Tag Archives: Moon

Practical Magic

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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…..

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Medussa’s Answer

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In answering the question What Price Planet Earth we must turn the tables on an many things, not least of all the degrading supression of women and it is in the myth associated with the degree of the May new Moon that we find one of the most virulent examples of the mysogynist’s dirty work, the myth of Medussa. The balance of power must be reconfigured.

Astrologicaly, the May through June lunation carries a broad and unboundaried field quality, so its influence is globalising. The lunation opening at the midpoint between Jupiter and Neptune brings an archetypal balance of masculine and feminine values into the global arena that expands upon the dynamic balance of male and female energy which was a feature of the last Moon. There we saw the feminine aspect taking the most dynamic role, redressing the balance through a self confident and athletic Venus. Now we see this energy collectivised, unfolding throughout this lunation, emergent particularly at each quarter of the Moon’s phases.

In the skies the Sun and Moon began this lunation where Venus began the last, at the flanks of the Bull, and will complete it just as they pass beyond the tip of Taurus horns on 16 June. Venus, by then will be passing through the stars that form the ancient gateway at the heart of the constellation of Cancer. She is giving us the heads up, as she slows down towards her own turning point, to look ahead and take a status check ~ be prepared, have a plan, be ready to change direction.

As this lunation opened Venus was passing through the midst of the Geminian stars, giving us a strong hint, not only of the left/right brain balance that her dynamic can help restore, but, of the necessity of listening, communication and keeping your antennae up, especially those that feed your gut feelings. She suggests that it pays now to bring the intuitive side of physical consciousness to bear on mental processes, those ‘knowings’ we experience at a gut level. This highlights the point and value of peace within adaptation. As the primary practical grounding for all our actions this is an essential part of our survival kit ~ it is also the very grounded foundation upon which the spiritual aspect of this lunation is built.

At the personal level opening to intuitive intelligence is essential as it has the capacity to guide us independantly of the powerful emotive influences of dramas unfolding around us ~ often it is heard and felt more as the quiet but clear voice that appears to contradict the concensus, the voice of the herd mentality. It allows us to avoid becoming distracted from sensing what is real. As an art, encouraging the wisdom of our gut feeling also increases integration with that aspect of our selves which is outside of conditioning, aids our deconditioning. It deepens the connection with our ‘higher self’, which is integral to the ‘pleroma’ rather than the individual energy cluster which we recognise as ‘our-selves’. In this sense it unites ‘above’ with ‘below’ and allows us to make better choices and adjust our lives accordingly.

Here, the ‘peaceful adaptation’ of the Sabian symbol for 27 Taurus may find meaning, but, how does this interface with the ‘collective’? The intuitive nature of Uranus is now building through a trine to Jupiter and works with Mercury, turned retrograde just hours after the new Moon, to receive more intuitively. Mercury’s retrograde pulls the immediate past into the present. Changes and experiences that have been brought into our personal and world field over the last few weeks are now being integrated, so,  the first days of this lunation provide a good time to take stock and reflect on what has transpired most recently.

But, the new Moon also saw Mars opposite Saturn and Venus opposite Pluto; this may not only be a period of hard choices that we are now entering, radical by nature and effect, but, of decisions that are tough to impliment. While patience might be necessary it is much easier to find when peace is present. ‘Easier said than done’, we might hear ourselves saying…..but, we do have the means to do it; the astrology of this Moon is first and foremost a tool for accessing and identifying those means appropriately. In fact there is a prophetic quality about this Moon, one connected with Medussa, a great seer who has become totally distorted into a terrifying gorgon…..the fear factor she has been foisted with is our biggest challenge. It too must be cut through unflinchingly, seen for the deception that it is.

Many traditions of seership emphasise the importance of being able to hold a high degree of clarity and focus in the midst of distraction and have built excercises into the training that help develop this faculty. It is almost as if we are now entering that training.

Not only do those two oppositions stamp their signature on the lunation at the beginning, at first quarter the Sun opposes Saturn, and the aftermath of the Uranus Pluto square is once again stressed as Venus squares Uranus. At full Moon Mars applies the heat to Pluto at the apex of the yod from Mercury and Jupiter. The complexity of this matrix is matched by its volatility. That yod definitely gives the game away ~ at the outset an ebulliant, demonstrative Jupiter in Leo sextiles self regarding Mercury retrograde and their combined energy emerges through the Pluto point, backfiring where self obsession, mindgames and narcissism are at work fueling a thirst for power, and discharging through Venus in Cancer. You will know it when you feel it, as if we are not already! The Uranus square exaccerbates and Mars amplifies this effect vociferously while the Sun gives penetrative intent to the collective voice. Many world leaders need look out and wise up! The seer’s eye is opening…..and, I hate to say it, but, heads will roll.

Pluto is now also retrograde so we can truly expect the radical games of the power-elite to be seen for what they are – a massive scam to keep our attention and energies fixated, managed and farmed.

