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Author:Ingrid Hoffman

Diamonds and Rust—Sun in Scorpio October 23rd

Scorpio 12

So come my friends, be not afraid
We are so lightly here
It is in love that we are made
In love, we disappear
—Leonard Cohen
“Boogie Street

 

“Endings seem to lie in wait ” wrote mystic and poet, John O’Donohue who died so suddenly as he slept in the January of 2008.

We wait expectantly for endings at our journey’s end. Endings unfurl in the intoxicating sweetness of  that first kiss.  In the vows we make at the altar. Endings come with the loss of our identity when we retire; with the changes in our body as we age, our brave beauty etched in our faces, our strength shining through our bones. Endings strip us of our innocence. They come in the brutal betrayal that spills diamonds and rust from the forgotten places in our heart.

Shimmering spiderwebs hang heavy from the hedgerows, adorned with diamonds of dew. We’re at a threshold crossing. We’re in the gap between the equinox and the solstice, we’re in the “fall” as  the earth cools in the North, as the light begins to fade. In the south, the ancient rhythm of the earth stirs uneasily as the days lengthen, as the  searing summer heat carries the desert sands on scorching breath of the wind.

Things are not  what they used to be.

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On October 24th, we enter the primordial underworld, the shadowy realm of Scorpio. Spectral plumes of mist curl from rust-coloured forests and from the hill tops, the plaintive roar of the rutting red deer promises new life and the ambush of death.

When we cross the threshold into Scorpio’s territory, we become aware of those things that rust and putrefy; we meet scorpions and snakes. Scorpio rules those body parts that bring ecstatic pleasure and release—the anus, the rectum, the genitals. When we  cross this threshold in the cycle of the year, we encounter the healing power of in-depth psychology, the the magic of metaphysics, the deep knowledge of shamanism,  the dank dark underbelly of crime, the power of money and political intrigue, the renewal of sex, the inevitability of endings, the surety of death.

The darkly brooding presence of Pluto, Scorpio’s modern ruler, has cast a long shadow over the month of October in world events, perhaps in our own lives with news that has reminded us of the impermanence of this life.

1 Full MoonPluto stationed direct on October 2nd and the heightened effect may have lingered for a week before and afterwards in our own lives, most certainly in world events. Mercury and Venus entered Scorpio on October 3rd and 8th, and all these planets have aspected the Nodes of the Moon that have been moving across the Cancer/Capricorn axis since 2018. Mars in his own sign of Scorpio, squares the Nodes on October 22nd. Something bigger than ourselves, something fated, is at work. We may remember that for the ancient Greeks, Fate came in the form of three Moirai, those three sisters  who determined the Fate of every living creature. It was Atropos who cut the thin thread of life. She decided the end of things. We meet Fate when the Nodes of the Moon transit the planets or angles of our birth chart. The South Node draws us back, into the undertow of the past, we hesitate at the threshold, we circle endlessly in our place of discomfort. The North Node is where we see the diamond of our destiny, although the threshold crossing is never easy. Something is calling us to our purpose, our ability as a race to love and heal and to nurture one another and all creatures great and small.

8aebfce3b1ef310832da262296dd50bcThe New Moon in Scorpio on October 28th makes an edgy opposition to Uranus, indicating that our threshold crossing may not be smooth and sedate. Uranus is associated with sudden shock and upheaval, and when the energies of the Sun and the Moon combine at the New Moon in the sign of the Scorpion, we may discover the truth. We may feel a pressure to release, eliminate, burn on the bonfire those things, those thoughts, those behaviours, that have outlived their purpose.

Scorpio is a feminine sign, and paradoxically ruled by testosterone-driven Mars. With Scorpio there can be no compromises.  Death, trans-formation, may be unfolding themes in our lives this month and in our collective future.

The ancient pagan festival of Samhain marks the New Year on October 31st, the day Mercury in Scorpio turns Retrograde. As we cross this threshold, we prepare to enter the labyrinth down into the underworld, we must go within. The darkness and the cold, the scorching heat and drought, will test our resilience.

Thresholds are liminal spaces.  Threshold crossings were once protected by ritual and talismans. We may not yet see clearly what we are leaving behind, what we are about to enter.  As we pause at the threshold of summer or winter, we may feel assailed by grief or resistance, overcome by the instinctual force of survival that distracts us from the inevitability and necessity of crossing this frontier, of leaving those things that are safe, familiar and beloved behind. Our destination may not yet be clear. As we step across the threshold, we must walk lightly in the darkness for a while knowing that there are stars, scattered like diamonds, across the velvet blackness to guide us into the grace of a new beginning.

As our earth strains beneath the weight of our appetites and numbers, many of us sense the ultimate ending, as the climate crisis threatens all species with mass extinction. In a superbly-written piece , Catherine Ingram describes this ending with heart-breaking clarity.

She quotes Jonathan Franzen, who writes in his latest book,  The End of the End of the EarthEven in a world of dying, new loves continue to be born.

This is now the time to give yourself over to what you love, perhaps in new and deeper ways. Your family and friends, your animal friends, the plants around you, even if that means just the little sprouts that push their way through the sidewalk in your city, the feeling of a breeze on your skin, the taste of food, the refreshment of water, or the thousands of little things that make up your world and which are your own unique treasures and pleasures.  Make your moments sparkle within the experience of your own senses and direct your attention to anything that gladdens your heart. Live your bucket list now.”

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Please get in touch if you would like an astrology reading: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

I write regular astrological updates on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/ingrid.hoffman.75

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The Promises We Keep—Sun in Libra— September 23rd—October 24th

Libra 2Today is a point of balance, the Autumn or Spring Equinox. An ancient memory may stir within us at this time of awakening and surrender as wildflowers thrust their bright faces towards the sun in the south and a flutter of copper leaves quilt the northern hemisphere in russet and gold. On September 23rd, the Sun moves from the self-contained, contemplative archetype of Virgo into Venus-ruled Libra, the only sign of the zodiac represented by an inanimate object—libra justitiae, The Scales of Justice.

In the metaphorical language of astrology, the Libran part of our own birth chart will be illuminated for the next month as we practice and perfect the art of relating to others in an uncertain world, as we continually adjust, realign, re-establish our balance on the beam of life.

This is a time of weighing up, of accountability, and of carefully considering the promises we make, the promises we keep, to others and to ourselves. There’s a celestial line-up in relationship-orientated Libra right nowbetween September 22nd and 25th Venus and Mercury square Saturn and the South Node, that point of release, of old karma, that comfortable place of discomfort that draws us backwards, just when we begin to move forward. Saturn, associated with structure and boundaries, is said to be exalted in the Cardinal sign of Libra, so this month our integrity will be tested by those people or circumstances that knock us off balance, shatter our calm test our boundaries and our commitment. As we feel ourselves pulled into the dust storm of political intrigue and economic recession, we may be tempted to tumble from the beam as we wage war with the politicians, as we snipe at our lover, as we shame or abuse our body.

