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Astrology

One Moment in Time—Libra New Moon—September 25th.

A slow, attentive light settles on heather-clad hilltops. In steep ravines that slice the coastline into restless waters of the Atlantic, gilded leaves flutter on the invisible breath of autumn winds. This is the month of changing seasons and changing guardians.

The Sun enters Libra on September 23rd. As it moves over the equator, day and night are equal. This is the midpoint of the zodiacal round, representing the seasonal shift that accompanies endings, and beginnings. 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. Libra is symbolised by a pair of balancing scales. For so many of us, balance is something we may wistfully talk about when the rhythm of our days begins to gyrate, scattering the weight of worry like a mantle over our minds. The souls of the dead were weighed against the Feather of Truth by the ancient Egyptians, and this month, for many of us, there will be a sense of arriving at a crossroads of a situation that requires sound judgement and careful consideration. Libra is an air sign, and the element of air may make us feel unsettled, unsheltered, and ungrounded. At this time of the Equinox, as the seasons shift, we may feel we need more rest, foods that support our digestion. In Ayurveda, autumn is the vata season, a time to enjoy grounding, warming soups, or hearty casseroles.

October may feel disorientating as Mercury moves direct on October 2nd, followed by Pluto direct on October 8th and Saturn on October 23rd, but it will be the Mars Retrograde cycle that begins on October 30th that might test our courage and resilience. When Mars moves Retrograde, the primitive shadowy nature of Mars may erupt on the global stage and in our own relationships as we project our aggression or thwarted desires outwards. Mars represents our instinctual will to live, our primal rage. Mars serves the individual rather than the collective, and our battle may be an intensely private, interior campaign as we practice self-mastery and draw deeply on our inner strength.

Mars Retrograde in Gemini coincided with the financial crisis of the credit crunch and recession of 2007-08 as Pluto entered Capricorn, a poultice that has drawn to the surface all that festers in big business and hierarchical social structures. This sense of dissolution will continue, peaking with the Saturn/Neptune conjunction in Aries in 2025-26.

The Libran New Moon on September 25th arrives with charm and grace, offers the promise of compromise as both Mercury and Venus, both in discerning Virgo nestle close to the New Moon this month. Amorphorous Neptune may cloud our sound judgement, or soften our gaze as we practice radical empathy and compassion.  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.

The Full Moon on October 9th 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.

At this time when relationships between nations are strained, President Putin threatens nuclear retaliation and a partial mobilisation of Russia, and Liz Truss’s rampant ideological “trickle-down economics” bolster the fortunes of the rich and powerful, the buttress of those relationships that offer comfort and belonging become even more important.

“Intimacy is a difficult art,” Virginia Woolf once said.

For some, this will be the moment in time when we harvest all the thoughts and emotions that have brought us to a place of ending. This will be a time of departure from a relationship that for far too long has provided scant nourishment. For others, this may be the time of our heart’s delight as the revitalising fire of passion draws us to a deeper, more soul-ful, intimacy.

Intimacy is a difficult art in a world where technology replaces the warmth of human encounter. Voyeuristic TV series like Married at First Sight portray a lonely absence of intimacy, a hungry urgency to find shelter for the soul. In a culture so focused on measurables and certainties, we may find the candlelit depth and substance of intimacy a difficult art. Yet within every human heart is a longing to be cherished and to be seen.

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.”

The Sun, the symbol of our creative self-expression, is said to be in its fall in Libra implying that a perpetual state of balance is impossible to achieve, as we continually re-create ourselves amidst the complexities of our relationships and metastasise the events that are unfolding in the world right now. Balance is as capricious as the patterns of neuronal firing in our brains, as fleeting as our emotionally charged perceptions of the world around us. It will be the small gestures of love and kindness, the careful harnessing of our untamed thoughts, the brave reimagining of how this world could be that keep us open-hearted and soul-directed at this moment in time.

Please get in touch if you would like a private astrology consultation: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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High Flight—Full Moon in Pisces—September 10th.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace… the high trespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Royal Canadian Airforce Pilot and war poet, John Gillespie Magee. Died in a mid-air collision over England in 1941.

 

The Queen is dead. She has slipped the bonds of Earth, along with millions of others who died yesterday.  Public reaction to the death of the Queen surged quickly. A strange, spontaneous tide. And as a nation mourns, sorrow lands wetly on the hearts of those who never knew her on the eve of a watery Pisces Full Moon. “From the loss of Diana to Brexit, spontaneous outpourings of emotion terrify those in power. How will they respond now?” writes Marina Hyde in The Guardian.

The archetype of Queen is a powerful one. In England, the monarchy serves as a receptacle for collective projections, a fulcrum of purchase and stability amidst a churning sea of change. While politicians carry our collective imperfections and foibles, a Queen sits high above us all, serene, steadfast, unsullied by the messiness of life.

Change has its own cadence. It slides in, suddenly, catching us unprepared, or it seeps in softly, lapping at foundations of our lives, rising in increments until we are fully submerged.

Tonight, an incandescent Pisces Moon carries us across the threshold of emotion, bathing us all in luminous light as we grieve private losses, as we mourn a dead Queen and a dying world. This Full Moon conjoins elusive Neptune, a planet associated with sacrifice and redemption; with contagions that cannot be contained, with hysteria that surges and spills over; with those unfathomable, mysterious things that we can’t measure, touch, or see.

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 too tightly, Virginia Woolf reminds us, “buildings fall; even the earth perishes. What was yesterday a cornfield is to-day a bungalow.”

Grief, Faith, and Belief are strung like precious pieces of coral around the Fishes’ tails. The delicate essence of Pisces—so often infused with a tincture of loss and longing—awakens our yearnings, diffuses our dreams with dappled remembrances, inchoate sorrow. This rhythmic, watery imagery may permeate our world-weary lives with a longing to return to what we have neglected: those simple pleasures that are the arteries of life itself, those bonds of love that nourish and sustain.