But, the reality of the threats we may percieve are not limited to the human sphere. Geocentric oppositions involving the inner planets, such as those between Mars, the Sun and Saturn, are extremely sensitive times for tectonic movement and upticks and, as geomantic stress events, these also affect how we are feeling as well as how we react. Hard aspects, especially oppositions, between Earth, Sun and the outer planets bring this sensitivity deeper into the collective realms, Venus opposite Pluto not withstanding. Venus begins this lunation squaring the lunar nodes and it is the feminine power that holds the keys to our future as well as to unlocking the past.

Then there is the matter of the superstition surrounding the degree on which this lunation opened. With the new Moon falling on the same longitude as the fixed star Caput Algol we might well find ourselves facing long held fears and come to the sudden realisation that these must now finally be overcome, a kind of ‘now or never’ moment. In so many senses the primary quality of this lunation is a startling immediacy and compelling intensity about the nature of experience itself ~ we must not allow their intensity and our fears to petrify us into inaction, in fact, we simply cannot afford it, quite literally.

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With the Sabian symbol for the 27th degree of Taurus indicating ‘individual adaptation to collective needs’ and Venus transitting Cancer those fears and our sensitivity to them are almost certainly going to be ancestral and inherited in nature and relate to values closest to home. There is deep and long term programming at work here. You may get a sense of karmic payback at work in the world. On a personal level, if you do experience this ‘feeling tone’ arising in ‘events’, take it as a sign that something has come up in order to be changed, this time around. Collectively, Algol has given us the ‘heads up’ (pun intended).

Algol, as said, is associated with the much misunderstood figure of Medussa, the priestess raped by Poseidon/Neptune in Minerva’s temple, and yet held responsible by Athena – for her ‘crime’ she was given her serpent hair and deadly reputation, all in return for a violation of the sacred precincts in which she was not the perpetrator, but, its victim. Sound familiar?! In fact Medussa was an initiatrix in the spiritual path of the cthonic earth Goddess, a divine mortal possessed of extreme Beauty, Power and Grace……Venus has been preparing us for this encounter.

We must take up her cause now and use seers eyes, as well as listen to our gut wisdom. Looking further ahead, globally we are now entering ‘salvage’ mode, this being the point at which the need to find the route to survival becomes manifestly real and the decisive action we might once have taken to avert danger is redirected into adapting to circumstances. It all begins to come together. The need for prioritising values, deciding what is essential, and focusing on preservation and damage limitation come to the fore. The demands of the past and future are becoming more immediate in the present.

Conversely, the Sabian symbol also talks of our indigenous nature and cultural heritage giving us the peaceful means to integrate a healthy flow of energy into our social setting, our community ~ the artifacts we offer out of our heritage carry the patterns of enduring wisdom and embody a certain deep joy that can be experienced directly in them. We are meant to pay the ancestral gift they represent forward. There is a strong nod here towards the reparative effects of the ‘gift culture’, to creating a genuine flow of energy that both feeds and honours, in which reciprocation and recognition are the currency and carry the true value, rather than exchange and possession of the thing itself. Wealth is meant to be shared, in fact it can only flourish if it is. In such flourishing we all receive nourishment. A highly pertinent fact waiting to be re-embodied within our world.

Without a doubt the strongest fears we have collectively suffered around this issue are connected with the idea of ‘scarcity’. This has been the psychological crowbar that has been deployed to force open the collective psyche and allow our most vulnerable instinctive fears to surface into the world. While our rightful heritage is destroyed and life blood syphoned off We are mercilessly manipulated through its use. The inner dynamic of this is so clearly demonstrated in the imbalance between the wealth of the ‘top one percent’ and the struggle to survive being visited upon the vast majority of the rest of us, a ‘reality’ which we clearly see being aggresively ‘deployed’ globally. It is symbolised through the money laundering schemes of government that feed the military-industrial complex and the bank owning elite who profit from it, rather than the people. This too is one of the inner dynamics of the Jupiter and Neptune mid-point, its emergent shadow side, now in full view.

The highly developed material aesthetic of the final degrees of Taurus carry a heavy burden if not shared. But, if anything, this Moon highlights this imbalance at its most potent level and, through the planetary positions, shows that we must apply strong energy to the task of rectifying it.

The last decan of Taurus is ruled by Saturn emphasising the life and death nature of this level of engagement, a radicalising game in which choices are made to appear very extreme, polarised, dualistically antagonistic. But, Saturn’s door, while it is seemingly one way, signed ‘exit’, is not ‘the end’……

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……the Sabian symbol gives us an image of an indigenous woman bringing the traditional crafts and artifacts of her culture into the marketplace of the contemporary world. There are several layers to this symbol, beyond her finding a means to survive in the modern world. The idea of ‘paying it forward’ is central to the work we all face now and the feminine apsect of our times is emergent within this role. Through her journey over the current lunations Venus is highlighting the immense beauty of an empowered woman, not in competition with the men, or the Bull, but, in full flow, expressing her accomplished abilities.