The Libran New Moon on 28th September (5° Libra) arrives with charm and grace and the promise of compromise. The Moon is invisible when she’s new, but she carries potent unseen energy if we have the courage to step back into balance, to find that still point of silence at the Centrepoint of our heart. We may begin to notice where we feel fractious, frazzled, out of kilter. We may buy ourselves a bunch of fresh flowers, close the curtains and light a candle, enjoy a favourite meal with the one we love.  The fast-moving Libran Sun makes a square to Saturn and Mars moves into Libra on October 5th strengthening the need to carefully consider and weigh, restore the balance, before taking action. Libra feature image 4

 

The Full Moon on October 13th brings the raw vitality and verve of Aries to what we have imagined or initiated at the New Libran Moon. We hold the tension of opposites with Aries (self) and Libra (other). This Full Moon will reflect the state of our relationships. The bonds of love and loyalty that bind. The untethered ambiguity of those casual encounters that so easily tilt and topple. Research links happy committed relationship to lower stress levels, better immune function, and lower mortality rates, as oxytocin and vasopressin activate parts of the brain associated with calm, even the suppression of anxiety and pain.

Libra 322Libra is associated with the solemn ritual of marriage, the ethics of contracts and agreements. Mystic John O’ Donohue writes, “when we approach each other and become one, a new fluency comes alive. A lost world retrieves itself when our words build a new circle.” It’s the symbol of the circle, the wedding ring, that contains us and offers a bulwark against the uncertainty of the world as Pluto’s passage through Capricorn (2008-2023) agitates the dark currents of power, politics and big business.

In the West, we’ve inherited  a biblical injunction that marriage is sacrosanct juxtaposed with the view of the ancient Greek philosophers and French rationalists, where the right of the individual to happiness is enshrined. Writes Esther Perel, we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide.”
As we re-imagine the institution of marriage, we begin a dance that requires balance and commitment to staying the course in a world that seems so uncertain. Psychologist Sue Johnson writes, “this drive to emotionally attach—to find someone to whom we can turn and say ‘Hold me tight’—is wired into our genes and our bodies. It is as basic to life, health, and happiness as the drives for food, shelter, or sex. We need emotional attachments with a few irreplaceable others to be physically and mentally healthy—to survive.”Libra 30

Marriage can flay and brand, or softly kiss our soul. It is through our sentimentality, our innocence, our insistence in the “happily ever after” and the romantic dream of the marriage made in heaven, that we meet the dark challenges that a soul-ful union will always toss, like a gauntlet, before us.  It is through the difficulties, often the sojourns in hell, that we refine the prima materia, the raw stuff of life, and learn the phases of Love in all their complexity. Writes Amy Bloom, “marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.”

On a metaphysical level, the ritual of Marriage is sacred. It is a rite of passage, through which we metamorphose into a deeper, more soulful self. We integrate the masculine and the feminine within; we discover that he or she is not the god/goddess we thought they were. We discover we cannot depend on our partner to make us whole, to love us forever and ever, or to make us happy.

Libra feature imagePerhaps we could see marriage as a threshold into a mansion of self-discovery. An archaeological dig into the layers of our ancestral past. A calabash that holds the milk of compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and for each other when we make mistakes, behave appallingly. Perhaps we ought not give up too soon, stand on our soap boxes pontificating about the flaws and weaknesses of the other. Perhaps then we will learn to truly love one another and not make a bond of marriage, but a circle of love that protects those who dwell within.

You were born together, and together you shall be forever more. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your daysKahlil Gibran.

For  private astrology readings and more regular astrology updates please connect with me on Facebook or by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

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In Modesty Blaze—Sun in Virgo

Everyone shines, given the right lighting—Susan Cain

 

5a1a5baa84aaeca8c9b0182c57b70afdThere’s a different quality to the light as the Sun moves through the sign of Virgo today. Now, as fields of gold are harvested and the last of the summer fruit hangs heavy on stooping branches, we may get a sense of Virgo’s connection with the slow, careful rhythm of the earth, the perfectly timed arrival of a cluster of black berries or the profusion of jasmine that bedecks the fence at the same time every year.

Where Virgo resides in our birth chart, this is where we hone our craft, where we polish and perfect. Virgo carries an imprint of self-containment and reticence, emphasised by the glyph for the sign of the Virgin which seems to curl modestly inwards. As the light softens in the North and grows brighter in the South, those shy souls who live quietly amongst cacophonous babble of self-aggrandisement and over-share that pervades our culture may feel the need to be introspective. For those of us who were shy and awkward as children, and have emerged as reclusive adults, we may prefer the undemanding company of a good book to cocktails at a trendy pop-up. We may feel more sensitive, more easily affronted by the blustering self-help guru who claims to be able to fix a floundering relationship in just eight minutes, or the “expert” who brandishes unexamined opinions on YouTube.

As a quiet procession of Virgo planets draws us inwards, we may feel the need to clear the clutter in our lives, quite literally “spring-clean” our homes, attend to our body by walking in nature, preparing lighter, easier to digest, meals. The Sun’s passage through Virgo highlights that part of zodiac where we must refine our skills without the compulsion to be seen or validated. We may take little steps. We may need time and gentleness to mop up the mess, attend to the details, mend what is broken or ailing in our lives. Another often overlooked aspect of the Virgo archetype is the Alchemist, the Healer, the Midwife, the Medicine Woman, the Sangoma.e00eee854266bfde589a7a8a920160ff

Virgo is attuned to the silent cycles of the natural world. This is where we celebrate those quiet miracles, those very ordinary, often unacknowledged acts of service simply stitched into the fabric of our daily lives. We may meet this archetype in those who serve, those who take care of the details, those who mop up the mess. The driver of the bus who patiently explains to a breathless Spanish visitor the best route to take to the park. The volunteer at the animal shelter or food bank. The young man who drives an ambulance by night as a way of giving back.

 

Virgo 18It was Carl Jung who coined the term, “introvert” in the 1920s.  His either-or-markers for our personality traits seem simplistic and one-dimensional in the context of astrology. The light and shadows of our birth chart depict the nuanced complexity and the challenges of our human experience.  Jung’s radiantly “extroverted” Leo Sun in wide conjunction with Uranus in the 7th house would have glowed in the spotlight, but his Taurus Moon conjunct Pluto in the 4th house may have preferred soft lamplight or the dappled shade of the forest.

