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Uranus In Taurus 1 – Freedom From The Known

First Things First

You need to decide at some point in your life whether you are more in love with what you know or what you don’t know.” (1)

This is the first of three articles which unpack the seven year transit of Taurus by Uranus, ‘the change maker’. The aim is to look unflinchingly at the prospects which this transit holds for us. Being unflinching above all means remaining grounded and allowing the power of the moment to speak to us and flow through us.

With Uranus involved anything is possible. We can expect everything from revelation, inspiration and profound transformation to shock, trauma and extreme disruption so grounding also means acknowledging the objects of our fears without giving way to fear itself.

Taurus is the primary matrix here, Uranus the catalyst – it is our own experience and nature, who we really are at root, which makes the difference.

The nature of our insecurities and the power of ‘attachment’ are among the many things that Taurus can teach us. Through Taurus we learn how love and appreciation can give value to ‘the things’ of life, a primal lesson which helps us to ground in life and goes towards developing a worldly sense of self.

The true test of such value is in whether we are able to change our perspectives and sacrifice the objects of our desire for a higher set of priorities. Through Uranus such ‘values’ and the ability to love and appreciate in which they are founded are taken to another level, re-prioritised regardless our intent.

With Uranus it is not unusual for breakthrough to be accompanied by breakdown. This can arrive fully loaded and uncomfortably ‘up-close’, in fact, rarely with Uranus does the reality we breakthrough to resemble our expectations. But, while Uranus can truly show us what we are made of, it can also push us beyond our limitations and reveal aspects of ourselves which we did not know existed. Uranus challenges us to grow.

So what happens if we choose otherwise, to hunker down with what we already know, so to speak – where growth, or Uranus, is resisted or the need for growth not being met, oppression and depression will often enough flag up the imperative need for change and, until we do, we might well feel as though Saturn is weighing down on our lives.

In our times this test has begun to take on a particular shape.

Initially, Uranus is briefly visiting Taurus, giving us a taste of what is to come, before returning to Aries in November 2018 for five months. The brief reprise of the Aries transit provides an invaluable opportunity for a recap; Uranus then begins its uninterrupted seven year transit of Taurus in March 2019.

Bringing the potential for transformative experiences to the sphere of fixed earth this will be a transit of two distinct halves and the qualitative difference between these two periods is pronounced.

The first period is marked by a sustained square between Uranus and Saturn, the second by an equally sustained trine between Uranus and Pluto with Neptune sextile both at their midpoint.

We must go through the rigors of the square and learn as much as we can from the experiences it brings before we can truly make the most of the trine which follows.

An Overview

We are looking ahead, into a period that begins in 2019 and extends through to 2026. Why does it matter now?

With Uranus in Taurus until November we are in a preliminary zone to Uranus transit proper and also have the opportunity to re-assess Uranus seven year transit through Aries; it will then be 76 years before Uranus visits the cardinal fire sign again – from this perspective alone this represents a unique moment in time which provides us with the opportunity to adjust our thinking, with at least some awareness of ‘what is coming’ to hand.

Consider how the world has changed in the last seven years.

It is a contemporary truism to say that much in the way modern humans run human and planetary affairs suffers from chronic short-termism – the world would look very different were this not the case. Much now rests upon humans ability to change this state of affairs.

If we took ‘the longer view’ more often, incorporating it into our choices and vision of the future could we have been better prepared for that period, made better choices, and if we could, would we be better prepared now for whats coming in the next seven years? These are small timescales, manageable but a microcosm of the longer view we should be taking. It is as if real foresight and preparation were alien to us.

As we enter the first phase of Uranus transit we might find ourselves confronted with the need to decide whether it is better to rely on tried and tested ways of meeting the challenge of these times, or to allow change itself to change us. If it hasn’t been registering on our personal radar already, the value of foresight and preparation will soon become more apparent.

The Saturn Uranus square however brings a deeper alchemy to Uranus transit of Taurus; we must also consider the problem of ‘the meeting and synthesis of disparate forces’, a truly Uranian paradox with, potentially, a surprisingly Saturnian outcome.

Synthesis is not impossible between these two planets, they are after all considered by many to be the co-rulers of Aquarius. Common ground between them reveals that there is, in fact, nothing covetous about astrological Saturn or Uranus. Both involve a stoic disregard for the sentimental, if through very diverse means. Theirs is a curiously abstracted world, for all its physicality and direct impact, and between these two planets a higher level of choice must be consciously resolved.

In synthesizing these common elements a startlingly clear qualitative picture of our future is revealed. As dispassionate as it appears, it seems our future has a clear cut if not razor sharp edge to it. We need to look carefully at this prospect and decide what it excludes that we regard as essential, priceless and most desired. To consider how these elements will be integrated by us into our future, and discern what shape their synthesis might take, is our responsibility.

Would that the choice between Saturn and Uranus were so clear cut. The square will pressure us, challenge us to choose first, ‘pushing our buttons’ in the process. True, one choice leads downward, towards the already manifest world, the other upwards towards a world about to come into being – but this is not unfamiliar territory as there are many times in our lives when we must choose between the security of the known, with all its comforts and seemingly life affirming affiliations, and the outright thrill, the life renewing charge of the unknown, its promise of risk and growth, its innate sense of adventure and discovery. At a micro level we may not even be aware of having chosen one way or the other.

Although Peterson, in the quote at the head of this article, gives the decision a somewhat heroic stature, it is not unusual for the unconscious to be the arbiter in this choice, or to be the place out of which synthesis arises, and Uranus can facilitate direct experience of unconscious content.

Interestingly, a comparison between the predominant relationship that humans now have with nature and that between humans and the unconscious reveals that, to a significant extent, they mirror each other. The contemporary caveat is that whereas the unconscious is the primary field out of which synthesis can emerge naturally, humans suffer the same sense of alienation towards both nature and the unconscious and do not easily identify with the unconscious and its creations. The reality of their existence, like much of nature, for all our knowledge and insight remain a mystery to us.

After millenia of divergence between the mind of nature and human consciousness humans have adjusted to an experience of life which inevitably revolves around the fact of separation and the experience of not knowing. We primarily compensate for the insecurity this evokes with ‘progress’, rather than integration. Technological progress has not only contributed to this state, it has been fueled by it, a vicious circle that has further divided the world, primarily in terms of those who have access to technology and those who don’t. Neither is this simply a reflection of uneven distribution of wealth and resources; much of the technology which arrives in the public arena has already been far surpassed outside of the public realms.

Identifying, perhaps out of need, more readily with Saturnian certainty, such divergence carries pathological weight and humans are, for the most part, in desperate need of reconciliation with the powers of nature. This is a need central to their own well-being, a healing process in which an approach towards synthesis between the unconscious and conscious self is sought, wholeness being symbolic of something resembling their reconciliation. At the core of this process, which we are all involved in, consciously or not, is reconciliation with the shadow, with rejected and denied aspects of ourselves.

In medicine work this is an essential step, intended as an empowering experience as it is a step which once taken remains to be taken, familiarity with our own shadow dynamics being essential to its empowering nature. Uranus again provides ample opportunity for us to develop the much needed familiarity.

Such synthesis does already exist, has been integrated into human culture before, and can yet be found, primarily at an individual level, but humans have lost claim to it as a species. The Uranus transit of Taurus brings a glimmer of hope for its recovery.

Peterson, however, wants us to make a conscious choice first and foremost, to let our passions speak reason, and in so doing, for us to sense the intelligence behind the life force, the direction in which it is flowing in within our lives. Although these are choices which are constantly present, he is suggesting that when pressured into awareness, as when Saturn and Uranus are at odds for example, these are decisions we come to at those critical junctures where we sense a certain irreversibility about the outcome of our choice. They mark watershed moments which affect our lives thereafter. This too reveals the quality of the moment we are now entering.

Lessons In Choice

This quality, of irreversibility, has been building since Uranus first met with Jupiter on the Aries cusp in 2010; coincident with the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, this was a time marked by a Uranus Saturn opposition. Something began to change then, as if a decision had been made somewhere outside of the human sphere – if a line had been crossed, this was its consequence.

If we had seen previous disasters connected with the power generation industry escalating we were still living very much under the shadow of Chernobyl. The human response to what was probably the worst disaster of its kind known of at that time, was to go for Saturnian ‘containment’; in the aftermath, acting as if our knowledge and an exclusion zone was sufficient, we carried on regardless.

At Chernobyl’s Saturn return, some 30 years on, ‘containment’ and the reliability our knowledge was showing its weakness. The concrete casing erected to enclose the stricken power plant was found to be decaying and it became obvious that a new solution would be needed. Once again, however, containment was chosen, and a new ‘improved’ metal shell was devised to attempt cutting the radioactive core of Chernobyl off from the outer world.

If present technology is the determining factor here, ironically it is the lack of Uranian inventiveness and insight that is lacking; a classic example of humans once again showing the limited degree to which they are capable of learning from history, and failing to see the elephant in the room, some would argue ‘deliberately’.

