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Relationship

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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Venus in Scorpio 6

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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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.”

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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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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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29cffd6d159a78d12203de537710aae5

Burning Ambition—Mars and Saturn in Capricorn—Simply Dig!

Mars and Saturn 8There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this―Terry Pratchett

As the rhythm of our lives moves to the shape of this new month, each new day may present new possibilities to engage more deeply, more consciously, even amidst the repetition and predictability of our daily lives. Mars takes the lead this month, demanding an output of focus and energy which is book-ended by a close conjunction to Saturn that separates gradually over the next few days―March 29th to April 9th―and Mars conjunct Pluto at month’s end. A clarion call to show up, get to work with urgency and self-discipline.

In Tarot the Three of Pentacles symbolises this focused effort which brings recognition and rewards for hard work, for not letting go of the balloon. In astrology, Mars/Saturn contacts encapsulate the Puritan work ethic: self-denial, hard slog that manifests something of value and worth. Cheryl Strayed wraps this planetary aspect up in her own inimitable way― “writing is hard….Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.” Modern culture venerates efficiency and busyness. In the bland drudgery of the workplace we may feel we are “hitting our heads against a brick wall”, “fighting against the odds”, as Mars/Saturn contacts may manifest as exhaustion, low libido, feelings of frustration, being motivated by fear or duty. There are bills to pay, encumbrances and obligations that bind us to roles, titles, and positions that harness our identities, that chafe against the pull of our souls. Mystic and poet, John O’Donohue, writes about an  epitaph on a gravestone somewhere in London―“Here lies Jeremy Brown born a man and died a grocer.”  Mars/Saturn can consume our identity. Self-abstinence can shrink our lives, imprison us in our titles, starve us of our joy.

The sky-script this month reflects the age-old issue of power. We may work in an office where our dignity is compromised, we may be in an environment where we don’t feel welcome, where power is misused, where we are merely treated like functionaries, our life force claimed and used, our souls never engaged. We are reminded that no system or corporation can exile us from our imagination, from the possibility of renewal that coheres to fresh possibilities for creativity in the work we do, or the passions that feed us after hours.

Leonard Cohen approached his creative work with doggedness and determination. He drew nourishment and meaning from hard work. “I think unemployment is the great affliction of man. Even people with jobs are unemployed. In fact, most people with jobs are unemployed. I can say, happily and gratefully, that I am fully employed. Maybe all hard work means is fully employed.” The combination of Mars/Saturn demands true grit, single-pointed focus, and the courage to lean into our lives when there are things that must be done, to tackle those things we fear the most, and also to stand on the edge of the rut, to turn towards those things that moisten, that nourish our soul. To say, happily and gratefully, that we are fully employed with those things that bring vitality and passion to our lives.
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Mercury is in Retrograde ’til April 15th—a cosmic instruction to pause, step back from the busyness, disengage, focus inwards before making any decisions, carefully read the small print before signing any documents. Most astrologers would agree that these three-week Mercury retrograde phases are wonderful times to revalue, revise, repair, relocate, remember, regress, reunite, re-create, re-arrange and re-do on the purely physical mechanical level.

Mercury is in the element of fire, in the sign of Aries. Fire symbolism is associated with creativity, the Jungian intuitive function, the way we create our future. Mercury Retrograde in the element of fire signals a break in old patterns, a transition in our creative focus. We may attempt to “start something” without true inspiration and verve, or reach a very stuck place where eventually events, or emotions erupt, bringing destruction of the old. Yet in the rubble are new green shoots, new possibilities to grow, the much longed for changed we dreaded, yet unconsciously manifested.

b78166531030d114975548f27a768630We may have to find the courage to respond to the challenges in our lives with increased awareness, with more resilience. This is a time to shift focus, to perceive our lives with new vision. This is a time to adapt to change more creatively.

Physical illnesses that emerge during this time may nudge us back to those parts of our psyche that we have neglected or overused. The writer’s “block”, the flatness that we feel, might be a signal to change our daily routine, our technique. To try on something new, to experiment.