 

“Introverts are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling,” Jung is purported to have said, “extroverts to the external life of people and activities.”

 

Self-proclaimed consummate introvert, Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, writes “Introversion—along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness— is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living in the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.” Susan Cain Virgo

 

Susan Cain’s birth chart suggests that she has enough “extrovert” fire in her belly to become a successful author, public speaker, and Harvard Law school graduate, thanks to an assertive and competitive Mars in Aries and very possibly a Moon in Sagittarius. Her Pisces Sun conjuncts Chiron, Venus and Mercury are in Pisces, suggesting a deeply sensitive, intuitive way of self-expression and relating.

Venus demurely slipped into Virgo on August 21st, to be followed by The Sun (August 23rd) and Mercury (August 29th) and a Virgo New Moon (August 30th).

 

Virgo 10On August 24th, the relational planets, Venus and Mars, merge their essence, emphasising our human need for consistency in our close bonds with those we care for. They are conjunct on August 24th (at 4° Virgo, an echo of their last meeting at 19° Virgo in September, 2017) breathing soul, vital breath, into those bonds that fulfil our deep desire to belong, to be seen and to be deeply listened to. Author Elizabeth Gilbert who has a Moon in Virgo, describes the cadence of lasting love so beautifully, “to be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow— this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”  The older astrologers say that Venus is in her “fall” in Virgo. An outmoded and rather demeaning term that obscures the luminosity of this vibrant goddess as she appears in sensual, earthy Virgo. She’s anything but “fallen”. She rises strong, bringing the magic of the alchemist to her relationships, the sensitivity of the healer, the receptivity, the fresh uncalculatingly freshness of the Virgin to those who delight in her company. Venus in Virgo is the Earth Goddess who looks her best in dappled light, and as she joins Mars in Virgo this month, we  hone our innate capacity for empathic connection, we cultivate and nurture enduring  friendships,  we mend bonds that may be frayed or broken, and gently place ourselves in just the right lighting.

“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamp-lit desk. Use your natural powers—of persistence, concentration, and insight—to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.”  Susan Cain.

If you’d like to know more about your own birth chart, please connect with me by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.comVirgo 26

 

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Great Heart—Sun in Leo—July 23rd—August 23rd

The world is full of strange behaviour
Every man has to be his own saviour
I know I can make it on my own if I try
But I’m searching for a great heart to stand me by
Underneath the African sky—Johnny Clegg and Savuka

Icons and legends have a way of making us look up. We feel taller, more courageous, as the arc of their greatness sweeps through our ordinary lives. As their giant leaps surmount the walls and ancient fears that divide us, as we appreciate their legacy, as we feel the heat of their great hearts, they remind us what is wonderful about the world.Buzz Aldrin on the Moon photo courtesy of NASA

It’s been fifty years since Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins made their triumphant return from the Moon, as the Sun entered the sign of Leo. That giant step for mankind may not have felt like any step at all for the millions of people living in poverty in the 1960s, for those who were poisoned by Agent Orange, or immolated by the flames of war. But it was a momentous moment of wonderment and joy when Neil Armstrong a Leo Sun, spoke his famous words as he alighted from the Eagle and left his foot prints on ancient Lunar dust.

Guardian columnist, Suzanne Moore writes, “I choose to talk about this now in a world that stares inwards, full of smaller leaders with smaller ideas who think only of walls and fences and barriers, who police the parameters of our imagination and abilities. I say look up at the night sky, just as I did as a little girl. At that same moon. And wonder.”

 

South African singer and musician Johnny Clegg on the set of the film 'The Power of One', 1992. He worked on the film's soundtrack. (Photo by Keith Hamshere/Getty Images)

This week, as the former President Zuma evades and distorts and can’t remember, South African singer and songwriter, Johnny Clegg died in his Johannesburg home. As appreciations and accolades stream in for this Lancashire-born White Zulu who rooted so deeply in the russet soils of Africa, sinister shadows stretch beneath the doors of government and across the millions of shacks that spread across landfills and wetlands and cling to hillsides. We’re carried on the bar of a song to a South Africa that is irrevocably changed, yet fundamentally the same.

Old aking crownstrologers associate Leo with rulers and kings. Like the mythical Fisher King, our leaders are wounded. All across their ailing kingdoms, Poverty presses its runny nose against the high walls of unexamined rhetoric that divides us by the colour of our skins, the money we don’t have, the names we can’t be bothered to pronounce. It’s those giant steps that make us wonder. It’s that sense of destiny that compels us to act with courage. Perhaps, in spite of what is going on around us, we may feel that heroic impulse, that surge of magnanimity, the expansion of generosity that comes from an open heart.

Where Leo resides in our birth chart, we need to feel that we matter, that we are heroic, even though we doubt and second-guess ourselves. This month we must express ourselves with big, bold brush strokes. We must be brave enough to express our truth, even when there’s no recognition or applause. We may dare to be spontaneous, risk telling a joke, to clearly say, “I love you!”  The Sun warms and glows in Leo, symbolising our human capacity for joy, but also illuminating the challenges we must face on the Yellow Brick Road.Leo 974

As the Sun moves through Leo, we must ready ourselves for opportunities to hone our creativity, sharpen our senses, welcome the laughter that loosens and revitalises our hearts that may feel weighted by the woes of the world, abandoned by our leaders who wear tarnished crowns.

Catching our thoughts and our words in his nets, containing our grief, our wonder, Mercury goes direct at 23 degrees Cancer on August 1st, the day of the New Moon in Leo. Look for the rainbow after the rain, allow the words of a poem to settle lightly on your heart, close your eyes and breathe in the sweet scent of a rose. Jupiter, that planet associated with abundance and good “luck”, changes direction, moving direct at 14º Sagittarius on August 11th. Maverick Uranus joins the contingent of planets—Pluto, Saturn and Neptune—in Retrograde on August 12th, our prompt to be spontaneous, to dare to risk those sliding door moments, to fall in love all over again, to relish those things that are strange, offbeat and unconventional. Planets in Retrograde don’t conform to the norm.

As we relish the complexity and difficulty of our humanness—as we actively seek to find something to smile about, or to play in a way that makes us feel happy, as we allow our hearts to swell with joy, we will have arrived at our destination, we’ll feel it, we’ll know it. As Alice Walker says in The Color Purple “… in wondering ’bout the big things and asking ’bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.”

Moon landing boot printThe chart for the Moon landing on July 21st, 1969 at 3.56am GMT depicts the spirit of the Great Heart. Mars blazes a trail into future possibilities in Sagittarius. Uranus and Jupiter are conjunct in Libra; the Sun and Mercury are conjunct in Cancer a sign that is ruled by the Moon. Pluto in Virgo conjoins the South Node.  As we wonder about that one small step for a man, that giant leap for mankind, we embrace the essence of the Leo. And we feel the greatness stirring in our hearts.