The sealing of fate, as it were, was determined even more indelibly so however when Uranus finally entered Aries for its seven year transit of the cardinal fire sign in March 2011. This time has been irrevocably forged within present and future human history, no less so than through the catastrophic meltdown at Fukushima.

A quarter of a Saturn cycle after the event, Fukushima’s devastating impact on the biosphere and human life is still denied for the most part – once again Saturnian thinking has prevailed, this time equivalent to containment of the ‘shocking truth’, truth which has Uranus written all over it. The radiation cannot be contained this time.

This time we saw Saturn oppose Jupiter, suitably mirroring the polarity of the dynamic surrounding Fukushima, and found Uranus squaring the Moon’s nodes, just as it is now doing.

At the time of Fukushima the north node was separating from Uranus; now they are converging, as are we with an inevitably transformative future. In fact, Uranus will meet with the lunar north node in the second decan of Taurus at the midpoint of its seven year transit. Humans are far from impervious to the realities reflected in this subtle astrological factor, however.

In our times we face, and know we face, a great need. If these are rapidly developing times, with focus split many ways, while some issues may appear forced the uncertainty of what each day will bring is considerably ramped up. When there are simple answers, quite often there are no simple pathways to realizing them, especially when dealing with ‘planet sized’ problems.

Which, we must ask, is being reflected most here, Uranus or Saturn, and which would help us most; while our decisions become more crucial, such a foretaste of their dynamic is invaluable to us.

We know that the scale of these problems can no longer be downplayed, or the decisions they demand of us deferred to some ‘more suitable’ time.

Peterson’s choice is similarly based on a such a need; the longer it is not met, the more imperative it becomes – not choosing Uranus does not avoid it, neither can we sidestep Saturn. The lesson that needs to be learned from history here is that ultimately not only are our choices partial when we do make them, but our methods of choosing are not up to the task.

Through making either/or choices we create an either/or world.

Uranus and Saturn do provide some insight here – even though the apparent irreconcilability between Saturn and Uranus can be answered in two very different ways, it too is always about letting go. On the one hand is letting go into sufficiency and security, on the other is letting go of sufficiency and security.

At first glance these appear to be very Taurean issues. If both involve a specious ‘freedom’, the chosen outcome of the one reflects a very ideologically grounded conservatism, almost the epitome of Saturn, while the other reflects an untethered and potentially evolutionary radicalism. In fact, Uranus was famously described by Jeffery Wolf Green as the planet associated with ‘freedom from the known’, and there-in lies one of the psychological and emotive underpinnings of these times.

Uranus will test our insecurities in all their forms through its transit of Taurus, and especially under the square with Saturn, until we allow the values which inform how we meet those insecurities to be determined anew.

It is, at base, a matter of learning respect, at its most fundamental level, not as it has been learned in the past, through force and threat, but, through deeper insight and understanding, the higher level of Taurean love and appreciation. A glimmer of Taurus opposing sign can be seen at work here, but, more on this further down the road.

The Politics Of Experience

Collectively, humans have shown that working with this dynamic of choice presents a major stumbling block; history, distant and recent, tells us that the mechanisms for expressing unified and liberating choice are either brutal, inadequate, blinkered by the demands of the moment or are simply overridden in time, even in revolutionary contexts. There are few exceptions but outcomes are short lived, easily upturned, and often enough are shown to have been underwritten by deception, the shadow side of the human predilection for storytelling, a predilection we have developed, curiously enough, as a way of being more deeply involved in the story of which we are already a part.

That the shadow should so readily enter here is indication of an open or at least ‘latent’ wound, primarily one connected with the delusional consequences of inner division, consequences connected directly with disempowerment and suppression of  the free spirit and natural state of the soul.

In this time, and very much in this vein, the shadow can often be seen lurking beneath the agendas of globalism and extremist ideologies of the far left, and right, just as much as it can be seen in the past which surrounds the founding of constitutional rights and ‘the Republic’. The Uranian qualities of the libertarian mask all too often conceal the Saturnian authority of control and hierarchic intolerance.

Nothing, we should realize, is immune from the shadow, any more than it is from challenge or reform, but, in the human world the most powerful defense of values will always be found where individual liberty and choice is undermined in the process.

We should remind ourselves here that the rights of ‘personhood’ are now simultaneously being raised in defence of both Nature and Corporations, a simultaneity which very much fits the Uranus Saturn dynamic. We would also do well to remember that political democracy had its roots not in the casting of votes, but in the drawing of lots, a very Uranian means to deciding Saturnian ends. (2)

Individually, however, the personal power of choice, even under duress, remains. Even in democratic application, and even though it is equally open to falsehood, at an individual level such power of choice is also more readily informed by conscience and awareness. At the same time, whereas the crowd tends to embody consensus, the individual is a lightning conductor for inspiration and the unique.

Such is the nature of the human spirit; it is essentially Uranian by nature, and knows and carries within it the true meaning of freedom, transcending the Saturnian boundaries between death and life – it is no accident that, historically, it has been subject to heavy suppression and dis-empowerment; its innate power will always present a challenge to the status quo.

It is no accident either that Uranus and Saturn are so deeply connected with the changing of the Ages. The dynamic between individual and society will take on new forms and create new structures to abide in under the Aquarian template. Old ways will inevitably fall away in the process – the question here is how much will humans be able to let go into and integrate their own decisions within this process.

Saturn will be in Aquarius squaring Uranus in Taurus through the first half of Uranus transit. The future we can envision may well be limited by the extent to which we can envision it, but our ability to envision it will be dependent upon radical transformations that we will see within the earth sphere. (3)

As above so below, as within so without, risk is at the core of the choices we make and this psycho-emotive reality lives within us, we know it and feel it. It is one of Uranus calling cards.

Even though Uranus is antagonistic to Saturn’s stability, paradoxically the way through Uranus can in fact lead to stability, realised at a higher level; if the choice is left to spirit, it will always choose the path of ‘freedom’. Discovering the ‘how’ of this is a part of the gift these two planets offer at this time.

This will be the focus of the third part of Uranus in Taurus; however, before we go there we must take our diagnosis to where Uranus brings change to Earth itself, and an entirely different form of ‘freedom from the known’.


(1) Quote attributed to the psychologist Jordan Peterson

(2) The drawing of lots, or Sortition, was used to elect the public officials who served within the city states of ancient Greece. Its underlying rational was that it effected absolute equality through its process.

(3) Although I do not give much weight to the planetary rulership of signs in these articles, where it does make sense here is in considering the rulership of Taurus not through Venus but through Earth itself. I have borne this in mind throughout this interpretation; however, in the article following this short series I will be exploring one of the themes arising further, through an astrological example set by Venus which is particularly relevant to the Uranus transit of Taurus, namely ‘initiation and “the mysteries” ‘.


Illustrations

Top : “The Space Between” by Rob Purday, 2015

Second & Fourth : Butoh Theatre, Sankai Juku

Third : “Skeleton Woman And The Hunter“, an illustration
by Rob Purday & Nooshka Storm, 2012

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Practical Magic

eagle-hunter-mongolia

The first Full Moon of 2017 illuminates the night skies on January 12th, reaching its height at 22°28′ of Cancer, 11.38am UTC.  The lunar disc reflects the radiance of the Capricorn Sun and is squared by Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries, together forming a grand  cross that is resonant with confident and inspired energy. Its a good time to embark on establishing something new.

The possibilities for  expanding upon our foundations, being inventive with and exploring new horizons in our lives now benefits the support that comes from feeling at home with ourselves and in our element, itself a reflection of the domicile Moon.

The strong presence of feminine archetypes, coming notably through the asteroids and smaller celestial bodies that accompany some of the major planets at this full Moon, are here assisted by the masculine energies, and indicate that it is the creatrix within that is activating our souls and pushing the boundaries of possibility.

But, the key element in all of this is the practical magic that naturally arises from being able and willing to let our personal light shine, illuminating our lives with real purpose. Being at home with this inner magic brings an openness to new possibilites – with all the planets direct over the next month this is a time to step more fully into our power and trust in our ability to embody a positive influence within the world.


Amongst the grounding elements which accompany this open minded and forward looking full Moon is Saturn’s trine with Uranus from Sagittarius. Saturn has a beneficial influence on Uranus impulse to break free of the past and embody our creativity in the present, giving it worldly form. This is where the magic happens, in the moment, when we are unencumbered by ‘what has been’ and are not distracted by hopes, fears and anxiety for the future, when we are fully present with our selves.

Mercury stationed direct in late Sagittarius on January 8th. Sagittarius is the sign of Mercury’s detriment, so, with Mercury having turned direct and on the cusp of Capricorn at full Moon a clearer focus is now becoming available that will allow these distractions to fall away and assist in this grounding. Inner connections are being restored and personal integrity renewed.

