Reality Checks – First Quarter 2015

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The quarter between December Solstice and March Equinox began  with a new Moon and, just a few hours later, we saw Saturn entering tropical Sagittarius. Following the turning point of the solar cycle these lunar and planetary influences are now emerging with increasing effect. Against the backdrop of the final two squares between Pluto and Uranus, which frame this quarter, we are now poised at the beginning of a sea-change that will unfold throughout 2015 and beyond.

Planetary activation of the fire signs by Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus in particular will give pace and a radical edge to much of the year. But, it is the Saturn transit of Sagittarius, which takes us through 2017, that augers the predominant change of mood. Over the first half of this transit, we will see Saturn’s square to Neptune begin replacing Uranus square with Pluto as the most defining planetary aspect in the field. The first quarter of the 2015 solar cycle is a time in which this aspect will build, but, the lunar pulse through this time is most intriguing, showing us how we can optimise our personal path effectively.


The lunations up to equinox open and close on the cusps of Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces and Aries. These are powerful lunations with the full Moons heavily aspected and, subsequently, the second and third of these will be given their own readings. In the context of this quarter the first lunation sets the template.

The 0º Capricorn lunation point, with Sun, Moon and Earth in synchronous transition into new land, marks this as a clearly defined point of renewal. Far from simply being a time for setting new intents for the year, this is also an opportunity to balance goals against our personal means of achieving them. Neither will this be about staying on familiar ground ~ prepare to expand your horizons over the next 2-3 years! As with any time of growth or journey into uncharted territory, preparation, foresight and provision of essentials is of the highest significance. Each lunation provides a strong focus in which to make the necessary adjustments and, with the Capricorn lunation, the primary area to focus upon is ‘personal power‘.

There will be much clearing of both psychic and physical energy fields in the first lunation of 2015 and looking after your health and well-being will be paramount, not least as this is the foundation upon which personal power rests and becomes manifest. Trust that whatever comes up in this clearing process is right and, while allowing nature to do the work, do take note of what is happening – issues arising within this lunation are indicating areas in which personal power needs attention, especially in relation to how it is applied in the world. Finances and knowledge, as well as health, are very much a part of this assessment and you can here include the strength of your connections, the wealth of support you have across the worlds, in this appraisal as well – this will become especially clear around and after full Moon when Venus and Mercury enter Aquarius.

If you do find deficiencies examine why that is so; this is a year in which you can make the necessary corrections in relation to these and it begins through encountering the tangible evidence. Make good use of the diagnostic tools you have at your disposal and, if stuck for answers or clues, compare notes, seek a second opinion, get a reading and, most importantly, commune with nature – the answers will come; often it is ourselves that is preventing them from being seen. Ironically, when personal power is under the spotlight, it is all too often stoic refusal to ask for help or share our dilema that is the stumbling block!

The Jan 5th full Moon in Cancer is opposite the Sun+Pluto square Uranus and the lunar nodes. If you are feeling a strong desire to break out of current circumstances the key to making this happen is not through force of will, but, through higher guidance and learning. Aim to expand your knowledge base. The three days around the January full Moon can be a profound time for making sacred space and allowing the psychic energy of the lunation to clear and cleanse your subtle and energy bodies. This is especially powerful as, at the highest point of intensity, the Moon conjuncts Sirius, the soul star to our own Sun, and the greater perspective of our own higher self and our chief guides in the other-worlds can be called upon to lead the way.  If you make this connection stronger what you perceive in the process holds the key to understanding just what you have been missing out on being and doing, as well as what you might well be have been avoiding accomplishing, as an earth bound soul.

The time between this and the next full Moon can be used to align worldly means with soul’s natural desire in this lifetime. This desire is an expression of a choice already made in coming here, a choice and potential that may have become overlooked or that you have lost touch with on the journey.