Pisces is associated with The Hanged Man in the Tarot, directing us as initiates to suspend our worldly concerns and turn our gaze inwards, shifting our perspective. Throughout human history, times of drought, plague, famine, flood, and myriad human atrocities have crushed civilizations. Yet from the shards of broken lives rise mystical visions and Marian apparitions. New perceptions perfume the air.

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 sharp-edged transitions that precede new beginnings in our own lives

Mercury turned Retrograde in relational Libra on September 9th and will be apparently travelling backwards through the heavens until October 2nd.  The Retrograde cycle of Mercury occurs three times every year and moves through the elements of fire, air, earth, and water, in a procession across the zodiac, alerting us the rhythm of inner reflection that is needed for a more conscious experience of living. In Libra, the sign associated with balance and harmony, the focus falls on our relationships, with each other and with all living things. As we widen our circle of compassion, Plato reminds us “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

Mercury’s realm is magical trans-formation. He was the god of crossroads and times of transition. This fluid, shape-shifting archetype influences communication, transport, and learning, and this Retrograde offers an opportunity to pause, to catch up, to review our inner lives, our inner truths.

A Retrograde Mercury asks us to be patient and tenacious in the face of delays or obstacles, amidst the ceaseless, clamorous chatter or the polarity of choice that skewers us in indecision. We are collectively in the alchemical stage of solution. Jung describes this process as “the selfish hardness of the heart is dissolved: the heart turns to water. The ascent to the higher stages can then begin.” As we make fluid our rigid routines, dissolve our hardened habits, cleanse the debris of emotional blockages, we draw moisture into our parched lives, as we flow outwards again. As we pray. Emily Dickinson’s brief poem captures the sea-language of Pisces. When a dear friend she loved died, she wrote: “each that we lose takes part of us; a crescent still abides, which like the moon, some turbid night, is summoned by the tides.”

Mercury slips back into Virgo on September 22nd, the day the Sun moves into Libra on that important cross quarter day of the Equinox. As they cross the threshold, the Sun and Mercury join Venus and the Moon in Virgo, honing our ability to attend to the details, to pare away those things that are superfluous, to act with humility and discernment. In myth, Mercury was the only god who travelled back and forth from the Underworld.

“Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth,” writes Naomi Shihab Nye. As the tethered fish of Pisces draw us deeper, may they guide our prayers and direct our dreams, heighten our empathy for those who are struggling with depression or loneliness; for those who feel that they have lost their way and yet are in quiet motion. We are collectively moving through a time of initiation that may transform us at our core. Our healing may come from losing things, feeling our future dissolve in a moment, stirring us into a more conscious awareness of the power of Love that blooms in our hearts.

To book a private astrology session, or to find out more about future webinars, please connect with me by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Tread Softly—New Moon in Virgo—August 27th

Wave upon wave of searing heat baked the land this summer. Now a jolt of fiery foliage, burgundy and gold. The rowan and holly are fruiting. The hawthorn bedecked with festive red berries. A false autumn, they say. Nature in shock.

Tonight, as a lightless new Virgo moon wraps herself tenderly in the black shawl of the night, we may be experiencing our own false autumn. This may be a time of our own shedding of leaves, emptying out, as we leave a job, a home, a relationship, accept that a source of income has withered.

This new Virgo moon comes at a time of transition in the seasons, accompanies us on our own tender transition as we withdraw from the rough edges of the world and rest a while.

War-god Mars confronts the moon; an aspect that is often associated with irritability, even anger, as tensions surface in our relationships. The sharp sword of Mars slices and wounds, often quite literally, with cuts and accidents, and in Mercury-ruled Gemini, with words that land painfully. Lunar symbolism encompasses women’s issues, and this lunation mirrors rampant misogyny, violence and cruelty that is directed against women, and on a more subtle level, the violence we inflict upon ourselves, our bodies. If we choose to embrace the symbolism of this New Moon, we could use the heated energy of Mars like a poultice, to draw deeply on our courage as we reach out and repair a rupture in a relationship, sending life-affirming Love energy to all living things.

Tonight, relational Venus opposes Saturn and squares erratic Uranus, two archetypes which signify the disorientating turbulence of social and political upheaval as energy costs soar, interest rates rise, and even those who are employed now queue at food banks. Uranus turned Retrograde on August 24th as Ukraine celebrated 30 years of Independence now a matter of life and death while Western nations recoil in discomfort from the unspeakable horrors of this war.

Virgo is a transitional sign.  As this New Moon brushes across the imprint of our own birth chart, we attune to the silent cycles of the natural world, we assimilate and digest the experiences we have absorbed, turn our focus inwards. We tread softly on the earth, and on each other’s dreams, as W.B, Yeats implores so poignantly in his poem, The Cloths of Heaven.

The Venus/Saturn opposition this month emphasises our human need for consistency and commitment and Mercury in Venus-ruled Libra underscores our deep desire to relate, to matter, to be seen and to be deeply listened to. Mercury turns Retrograde (September 9th – October 2nd) prompting us to trust our intuition, to shift our perspective, to turn things around and focus on what is right and good about ourselves and those around us.

There are six planets moving Retrograde now, drawing us back to shadow energy, the pain body where misunderstandings and the old eye-for-an-eye vibrational energy still linger, and the compelling need now to treat each other kindly, hone our innate capacity for empathic connection, cultivate and nurture enduring friendships, stitch together those bonds of connection that may be frayed or broken. Author Elizabeth Gilbert who has a moon in Virgo, describes our human longing for connection so beautifully, “to be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”

As the sun and moon awaken our Virgo planets or illuminate that part of our birth chart that is Virgo, we may feel insecure, unappreciated. Our industriousness and attention to detail may not get the recognition or financial reward we need to pay the bills.  Virgo’s shadowy traits emerge when we stumble into the seductive archetype of “The Harlot/Prostitute, when we sell ourselves short, when we don’t honour our commitmentsto ourselves, when we collapse into the fear of survival, and clutch onto security at any cost. When we serve others—and like the foolish Virgin—neglect to fill the oil or trim the wick of our own lantern.