The Sun is also close on Saturn’s south node in Capricorn, a subtle further indication that it is through being true to the well grounded magic of our personal power and gifts that we can burn off the restrictions of collective conditioning that have dimmed our inner radiance in the past. There is much now happening in  the world that reflects this process at work, the exposure of suppression and subversive controls coming into the full light of day, and the drive to establish equanimity, especially in relation to imbalances between the ‘feminine’ and the ‘masculine’ are at their center ground.

This is nowhere more visible than where injustice and inequality prevails between men and women, in so many aspects of life, but especially in issues of ‘power’, the relationship between ‘power-over’ and ‘power-to’, macht and kraft, and we will feel this most strongly where we encounter limitations on our personal power and how it is expressed.

Nodal influences of the outer planets are epochal by nature, and I would include Saturn and its nodes in this context as we are seeing the accumulative effect of millenia of that particularly masculine manifestation of Saturnian ‘control’ surfacing now, coming ever more under scrutiny. Pluto is within 3° of the Sun at full Moon and has been applying pressure to the foundations of the most outmoded expressions of this culture of control, dissembling its structures and eroding its influences, in its present Capricornian phase since 2008. In fact Pluto is also chasing its own south node in Capricorn and will catch up with it in a couple of years, bringing this long process of transformation within the institutions and politics of power to a head, reconstituting their past by forcing their karmic shadow into the present.

Saturn’s north node in Cancer is 2 degrees beyond the exact full Moon, suggesting that while we are on the cusp of an emancipatory period, at this time it is out of the work we do in giving integral form and balance to our personal power that the foundation of a more caring and equal world can be built – not necessarily a new focus for us, in our era and current lifetime, but one that is very much of the moment.

Venus is also bringing a strong nodal influence into this full Moon, being conjunct her own north node at 8° Pisces as we enter full Moon, so there can be no doubt – it is the women who are leading the way. Venus in Pisces is in exhaltation and the feminine spirit is resurgent. She is also conjunct Neptune, domicile in Pisces, and together they are otherwise unaspected. This conjunction is infusing the entire field with a visionary reminder of the value of passion and how love can shape and influence the world. The source field and the creative spirit that is its expression are also pushing the boundaries of possibility. Go to the waters, listen…..and give thanks.

The full Moon is also aspecting Chiron by trine in Pisces, further grounding the transformative spiritual potential we have available to us. The power of self confidence, the willingness to go beyond our own boundaries and to take the leap into the unknown are emphasised here – the practical side of trusting in our own spirit’s power to endure all and prevail. In the days around full Moon consider what your own passions and gifts truly are, how they are and can be most fully expressed, and let them be the guide.

Mars will join Chiron on the 17th of January, on his way to meeting with Uranus, and together with Chiron Mars squares Saturn throught this full Moon period. So allow yourself the space to gather your energies and direct them towards a higher goal through this time. This focusing of the masculine energy will serve best here, a spiritual re-alignment with our purpose and purposefulness.

The opposition between Jupiter and Uranus is now in full swing – they too tell us that we can gain much by opening the doors of possibility in our lives now, and will see the scope of our thinking and ability to relate expand as a result. I will be writing more about this in the coming months, but the focus brought out by the beginning of their 12 year cycle in 2010-11 has already been covered in previous articles and, having had time to observe their first exact opposition (the first of three this year), a clearer analysis of its most active forms of expression is now becoming available. The ecological theme of their cycle and focus in issues surrounding energy production and consumption have been very much in the spotlight over the last few months, and nowhere can this be seen more clearly than at Standing Rock which stands as a clear example of how the prevailing conditions can be and are being met. This is going to continue to be a clear focus for the coming year and, lets remember, it was the women of Standing Rock who arrived there and set up camp first.

And then there are the asteroids…..amongst all this expansion and personal growth a certain mental accuity is becoming more prevelant, and necessary, and the finer influences at work highlight both the dynamics and possible stumbling blocks that are intrinsic to this process. While this is a great time in which to really begin shining our light in the world, it is no time for self-serving egotism….that will backfire, immediately, in the present planetary climate. There is a process of differentiation at work here – as distinct from seperation; neither is this a time for condemnation.

Juno is conjunct Saturn in 22° Sagittarius at full Moon, tempering the patriarch with a just hand and reminder of the sacred laws that govern relationships – their trine with Uranus in the 20th degree of Aries is made the more exact by Eris at 22° Aries, tieing Eris very strongly into the grand cross. Eris is a dwarf planet who, astrologically, brings an extra level of impulsive and reactive energy to this trine. Not much escapes this nexus of responsive and catalytic awareness and, as we are seeing in a very Uranian way, the reaction time to injustices and degree of tolerability surrounding them, within the internet especially, is diminishing continually. It represents a kind of quickening that is becoming exponential through Jupiter’s opposition with Uranus. The current ‘witchhunt’ that singles out ‘fake news’ as its target, especially in the ‘alternative media’, is itself a prime example and is rapidly backfiring on its perpetrators, the MSM and their masters – if we can learn anything useful from this, it is that we have and can access an innate ‘higher sense’ for the ‘truth’ that cannot be subverted so easily now; it is our prerogative to use it and follow it, not least as the more we do, the stronger it gets, as the fake-news fiasco is proving.

At the shoulder of Pluto we find asteroid Magdalena, while at the side of Mars, his co-ruler in Scorpio, we find Borasisi, one of the astrological Centaurs.

The divine lover and the alchemist of the zodiac make for an intriguing couple, suggesting a revision of spiritual sexuality to be at the very root of the planetary transformations we are seeing – in union with Uranus and Jupiter’s opposition this may come across as a collective awakening of kundalini like energies, but, Magdalena is already present in each chakra, as an awakened psychic energy. The re-emergence of the goddesses of old as active agents of change within our midst is no imaginary matter; we are talking the ‘realism’ and ‘real magical power’ at work within it all – the Goddess does not deal in anything but practical magic, when it comes down to it, and the karma of centuries of priesthood is crumbling under the pressure of Her re-emergence. It is only a matter of time, but, Magdalena is highly intuitive, representing the embodied feminine psyche turned on and tuned in at all levels, and this is where the real transformation is now at work – that same realm of intrinsic magic, and power.

There are many breakthroughs coming amidst the breakdowns now and this time marks the beginning of a sustained period in which the latter begin to more fully prevail. We will see more of this manifest as the second quarter of the year progresses, but, Uranus is injecting much energy into this process from Aries, initiating new ground for us to build our futures upon, and Jupiter in Libra is emphasising how mind expanding and liberating this can be, when we allow it….it all sounds great; so what could possibly go wrong….

Borasisi and Mars in Pisces bring a piercing ability to penetrate the veil and understand the nature of illusion into active mode here as well. The astronomical Centaur Borasisi is a neighbour of Pluto and shares some of Pluto’s more masculine astrological qualities – with Mars these are doubled. The personal power we have to cut through the crap is heightened here, bringing a higher level of self determination based on our own incisive insights. We can gain a stronger vision for our future from this. But, this can also be provocative and, in the wrong hands, push us to ‘publish and be damned’, and to press the red button of our own intent and purpose, no matter what, all of which may sound like a dangerous facility and energy to have at our disposal. And, ‘there’s the rub’….in the midst of the prevelant energies is there any reason this energy cannot also be made to serve the higher good, and goal – right now, the answer to that question rests with each of us, and our ability to let our light shine from within, without impediment, or self doubt – Borasisi and Mars tell us its time to banish those shit-fairies! And, more importantly with Borasisi and Mars, this is not about displays of ego either – where we see those driving the agenda, they too will be seen through. We simply have to be who we are, knowing that the power of our gifts is enough.

If anything our inner luminosity is boundless, and this is an energy that rests not on the light of our inner drives, but, of our soul. It is at its best a spiritual matter. This is also the energy that, in ceremony, sets the clearest and strongest intent to that end. When the masculine is in service, in this sense, it can work wonders…..and, with the feminine, bring them into being. This is what we are, wonders, and this is practical magic.

Be well, and shine on…..

Looks Within Moon

This is precious time for us, a time of reconnection and unity in a common purpose – to hold to the sacred as protectors and guardians of the unbroken thread of life that unites us all. In the north the fires are lit that mark the opening of the bone road, between this world and that of our forebears. In the south it is the first flush of the pregnant world that swells the seed within the flower and calls us to nurture hope within the world again.

When the new Moon is born at such a time it augers deep healing and brings remembering into our lives. The Scorpio Moon invokes memories and emotions to this purpose, sourced within the most mysterious unchanging aspects of creative energy as it flows into life from its source – its ability to transform and inform, to survive the journey, to survive all; great courage and a will to live can be found in this. It infuses our lives with a sense of belonging that is braided into the most fundamental roots of our being.

In connecting with Neptune’s energies this Moon brings the vision of our spirits alive within this regenerative place and reminds us of our own true purpose. It holds the vision of our future at its heart as it connects at the opening of the lunation with the Moon’s nodes.

