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Author: Ingrid Hoffman

Love’s Labour—Pluto/Jupiter and Lockdown

As the virus that knows no boundaries pervades the sanctuaries of our homes, and lodges in our dreams, we grieve those things we have cancelled, the celebrations that never took place, the hand we couldn’t hold at the end. We worry about our adult children who live in another city. We are consumed with concern about elderly parents.

We may feel inexplicably exhausted, drained by the grief that drags at our bones. The cupboards we planned to tidy, the books we intended to read, the routine that now seems rather pointless in this shapeless, formless state of suspension.

We’re all in this together. And we aren’t. The rich cocoon in comfort and the poor huddle together in refugee camps and council flats. Yet, we’re sharing our stories, swapping jokes and recipes to stave off loneliness, boredom and fear. Our boss, our co-worker and our oldest friend enter the messy ordinariness of our homes as the kitchen table becomes a place to work and a place to socialise. As Venus moves through the mercurial sign of Gemini we’re talking to our screens, caressing our devices, responding to the slightest ping or gentle vibration—often with more enthusiasm or presence than we give to the one we love.

At this time of enforced togetherness or the purgatory of physical separation, we may be learning a new style of relating as we begin to realise that for so many years, we have  concealed our vulnerability behind the cement wall of intractable beliefs about our partner. Many of us will return again and again to that stuck place, that sterile landscape littered with the bleached bones of broken promises, eroded by silence. For others, as physical distancing brings more emotional honesty, we realise that we’ve been alone and yet together for far too longwe’ve sublimated our desire, displaced our passion, jettisoned our joy.  Perhaps we recognise that we talk, but seldom listen, or feel heard. That we speak about empowerment and boundaries, but really don’t value ourselves enough to say No. During this time of enforced togetherness, some of us may be learning to assert ourselvesgiving way, leaning in.  Perhaps we’re profoundly grateful, as we celebrate and champion the love we have now rather than the love we haven’t had in the past.

Pluto (ruthless destruction, purging, elimination) and Jupiter (amplification) are in conjunction all through 2020 (the aspect perfected on April 4th and will do so twice more on June 29th and November 12th). These conjunctions contain an explosive energy that so often coincides with turning points in our human story—as all that is corrupt and rotten in governments, institutions, and  in the often flimsy structures of our own lives is revealed. Pluto/Jupiter conjunctions can be combustible when they brush against our birth charts or the chart of our relationship, dredging up buried truths, destroying what is, and inviting us to revision a new future. They may ignite tinder dry resentments. Set ablaze those innocent promises we made and forgot to keep.

In the war about who’s right and who’s wrong, how much you love me and who’s in charge, there’s no room for relationship. Says psychologist, Terry Real, “proving just how right you are can be a tough temptation to walk away from. But relationship grown-ups understand that being right is not the real point. Finding a solution is.”

In his book, The New Rules of Marriage, Real writes, “letting go of the need to be right is a core principle of relationship empowerment: learning to live a non-violent life. Non-violent between you and others. Non-violent between your ears. Scolding your partner as if you were his mother, passing judgement on him, humiliating him. These are all forms of psychological violence.”

Today, a hot-headed Sun conjoins Eris (goddess of strife) at 23° Aries and both are in a tense square to Pluto/Jupiter, auguring a time for radical honestyor more stringent control and power-play.

We may feel as though we are suspended, dissolving, putrefying, as we are locked within a sarcophagus of physical confinement, too close for comfort.

“We always marry someone with the purpose of finishing our childhood,” says psychologist Harville Hendrix, who suggests that we’re unconsciously drawn to people who will guarantee a re-enactment of the old, familiar relationship dynamics we grew up with. It is through our sentimentality, our innocence, our insistence in the “happily ever after” and the romantic dream of the relationship made in heaven, that we meet the dark challenges that a soul-ful union demands.  It is through 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.

Power struggles in relationships have soared to new heights of psychological sophistication with easy access to often dubious “self-help” offerings on the internet. We can diagnose our partner as being a Narcissist or having signs of Asperger’s syndrome. We can play Victim, Rescuer or Persecutor in the tawdry soapie of our own lives. Labels, like headache pills, can be an easy way of dealing with the symptoms, but not the cause.

“Toxic relationships can sneak up on almost anyone. And controlling behaviour on the part of a partner knows no boundaries—people of any age, gender, sexual orientation, or socio economic status can be in controlling relationships, playing either role,” writes psychologist, Andrea Bonior in Psychology Today.

Toxic relationships don’t sneak up like thieves in the night, robbing us of our joy and our autonomy. We create them all by ourselves. Adult power struggles resemble “the terrible twos”. We use avoidance, manipulation, verbal and very often physical abuse to get our own way. We stamp our feet and sabotage moments of tenderness or connectedness. We withhold or demand sex or money. The old Berserker brain takes charge. Reason, compassion and wisdom fly from the bloody battle fields.

The anatomy of love and desire requires boundaries and structure, whether it’s the ritualised control and submission of bondage and sexual play or the intricate web of rules that we weave around ourselves when we become a couple.

