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Insurrection—Saturn/Uranus Square January 2021

To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of Fate is strength undefeatable—Helen Keller

This is the year of reversals. Centrifugal forces tug at our priorities, upend our plans, propel us towards changing what feels too rigid or too obsolete.

The astrological autograph is imbued with a tincture of unpredictability and intensity. The new year begins with the disruptive energy of the waning Saturn/Uranus square which infuses 2021 with drama, unexpected events, plans upended, shocks and serendipities. The waning square is in effect throughout 2021 up close on February 17th, June 14th, and December 24th. Saturn is in airy Aquarius and Uranus in earthy Taurus. We are suspended between earth and air, the past and the future. Our hopes and aspirations, our efforts to get moving or make plans meet an intractable wall of inertia. This is an astrological autograph for colossal political change.

War-god Mars enters pragmatic Taurus on January 7th reflecting the electrical current of change that is rushing through the zeitgeist. Mars confronts Uranus on January 20th (Inauguration Day in America) and for those who have planets in early degrees of Scorpio, Taurus or Aquarius, late January to late February could feel electric.

A bullish Mars conjunction with Uranus speaks of angry mobs, violence and rage as frustration erupts. Mars has been moving Retrograde through hot-headed Aries (September 9th to November 13th) and the applying conjunction with Uranus will fan the flames in the weeks to come. When we are disconnected from our personal Mars energy or when the collective is overwhelmed by a sense of impotence or anger due to economic or social circumstances, this combination can be explosive and destabilising. Mars/Uranus aspects often signify the start of wars as suppressed energy becomes intolerable. Mars makes an explosive conjunction to Uranus and Jupiter inflates this energy by square on  US inauguration day so there may be more uprisings, accidents, chaos and disruption. Neptune (delusion, confusion, disappointment) squares the transiting Gemini/Sagittarius Nodes, calling up old karma, highlighting issues around education, justice, morality; obscuring our “realities” as the disinformation pandemic surges through social media. Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius are joined by Mercury (January 9th) and the Sun (January 20th).

Revolutionary Uranus stations direct on January 14th catapulting us into alien territory with rude awakenings, abrupt events that separate us from what once we thought we valued. Uranus constellates anxiety and fear that has perhaps been deeply buried in our psyche. It accompanies a sense of alienation from bedrock aspects of life and thrusts us into the future in quest of some ideal that undermines the old and replaces it with the new in its ideal form, which inevitably results in disillusion and enormous frustration.

Venus moves into Capricorn on January 9th, where she can become despondent and leaden unless we rework rhythm and routine into the days of our lives. Venus symbolises what we truly value and hold dear to our hearts.

Many of us may feel emptied, listless, as we stand on the shoreline of this year and see the storm clouds gathering. We may still face heart-rending reckonings, impossible choices, thwarted cravings for adventure, and new experiences, as we contemplate the same routine, the same sense of confinement and restriction. For most of us, 2021 will feel like a long uphill climb back to sanity and security.

This is the year to shore up our courage and perseverance when we feel anxious or despondent. This is the year of paring down to the bare bones of living simply, of tending to what matters in our lives, drawing on our creativity, our determination, our blind faith, perhaps, as we practice what spiritual teacher, Pema Chödrön calls “compassionate abiding”.

As we seek out a quiet rhythm that rocks us back to our selves amidst the grim news of death, contracting economies, civil unrest, and a catastrophic climate crisis, may we commit to restoring our serenity, slowing down to bring our awareness to the present moment as we make the bed, comb our hair, dance around the living room to the kind of music that sings us back to ourselves.

May we spend less, appreciate more this year. May we speak gently, listen carefully. May we seek out sublime moments of unexpected pleasure, cocooned contentment as we create a private respite from the stormy weather.

Please get in touch if you would like a private astrology reading: ingrid@trueheartwork.com or visit my website: www.trueheartwork.com

 

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Hope Springs—Sun in Sagittarius—November 22nd—December 22nd

This is the month of Thanksgiving. For counting our blessings. For celebrating just how brave and how resilient we have been this year, for grieving all those who have suffered, all those who have died in this difficult year.