At this time of transition, we may be seduced by the security of the old ways. We may try to continue as we did before. Yet there is another way. “Where do we begin? Begin with the heart,” wrote anchoress Julian of Norwich who was walled up in a small cell built onto the church for most of her life. In so many ways, this woman who took on the name of the church she was quite literally attached to, epitomises the humility and reclusiveness of the Virgo archetype.

Dr Mary Wellesley writes, “at the moment of an anchoress’ enclosure, a priest would recite the office of the dead, which was the set of prayers said at a person’s funeral. This symbolised that the recluse was dead to the world.”

The exclusive mens’ club, which was the medieval church, was a dangerous place for an intelligent woman. “Julian” called herself a “simple creature that cowde no letter,” yet she courageously wrote Revelations of Divine Love. It was seminal writing, a daring act of self-expression, which could have been construed as heresy. “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well,” Julian of Norwich is quoted as saying. Even as we feel the slow suck of apathy, a sense of numbness or hopelessness, the inconstant moon will shine resplendant once more; her energies fortified by the light of the Sun as she waxes and grows fat and full again.

All shall be well. So let’s rest awhile, then begin again, with tender, open hearts.

Please get in touch if you would like a private astrology consultation: ingrid@trueheartwork.com or to find out more about the next webinar.

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The Water Bearer—Aquarius full moon—August 11th, 2022.

Water is the driving force of all natureLeonardo da Vinci.

 

A halo-crowned moon drifts through a silver bank of cloud tonight calling to the salty waves, the ripple of the lakes and the rivers, to the watery memory of all living things.

Aquarius is the water bearer. To the ancients, Aquarius signified the cool life-giving waters of life that have shaped the cycles of human civilizations for eons. Tonight, the moon’s otherworldly luminosity is somewhat circumscribed by a union with realistic Saturn (now Retrograde but moving direct on October 18th), an intransigent square to revolutionary Uranus (Retrograde August 24th), an agitated Mars, and a resolute North Node that speaks unfashionably of fate and destiny in a world where we naively believe that we’re in charge. As Uranus, Mars and the North Node align in the heavens, they trigger a tempestuous energy that may feel disruptive and explosive but will herald a wash of new energy that will spill over as the year unfolds.

Here in the north, an unblinking Leo Sun scalds a meagre crop of blackberries that droop in the hedgerows and greedily sucks any moisture from the streams that still trickle. The great rivers, named after ancient goddesses, barely move.

This moon in Aquarius, its image an elegant urn filled to the brim with regenerative water, is a reminder that throughout his-story there have been cycles of destruction and renewal.

The astrology suggests that we are in a cycle of turbulence and destruction. We may keep afloat if we have global co-operation, but the waves of change will be tumultuous, even for those who can afford a first-class cabin.

The effects of Pluto’s passage through Capricorn and America’s Pluto Return will linger like the smoke of an expensive cigar for decades. When Pluto entered Capricorn, the Establishment shuddered. Financial systems toppled. Decadent Plutocrats took centre stage. Pluto will be travelling between Capricorn and Aquarius next year, settling in Aquarius, the sign of the common people, in 2024 for a decade that promises to be momentous for Silicon Valley, social media, and our rather naïve thought that technology can solve everything. Neptune is in his own sign of Pisces until 2025, swirling in a sea-change that has washed up the flotsam and jetsam of fake news, conspiracy theories, Botoxed influencers, magic mushrooms, memes, gender fluidity, spiritual awakening, and utter confusion. As Uranus shakes and shudders through the earth sign of Taurus (until 2025) the earth moves, and fires, floods, and melting ice caps signal a tipping point that has already toppled.

As the old winner takes all “masculine” paradigm of competition and scarcity still permeates our culture, and the unspeakable barbarism of war still dominates the news, we notice that Venus, a faceted jewel on the breast of dawn now, moves into Leo on August 12th, the day after this full moon. We may remember that in myth, Venus is both an evening and a morning star. She has two faces. To the Mayans, the Aztecs, and star watchers of Mesopotamia and Mongolia, when Venus appeared as a morning star, she was dressed for battle.

Mars, the mythic war lord, takes the verbal sword when he enters Gemini, a sign associated with duality and choice, on August 20th, and will remain in this restless airy realm until March 25th, 2023. How we respond to this sudden gust of hot air depends on our natal Mars placement. The pace is likely to quicken in terms of negotiations, and dealssabre rattlingin Gemini, Mars wears winged sandals, instinctively rushing into heated arguments, throwing out (so often unconsidered and regretfully painful) comments on social media, over-stimulated nervous systems, and difficulty in surrendering to the sweet release of sleep. A wilful Mars is easily provoked as he accompanies unpredictable Uranus and the North Node this month (until August 15th) across the starry skies. Mars is our primal life force that emerges like a flame when we feel threatened, or when we muster up the courage to ask for what we want, and battle with those shadowy qualities that lurk within us all.

The Star Card in the Tarot is often associated with Aquarius. And the myth of the beautiful, but curious Pandora who searches for the truth, dares to open the forbidden casket, and releases a swarm of stinging, biting insects that fill the world with darkness; primal cold-blooded creatures that bite, puncture, and goadterrible afflictions that infect mankind. Pandora kneels at the casket, her long-lashed eyes raised heavenward as she gazes at a shining star, for Hope remains in a corner of the chest, still there amidst all the confusion, despair, and suffering. And as old structures teeter and fall, as we sift through the rubble of broken promises, shattered dreams, landscapes blighted by drought or caught in the flames of war, the Moon completes her round in the heavens and turns her luminous face to the earth, she shines on us all, reminding us that we are inextricably linked by sensory information that floats with the star dust and settles in the water we drink, and the food that has been touched by someone’s hands. Like the ebb and flow of the tides, war lords will grow weary of battle, those who acquire and accumulate will begin to find a deeper connection to their hearts and souls.