The snake maned priestess decapitated by Perseus has been demonised to the point of dissociation from her roots. In our time this is the political purpose served by the myth, a suitable repository for the ‘unacceptable’ face of initiated and empowered woman, a mirror. The curse of petrification she carries is rather a testament to the immense power her eyes radiate. She has incredibly potent vision, yes, but, it is the snakes that signify her source of power. It is the very power of creation that flows within the earth realms, the lightingbolt that condenses light into plasma, that illuminates the neural pathways of the unconditioned pleroma. Snakes are its living symbol and medicine animal. Petrification is the opposite of its effect rather than its corrollary. In the human frame this power can be sourced at the deeper centres, but, its voice is most clearly heard through our intuitive insight and its wisdom equally accessed through gut feeling. Some call this primal, but, while it is certainly intense, it could just as easily be called sublime, transcendant even.

In slaying the Medussa Perseus was obeying the rational dictates of his goddess Athena, the myth overlaying symbolism onto the historical transference of primary feminine power and wisdom to the more secular and masculinised figure of the goddess born fully armed from Zeus forehead. Athena kept Medussa’s head as the protective boss of her shield, ironically signifying that her sacred law was to be regarded as beyond question; however, the antidote to this weapon of fear can be found exactly facing the constellation of Perseus in the constellation of Ophiuchus, rising in the eastern night sky as Venus sets in the west.

Ophiuchus the serpent bearer holds the snake in both hands and applies its primary healing powers to the mortal world. Indeed, it is said Ophiuchus, or Asclepius as he is also identified, was the greatest of healers, so much so that he angered the gods with his ability to restore life to the dead and, ultimately, paid for his abilities with exile to the star realms. Ironically, in the end it was Athena who made the crucial difference here as she bestowed two phials of the Medussa’s blood into Asclepius possession, one from Medussa’s left side which gave the power to mete out death, the other from her right side which gave the power of to overcome death. The healer chose to use the latter and in so doing tipped the balance.

But, it is in this balance across the opposing sides of the ecliptic that we find the goddess and the primal creative wisdom represented in our times. Indicative of healing the Geminian division between the right and left brain it is Venus message to us that our encounter with the Medussa can allow this balance to be restored. Medussa’s head is the embodied consiousness of that primal wisdom which has been initiated into a deep understanding of all that creates, heals and destroys within the natural flow of life, the Earth Goddess wisdom – we must restore it to the body of our world and, trusting her guidance, follow the pathways it opens to us. Both these constellations point to the balance of extremes, not in duality, but as a living power to be grasped in both hands.

the Chauvet goddess and bulls headThe Medussa’s head and its primary state of fully awakened unconditioned consciousness is not to be feared, but, re-united with our own creative energy – in doing so the restorative healing it can unleash in our world is unlimited.

While our question might well be ‘What Price, Planet Earth’, undoubtedly, Medussa now challenges Us to find the answer. Only fear and conditioning stand in the way of doing so.


Top Image : Underwater Sculpture, Jason DeCaire ~ modified image

Second Image : Mola textile, Kuna

Third Image : Gundestrap Cauldron

Bottom Image : Goddess and BullMan, Chauvet Cave

The Subtle Fire

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The February full Moon follows Imbolc, the festival sacred to the keeper of the eternal flame, and, in the northern traditions, marries with the subtle but strong re-emergence of the life force from the heart and hearth of the dreaming winter world. In the north this sacred time focuses on the fire that brings alive the light present in the root of things and encourages respect for the fruitful darkness out of which it is born, and to which it returns – the hearth is swept, the ancestral flame, the first fire, is rekindled and the earth is fed with offerings to seed the year ahead. In the south this seeding is mirrored under the fierce fire of the summer sun in the swelling of the fruits, their maturation turning the fire inwards and bringing the land to a place of fullness as the light begins to re-enter the Earth.

With a full Moon carrying this energy of renewal forward, from the heart of Leo in the tropical zodiac and from the constellation of Cancer within the skies, we can use this as a time to invoke a creative energy within our lives and homes. What are the fruits of our gifts and talents that we can give to the world and enrich the heart with in so doing, and what is emerging from our own dreaming that carries and excites us with creative energy, promising fulfillment in its undertaking? The cosmos and our actions are most deeply aligned when we activate and enrich this creative energy within ourselves. It is a subtle fire, but, possessing great potential.

The heart of this lunation is embedded within a complex planetary matrix and also comes midway between the final two exact squares between Uranus and Pluto, a series of seven which, in reality, is one repeating aspect with a seven beat pulse drawn out over four years or more. It may feel as though we are enjoying a short respite from the drama of the world in this time, but, watchfullness is essential. The drama continues, if not overtly, then covertly, for sure.