The Sun blazes confidently through Sagittarius this month. As this annus horribilis comes to an end, we may be wishing and hoping that 2021 will be better. Hope, faith and optimism are nourished in the warmth of the fire element. If we can imagine that we all have a Centaur that looks towards new horizons in our Sagittarius house, we may get a sense that in some area of our lives, we now gaze into the future, perhaps dare to allow that small white feather of Hope to land, even amidst events that threaten to capsize our lives, circumstances that roll us into the depths of despair.

Sagittarius is The Pilgrim on life’s Camino—the pathfinder, who sets off on a quest, perhaps impulsively, but with a kind of innocent faith in the kindness of strangers, certainly trust in a benevolent god.

Jupiter is the astrological ruler of Sagittarius but also of Pisces, an archetype so often imbued with a tincture of loss and longing. Our Journey is not yet over. We may still need to metabolise our grief, mourn what we have lost. “There’s this collective sort of drip of adrenaline or cortisol in the collective psyche right now,” says psychologist Matt Licata, author of The Path is Everywhere and A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times. “It really does seem like structures, including the structure of human physiology, is being dissolved.”

Licata discusses one of the four stages in the alchemical process, citrinita, the yellowing. He says, “We’re in a dissolution moment. We’re in-between two things. I think many of us have a sense that we’re not going to be able to go back to the way things were. Not just COVID, but all of this sort of social upheaval that’s happening right now. We’re not going back, but we don’t know what’s being birthed. It’s like we’re still in this womb.”

In this liminal space of becoming, we may look back and reflect on our Journey this year. Sagittarius and Jupiter invite us on a journey to find meaning in difficult times. As we begin this new Journey, let’s ask ourselves what we will take with us, what we will have to jettison so that we can travel more lightly… In the days that precede the winter solstice, Jupiter in sombre Capricorn tempers our Pollyannaish exuberance and optimism with an infusion of realism as we prepare and plan for our personal and collective journey at the portal of this new epoch. There are no short cuts. The celestial injunction is to bunker down, be responsible, exercise caution and self-mastery.

Venus opposes Uranus (November 27-28th) amputating flimsy connections and light-weight encounters. Our our ability to be innovative or counter-intuitive with our finances will be accented, especially if we have planets or sensitive degrees between 7-8° Aquarius, Taurus or Scorpio. In early December, Venus square Neptune may gorge hedonistically on sweet dreams and empty promises. She may languish in the half-light of fantasy or linger too long beneath the glittering lights of the casino. This is the classic bankruptcy signature, so be wary of the siren call to buy more of what you want but don’t really need or can afford. This month Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter are still moving through Capricorn, reminders of financial austerity, new laws and restrictions imposed by those in authority.

We confront the cold facts, the consequences, the karma of our thoughts and our actions. Gloria Steinem once said, “hope is a form of planning.”  This is a time of re-imagining, of careful, considered planning.

This month ends with a spectacular Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on November 30th—A beautiful Full Moon that is the second in a series of six Gemini/Sagittarius Eclipses connected with truth and lies, belief and faith, travel and travel restrictions, education and publishing. In the affairs of nations, and in our own lives, Eclipses herald times of endings, they ease our ability to release, to let go: they are harbingers of new beginnings.

The Total Solar Eclipse on December 14th gathers Mercury in an awkward square to Neptune—offering a symbolic release of illusion and deception. Mars, the warrior god flexes his muscles and squares Pluto (over the festive period) triggering a release of willful determination that may aid the ingestion of a sugarless spoonful of realism. For so many, the mood may not be merry and bright. Yet, this Full Moon illuminates an uncomfortable contradiction—amidst the excess and the exuberance of Christmas, there are millions of people who live their lives in the shadows of society. The old, the homeless, the working poor we summons from Uber and Deliveroo.

Donald Trump was born under a Total Lunar Eclipse and this Solar Eclipse will “eclipse” his natal eclipse as it moves over his Gemini Sun and Sagittarius Moon. This week, his Nodal Return marks a karmic contract; and ending and another chance to evolve more consciously. His Nodal Return is a turning point, a time to re-evaluate and adjust to the changes in his life and his relationships. Pluto is still making an uncompromising opposition to his Saturn, while Neptune squares his Nodes.

Jupiter and Saturn’s entry into Aquarius on the winter solstice usher in a period of new social order. In the horoscope of the Inauguration (January 20th, 2021 at Noon) the Sun joins Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius and makes an uneasy square to Uranus in Taurus, suggestive of the challenges that will face those in the White House.

