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Lions on the Loose—Full Moon in Leo— February 5th.

Nature stirs here in the north. The days begin to stretch into  greening hillsides smudged with impressions of lilac and fuchsia as heather blooms amidst a stippling of wildflowers.

This week, the feast of Imbolc and the celebration of Brighid accompany the first snowdrops and crocuses, the daffodils that spill sunshine all along bridlepaths and woodland tracks.

The lengthening days remind us that our lives move in cycles that reflect our soul’s circumambulations and regressions.

As winter wanes, our creative spark may have dimmed, we may feel lost in a bleak and shadowed wasteland. Sometimes it’s a slight tremor that cleaves a reservoir of ancient sorrow. News that careens through the efficient, logical pace of our life; hidden things, suddenly seen that snag our gaze. Lions on the loose that hunt us in our dark-night dreaming, or an initiation into loss that dismembers who we thought we were. In our reverence for straight lines and upward arcs of evolution we have forgotten the soft curve of the circle that cradles us through times of darkness and a tentative re-emergence. Thomas Moore offers this: “when we’re shocked into awareness by a tragedy or a failure, this is the time not simply to make resolutions for the future, but to choose to live an awakened life.”

In homes where the old Celtic rituals are still practiced, Imbolc is a festival of inspiration as the first delicate, hardy snow drops break through the cold earth. As nature quickens with the seeds of new life, there will be many who will honour the ancient Celtic goddess Brighid who symbolises the liberation of the land from winter’s icy grip, and the animation of passion and vitality as we reimagine and create our world once more. Brighid’s lunar fire festival of Imbolc coincides with the Sun’s passage through Aquarius, one of the four fixed signs in the zodiac. The solar and lunar symbolism is apparent here in the north, as the earth begins to warm.

On Sunday, February 5th a numinous Leo moon brandishes her glittering mane across the heavens, a grand finale in the lunar cycle that may accompany a recognition of a heart-longing worthy of tender care. Leo, like the lion, symbolises strength and 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.

This lunation falls at 17° Leo and makes a departing square to Uranus, that may accompany a sudden epiphany that announces the presence of something that ignites our passion, emboldens our heart.

In her resplendent memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Maya Angelou writes: “I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. We are born to this moment for the purpose of realizing our inherent strengths and striving to become all that we are capable of being. But we are not capable of being our best unless we have the courage to face who we are and to live out our full potential.

Venus, the planet that signifies our values and relationships, is moving through compassionate Pisces now, and she squares Mars in Gemini as the moon comes full circle. The ancients spoke of the scintilla, the vital spark, that vivifies and brings joy to those timeless moments of creativity in the studio, the kitchen, or the garden, or when our hearts are moved by beauty, inspired and replete. Venus and Mars call forth our desiresgreat and small. A longing for chocolate may nestle in a soul-longing for more joy, more sweetness in our lives. The intimacy of sex may be a place where divinity dwells, a holy place of pleasure. As the moon in Leo receives the light of the sun in Aquarius, (a sign with two dissimilar rulers, Saturn and Uranus) we evoke the limitations and boundaries of Saturn and the unexpected discharge of Uranian energy, as we find the courage to welcome the joy and the sorrow of our desire in the knowledge that our soul-hunger may be a longing for spiritual, not earthly, nourishment. May we emerge from stagnation or fear with brave hearts and feel the quickening.

Imbolc Blessings.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about forthcoming webinar events, or to book a private astrology reading: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all.

Maya Angelou.

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Solstice December 21st⁠—Capricorn New Moon December 23rd.

This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath―Margaret Atwood.

The days before the shortest day of the year are shaped by the honest starkness of winter.  Colours seem brighter, a flurry of buttery-yellow gorse, a russet flash of a fox daintily picking her way across a glistening frosty field, a tangle of burnished bracken, the glossy green boughs of holly, the silouette of a red deerall reminders that in the darkness of winter, life begins anew.

On December 21st, a new Sun is conceived in the dark womb of the heavens. It quickens and stirs at Imbolc (Candlemas), to be resurrected in the urgent thrust of Aries accompanied by a melody of green shoots and delicate blossoms at the Vernal Equinox.

Anchored to the restless tail wind of strikes and industrial action sweeping across the UK, the Sun and Moon meet in stoic Capricorn on December 23rd. This final New Moon of 2022 makes a determined square to Jupiter in energetic Aries, as we steady ourselves, prepare for change. This Saturn-ruled lunation reminds us that like the animals who survive in what is left of their natural habitat, in the dark of the year, we must gather our resources, prepare for lean times, adapt, to grow in ways we never dreamed were possible. New Moons are times of conception, transitional moments, times when the heartbeat of heaven resounds through the blackness of the night skies. New Moons signify endings and brave new beginnings, that may be overlooked in our brightly lit, forward-thrusting lives.