It reminds us that the knowledge of life and death is rooted in the heart and womb, the power and true value of feminine wisdom within our world – Venus and Saturn square the Moon’s nodes showing us how this power informs and holds steady its true value for us as living souls.

Through Uranus square with Mars the power of discovery and inspiration are born under this Moon, opening possibilities for new pathways to be forged and encouraging mindful appreciation of the directions we are taking. There is great power for healing at work in this, as Mars sextiles Chiron. This can bring us closer to each other and lend our workings in the world the powers of the subtle realms.

Mercury runs before this Moon, carrying the radiance of the Sun that is in the hearts of the children, and the illumination of their deep untarnished connection with the source. Jupiter stands at the midpoint of Mercury and the Moon’s north node, squaring Pluto,  bringing optimism to our vision for the future, and spreading the power of recognition that we all share the same source, are all related.

But, it is the ignition of the great fires of creation, the source of connection with the divine known more fully to those who have passed before us, which can bring this Moon’s greatest gift to us. In this our common ground and deepest source of inspiration can be found when we look within, our connection with the worlds within this world and the mind of nature.

Within this Moon a powerful elixir can be invoked, for healing, connection and belonging, a salve for our times that is at the heart of the elder wisdom gifted to us by the Looks Within Moon.

The old ones, the wise ones, lit the fires of dreaming under the Looks Within Moon. Gathering the people in as the fires were lit they brought out their bundles, the sweet medicine of their stories, carried from the time of the first fires, carrying the flame of the last fires. Their eyes upon another world they would feed us with the warmth of their own soulfires, and tell us of the dreaming Earth, Her love for Life and of us, her children.

In this Moon there is a longing to reunite with the luminous core of our belonging, our longing to be at one with the deepest and most meaningful aspects of life, and to give thanks for the gifts we find there. It is a Moon of deep feeling, of reaching into the settled stillness of things, to allow the warm inner radiance of belonging to infuse our own roots. At the heart of all things, offering the promise of return, it is the sweet medicine of Earth that calls us to gather around her central fire, to remember this fire burning within our selves.

Memories of Life, of lives once lived that yet carry pain, can be healed in this time, its salve, rememberance of times in which we have known the radiance of our own soulfire, its joy and warmth, and the healing balm of coming home to our heart and hearth, our Earth.

In our time, amidst uprooted lives and damaged life, the casualties of war and manipulation, pollution and illness, this deep feeling can be raised to unite us in passionate invocation, for protection of all that matters most, for unity and deep rooted solidarity as guardians of the sacred, of each others lives, and the lives of those yet to come….

…..and, in this place we can ignite another fire, our own center fire. Its gift, the shared warmth of an elder wisdom that still burns with a passion for life, made rich through lives lived, that in the deepest core of our selves yet lives on. Its presence can be summoned, can unite us all in its knowing beneath the Looks Within Moon.

In the northern realms our bonfires hold a memory, of a journey we have all taken along the bone road, the road of return and communion with our ancestors. Old and young come together here, around this ancient fire – the elders might gather and give counsel, themselves children amongst the spirits of the ancestors, holding an unbroken thread of belonging. The old songs are sung reminding us of our roots, our grounding and role as guardians of the sacred Earth.

Our children are honoured here, around this center fire, their voices the sound of fresh springs and running waters, reminding us of our sacred duty to life, a certainty that all the suffering we endure has a purpose. They remind us that they are our future, our guides as we walk this path of responsibility, strong and united in the courage and commitment to protect and nurture new life, to keep the thread unbroken. In every childs face is the elders dream come home, Earth’s dream in our midst once more…..

……if the fire is lit and the way of Earth’s dreaming is brought back into the village, new beginnings can be made, founded on wisdom and courage, connection and responsibility. We can rise to the challenges of life with assurity. Our voices can rise within these beginnings and be as the sound of wild bees, drawn home to make the golden honey of truth in our world, restoring in life the sweet medicine that lives in each of our stories……use this medicine well to bring healing to the forgotten ones, the orphans of circumstance and greed, to bring recognition and respect back into their lives, and ours.

This is the time in which the Earth enters her dreaming, as the shadows lengthen in the northern realms and falling flames of ancient sunlight lay their gold, tawny and red blanket upon the Earth, as the flower’s dance with the sound of wild bees and feel the breath of the Sun Spirit swelling in their hearts in the southern realms.

At this time……ignite the fires of belonging with this medicine, for those who have gone before us, who have come into our midst again, and those who will come after us – they will tell us who we are, will help us to remember why we came here, if we look within and hold this prayer at the lighting of our sacred fire.

Even amidst the turmoil and uncertainty that surrounds us, one simple flame can hold the path open for us at the time of the Looks Within Moon, and bring us back to the center, the radiant still point at the eye of the storm. This is a talisman of continuity and rememberance, of the creative energy we carry, the generative power that unites us all. We can invoke its power for the healing we know is needed, wherever it is needed, whether it be our own, or others less fortunate than ourselves, or of the ancient guardians themselves, the wise beings of our natural world. We are all one in this. Be of good heart loved ones, this is Earth’s gift…..under the Looks Within Moon.

Failing Magnificently

nine samuri

“The creative adult is the child who has survived”
Ursula Le Guin

Growing Pains

The August lunation opens with the new Moon at 10°58′ of Leo in the tropical zodiac. The Sabians tell us that this degree augers “spontaneous activity of the innocent mind”, a creative energy that loves to explore the possibilities of life, is open to the future, but whose outlook is still ‘green around the ears’ and easily swung by emotional energy. This childlike energy belongs amongst the people as awareness of something of great significance emerging into our world; but we do not know at this point what it is, the shape it will take, more that it is immanent and happening, an upsurge of ‘spirit’. It is a playfull energy that can inspire, wants to run free and yet, at this stage, is also vulnerable, needs to be ‘protected’, and the aspects to this new Moon bring out the tension generated between these qualities.

In traditional ways the elders, in their wisdom, will let the children play freely, but, will always keep an eye out for them and be there when reassurance, compassion and the wisdom of experience is needed. Its a community approach that values uniqueness, young and old alike. The Sabians clarify this, telling us that the role of tradition and grounded knowledge which the elders signify offers valuable protective space for the as yet ‘young’ to flower in. But at new Moon the Sun and Moon are in aspect to Neptune and Saturn whose own antagonistic square is actively breaking down the old to make way for the new. ‘Tradition’ and ‘the orthodoxy’ too is being tested out in the world, the tried and tested is giving way to the ‘unknown third thing’.


We are looking at a handover of power, from the old to the new, from the established formalised ways of the older generations to the innovative ways of another, younger age group under the stars. Walt Whitman captured something of the underlying sentiment at work here when he said,

“When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in
columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams,
to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomerwhere he lectured
with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wandered off by myself,
In the mystical moist night air,
and from time to time,
Looked up in perfect silence at the stars.”

The mutable square between retrograde Neptune and Saturn carries this flavour at its most philosophical level and this square has been at work since late 2015. It will continue through this year to revision our knowing and understanding, to challenge our beliefs as well as our capacity to mature, to step into the “mystical moist night air”. Neptune’s pervasive creative resource can be very otherworldly and Saturn’s knowing conservatism very down to earth ~ they are not in easy relationship. Goethe also captured something of the dynamic in their ambivalent relationship when he said “talent develops in tranquility, character in the full current of life”. For our dreams to grow beyond the known we must be prepared to take risks and accept the ‘breakdown’ as a part of the ‘breakthrough’, before we can build new edifices for our mores and ethics, our invention and learning. And, as Sarah Ban Breathnach tells us, “playing it safe is the riskiest choice we ever make”.

Walt’s tiredness with the old mechanical view of things was enough to inspire him to follow the call to a far less jaded and self-congratulatory place and commune in more innocent rapture with life. There is a deceptively naive beauty present at this Moon, both raw, knowing by instinct, and clarified in its knowing, the more clearly to see and experience Life. It is the soul nourishing innocence of one who has survived and taken their inner child with them for the journey. We too must trust that knowing and enjoy its mature transparency.

But, as Mark Twain said, “loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul”, and while the energy of the lunation may have a fresh and forward looking quality to it, the emergent awareness is also telling us that we are no longer able to rest in innocence and are waking up to those aspects of living in which we must find a new freedom, one that feeds rather than defines or delimits the creative expression of our souls.

In trining the new Moon retrograde Saturn also gives us the benefit of a more positive protective quality. There is a co-creative element at work here too, in that the creative energy is crucial and must be allowed to develop through its own experience and wisdom, given the space within which it can feel safe enough to take risks. Here Saturn’s more maternal archetypal qualities are revealed, those belonging to the all embracing mother goddess as Crone, ‘She who knows’ and within whose compass all arises and resides.