As the weeks gather momentum for crescendo of the solstice on December 22nd and the much- heralded Saturn/Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius, let’s linger in the warmth of Sagittarius’s fire. As we reflect on 2020, may we allow grace and gratitude to wash over us as we savour all we have learnt; how much we have changed on this Journey. Poet Mark Nepo writes, “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.” May this pilgrimage lead us all towards a place of healing and Love.

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

For private astrology readings please email ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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The Last Stand—Pluto/Jupiter Conjunction—November 2020

America is not nearly done. We’re only in the beginning. Who knows who we will be? Who knows what colour we will be? It is all something that, may our descendants—if they survive that long—will see—Alice Walker.

The whole world watched and waited as the divided states of America turned Red and Blue. Masks on or off signalled allegiance.  Now one last stand, one last grasp at power by the outgoing president. We are not nearly done.

We may still be wrapped in the folds of uncertainty about our future, trying to reconcile our ambivalence and incredulity as we plan our festive meals with family members who are angry about the outcome of the election; still divided around the care of a terminally ill parent; still trying to engage with friends who believe COVID-19 is just a hoax; still knowing that those we care for are just as hurt and confounded by how we think and behave.

The sky-script this month reflects the age-old issue of power and boundaries. We may work in an office where patriarchy infuses the woodwork, where we are treated like functionaries. In our relationships, we may feel that it is our duty to give our time, our energy, our love, even our body, in support of those who feel entitled to whatever they ask of us.

Our nations have been founded on elitism and supremacy. Our relationships, with our siblings, our parents, our partners, may be founded on the same principles.

We have only just begun. If we are to survive as a species on this troubled earth, we must not go back to the way we were.

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

Jupiter inflates and expands, and Pluto terminates, destroys, ends, irrevocably.  As the contagion agitation builds, as Donald Trump makes his last stand, thousands of new cases of COVID-19 are reported. And although scientists and politicians promise a vaccine that will give us back our freedom, there will be the formidable logistics of delivery and safety to overcome. The pandemic will not be prettily wrapped up by Christmas.

Pluto abducts us and takes us into the Shadowlands of our psyche, and draws up all that has served its purpose in the world. Pluto will remain in in Capricorn until 2024. The fabled Hydra will continue to sprout more rapacious heads as Pluto inexorably purges our own birth charts, and the charts of our leaders and our nations. We must befriend the monster within ourselves. We must dare to challenge the creation stories that have driven our civilization to this point of crisis.

The birth charts of nations are conceived in acts of supremacy. Dominion over the Earth and over indigenous peoples. We are still enacting our origin stories, tales of heroism, individualism, and supremacy. “Once metabolised, the old stories are hard to shake from the mind of an individual or the hierarchy of a family or the guiding principles of a country,” writes Elizabeth Lesser, author of Cassandra Speaks, When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes.

As the rhythm of our lives moves to the shape of the changing seasons, each new day may present new possibilities to engage in this collective birthing process more deeply, more consciously, even amidst the uncertainty. Mars still Retrograde, glowers, red and angry in the night sky. He stations direct on November 14th but will blaze a trail of fire through Aries until January 6th.

Mercury stationed direct on the day of the US Election and will return to Scorpio on November 11th, emerging from the shadow on November 19th. Venus makes a cardinal T-square to Mars and the Capricorn stellium between November 9th and 19th. A regenerative New Moon in Scorpio on November 15th consecrates our collective longing for healing and “normality” while the Full Moon on November 30th beckons us with the warm glow of possibility, fortified by the Sun’s presence in Sagittarius (November 22nd) as winter closes in and we make plans for the festive season.

“It takes a strong back and a soft front to face the world,” writes Roshi Joan Halifax. We will need courage and compassion, and firm boundaries as this year draws to a close and we face into another year of restrictions and economic uncertainty.

As we feel the ache of our humanness, the sadness of collective loss that has permeated 2020, one origin story that may be worth remembering is the story of Pandora who opened the jar and released evil spirits into the world. What is often not told is that Pandora shut the lid just in time to keep one spirit from flight Elpis—the spirit of Hope.

