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Astrology

sag 9

Merry and Bright―Sun in Sagittarius–November 22nd to December 21st.

sag 2The Sun in exuberant Sagittarius this month escorts Merry into the days preceding the winter solstice, and the weeks before Christmas deliver an avalanche of excess and indulgence.

Our solar consciousness has been richly fed in the deep dark waters of self-scrutiny in Scorpio, and now, without a backward glance, we embrace the warming element of fire as winter closes in.

The Sun’s entrance into Sagittarius is closely followed by a Full Moon on November 23rd in Gemini (00 degrees) culminating in another lunar cycle. Symbolically, she shines her light on those things that have completed a cycle in our own lives since the New Moon on November 8th. This month’s Full Moon has a jumpy, nervous disposition, impassioned by her applying square to Mars in sensitive Pisces, so we could feel exquisitely attuned to subtle changes in psychic energy, or quick to regress into the Toddler brain. We could embrace the more positive symbolism of this lunation and respond to those intuitive “beams of light” that guide us through the darkness. The Moon opposes Jupiter and Mercury, ruler of Gemini. Mercury is moving Retrograde through Sagittarius (17th November—December 6th.) Mercury Retrograde invites introspection: a still-point of silence amidst the brouhaha. As friends and families gather together, we may feel unspeakably alone amidst the tinsel and the gaudy lights. Perhaps now is the time to acknowledge those uncomfortable emotions that pop like Christmas crackers at family gatherings and year end office parties.  This is the culmination of the calendar year. This is the time of endings that carry a tincture of sadness or relief. As Mercury Retrogrades through Sagittarius, we may have to revisit, or re-do an issue or relationship dynamic associated with justice.

Sun in Sag Always 1The year may be coming to a close now, but we may still be in the midst of a long winter cycle of intensely private grieving.  If this is the first, or one of many festive seasons that swirls around the carousel of loss, we may be reminded of the soft presence of the one we have loved. Our heart may ache as the old year ends with such finality. Nostalgia may curl cold fingers around this season of exuberance and joy. The lyrics of a song played in a department store may draw us back to a different time and another place, to a small unmarked grave where a piece of our heart lies buried. We may be gestating a new greening. Or we may heroically be at the zenith of our own personal summer where we resolve to bring our Best Self to the silent spaces in relationships that speak eloquently of pain and disappointment, loss, and longing.

Ancient traditions and spiritual wisdom are underpinned by the knowledge of the silent circuit of the great wheel of the year. As the seasonal energies realign with the solstice, our body rhythms realign with the seasonal shifts. Western medicine is largely ignorant of what shamans, Chinese and Indian healers have known for centuries: our minds, our bodies, our psyches have cycles.

In the cyclical nature of our own lives, let’s take time to pause in these weeks before the holidays. Let’s tenderly anoint the scars of loss, finally relinquish any hope or expectation that things will be different.30314d02d3166e2d941849d89fef7ebd

Mercury Retrograde is a time to acknowledge that if we were ready to make those changes in our life, taken that different road, we would have. We made the choices we made, we did the best we could at the time.

Jupiter is the astrological ruler of Sagittarius and also of Pisces, an archetype so often imbued with a tincture of loss and longing.  Despite our prayers, despite our positive affirmations, we don’t get the things we wish for. Jupiter is the roll of the dice, Lady Luck, the Wheel of Fortune, and the jovial Father Christmas who brings us a casserole dish when we wanted perfume.

4d91ba09816b970e507ad87f0aa4f1f2So, let’s go gently as the weeks gather momentum for the crescendo of the solstice on December 21st. Amidst the Christmas carols that loop repetitively from sound systems in shopping malls and supermarkets, the frenetic hurrying to buy what we think our loved ones want. The strenuous exertion, the anticipation, the planning, the doing. Let’s be tender and kind to our weary bodies. In the flurry to buy food, gifts, stocking fillers, ask yourself today what is it I truly need now? Amidst the bright babble of the office party, the fairy lights of the crowded malls, amidst the heated rush of hurry, re-claim a few moments of sumptuous silence in the gap between the in-breath and the out-breath.

Now is the time to trust our intuition. What do I truly need now?

The answer may come as one of those delicious surprises we find behind the tiny windows of the advent calendar. Our needs may be quite simple really. More sleep. This might mean loving ourselves enough to get into bed earlier. A sudden craving for rice pudding and custard that brings comfort reminiscent of a childhood when it snowed, and all the word was white? This might mean buying pearl rice and switching on the oven to pre-heat. The strength to let go, to forgive the one who has hurt us so deeply. The willingness to forgive ourselves for hurting them too. This will certainly require humility and Grace.0f95029b6f84481eed503e3977c92350

What we need may be priceless. The simplicity of being in the presence of those we love with all our human hearts. A pause in the busyness.  Time to think. The strength to say no. In a voice that speaks as authentically now as it did in the 12th Century, the mystic Hildegard of Bingen invites us to “glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings…

Sagittarius is associated with the Quest for Vision, the Journey not the Destination, the Search for Meaning. We may never find any of the answers in this human life time, but we are ready to stretch and grow into all possibilities. The essence of Sagittarius contains an ember of optimism and good cheer. Sagittarius is associated with long distance travel where we may encounter tastes and smells and rich new experiences, where we meet people who challenge our conditioning, free our minds, break away from boring routine. In Sagittarius we look up. And we’re amazed.

As the gyre of this year comes full circle, cultivate gratitude and optimism. See the delight in a little child’s eyes. Embrace comfort and joy. To take someone’s hand and begin a new journey.c7fcac1ef7fef4575de8b5cf1f0dfbd2

For more regular updates on astrological cycles See me on Facebook!

Private astrology readings and workshops: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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The Journey―Jupiter In Sagittarius―November 8th.

0786f805571c9310eee669fe8dfbb445And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars―Dale Wasserman. Man of La Mancha.
For those of us who tilt at windmills, for those of us who dream impossible dreams, the time has come to  reach the unreachable stars. The journey may mean leaving the tender touch of our loved ones as the urgency of the call to adventure takes us to foreign lands. For some of us, the journey may be  a painfully private struggle to slay  demons of addiction or despair. For some of us, this journey begins with a kiss and continues as we bravely hold  hands through these Dark Times of uncertainty.