What do we share and what do we keep private? Do we stay friends with our ex on Facebook? Does honesty always nurture trust and intimacy? How do we come together and stay present for one another amidst the distractions that trip-wire closeness? How do we soothe and repair those bruised silences that hang like dust motes above our sensitivities? Sex therapist, Esther Perel believes “relationship boundaries are not a topic that you negotiate only once. Your personal and couple-dynamic boundaries may change based on your relationship or your individual preferences at varying stages of your life. The most successful couples are agile and allow this to be in an open and ongoing discussion.”

At this time of physical distancing, our devices can offer connection yet Eric Pickersgill’s series of photographs, Removed, depict the phantom limb of our treasured devices that signal our busyness and unapproachability. This invisible addictive force splits our attention and takes us away from those who are physically present.

Connection is an energy. It manifests when we feel seen, heard, and validated. When we draw nourishment and strength from our relationship. When we feel like allies not foes. When we find our own wings to fly between the spaces and the coming together, even in captivity.

 

For a private astrology reading, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Couples in Confinement—Pluto/Saturn Conjunction 2020

 

It will take decades to fully grasp the significance of 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn.

Saturn rules boundaries, walls and barriers. When we talk of “cabin fever” or being “in the trenches” we are talking about a Saturn experience. Pluto represents power and powerlessness. We feel Pluto when we feel the visceral energy of survival, when our ancient reptile brain is activated. When we sense death, irrevocable endings, final outcomes.

Pluto is also connected with the ultimate power that our governments wield, with enormous wealth, and with plutocracy.

Lock down, self-isolation. This is the alchemical process of containment, symbolised by Saturn. As our lives become more constricted, as our personal choices and freedoms compress, the fissures in our relationships become more apparent.

As we face our deepest fears, we bump against the sharp edges of relating. Our history, our culture, our different parenting styles, our different ways of dealing with uncertainty, surface in captivity.

In our birth chart, Saturn represents our defences and our fear. Pluto’s placement comes with our ancient strategies for survival. Now, Pluto, Jupiter and Mars are in in Capricorn. Capricorn is synonymous with Father. As we place our trust in our leaders to protect us, as we grapple with the challenges of working from home, our worries about our ageing parents, as we feel the chill of the massive financial crash yet to come, we bring the unfinished business of our childhood into our relationships. The alembic of confinement may be a time of healing, repair and revival. In captivity, old wounds may be revisited, emotions may flow deep as a shared longing heals the scars on our hearts.

The term, “crisis” derives from the Greek, “krisis” which is translated as meaning decision, or judgement.

In this time of crisis, what decisions do we make? Does our own inner critic emerge to shame us for not doing enough, not being enough? Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn carry a serious, joyless kind of energy that may mirror the perfunctory peck on the cheek we give our partner as we bend towards our device. Saturn represents the brakes we use in our relationships, our strategies of avoidance and denial, the myriad ways we say no to intimacy, to vulnerability.

As we acknowledge our inner walls and labyrinths, we may also feel the need to place symbolic walls around the private spaces in our homes. Perhaps our bedrooms become the sanctuary where we pray, meditate, dance, take each other’s faces in our hands and gaze into one another’s eyes. As we dismantle the barriers that keep us from loving bravely, we may expose our vulnerabilities and our fear of being rejected, humiliated. We may have to show our partner what we need now to feel safe, to feel special. We may have to give ourselves permission to receive, to rest in one another’s arms.

The astrology reflects the heart-beat of the uni-verse, and although different places on earth are experiencing different time lines, different spikes on the graph, as Pluto (destruction, break down, death) and Jupiter (amplification) move into a close conjunction on April 4th and April 5th,  there is an echo of the crisis that began in 1939.

All through our human history, times of crisis have been times of evolutionary growth and change. As lockdowns intensify in countries all over the globe, we inhabit a world that will be irrevocably changed as a recession pares down economies. Saturn moved into the air element of Aquarius on March 21st swinging his scythe at our ideals, our narratives, the old stories that have threaded through our families for generations. Saturn times are times for rebuilding structures. Saturn moves confidently through Aquarius, turning his gaze towards grass roots movements, and the needs of the group. For those leaders who are putting business before the health of people, Saturn’s journey through Aquarius may have a volatile impact, as the group energy, or at worst, the hive mind, begins to demand new structures, develop innovation, more focus on human rights.

Saturn was last in Aquarius in 1992/1993. Saturn in Aquarius may force us off the road well-travelled into unknown territory that may take us way beyond the norm. The restrictions regarding daily life, travel, and social interactions are likely to intensify around March 31st when Mars conjoins Saturn at 0° Aquarius. Saturn Retrogrades on May 10th, and then returns to earthy Capricorn on July 2nd when he will remain until the decisive conjunction with Jupiter on December 19th, another huge collective and personal turning point. In Aquarius, Saturn may be innovative and experimental. We may begin to question the old ways and feel the urge to restructure old conceptions.