The earth is changing beneath our feet.  As we look to the moon tonight, may our hopelessness be transfigured by an infusion of lustrous moonlight, our dreams and visions of rivers and glistening oceans teaming with life, cities where children play amidst tall trees, their little bare feet planted on green grass, their tiny lungs gulping clean air.

May we do everything we can do to be in right relation with this precious pale blue dot, this earth, and all sentient creatures. It’s been twenty-eight years since Carl Sagan spoke these compelling words:

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.

In our obscurityin all this vastnessthere is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

If you would like a private astrology consultation, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

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Striking Fire—New Leo Moon—July 28th

Tonight, in a secret corner of the sky, a New Leo Moon hides her flaming face.  It’s been a cruel hot summer.

In the ever-changing sky, Saturn and Uranus remain in a discordant square all through 2022 and 2023, a celestial symbol of  turbulent times, bitter division, as these ancient mythic enemies confront each other in the heavens and an old order collides with the new. Saturn transits arrive as the henchmen of stasis that often thwart our efforts to move forward, yet they present as circumstances that grow us up, if we’re willing to learn. Transits of Uranus break us open, shatter and destabilise those things that are too tightly defended or have outlived their purpose. When these two archetypes face off in the heavens, they reflect tension, upheaval, limitations of freedom, resistance, and rebellion. Creation stories always tell of darkness and chaos that come before creation. The Pluto/Saturn conjunction of January 2020 has fermented all that is rotten in our world. The dross has risen to the surface and each one of us now faces the consequences of those things we have repressed or simply ignored. In the tumultuous confusion, perhaps something greater ushers humanity towards what is yet to be.

There are few who can stare at the pain of the world without blinking. We all long for some light, vacuous distraction from the reality of raging wildfires that consume forsaken landscapes, the tumult of politics, and the vagaries of the obscenely rich.

Global debt has ignited fear and scarcity and sparked an inferno of unrest that has been simmering for decades―first Sri Lanka, with other poorer countries to follow. Here in the UK, politicians bicker while railway strikes disrupt the lives of millions; in the US the far right are gaining ground, while millions get their news from Chinese-owned TikTok.

Hot summer streets and the pavements are burning…  It’s a cruel cruel summer, sang Bananarama.

And now as the carefree weeks of summer holidays are seared and sealed seamlessly by the sun, nowhere is this more apparent than on talcum beaches, where sea spray infuses the pervasive smell of sun block and the scent of sea grass. Stunned by the glut of sunlight, hordes of visitors amble slowly along promenades or slump in deck chairs, drowsy participants in these halcyon holidays, this all too brief escape from reality, from society in decay.“Humankind cannot bear very much reality,” T.S Eliot once wrote.

Jupiter/Zeus, the celestial father-archetype, also associated with excess and grandiosity, turns Retrograde in over-heated Aries today (till November 23rd) highlighting moral and cloistered religious codes that are deeply entrenched in our culture. This will test our own values and choices, our moral angst in the months to come. In the nuanced language of astrology, Jupiter will amplify the aggression and haste of Aries. And when planets go Retrograde, the celestial instruction is to slow right down and then look within.

Those startling synchronicities, those things that “happen” outside ourselves, so often mirror what is moving through the collective or in our own lives. Mars, the war-god, rams into an intractable Saturn on August 7th, which can bring enormous frustration and a sense of being thwarted as Saturn accompanies rules and authorities, sober realisations that things may not work out as we had hoped. Writer Cheryl Strayed wraps this planetary aspect up in her own inimitable way― “writing is hard…. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.”  When Mars meets Saturn, we may feel as though we are “hitting our heads against a brick wall”, “fighting against the odds”, and these contacts often manifest as exhaustion, low libido, feelings of frustration, being motivated by fear or duty unless we simply dig. We may attempt to “start something” without true inspiration and verve, or reach a very stuck place where, eventually, events or emotions erupt, bringing destruction of the old. Yet amongst the little fires or the flames of the inferno, new possibilities will grow, the much longed for changes we dreaded, yet unconsciously manifested.

The sky story speaks of simmering tension that will ripple and churn with increasing intensity as Uranus in Taurus unites with the North Node on July 31st and Mars makes trouble by joining the fray on August 1st, sparking tinder dry disputes and the madness of war. As we yearn for the stability and calm of Taurus, the undertow of the Scorpio South Node may suck us back into conflict and what Eckhart Tolle calls “the pain body.”

Mercury in Leo enters the conversation this New Moon making a frustrating square to a twitchy Mars in Taurus / Uranus / North Nodea meeting that is often associated with a heated rush of energy that may accompany rash behaviour, sudden upsets, accidents. “Wake up calls” that  jar and jolt us from our complacency. The Sabian symbol for the Uranus / North Node alliance that sweeps through the heavens until February 2023 is “a new continent rising out of the ocean.” This union encapsulates enormous potential, yet like Prometheus, the god who stole fire to gift to humans, there is a price to pay in defying the gods and daring to seek “new worlds” instead of tending to this one.

They’re calling it “the age of anxiety, says Kristen Lee, author of Worth the Risk: how to micro-dose bravery and grow resilience. Yet amidst the overwhelming pain and chaos of it all we may be moved to do something noble, gracious, kind.

“Despair is our chance to wrestle with fire and come through,” writes Christina Baldwin. The vibratory signature of this regenerative New Moon may light the way, even if dimly at first, to a flowering of purpose, a deeper way of listening, a different way of seeing, an outward rush of a life force that floods through us even in the darkness. Trust. Don’t let go.