 

68c4d24cf02d4c3af1d8fcf9b5e9925eToday is Thor’s Day. The Moon and Mercury accompany corpulent Jupiter into Sagittarius, his place of domicile and ease. The mood lightens as Jupiter rises gratefully, from the cool, still depths of watery Scorpio into the warm urgency of fire, igniting the possibility to reach the unreachable stars.  Jupiter  has returned Home,  triumphant, singing “What a Wonderful World”.

The motif of The Journey will be emphasised as Jupiter travels through Sagittarius until December 3rd, 2019. How we prepare for that journey, what we take with us, what we leave behind. Journeys require attentive preparation, stamina and resilience as we meet the inevitable challenges along the way. For the next year, we will explore new places and new encounters, even if this Journey means we never leave home.

Jupiter in Scorpio accompanied the #MeToo movement, exposing predators, opening uncomfortable conversations. Today, we enter the symbolic realm of social, religious and moral issues. Jupiter in Sagittarius confronts us with a quest for truth and meaning, with the possibility to expand our horizons.

Jupiter is a complex symbol in astrology. Jupiter’s domain is long-distance travel, intercultural encounters, international activities. Jupiter’s unbounded exuberance is also associated with risk-taking, the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that reaches for the sky, sets the stakes high in casinos and on racing tracks, merrily rolls the dice over a  lover’s tender heart. Jupiter sells aspirational dreams to the masses. Every day is Black Friday. Anything is possible. Bigger is always Better.

In the Norse, Greek and Roman pantheon, Thor/ Zeus/Jupiter were celestial sky gods. Supreme deities, elitist, autocratic. They dispensed moral and religious justice, yet from the earliest times these autocratic and self-indulgent gods were exempt from their own moral injunctions.  On a whim, they bestowed good fortune, dispensed justice, and claimed Droit du Seigneur with impunity. Relentless optimism, brash bravado, and the cheery refusal to sweat the small stuff cast a long shadow. Overblown, indulgent, excessive, Jupiter’s vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself is evident in the grandiosity and entitlement of those who wield power. The kind of hubris that spurs invincibility, races onwards and upwards, without a backward glance. Over this next year, the excesses of the plutocrats, puffed-up politicians, and those autocrats we encounter in our neighbourhoods and offices, will seem more extreme. We may have to plan circuitous routes to avoid their overbearing presence. We may have to vote with our feet.

Zeus was also the protector of those who  journeyed to far away lands, yet xenophobia is also part of this domain. For those hapless men, women and children, labelled “illegal aliens”, or migrant workers, or who simply don’t have the right-coloured passport, the right to remain will be emphasised by Jupiter’s journey through Sagittarius.

Moon in Sagittarius 1The Sun blazes confidently into
Sagittarius on November 22nd,  inspiring Jupiter with  optimism, perhaps the ability to find humour in those things that threaten to capsize our lives and roll us into the depths of despair. Sagittarius is the gypsy, the philosopher, the inspired visionary who sets off on a quest, perhaps impulsively, but with the kind of innocent faith in the kindness of strangers, certainly trust in a benevolent god. Jupiter in Sagittarius is the Pilgrim on life’s Camino. Jupiter’s journey has a single pointed vision, there is a sense of an arrow of certainty, a destination, a purpose, which differs from Mercury’s more fluid travels.

Ninety-one-year-old Dr Edith Eger’s new book, The Choice: Embrace the Possible, describes a journey of healing, of forgiveness and of faith. A journey that began in her family home, with her parents and sister, and ended at Auschwitz. Her mother’s words as they travelled have been an integral part of her healing and her work as a psychologist: “We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but no one can take away from you what you put in your own mind.”

Sun in Sag - Always 11Edith’s journey of healing and faith epitomises another aspect of Jupiter’s domain: “I believe in the power of positive thinking—but change and freedom also require positive action. Anything we practice, we become better at.”

As demagogues dismember nations with hollow talk and empty promises, Mars—the planet associated with war and aggression—changes sign on November 16th, moving into Jupiter-ruled Pisces, swirling through the miasma of politics, perhaps strengthening our resolve to continue our quest amidst the  noise of things falling apart, to practice becoming better at walking lightly on this earth.

On the same day, another eighteen-year cycle begins as the Nodes move into Cancer and Capricorn. These are harbingers of the eclipse season that begins on July 2nd, 2019. Cancer and Capricorn underscore motifs of security, home, safety and patriarchal power. Venus moves direct in Libra on November 17th, still in a tense opposition to Uranus which has slipped back into Aries for the very last time, offering opportunities to finalise what was begun in March 2011 when Uranus entered into Aries and squared Pluto.

Mars remains in sensitive Pisces until December 31st, and Mercury moves  Retrograde on November 18th, apparently moving backwards through the sign of Sagittarius until it re-enters Scorpio for a few weeks between December 1st and December 13th, a reminder to be attentive to our thoughts, to make this journey a sacred thing.

Every quest, every journey, requires preparation.  In these uncertain times, we may need to plot our journey with care.“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journeying is to be a pilgrim,” poet Mark Nepo writes.

Sun in Sag - Always xxxOver these next months, may we have the faith to dream the impossible dream, may we have the vision to accept those invitations that transform us, and may we walk with those fellow pilgrims on Life’s Camino, receptive and true to our own glorious Quest.

The boat is safer anchored at the port; but that’s not the aim of boats―Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage.

 

For more regular updates on astrological cycles See me on Facebook!

Private astrology readings and workshops: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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Back to Black—Sun in Scorpio—24th October—23rd November.

30207d1bada3d57ac987789d413aefa3As brittle leaves blanket the black earth in copper and gold there is something poignantly reassuring in the contracting light of autumn. Yet as Nature responds to the ancient rhythm of life and death, some of us may sense a seam of blackness in a world advancing through a dark night of the soul. As the inevitable juddering, shuddering climax of climate change, habitat loss, micro-plastics and global warming is shrugged off by plutocrats and self-serving politicians, as thousands starve in Yemen, and “rogue killers” prowl through the Saudi Consulate, torture and gruesome death is the price paid for speaking out.