The full Moon itself is at the head of a yod, fed by Mars and Chiron sextile Pluto. With the Sun at the reaction point in mid tropical Aquarius there is a sensitivity about the moment that requires balance, self awareness and care. Words can carry a strong effect at this time ~ we should be aware that we can both harm and transform with them. Think before you speak, but, speak with a well understood and clear purpose and belief and great good, and healing, can come from such speech. A good place to begin is at the sacred fire within the inner sanctum.

To the naked eye the Sun’s transit through the stars in the constellation of Capricorn at this time is invisible to us in the full light of day, but, the full Moon reveals its corresponding place by opposition. As the Sun sets on February 3rd the Moon rises above the eastern horizon amidst the stars in the constellation of Cancer, conjunct the fixed star Abucens. Jupiter, in retrograde motion in the sky, is close by, quite literally, as the largest planet in our solar system is now at its closest to the Earth in its cycle. If you have a clear night sky this will be a rewarding sight to see.

Abucens, next the Moon, will be somewhat overpowered by the lunar light, but, its influence is noteworthy. It is said to have the qualities of Saturn and Mercury, indicating a firm ‘drive, or directive, from behind’ and this can be both the indicator of sharp intelligence at work and a will to keep ‘intents’ hidden in the process. It can also indicate coercion.

If the positive side of this connection is worked with it very much aligns with and enhances the qualities of the Imbolc impulse. Abucens is known as ‘sheltering of hiding place’ and with the full Moon indicates strong psychic and emotional energy fueled by hidden, that is to say, protected motives, perhaps more ‘covert’ than sourced in the ‘unseen’. This can be as much the territory of the criminal mind as of the esoteric adept. Far seeing and even remote viewing is enhanced here but, equally, even though ‘covert operations’ can be undertaken, the planetary matrix favours these becoming exposed through the same means. In other words, while this is not an invitation to spy, whatever your undertakings, if it does not feel right, don’t do it!

In the public realm, with Sun in Aquarius at the reaction point of the yod, exposure of covert ops, underhand dealings and outright lies is likely to bring strong, vociferous and reactive backlash. We must all be vigilant in these times. Political leadership must be very carefully watched now for signs of hidden agendas, already very much a feature of our current world, but, with Jupiter retrograde and tied into the lunar influence Leadership is here under the spotlight ~ we could see heads of state being forced into the open through public pressure on matters of dis-information, grotesque waste and extortion, and issues of national security. Saturn’s role in this time is also to assert boundaries and keep control on just how much knowledge is allowed to come into the light of day and this augers tensions over places where international boundaries and diplomacy are already manifesting hot spots, as well as hot ethical issues featuring politicians and leaders. For all of us it also augers responsible use of time and energy.

From the personal point of view, the flip-side is that, if you are working within the esoteric this is a time to avoid outward displays; better to simply do the work while keeping your power and sources under wraps, well protected. In keeping with the afore-thought and self awareness augered above, a need for vigilance and careful observation of the ethics and the natural laws of your craft arises. Better still, this is a good time to engage in study, to build your craft,  a time to be creative within it, to nurture your sources, and to preserve their esoteric nature ~ around full Moon be careful to not let inner growth and knowledge go to your head, stay earthed and give yourself time to fully understand, integrate and consolidate your gains.

The creative work you undertake now will benefit from a sense of poise. Think about how it can be the vehicle for positive change in the world, as well as its inner purpose and timing in your own life ~ its time will come, naturally, and soon enough! This is the subtle end of the shift thats underway, both on a cosmological, global and personal level; the first signs are showing.

Uranus, close on the lunar south node through this lunation, supports this shift collectively and will trine this full Moon, pushing us from behind to break the innate patterns that have fed old ideas of leadership, the egotistical and destructive agendas in the past. We must trust to our own inner knowing and earth our higher nature, let it be the leader, a point that Saturn’s sextile with Mercury further emphasises at full Moon.

Chiron and Pluto maintain their yod, with Jupiter at the action point, until next full Moon on March 6th so expect the pattern breaking theme around leadership and authority to continue, if not come to a height at that time, especially as Mars will by then be gunning the lunar south node….but, more on this nearer the time.

It is well to remember that all this is taking place during a Mercury retrograde, the signature of a time to focus on inner work, to be more forgiving and attentive. Mercury will go direct at third quarter on the 11th February signalling the point in the current lunation at which we can more confidently begin to turn more of our personal attention and energies outwards, to share and build meaningful dialogue. The following new Moon on the cusp of tropical Pisces builds upon this, as Mercury’s sextile with Saturn returns, exact, and this will subsequently support action that accompanies and compliments truthful talk. In all of this, with Venus and Mars running side by side through tropical Pisces, the collective mood can work towards bringing truthfulness and compassion to centre stage with a courage and determination, surely the key to all meaningful change in a suffering world.

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In other ways we may have reached too far as a species ~ as the Tao Te Ching says, “to let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven.” To push home the point, the dangerous consequences of hubris are already rife within the world, and fighting fire with fire will only create burnout. The ‘lathe of heaven’ is already with us.

