest order. Having the heart to manifest that beauty and the courage to protect it at all costs is the flavour of our times as we approach the problems of transition and harness the energy of profound change inherent in the moment…..but, the energy available to us now, if we have the eyes and heart to embrace it, is that of a People in love with Life. This is the glue that binds us and brings a sense of unity to the fight for liberty and freedom from the forces of oppression and destruction at large in the world.

The Forest in the Seed – Sun & Mercury rx at the North Node

While the excitement generated by the solar eclipse is still with us it is now time to get down to the business end of the solar lunar conjunction of November 13th. The tangible deep awe and beauty of this event fittingly manifested the qualities of the Scorpio Taurus axis and the world was treated to some incredible live-feed views that effectively brought the eclipse to the whole of the planet. Being within 4 degrees of conjunct to the Moon’s mean nodal axis meant that while this eclipse had a virtual global embrace it would be a few days into the lunation before the Sun arrived at the NN in 26 Scorpio. That time is upon us and over the next 24-48 hours we will have the opportunity to focus our attention and energy on any issues that came up for us at the eclipse that have touched us at a soul level – this is a prime opportunity for healing and resolving unfinished business as well as taking steps for future growth. This can be an immensely rewarding time if we truly invest in it……visualise planting trees as a medicine practice and you will get the flavour……

The Sun is joined on the NN by retrograde Mercury so the extended moment has a deep meditative character – slowing down and looking within, reflecting on the past few days will reveal the underlying psychological strata of experiences that have arisen over this time. This is quality time for ourselves and our souls journey, a time when Carl Jung’s wise words have a particularly powerful resonance…….

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams, who looks inside, awakens.”

…..the nodal axis gives us access to the balance between our personal history and evolutionary potential and, while the Scorpio Taurus axis is fixed, lending a balanced perspective down the timeline, how we actually see the past and future is entirely mutable, depending upon the condition and quality of awareness present that is observing it. In a sense, this too is in the nature of the Sun, Mercury retro, NN alignment in tropical Scorpio.

Scorpio in particular can give vivid clarity beyond the mundane surface and look very deeply beyond the boundaries of the present, into soul-time. Here quality rather than quantity is the measure and with this particular alignment deep feeling is the function of the inner eye that allows it to search out and see into that place of memory and possibility. Much of the memory end, where the south node is situated, carries the balast of our lives, and this includes the heavy elements that inhibit soul growth as well as the seeds of opportunity for growth that these carry – we can realise those opportunities through conscious awareness and discernement. One could use the saying ‘love it, use it or lose it’ here, but, care should be taken to not be hasty in making these decisions. Conversely, a great temptation is to love the devil you know – but, when the North Node is in Scorpio we cannot get away with this for very long. Eventually something will happen to awaken us out of our torpor and make a move……that is a movement of the soul. It can carry a strong emotional charge…..

Earths incarnate realms is where the detritus, the flotsam and jetsum we have discerned as polluting or superfluous to our needs, is jettisoned – it can only happen here. But, when the south node is in the earth element as well, the effects are very tangible and the feelings that arise in correspondence, through which we can sense the soul-dimension at work, are intensified. The body can manifest aches and pains, illnesses can flare up, as symptoms of the process at work, and they can just as easily dissipate. If they do not pass body work may help, fluid motion and expressive release through dance and movement therapy if the symptoms allow – but, letting go of the emotional qualities you find within these conditions and allowing the energy to flow through you is most important. These emotional values are often not even ours to begin with, but, it is possible to discern which are. Those which aren’t can be both stressfull and stress related and persistent with it, and a release of toxins into the metabolism is natural when these register over time – bringing in the water element here is essential; drink plenty of it. The essense here is to listen to your inner wisdom, the knowing that carries a feeling of timeless certainty and rightness, and act on it with simple trusting love…..compassion for ourselves is, by its own nature, food for the soul…..it will ingite the essential sparks of life-force that seed the forests of our soul.