Fair is foul and foul is fair. This is the month of Halloween and the ancient festival of Samhain. A liminal time, halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. A time to cull. A time  when the veil between the worlds shimmers, gossamer thin, in the cooling air. Juxtaposed with rows of golden pumpkins, the rich aroma of roasting chestnuts, a ghastly parade of ghoulish costumes send a frisson of recognition that winter is coming. On October 24th the Sun dips into the deep waters of Scorpio. That night a Full Taurus Moon illuminates the fallow fields. The very first aspect the Sun makes is an opposition to disruptive, radical Uranus and a square to the Nodes, a foreshadow of  unexpected, fated, events. Scorpio is an archetype associated with depth of feeling, with intensity, and let’s say it out loud: with death. d9b8f2254e916f0ee05098aa8c9b74dd

Pluto and Mars are invoked when we talk about the Scorpion.  We talk glibly of transformation, and yet, Pluto, and the essence of Scorpio, coils around that over-used cliché. For those of us who have witnessed the dying process of a beloved pet or a loved one, for those of us who have pared down to the bone after the dismemberment of a divorce, or the devastation of illness, know the pain of those irrevocable endings, those radical severances that bring us to our knees. Death and loss of all that we hold dear, distills what we value to quintessential heart-bonds, makes us count our blessings. We’re humbled, overwhelmed by the beauty of the little things. We’re brought to tears by an act of kindness, a soft word of sympathy.  When we enter the realm of Scorpio, snakes shed their skins and feathered phoenixes emerge from the flames. We draw deep on our human capacity for resilience and survival. We experience forces greater than ourselves which render us powerless, broken, yet also capable of acts of heroism and love, as told by Heather Morris in The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

a3d0fa6c1b9099d09cdc8cea4946636eVenus Rx, Mercury and Jupiter are the Sun’s travelling companions this month. Jupiter’s passage through Scorpio—October 11, 2017—November 8, 2018 has been the Pandora’s Jar from which all kinds of “great and unexpected troubles” have oozed—Jupiter magnifies and amplifies, and in Scorpio, this has been the sexual harassment and assault has exposed the sepsis in our society that has festered in silence, for years.  The renewal and trans-formative power of human sexuality, as well as the distorted perversions and abuse of sexuality are Scorpionic themes, trivilaised on TV in the titillating Bisexual and the toe-curlingly awful Wanderlust. Venus has vanished from the sky.  She’s dressed in black, withdrawn, reflective. These forty days and forty nights, we may encounter those things that arouse a visceral response.  We may recoil from encounters or sensory experiences that sting or  poison us. Venus is the arbiter of our values, the tempera on our creative canvas. She’s our detector, altering us to those circumstances, relationships, or more literally, to a sense that our tastes have changed. We not longer crave a certain food,  love a certain style of fashion. The art or music that evoked a strong reaction now seems banal. The person we thought we liked or loved with such fervor fails to engage our interest as Venus stirs within us an internal transfiguration.

Scorpio, in its true essence, asks us to dive deep into rivers dark and dredge up what lies beneath: sexual diversity and preference, obsession and compulsion, deep vulnerability and soul naked intimacy. We experience the sublime and the profane, the Life-Death-Rebirth cycle of relationship, the intensity of  being here, now.

This month the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus Retrograde in Scorpio amplify the sense of awakening from our cruise on autopilot, as we re-examine our values and embracing each moment with renewed intensity. As we prepare for the coming of winter.

Jeff Foster, author of Falling in Love with Where you Are distills the essence of this archetype: “This moment is not life waiting to happen, goals waiting to be achieved, words waiting to be spoken, connections waiting to be made, regrets waiting to evaporate, aliveness waiting to be felt, enlightenment waiting to be gained. No. Nothing is waiting. This is it. This moment is life.”8973168f0cbeae708dc17104c57be8b5

For astrology readings and more information about forthcoming workshops in the UK, please email me directly: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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The One I Love—Venus Retrograde—October 5th—November 16th.

Venus Rx 4

Sometimes it’s only when we lose what has been comfortingly familiar, tenderly consistent, that we discover what we truly value.

Venus goes Retrograde on October 5th. As she moves apparently backwards in the skies through the deeply sensitive sign of Scorpio, she quickens our hearts and demands only the most honest and loyal bonds of attachment. Venus symbolises our inner values, and in Scorpio, superficiality and masks just won’t do. We may have reached a crossroad where we wonder, as author, Elizabeth Gilbert once did, “do we want our belly pressed against this person’s belly forever—or not?”  Whether we choose to go or to stay, to keep or to give away, Venus Retrograde periods distill the essence of what it is that we hold very dear to our hearts.

The ancients tracked the passage of Venus in a perfect pentagram across the skies, ascribing her disappearance in the skies to her descent into the Underworld. The pre-Colombian Mayans believed that kingdoms were unstable, regimes might topple, and so her emergence signified an auspicious time to begin a war. Retrograde cycles emphasise those areas in our lives where we unconsciously lead with our wound. Where we move through life like a somnambulist, unable to truly value what we have until it’s too late. Where we make Shadow choices drawn from unexamined cultural programming or adaptations to past trauma. In therapy, we may learn skills that help us leave behind the legacy of our old conditioning, surpass our constricted hurt lives, all by ourselves. And yet it is in relationship that we encounter our Shadow and our Light.

venus and the MoonIn myth, Innana (Venus) is stripped of all her valued regalia and exquisite clothing. She enters the Underworld vulnerable and exposed. In modern times, the Underworld is a symbol of our own unconscious where we may encounter a truth that reverberates viscerally. The trial of these 40 days and 40 nights are a cosmic reminder for us to dissolve, discard, out-worn values and beliefs. To re-organise, re-examine, re-prioritise those things we value around a more truthful, authentic place that rests in  the hearth of our heart.

In astrology, Venus is about relationship. As she travels through uncompromising Scorpio, she encounters her vulnerability in intense emotional encounter.

“It’s a tough, anti-relational world out there. Relationships between men and women have never been more difficult,” therapist Terry Real believes. “Close to half of couples getting married will divorce. And there are far too many couples who suffer in relationships that lack the passion and closeness we all deserve.”

The Archetype of Venus transcends gender and sexual preference. These 40 days and 40 nights bring an opportunity to transform vicious cycles into charmed circles as Venus magnifies and amplifies our most private and intimate relationships.

Blood-soaked centuries of patriarchal conditioning have programmed men and silenced women.Venus Rx 1

Writes Robert Bly, “many men numb themselves so they’re not expressive. If you’re too expressive in IBM, you get fired”.

Terry Real believes, “men are just doing what they have been programmed to do—work hard, try to be more involved in the family, try to be responsible and responsive—and feel that they will never get it right.”

Venus in her retrograde cycle invites us to slow down—our speech, our movements, our breath, the beat of our heart.