There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this―Terry Pratchett

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about forthcoming webinars, or to book an astrology consultation: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Earthed—Mars in Taurus—July 5th-August 20th

Nature will always take what is too high and bring it down to earthToko-pa Turner.

As swallows swoop low over the meadows salt licked by an Atlantic breeze, the long languorous days of summer melt into copper sunsets. Across the dry earth, a hairline crack gains momentum as tenacious Mars muscles into earthy Taurus this week. This ancient deity of battle, who unlike the invisible sky gods, was embodied and fought on the earth plane, carries our personal and collective fighting instinct, and in Taurus Mars takes on a certain fixity and dogged determination. We all have Mars (in different signs, fighting different battles) in our birth chart, an energy that expresses itself as assertion or desire, or becomes pathologized as depression. In our culture, Mars is expressed in the competition of sport, the violence of computer gaming, the carnage and cruelty of war, the impotence of mass shootings. As Mars tipped from Aries into Taurus on the 4th of July, a gunman opened fire in Chicago. Mass shootings account for just a fraction of the daily toll of firearm deaths in the US, where about 124 people die every day in other acts of gun violence, according to research by the Marshall Project.

This week, in Copenhagen, a gunman killed three people in a shopping centre. Something much deeper is at work as the unresolved collective issue with Mars affects us all.

This month, Mars joins forces with erratic Uranus edging ever nearer to a close encounter with the North Node (18° Taurus) between July 31st and August 1st as tipping points topple in our own lives and collectively. A belligerent Mars continues to pick a fight between July 22nd and August 15th while Uranus remains within only a few degrees of the North Node until February 2023. The North Node in Taurus reflects our collective yearning for stability and calm, our ancient rootedness in the earth (Taurus) while the South Node in Scorpio tugs us back regressively to the messy intensity of unresolved karma which, in Scorpio’s deep waters, will never be light or superficial.

We’re being asked to excavate those parts of ourselves that may feel like unwelcome guests – those uncomfortable feelings that still fester, those tender places in our heart that are so easily bruised, those regrettable things we have said and done that have tarnished trust, upended relationships, harpooned the heart that loved us.

The root word, Mar or mas carries the energy of a generative force and now it reverberates through the theatre of politics, unearthing Boris Johnson as the winds of change howl through Westminster. As Mars trines his South Node on July 7th Boris Johnson, the man who would be King of the World, reluctantly announces his resignation.

As tragedy turns to farce, Uranus and the North Node are currently activating Boris Johnson’s Ascendant and transiting Pluto is moving over his Midheaven making a painful square to his Moon. Karma ripens.

This is a fragile, vulnerable time for our leaders, for our home planet, for all humanity. The calm simplicity of Taurus calls us to get back into nature, to live more sustainably, to tenderly care for our earth and all living things. The fetid tail of the Scorpio South Node lures us backwards into drama and chaos, draws up those shadowy things that haunt our dream time and play out in unspeakable acts of cruelty and rage.

Between July 1st and February 2023, Uranus travels in tandem with the North Node in Taurus, suggesting that collectively we are in for a bumpy ride. Mars joins the fray on August 1st, amplifying dogged determination, perhaps the final push by the Russians in Ukraine and the fateful necessity for the West to take action. Mars is associated with desire, with bloodlust, and Mars makes a frustrating square to intractable Saturn on August 7-10th August amplifying the uneasy Saturn/Uranus square which has been in force all this uneasy, unpredictable year.

Collectively this may feel like the painful bursting of a swollen abscess, and if this alignment moves over any angle or planets in our own birth chart, we will feel this energy perhaps as an intense release, the resolution of something that has been building for some time now. On August 10th, the transiting Moon and Pluto oppose Venus, drawing us back to what comes to light on the Full Moon in Capricorn on July 13th“You can’t change a regime on the basis of compassion. There’s got to be something harder,” observes Nadine Gordimer.

Astrologer Liz Greene writes, “If we accept the principle of astrological ages, the collective psyche has been aligned with the Piscean/Neptunian values for the last two thousand years. Mars is the natural enemy of Neptune. Where Neptune’s longing for fusion dominates, Mars is castrated. If we create and live within a world-view which regards Neptunian values as the highest good, Mars will inevitably become the “bad guy”. We may be reminded that in myth, Mars is a self-serving tribal creature who revelled in the heat and blood of battle. No matter how spiritually attuned or selflessly loving we are, our instinctual agression is still represented by Mars in our birth chart. We can choose to project it outwards, or internalise it as an illness or as depression, but if we meet this virile, vital force within, we may have the courage to rise up rooted, claim our own potency and flourish and thrive during these challenging times.

If we surrendered to Earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees. Instead we entangle ourselves in knots of our own making—Rilke.

Please get in touch if you would like a private astrology session, or more information about forthcoming virtual events: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

 

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Midsummer Moonlight Magic—Supermoon⁠—June 14th

Do you bow your head when you pray or do you look up into that blue space?
Take your choice, prayers fly from all directions
—Mary Oliver.

June arrives, blue skies, mauve fields of lacy phacelia, an excess of light that shimmers, bright and strange.

Things are not all they seem at Midsummer when we’re drunk with heat and dazed by light. Some say that the veil between the worlds is thin as we approach the Midsummer Solstice. That faery folk make mischief in the shadows, especially when the world is awash with golden moonlight. Tonight, there is magic everywhere as the Moon nudges close to our earth, appearing bigger, brighter than usual.

In 1979, American astrologer, Richard Nolle, named this moon which glows in the slow sunset, Supermoon. We’ve borrowed the name “Strawberry Moon” from first nation people who gathered wild strawberries and other early fruit at this time of midsummer celebration and abundance.