From the bottom of the jar of this difficult year, Elpis beckons us to imagine a better world. May we take the energy of the fire symbolism and hold the light of hope in our hearts. May we imagine a kinder world as we move through the ever changing experience of being human.

Elizabeth Lesser says, “women know something the world needs now. We know it in our bones. We’ve always known it. It’s time to dig deep, to excavate our voices, to elevate our emotional and relational intelligence and to transcend the limiting stories of the past. It is time for us to be the scribes and the teachers of a new way— to dream a little before we think as Toni Morrison said— and to stitch the world back together through care and inclusion.”

As this year draws to an end, we may be asking ourselves difficult questions; changing our lives in ways that we never thought would be possible, feeling more attuned to a story with a new beginning, a different ending. But first we must examine our stories. We must question who wrote them. And why.

Please email: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com for a personal astrology consultation.

 

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The Fall―Sun in Scorpio―October 23rd ―November 21st

So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings―J.R.R. Tolkien

Darkness comes early in October. Shoals of fluttering leaves twist and turn like golden minnows and delicate spiderwebs spangled with diamonds of dew shimmer in the hedgerows.

Autumn’s endings are accompanied by those things that are too quickly gone. So much has changed this year, simply fallen away. The brilliant greens of summer have turned to marmalade and plum and as the Sun moves into Scorpio, we enter the gap between the equinox and the solstice. We descend into the “fall”. This is the month we meet shadowy things that move in the dark, that wake us from our sleep.  We may feel a pressure to release, eliminate, burn on the bonfire those things, those thoughts, those behaviours, that have outlived their purpose. Something is calling us to our purpose. Scorpio is a feminine sign, and paradoxically ruled by testosterone-driven Mars and the Kali-like presence of Pluto. With tenacious Scorpio there can be no compromises, no half-hearted excuses.

For eons, the Scorpion has been connected with the mystery of death and rebirth. To the Sumerians, Scorpio was Mul Gir-Tab, “burning sting” and it was Serket, the Egyptian Scorpion Goddess who guarded the gates of the underworld. And three days before the Sun entered Scorpio, NASA’s spacecraft OSIRIS-REx scooped a sample of ancient cosmic dust and rock from the surface of the asteroid Bennu.

Bennu was a primal creator bird-deity, associated with creation and rebirth, a symbol of Scorpio’s regenerative powers of healing.

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. Here in the north, firebreak lockdowns presage a winter of discontent. “Burnout” and exhaustion attend a certainty that the pandemic is far from over.

Psychiatrist Dr Lise Van Susteren co-author of the book, Emotional Inflammation, describes the anticipatory anxiety and pre-traumatic stress that has emerged in this uncertain time.

She reminds us that the parietal lobe of our brain lights up when we work collaboratively, when feel compassion, when we transcend our own feelings and reach out with generosity; when we become what she calls an “upstander” instead of a “bystander.”

The edgy, unpredictable astrological signature this month accentuates endurance and resilience. Mercury, the Trickster, (connected with communication, commerce and travel) is the planet to watch as he Retrogrades through the deep dark waters of Scorpio, symbolising entrenched attitudes that may be concealed as people cast their votes in the US; and the burning sting in the tail at the end of this enormously costly campaign.

Mercury turned Retrograde in Scorpio on October 14th and will oppose unpredictable Uranus three times on October 7th, October 19th, and November 17th as more disturbing news flies from the Pandora’s Box of the US Election war chest. The opposition of October 19th (at 9° Scorpio/Taurus) and the Samhain Full Moon on October 31st (at 8° Taurus/Scorpio) offers us all a choice. We can be “upstanders” or “bystanders”.

On Sunday, October 25th, Mercury Retrograde is “cazimi”, conjunct the Sun, re-forged in this tight alignment. When Mercury is cazimi he is purified, so that the essence of his wit, his intelligence, and dexterity is revealed. There is a spiritual quality to this alignment, not in the trite sense of a “cosmic ordering service” but in the energy of commitment to invite Divine Order into our lives. Author Lynne McTaggart writes, “a single collective directed thought is all it takes to change the world.” 