Depending on where Mercury is natally and in transit in your own birth chart, these next three weeks until Mercury goes direct again on April 15th may be a richly creative time. A time to seek your own inner wisdom, reclaim your own inner voice.

Saturn  moves Retrograde at 9 degrees Capricorn on April 18th and will station direct on September 7th urging us to be resourceful, realistic, and pragmatic, as we take stock of those things that frustrate us, confront those fears that thread through our neural pathways, ambushing our peace from the shadows.

This month’s New Moon carries the standard of rejuvenation, represented by the lightning bolt conjunction with Uranus, the planet associated with the destruction of complacency and rigidity.  This lunation heralds destruction and renewal.  The Moon waxes Full on April 30th at 9 degrees Scorpio. Both lunations this month are ruled by Mars, the ancient god of war who awakens Eros, heats our blood, spurs our will.

The month ends as Mars confronts Pluto―April 24th to April 30th ― in a separating conjunction that may bring an honest acceptance of our own part in the soap opera of our relationships, our addiction to busyness, perhaps an awareness of the drives and compulsions that lie buried in our brain’s amygdala. This energy may be described as drawing a line, setting a boundary, and knowing what it is that we want, then going out to get it.

Mars and Saturn 89

Mars and Saturn in Capricorn awaken our will to give space to the spontaneity of our feral souls, to shake off the chains that bind us to prescribed roles or identities which shrink us and dull our lives with repetitive, mechanical habit. We are reminded that we do not have to sell our souls to the seductive undertow of security. We do not have to stay trapped in the coal mine amidst dark seams of similarity. The turbulence of our soul’s yearning will guide us to leave the to-do lists aside as we step outside of our over-scheduled lives to engage deeply with ourselves. To be happily and gratefully, fully employed.

 

For private readings and more information about forthcoming workshops, please connect with me: ingrid@trueheartwork.come161c6a1926b4facec8e008a42bb059d

 

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Hero 3

Cry Heart, but never Break—Sun in Aries

Hero

We are the only creatures who are in-between. We’re of the earth, but don’t belong to it, because we strain after the heavens; and yet the heavens aren’t full in us. So, this wonderful, restless, eternal longing in us has us always on a quest—John O’Donohue.

Wearing thin leather shoes with heavy metal spikes, Roger Bannister, the gentleman athlete, did the impossible—he sprinted across the finishing tape, covering one mile in under four minutes. Of his world-breaking athletic record, he said it was simply, “good luck”.

With a fiery Aries Sun conjunct barrier-breaking Uranus in tight square to disciplined and self-effacing Saturn, Roger Bannister was an unassuming Hero who gave up competitive running to pursue a successful career as a neurologist.

Yet, his heroic feat of courage and determination, describes our eternal longing, our Hero’s Quest: “Those last few seconds seemed never-ending … the faint line of the finishing tape stood ahead as a haven of peace, after the struggle. The arms of the world were waiting to receive me if only I reached the tape without slackening my speed. If I faltered, there would be no arms to hold me and the world would be a cold, forbidding place, because I had been so close. I leapt at the tape like a man taking his last spring to save himself from the chasm that threatens to engulf him.” 

In our patriarchal culture, the hero myth is associated with the existential courage and the white-knuckled will power that overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Modern heroes are “sporting greats”, intrepid adventurers, astronauts and soldiers. And as the Great Wheel of the Year turns, and the Sun enters Aries on March 21st, a light shines through an aperture—igniting the hero/warrior archetype, and its shadow: the destroyer. In myth and in fairy tale, the hero/warrior archetype is typically masculine. Heroes slay nine-headed dragons, rescue hapless damsels, defeat degenerate villains.  Yet the destroyer lives amongst us, tattooed in pain and anger on the skin of the wounded Fisher King.