To be present with ourselves, with our lover, in a way that engages all the cells in our body and makes our heart expand like a Super Nova…

1ac16e4abe0d0efb860214925ee820a5In A Plea to Women,  John Wineland imagines that what all men want is—Less. “Our nervous systems can’t handle more. We love range. Especially in bed. We want the Divine Mother, the cock-worshipping whore. Find ways to playfully and lovingly bring that to us. Try to separate the tools that you use to succeed in business from the tools that you use in our relationship. We want more of your vulnerability, more of your fear, more of your pain, we don’t want to be told what book to read, what seminar to go to what therapist to see, we want to be told how painful it is for you when we don’t show up for you… we want you to find something in us every day that you trust implicitly…. because the thing we want the most is to feel that you trust us and that you would let us lead you anywhere and find some way to continually surrender.”

Transiting Venus moves apparently backwards in her dance across the skies once every nineteen months. Now, she’s pinned like a diamond on the coral swathe of the evening sky. Venus passed her superior conjunction with the Sun on January 9th, a mythic mating, a Venus “new Moon”, and since then, she has been moving further and further away from the glare of the Sun. She reached her greatest brilliancy on September 21st, reclining low on the western horizon. During the last week of September, she appeared as a large, elegant crescent, surrendering to the embrace of the darkness of each night, a fragile, vulnerable, a faded version of her former splendour. At Christmas time, she emerges from the Underworld, The Star of Bethlehem, the Angel of the Dawn, gifting us with a new revelation of our heart’s desire.

Philosopher, Lao Tzu once said, “being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 

Venus Rx 9Venus in Scorpio demands that we love deeply and bravely. And when she emerges once more as the glittering Angel of the Morning, may she find us awake to new possibilities, fully aware of what we truly value, and extravagantly generous in our loving.

 I post regular astrology updates on FaceBook:

https://www.facebook.com/ingrid.hoffman.75

Please contact me directly for private readings in London and for more information about forthcoming UK workshops—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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Keep Calm and Carry On—Mercury in Libra—September 22nd—October 10th.

21333ded62e57e17eb85441ff001e533So often we hit a wall. Collide with an immovable force that profoundly alters the trajectory of our life: the accident, the lawyer’s letter, the termination of our employment, the conversation with our doctor that leaves us hemorrhaging hope. Physicist Stephen Hawking who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in his twenties once told the New York Times, “my expectations were reduced to zero when I was twenty-one. Everything since then has been a bonus.”

 

Mercury races ahead of the Sun into Libra on September 22nd. On crossing the threshold, both planets square Saturn, honing our ability for practical, disciplined thinking about serious concerns. Saturn/Mercury transits can marry our minds to pessimism, steal the fleeting moments of joy that inhabit the silent spaces of our lives. As Mercury travels through Libra, we have an opportunity to cultivate a deeper awareness of our mental chatter and the worrisome thoughts that may stir our feelings. We have an opportunity to look for the bonuses.

The Moon is Full at 2 degrees Aries on September 24th. She’s conjunct Chiron, square Saturn, opposing Mercury and of course, the Libran Sun. The essence of Aries is our individual will. The signature of this lunation is the opportunity, the right moment to step over the threshold, release a thought, a habitual response, a behaviour, so that the river of our life may flow easily once more. Saturn is associated with time, (Chronos) and Chiron transits correspond with major turning points, opportunities to awaken, to re-balance, to align with our deepest, truest nature. Chiron will move back into Pisces on September 25th, and will remain there until February 18th. Chiron is also associated with an experience of deep woundedness, in our life situation, our physical body, in the way we perceive the world. This Full Moon may correspond with a new insight that accelerates our growth, fortifies our resilience.

Keep Calm and Carry On was the British Government’s attempt to console the public who faced invasion at the onset of WW II. As the epicenters of civilization shudder across the globe, as America and Britain face their “Darkest Hour”, it will be the small gestures of love and kindness, the careful harnessing of our untamed thoughts, that keep us calm, help us carry on amidst  the gathering storm  of collective angst.
Libra 1

“Be glad. Be good. Be brave,” wrote Eleanor Emily Hodgman Porter in her best-selling novel, Pollyanna. The year was 1913. This simple statement resonated in the matrix of the Collective Consciousness as the dark war clouds blotted the sun over the Balkans and thousands of young men were soon to drown in their own life-blood in the rat-infested trenches of World War I. One hundred and five years later, we continue to enlist in our private battles for survival—financially, emotionally, or spiritually. When everything around us seems to be falling apart, this steadfast statement bids us first and foremost, to be grateful. To conduct our lives with integrity and valour. The fortitude and unwavering optimism of eleven-year-old Pollyanna offered the comfort of hot-buttered toast and a cup of sweet tea at a point of impact in western civilization when there was no going back. When to be glad, good, and brave, was one constant beacon amidst cataclysmic change.

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Our evolutionary challenge this month is inner serenity and a selective, deliberate focus on those things that are right in the world and in our relationships. Lévy-Bruhl and, later, Jung, wrote of the Participation Mystique. That mystical participation that can manifest in situations and material things in our lives. That sense of wonder and magic that is inherent in small children and has been codified as The Law of Attraction. We are required to “always look on the bright side of life” as we bravely embrace the contradictions, the baffling complexity, and buckle up for those roller coaster rides that leave us whip-lashed, aching and bruised. Melody Beattie believes, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.”

 

Happiness, and her twin sister, Joy, dance in Gratitude, in the “little things that are the hinges of the universe” according to newspaper columnist and novelist, Fanny Fern. Gratitude is a spoonful of sugar to crankiness. Gratitude is like a garden. It requires careful tending if we want it to flourish. It may require gentle coaxing back into bloom after a storm or the cruel crush of frost. It certainly takes a good sprinkling of imagination and a stir of magic to feel it sometimes, and yet like the fairies that sit on our garden wall and fly about our heads as we water the rose bushes, it is always there if we look. If we believe.

Gratitude, like Love, is a choice. It’s an inside job. If we feel like Cinderella, no pumpkin carriage, no diamond tiara, glass slipper, or handsome Prince will make us authentically, radiantly happy. If we play the Glad Game, and cheat because we don’t truly believe, we can’t evoke the magic. We cannot fake it ’til we make it. We cannot buy, Botox, or bargain our way to Gratitude and contentment. We cannot pretend to be Little Miss Sunshine if we feel like The Snow Queen.

Gratitude must become habitual for the magic to work.

So, observe those wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. Give thanks that the silver white winters will melt into springs … And hold steady in these challenging times. Encourage ourselves and each other to keep moving, keep focused, as new life emerges from the dead leaves of change.