For more regular astrology updates, please connect on Facebook, or get in touch and I will send you these privately. For astrology readings, here’s the email— I’d love to hear from you: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Tender Heart—Sun in Cancer—June 21st to July 23rd

Cancer feature pic 9As summer thrusts sunlight into the receptive hollows of the earth here in the north, and the benediction of winter silence presses into the cold soils of the south, the Sun moves into the sign of Cancer on June 21st and pauses at the threshold in the year. Margaret Atwood reminds us, “This is the Solstice, the still point of the Sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future. The place of caught breath.”

Our Earth is girdled with contrast, bejewelled with the shimmer of light and the stillness of darkness. Spiritual teacher Gary Zukav describes the Solstices as “the opposition of light and dark, expansion and contraction, that characterize our experiences in the Earth school so that we can recognize our options as we move through our lives.”

At the solstice, and right now in our human his-story, we stand at a threshold, and at a time of unlocking, which promises the release of pent-up energy, the slaying of old dragons, shedding of old skins. Between June 21st to July 23rd, against the backdrop of the widening gyre, the Sun rides his chariot through Cancer, that segment of the zodiac associated with home, with family, with safety and security. We have a choice to expand, or contract against the forces of change that swirl around us all.

Like all astrological archetypes, Cancer is nuanced. The little crab knows about defensive armouring and threatening claws. As the shards of life piece our tender hearts, embed themselves in our sweet spots, we may be acutely aware of our vulnerability.

This ancient dweller of this liminal, in-between place where the great oceans meet the shoreline is an adaptable scavenger, a brave opponent.  We all have Cancer somewhere in our birth chart. Cancer is the place of our tender heart. This is where we close the curtains, turn down the lights. This where we long for the comfort of soul food, or the ache for the soft bosom of an all-loving Mother. This is the place we protect with claws and pincers that flay against life when it presses in too hard.

cancer mother

We may feel uneasy, exposed, as an unyielding triumvirate in Capricorn—Pluto, Saturn and the South Node—threaten to break the fragile thread of security we have cast into the world. As silver-back politicians jostle for power, as bellicose tweets ricochet across our future lives, and invisible hackers prey on our most intimate and tender communication, hijacking our accounts, we may be feeling a kind of sea-sick. Tension mounts in Iran. Stock markets shiver. An epidemic of homelessness is a stark reminder of the widening chasm between the rich and the poor. Cancer is associated our human capacity to heal, to nourish and nurture. Cancer is associated with the stomach. As those who wield power avoid answering inconvenient truths about the climate crisis and the increased use of pesticides, we may be feeling a little queasy as we realise that we are eating a credit card sized portion of micro-plastics each week.

The world may feel volatile as Mars in Cancer joins forces with Mercury and the North Node to oppose the Capricorn planets (Saturn, South Node and Pluto—June 12th —June 23rd) rocking our cradle of comfort.

Cancer feature pic 3In contrast to the earthy Capricorn knot, all though this year a tidal surge of a very different kind of energy is swirling across the skies as Jupiter, that planet associated with big dreams, grandiosity and faith meets Neptune where we yearn to escape, be rescued from the burnt out ends of our human existence, where we long for romance, ecstatic spiritual experience; yet in real life we do the laundry, walk the dog and come home to relationships that, as John Welwood suggests in his book, Journey of the Heart, “will inevitably penetrate our usual shield of defenses, exposing our most tender and sensitive spots, and leaving us feeling vulnerable—literally, able to be wounded.”

We may have been consciously or deeply unconsciously threading strands of this Neptune/Jupiter square through our lives since January this year. (January—14° Sagittarius/14° Pisces; June—19° Sagittarius/Pisces; September 17° —Sagittarius/Pisces) This waning square is often accompanied by the deep bruise of loss, a sinkhole of disappointment, or the dissolution of a high-flying dream. Neptune yearns for the ineffable, the ideal. This aspect brought Theresa May’s career as leader of the Tory Party to an end. It’s difficult to get things accomplished under this kind of energy. We may be undermined, duped, deluded. It’s the illusive green curtain behind which the Wizard of Oz directs the affairs of state and promises deliverance. For us all, there are opportunities to tumble into the ache of our heart, or to feel the brush of an angel’s wing as we soften in acceptance of the way things are. As Byron Katie, who has Jupiter Retrograde in Cancer, suggests, “When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.”

The ancient god  Dionysus stretches and yawns when we enter Neptune’s nebulous realm of music, dance and intoxication; as we enter the non-ordinary; as we engage with magic and mystics; as everything empties into One. Neptune is Retrograde from June 21st to November 27th. This is our invitation to find deeper meaning in a renewed sense of purpose. This is our invitation to take off those rose-coloured glasses. To see more clearly a larger vision. This is our invitation to feel compassion, as we “suffer with” and our hearts open wider.

Cancer feature pic 4Venus  makes a T-square to the Jupiter/Neptune square June 23rd – 24th to offer us the gift of soul-union with a lover, artistic inspiration, the ability to be selfless, to see the beauty growing out of the cracks in the pavements, the black delta of mould in the subways. It also can signify the tsunami of grief and loss at the ending of a relationship or the realisation that we have been unrealistic or too naïve concerning our finances or what we hold dear to our heart.

Mars changes sign from Cancer into Leo and the eclipse season begins on July 2nd with a total eclipse of the Sun. This eclipse is at 10° Cancer and is followed on July 16th by a by a partial lunar eclipse at 24° Capricorn (conjunct Pluto and opposing Mercury and Mars.) These are celestial power-points that drop into our consciousness and will re-calibrate national and global events.

Cancer 632Mercury turns Retrograde (4° Leo) on July 8th, stirring up the silt from the shadowy waters of the previous sign of Cancer. We may be prompted to be more introspective, to be mindful of just how we choose to wield our authority, how we bring forth our vision and creativity.  As we stand at the Still-Point of the year, may our path be gentle. May we learn to pause and appreciate the simple pleasures, the exquisite beauty, the Love that is all around us.

I post astrology updates on Facebook and offer private readings.  I’d love to hear from you—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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He ain’t Heavy—Sun in Gemini—May 21st —June 21st

Gemini 98The road is long, with many of winding turns
That lead us to (who knows) where, who knows where?
But I’m strong, strong enough to carry him—yeah
He ain’t heavy—he’s my brother—The Hollies

Maya Angelou once said, “I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.”