This so-called Supermoon is moving through the sign of Sagittarius, a sign ruled by jovial Jupiter, hedonistic, entitled King of the gods in Roman mythology. In the language of astrology, Jupiter is often simplistically described as bringing “good luck”. Yet “good luck” is as ephemeral as happiness, as fleeting as our attention. We invoke the buoyancy and resilience of Jupiter when we keep the faith, when we dare to hope even when we’re standing in the lengthening shadows. Jupiter may be the silver lining in the dark clouds of circumstance.

Full Moons can accompany enchantments, or wreak havoc in the lives of foolish mortals. This  Full Moon is veiled by a square to enigmatic Neptune in dreamy Pisces, signifying moonlight-infused magic, but also, as Shakespeare so beautifully described in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a siren song that brings confusion, misunderstanding and a dream-like quality to our ordinary lives. An over-heated Mars in Aries collides brutishly with Chiron (archetype of the Wounded Healer) on the day of the Full Moon, a complex symbol that speaks of wounded warriors, a Fisher King wounded in the groin. Chiron wounds can’t be cured or fixed. This lunation speaks to the  ongoing carnage in war-torn Ukraine, the limitations of our leaders, those hollow, wounded men who wound others. Disruptive Uranus edges closer to the North Node in Taurus this month, highlighting the polarising square to Saturn (Saturn is moving Retrograde until October 23rd) as the old order clings tenaciously the vestiges of power-over. Boris Johnson, who attended Eton College and read Classics at Oxford, ought to know that the gods are fickle and never benign. Still arrogantly presiding over a fragmented kingdom, the British Prime Minister celebrates his birthday on June 19th, as Neptune draws every closer to square his loquacious Gemini Sun and Venus. The man who would be king of the world may yet recall that wrathful gods destroyed those mortals who transgressed their limits; that hubris was the greatest offence of all.

The Sun arrives in Cancer on June 21st, the day of the Midsummer Solstice as the fires and the joyous gatherings in places like Stonehenge mingle with formalised feasts in celebration of St John. Bonfires are kindled, vestiges of magical protection to ward off evil, herbs infused with healing faery charms are gathered from the hedgerows to enhance the flames. The eating and drinking and merry-making lasts as the light lingers.

When the first stars shimmer like sequins against the mauves and corals of the heavens and the flames burn low, some may sense an ancient dread that infuses this still point in the year. A primal helplessness against those things we cannot tame or control as the days grow shorter and winter comes again.

Venus begins a new cycle on June 23rd, joining Mercury in Gemini, accompanying us on our journey through days that may draw us away from rigid routine, offer tantalising possibilities to think, relate, differently. The tide turns on June 28th as Neptune goes direct again (25° Pisces) heightening our intuition, drawing us back to our spiritual centre.

This month of June, may we release our prayers from all directions, allow grace and gratitude to wash over us as we savour the magic of Midsummer.

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

To book an astrology appointment please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

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Double-Edged Swords—New Gemini Moon—May 30th

Buddhist monk, Haemin Sunim once asked, “When everything around me is moving so fast, I stop and ask, is it the world that’s busy, or is it my mind?”

The Sun and the Moon in changeable Gemini join in the skies tonight. New Moons are dark times and Gemini signifies both radiant light and unfathomable darkness. In a world that certainly does seem to be moving so fast, we may need to pause today to try to take it all in.

Mercurial Gemini is as changeable as the wind, as restless as our minds that dart and dance; as active as our imagination. Imagination is what we may need now in the darkness of this New Moon, as capricious Gemini escorts us into the month of June and Putin’s imperial aspirations reset the world order.

The double-edged sword suit in the Tarot signifies the logos of the intellect represented by the air signs. Gemini is the great communicator, and Mercury-ruled Gemini communicates with words that wound through arrogance or ignorance, or words that heal and unite. At this New Moon we become aware of the power of our words, the consequences of our choices.

Mercury has been moving Retrograde since May 11th and turns direct on June 3rd. The two weeks before, and after, retrograde happens is considered the shadow period when Mercury is still reflective, urging us to slow down, reconsider, shift perception, try another way through. Astrology is not reductive, yet sometime the symbolism can be interpreted quite literally. Mercury encompasses trade and transport, quite literally, airlines cancelled flights at short notice during this Retrograde cycle. Mercury Retrograde times are not ideal for political elections, yet Labour Anthony Albanese’s (Pisces Sun and possible Moon in Gemini depending on his birth time) retrograde influenced, drawn out victory may signify Australia (the world’s third biggest exporter of fossil fuels) acting on renewable energy. The Retrograde cycle of Mercury occurs three times every year and moves through the elements of fire, air, earth and water, in a procession across the zodiac, alerting us the rhythm of inner reflection that is needed for a more conscious experience of living. “Words are like cloths, with which one dresses the world,” writes James Krüss. In these Mercury Retrograde cycles, our perceptions may shift, igniting the creative process, birthing brilliant ideas. Mercury’s realm is magical trans-formation. He was the god of cross-roads and times of transition. Mercury was the only god who travelled back and forth from the Underworld, which in modern times can be interpreted as the unconscious.

Retrograde Mercury squares Saturn as May hurries to an end. Saturn is often connected with the law of karma and Mercury is about our perception. When these two energies combine in the heavens we return to the inner sanctum of our thoughts, that very private, personal space where linear time dissolves. We may feel a sense of moving through treacle, sucked down by obstacles when everything around us is moving so fast as Saturn and Mercury meet in molten evening skies. Yet, there’s a deeper message contained here, said so simply by the poet, Julia de Burgos. “Don’t let the hand you hold hold you down.” The simplicity of this statement may have a resonance for those of us who still hold the hand of an old hurt, a fearful thought, a limiting core belief.