The gift of this eclipse can be deepand lasting – the unleashed energies belonging to the natural processes that have flooded through the portal in time opened in those oh so magical eight minutes of totality will bear fruit in time. With this eclipse’ influence covering and including the December 2012 solstice and March 2013 equinox the importance of the investment we make of this kind at this time cannot be over-emphasised……use it wisely and be blessed!

Healing and Medusa – Moon’s south node on Algol

With the Moon’s south node on the fixed star Algol in tropical Taurus the time comes to redress the Medusa myth and shed the Gorgon of her terrible stigma……

…..the shedding of skins is a power of the serpent, a renewal and symbolic rebirth in which all that is outlived that has clothed our being is jetisoned from the vital body that lives within. The south node carries this process forward as an in-forming essential function of soul growth. Only that which allows us full expression of our true nature, the natural expression of our vital incarnate life-force, can serve us on this path – ancestral roots can flourish through us when the detritus of the past is shed and we are free to follow the primal intelligence of our spiritual energy in its lightning path of realisation. The nodes show us where this force is directed, the south node where the old skin of previous existances prior to and within this lifetime can be ejected, and the north node where the soul will find its most powerful and empowering expression in this life that will take us beyond the limitations of incarnation and help us to grow into our journey – it is a revolutionary path that, regardless the amount of attention we give to it, will directly impact the very stuff of our lives and, in this, we are all equal.

If there is freedom in this it is of a kind that connects us with the un-formed, the unbounded potential that is available to us all – it is the gift of our direct connection with ‘great mystery’. Following the souls trajectory is both a reclamation and remembering process, and bring us back to the motherlode of all Life, fulfilled, renewed and poised to elect a return on the next stage of our journey, should we choose such a path. It is an ecology of the soul in which the sponsorship of the ancestors plays a vital grounding role, and the degree to which we are able and willing to work with the south nodal end of the process in no short measure affects the degree to which their sponsorship becomes truly effective in our life. The unshed burdens of the past we carry are no less a hindrence to their vitality than they are to ours…..

…..in our times we have come face to face with the consequences of carrying these burdens forward while both disregarding them and adding to them, very much two sides of the same coin. The effect, as well as the root cause of this accumulative process, can be symbolised in the stigmatisation of the primal feminine, the Great Mother. She, whose raw cthonic power has in many myths been portrayed as the threatening dragon or evil serpent, has suffered a collective dissociation that has arisen through a prolonged rejection of the solar hero’s own shadow. The dragon is slain rather than re-integrated, let alone understood, as a result. Not only has She become the object of this rejection, its own antithetical qualities having become projected onto her body, image and archetype, and in the process the solar hero himself has become cut off from Her. We find this reflected back to us in the Medusa myth and Algol is the star associated with her. In the ancient tale of Perseus and Medusa a much deeper root is submerged and hidden, its symbols and their meanings distorted and inverted to favour the Hero and, in the process, serve the partial truth behind his actions. In severing the Medusas head with its writhing hydra like hair of serpents He not only claims Her power for the solar born goddess Athena, thus symbolically shedding himself of the responsibility of facing his own denied relationship with the innate power of the Great Mother in favour of her solarised reflection, he consigns her power itself to the shadow role – Athena carries the Medusas head as a defence against infringement of the sacred laws she presides over. These are primarily the ‘civilised’ laws of a world in which the anthropomorphised divinity is seen as carrying the ethical and moral responsibility of ‘governence’, starkly opposing the ‘uncivilised’ primal, natural, and ultimately all encompassing laws of Nature, most deeply embodied in the Great Mother. She became the Gorgon whose powers were to be overcome and cut off at the root…..we live within the aftermath of this divine archetypal schism.

…..resisting the reality of our past, not being able to look it in the face, will turn our own lives to stone and bring everything to a grinding halt…..