Mercury revisits Libra on October 28th making a tense square to the Celestial Establishment―Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto―before stationing direct on Election Day, November 3rd.  The war-god Mars is still raw and wild and moving Retrograde in Aries (till November 17th) so expect delays, perhaps technological breakdowns, confusion, and high emotion and drama in the weeks ahead. And although the actual cost of the bloated American Election Campaign is yet to be counted, Elizabeth Stanley in her new book, Widen the Window, says bluntly,  “the United States today is one of the most violent, stressed, and traumatized countries in the world. Our restraint and stoicism will be tested in the weeks and months ahead.

Something bigger than ourselves, something fated, is at work. We may remember that for the ancient Greeks, Fate came in the form of three Moirai, those three sisters who determined the Fate of every living creature. It was Atropos who cut the thin thread of life. She decided the end of things.

We meet Fate when the Nodes of the Moon transit the planets or angles of our birth chart. The South Node draws us back, into the undertow of the past, we hesitate at the threshold, we circle endlessly in our place of discomfort. The North Node is where we see the diamond of our destiny, although the threshold crossing is never easy. As the Nodes move through the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, they square Neptune, a planet associated with delusion, with suffering and sacrifice.

On November 3rd, as Biden and Trump make their fated bid for the Oval Office, a waning Gemini Moon conjoins the North Node (fate, destiny) and makes a confusing square to Neptune Retrograde.

The Moon in Gemini will pass over Trump’s Gemini Sun and oppose his Moon in Sagittarius on November 3rd. In 2016, Trump’s Jupiter Return marked the beginning of an expansive and progressive 12-year cycle. In February 2020, an inflated Jupiter square offered an opportunity to re-assess and re-value his sense of self-importance. Neptune has been squaring Trump’s North Node and Uranus since July 2020. Now Neptune squares his Sun, Moon, North Node and Midheaven, while Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn oppose his vulnerable Saturn/Venus conjunction in Cancer.

Neptune opposes Biden’s Midheaven (reputation, status) and may undermine his career. From this December 21st until March 2023, Saturn and Jupiter square his Taurus Moon and his four Scorpio planets. On November 3rd, the transiting Moon briefly conjoins Biden’s Saturn while an uncompromising Scorpio Sun conjoins his Mars, activating the natal square to Pluto.

Trump and Biden are destined to battle. In this Game of Thrones, the planetary transits gift Trump with more opportunity than his challenger to power to a late victory.

The American nation dances with the Fates as the nation’s Pluto Return (2022-23) marks the culmination of a cycle that began on July 4th, 1776 when America declared independence from Britain and pledged to uphold democracy and freedom.

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings” wrote J.R.R. Tolkien.

We are now all called to our purposeto Love, and to care for one another. At Autumn’s end may there be a regenerative new beginning.

Please look out for my more regular Facebook posts or connect with me in person for an astrology consultation: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Keeping the Lights On—Sun in Virgo—August 23rd—September 23rd

Scorched stubble shimmers in the pixilated August heat and as the harvest is gathered, the swallows swoop over bows weighted with blushing apples.

As summer slips into autumn and harvest festivals echo with the songs of our sunburned ancestors, the Sun moves into the sign of Virgo. Virgo is the harvest maiden, her origins threaded and bound to the earth’s ancient rhythms. Virgo’s arrival heralds the spring or autumn equinox on September 22nd and as the seasons change, we may sense a new momentum, a desire to spring clean, rearrange, prepare for a new rhythm in our own lives. Or we may simply be doing our best to keep the lights on, to make the best of things beyond our control.

The astrology of 2020 reflects the contraction of the economy, plans postponed, events cancelled, as invisible plumes of COVID-19 swirl silently through our communities. In this strange new world advertisers cheerfully remind us that “we’re all in this together”. And yet, for those who remain incarcerated in care homes, or stranded in cities far from home, worried about income, this a time of suspension. We may never have felt more alone.

Damien Echols (Mars in fiery Sagittarius) spent almost two decades on death row, mostly in solitary confinement. He survived the brutality and stagnation of prison life by exploring the practice of hermetic magick.

In his book, Life After Death, Damien writes “I have two definitions for the word “magick.” The first is knowing that I can effect change through my own will, even behind these bars; and the other meaning is more experientialseeing beauty for a moment in the midst of the mundane.”