In many ways compassion and hubris are polarities within a spiritual spectrum of function and disfunction. As evident in their a-spiritual means as it is in their absolutism, the controlling hegemonies of politics, money and science continually court the dangers of hubris. However, in Taoist terms, “hubristic desire for control is evidence of lack of spiritual attainment” and this is the challenge, perhaps most clearly delivered through dealing with the damage that has already been done ~ we must continue to regenerate, re-group around and nurture a collective humanism that is aligned to the inner fire, the spirit of creativity and knowledge, and be vigilant with how we use our time and energy. The subtle fire of this time is strong medicine.

Reality Checks – First Quarter 2015

cave nebula

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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.

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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.

Tikkun Olam

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There is a saying amongst the anti-fracking community that, when you are on the front-line, ‘if you see a job, its yours’. It’s a pro-active, pragmatic, hands-on attitude that emphasises the importance of simply paying attention to the immediate tasks in hand, not waiting for someone else to pick up the beat, and shows how mucking-in also serves the greater cause. As the 11th lunation draws to a close the focus shifts into this place and the planetary matrix suggests this is an attitude that will serve us all well now. This is a good time for knuckling down, getting stuck into ground work and for grounding activities in general. There is more power in this than may be obvious.

This is a reality mirrored straight back through Mars conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn over 10th through 13th November. On the face of it this looks like a scarey transit, but, as both planets are rulers of Scorpio it carries more of an intensifying global energy, fundamental and pragmatic, than a catalystic ‘eventful’ one. The energy at work behind this focus becomes deeper still as Venus conjuncts Saturn in late Scorpio on the 13/14th; here there are strong aspects at work and any work undertaken at this time can carry an expression of passionate, tangible commitment. It does not have to be a big deal, we are talking mundane world material here, but, talk alone won’t do it, as Moon squaring Mercury illustrates. Sun squaring Jupiter emphasises the need to stay focused on the tasks in hand and not to be dissuaded by the overwhelm of the bigger picture.

If we are carrying work forward from the full Moon and Samhain, focused on clarification, renewal and strengthening of otherworldly connections, this will serve to metabolise this work in everyday life, and will lay personal foundations of very real and much needed substance for our future actions. Still very much the business of ‘soul making’, it is here that the worlds now unite, become the Smithy of the Soul.

As Mars burns off the canker of Pluto’s deep drilling and turns up the heat on issues around ‘destructive use of power’ at large in the world it should be easier now to identify the global hot spots on which that action can be brought to bear as spiritual activists. This will not fade off either as Mars squares Uranus and then the Moon’s nodes as new Moon approaches. Expect big questions to be asked of us all, but, why wait for someone else to ask them, or find an answer. Feel the energy of your roots at work; listen for the voices of the ancestors at large in the world.

As last quarter winds down the planetary tide turns and Neptune opens outward stationing direct on the 16th. While this is a slow and subtle field effect it is the accompanying aspects that grab attention as, on this day, and, as if to emphasise the watershed nature of the moment, Venus enters Sagittarius and the Sun conjuncts Saturn. The combined movement sets the stage for what is going to be a very different lunation opening on the 22nd.

Every small thing is underpinned by the bigger picture now and contributes to it ~ we have passed the time where simply getting on with life is enough. A certain dedication is called for, and, whether or not it is acknowledged as such, it is all a part of healing the World Soul. Tikkun Olam. But, who can escape that reality now? The planetary matrix suggests, at bottom, no-one.

As we approach the 12th lunation focus and realism will be the watchwords. Both come from being able to work in the world with strong intuition and clear links to the powers that guide us from beyond the mundane sphere. This is the spiritual warrior’s prerogative. Keep your ears to the ground and hearts open ~ the Earth’s drum is still beating and the voices of the many can be heard resonating with its great spirit.


Key Aspects

  • 10-13/11 Mars conjunct Pluto, 11° Carpicorn
  • 13/11 Venus conjunct Saturn, 25° Scorpio
    Moon square Mercury, 6° Scorpio
    Moon trine Uranus, quincunx Chiron and Mars (yod)
    Sun, 21° Scorpio square Jupiter, 21° Leo
  • 14/11 Moon last quarter
    Moon conjunct Jupiter, square Sun
  • 15/11 Moon square Venus
    Moon opposite Neptune, 4° Pisces
  • 16/11 Moon opposite Chiron, 13° Pisces
    Mercury sextile Pluto
    Neptune stations direct
  • 17/11 Venus enters Sagittarius
    Mercury, 13° Scorpio trine Chiron, quincunx Uranus
    Sun conjunct Saturn
  • 18/11 Moon opposite Uranus, square Pluto
  • 19/11 Moon conjunct North Node, 18° Libra
    Moon square Mars
  • 20/11 Uranus square Pluto < 2°
  • 21/11 Moon conjunct Mercury 19° Scorpio
  • 22/11 New Moon 0° Sagittarius
    Mercury, 22° Scorpio square Jupiter

The Samhain Stars ~ Castra, the Moon and the Origins of Capricorn

Shaman

The turning of the Great Wheel through precession ushers in the new astrological ages and, with their advent, the stars show us how the change in human culture and experience also manifests a shift of focus. We are transiting now from the age of Pisces into the age of Aquarius.