Planets cast a shadow, and we can feel this shadow at least six weeks before and after the tight conjunction. In the build-up, the heaviness of the collective fear and the sense of  oppression intensifies, there may be a sense of “the new normal” as we move along the outbreak cycle, and another peak as the Nodes move from Cancer/Capricorn to that powerful point of 29° Gemini/Sagittarius on June 5th. This is a process. It will be long and it will demand the best of us all. Despite what the politicians say, this will not be a quick fix. There are karmic chickens coming home to roost. We have an imperative to stop doing what we have been doing, to contain, to reflect upon our lives, to allow our souls to catch up with us. To begin again. Changed. Humbled. Different from before.

 

Astrology offers a fresh perspective on our daily lives. If you are curious about the hows and the whys, please get in touch: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com

I’m offering discounted sessions for all health workers, and for those who are have been affected by the lockdown financially.

 

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The Invitation―New Moon in Aries―March 24th

At this pivotal moment in our human story, the Sun and the Moon meet in the sign of the Ram today at 9.28 am GMT.

Aries is associated with courage and valour, with autonomy and individuality. With “me” rather than “we”. In the context of the Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter heavyweights in Capricorn, this New Moon invites us to bravely go within. The sky story tells of something much bigger, much more profound than the current pandemic. This is our opportunity to stop in our tracks. To radically change how we live on this earth. To downsize, de-clutter, those things that weigh down our lives, clog our psyches.

Saturn is about confinement, constriction, limitation. Pluto ruthlessly destroys what no longer serves our collective and personal evolution. Over the coming months, the pressure will increase.

This is a time of endings. A time of grieving. A time when our unresolved issues will surface. Our collective and personal shadows will stretch longer as we push the already demoted Pluto “out there” onto our partner, onto the government,or name it “the Chinese virus.” As the struggle for survival intensifies, there will be acts of heroism and selflessness. As things become darker, we will make music and send jokes across the internet. As our personal freedom is curtailed our social connections will become more important, more meaningful.

This New Moon conjoins Chiron, the Wounded Healer, symbolising the grief and suffering so many are feeling now as economies collapse; as we face environmental destruction and climate crisis. Many of us are still in a state of shock and numbness, as we obey government guidelines for social distancing, as we brace ourselves for more limitation and hardship.

This Chiron/New Moon is a signature for painful “self-isolation” but also an opportunity to transmute our pain and suffering into the healing we need for our bodies, our souls and for all the other species who live amongst us. As we lean into our discomfort, as we stay with the uncertainty, with chaos, the shakiness and the hopelessness, we will learn not to panic, remember to breathe out, and gently and compassionately reach out to help someone else with loving kindness.

Pluto (irrevocable endings, break down, eventual revival and deep healing) and Jupiter (amplification of the catastrophe) are still in conjunction square Eris (goddess of discord and strife) and my interpretation of the astrological symbolism is that this will be more of a marathon than a short sprint, with the months of April and May requiring our altruism, our generosity and our self-sacrifice, for the good of the collective so that healing may occur.

Pluto and Jupiter are in conjunction in Capricorn on March 23rd and March 24th. Mars conjoins Pluto at the start of this new week as we adapt to the impact of the disruption to our routines, our livelihood. Saturn (boundaries, restrictions, limitations and isolation) moved into Aquarius on Sunday for the first time in 30 years. Saturn is associated with the fear many of us may feel seeping through the collective consciousness. Saturn is the Hermit card in the Tarot. Saturn will remain in progressive and revolutionary Aquarius for the next two and a half years as new grass roots movements emerge hopefully to tackle the environmental crisis and huge disparity between the rich and the poor. Saturn is about what needs to be done, what really matters, rather than on what we would like to do.

Mars joins Saturn in progressive and revolutionary Aquarius on March 31st, symbolising decisive law enforcement and intensified lock down of movement and social engagement that will be the “new normal” of our lives. Mars (encompasses war, sporting events, action) Saturn (restrictions, limitations as we carve out new structures for our lives.)

Many people are limiting their intake of negative or fearful news. Some are choosing to avoid energy-draining encounters and rather place their focus on those people or activities that will boost morale. Mars conjunct Saturn on March 31st may mark a deeper descent as we are sucked into the undertow of fear and worry, yet this conjunction also marks a turning point which may strengthen our resolve, fortify our willpower, as we prioritise, pare down, cut away those things that drain our energy and resources.

The invitation at this new lunar cycle is to rest our bodies, still our minds, take stock, be accountable for our actions for the good of the whole.

 

In Love,
Ingrid

The pandemic will have long lasting financial and psychological implications. Please drop me a private email if you would like to find out more about the whys and the hows in your own life and in the world, from an astrological perspective. If your income has been already affected, I will offer discounted sessions via Skype or Zoom.
ingrid@trueheartwork.com

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does―William James

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Out of the Blue―Sun in Aries―March 20th

 

There are blue skies over the Great Wall of China. Bird song suffuses the silence in empty streets as a pathogen permeates the jangled air we breathe. For so many of us, Fate has intervened scuppering our travel plans, shaping the way we work, the way we touch, the way we kiss.

Like the Saturn/Pluto opposition of 9/11, the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn (January 12th) has ushered in a year of planetary turmoil that will have an indelible effect on our collective psyche.