As the seasons change, as we transition from the confinement of lockdown into the restrained containment of this new way of being, we are challenged to shift our perception, to symbolically keep the lights on, even if we feel we are not making much progress. The last New Moon of August 19th (26° Leo) calls to our innate ability to see “heaven in a wild flower” as the visionary William Blake offers in his poem, Auguries of Innocence, though the astrological weather will be stormy these next six months as Mars marches through Aries to square the behemoths, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, three times. As Mars squared Jupiter on August 4th, a devastating explosion mushroomed over Beirut, Lebanon.

Mars turns Retrograde on September 9th (28 °Aries) symbolising internalised anger and desire, subversive action, as well as an opportunity to reassess the way we negotiate our power.

Apathy, depression, paranoia, sexual anorexia, and enormous frustration emanate when Mars is in chains. Mars is also the Samurai, the Warrior, who embodies erotic energy and virility, and the ability to stand one’s ground, defend our rights, tame our own demons, conquer our self-doubt in the months ahead. Mars is Retrograde until November 13th (15° Aries.) A provocative Mars squares Jupiter once more—October 19th and January 23rd—Saturn August 24th, September 29th, and January 15th, and will make a confrontational square to Pluto—August 13th, October 9th, and December 23rd.

As frustrations build, and tempers chaff and fray against ever-changing lock down rules, and algorithms determine the fate of thousands of school leavers and university graduates, and carbon emissions continue to rise, we may ruminate or catastrophise, or use our innate capacity to focus on the present moment with gentle interest and kindness.

Mercury-ruled Virgo is also the alchemist and the magician who uses ingenuity and clear vision to guide us across the threshold of change as we engage in lessons of integrity. Joseph Campbell called the Magician archetype “the mentor with supernatural aid” and as  Mercury moves into his own sign of Virgo on August 20th, we may be selling our skills, refining our self-worth, perhaps investing our time and our energy as we mentor someone, or become the apprentice as we learn a new skill.

We may feel worn out, weary, as the light of our faith begins to flicker. The  Full Moon of September 2nd  (10° Pisces) carries the injunction to tend to our spiritual practice. The Sabian Symbol for the New Moon of September 17th (25° Virgo) A Boy With A Censer Serves The Priest Near The Altar invites us to light a candle, perform a ritual that celebrates our spirituality and renews our faith.

Uranus in Taurus stations on August 16th and will move Retrograde until January 13th, 2021, upending everything that has become too rigid and stuck in our lives. Future-directed Uranus uproots the past; accompanies break downs and break-throughs, unexpected events and separations that fling us into fresh starts as we align our energy to what matters most.

Collectively, and personally, we are in limbo, which has it’s roots in limbus, meaning hem, border, edge. As we stand on the edge, we may feel uncertain, hesitant, stuck or confused. When Virgo walks through the sun-bleached fields, it’s the little things she notices—those things that clutter our lives, clog our bodies, erode our integrity. Virgo’s virtues are self-containment and discernment. As the Sun awakens our Virgo planets or illuminates 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 the commitments we make to 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, we 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, the Magician, and the Warrior.

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. As we explore the archetypes of Prostitute, Magician, Recluse, and Warrior this month, may the Wise Virgin hold up the lamp of inner guidance as we emerge into the world with humility. We may feel dead to the world and to ourselves. Yet, we can begin again, with the heart.

For astrology consultations, please get in touch: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Shadowlands—Pluto Retrograde—April 25th—October 4th

For those who are just beginning to emerge from a surreal dreamscape after months of confinement, the world may seem freshly washed, the air intoxicatingly sweet. For those who are still marooned on uncertain ground, far from home, devoid of landmarks, suspended in a state of waiting, the long days melt into weeks. Time stretches like spun sugar.

It’s been almost a week now since Pluto, dark god of the Underworld stationed Retrograde (April 25th 24° Capricorn.) Pluto abducts us and takes us into the Shadowlands of our psyche, and draws up all that is foetid, rotten, in the world. As Pluto moved Retrograde, the tense square to Eris (Goddess of Discord) and Mercury (God of communication and increasingly our mental health), has once again highlighted the restrictions for the good of all (Saturn in Aquarius) that grip us tightly, shut us away from the hunger of the homeless.