As is so often the way of things with major transitions, and as the world around us shows clearly, ‘the light is darkest before the dawn’. But, the new is born from the husk of the old and, already present in our world, the seeds of the Aquarian age are being sown and have begun to germinate. In the first stages of growth there must be a breaching of old boundaries and, for the seed to grow, the husk must be broken open ~ here and in the following posts we’ll reflect on the stellar signs of how this process is now playing out. Through the positions of the planets and luminaries in the present, as reflected through the lens of Samhain 2014 and some of the myths that have come down to us which tell of Capricorn’s origins, we can see the macrocosm and microcosm working together.

Samhain sees the Sun align in the heavens with the constellation of Virgo, travelling from the legs and feet of the goddess towards meeting at full Moon with the fixed star Zuben Elgenubi, the ‘southern claw of the Scorpion’ in the constellation of Libra. In our times, this star has become integrated into the scales of ‘the balance’ now associated with the sign of Libra and Zuben Elgenubi indicates ‘the southern scale of the balance’.  The qualities brought  by the star remain unchanged – it is the socio-cultural setting that has changed and influenced how we interpret those qualities.

Within the ongoing process the Sun’s transition from the benevolent stars in the feet of the goddess to the claw of the Scorpion covers the time of the second quarter in the Moon’s 11th lunation 2014 and the full Moon gives a clear indication of the most developed nature of the change at work here. At the height of the lunation the Moon will oppose the Sun on the 6th November, in alignment with the star Menkar in the constellation Cetus, the whale or sea monster. However, the change in character of these celestial influences behind the Sun and Moon becomes clearer when we look to the stars involved with the Moon at Samhain. At zero hour of Samhain on November 1st the Moon is in the 21st degree of Aquarius in the tropical zodiac, aligned with the tail of the sea-goat in the constellation of Capricorn. The star associated with this degree is Castra. To get into the significance of Castra we need first to explore the origin myths surrounding Capricorn.

The birth of Capricorn

We can learn some interesting things about Capricorn, from both contemporary and ancient star lore, concerning how this celestial figure became established and what it signifies at this time. In our time, George Noonan tells us, “the constellation Capricorn has a great influence over human affairs portending major changes in such areas as climate and political customs. Along with the sign, the constellation is also noted as the “Mansion of Kings.” (1). The imperative need ‘for transformative action to become embodied’ is reflected by Robson’s reading of the myths when he states  that…..

…..”During their war with the giants, the Gods were driven into Egypt and pursued by Typhon. In order to escape, each was forced to change his shape, and Pan, leaping into the Nile, turned the upper part of his body into a goat and the lower part into a fish, a shape considered by Jupiter worthy of commemoration in the heavens.” (2)

Capricorn is here recognised through Jupiter’s mythical intervention.

Typhon is also associated with Set in Egypt, the nemesis of Osiris, and the shift from one age into another is very much a part of the egyptian story as well as the emergence of a new religious order, a shift of power base.

Their are many myths and stories from around the world that tell of these events, too many to recall in this article, however, I’m focusing on the greco-roman myths here as they so strongly underpin the psychological dynamics of the dominant culture in our times ~ this is where the destructive psychoses we now see playing out globaly have their root, and it is their shadow, hardened into the husk of the old world and all its attendant pitfalls, that we must break through if new growth is to flourish.

The intervention of Jupiter in giving Capricorn a home in the skies reveals how the politico-religious rewriting of the myths suited the dominant powers of the time. The gods are very much the instrument of change here, but, they are invariably given the spin that suits the victors…..Typhon warred with Zeus, and Zeus, after becoming re-instated, was superceded by Jupiter reflecting the insurgence of roman culture. Hermes helped restored Zeus to the heavens after Typhon had ripped out Zeus sinews and cast him into the earth during their battle. The figure of goat-Pan links with Dionysus and, through the assistance of Hermes/Mercury, the figure of Capricorn was born. We could get something here from remembering Ariadne’s story from the preceding post ~ after Theseus had successfully overcome the Minotaur and navigated the labyrinth with Ariadne’s help, the lovers eloped. The greek sources originally tell us that Theseus left Ariadne, having first sired a child in her. Theseus abandoned her on the island of Naxos, Dionysus sacred ground. In seeking to absolve the hero of such betrayal the later interpreters changed the story making Theseus the victim of a storm while at sea ~ we will soon see an echo of this in Capricorn’s story.