The Moon and Sun quincunx both retrograde Neptune and the Moon’s south node, and here culture and tradition is being pushed to re-envision itself from within. Antoinne de Saint-Exupéry captured the essense of this aspect well when he said, “if you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t asign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea”. If the ocean of imaginal creativity is to be explored we must have more than simply the means to do it; we need the passion, a sense of calling, and the willingness to set sail from the safe harbour of the known, the Moon’s south node. This node can provide us with vitals, essential supplies, talents for finding our way by skillful means and charting new territory, but, they do not represent the end in themselves – to some large extent that ‘end’ belongs in the ‘lap of the gods’ and the fair winds they may or not assist us with!

Pattern Recognition

In astrology this threefold aspect complex is called a ‘pythagorean triangle’, and this one (involving planets; the Moon has been triggering this aspect many times through this period) is the last of nine that have been peppering the planetary matrix over the last three months. The ‘uncertainty’ it embodies comes from the quincunx, an aspect in which an incongruity arises, a lack of relationship that calls for a new level or quality of consciousness to prevail; the ‘necessity’ is expressed in the square, where dynamic interaction between two different but clearly defined ways of approaching a problem is at its most difficult, in which the process itself needs to be raised to a higher level, regardless the outcome; the willingness to go forward together is expressed in the trine, where a continuous interchange of energy underpins the process and lends its qualities to the outcome.

Together this configuration of aspects brings a sense of uncertainty, necessity and willingness to ‘taking the leap’ together and the lunation will carry this forward in a positive way, if we give expression to its creative energy, allow its process to unfold while holding the tension embedded within its dynamic. In the words of Rabindranath Tagore, “when the string of the violin was being tuned it felt the pain of being stretched, but once it was tuned then it knew why it was being stretched”.

At a time when the entire gamut of worldly life is feeling the tension of this unavoidable process at work this lunation can be seen as a potential watershed, a place beyond which, if its positive side is nurtured, the emergent ‘new thing’ will begin to come more fully into view. To do so we will need to keep our eyes on the trends and currents that are emergent, to look for the patterns they are expressing, and build this ‘pattern recognition’ into our knowledge base, the better to navigate and work our passage. We will not see the pythagorian triangle again for a few months so the field is changing now and both ‘the inspired’ and ‘the experienced’ must work together, to keep an eye on the ‘weather’, and how it is changing. And that includes the emotional energies we are experiencing, together and in our own lives. We must not allow ourselves to fear, either failure or its consequences, but, the creative persistance that will prevail if we trust ourselves enough to make the leap, is the best quality we can bring to working through this time with the energies of this lunation.

Ice Cave Aurora

Falling Awake

As I write this the Moon is forming a pythagorean triangle with Neptune and Saturn from tropical Cancer, close to the degree of the last new Moon, and the sense of culmination is growing. It is a sense being enhanced through its quintile with Jupiter, 72° away in Virgo.

Jupiter is now opposing Chiron in Pisces and quincunxing Uranus in Aries. This is an aspect pattern that pulls us into a healing space that needs us to center ourselves in the unencumbered present, the kairotic moment represented by Uranus, for its fruits to be delivered. To do so these aspects too calls us to bring a new level of consciousness to bear, to pay attention to our wounded nature, to mature beyond the past and its grave errors and allow the moment to reveal the inner meaning of our history. Much of this revelation centers on invoking the creative energy of the lunation through practical means, and, Venus in late Leo at new Moon aids this release very creatively through trining Uranus and quincunxing Chiron.

This is about letting go of past hurts, while being able to accept our wounds, errors and limitations, so that we can not only mature as people but enjoy the collective freedom our hearts know we desire by embodying it creatively. It is a complex of aspects that supports the lunation’s matrix for growth, while bringing it into a more personal space. Go with your hearts desire but, as the Chinese proverb has it,  ‘be aware of your mistakes in the beginning!’

Buckminster Fuller once said, “Nature is trying hard to make us succeed, but, Nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment”, and with Pluto trining the Moon’s north node at new Moon the reality of Bucky’s statement is very much present with us as we navigate the transformational qualities of the times. Pluto is in a waxing quincunx with the new Moon and Sun but is otherwise unaspected as the lunation begins, and this pervasive sense of scale within the bigger picture, while it is a part of our growing process as a species, is not only hard to accept, but is humbling once it has been.

This lunation will close with a trine, from the north node, Sun and Moon to Pluto and pressure to take this perspective in will increase as we approach that time. In fact, the solar eclipse we will see as the September lunation opens will bring the sense of culmination to a head.

If we are to work with the larger perspective that the times require of us, and bring this lunation alive within our lives, allow its creative energy expression, the luminosity we each carry within will be our most valuable asset. As Elizabeth Kübler-Ross said, “People are like stained glass windows; They sparkle and shine when the Sun is out, but, when darkness sets in their beauty is revealed only if there is a light within”.

Failing Magnificently

The final piece of this puzzling time is provided by Mars who enters Sagittarius once more just as the Moon is renewing its cycle. Falling out of aspect with the other planets as the lunation opens, Mars is bringing a strong sense of purpose to the entire matrix, a sense that this is the time and the time is now! His journey through Sagittarius will see him meet with Saturn and re-ignite the burning issue of how we use our power to create the reality we are now experiencing in the world. War will be top of the agenda for scrutiny, not least of all as they re-unite on the fixed star Antares. As Thomas Jefferson observed, “War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrongs; and multiplies instead of indemnifying losses”. As the pressure for confrontation is tangibly increasing so is the anti-war voice at large in the world.

We can transform the world, we know, simply by choosing more peaceful means for expressing this energy, but our journey will be all the more magnificent if we can do so by transforming our wounds, and the understanding we have of ourselves and the world in the process. In fact, the one rests upon the other. Mars will accelerate through Sagittarius and spend a mere six weeks in Capricorn, where a conjunction with Pluto looks like a catalyst for significant upheaval. This might give us cause for real concern, but, as Hellen Keller advised, “we could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” 

It is hard for us to continue to witness the pain and suffering being brought upon us by so much blatant misuse of power, and this is a time for mobilising the creative energy in the face of the destructive. It is a time when we might feel anxious, wrought by fears and doubts as much as by horror and a feeling of deep uncertainty about our future, but, there is some wisdom to be had even as we do so; as the Chinese alchemist Wei Boyang said two thousand years ago, “worrying is preposterous; we don’t know enough to worry”.

As the August lunation opens Venus is pulling out of a square with Mars and will be working her way through the Virgoan fields of healing and nurturing as the lunation progresses – she brings the dedication necessary for our time and our acts within it to really count. It is a concept that is at the heart of the most traditional of healing ways, that the world is in constant need of repair and maintenance; this is the basis upon which our healing must take place. When we understand that our true power lies in being magnificent in the face of this unremitting demand for care and creative giving, the world becomes transformed, a constant source of inventiveness and response-ability, a place in which love is the means and the end in itself. In that place we have the power to fail, regardless, and to do so magnificently.

As Venus approaches Virgo and activates the feminine wisdom of healing and nurturing through this lunation, and as Mercury very much at home in Virgo crosses the Moon’s north node and comes to meet with Jupiter opposing Chiron at full Moon, it seems fitting to close as we opened with the strong and down to earth voice of feminine wisdom that can help us traverse these difficult times while capturing something of the essense of the moment :

“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
Pema Chödrön


Images :

Still from the film ‘The Nine Samurai’

Nest sculpture ~ Nils Udo

Cave Aurora ~ Sebastian Saarloos

Gobekli Tepe, Turkey

Beauty Power & Grace

whiteshellwoman1 copy

Between the new Moons of 18th April and 18th May a lunation of oppositions, squares and inconjunct aspects unfolds. On the face of it this looks like a lunation of forced issues and tense face-offs and disagreement, but, at its heart is a liberating freedom expressing great beauty that matches such challenges. Of the inner planets Venus leads the way, travelling now between the stars at the shoulder of the Taurean Bull and those in the midst of the Constellation of Gemini. She begins this lunation poised to vault between the Bull’s horns!

This gives us a very apt symbol to work with and a clear indication of the emotional qualities that will serve us best through this time. At their foundation are realism, courage and commitment, describing the essential grounding for our speech and actions in the world. But, more than this, Venus energy here is brilliant, dynamic and purposefully creative, a fitting response and reminder that we humans possess gifts well beyond those we have begun to explore within the Piscean Age. Venus is in tropical Gemini squaring Neptune and trining the north node ~ she is the frontrunner, leading us into the future!

At the outset Venus shines like a diamond in the western skies just after darkness falls. You will find her at new Moon drawing apart the veil of daylight between the Pleiades and Aldebaran, the stars marking the creative heart and headstrong brow of the Taurean Bull.

Ultimately, Venus is flying with speed towards her meeting with Jupiter early this August, at which time she will swing back into retrograde motion within the skies. She will turn just beyond Asellus Borialis and Asellus Australis at the heart of the constellation of Cancer. In the process she will bring the ineluctable force of womens wisdom to bear on the patriarch of the gods, a sign of the times. These stars formed an ancient solstice gateway associated with the millenia that saw the foundations of contemporary western civilisation being formed. We are all now engaged in this monumental healing process, conscious or not of our part in it.