Starhawk describes the distortion of the Hero/Warrior archetype still so prevalent in our culture today. “The soldiers in Vietnam patted first their machine guns, then their groins: this is my rifle/this is my gun/ one is for fighting/one is for fun.”

Hero 6

For most of us, our heroes’, or heroine’s quest is a response to the challenges of life that is not muscular or spectacularly heroic. So often, it’s the austere grip of Necessity that wrenches us out of our ordinary lives and catapults us on the Hero’s quest. Financial ruin, illness, the noxious fallout from a ruined relationship, may ignite within our hearts, the courage we never knew we had. The Dark Knight of Desperation may spur our leap of faith. Compassion may break open our heart to moisten the lips of a dying parent after years of painful estrangement. The dragons we slay might be the fears that terrorise us in the darkest hours just before the first bird sings. The hapless damsel might be our own deeply wounded Feminine nature. The degenerate villain may be the impotent Masculine, who hides his wounded vulnerability beneath the rusty armour of bravado and grandiosity.

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The sky-story for the second half of March has a very different feel to the first half of this month. The phallic thrust that propels us through these last weeks is charged with daring, action and adventure.  Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and the Sun are all in the Mars-ruled sign of the Ram and it is in Aries that we must dare to find the deeper meaning of courage, the true hero’s quest.

On March 21st, the Sun’s chariot of fire races through the gate of the Equinox into the sign of Aries. We cross the threshold into Spring or Autumn. We emerge from the reflective soulful region of the human psyche, depicted by the Sun’s journey through the sign of Pisces, into the forge of fire, depicted by the archetype of Aries.

Mars, pumped with testosterone from his journey through fiery Sagittarius, rides into battle on March 18th, crossing into new terrain as he joins Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn, the Mer-Goat. Mercury turns Retrograde on March 23rd at 16 degrees Aries, urging us to retrace, recover, revisit old ground. Jupiter in the Mars-ruled sign of Scorpio, turned Retrograde on March 9th at 23 degrees Scorpio, reminding us of  that eternal longing, calling us back to our soul’s quest, depicted in our own birth chart.

 

 

Hero 2Some of us may realise that the harshness and discord in the world reflects our own internal state. That the rocks and thorns  are on the pathways of our internal landscape. Some of us may know that there are no heroes who can save us from ourselves.  That our quest as women, is not to attempt a hero’s journey, to try to be pseudo-men. That modern heroines require a skill set that  pays the mortgage and the school fees.

“You can’t do it all. No one can have two full-time jobs, have perfect children and cook three meals and be multi-orgasmic till dawn. Superwoman is the adversary of the women’s movement,” says Gloria Steinem.

In the words of poet Mark Nepo, “our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world, but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet, and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”

Leia, Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley are heroines with their own very distinctive quest: to define and validate feminine values in the urn, the alembic, that contains intuition and empathy; courage and intellect. Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, and Roger Bannister, present a more nuanced manifestation of the Hero.

Says author and teacher, Gary Zukov , “The Old Male is limited to the perceptions of the five senses, evolves by surviving, and survives by pursuing external power… the New Male re-defines masculinity. He feels his emotions, consults intuition, laughs, cries, and shares himself easily, and looks for partner to grow with, spiritually.”

Some of us may aspire to become army generals or astronauts. Some of us may aspire to scale the Seven Summits.

Some of us aspire to watch our grandchildren play in safety, in the sunshine.

Cheryl Strayed writes, “you go on by doing the best you can. You go on by being generous. You go on by being true. You go on by offering comfort to others who can’t go on. You go on by allowing the unbearable days to pass and by allowing the pleasure in other days. You go on by finding a channel for your love and another for your rage”.

For some of us, an ordinary life lived with as much consciousness and courage we can muster, is heroic. Our quest is cyclical, not linear. And even though there are times when it takes every last spark of courage to unearth something positive, anything hopeful, to hold onto, we go on. And we do the best we can.

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For private consultations or for more information about new workshops, please email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

For more regular updates on current astrological cycles, I post  regularly on Facebook.

 

 

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