There are strong intimations in this drama of cosmological changes at work which radically affected the terrestrial plane, indications that powerful forces were wielded between celestial bodies and the earth which initated major shifts in both the environment and the collective of mind of the people. Hermes intervention tells us of a change of mentality, a new way of thinking and of an accompanying shift in relationship with the deities. When we look more closely into Typhon’s background the resonances become stronger.

typhon usagiTyphon was the most fearsome of monsters, associated, as his name suggests, with destruction and upheaval through powerful winds and a fire that flashed from his eyes – our word ‘typhoon’ may well have its origins in Typhon. His partner was the cthonic Echidna, the ‘mother of all monsters’ who had the body of a dragon and the torso and head of a woman. She was the daughter of Ceto, linking us with the constellation Cetus in our story. Their off-spring included the Sphinx, the Chimera, Cerberus and the Caucasian Eagle summoned by Zeus to daily eat the liver of Prometheus, who is commonly associate with Uranian powers. The birth of such a brood is indicative of archetypal changes within collective psyche, has an echo in it of suppression of innate psychic energies and earth energies, and, what seeded this is revealed through Typhon’s appearance.

Typhon’s lower half was also serpentine. His head was 100 serpents, his body being covered with wings, and red scales and spikes covered his back. He sounds very demonic, and the later projection of a ‘satanic’ shadow upon such a figure is clear. However, the underlying theme comes not only from how his powers were experienced, but, from how they were metabolised in the process. Typhon’s was a power of cosmological dimensions that affected earth through cthonic forces and my speculation is that we are seeing in the battle with Zeus/Jupiter an event involving telluric and electric forces which, in their earthly symbolism, the serpent represents.

The many headed serpent, amongst other similar symbols, can realistically indicate telluric pathways and electrical discharge between two charged celestial bodies….are we seeing a representation of a global catastrophe initiated in the heavens here, that affected the land and brought flooding and upheaval? Is Typhon representing the catastrophic nature of this upheaval as it was experienced? Typhon’s defeat saw him banished by Zeus to the volcanic regions and, while there is some correlation in this with Plutonic symbolism, the story makes sense when we consider what role such dramatic environmental change would have forced upon the people. The gods themselves were forced to change shape….

The aftermath of such terrestrial change would undoubtedly be profound and order would have been sought out of chaos. In the writings of Manilius, we find a description of what this may have installed in the wake of the shape shifting that brought Capricorn into existance.

“In her shrine Vesta tends your fires, Capricorn: and from her you derive your skills and callings. For whatever needs fire to function and demands a renewal of flame for its work must be counted as of your domain. To pry for hidden metals, to smelt out riches deposited in the veins of the earth, to fold sure-handed the malleable mass—these skills will come from you, as will aught which is fashioned of silver or gold. That hot furnaces melt iron and bronze, and ovens give to the wheat its final form, will come as gifts from you. You also give a fondness for clothes and wares which dispel the cold, since your lot falls for all time in winter’s season, wherein you shorten the nights you have brought to their greatest length and give birth to a new year by enlarging the daylight hours. Hence comes a restless quality in their lives and a mind which is often changed and floats this way and that; the first half of the sign is the slave of Venus, and that with guilt involved, but a more virtuous old age is promised by the conjoined fish below.” (3)

The “restless quality in their lives and a mind which is often changed” is especialy noteworthy and the strength of the leader would have been crucial. Vesta played a key role in the regulation of rulership, her priestesses, the Vestal Virgins, keeping the eternal flame alive within the holy of holies, and it was they that reminded the ruler of the sacred duty, afforded him by his position (and this is during the rise of the patriarchy), of serving the people. The political head was still religiously governed and this was a significant power afforded the Vestals, giving them a political as well as a sacred edge that could not be ignored. The Priestesses of Vesta had precidence in renewing the solar power of the ruler, and Capricorn is the cardinal cusp upon which the Sun, from whom the ruler assumed the divine power of his station, is reborn at solstice. In Manilius quote is a clear indication of Vesta’s importance on the mundane level as well, and, in it we find intimations of the advent of metalurgy as a sacred technology, as well as the relation to agrarian states that were born of climatic change. Behind all this is a carefully encoded allusion to a preceding global shift.

But, why would Venus enslave?! Venus too has been represented as a celestial body with fiery serpentine hair streaming from her head, the great comet that swept by earth in ancient times, bringing great change. The time we are looking to here is unclear in chronologically formatted western histories, but, Kronos establishment as Saturn who rules our mechanistic interpretation of time is also indicted here ~ Saturn, electric universe cosmology tells us, was transformed from a Brown Dwarf star to its present state through the intervention of a second Sun, our present one, and Venus advent came after the interaction, just as Aphrodite was born from the spume of Uranus who Saturn/Kronos castrated. Again, here is a shift from the era of the eternal presence of cyclical time, the ‘Golden Age’, to the linear chronological time with which Saturn is now associated. The planet Saturn’s present state, as represented in this cosmology of myth, is the outcome of immense upheaval  and comes at the tail end of the story that Capricorn unfolds.

The memories of that time were passed down to us in the myths and the stars can aid us in recalling them ~ and, at Samhain it is one star in particular that is highlighted by the Moon’s degree.