Working at it can be a Herculean labour that may erode our energy, gnaw at our resolution to untie the knots that keep us bound in conflict or rivalry. Yet, whether we’re twinned, a resourceful only child, a pioneering first born, a cossetted baby, or the lost child in a family too big or too poor to give nurture, we’re engaged with the mythic story of The Twins as the Sun moves into Gemini on May 21st.

Gemini is a metaphor for separation. Through Gemini we encounter the power of two, the conundrum of choice. Gemini is the kindred spirit whom we love with all our heart, or the bitter rival we hate with a hatred that curls like ivy around our broken heart.

Beneath the popular astrological descriptions of the Gemini as talkative, fun-loving and fickle, lies a story of loss and longing, a life-long search for something or someone from which we feel separated. A story that’s so often punctuated with long stretches of aloneness. A story that stumbles into the sinkhole misunderstanding. of A story that so often ends with nothing more left to say.

Siblings betray one another, they lie, and they steal, and they envy. Siblings love one another with a love that is different from the love we have for our parents.  Brenna Yovanoff writes so poignantly, “I wanted to tell her that I loved her, and not in the complicated way I loved our parents, but in a simple way I never had to think about. I loved her like breathing.”Gemini 2

Brothers and sisters have soared like bright stars in sport and entertainment, often scattering star dust as they crashed and burned, or staying bonded in public while enacting childhood rivalries in private—the Gallagher brothers of the band Oasis, the Hemingway sisters, the Everly Brothers, the Carpenters, the Bee Gees—enacted these painful rivalries. Their  birth charts depict the complicated bonds that kept them frustratingly tied, longing to be free. “Some things, however are true no matter how hard you might try to block them out, and a lie is always a lie, no matter how prettily told. Some doors, once they’re opened, can never be closed again, just as some trust, once its been lost, can never be won back,”  writes Alice Hoffman.

As the Sun moves into Gemini on May 21st, a cazimi Mercury, also in Gemini, becomes supercharged at a quicksilver zero degrees. This is a signature for new beginnings, new connections, new choices that may become apparent after the New Gemini Moon on June 3rd.  If our Gemini planets are not weighed down by the earnestness of Saturn, dissolved by Neptune’s salty tears, overwhelmed by Pluto’s dark power, or transmitting an Uranian idea from the collective cloud, we’ll draw the energy of the Gemini archetype into our lungs, bloodstream and bones, feeling the energy of our environment, communicating through words and perhaps juggling our multiple interests with dexterity and lightness of being.Gemini 000000

Mercury in Gemini aids our ingenuity, eases communication, he also swoops into the stillness of our lives with messages, sounds, communications, that like wailing sirens, pierce our stillness, shatter our calm.

 

If Mercury in Gemini is the wind that shakes the barley. The Sun in Gemini is the Light and the Dark Twin. Brexit-backing Boris Johnson (Gemini Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars) has taken a political stance in direct opposition to that of his younger sister, journalist and television presenter, Rachel Johnson. She’s adamant Britain should remain in the EU and is quoted as saying she does not want to see Brexit  “rubbing out my children’s prospects and chances of living and travelling and working in Europe.”

Gemini 4Gemini is a Mercurial sign, as changeable as the wind, as restless as our minds that dart and dance, waking us from our much-needed sleep, calling us from our meditation. As we read, watch television, or flick through Instagram, as we crave more and more stimulation, more learning, more data gathering, we feast on the words, the ideas, of Gemini. In our obsession with social media, we gorge on gossip, we witness, we observe, and we choose. Spiritual teacher, Caroline Myss’ Gemini Moon conveys the archetype of the Storyteller, the Data Gatherer. She writes, “the challenge is for us to decide whether to make choices that enhance our spirit or drain our power.”

This year and next, Pluto (the Dark avatar that destroys, corrupts and exposes corruption), Saturn (structure, authority and tyranny), and the South Node (a regressive pull to the past, limiting beliefs that keep us stuck and stagnant in an outmoded place of apparent comfort) are in conjunction in Capricorn (big business and government; authority issues in our own lives). gemini 798

As the old order crumbles, may we stay centred, resolute and calm. May we sink softly into the silence of understanding, may we begin to re-write our story, gathering cherished memories of that little hand we held so tightly that first day at school. The sandcastles we built,  those holidays that stretched into the infinity of the bluest of summer skies. Gemini highlights our very first relationship between near-equals. Our brothers, our sisters, our twins. Kindred spirits that encircle us in that sweet spot of belonging. Those choices that enhance our spirit and nourish our hearts.

Let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.

William Shakespeare.

Gemini 54I post regularly on Facebook. I will gladly send you these posts featuring more regular astrological updates and the lunations if you prefer to direct your time and energy away from social media.

For private astrology readings please email ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Lost and Found—Sun in Taurus—April 21st

3f6ad8bb0eb4a7dd103bbe33c468f1ecThere’s that defining moment. That softening in the belly. That strong, sure surge of love that expands our heart. That knowing, that welcomes us home to our natural rhythm, to where we belong. As the pulse-beat of nature’s rhythm of the seasons alters, and the Sun moves from the urgency of Aries into the slower, more deliberate cadence of Taurus, we may feel a renewed sense of Being as we join the circle of community at places of worship, as we visit friends and family and nourish ourselves with the sweet comfort of heartfelt connection.

Then there’s the dawning recognition that it’s our fear of loneliness or privation that keeps us in a root-bound relationship. That we’ve bound ourselves to a group or its leader who demands unquestioning allegiance. That we’ve amputated our Being, buried our creativity, pruned our intelligence, denigrated our sexuality. There’s the deep grief of losing something precious, something we thought we had found, but that got lost along the way.

Sharon Blackie writes of this sense of alienation that so often seeps into our life quite gradually when we lose our belonging, when we fall out of our natural rhythm. “I felt no love for this world, no sense of belonging. I felt separate from it, closed in, claustrophobic. Some days, walking through identical grey suburban streets to school, I felt as if I were being buried alive.” 1e5ab0ada433d9e43612a48815ca7cd3

The disillusionment and disorientation as we uncouple, or bravely break away from a group or a community can be a devastating dark night of the soul, as Andrew Harvey describes his break from his guru in The Sun at Midnight. 

Taurus, despite its association with the muscular bull, is associated with what the Jungians call “the feminine” that which we denigrate and plunder in our insatiable desire for more wealth, more success, more oil, more mono-culture. We may feel constricted, tamed by our way of being in the world, buried alive. As Uranus moves through Taurus (2018—2026) we may be jolted by circumstances that startle us enough to alter our course. Uranus, like the Tower card in the Tarot, represents a toppling of a structure, a breakdown, a breakthrough, that shatters and shocks us into a new realisation, that releases a renewing surge of energy that surges down from the heavens, through our crown chakra.