This conjunction is a celestial mirror of the isolation, the economic recession, the fear and uncertainty that is sweeping across most of the planet. The archetype of Saturn is redolent of prisons. Pluto is accompanied by a primal, shadowy fear that’s hard-wired in every living creature.

With Pluto we enter Jurassic Park. We learn about the cycle of life and death. We lose our innocence. We lose control.

In the final year of the carnage we now call WW1, a “Spanish flu” scythed through an estimated 100 million people. They were young, wage-earners.  In 1918, Pluto was in Cancer, the sign of home and family.

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars are all now in Capricorn, a sign associated with the Elder, with commerce and large organisations. As some nurses and doctors on the front-lines compare the outbreak of Covid-19 to war-time triage, we may be reminded that at the last conjunction of Saturn and Pluto (in Libra, November 8th, 1982) the US entered a recessionary cycle and England sent her young men and women to war in the Falklands.

Rheinhold Ebertin, in his book, The Combination of Stellar Influences (COSI) suggests that Saturn/Pluto combinations can manifest as “perseverance, as well as diseases with causes difficult to ascertain.”

This month’s super-charged Super Moon in Virgo (March 9th) has illuminated the health crisis and the necessity for assiduous hygiene.

The Full Moon fell opposite a Sun/Neptune conjunction which precipitated the sudden drop in oil price and plummeting stock markets (Neptune’s domain is oil) and a surging swell in the pandemic (viruses and pandemics that permeate boundaries are ruled by Neptune). Neptune is about suffering, sacrifice and loss and as the pandemic spreads, many more people will grieve the deaths of loved ones. The cracks and flaws in our governments, health systems and social networks will be exposed. Pluto/Saturn energy focuses our ancient survival instincts, and although there is altruism and collective compassion (Neptune), most governments appear to be acting unilaterally and independently as fear fuels panic buying and hoarding.

Mercury, the god with white wings on his sandals, was the god of crossroads. He is associated with communication, with travel. On March 10th, Mercury turned direct and will be moving through the air sign of Aquarius (humanitarian issues) until Monday, March 16th when he slips back into the boundless waters of Pisces. On Friday, March 20th, the Sun emerges from the same deep waters 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 as we face into many more months of turmoil and uncertainty. 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 return to life, to find ourselves anew. The New Aries Moon on March 26th is supported by the impetus of Mars in Aries on the last day of March as Mercury clears his introverted Retrograde cycle, quickening events in our lives from March 31st.

The symbolism of the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn this month has cast a long shadow over our lives. The conjunction will intensify in early April. When Jupiter and Pluto combine issues of power (plutocracy) become amplified. Ebertin said that Jupiter/Pluto isn’t explicitly “success” or “good fortune” but desire for power; loss of social standing and wealth, the misfortune to lose everything.

Jupiter encompasses foreign travel, new adventures, religion, and faith. Jupiter moves into Retrograde from May 14th to September 13th   impacting summer holidays and grounding flights, signifying the demise of more airlines, an end to low-cost air travel. The impact on tourism and the economy will be immense.

As the painful process of unpicking the structures of governments and financial institutions which began with the banking crisis back in 2008 continues to continue, (symbolised by Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn) we may be facing into the stark necessity of realignment of  those things that represent structure and stability in our own lives. Pluto remains in Capricorn until 2023 and as we emerge from this process of break-down, we may discover that there are many ways to be brave in this world. We may find courage 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. We are not defined by external forces. We are not trapped in our his-story, the purgatory of our tribal mind. We can make new choices, as we cross this threshold into this new year. Leonard Cohen said, “To offer oneself at the critical moment when the emergency becomes articulate. Its only when the emergency becomes articulate can we create the willingness to serve.”

Tomorrow the Sun will rise again. The moon will cast her silvery light across the contours of our Mother Earth. “The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere, the dew is never all dried at once, a shower is forever falling, vapour ever rising…” wrote the man who inspired a nation and a president to set aside land for the magnificent American national parks, John Muir.

Things may not be solved. But we can offer ourselves. We can serve with brave hearts.

For personal astrology consultations on Skype or Whatsapp or to receive the more detailed regular astrological weather updates I post on
Facebook, please email me on ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Stormy Weather—Sun in Pisces—February 19th—March 20th

Strong winds and lashing rains wake ancient rivers from their beds, drowning spring’s delicate cameo of white blossoms as they bravely emerge from winter’s lean pragmatism.

This week the Sun joins Neptune and Mercury Retrograde in the salty seas of Pisces. We dive full fathom five beneath the choppy waters of our lives.

Neptune was god of the ocean, and as our seas choke with plastics, storms sweep over the British Isles, washing away homes and businesses, submerging hopes and dreams in a sodden landscape.

 

Neptune turns a ghostly face to our human need to hold onto what we love. Boundaries dissolve, treasured possessions disappear. We learn that everything is transient. And when we hold on to too tightly, Virginia Woolf reminds us, “buildings fall; even the earth perishes. What was yesterday a cornfield is to-day a bungalow.”