 

The heat is on as Mars (blood lust, war) and Jupiter (inflation, grandiosity) travel in tandem through the skies. Grandiose Jupiter moved into Aries with a heated rush on May 11th, followed by a combustible Moon/Mars conjunction in Aries on May 25th as a gunman released his rage and impotence on 19 school children and two teachers at Robb Elementary school in Texas. This volatile combination of planets symbolises an escalation of conflict in Ukraine, as energy builds for more violent attacks, torture, and kidnapping, as well as the courage and indominable will to survive. Nataliya Gumenyuk, writing in the Guardian, describes how people are placing bouquets of lilac and bunches of daffodils next to every mattress of those who have been sleeping in the Heroiv Pratsi metro station in Kharkiv, for three months.

The ongoing horror of the war in Ukraine now means that grains and oil seeds are scarce; prices are rising, making food rationing in the wealthy west a possibility and famine and mass migration in those countries where people are already living in desperate poverty, a certainty. Ceres, ancient goddess of grain and harvest, is moving through the sign of Cancer (nourishment, safety, comfort, home), reflecting what Gemini poet Federico García Lorca, names as the canto hondo, the deep song of the world. The stage is set for a sequence of astrological aspects that herald unexpected events and an opportunity to stretch and bend with changing circumstances in our lives.

Here, in the north, the earth turns her face to the light. Newly shorn fields shimmer in the sunlight like the glossy coat of a palomino, and the hedgerows are now flushed with fuchsia foxgloves. Between the retraction of Winter or the swelter of Summer, the way forward may not yet be clear. We may have to be still. We may have to wait.

This New Moon may accompany an ending that enfolds an unborn beginning. We may be facing a difficult choice that skewers us in indecision, or a sudden realisation that brings clarity as we shrug off those conditioned beliefs that have threaded through our lives for far too long. Patience and commitment are carelessly tossed aside in the distractions of the times we live in. Yet, spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle says simply, “if you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.”

Please get in touch with me if you would like a private astrology reading; ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Crimson Moon—Lunar Eclipse—May 16th.

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bed was more painful than the risk it took to blossom—Anaïs Nin.

In the north, an artist’s palette of green thrusts skywards, a glorious celebration of summer’s full flowering extravagance. As the slow circles of nature accustom us to the changing seasons, the sky is changing too.

On May 15-16th, depending on where you live, a crimson Full Moon Lunar Eclipse moves silently through the shadow of our Earth. This Lunar Eclipse (Scorpio 25°) has been titled Blood Moon, as dust particles from the Earth spill scarlet pigment over the face of the moon. The Earth’s shadow  darkens the Moon two or four times each year during the Eclipse season. As the Moon drifts away from the Earth (about 4 centimetres every year) lunar eclipses will be become rarer, and if humanity survives global warming and climate change, these spectacular moments will be relegated to our collective memory. Eclipses may accompany those fork in the road choices when there’s no turning back to the way we were. We might be sitting in the symbolic darkness of a difficult choice, patiently waiting for news after a job interview that will change the tragectory of our life, or poised to leave a relationship that has become pot-bound, the roots entangled in a painful knot, our armoured hearts showing no mercy.

May’s Scorpio Moon embodies a fated quality as she aligns with Saturn (fate, accountability, responsibility, authority) by square, a reminder that change, becoming conscious, requires stamina and commitment. The effects are felt most strongly on the day if an eclipse drops into your birth chart, or the chart of a nation, sensitising a planet, and very often Eclipse symbolism may be strongly felt within two weeks on either side of the eclipse.This Lunar Eclipse conjoins Saturn and the Midheaven and squares Mars/Jupiter in Queen Elizabeth’s Saturn-ruled birth chart suggesting the mobility issues and an end to her long reign as Monarch. It may be helpful to notice what unfolds in our own lives and in worldly events between now and the New Moon on May 30th (9° Gemini.)

In ancient astrology, Scorpio was The Serpent that shed its skin, renewed itself. The Serpent was the symbol of healing, associated with ancient snake goddesses and oracles who possessed the gift of prophetic sight. In modern times, the archetype of Scorpio carries with it a primal energy that carries the force of trans-formation as we let go of those things that no longer serve us, amputate those parts of our lives that are beginning to rot.

Recreating a new life from the ashes of the old one is a soul craft that requires patience, skill, and compassion. This may mean searching for the roots of the lotus flower in the dross of circumstance. Jungian analyst, Jean Shinoda Bolen (who has a Scorpio Moon natally) draws us into Scorpio’s terrain when she declares, “nobody gets through life without a degree of suffering or betrayal or illness or loss. The question is, every time that dark quality comes into our lives, what do we do? How do we respond?… What have we learned? How can we grow through this…”

This Scorpio Full Moon Eclipse may deliver concentrated wisdom in that comes concealed in the bruised bewilderment of a relationship ending, a careless action that has caused us great pain. It might be helpful to remember the Zeigarnik effect – which postulates that the human brain remembers those things that are interrupted or incomplete more easily. Those “open tabs” that draw us back again and again to an encounter an event in the past. Our brain, our heart, our soul, our body quite literally ache when things are left incomplete, unbound by the balm of ritual, still-born, buried alive. Technology focuses energy on ourselves. As we engage with our devices, less facial gaze dulls our empathy, our ability to read social cues. In the West, studies show there has been a precipitous decrease in empathy levels in young adults. Modern dating is consumerism, with apps that offer myriad possibilities for tenuous connections that so often lack boundaries, deep respect, or good manners as there is always someone better, more attractive, just one swipe away.

On May 10th, Mercury, moving through loquacious Gemini, begins his backward dance, moving Retrograde and dipping briefly into Taurus on May 23rd, returning to Gemini again on June 3rd. The archetype of The Twins accompanies choice and duality. “Every action and every word carries a consequence, writes intuitive healer, Caroline Myss. Mercury Retrograde in communicative Gemini presents an opportunity to do some inner house cleaning, evaluate our beliefs, our choices, our boundaries and consider how our words and actions may land in the heart of another.