58e3a4b6369c9faccf6acb7d5d409372On April 19th, a  “blue moon” at the power-infused 29° point, illuminates those threads that still lie in disarray, those unresolved power struggles, those uncomfortable relationships we  may have wrestled with at the Equinox on March 21st when the Full Moon was at 0° of Libra. This graceful Libran Moon may shine her light on a false belonging, a sterile psychic landscape, devoid of beauty and harmony, a place we have been lingering for far too long.

Libra’s realm is relationship, fairness and equality. This Full Moon squares Pluto, demanding the truth, a more authentic way of relating, a more vulnerable, honest, way of repairing. The Moon sextiles Jupiter, reminding us of what we truly long for, where we’ve stayed small, lost the comfort of true belonging.

Mercury hurried into impetuous Aries on April 17th, to meet Chiron, the archetype of the wounded healer.  Venus joins the fire dance as she steps into Aries on April 21st, so we may sense an urgency, a decisiveness, a passion to reconnect perhaps with something we have lost, something we must find again.bfa75d2f6f24183a70b3061a22601d40

This month, Pluto, the god of the Underworld, turns Retrograde on April 24th, just a few days after the Sun’s entry into Taurus. Pluto is moving through Capricorn along with the South Node and Saturn intensifying and complicating matters of the physical world, highlighting the “masculine” qualities that we glorify in our culture. Pluto has been moving through Capricorn since 2008 and will remain in Capricorn until 2023. Beneath the dark underbelly of the mountain goat we find the Tyrant, the Dictator and the Scapegoat. Here we can lose ourselves in fear of change, fear of diversity, fear that’s real or fear that’s imagined. The South Node of the Moon stirs up the past, brings detritus to the surface. The Saturn/Pluto archetype reflects a global rite of passage that will test our integrity and our resilience. For those in authority, for those who manage power, this cycle will test capability and morality as fundamental changes in the systems of government and business, the management of our earth’s resources, will reach a crisis point, the tipping point from which there is no return.  2020 US Presidential hopefu7fb9e92409a53bb9ebe685a63d031e87l, Marianne Williamson writes, “Our problem is not that we don’t have power, so much as that we tend not to use the power we have.”

So what is this thing we call “power”?  How  do we become empowered, how do we know if we truly belong? If we have planets or angles between 20° and 25° of Capricorn, Aries, Cancer or Libra, 2019 and 2020 herald opportunities re-unite with the lost parts of ourselves, tenderly nourish, nurture our “feminine” essence into manifestation, as the North Node is in Cancer, the Magna Mater. Here we must journey to find our place of true Belonging. That soft breast of nourishment, tenderness, community, creativity and collaboration, where gender, race and sexual preference are gathered with acceptance and embraced with Love. Where we share generously without fear of lack or competition. Where we deeply love our wrinkles, the soft curves or floppy parts of our bodies. Where men and women can cease striving for bigger and for more.

The “feminine” that has been denigrated, distorted, disowned for thousands of years is still there. We see her in the soft contours of the land, the urgent thrusting of lime-green leaves, the artists brush that sweeps turquoise and violet across the tangerine skies at sunset. We know her indomitable presence in the strong walls, the deep foundations of Notre Dame that rises from ancient pagan foundations, a visible  reminder that we are never lost. That there is a natural rhythm, a steady pulse beat, an all-loving heart that calls us home to that place of our true Belonging.9d1fc5c2e5cb4b41c8886304aab4efcd

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How to be Brave—Sun in Aries—March 20th

aries 65It arrives suddenly, unannounced, concealed in a swirl of dry wind that scatters a shroud of ash over life as we knew it. It blinds us in the glare of a nuclear sky. Out of the blue, news that buckles our knees, shatters our world into shiny, sharp shards that embed themselves in our heart. At that moment, we know. Our life will never be the same again.

On Wednesday, March 20th, the Sun emerges from the deep waters of Pisces and blazes a fiery trail through the sign of Aries. A new astrological year is born.  In the North, the Vernal Equinox marks the beginning of spring. The symbolism of spring and the urgent thrust of new life is still relevant in the southern hemisphere, as the swallows return north and the sun-bleached vegetation contracts against the coming cold.

Aries marks a point of Beginning, which may be a lonely journey into the unknown. In Aries we encounter the mythic motif of conquest, which always implies an act of bravery and daring. Here we meet the mythic “Warrior” who sets off on a quest, the “Hero” who personifies courage and assertiveness. The leader who makes tough choices.  Aries is where we encounter our own autonomy, our ability to to return to life, to find ourselves anew.

There are many ways to be brave in this world. We may discover that courage is concealed in the small choices we make each new day. That act of will that gets us out of bed, the strength to put the kettle on, when all the colour has faded out of the world we once knew.

For most of us, bravery, raw courage, comes when death ambushes those we love, when our income withers, when we must muster up the courage to love again. Others risk their own lives in heroic acts of true grit.  On Friday, March 15th, Abdul Aziz’s courage during the second attack on the Linwood mosque is Aries-energy in terrifying circumstances. Journalists Praveen Menon and Tom Lasseter report “When he realised the mosque was being attacked, he ran towards the gunman… He then picked up a gun dropped by the shooter and pulled the trigger, but it was empty: ‘I was screaming at the guy, come over here, come over here – I just wanted to put his focus on me.”

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Aries is a Mars-ruled sign, and its associations with valour, with survival, with the adrenal rush of flight, fight or fold, with the existential right to exist are mirrored in the urgent thrust of nature this month. The dark face of the Ram is testosterone-fuelled anger, self-absorption and competitiveness, single-mindedness. As we set off on our Eat, Pray, Love, journey to “find ourselves” we may leave a trail of destruction as sharp and black as obsidian.  The heat of fire may singe more sensitive hearts, the single-pointed passion may suck others into its wake. Aries may have the vision, the impossible dream, but it is so often others who attend to the meticulous details.
This is a time of brave new beginnings, Big Bang commitments that infuse us with life-affirming energy, that awaken our appetite, that rouse our passion, and as Goethe once said, once the commitment is made, Destiny conspires with us to support and realise our call to adventure. As we enter Aries territory this month, we will have to take a stand, fight for our rights, acknowledge that there are no “quick fixes”, no easy exits. The iconic John Wayne gives voice to the Aries archetype, “courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.

Chiron is in Aries (February 18th, 2019, until April 14th, 2027.) Those of us who have planets or angles in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, will encounter the fire that sears our lives, purifies our pride with fierce grace. We may be inspired to take selfless action, to be spontaneous, to rise up strong, resilient, grateful to be alive. We may learn, in the words of Ram Dass, that “Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise.”