However, as this lunation unfolds towards full Moon Venus will rise from the flank of the Bull and leap between the tips of its horns, echoing the ancient rites of youth depicted at Knossos during the Age of Aries. These were rites undertaken by women and men alike, reflecting a balance of power not only between genders but between the human and animal realms. But, these rites were depicted on the famous frieze at Knossos amidst a time of transition within this relationship.

Venus is asking us to reach beyond the Piscean and remember innate human attributes much closer to our Earth. As it was for the Cretan youths our qualities of courage, adept skills and timing are tested against the powerful instincts and physical strength of the great Earth animal. And, in keeping with Venus symbolic qualities, it is the dynamic wisdom centred in the powerhouse of  the heart that will lead us with confidence in overcoming the hegemony of the head and rebalancing its analytical dictates. We must become whole within ourselves in this respect, for, in this realm Venus is at home, sovereign amongst the stars whose constellation corresponds with her own sign of rulership. In their ecstatic risk taking saavy it was the power of the Bull itself that the Cretan youths sought relationship  with, and for us the Bull is our Earth. It is our home…..but our healing must reach back further still.

We too can experience an exuberant joy in making such bold and athletic moves, but, much depends upon removing blockages to our leap, sources of fear and oppression. We can see something of this indicated at full Moon through the Moon’s aspect with Pluto. But, we also require aquisition of a certain sure-footedness that can only be developed through experience of working in harmony with that bullish power. Opportunities for gaining such experience are writ large through this lunation and their impulse reaches back to times in which the root wisdom of matriarchal lineages were becoming superceded by the forces of much more martial affiliations and an accompanying spirituality based upon very different heirarchies. The entire relationship between human, nature and divinity shifted, and in that shift we became divided, within and without.

The ancestral legacy resulting from that shift is playing out now, and while we have learned how to extend our minds into the world to compensate, the wounding fears we have suffered as a consequence of our own inner rift need to be fully healed for our leap to be successful. Symbolically, we must join with the ancient Grandmother, whose story came through in the previous lunation, in reweaving the sacred Buffalo robe of Life with this vigorous creative energy. It is no exaggeration to say that our very sanity and future depend upon it.

cretans

The Sun and Moon meet, unaspected, in the 29th and penultimate degree of tropical Aries on April 18th. The Sabian symbol for that degree speaks of finding the song that sings through us, harmonisation of our own voice within the music of the spheres, in its indivisible state. This is an image of healing the divided self, split consciousness by another name. Finding it we will all the more confidently experience the ‘dramatic moment of release’ that enables us to fly. But, while the leap through the bull’s horns can end in celebration and an empowering sense of achievement, it hinges around grabbing the bull by the horns, a ‘now-or-never’ moment’. We have but one chance, that is to say, we have but  one chance left.

Mercury’s sextile from Taurus to Neptune in Pisces at new Moon forms a yod to the Moon’s north node in tropical Libra. There is no time to dream about our future any more ~ the ‘Dream’, if it is to be pursued, must be made reality and this means going beyond the known in a leap that can restore balance and right relationship with Earth. Neither can this simply be a leap of faith ~ time for that, as the previous new Moon and lunation reminded us, has come and gone. ‘What are our innate skills and how well can we lend them to spirit to speak through‘ is the question a newly unfettered Uranus asks of us in response.

Many things appear to be driving us forward here. Now that the Uranus Pluto square is unravelling we are called upon to own our adepthood, especially as we are now faced with the serious consequences of unfinished business that surrounds us, and especially that which arises from the last four years of Uranus and Pluto’s face-off. If there is a symbol of this unravelling it is in Fukushima…..

As the previous lunation contained two eclipses we can expect the whole period between the equinoxes to present clear examples of how those consequences are now playing out in the world. It may seem as though our choices are being determined by forces that are beyond our control, but, perhaps Uranus would have us believe otherwise as the divine maverick is slowly building an empowering trine with Jupiter, direct in tropical Leo, to bring a sense of unpredictable largess to our issues of self-trust. These are global issues and these too are in a rapid process of change.

At new Moon a bullish energy prevails adding to this trine through Mars square from Taurus with Jupiter. The impetus gathering here is pushing us further into concrete action while amplifying that ‘now or never’ feeling.

Jupiter’s developing trine with Uranus is a background feeling, edgy and compelling beneath it all, and will begin to gain momentum, sensed rather than seen at full Moon. Here we can also look out for an encouraging fore-taste of what we might never have imagined we are capable of. At full Moon a T square is formed between Sun, Moon and Jupiter, exact to within minutes of arc. This Scorpio full Moon on May 4th opens our emotional body to deeply grounded creative energy, deepening trust in our connection with Earth, and Jupiter’s place at the fulcrum in connection with Uranus doubles the effect. Such depth in our emotional field is absolutely necessary for healing and restoring connection.

At this time Mercury, newly envigorated after transiting the Sun and coming home to Gemini, will be exactly opposite retrograde Saturn in Jupiter’s home sign, Sagittarius. Don’t let the buggers get you down! However, both Venus and Mars will be out of aspect and there is great opportunity here for bringing natural balance to bear on both our minds and bodies, our genders and our relationships. This is a Moon for each of us to relish in our own unique way, with freedom in speech and act giving voice to the spirit of the moment – a passionately rebellious will to express natural self determination.

Now we see the expressive power of the leap at work, an impulse manifesting a moment in which calling the shots is our own prerogative and our sovereignty is expressed most naturally through our own innate creativity – to be creative in this sense is to be free. More than this it is an expression of truth, choice and personal power, all of which oppose subjugation, control and, ultimately, enslavement ~ can you make the connections here between this impulse and the TPP or TTIP? Globally this impulse is made all the more powerful as the full Moon sextiles retrograde Pluto telling us that, in doing so, significant ground can be gained back from and against the stultifying oppression of the Plutocracy. The high point of this lunation, like the athlete’s somersault over the Bull’s horns, releases much untapped creative energy in answer and has grace, beauty, power and sheer audacity written all over it. If we are to restore a harmonious connection with our Earth we will surely need to be so audacious and do so in the spirit of that leap.

BULLIn the next post we’ll follow Venus path of liberation towards the May new Moon, and an encounter with the divine twins, representatives of the divided mind.

Message from the Dark River

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Fire-root, the one legged protector of shamans, holds the Moon in his hand and sings, his voice, the sound of the bullroarer, spinning stars from the dark belly of his wife, Star-Womb, into the burls and spinning knots of his body and powerful leg. He stands as the great tree around which the Sun swings at solstice, the time when the friction of his root in the firmament creates the sparks of the First Fire, spiralling in a double helix through the plenum as He rekindles its flame.

He is the father of the sun-spirit, the one who makes weather and whose reach extends from pole to pole.

His name is heard from pole to pole, in a thousand forms, each a link word in an eternal chant that echoes across the starry field of the star mother’s belly, reverberating in waves that push and pull, creating time in the mind of her star seeds, opening and closing as ages pulse through eons, cyclic songs given to the medicine women and taught through Luna.

Luna, in his hand but a grandchild, herself an ancient grandmother, turns and rests her head against Mula, the ‘root’ star, and herself swings around the shoulder of Fire-root, reborn. Mula carries the memory of memory, the serpent fire of the mind held deep in matter, connecting with the base chakra, and holds its powerful medicines, protected, in the sting of the Scorpion. Below the serpents coils She dwells and augers the solar seed.

The augeries are told, this will be the time in which ‘renewal itself is renewed’, the tree of stars, the shaman’s thunderbolt, the fire drill of creation, will turn together and stir within the deepest places, within the Dreaming Star Womb;  She says…….’Awaken your dream body, look to your dreams’, for Her star-seeds are the stuff we, and they, are made of……


In the traditions of indigenous peoples world-wide this figure is recognised, the pivotal being around whose axis time spirals, who dwells in the Dark River, the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, and who oversees the birth of the solar year, as our own Sun is reborn crossing this place in the celestial realms. This river is the womb from which stars are birthed, known as ‘Emu Woman’ amongst original peoples of the Australasian continent – She has been carved into the stone, just as She appears in the height of summer in those lands, at the Emu’s egg laying time.

Amongst the same people, He is known as Daramulum. He consorts with Her, as our Sun crosses Her belly above the stars in the sting of the constellation Scorpius, amidst the cloud of stellar dust that forms the Dark River. We are born from, made from, the dust of stars – and, the Waters are born there, just as, at the heart of our Earth, the star fire core creates the indigenous terrestrail waters of the deep aquifers.

The star Mula, known amongst the north African star seers as Shaula, whose name carries the same root meaning of ‘root’ itself, augers the power of the Seer, the one who sees with other eyes. This is the same mula we find in the Muladhara chakra, ‘root-support’ and echoes the pivotal role of the pillar of sacred fire within the human subtle energy body, the Sushumna, spiralled around by the Ida and Pingala.