I post regular astrology updates on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/ingrid.hoffman.75

Please contact me directly for private readings and for more information about forthcoming workshops—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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In the Balance—Sun in Libra—September 23rd—October 23rd.

libra 4In tough times, everyone has to take their share of the pain—Theresa May, Libran.

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.

The Sun enters Libra on September 23rd, and as it moves over the equator, day and night are equal. This is the midpoint of the zodiacal round, representing the seasonal shift of the Autumn and Spring Equinox.

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 unattended tasks and responsibilities like a mantle over our minds. Balance is something we strive for when world weariness infuses the marrow of our bones. Yet, 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.

The Sun, the symbol of our creative self-expression, is said to be in its fall, or debilitated in Libra. A perpetual state of balance is impossible to achieve, as we continually re-create ourselves amidst the complexities of our relationships.

In the Tarot, Libra is Justice XI reflecting the advancement of culture, away from the “primitive” instinctual life. Libra and Aries mark the Equinoxes and where Aries is the beginning, Libra is midway, a crossroads where the old converges with the new. Where reason, justice, and law must be carefully weighed in the balance. As the Sun moves through the sign of Libra this month, we may be standing at a personal crossroad of choice,  where our decision must be carefully weighed.efb774662916bf305165d27bb11f2435

The month of October may bring us all closer to a more tangible rendition of this sole inanimate sign. Venus rules Libra, and she goes Retrograde on October 7th, moving apparently backwards, through the deeply sensitive sign of Scorpio, quickening our hearts as she demands only the most honest and loyal bonds of attachment to those things we hold dear to our hearts. Venus symbolises our inner values, and in Scorpio, superficiality and masks just won’t do. She moves into a second square to Mars on October 11th. Mercury moves into Scorpio on October 11th  when there is a repetition of a theme of choice, or an issue around a relationship or something we deeply value that might have begun in the week of September 11th.

The essence of Libra is paradox and as Richard Tarnas, author of Cosmos and Psyche, writes, “Our time is pervaded by a great paradox. On the one hand, we see signs of an unprecedented level of engaged global awareness, moral sensitivity to the human and non-human community, psychological self-awareness, and spiritually informed philosophical pluralism. On the other hand, we confront the most critical, and in some respects catastrophic, state of the Earth in human history. Both these conditions have emerged directly from the modern age, whose light and shadow consequences now affect every part of the planet.”

Libra 5Margaret Thatcher and the last woman standing, Theresa May, both represent different aspect of this complex cardinal sign, yet share one of the most underestimated of all the Libran traits: intractability. Perhaps, they believed themselves to be agents of change and justice. The astrology documents the events that have unfolded for the often-inscrutable Mrs May since the start of the election campaign on June 8th 2017. We have no accurate birth time for Mrs May, but the positions of the Sun and most especially Mars in her birth chart reveal the stressors and coping strategies deployed during this turbulent time in British politics. From May to August 2017 Neptune conjoined Mrs May’s Mars, suggesting that striking out in self-interest would be undermined in a swirling sea of confusion, delusion, and discouragement. Neptune Mars contacts bring a sense of idealisation that clouds our willingness to accept “reality”. The essence of this transit is about surrendering our ego to a greater cause. Mars represents our will, and Neptune undermines and dissolves, making it difficult to succeed. She is quoted as saying, “I’ve been clear that Brexit means Brexit.” And as Neptune conjoins her Mars at the end of October for the last time, stationing direct on November 26th and remaining there till late December, whatever clarity Mrs May was referring to may emerge like a chimera to haunt her and the Conservative Party in November/December.

Saturn has been in square to Theresa May’s Libran Sun—March, May and early December 2018.  A time of critical development where she will be challenged, perhaps her ambitions thwarted. Saturn square her Sun represents a period of trial, of low vitality. Projects she began seven years ago are now facing a crisis, and she will need all her  Libran diplomacy and hopefully the ability to compromise to try to save what she believes is worth saving.  Jupiter squares her beleaguered Mars in early January 2019 against the backdrop of Pluto’s transit through Capricorn. In the words of William Butler Yeats, “things fall apart, centre cannot hold.”

Pluto opposes the UK Moon (representing the people) in Libra 8the last of five oppositions in early December, signifying irrevocable destruction, and eventually a rebirth, and we will all feel the pain. Pluto opposed the British Sun in the 1920s (1922/23) and conjoined the nation’s Moon between 1930/31, at the time of the Great Depression. During the Thatcher years (1975/76) Pluto squared the nation’s Sun and in 1979 and 1980 at a time of unemployment and austerity and the miners’ strike, Pluto squared the nation’s Moon.

Pluto conjoined the Sun of the UK chart in 2013, squaring the Nodal axis, which gives a “fated feel” to the unfolding drama. From March 25th 2019, Saturn opposes the nation’s Moon and on April 14th 2019, Neptune squares Mercury, with Uranus square Jupiter (June-April 2019) signifying the disruption and upheaval that has accompanied what will be a hard (Saturn) Brexit.

Many Librans are prone to agonising procrastination and inertia in their quest for balance, peace, justice and harmony. In the need to please, to be gracious and charming, they offer concessions, subjugate their own needs, and stumble into the shadowy realm of obsequiousness and repressed resentment.

3875fcadda1911e6520ac6b48f85a547Compromise or polarisation. Judgement or discretion.  Quiet desperation or the grace to remember that this is precisely what we have come here to do. In the scales of Libra we hold the tension of opposites. Light and shadow. The paradox of our humanness in the eye of the storm. Perhaps, as Carl Jung believed, if we hold the tension between two opposing forces, a third way emerges, uniting, transfiguring, transcending the two, giving birth to something new.

For astrology readings on Skype or Whatsapp and for more information about workshops please connect with me: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

I post regular astrology updates on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/ingrid.hoffman.75

 

 

 

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Virgo 09

Earth Angel—Sun in Virgo: August 23rd – September 23rd

virgo 987The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little—Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Amidst the delays, the frustrations, the upsets of daily life, there may a dawning of  new possibilities over the harvested fields of our past. As we approach the autumn equinox in the North, spring’s swelling and greening in the South, we may sense a kindling of  a new creative impulse. As the days lengthen or as darkness descends, the light, the air, the earth beneath our feet has a new cadence.