…..but, the reality of the hero’s act is that it is paradoxically a crude attempt to reclaim and re-integrate Her power. It fails because it does not honour Her, the now darkened aspect of the Great Mother, but instead, by objectifying it, cutting it off from the vital body that feeds it, that gives it reality and life force, He makes it ‘other’, a blatant if unconscious act of dissociation rather than integration. Dismembering an archetype however does not kill it off; it remains active in fragmented and diverse forms and continues, alive within all that lives. The hero’s acts, his very quest and attempt at self-fulfilment is, by its own nature, framed with denial, but, this is not beyond the scope of healing, even so late in the day for us. If, as the underlying resonance of the myth suggests and the south node empowers us to do, we face up to the stigmatised wounds, shed our prejudices and the old conditioning around them, and can come to a place within ourselves where we can accept Her and once more allow Her to integrate within Life, then a miraculous thing occurs – we discover that She is the bringer of Life, alive within the vital body of Life, and She has ever been thus, ever present with us, infact, the hero is rebirthed out of Her very substance, transfigured and sponsored with a renewed and meaningful purpose, one that allows the soul to find its own truth, vigour and joy in life….both collectively, for each of us and our home planet this augurs a time of great redemptive value – this is Her time.

Journey into Wholeness – Saturn trine Chiron

A beneficial trine between Chiron and Saturn is closing to exact as we approach the New Moon of the 13th November. We might normally associate this trine with the breaching of blockages that have hindered progress on our soul path, and with Saturn in Scorpio  and Chiron in Pisces, the emphasis is on emotional healing, especially that which is funded by the spiritual realms and which comes through deep imaginative processing. Much of this energy is about staying present with the process and allowing to surface that which we instinctively know will allow our spirit to fly free of its karmic baggage. This can carry a strong emotional charge, so care should be taken to see that we have the support we need to carry it through.

This sounds like big medicine in the global context, but, it can also work on the micro-scale at a deep cellular level. For undertaking personal work here sound baths and vibrational medicines will be particularly helpful in this process, as will mantra yoga and drum and rattle work that carries us beyond the limiting structures of our everyday consciousness. One of the most important apsects of this work through the trine energy is that our intentions for undertaking the work are clear at the beginning, so that, crucially, we are able to let go into the process fully once the ‘journey’ has begun. Creating a clearly defined sacred space for this work at the beginning is also highly important, so calling in the assistance of our most trusted guides, mentors and allies in healing is highlighted. In undertaking soul centered work with a healer, both in councelling and shamanic work, it is good to choose those who are especially experienced in working within the spirit realms. Saturn and Chiron working together can assist us in making these choices.

As this may imply, the prevailing conditions are highly suited to soul retrieval work, especially as two unique factors will also be contributing to the qualities of the energies involved in creating them. The first is Mercury retrograde…..

Much of this work can be undertaken at will, through choice, as the calling comes to us, but, soul work of this nature carries a timing of its own, the ‘calling’ emerging from outside of the chronological timelines of Saturn’s realms, being sourced beyond the realms of personal consciousness and choice – we ‘know’ when it is time, the ‘kairos’ moment. This is the quality of time at the crossing point between the worlds, and one of Chiron’s gifts as a bridge maker between the inner and the outer planets. If the calling for deep work does not arise, it is best to wait and focus on simple recapitualtion and meditative practices. If it does, we can capitalise on these approaches in the time that follows the heart of the healing work. Either way, Mercury’s retrograde period after the 6th gives us an opportunity to take advantage of an internally focused quiet time, to integrate the fruits of our healing work and contemplate the ramifications of this re-integrative journey.

Secondly, Chiron is currently crossing Saturn’s orbit, moving away from the Sun and entering Uranian space – the realms of the personal unconscious. Assistance from divine sources is here becoming more available through the path that Chiron is opening up. In both recovering vital parts of our spiritual essense and in clearing away the blockages to this process, through doing this work we will be in a strong position to take full advantage of the doorway of opportunity that the Solar Eclipse will swing open for us at New Moon. This is an opportunity for reseting our path in line with our integrity, as a deepened expression of our personal truth.  What we uncover now and bring understanding, awareness and compassion to will shift us beyond healing and towards re-integration of life force that has hithertoo been beyond our grasp as we approach the December Solstice. This is a time for letting spirit guide us in bringing innate potential and revolutionary changes into our world through the profound and lasting changes we ourselves are embodying. It is a journey into Wholeness in which our inner light can shine with genuine fullness in the world.