In the northern traditions he comes down to us via Heimdallr, He who keeps watch for Ragnarök and is known for seeding the divine within the consciousness of humanity – He is also known as Rig, and Vindlér amongst the northern peoples, the praiser and singer, the wind bringer, who is blessed with great foresight and whose breath carries divine knowledge when given form in song and verse.

shamans-staff (2)The Rigveda, whose first verse sings praises of Agni, the fire bringer and solar deity, carries the same etymological root, ‘praise-knowledge’. And, amongst Indian mythologies the ‘one legged’ is known as Ekapada, the one legged goat, the correlation of Capricorn, the bringer of primordial matter, fire, soul and power of the Cosmos, the serpent fire. 

He carries the thunderbolt, the Vajra, the electric root of manifestation and change. He reaches back through time and is echoed in the shaman’s staff, the one legged wand of power, topped with the animal form of the spirit who is the ally of the shaman, known to us from Palaeolithic times.


The augeries of this time call the seers and healers to summon their gift, to journey in spirit to the ninth realm, the highest point upon the world tree, mirrored in its roots through the spinning of fate and destiny, to connect with the powers that bring the highest wisdom to their practice and call up the root power of their own path, to seek wisdom from the source for a new time ahead. Such is the symbolism carried into the iconography of the undying tree crowned with the star, which is also known in the west through the ‘christmas tree’.

The new lunation is begun in harmony with the new solar cycle. Fertile darkness within fertile darkness, this is a time of birthing mystery from within mystery, and seeding the earth plane, the middle world, with a renewed vigour. It requires great discipline and clarity of mind for this undertaking to bear fruit……garner this power now, shed all that does not serve this greater purpose, for, upon the return of the Sun, its power will begin to work in the world. Great things can be accomplished with such guidance…..

It is exemplified in the words of the shamans of the Sierra Nevada who, as the solar cycle neared its turning point, sent this message to the world :

1970586_10152257702507419_1179323869_nBlessings all, a powerful message has been delivered in Australia during the past 72 hours from the People of the Earth, The Sierra Nevada. (Shamans of Columbia who have never lost their ancient connection to the Earth, and still live in complete harmony with nature and each other.)
Their message in essence is that “now is the time to fully commit to the restoration of our Earth.”

Source : ‘10,000 Amend’, 2014-12-19


Images :

(1) Emu Woman rock engraving, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, NSW. Image, Barnaby Norris

(2) Shaman’s Staff, Rob Purday

(3) Kogi Mamas, Sierra Nevada

 

Reality Revision In Alchemical Times

water goddess

As the wheel turns towards solstice a time for reflection and regrouping comes to centre stage. This is a time for the mythical dimenions of personal space to be explored and shared, but, for us, regardless the story we are telling, in our times a  drama of heroic proportions is already unfolding in our midst.

It often appears a macabre theatre is playing out on planet Earth in which humanity is cast in the role of both protagonist and villain. For any of us to accept our own roles in this is a challenge, and, on the level of personal truth, calls upon us to engage with the drama through our own identity ~ if each of us were to closely examine the reality behind our everyday lives with unerring honesty it would not only reveal how inextricably caught up in this theatre each of us is and has been, contributing to its ongoing drama, but, it may also provide the personal incentive to transform our own lives in the face of such truths that would make the essential difference.

The 12th lunation of 2014 has brought the focus to Truth and we now enter the period before solstice, in the midst of the sixth Uranus Pluto square, with this as the central mandate. As the lunation winds down this is the time in which we can recapitulate on truths revealed and take up the outer planets mandate to either act upon what is being revealed to us, or to allow ourselves to continue to be acted upon ~ both Pluto and Uranus are intensifying how we experience the natural balance between the apparently opposing forces within this mandate in the theatre of the world.


The sixth square between Pluto and Uranus, exact on December 15th, brings us to the penultimate period of pro-active reality revision that these two planets have been fueling over the last three years or so. Pluto is often likened to the Alchemist, a mysterious figure whose processes focus on purification and renewal, bringing transubstantiation of internal realities through the medium of intrinsic power. By contrast, Uranus is likened to the Awakener, the magician, Promethian wielder of divine fire, the otherworldly element which brings transformation through the extrinsic intervention of power unbounded by the physical ~ both radically change all that they touch. Together they reveal and activate principles at work in the world that are normally beyond the reach of human perception.

In the astrological lore Pluto is also associated with ‘control’ and Uranus with ‘freedom’, both being notions familiar to us in everyday terms, but, with these two planets their effect is archetypal, creating more field based dynamics. Pluto is process oriented, more prone to amplifying gravitational, magnetic and conditioning qualities with centripetal effect – we are pulled into the field of core issues, manifesting fundamental inherent qualities of power, conforming to the dictates of the time just as iron filings conform within a magnetic field. Uranus is by comparison interventionist, impulsive, exerting electric charge, both shocking, liberating and centrifugal – we are impulsed out of the norm by sudden realisation of alternatives, the shock of the new, the empowerment of invention. Such dynamics amplify human actions in which ‘control’ is applied and ‘freedom’ exercised, but, the square emphasises the differences between these two archetypes, their antagonistic qualities rather than their natural synthesis. Resolution is not the issue – the endgame is somewhere down the road, while we journey through the process itself, and this requires both strong sustained focus and the ability to adapt, to make sudden adjustments. The positive effect is release from restrictive patterning, the negative, intensification of polarised conditioning. We can clearly see both at work in the world.

Within such a vortex of change reality becomes alchemical by nature ~ we are caught within the alchemical vessel of our times. If the events of the last few years are a measure of which of these two outer planets has the dominant role it would be Pluto that appears to be in the driving seat – being in Capricorn in the tropical zodiac Pluto forces issues that will the process to be followed through to the end, deeply embedded within the world. Uranus interventionist influence is present, but, the collective embodiment of the ‘freedom’ principle is yet to prevail; we are still pitting the one against the other.

It is useful here to briefly consider world-changing influences that have arisen during previous times in which Pluto has transitted Capricorn. In the 16th century this transit saw the European invasion of the Americas, in the 18th century the rise of industrialisation, and, in our time, a post industrial dominance of nationalism and nationalist agendas. These are now exerted through increasing global corporatism, competative political dogma and wars. In a very real sense conflict manifests the dichotomy of competition and co-operation through the relationship between Nature and Power.

By the same token the interaction of Pluto and Uranus has proven a powerful catalyst ~ Uranian influence accompanying these historical times saw the expansive influence of the printing press, a 15th century invention born around the meeting of Pluto and Uranus, reflecting the Aquarian quality of connectivity through information sharing and technology. This expansion created one of the necessary conditions for the 16th century scientific revolution, exemplified in Copernicus’ ‘De Revolutionibus‘ of 1543, at a time when Uranus and Pluto were in opposition. The 18th century saw Independence in America, Revolution in France, again at Uranus Pluto opposition. Concurrent with this, in 1789 Antoine Lavoisier introduced the first periodic table, paving the way for the scientific revolution in chemistry and physics, and the birth of ‘evolution theory’, that arose at their conjunction in the mid 19th century.

We are witness to the unleashing of natural forces,  the consequence of scientific advances made at the time of the Pluto Uranus opposition at the beginning of the 20th century, and exemplified in the development of nuclear realities and quantum physics. Within the current era of Pluto in Capricorn the Uranian influence of connectivity through the technologies of cyberspace vies with the plutocratic imposition of controls on the freedom this has brought and we now share instant awareness of global interventions of technology based conflict and competition as its political and economic corollary.

It should be obvious that these are field influences, affecting not only the world view, but, the outlook for Life on planet Earth. Uranus and Pluto are pushing change through with both electrifying and magnetic affect. If we are caught within the alchemical cauldron of the times we are compelled to conform, collectively, to the archetypal nature of the  planetary influence. We are also fostering inventive originality, capturing the essential thrust of the times in opportunistic response in which collective empowerment embodies the vector of change. A simultaneous pulse of reductive and expansive energy creates the inner dynamics of that vector.

Like the alchemical process, each stage of reduction and expansion requires careful timing, control of the firing process and inner knowledge, both of its protocols and the elements involved. It is a highly developed skill, a high art. Where this knowledge is lacking Chaos rises, compounding its own inner tensions, both confounding and compounding the process ~ either way, a purification is at work, a seperation and clearing of pollutants from essential matter(s). Symbolically, we see this acted out everywhere, creating a kaleidoscopic patterning that clouds and reveals the world view by turns. The question is, what roles do each of us play, how do we each interpret our own part and can we navigate it with enough skill to successfully revise the reality we are acting out?

thors-well

In the planetary matrix the sixth square is presaged and preceded by the full Moon on December 6th, in fact this entire lunation is highlighting how the process can be integrated at the human scale – it is no longer simply awareness in the search for truth that is called for, but, the cultivation of skillful use of knowledge gained through awareness. This is a fundamental aspect of healing which reveals an appropriate course of action, and the planetary matrix can aid us in this.