The stars in the tail of Capricorn have a much more benevolent nature than those in the head and belly, the lore tells us, and, as the connection is with the diluvian half of the sea-goat’s story the intimation is that it is here that we will find the Samhain Moon’s relevance to the present.

And so we come to Castra in the tail of the sea-goat.

Castra – 21 Aquarius

Robson tells us that Castra is “Of the nature of Saturn and Jupiter. It gives malevolence, destructiveness, an uncontrollable temper” (4), but, Noonan corrects this saying “the star Castra is of beneficial influence, although some modern astrologers such as Robson mistake this star as being in the belly (of the goat) and thereby gave it a malevolent nature [this star, epsilon, ε, is positioned in the fish-tail of the goat; Robson has incorrectly said it is on the belly]” (5).

The Moon’s alignment with Castra at the turning point of Samhain brings beneficial influences into play in connection with the origin myth of Capricorn. The forces that resulted in the change of the ages initiated a shape-shift that brought about a new way of living, relating to the celestial as well the cthonic powers as they were perceived. The age in question may well be connected with the sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon, whose cusp marks the solstice opposite Capricorn. In my own journey I have heard the story relating to the advent of Venus from within the oral traditions passed down amongst indigenous mentors, the timeline they have related corresponding to the cusp of Cancer. But the present calls us to be mindful of the meaning over the timing and, being in the tail of the sea-goat, Castra brings the post-diluvial aftermath of these events to bear, a matter of no small import when we look to the changes now underway in our times.

When in tropical Aquarius the Moon brings the collective fields of communication and Uranian qualities of electric potential and invention together with the psycho-somatic sensitivites of the People. In the 21st degree of Aquarius these initiate the theme associated with third decan of Aquarius. While the lore behind the decans shows that the Moon rules the third decan of Aquarius, this decan carries the most revolutionary impulses of Aquarius, where science and transcendance meet, and the spiral in the tail of the sea-goat is the dynamic representation of the forces at work. Some have named this section of Aquarius the ‘Gateway of the Gods’, an epithet fitting to the mythical story-line given above. There are creative cosmological energies at work here, the spiral energies of creation that push the seed to germinate, and, if the transition into the Aquarian Age is mirrored in this it presages great advancements in how we relate to the use of technologies. We are looking to working in co-operation, as a people, with the innate powers of Nature, rather than exploiting them.

This ecological movement, as much spiritual as it is material, has to find expression that can both harmonise our ways of living with each other and with Nature, and expose the errors that have denied us this right. The imperative is to transcend from an age in which the misuse of power through force and technology has underpinned terrestrial life through their negative impact upon the environment, our freedoms and our health. The revolution envisioned is akin to a shape shift that addresses the networking and co-operative nature of Aquarius and, in the of growth of globalism, the corporate rulership of the body politic, as well as its accompanying  hegemony of suppression, we find the nemesis of Aquarian individualism and the freedom to initiate change. Make no mistake, this is a call to actualise a shift in consciousness, an embodied awareness, as the continued blinkering of this awareness will bring out the Aquarian shadow. That way lies a monocultural globalism, a form of collectivism that is ruled over more in the name of Leonine forms of rulership, into which the power of the shadow is projected, than owned, shared and recognised in empowered individuals. And, we should not forget that while Uranus is the modern ruler of Aquarius, Saturn was the tradtional ruler of both Aquarius and Capricorn.

tree-66465_640-1-352x198

While Samhain 2014 is but an eyeblink in the change of ages, there is in this immediate time an urgency about actualising the initiation of a collective change that will see the transformations necessary to the revolution realised. If this requires movement en-masse it also requires that this be realised through individuality, the right to be ones-self. The Moon, the signs and the stars highlight this interweaving. From the individual’s perspective the scale of this task is immense, a fact reflected back  to us by the fact that on the precise entry point of Samhain the Moon will exactly oppose Jupiter in tropical Leo, and both will form a T square with Saturn in late Scorpio, all within the last decans of the respective signs.

The tensions being played out here are infused within the global dramas of this time and take on monumental proportions. However, it is through the individual, you and I, that the change will come and the future will be seeded with Aquarian potential. In this, the Samhain alignments become sign-posts, encouraging us to be open to the messages left by our ancestors. Through the myths being activated in our psycho-somatic nature we are called to shape-shift spiritually as well as materially, to take advantage of the qualities of the moment at the thinning of the veils. This means bringing a closer level of co-operation into our relationships with the otherworlds. The thinning of the veils and the ‘gateway of the gods’ coincide ~ for the spiritual activist this is the prime opportunity to activate the gateway with powerful intent and seek assistance from the ancestral and divine powers, the spirits. They will not fail us, but, we must each play our part.


In the next post we will look at how the T square between the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn further illuminates our course of action.


(1)(5) Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology, George Noonan, 1990

(2)(4) The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Robson 1923

(3) Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD

Images

Shaman : Susan Seddon Boulet

Typhoon Uriga

Under the Moontree