This Retrograde cycle occurs in the middle of the unpredictable trajectory of the Eclipse season and coincides with Jupiter’s entry into Aries on May 11th as pandemic protocols and prohibitions ease, sandy beaches and margaritas entice holiday makers away from routine and responsibilities. Jupiter inflates, expands, and amplifies and in Aries this could mean that our challenge may be committing to something, seeing it through.

In the Spring of 2021, The New York Times coined the term, the You Only Live Once Economy, the YOLO Economy, which describes Jupiter’s exuberant race through Aries this year and next. Sex Therapist Esther Perel reminds us, “historically we have asked the question am I happy here? Today we ask the question, could I be happier somewhere else?”  We may naively equate Jupiter with “luck” and “good fortune”, forgetting that grandiose Jupiter is fickle and self-serving. As we emerge from more than two years of social atrophy, the sheer volume of opportunities to enjoy ourselves is tantalising. Our appetite for pleasure heightened by a release (in some countries) from the collective fear and powerlessness within the tribal mind, which activated that primitive part of our brain wired for survival, shifting energy from the prefrontal cortex, that part of the brain that registers compassion and empathy. Jupiter in Aries could symbolise a heated rush of self-focus, grandiosity; or courageous, self-willed efforts to seize the day and reinvent our lives.

Please get in touch if you would like a personal astrology consultation or to find out more about forthcoming webinars: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

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Under a Violet Moon—Solar Eclipse, Taurus New Moon—April 30th

There is no place so awake and alive as the edge of becomingSue Monk Kidd.

There are times when we need to return to the Earth, to the steady presence of trees, the song of a river’s flow, where we can return once more to a place of beginning. This weekend, the Moon withdraws into the darkness, slipping between the familiar body of the Earth and the fierce light of the Sun, inviting us to silence the mind, resonate to the heartbeat of the earth’s awakening.

The union of the Sun and the Moon symbolise the sacred embrace of the archetypal masculine and feminine, and this New Moon coincides with the ancient festival of Beltane, halfway between the spring equinox and the mid-summer solstice. Now the world bursts into bloom.

This is the time when the Queen of the May arrives in a cloud of floral fragrance. Bluebells, cobalt carpets unfurl across the woodlands. Ribbons of whitethorn thread emerald meadows into a velvety patchwork. Bonfires blaze from the hilltops sprinkled with golden buttercups. Bright ribbons and frayed clooties hang from the trees at holy wells.

Out of the belly of the earth, a surge of life emerges. And above, this New Moon in Taurus invites us to draw down, to focus on our senses, to dig our hands into the earth, plant seeds that will grow.

New Moons speak of fertile new beginnings, they signify those edges of becoming that make us feel young, alive again. Author Anne Lamott adds, “how do you begin? The answer is simple. You decide to.”

Our ancestors knew of the power of these natural rhythms that circled back to the same moment, reigniting the same intention, drawing from the grooves of ancient rituals worn deep by repetition. Just like the cycles of the Moon, the four cross quarter festivals weave past and future with a charge that holds us steady, binds us to those things that matter.

Like all astrological archetypes, Taurus is layered with older associations that draw us across the story lines of the ages, to the moist fertile flood plains of ancient rivers that spilled their life-giving waters and watered the origins of humankind.

For centuries, sacred cows with iconic, crescent-shaped horns have been bound to the symbolism of the Moon. An astrological cliché associates Taurus with money, and it is on this energetic terrain that we so often feel empowered/disempowered, lacking, or abundant.

Where Taurus is in our birth chart is where we must work the ground, plant the seeds of our gifts and talents, learn how to manage our resources of kindness, bravery, presence. Yet the skies are dark at New Moon times, a celestial reminder that we must learn to see in the blackness, wait patiently until the slim crescent appears.

This is a special New Moon as it accompanies a partial solar eclipse and heralds the start of an eclipse season that will sprinkle the weeks and months till October 25th. In our brightly lit world, eclipses no longer deliver the visceral jolt they did in times when the world became dark, and the life-giving Sun vanished. In ancient times, eclipses foretold of the deaths of Kings, winters of discontent; they accompanied war, famine, disease, and floods. The root word is the Greek “ekleipsis” which can be translated as a failure to appear, an abandonment, or a leaving of an accustomed place.

This partial solar eclipse belongs to a family of eclipses that pertain to our own authority and authority figures. During this eclipse (a week before and after) we may be compelled to yet again to confront those sacred cows that perpetuate dissonant cultural myths that arose out of ignorance and denial. We can refuse to participate in the toxic negativity that pervades social media. We can look at ways we abandon ourselves when we allow others to overstep our boundaries, challenge our authority. Eclipses act like wild cards as they drop into our birth charts or into the charts of nations, catapulting us from our place of comfort, taking us to the edge. Eclipses that conjoin planets set new directions in our lives, suddenly change our perspective, confront us with choices that invite us to be more attentive to our soul. This eclipse will activate our Taurus house and any planet at 10° Taurus.

The Taurus Sun and Moon also connect iconoclastic Uranus, planet associated with Prometheus the trickster Titan who stole fire from the gods in myth. Uranus shatters the status quo, reveals gaping fissures in those things we believed to be safe and sure.

As Uranus moves through Taurus (2018-2026) we have been jolted by circumstances that have altered our course, we have crypto currencies that gobble fossil fuels as we reach the end of the fossil fuel era, financial crises that have altered 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, releasing a renewing surge of energy from the heavens.

At this time of emergence, we may not feel quite ready to emerge, to bravely step onto new ground, yet this New Moon is charged with the grace of new beginnings. So go back to the garden and feel the warm pulse of the earth this weekend. Unplug from the peremptory dictates of technology and go within.

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you—Anne Lamott.

For private astrology session or to find out more about workshops and webinars, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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