311532b432b03e808a3565f6bd643d79The Sun conjoins Chiron on Wednesday, a suggestion that the road ahead may not be easy. That stiff upper lips and stoicism was not what M Scott Peck had in mind when he said, “Life is difficult.” We may feel flawed; our flame of creativity and passion may be extinguished by worry or sorrow. We may not feel like Xena the Warrior. Chiron pierces through our illusions, our judgements, and in our pain, we may be emboldened by our courage, our inexhaustible vitality.

The Equinox is illuminated by an expansive Full Libra Moon at the potent zero degree on March 21st. A beautiful reminder of the polarity between our own personal desires, and the need to compromise, to be fair as we relate to others in an increasingly complex world.

On Sunday, March 24th, Mercury Retrograde conjoins Neptune on the same degree as the New Moon on March 6th (16° Pisces) This is the middle of three conjunctions. The first, February 19th, and the last on April 2nd, as Mercury begins to gather speed and move forwards once more after turning direct at 16° Pisces on March 28th. The uncertainty, confusion, unspeakable sorrow may still linger. Venus joins Mercury in Pisces on March 26th, and on Sunday, March 30th, Mars, warrior and defender, moves from Taurus into versatile Gemini, heralding new perceptions, emphasising the theme of duality, and perhaps the ability to see both sides of the story.

Mars rules the Aries Sun, and Mars without a mission will haggle and complain and try to outmaneuver, so watch as the political dramas unfold. 

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage,” wrote Anais Nin. We may encounter many opportunities to be courageous this new astrological month. Petty tyrants may mirror our own discomfort about taking a stand while dangerous rhetoric morphs into bullets and the dark tide of anger rises, setting fire to old grudges and unexamined narratives.

The archetype of Aries is a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit, an affirmation of our ability to muster the courage to do what is morally right, to find the humour in teetering at the cliff edge, to see Grace in defeat.

54d1c631a69b4ecab094603d9ae7bc4dIt takes great courage to submit to the call to visit those secret vulnerable places in our heart, to weep away the pretenses, to risk tenderness.

As we dare to shrug off the labels,  cease the relentless need to  “work on ourselves”, may we have the courage to trust the warmth of our inner guidance, and walk bravely towards a new dawn.

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Force of Nature—Uranus returns to Taurus—March 6th

0b1272a595b4667197dd90e774fc1235And now you’ll be telling stories
of my coming back
and they won’t be false, and they won’t be true
but they’ll be real―Mary Oliver

We cannot ignore the wind of change that is blowing across the world right now. We cannot ignore the fierce rattle at the windows of economies and governments. We’re living at a tipping point of turbulence and transformation that will test our spiritual mettle.

These winds that shake the barley may blast us from the echo chamber of our minds, unstop our ears, open our hearts. As Einstein said, “no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”  Now more than ever we require a new dimension to our consciousness, a new way of Being in a world where nothing is certain.

4ebf9930465d786077af8bf6736b47f5Most of us doggedly resist change, pay lip-service to diversity, avoid new beginnings. We’re hard-wired to take the path well-travelled.  And yet, on some level, most of us know that the external props in our lives are as flimsy as straws when the wild wind blows. Nothing and everything has changed.

Our initiatives and ambitions may be undermined this week, visibility obscured. Mercury—Magician and Trickster—begins to swim backwards in Pisces on March 5th, entering a three-week Retrograde period until March 30th, during which Mercury also conjoins Neptune for the third time. Mercury Retrograde cycles offer us a new perspective, an opportunity to retrace our steps, to rethink, repair, redo, return perhaps to where we started from. Mercury rules data, information, communication, travel, mechanical things.  Mercury in Pisces floats and dreams, softening sharp edges, blurring what we believe is the truth. On March 6th Civil, a new platform for investigative independent journalism is launched, born on the winged sandals of Mercury, the messenger, the net-worker, the communicator. We’re coming back with real stories.

Mercury Retrograde cycles have gained notoriety for miscommunication, transport delays, and technology that malfunctions.  But if we allow ourselves to yield; if we sigh out, soften; if we can relinquish our tight grip of structure and schedules, we may be astonished. Mercury Retrograde periods are times to notice how the outer world reflects our inner world.

The New Moon in Pisces on March 6th signals an expectant new beginning, that may draw us deeper into concealed currents of emotion. In Pisces, we don’t pare down, divide or analyse; rather, boundaries dissolve, colours run, everything empties into One.

As we return once more to that pure potent energy of freshness, we feel shiny and new.  The Sun conjunct Neptune swells the surge of fresh water, softening the sharp edges of our personal will, seeping through our defenses, stirring compassion, imagination, and our child-like belief in whimsy, in mystery, in magic.

This is also the day that Uranus returns to Taurus. We may begin to trace our footsteps along a road that winds back to the months between May and November 2018.

We may take a moment to revisit the discomfort of adjustment to new circumstance, the choices, the decisions, the roads we travelled.

702d922c275d18fffd1354899350fefaUranus remains in Taurus until 2026, shaking and jolting us from the steady rhythm of our cossetted lives, widening the fault lines in our relationships, swallowing the earth from under our feet. As we ricochet from our rut, Uranus may escort epiphanies that separate us from what we love and value, pushing us over the edge. Uranus destabilises, brings anarchy, chaos, revolution and rebellion. Uranus is the Sky god who brings innovation on winds of change.

As Uranus moves through Taurus, cracks will appear in financial systems. Where we’ve been holding on greedily to possessions and those things we think we value, we may experience sudden losses, upsets, that unchain us from those things that bind us. In the West, our worship of materialism, our lust for power, and insatiable craving for more and more is the wound that cuts us off from Mother Earth, from the natural rhythm of our bodies. Uranus in Taurus will highlight our physicality, our inter-connectedness with all living things and the cycles of Nature. Taurus is associated with cattle. The BBC Four series, Secret Life of Farm Animals shows how cows thrive in the wild, intuitively eating those herbs and shrubs that aid digestion and control parasites, how they love music and problem solving, how they tenderly nurture their young. As Uranus moves through Taurus, the conditions of cattle in the meat and dairy industries will have consequences.  Yuval Noah Harari writes, You want to know how super-intelligent cyborgs might treat ordinary flesh-and-blood humans? Better start by investigating how humans treat their less intelligent animal cousins. It’s not a perfect analogy, of course, but it is the best archetype we can actually observe rather than just imagine.” Uranus in Taurus 2

As Uranus moves through Taurus, climate change and erratic weather patterns will remind us of the inter-connectedness of all things. As Uranus moves through Taurus, we may encounter the Minotaur at the centre of the labyrinth: that part of ourselves, or the society we live in, that has been secreted away, feared, disowned, denied. With Uranus we may feel a sense of alienation, of being an outcast. We may feel restless, distraught, utterly alone. Uranus is associated with breakthroughs, the kind of breaking through that breaks us open, brings us to our kneesthe sudden death of a loved one, the shocking news that upends our world, the lightning-bolt encounter that electrifies us, shifts our perspective.