Mercury, ruler of the Virgo Sun, moved direct on Sunday, August 19th bringing gifts of clarity and insight birthed after his sojourn in the darkness of the underworld. Mars spurs our intentions, as he moves from Aquarius into Capricorn, and goes direct on August 27th; Saturn is direct on September 6th ; Pluto on October 1st. And this week, the Sun moves from the glamour and glitz of extrovert Leo into temperate Virgo. Another turning point in the Great Wheel of the year. In our own lives, perhaps, these seasonal shifts are measures of decision-makers’ choices that, at last, emerge with new vigour, as four of the six retrograde planets turn direct in the velvet blackness of the skies.

virgo 000The old sky maps reveal Virgo’s association with the fecund Magna Mater, ancient goddesses of the earth, old rituals and rites of passage. Virgo is the Harvest Maiden, who holds a sheaf of wheat in her left hand and offers us all the fertile potential of the seeds of the grape with her right. The constellation of Virgo depicts the fixed stars Spica as the sheaf of wheat, and Vindemiatrix as the grape vine, reminders of the cycle of nature, of reaping and sowing. Of the labour needed to make bread and wine, partake of the sacrament of Life.

Discernment and pragmatism are two words associated with the archetype of Virgo. She attends to the little details, she seeks solutions, she’s the spinner and the weaver of the warp and weft our daily lives. Purification and ritual breaking of bread, vestiges from the Old Religion are now enacted during the Sun’s transit through Virgo. Virgo is a mutable sign. Mutable signs bridge the sacred and the mundane.

angel-2939548_1280For those of us who carry the imprint of the Virgo archetype in our birth chart, we will inevitably encounter the duality, the complexity, the tension, associated with the Earth Angel, weighted with the detailed task of seeding the potential in every idea, every action; the never ending task of trying to create order out of chaos.

Virgo is prone to fret and fuss, flaying her nervous system with worry about making the right choice, doing the right thing, giving enough, being enough. The detailed labour of the writer, the craftsperson, are associated with those who have planets in Virgo. Her vision focuses modestly downwards, directed at the little things, the little moments. Leonard Cohen expressed his Virgo Sun, Venus conjunct Neptune in Virgo, and possibly an early degree Virgo Ascendant, in the painstakingly slow distillation of poetry and deep emotion that was his discipline and his craft. He infused genius and breathed prophecy into his poetry and lyrics. And yet, he said, “I don’t see it so much as creativity, but as work.”

Virgo is associated with The Earth Goddess who is self-contained, intact.  We meet her on the road and call her name: Mary Magdelene. Holy Harlot. She belongs to no man but gives her favours with an earthy abandonment that pre-dates the Judaic-Christian morality and the strictures of patriarchy.

In Virgo wbed797eb14394a0c247347d363f32187e encounter the Prostitute Archetype, in our own lives, and in the corridors of power. This month, we may contemplate how easily we can be bought, bargained for.  We might ask ourselves, where do we negotiate our power, trade our gifts and talents, when our survival is at stake?

The polarity of Virgo is Pisces, that boundary-less sign that so often disintegrates in relationship, is sacrificed on the cross of service, that needs to be needed so very much that she loses herself in her own story of Victimhood. Virgo looks on warily, because these same drives can be her shadow, that part of herself that lurks beneath the sensible, practical authentic Self. This month, we may ask ourselves where we lack faith in our own ability, where we deny our own inner strength.

The Full Moon on August 26th at 3° Pisces, illuminates the opposition between the sacred and the earthly, reminds us that the archetype of the Virgin is also the Alchemist and the Healer.  In her truest manifestation, the archetype of Virgo has an affinity with plants and animalsa knowing that reaches beyond book learning or Googlea wisdom threaded through  generations of healers and wise men and women.virgo 345Virgo is also associated with the Alchemist, the Sisters of Mercy, the Wise Virgin who tends her oil lamp with due diligence. She’s Vasilisa, the Beautiful who separates the poppy seeds and corn from the soil. She is aligned with The Hermit IX in the Tarot and the anchorite who holds the lamp of inner guidance as we prepare for a major change in our life direction.

As we cross the bridge between the sacred and the mundane this new month, may we pour Love into the cracks that make us human.

 

 

 

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering Virgo 06
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in—Leonard Cohen.

Please connect with me for personal astrology sessions and for more information about forthcoming workshops: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

For more immediate astrological updates, I post regularly on Face-book.

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Heart and soul 10

Heart and Soul—Leo New Moon/Solar Eclipse—August 11th

Heart 10Here is my secret. It is very simple:

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;

What is essential is invisible to the eye—The Little Prince.

So many of us are sailing across the rivers dark of change and uncertainty at this time in our collective evolution. England and America are in the throes of Pluto transits. The fabled “American Dream” has long faded. Britain is befuddled and confused and in South Africa, stars hide their fires…as the death of the  23-year-old law student, Khensani Maseko  brings the inconvenient truth of campus rape to the forefront.

We’re in eclipse season. On Saturday, as the New Moon travels between the Earth and the Sun, darkening the Sun’s brilliance. This symbolism is made all the more poignant in a culture where the brilliance of externalised power and earthly matters command the spotlight in 24-hour news loops and on social media.

New Moons signify new beginnings, though we may not be able to see just what they are until the Moon is ripe and full. Eclipses amplify and intensify energy, acting as focal points, decision-makers, game changers.

Though the energy of an eclipse can lingers for two weeks before and after the event. If we have planets at 18 or 19 degrees of a fixed sign, astrologer, Bernadette Brady suggests this solar eclipse (Saros Series 2 New North) may initiate sudden collapse of plans for life-styles. Confusion may reign, but the long-term effects are those of rebuilding and transformation. After the dust has settled, the rebuilding stars and the consequences of this reshaping will have far-reaching effects. This eclipse family changes a person’s direction through the sudden collapse of an existing structure.”

heart and soul 9

This eclipse is a high-intensity New Moon. The Sun and Moon are in a separating square to Jupiter in Scorpio and applying quincunx to Pluto on Saturday, amplifying the finality of endings; fertilising a new cycle of growth with the dust of demolition. Mercury is Retrograde, (July 26th to August 20th) intensifying the Archetype of The Trickster—The Magician—a reminder that our thoughts and words carry a charge of energy. Mercury conjoins Saturday’s eclipse. A cosmic reminder that whatever is changing, whatever is imploding in our lives, or in the world around us, now is the time to dare to practice some “magical thinking”. To remind ourselves (again) that we are what we think, and that we choose the thoughts we think, each day. This eclipse also semi-squares Venus in Libra, accenting our  relationships, and what we hold dear to our hearts. Leo is a fire sign, and the element of fire is associated with vision, with passion and warmth. Old-fashioned qualities of loyalty, chivalry and valour are associated with Leo.