As the Sun moves into Neptune-ruled Pisces this week, the future of Yosemite glittering Fire Fall is uncertain after drought, beetle infestation and wildfires. “Up until three years ago, it was fairly reliable that you’d have snow in February, spring conditions in June-July, and August would be dry,”  says UK photographer, Paul Reiffer.  “… the seasons have become “completely random” he says in a Guardian article.

Neptune is also associated with pandemics, plagues and contagion through dissolution of boundaries. As swarms of locusts blacken Kenyan skies, Mercury, the messenger, spreads the coronavirus “infodemic” as customers avoid Chinese shops and restaurants; Chinese children are taunted in schools and playgrounds.

Neptune was last in Pisces from 1848 through 1862. In 1854, Dr John Snow traced the cause of a cholera outbreak in London to a street pump in Soho, debunking the “fake news” that cholera was an airborne disease. Author, Karen Armstrong reminds us that the very Piscean quality of compassion is hardwired into our brains yet is constantly pushed back by our more primitive instincts for selfishness and survival. As the seasons transition, we may sense the discomfort of those confined to their homes as the coronavirus claims more lives and affects the supply chain from China to the West.

The Sun and the Moon consummate their union with the new Pisces Moon (4° Pisces) February 23rd.

The Pisces/Neptune theme continues for the month of March as doctors and nurses on the front-lines face more challenges, more far-reaching economic effects. Mercury, (how we listen, how we communicate) turned Retrograde on February 16th and will be immersed in the watery realm of Pisces until March 4th, when he returns to the airy sign of Aquarius. Mercury moves direct again on March 10th. Mercury Retrograde times are opportunities to pause, to go within, and to re-do or reverse an activity or a state of mind. We may see a shift in the progression of the coronavirus as Mercury changes direction and moves back into the element of air on March 10th. There may be more tension and more cases of voluntary or enforced isolation as Mars moved into Capricorn on February 17th and will conjoin Jupiter and Pluto from March 19th.  

Mercury, Neptune and the Moon will be in Pisces on March 22nd, the day that Saturn dips into Aquarius, reflecting the swirling currents of change and uncertainty.

On March 9th, a demure Virgo Moon (19° Virgo) casts a pale primrose trail over worldly events, reminding us to stay anchored amidst stormy weather; to seek comfort in our daily routines; to be discerning as fact and fiction become entangled amongst the slippery flotsam and jetsam that floats through cyberspace.

As Neptune trawls through Pisces, Lost Boys and Lost Girls skip the light fandango, turn cartwheels ‘cross a sea floor scattered with the bones of those who lingered and languished in the deeps.

Undines and mythical Mélusines lure us beneath the waves where we can escape from the harshness of our lives by binge-watching Netflix series as the storm clouds hang like bunches of black grapes overhead. Neptune was in Pisces during the Pre-Raphaelite movement and as images of sublime otherworldly beauty captivated the imagination of the elite, the squalor and stench of Les Misérables was portrayed by Victor Hugo.

Planets that wear iridescent Piscean clothing offer strange tinctures of genius and madness. In the watery-logged realm of this archetype is a marshy Never Never Land surrounded by an ocean of dreams.

Neptune’s spell draws us towards the sweetness of oblivion, the lure of addiction, the ultimate exit of suicide.

The corrosive effects of hate-speak and online trolling seep through the porous boundaries of social media while Neptune moves through amorphous Pisces. (2011-2025)

Television personality Caroline Flack took her own life on Saturday—Caroline’s words are diffused with Piscean compassion. “Be nice to people. You never know what’s going on. Ever.”

As Neptune expresses itself through the dreams and visions of the collective, fashion and movies reflect Neptunian themes, veganism and animal rights become part of an awakening awareness that has been stirring in the zeitgeist. As Neptune moves through Pisces genders have blurred, more men are using colour cosmetics and skin-care products, hair colours sparkle in shades of iridescent blue and silver-grey. Yet artifice comes at a price as the new TV series Beauty Laid Bare reveals.

Neptune is associated with glamour, with photography and the silver screen. With the seductive siren song of fame that casts its spell on hapless mortals, who become “stars” and shine their light brightly for a brief incandescent moment. In his impassioned acceptance speech at the Golden Globes Joachim Phoenix (Sun, Venus, Mars in Scorpio; Jupiter Retrograde in Pisces) conveyed Piscean altruism to the affluent and well-dressed audience, reminding us all that no one species has the right to dominate or control or use or exploit one another with impunity.

Astrology is a language of metaphor and symbolism that mirrors what emerges in the collective and in our personal lives. We are at a time of collective ending, already glimpsed in extreme weather, the miasma of political machinations, and the endings that precede new beginnings in our own lives As we widen our circle of compassion, Plato reminds us “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about your own birth chart: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

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Brave New World Sun in Aquarius—January 20th —February 18th

The psychedelic rainbows and purple haze have all gone up in smoke. The fabled Age of Aquarius with its promise of peace and understanding has withered now, like the flowers we wore in our hair.

Yet today’s bright Aquarian Sun offers another perspective, a new vision, perhaps a glimpse of Hope that is the last to fly from Pandora’s Box of worldly woes.