Today is Beltane, May Day, a spring festival that has been celebrated with singing and dancing and feasting for centuries to celebrate nature’s greening as icing sugar white blossoms that flutter like confetti from the trees. Today, in some countries, naked emperors wrap our lives in rules and restrictions that sit uncomfortably for those of us who know the story of the Hand Maid’s Tale.

Mercury conjoins Uranus (7° Taurus) on May Day, reflecting perhaps stirrings of rebellion as our personal freedoms are curtailed, perhaps for some, a sense of liberation as we appreciate the small miracles that sparkle in the spaces of the day. This too shall pass. Yet, it doesn’t take a crystal ball or the metaphor of astrology to know that this is the end of a way of life for all of us, except the Plutocrats. Air travel, shopping, cruise ships and holidays will never be the same again. There will be many more widows who cook stones for their hungry children.

From May 11th, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn prepare to loop backwards in Retrograde through the heavens. Expect reversals, lockdowns, slow starts. And if our leaders fail to learn from his-story, civil unrest.

As Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn move in tandem through the heavens, (April 4th, June 30th and November 12th) we may see a resurgence of COVID-19, and certainly a second wave on the pandemic in some countries.

Pluto Retrograde cycles may drag us down, compel us to enter those forsaken places, where, as Dylan Thomas wrote, we “hold a beast, an angel, and a madman…”

In myth, Pluto demands surrender, the letting go of a way of life that now may feel like an uncomfortable fit as we inhabit the twilight of these in-between months. As we sit and wait.

In myth, Pluto’s realm was Hades, the place of death and darkness. Jupiter was a sky god; his realm limitless. Optimistic Jupiter lifts, expands, amplifies, and spreads. He may inflate our confidence and our hubris as Pluto draws out all that is hidden in the shadows and exposes all that is rotten in our communities and self-serving plutocracies.

These planets will both be in Retrograde as Venus emerges from her Retrograde period in Gemini, a sign that is associated with our lungs, with our well-washed hands. As this pandemic peaks or recedes in some countries, there may be a sense of breathing out, easing up, a gradual emerging into the world once more between May 14th and June 25th, at least until the final Pluto/Jupiter conjunction perfects on November 12th.  A volatile self-centred Mars will be in combustible Aries from June 27th to January 6th, 2021. Mars will be Retrograde from September 10th to November 13th, moving direct 10 days after the big reveal of the US elections.

Pluto transits are slow and often painful if our hearts are impatient, if our hands “grab”, and our eyes are too dim to see the hidden treasure concealed in things. Some nations are experiencing Pluto’s power of break-down and destructionthe UK since 2013 when Pluto began to conjoin the UK Sun and oppose the UK Moon. In America, the land of the free, Pluto opposes the US Mercury (communication, paranoia, truth and trust) from 2017 to 2024.

The American nation dances with the Fates as the nation’s Pluto Return (2022-23) marks the culmination of a cycle that began on July 4th, 1776 when America declared independence from Britain and pledged to uphold democracy and freedom.

Psychiatrist Dr Lise Van Susteren co-author of the book, Emotional Inflammation, describes the anticipatory anxiety and pre-traumatic stress that has emerged in this uncertain time, as emotional inflammation.

She reminds us that the parietal lobe of our brain lights up when we work collaboratively, when feel compassion, when we transcend our own feelings and reach out with generosity; when we become what she calls an “upstander” instead of a “bystander.”

Gandhi once said that when the people lead, the leaders will follow. Mohandas Gandhi was born under a Pluto/Jupiter conjunction in earthy Taurus, and in 1931 when Pluto and Jupiter met once more in Cancer, he defied the British ban against Indians collecting salt from the ocean and selling it, leading one of the world’s most powerful non-violent campaigns. Author Lynne Mc Taggart writes, “a single collective directed thought is all it takes to change the world.”

As we sit and wait, may we flex our courage, direct our thoughts. May we turn back towards the breathing earth, our Home.

Light breaks where no sun shines. Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart push their tides—Dylan Thomas

Please look out for my more regular Facebook posts or connect with me in person: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com

The Girl with the Pearl EarringBanksy.

 

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Love’s Labour—Pluto/Jupiter and Lockdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For private astrology readings please email ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

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Diamonds and Rust—Sun in Scorpio October 23rd

Scorpio 12

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

 

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

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

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

Things are not  what they used to be.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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