 

This is the penultimate eclipse in the Leo/Aquarius axis. Another gossamer thread on the cosmic loom.  Leo (self-expression and our own sense of uniqueness) and Aquarius (tribal mind, what the group demands as opposed to our individual needs) are both fixed signs, so there is definitive flavour about the interwoven eclipses that followed the much-heralded “Great American Eclipse” of August 21st, 2017 at 28 degrees Leo. The archetype of Leo is associated with the heart, with the courage it takes to expand our understanding of what it is to be human.

Reflect on the motifs of our lives since last August. Where were we back then? Where are we now? How far have we traveled?  If we attune to the energy of this eclipse, and the symbolism of this potent New Moon, we may allow our passion to stir, re-kindle a sense of purpose, strengthen our resolve in making those changes we have dreaded, resisted, for so long now. 280054adda70922999966e90ebdf6c74

The thread so far this year has been a Total Lunar Eclipse on January 31st at 11 degrees Leo, the partial Solar Eclipse the day after Valentine’s Day at 27 degrees Aquarius, the Total Lunar Eclipse on July 27th at 4 degrees Aquarius, culminating in the Total Lunar Eclipse next year on January 21st at 00 degrees Leo. Milestones, turning points, beginnings of new cycles.

We’ll need courage to sift through emotional and mental flotsam—vigilance to discern the difference between our own narratives and those voices that may still hold authority over us. The real spiritual journey is ongoing. The symbolism of astrology offers us the gift of inner sight on our heroine’s journey. And as we feel our way through these dark days wholeheartedly, and take that Leap of Faith. At this New Moon, may we honour that part of ourselves that is our Essential Beauty, may we disarm, remove the mask, shrug off the stories we tell ourselves about our age, our body, the mistakes we have made, and simply honour our true purpose. Love.

 

 

For private astrology readings and forthcoming workshops for women, please email ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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animal-wallpaper-with-a-group-of-lions

Lionheart—Sun in Leo 22nd July—23rd August

Sun in Leo 5

It’s a funny thing about life.

If you refuse to settle for anything less than the best, that’s what it will give you—W. Somerset Maugham.

Passion lifts us on the thermal of those before-and-after choices that change the trajectory of our lives. When passion enters, pressing itself, hot and urgent against those places we haven’t touched in years, we remember our wings, and we soar.

As leaders of nations distract us with  displays of crass grandiosity, as economies and social structures are dismembered, we journey around the archetypal wheel of the zodiac to encounter what has  churned, sea-smoothed and sculptured, beneath the reflective waters of Cancer.

Amidst  ideological rhetoric and comatose decision-making, the transits of the outer planets draw out the sepsis from society. The archetypes of Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn continue to draw up all that is rotten to the surface of patriarchy. Our role models and leaders reflect our own greed, arrogance and bigotry. The dispassionate sky-god Uranus, promises the “perfect society”, and things fall apart.

The Sun moves into Leo on Sunday, offering the gift of optimism and vitality. Leo encapsulates passion, creativity, and spontaneity. Leo’s quest is courage.

Leo is associated with the heart—le coeur. That sacred repository of joy that contains the delicious delight, the audacious longing that emboldens us to rise up strong. Old astrologers link Leo royalty. With Sun kings, with leaders of nations and performers—Leo is the rock star of the zodiac—egoistic, charismatic, and commanding. I would associate Leo with the Divine Child, spontaneous, engaged in pleasure and play, fully alive. When the Sun is in Leo, our Camino is the way of  wholehearted self-expression and joy.

Leo 3

The archetype of Leo reminds us that every experience has the potential to rouse us to passion and purpose, that it’s laughter and creativity that sweeten the heroine’s journey. That lions spend most of their time sleeping, and a good night’s sleep will do much to  ease our stretched-out-frazzled nerves. That laughter and play thaw the frozen terror and passion  immolates the sinuous coil of fear in our belly.

This month is flanked by two eclipses—the Cancer New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse on July 13th brushed the Sun, with a top note of intensity that may be illuminated by the Total Lunar Eclipse and  Aquarius Full Moon Solar Eclipse,  on July 27th.

Lunar Eclipses draw us into the instinctual realm of “gut feel”. They stir primordial energy. Solar Eclipses feel external, they cast a spotlight on global events and personal issues. We may experience hardship and enormous tension— or  the release of suppressed energy in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption in our lives.

Leo Cara_Delevigne-1

Eclipses have importance in terms of world events. The partial solar eclipse was a preview to what will unfold from January 6th 2019—a cluster of eclipses in the Capricorn/Cancer polarity. July’s Partial Solar Eclipse fell on the moon of the UK chart, emphasising survival and safety. It coincided with Donald Trump’s visit to the UK.

Bernadette Brady writes of the July 13th eclipse (Saros Series 2 North) “if this family of eclipses affects a chart, the person will experience the sudden collapse of plans or life-styles… after the dust has settled, the rebuilding starts, and the consequences of this reshaping will have far-reaching effects. This eclipse family changes a person’s direction through the sudden collapse of an existing structure.”

Eclipses, even if they don’t spotlight any personal planets in our birth charts or in the charts of our relationships, highlight motifs, offer opportunities for re-calibration. They’re guide posts. Points of reference. cat leo sun

Reflect back to the much-heralded solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017 at 28 degrees Leo. Again the Leo/Aquarius axis was accented as the players on the political stage  performed their macabre roles like players in an Elizabethan Revenge Drama. There’s another eclipse on the Aquarius/Leo axis on August 11th at 18 degrees Leo and the final eclipse in this Leo/Aquarius family on January 21st, 2019 at 00 degrees Leouncompromising grandiosity, puffed up pride and arrogance, drama, hot-headed ideology, as naked Emperors strutand the counterpointcourage, spontaneity, and ability to be Present.

Mercury goes Retrograde on July 26th, at 23 degrees Leo, a harbinger of the full moon lunar eclipse on 27 July 2018 which falls at 4 degrees Aquarius,  making a striking T-square with Mars square Uranus. She nestles between Mars Retrograde and the South Node in Aquarius, like a poultice on a wound, bringing things to the surface, marking a completion, illuminating personal and world events in a dramatic and disruptive manner. Both Mars and the South Node bring a sense of severance, purifying, separating, purging. Mars is the surgeon’s knife that cuts, accelerating new growth and healing. Mars is also the war-lord’s sword that maims and destroys.