This month we may meet people and circumstances that challenge our conditioning, that stir in us a vision for a better world. We may see our uniqueness or longing to belong reflected in electric blue hair, piercings and tattoos that make a statement of personal self-expression in a world where conformity and tribal affiliations are difficult to avoid.

This is our time to question our beliefs about the world, our assumptions based on how other people look or behave. “When explorers began traveling across oceans and undertaking bold expeditions in previously unknown territory, an entirely new kind of encounter emerged. Cortés and Montezuma wanted to have a conversation, even though they knew nothing about the other,” writes Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Talking to Strangers: What we should know about the people we don’t know.

We may sense something stirring in our soul, a sensitivity to the fault lines of division that thread across the collective, a deep knowing that for as long as this world has existed, we have been inexorably moving to this moment in time. One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them” wrote Aldous Huxley in a Brave New World.

As our thoughts and preferences are nudged along by Google and Instagram, spiritual teacher Eckhardt Tolle reminds us of the ancient schisms that make it so easy for us to de-humanise one another. “Sometimes the “fault” that you perceive in another isn’t even there. It is a total misinterpretation, a projection by a mind conditioned to see enemies and to make itself right or superior. At other times, the fault may be there, but by focusing on it, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else, you amplify it. And what you react to in another, you strengthen in yourself.”

Aquarius is associated with the welfare of humanity, with altruism, with disruptive ideas and ideals that may be way ahead of their time. If the zodiac ended with Capricorn, there would be duty and status, but no progress or innovation. Our high Aquarian hopes and brilliant insights may collide with the harsh reality of Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and the South Node currently in dutiful Capricorn. Yet as Eckhart Tolle reminds us all, “life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”

The energy of the Aquarian archetype escorts anomaly into our carefully constructed lives. Aquarius has two rulers—traditional, law-abiding Saturn, and Uranus the iconoclast, the rebel, the innovator and the revolutionary. As we near the end of the horoscope this month, we may feel the undertow of pain and suffering that pulsates through the collective. We may sense the inconvenient truths of the narratives we absorb into our blood and bones. We may see the beauty, the nobility in our humanness, we may feel a stirring of something extraordinary, something dawning that is greater than we can possibly imagine.

In myth, Prometheus’s altruistic impulse to steal fire from the gods, to see the potential for genius and innovation in the human race, is one of the important themes for those who are born this month. Zeus was enraged by Prometheus’s audacity. He was pinioned to a rock and each day an eagle came to gorge on his liver. It restored and regrew again each night so Prometheus endured the same excruciating agony again and again until the hero Hercules that set him free from his torment. The theft of fire comes with a price to pay for those who incur the wrath of the gods, who dare to  upend the natural order, or bring an idea, a vision, that is too far ahead of its time.

Like fire, which is volatile and unpredictable, we are facing into an uncertain future as our home planet faces certain destruction by our hubris and our lack of foresight.

Uranus escorts the kind of change that uproots the past, scatters the status quo like dust in the wind. On Harry and Meghan’s wedding day, May 19th, 2018, Uranus was conjunct the Queen’s Sun at 0° Taurus. As the young couple free themselves from “The Firm” and embark on their “progressive new role” they will set a precedent for the future. And pay the price.

This month may be part of an unfolding journey for us personally and collectively. We may feel out of sync with the status quo as we dream of an incipient future  as the days grow lighter in the North and sun-baked leaves begin to fall in the South.

The first aspect the Sun makes is a square to Uranus, an energy that so often catches us off-guard, scatters our plans, brings us closer to the deep “I” that is our consciousness, devoid of ego.

The single conjunction of Saturn and Pluto on January 12th will have an orb of influence of two years, magnifying collective debt and accountability; bringing to the surface the dark matter of power that is used for self-gain. As Mars enters earth-bound Capricorn on February 16th, we may find that our dedication to our beliefs is shaken, our collective human foibles that may seem more extreme.

The visionary new Aquarian Moon on Friday, January 24th (4° Aquarius) makes a resilient square to Uranus, emphasising this impetus to seek higher ground, to set aside our ego and serve our community, or a cause that resonates with our desire to leave the world a better place. The Full Leo Moon (20° Leo quincunx Pluto) on February 9th  carries the power and wonderment of Miranda’s exclamation in The Tempest: “How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in’t!”

Between January 26th and 28th, Venus and Neptune conjoin in Pisces, and make a seductive square to Mars in Sagittarius. We may become swept away by the sweet surrender to something that feels otherworldly, spiritual or intoxicatingly romantic. We may be buoyed by an illusion, carried away by a will ‘o the wisp dream. Or we may choose to use this energy creatively to birth something magical that will transcend the smooth round of routine that flat-lines our joy and bleaches the colour from our days.

As we encounter our fellow human travellers―the eccentrics, the rebels, the innovators and the Holy Fools, may we shake off the shackles of our conditioning. May our vision for a brave new world flutter with the hopes and dreams of all humankind.

 

 

For astrology consultations, please connect in person: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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I’m Still Standing—Sun in Capricorn—22 December—20 January 20th

Everything does fall.

It must be gravity—Dan Brown, Angels & Demons

At the darkest point of the year, the frail old Sun lies like a feeble old patriarch, recumbent on the Northern horizon.