Uranus in Taurus 10When we’re shook up and shattered, on our knees, we may receive a flash of insight that directs us to a new bend in the road.

To live authentically in this new world, we will require grit and integrity and the spiritual strength to hold the tension of opposites. To enter, as the Spanish mystic, Teresa of Avila, who lived in the burning times of The Inquisition (1500s) said: “let us remember that within us there is a palace of immense magnificence”. 

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Swim inward, Swim outward—Sun in Pisces—February 18th

So, this is how you swim inward. So, this is how you flow outwards. So, this is how you pray―Mary Oliver.

Pisces new moon 23For those of us who like our lives anchored by certainty, the world may seem a precarious place right now. As our plans are sucked into the undertow, we may be cast adrift from the raft of our faith.

The Sun enters Pisces on February 18th. In the archetypal journey around the zodiac, we’re invited to wear our mermaid tails and adorn our hair with sea shells. In Pisces, we dive deep into opaque waters where music and poetry melt walls that divide. We may experience, in the words of Eckhardt Tolle, “all things that truly matterbeauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peacearise from beyond the mind.”

Pisces is not an easy constellation to see with the naked eye. And in our birth chart, Pisces planets or the house with Pisces on the cusp, may be concealed by louder or more overtly visible planetary archetypes. A rumbustious Aries Sun or dutiful Capricorn Moon may be more comfortable in a world where we compare, compete, and have a “nice day”. Julia Cameron, writes, “The voice of our original self is often muffled, overwhelmed, even strangled, by the voices of other people’s expectations.”  We may hesitate at the water’s edge, admiring other people’s creativity, their altruism, their faith. We may disown our Pisces planets as the outer world presses it’s concerns into the sanctum of our intuition. We may not notice the signs and the symbols and pack away our childish magical thinking and innocent imaginings.

Pisces 8

Perceptions may shift, new insights may wash to the shore of our consciousness, or ambiguity, uncertainty and confusion may swirl around us as we swim in uncharted waters.  A faerie-circle of golden spring crocuses waiting expectantly for the bees may remind us that everything is interconnected.  A homeless woman, hollow-eyed, thinner than her beloved dog, may stir our compassion. The mute suffering of factory-farmed animals may compel us to be more discerning about the food we choose to buy. Searing temperatures, drought and fire, may prompt community spirit.

Pisces is where we journey to those soulful regions of our psyche, those places where we encounter mysterious daimons, and where powerful currents of emotion  surge like a rip-tide, shattering our peace, bringing us to our knees. In this underwater realm, we hear the songs of the whales, the whisper of the sea grasses, the prayers of our ancestors who lie full fathom five.

As we immerse ourselves into this sphere of water this month, there are sea changes that reflect the swelling tide of worldly events.

Chiron changes sign, moving from Pisces into Aries on February 18th. Chiron’s story is a tragedy. In-spite of his goodness, his wisdom, his generosity, he is accidentally wounded.

7971a7cf8f077f43e056807a18226f23Chiron, in our birth chart,  represents that place where we are maimed, irrevocably scarred, by the unfairness of life, where we discover that bad things do happen to extremely good people and that what goes around doesn’t always come around in any satisfactory or just kind of way.

Chiron will remain in Aries until 2027, having emerged from Pisces and bringing out from the murky waters an existential pain, a reminder of our human flaw, perhaps the guilt or sense of unworthiness we thought we had dealt with in therapy years ago. Collectively, Chiron in Aries necessitates a brave and radical approach and understanding to the problems that plague us personally and globally. Chiron was in Aries during theRoaring Twentieswhich brought prohibition, Jazz and the Charleston. The babies born to sexually free, bobbed haired mothers, were raised in the hard knock time of the euphemistically named, “Great Depression”.

Chiron was in Aries from the late sixties to 1977—as students protested and napalm in Vietnam scorched the earth. This was the turbulent time of the counter culture movement and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. As Black Consciousness stirred in South Africa, a tide of frustration broke through the cement walls of apartheid, and the Soweto student uprising on June 16th 1976 marked the beginning of the end of a system that has left a ridge of scar tissue on the psyche of a nation.

On February 19th the Full Virgo Moon (0° Virgo) casts her discerning light over our human foibles, pares down our wishful thinking with her keen intelligence and attention to detail. The zero degree of this lunation is significant. It marks the culmination of a cycle and the beginning of a new one as the Moon trines Uranus at 29 degrees Aries and forms a quincunx with Chiron. Our healing journey has only just begun. Virgo represents the self-possessed Feminine aspect of ourselves. Virgo is associated with the earth, with our care for all living things. Without any fanfare, she gets to work, cleans up the mess, weeds the garden. Then plants one precious seed at a time. This Full Moon illuminates the polarity between Pisces and Virgo. It is also a reminder of the precision, the  perfect timing of nature, as we marvel at a convent of wimpled snowdrops, or a robin’s egg nestled in the mossy curve of a branch.

On Sunday, February 10th, Mercury dipped into the deep waters of Pisces (11°) and will join Neptune in a phosphorescent conjunction at 15° Pisces on February 19th.

Pisces 124In Pisces, Mercury drapes our dreams in silken images that sparkle and inspire. He withdraws from worldly concerns, submerged in fantasy, delighting in music, art or poetry. He aids emotive expression of our thoughts, our feelings, our heartfelt concerns. Yet, we can also be prey to delusion, confusion and misunderstandings in those deep and often murky waters where the two fish swim.

By March 5th, Mercury is moving slowly. He stations, and goes Retrograde, moving right back to that conjunction with Neptune from March 24th to April 2nd. He remains in Retrograde until March 30th and will enter the fire of Aries on April 17th, an opportunity to suspend our skepticism, to re-write the narrative of our lives and move toward “what if” … “what could be” …

There’s a much-quoted passage in Alice Through the Looking Glass, where Alice says to the White Queen, “There’s no use trying…one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Pisces 9

As Jupiter blazes confidently through Sagittarius this year, we may have ample opportunity to dream our wildest dream, to practice believing six impossible things before breakfast. To test the validity of our optimism for the third and final time in September 2019 when Jupiter and Neptune make their final square.

Our challenge will to remain alert to the moray eels, the sharp shards of shell concealed beneath the opaque waters of Pisces.

As the tethered fish of Pisces draw us deeper, may they guide our prayers and direct our faith, so that we can hold on tight to our dreams.

 

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