Often enough we resist the soul’s desire because it signifies growing beyond our comfort zone, expanding our being, and involves having our personal power fully tested. Habitual responses alone do not cut it here ~ instinct and courage, as well as sharp intellect and discernment are necessary. These will be elements of personal power that will be needed to navigate the whole of the Saturn transit, for which, we can be assured, Saturn will provide plenty of reality checks to test them out. As distinct from the heart’s desires, the Soul’s desire is a magnetic attraction that pulls us, at the most instinctive and natural level, towards that which is outside of the known, that which we most need to grow into ~ personal power finds its raison d’etre in this.

Soul is the wild animal of our being, and, like all things wild, it is deeply connected with and belongs to the realms of Nature. Over the last few years in particular Nature has become the battle ground in which the misuse of power has become fully exposed. Equally, the roots of Nature’s own power is coming more tangibly into consciousness – in other words, as Barbara Hand Clow puts it, “We are becoming more conscious of the unconscious”. The soul’s health is deeply tied in with the healthy balance of power in Nature, a balance based on mutual co-operation and respect rather than exploitation and usury and, collectively, the growing awareness that we are out of balance is making us increasingly sick at heart of this disfunction. What we do for ourselves, in this respect, helps restore this balance and the impetus to be pro-active in this is aided and abetted by these lunations and planetary matrix. Aligning our own life with Nature has become a revolutionary act of healing!

How we can personally satisfy the needs of this aspect of ourselves and the world is further brought into focus during the second lunation of this quarter.


Shortly after the opening of the second lunation Mercury stations retrograde and, six weeks later, the inner-most planet will clear the retrograde shadow zone, just before the full Moon of the third lunation. This retrograde period will be a test to our collective cohesion, the reality check that could see freedoms of speech and connection across the internet challenged. At the heart of the lunation the full Moon is conjunct Jupiter in Leo, at the head of a yod from Mars+Chiron in Pisces sextile Pluto in Capricorn ~ the evolving complexity of the matrix has the Sun at the reaction point of the yod, quintile Saturn, with Saturn squaring Neptune. We will look to this chart in its own reading, but, the whole issue of aims, goals and self-authority is under the spotlight here. The field for this lunation favours adjusting our thinking, allowing strategies to emerge that support the strengthening of intents. These are intents which allow our personal power to become more focused and put in service to the higher ideals necessary to our times and personal paths. This may also bring up tests upon personal patience and collective confidence. Wise leadership again comes under the spotlight, both as a collective and personal question.

The true test of those ideals and the collective direction they represent begins to come out through the third lunation of the quarter as, at its high point, Sun+Chiron oppose the Virgo full Moon. We can heal the rift between our human and animal selves if Nature is listened to.

The yod to Jupiter is again active, this time formed through Sun+Chiron sextile Pluto, with Mercury, now direct and free of the retro-zone, at the reaction point in Aquarius. The emphasis on leadership has by this time swung to a global perspective and where we find persistent autocratic rule at work there will be vociferous backlash. We will almost certainly encounter this ‘reality check’ as a need to stand deeply rooted in our natural personal power and collectively make our voices heard. The mandate will be to ensure that no stone be left unturned in bringing healing and renewal to the world.

In the third lunation we also find Mars conjunct the south lunar node, close on Uranus conjunct Venus at full Moon. Again, this adds up to a complex planetary matrix, but, spiritual growth is promised if the higher guidance of perennial wisdom is acted upon and followed through. As we approach equinox the voices of the ancestors become strong – utilise their guidance in breaking free of the shackles of the past. Globally we could be seeing some old scores and karmic debts settled here, but, it is the grounded and well informed elder’s voice of reason that will carry the initiative.

The third quarter closes with a new Moon in the final degree of Pisces. This will be a total solar eclipse, visible in totality through an arc that begins south of Greenland and sweeps through the northern Atlantic towards the north pole; Europe, north Africa and much of northern and central Asia will see this as a partial eclipse, but, globally, this signals a moment of spiritual crisis that augers significant spiritual emergence. As the Saturn Neptune square closes, and as Uranus and Pluto square off exactly for the seventh and last time, the pressure will be on to tip the balance on initiating meaningful and lasting change where it is most needed in the world.