In the skeletal silence of mid-winter, in the crowded craziness of mid-summer, we may long to withdraw from the excessive festivities, from the chicanery of swaggering politicians who play snakes and ladders with our lives, from the ache in our heart as bush fires blaze against a backdrop of sepia sky.

Every year, the Sun arrives in Capricorn at the time of the mid-winter or mid-summer solstice. The days reverse their gathering of light and dark.This is the still point of the year.

In the silence of the night, we prepare to enter new ground.

Saturn-ruled Capricorn, like all astrological signs is complex and nuanced. It’s associated with fathers, and patriarchs. Tyrants and scapegoats. With ageing and death. With the resilience it takes to accept a new reality. With the wry humour it takes to sing I’m Still Standing when we’re lying down.

In myth, the horned goat, Capricornus, is a cousin of Pan, a lewd, lusty, music-loving Satyr who incited “panic” and contagious pandemonium among those who travelled through the dark woods.

There may be ghosts of loss that haunt us as the bells of Christmas ring. Fears that unbalance us as we stumble into the darkness of despair. A fog of loneliness that drapes itself over our shoulders like a heavy coat.

In her new book, Tea and Cake with Demons: A Buddhist Guide to Feeling Worthy, personal development coach Adreanna Limbach writes about those gnarly aspects of ourselves that tend to come to the forefront when we’re overwhelmed, frazzled with exhaustion. Adreanna advises, “get close to the earth in case of turbulence” as we grapple with the challenges of being human, when everything around us seems to be whirling too fast, too loudly.

 

As the painful process of unpicking the structures of governments and financial institutions which began with the banking crisis back in 2008 continues to continue, (symbolised by Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn) we may be facing into the stark necessity of realignment of  those things that represent structure and stability in our own lives. Pluto remains in Capricorn until 2023, and those new babies who will be incarnating next year will arrive as Saturn and Jupiter amplify and concretise the changes that must be made on our home planet as the environmental emergency becomes even more compelling.

There’s a special New Moon on December 26th.  The last solar eclipse of 2019 pulses through a frayed circle of strange light.

We may be grappling with a difficult choice that leads us away from a path well-travelled. Eclipses are points of re calibration, turnstile moments that accompany a crisis;  turning points when we must befriend our fears, identify what feels authentic and true.

So often eclipses are harbingers of irreversible events that may ripple through our lives for years to come. If this eclipse aspects an axis or a planet in our own birth chart, tensions may already be rising and we may not yet be able to see clearly as the Moon obscures the sun’s light. We may need to sit quietly, attune to our breath. Seek our moment of  solitude amidst the tinsel and bright Christmas lights.

Author J.K Rowling describes a turnstile moment as she writes, “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realised. I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

For those of us who have planets or angles at 4° Capricorn, what we thought was solid and sure may be tested, we may be forced to rearrange our  priorities over the coming year; re-focus our energy, pay attention to what we want to manifest in our life.

This eclipse is part of a Saros Cycle 132 that began on August 13th, 1208 during the time of the crusades. There is a sense of fatedness, accountability, responsibility about the concentration of Saturn-ruled planets, and also the potential of wounding as this New Moon and Mercury square Chiron activating our sense of rejection, abandonment, deprivation, silent suffering and loss.

Mercury’s ingress into the sign of the Mer-Goat on December 29th accents the ticking of the cosmic clock as we approach this year’s ending, and the mountainous Saturn/Pluto conjunction of January 12th, 2020.

Saturn/Pluto delivers a concentrated clout of energy, much like this month’s super-charged new moon. This conjunction contains the finality of endings entwined with the promise of new beginnings.

The last conjunction of Saturn and Pluto was in the air sign of Libra on November 8th, 1982. The US entered a recessionary cycle and England sent her young men and women to war in the Falklands.

The January 12th conjunction will carry a sense of accountability, a sense of fatefulness, a sense of destiny, a feeling of an immovable force that propels us onward, that will pervade our lives all through 2020.

 

For those of us with planets between 21 and 24 Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, themes of endings may be prominent. And so often endings are wrapped in fear that unravels, catches us off-guard. Our resilience will be tested, the durability of our bodies. We may have to leave something or someone behind. Capricorn rules the teeth, the bones, the skin and especially the knees.We may feel the need lower our gravitational centre. Kneel. Give thanks for those who have allowed us to open our hearts wide this year. For those rock bottoms that have become solid foundations for new beginnings. For Elton John, and I’m Still Standing.

Thank you all for your support this year, and for keeping in touch. I post regularly on Facebook, but if you would like me to send you more regular updates in a private email I will do so with pleasure.

Just connect with me via my website www.trueheartwork.com  or by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com I would love to hear from you.

Solstice Blessings and Love,

Ingrid.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life―John O’Donohue

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Keeping the Faith—Sun in Sagittarius—November 22nd-December 22nd

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder—John O’Donohue

There’s a merry momentum as we turn our attention away from the cynicism and lies of those jaundiced public figures who dominate the news. This month we  switch channels to something lighter, less dissonant less deeply disturbing.