At the mid-point of 12th lunation the full Moon sees the Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in Gemini forming a T square with Chiron ~ while the Gemini Moon is full of knowing intelligence that experiences both sides of the ‘truthing’ process, Chiron asks for this awareness and experience to be acted on, with full understanding of and commitment necessary for a liberating outcome. We know what is at stake, as Chiron did in giving up his immortality to be free of pain, but, like the wise centaur, we might sense that it is our ‘sense of self’ itself that must change. There is a reality principle involved with Chiron as, in taking on a mortal frame, he allowed the physical nature of things to manifest the solution to his suffering. Some have interpreted this as an ultimate sacrifice, a view often overlaid with christ like comparisons. The indigenous view might say it is a natural consequence of initiation, of full entry into reality. Chiron is ever the shaman of the planetary matrix, transiting between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, the earthly and the divine realms.

However it is viewed, this is not a time for escapist strategies ~ We must come down to earth, and, if transcendence is sought it is realistic to follow the Chironic principle, remembering that the deeper our roots the higher our reach. Both transcendant and core truths also involve the stripping back of illusion.

Wi 1024px-Sharpless_2-106

Truthing is perhaps the watchword for the 12th lunation, but, what is truth here, in these circumstances? As an ideal ‘truth’ underpins much of the global stripping back process we are witness to, but, with Chiron involved it is the embodiment of our own personal truth that matters, as, without this there can be no global transformation. We could remember that we are born of far greater powers. How do we get to that, ground our true potential, when so much plutocratic pressure seeks to limit our personal freedoms. One answer is found in the chart for the Uranus Pluto square where we find Neptune in direct motion in Pisces sextiling Venus in Capricorn.

Neptunian ideals rest upon the qualities of empathy, freedom beyond boundaries and spiritual passion. Here, Compassion with a big C is the potential Neptunian gift and, in relation to the global challenge, symbolises the release from coercive illusions belonging to the plutocratic cover-up and programmes of suppression. When the illusion is seen through disillusion can be dissolved, and the true nature of the wound becomes apparent. Healing cannot take place without this awareness. By the same token, while healing may be an innate potential that we are challenged to cultivate and promote, compassion is a skill that is cultivated through both experience and holisitic appreciation of reality. We are getting the experience but can we hold the bigger picture in mind?

Chiron and Neptune in Pisces have been working together on this process within the planetary field alongside Uranus and Pluto all along. This underlying influence also brings the need to appreciate both sides or polarities of the dynamic we are involved in, awareness that both the left hand and the right hand are balanced at centre, in the heart. They encourage a willingness to come off the side lines and work with a compassion for humanity in the face of what we have woken up to! But, this too must be rooted in personal truth.

Minds that have been fogged with petty concerns and cultural indoctrination can find it hard to connect with the wisdom of the heart and this realisation is central to dissolving disillusion. Its positive effect encourages the re-kindling of one of the primary powers with which humans are so richly endowed ~ imagination, a Neptunian key-word. Here we are talking not just about personal abilities to concieve beyond the norm, but, about imagination that is integral to Life, that connects with the potential power of creative transformation within Nature.

The heart is a highly empowered organ, perhaps more so than the brain in energising our connection with Life, and the PTB know this. A human who has become numbed through shock in the face of the violence and fear mongering they mete out, whose feeling senses are diminished and emotional body challnged to remain connected, is much more easily controlled and made dependant, rather than independant. There arises from such control a collective amnesia about who we truly are at root and this has always been a game plan within the deadly games of plutocratic regimes down through the millenia. But, part and parcel of the ‘remembering’ is in re-centering in the heart. Venus and Neptune energise claiming back the imagination as a motivating force in re-balancing worldly with imaginative power in our reality revisioning. In their midst is Mars in Aquarius, and, being decile to Venus, highlights an immediate need to bring energy and courage into the heart of this reality revision. Being self determining and leading our selves brings the warrior spirit into our midst, an internal power which compassion tempers, collectivises and turns towards the aid of others.

Jupiter stations retrograde on December 9th and, with this following immediately on the full Moon, the tide begins to turn on how leadership is seen to be enacted in the world. Retrograde Jupiter in Leo empowers us to reflect upon the faults and failings of leaders in the light of our collective direction. We can consider our personal need for direction in the process and, being trine the Sun in Sagittarius in the chart for the U/P square, this makes ‘Truth’ the benchmark by which these faults and failings are perceived. We may indeed see more leaders in the global game found out, under pressure of collective awareness and energy, especially as Mercury also trines Jupiter in the chart.

Mercury is on the Galactic Centre, the well-spring of universal wisdom. This indicates how the energy of the lunation is following through and can become integrated; it is vital that we work with the psyche and intelligence of the cosmos in shaping our future. In keeping with these influences, if anything represents the foundation upon which humanity can build a viable future it is appreciation of the intelligent design at the heart of all that is. Is it too soon to begin building? The archetypal powers might perceive that we have already begun ~ the universe is watching, but, it is through our own eyes and actions that the truth of this will be witnessed.

When Saturn enters Sagittarius immediately after solstice we might well see this part of the process become activated and begin to witness the real crystalisation of those ideals we strive for. In the chart for the U/P square Saturn occupies the last degree of Scorpio, a place of determination to cross over, fully cogniscent in the knowledge of all that has become revealed, willing truth to become established as the central pillar around which our actions become manifest. The Moon sextiles Saturn here, from the first degree of Libra, and re-balancing of ‘all our relations’ will be very much on our minds as we head towards the December solstice. The last quarter of the 12th lunation comes to a close on December 21st/22nd and a series of lunations follow that open and close on the cusp of each of the last three signs of the zodiac. This augers a time of clearly defined action ahead of us. The stage is set – and, although we are in the midst of the drama, the 12th lunation presents the perfect opportunity to step into the wings, observe and gain perspective on how we arrived at this part of the drama. We might realise that the nature of theatre is both magical and skillful and remember that the roots of such magic are to be found in Nature itself.

weeping rock waterfall

In indigenous cosmologies Nature is often understood to be the realm of transformation, the root and source of magic, the powerhouse of change. Initiation into knowledge of this power brings the initiate into contact with forces unbounded by physical reality and such experience changes a human’s relationship with power and its uses, forever. If such a relationship is to remain healthy we are required to observe the protocols that allow natural balance to be maintained.

While indigenous cultures have millenia of experience informing the protocols that surround natural ‘power’ post industrial cultures tend to demonstrate a complete disregard for those same protocols. Power then becomes as much a pollutant as the effects arising from its disrespect. Not only does nature suffer imbalance and pollution, but, the human psyche is deeply affected and, in response, psychosis and illness develop. Nature seeks to maintain the wheel of law in this way. The role of medicine people and shamans is deeply rooted in working with Natural Law.

At an archetypal level this is the challenge, but, in human terms, it is also the signal, not only for allowing deeper personal changes to take place, as the preceding lunations have also highlighted, but, to now be open to integrating the Uranian creative impulse of the ‘higher’ mind and self in the name of ‘truth‘ and ‘necessity‘. The powerful global influence of Pluto and Uranus can be integrated through our own lives, but, the everyday mind won’t cut it unless it is embedded within and informed by this more evolved consciousness. Lets close here by considering an image, a symbol within which a sense of place and self can be recovered that will fuel our participation in this process of reality revision.


golden bay

Imagine a natural deep water aquifer emerging into a pool deep in the heart of nature. All is silent as the envigorating flowing power of the water has become suppressed and obscured, crusted over with a thick layer of detritus and oily scum. The birds, animals and beings of the wild are being driven away by the poisoning odours of the sterile scab. Imagine a hand, many hands, reaching down and sweeping aside the offending calc and pollution to reveal a momentary glimpse of what lies beneath. Illuminated in a sudden shaft of light, a glimmer of sunlight speckles the surface of the pool as a sudden breath of wind ruffles the water, just as more scum and debris rises to the surface. The hands sweep back this second layer and the water suddenly seems clearer and we can see even deeper. The air stirs again as older, deeper layers of polluting detritus rise to the top once more. The hands return and the clearing continues, repeating a third, fourth and fifth time. A truer clarity returns to the crystalline waters, remaining much longer, until more calc and silt, now from far beneath the surface, rises and muddies the waters again. We have come to the present time, are at the point of the sixth sweep of those hands, a turning point in the process of purification and revivification of the well-spring. The image remains, a reflection of the times surrounding the sixth Pluto Uranus square.

As we sweep back the detritus of an eventfull year and approach the coming zone of powerful lunations in the first quarter of 2015 change can take on a different face. Uranus stations direct at the solstice ~ there will be a rising strength at large amongst the peoples of planet Earth, fueled by a desire to clear the field for a deeper, more meaningful and inspired role in life. If there be a symbol to power us on perhaps it would be to go forward in full consciousness of re-visioning reality so that we may drink once more of the clear crystalline waters of Life.