We’ll close here by returning briefly to Saturn in Sagittarius as the underlying theme emerging here is in many ways encapsulated in this transit.

Saturn has finally left Scorpio and is bringing the reality principle to bear on Jovian qualities. This brings the beliefs, ideals and philosophies we hold most dear under test of Saturn’s grounding influence. Saturn will transit briefly back into Scorpio between mid June and mid September, but, this will serve to tie up lose ends from what has gone before and to clear our emotional bodies for the greater undertaking that lies ahead.

The positive aspect of this transit will kick-in more fully as the year closes and is exemplified in grounding our greater potential and long held dreams in reality. We can make use of the next three years to manifest those dreams, to undertake the things we have always wanted to do, but, somehow have kept on the back-burner, perhaps in spite of ourselves. This will be the time to break out of this pattern. It will entail hard but constructive work, a sustained focus and will require the commitment to keep ourselves and our goals on track. The benefits promised are immense and, apart from changing how we live on our home planet for the better, the collective need in our times, these are fully in line with the impulse and direction of the lunations through this  quarter.

The bottom line is that we are here to break with the destructive patterns of the past and Rick Tarnas puts this into a much larger perspective when he describes the patriarchal epoch as “the 5,000 year birth canal for the Great Mother Goddess”! We can integrate every aspect of our lives into this process and make it as soulfull and deeply meaningful as it suggests and promises. The ructions will continue, such is the need of the process, but, we can now look to these as the contractions that precede the birth. This is about midwifing ‘the way of the Soul’, in tune with and integral within Nature, to become the template for positive and intentional living. In order to evolve beyond the new age idealism this conjures up, Saturn will bring reality checks to bear at every turn of the road, with the frequency needed to become skilled and imbued with enough self-knowledge to live up to the potential of that ideal.

With Uranus becoming free as the year progresses to innovate and inspire, if this becomes manifest as a collective process, which is now the distinct possibility, it can change the face of human life and our footprint upon our home planet. We probably have a five year window at max before we hit crunch time, Saturn conjunct Pluto in Capricorn. The challenge is to take advantage of the positive up-beat and Saturn’s reality checks will provide incentives to become knowing self-leaders, sovereign and empowered in the process. At the same time, the reality principle will apply equally to global leaders and self appointed autocrats who continually abuse their wealth and power. As the opening lunation intimates, re-balancing of worldly power is the core issue.

Uranus and Pluto’s series of squares have fractured the illusions of reality that have maintained the status quo regardless the collective will, and have exposed the rot at the root of the dominant power structures in this world. While they have not brought outright and decisive revolution, they have certainly brought reality enough into the light of day to incite rebellion and this mood is now carried forward through the lens of Saturn and Neptune’s square across Sagittarius and Pisces. The halmark of this aspect is the testing of the relationship between the limitations placed upon realising the full potential of self-authority and the sharing our visionary and spiritual freedoms.

In the mundane, Saturn rules responsibility and hard facts, and Neptune rules imagination and deception; what those in power stand for they will be held accountable to ~ we could see significant financial and political re-centering and power re-distribution begin coming into being across the globe through this year. If this is to be a renewal of democratised power, a sharing of resource as well as vision, it also rests upon the very real ability of each of us to grow, both in wisdom, empowerment and beyond our comfort zones.

The first quarter of 2015 is where the wheels of renewal are set in motion ~ as has been said before, it all begins in the present, under our own two feet, but, now we stand to see the creative power of the individual mobilised collectively, to decisive effect. The question is who will you be following……almost certainly, the answer lies within.


In the coming posts we will take a deeper look into the esoteric side of the Saturn transit through Sagittarius and, subsequently, how the effects of the square between Neptune and Saturn will change how we see the world.

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