Sun in Leo 2In the cutting loose, the withdrawal from the brouhaha of the dramatics of politics, we’re invited to take centre stage in our own lives. To be loyal and steadfast to our own performance and to  abandon ourselves to our own unique passion that transcends the petty actions of the bit players who enter and leave through the sliding doors of political office. To adorn our heart’s desire with the deep, enduring energy that infuses all life.

I offer astrology readings and workshops for women, and post regular updates on Facebook. Please contact me ingrid@trueheartwork.com

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours—Ayn Rand.

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solstice 19

Still Point—Solstice—June 21st

solstice 14This is the Solstice, the still point of the Sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future. The place of caught breath—Margaret Atwood.

As summer thrusts sunlight into the receptive hollows of the earth here in the north, and the benediction of winter silence presses into the cold soils of the south, the Sun moves into the sign of Cancer on June 21st, and pauses at the threshold of the year.

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

At the solstice, and right now in our human his-story, we stand at a threshold, and at a time of unlocking, which promises the release of pent-up energy, the slaying of old dragons. The choice to expand, or contract against the forces of change that swirl around us all.solstice 000

Uranus moves through the sign of Taurus (2018-2026) engendering social and financial seismic upheaval, spurring climate change—a potential “ecological Armageddon” —to shatter our illusions of security and what we believe is safe and sure.  For many, these social and economic changes will change how we live, how we work. Like the interwoven spirals and coils of Celtic knot-work, the astrology of our times is threaded with the amalgam of the past. Uranus moved through the sign of  Taurus between 1934 and 1941. Yet, in the darkness of depravity and suffering many experienced their “their finest hour”. The Industrial Revolution between 1850—1859 irrevocably destroyed a way of life but also brought innovation and a new social and economic order as Uranus moved through Taurus.

Against the backdrop of the widening gyre, the Sun rides his chariot through that segment of the zodiac associated with home, with family, with safety and security, between June 21st to July 23rd.

Cancer is a water sign, associated with the bonds that bind us kith and kin, to the land of our Homeland, our Motherland. Cancer is associated with the Great Mother, with the mythic Bear and She-Wolf who nurture and suckle their young. Psychologically, Cancer offers the opportuntiy to explore the other dimension of Mother—the mother who lives vicariously through her young or who keeps them dependent and infantile. The mother who devours and destroys. Cancer represents our need to individuate, to separate from Mother and the family alembic. To turn from the breast and to nourish ourselves. In a world where health care and social security systems are being dismantled, this need for self-sufficiency and innovation may become more urgent.

Cancer is also associated with the  crab who carries her shell on her back to protect her soft body from the elements. This is poignantly enacted each day as homeless men and women pack up their meagre belongings from park benches and doorways in so-called “First World” nations.  In the poorer countries of the world, millions live in fetid squatter camps or risk their lives to seek refuge from famine and war. And in South Africa, land invasions will escalate in a disruptive and violent manner as Uranus moves through Taurus. As the gulf between the rich and the poor widens, Ted’s story is the story of thousands of men and women who, through divorce, retrenchment and rising prices, have lost their moorings, slipped into the abyss and have no place to call home in a bloated housing market peppered with Airbnb. Ted died at a table in a coffee shop in one of the most affluent areas of Vancouver this month. Battling cancer, with no means to rent or buy a home of his own, Ted had been living at a table near the washroom of the coffee shop for a decade. There are increasing numbers of people, struggling to cover the cost of food and housing in cities where house prices have rocketed. Judy Graves, an advocate for the homeless met Ted about four years ago when he had been diagnosed with cancer. “He had worked all his life, but at low-paying working-class jobs. For much of his life he had managed to scrape by, but an unexpected expense left him suddenly scrambling. Eventually he was left him without a roof over his head.”

solstice 4Frank Baum’s “There’s no place like home,” and the clichéd  “Home Sweet Home,” reflect our heart’s longing for safety and belonging as we pause in the dreamy haze of mid-summer heat, or close the curtains against the raw chill of mid-winter. As Uranus moves through Taurus, one of the manifestations will be the issue of land and affordable housing—a place to call Home.

The dreamy magical month of June may have brought timely reminders to stay flexible amidst uncertainty and ambiguity of the bellicose tweeting, the self-aggrandisement of the politicians. We’re exactly one month away from eclipse season and as the Wheel of the Year turns, and we draw closer to the mid-Summer/Winter Solstice, Venus ingressed into Leo on Wednesday, June 13th, and Mercury slipped into Cancer on June 12th against the backdrop of Brexit, which will affect us all. Another colour wash is Mars opposing the North Node this week and beginning to slow down in the early degrees of Aquarius before turning Retrograde on June 26th to August 27th.

So, stay flexible and alert, prepare for things to change, perhaps not in the way that you expect them to. If you have planets in Aries or Scorpio, you might feel this shift quite dramatically as life seems becalmed. Return to basics, re-do, reinforce, and use this time wisely to replenish your own energy reserves. Black Elk offers this wisdom for Mars in Retrograde—It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.0dec402d59d23a9e1004a898b40af19c

Mars is the archetype of war and is associated with anger. Moving slowly through idealistic Aquarius, ideologies and the Tribal Mind are emphasised. When Mars is in Retrograde, his energies are bridled, curtailed, he cannot move freely or spontaneously. If you’ve ever been at the receiving end of an insult that explodes through your heart, you’ll have sense of the power of this astrological signature. These next few weeks may  may feel supercharged, yet nothing happens; our nervous system may feel like a string of a violin that has been strung too tightly. Be mindful of thoughts create tsunamis across the surface of your mind and capsize your calm, words that emerge from the cave of your unconscious and darken the blue skies of affection.

Mars always needs to pick a fight, so the energy may feel as  volatile as a swarm of bees racing through the skies con a hot summer’s day. If you’ve been putting up with, or tolerating a situation that has become untenable, anger may erupt in a heated rush as Mars goes direct. Projects, plans may proceed with unprecedented speed.

We’re living in uncertain times.

Yet there’s a certain kind of freedom in uncertainty. Freedom from our addictive fear of the unknown, freedom from our past conditioning.

Writes Deepak Chopra, “in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.”

solstice 7I post astrology updates regularly on Facebook, and offer private readings on Skype or in person, so do please connect with me, I’d love to hear from you—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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