The Sun in exuberant Sagittarius this month scatters star dust and sparkle into the weeks preceding the winter solstice. The essence of Sagittarius contains an ember of optimism and effervescent good cheer, mirrored by sequinned party dresses that glitter in the shop windows, the profusion of seasonal fare that delivers an avalanche of excess and indulgence.

Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter.  Jupiter is associated with the kind of laughter that brings tears to our eyes and softens the hard edges of the world.  This is the month of Thanksgiving.  For counting our blessings.  We invoke the buoyancy and resilience of  Jupiter when we keep the faith, when we look up, when we notice the silver lining in the dark clouds of circumstance.  When we change our perception and quite suddenly,  discover serendipity.

 

Changing our attitude takes practice and repetition. Rick Hanson, a psychologist who focuses on mindfulness reminds us that our brains are biased towards fear and threat and negativity because the brain keeps us safe. Yet our brains are plastic, constructed for growth and adaptation. Practicing pessimist Tim Dowling describes how he learned to be an optimist in a week. He writes, “Optimists have fewer strokes, sleep better and live longer than pessimists. But how do you change our outlook? By embracing your Best Possible Self, keeping a gratitude journaland changing your narrative.”

Research acknowledges what shamans and witches have known for eons. The thoughts and images that flow from the deep ocean of our imagination have real physiological consequences for our bodies. Our brains often can’t distinguish whether we are imagining something or experiencing it in “real time”.   It’s up to us to re-frame our dark nights of suffering and loss, to take our bundle of straw and spin it into gold. Says Gary Zukav, “You cannot, and will not, encounter a circumstance, or a single moment, that does not serve directly and immediately the need of your soul to heal.”

Jupiter is travelling through Sagittarius now, enhancing and expanding our ability to believe in those intangible things we cannot see, to make those brilliantly courageous, self-loving choices that transfigure our energy, redirect the course of our lives. The placement of Jupiter in our birth chart symbolises our potential for optimism, our ability to dare greatly, to take that chance, to keep the faith. This is not the delusional, “gone with the fairies” kind of approach to life that pushes anything “negative” or “bad” in a weirdly cheery and disconnected way. This is about attuning to what is right in the world we see, with that conscious (and often difficult) choice to bring our best self into our relationships and our daily interactions with those we meet, wanting what is good for our communities and our planet. Writes Annie Dillard, “beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”

From the 12th century the word bileave took on a meaning which was more about holding something dear, having a sense of esteem or trust in something. This subtle nuance speaks eloquently about our personal values, and ultimately, how we wholeheartedly trust and value ourselves. Author Briana Saussy captures the optimism and the faith of Sagittarius in her book, Making Magic: Weaving Together the Everyday and the Extraordinary.

Dream true. Listen to your dreams. Ask a question, seek an answer, be purposeful. Bring an offering. Discern with care who is worth listening to. Go into the wild. Show kindness to strangers. Accept that the journey will take as much time as it takes. Do not rush. Do not dwell. Pay attention. Find the cave. Ford the river. Be willing to wait for what is worthwhile. Sit by the fire. Make it your own. Stay as long as it takes. Lust, love, tell stories. Say thank you. Know your true name. Remember what matters. Live life so that others can remember, too.”

The choreography of our lives is infinitely poetic.  We visit experiences that exile us from our homeland, wash us up on the cold shores of loneliness and suffering. We walk through the morass of despair. Astrology offers a colour wash to our ordinary lives as the planets reflect mirror our experiences. For so many, this year has been a Perfect Storm. A sharp-bladed scythe of setbacks. We may be wrung out, utterly world-weary, driven by the unceasing call of technology, the relentless clocks and calendars of linear time. For so many, the office parties and family gatherings are enfolded in a soul-searing loneliness that coils tightly around gaudy decorations and the repetitive loop of Christmas carols.

Yet, if we sit by the fire, if we are willing to wait for what is worthwhile, we may sense in the silence that envelops us just before the dawn that delicate brush of Hope that carries our bruised heart on the white wings of possibility.

Mars has moved into tenacious Scorpio and Mercury in Scorpio is now moving forward which may mean that plans or projects begin to flow more easily. The New Moon on November 26th brings a bright promise of something that shimmers like tinsel, beckons us with the warm glow of possibility. The Moon magnifies the energy of the Sun in Sagittarius, as she trines Chiron in Aries and makes an edgy quincunx to electrifying Uranus in Taurus. This lunation will quicken our energy, stir those parts of our lives that may be weary of repetitive numbing routine.

Venus begins a new cycle in pragmatic Capricorn on November 26th, accentuating our values, pressing us to firm up our beliefs, to venture to the edge, and to commit to taking the time and the effort to choose a new way of relating to the world.

Neptune stations direct on November 27th inviting us to gaze up at the starry heavens. To be present with ourselves amidst the hurdy-gurdy rub of hurried distraction, the completion of deadlines, the planning for the future. Now we can choose to allow grace and gratitude to wash over us as we savour what has been wonderful about this year.

In this month of Thanksgiving, may we bravely embrace the spirit of Sagittarius, lift up grateful hearts. And be amazed.

I 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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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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