Capricorn is an earth sign, a sign that is associated with the quiet alchemy of winter, with lean times and stoic determination. The essence of Capricorn is structure, so amidst our midwinter rituals, this is a perfect time for putting things in order, preparing for a spiritual or physical metamorphosis.

For some this may be a lonely wintering. A period of poignant, painful anniversaries of the heart. A fallow time of scant resources. For some, the protracted dying of a relationship may rachet up the strength to shrug off a life that now feels too small, too tight. For others, this festive season may be a time of joyful celebration, as we welcome a new baby into the family, or reunite with a much-loved friend.

Mercury swings into reverse on December 29th (24° Capricorn) a Retrograde cycle that lasts till January 18th 2023. This is  a reminder, as we re-imagine our future lives to focus on what we can “realistically” manage.

A slow-burning Gemini Mars Rx (retrograde) exacerbates residual frustration as our will may be thwarted by those things we simply cannot control. Mars Rx often signifies an internal war. Those unsettling “climates of feeling” that author Anne Morrow Lindbergh describes so beautifully.  Amidst the last minute shopping, the wrapping of gifts, take time to rest, hone a sense of humour, be kind. Mars in Gemini has been in a murky square with Neptune in Pisces since October, and will make a final square in March, though Mars moves direct (8° Gemini) on January 12th, reigniting embers of hope, a latent passion, clarity, as we rise above the mists of confusion.

With both Mercury and Mars moving Retrograde, we may feel burnt-out, fractious, an illness may confine us to bed, redressing an imbalance of energy, depending on what area of our birth chart they are now traversing back and forth.

There’s a deeper message contained here, said so simply by the Buddhist monk, Haemin Sunim: When everything around me is moving so fast, I stop and ask, “is it the world that’s busy, or is it my mind?”

Thank you all for all your love and support during this year now almost gone. Wishing you a restorative and hope-filled Solstice.

Please get in touch if you would like to book an appointment for an astrology session for 2023. ingrid@trueheartwork.com

Welcome in  the new calendar year with a deeply nourishing exploration of the astrological weather forecast for 2023, combined with inner reflection, poetry, music and art.

 Stories Written in the Stars Friday January 6th, 2023, 10.30 AM PST and 6.30 pm GMT.

Join me, and mythologist Dr Kayleen Asbo, poet Rosemary Wahtola Trommer, and artist Johanna Baruch, for an epiphany of comfort and joy, an exploration of the sky story for 2023, and a celebration of the gifts we each bring to at the turning of the year.

To register, here is the link:

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Rooted—Taurus Full Moon Lunar Eclipse—November 8th.

To be rooted is not the same thing at all as being tied down. To be rooted is to say, here I am nourished and here will I grow, for I have found a place where every sunrise shows me how to be more than what I was yesterday, and I need not wander to feel the wonder of my blessing—Kevin Hearne.

Her arrival is imminent. A tension building. On November 8th, a blushing, expectant Full Moon lunar eclipse brings this month to a climax, her subtle silvery light illuminating things as they really are.

This corpulent Taurus moon collides with disruptive Uranus, delivering a jolt of edgy, unpredictable energy that reflects both the pressure for and the resistance to change in the collective, and perhaps in our own lives whether we are ready or not. If this eclipse awakens a planet or axis in our own birth chart, (16° Taurus) stay rooted in the faith that there are miracles wrapped in unexpected news, serendipitous moments, or the brave surrender of letting something or someone, go. This eclipse signifies irrevocable endings as Uranus sweeps through the collective, a harbinger of change.

As our Earth’s shadow obscures the bright face of the Moon tonight, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and the South Node in Scorpio oppose her, we may be drawn back into darkness of the shadowdy Underworld, where we hear our own thoughts, sense our deepest longing.

Saturn (karma and necessity, structure, and limitation) makes a close square to this lunation, heightening our awareness, our instinctual need to be grounded in routine, well rooted in our relationships, securely connected to our interior life at this time of the earth’s turning.

At Full Moon times, the lunar cycle completes, so we may quite literally be at a time of ending, choosing what we will take in and what we will tune out. This Full Moon in earthy Taurus roots us in those things that matterbonds of love and friendship, our connection to the natural world, those things we hold dear that bring us comfort and joy amidst shifting circumstance. Taurus is associated with material things, property, money, and sensual pleasures. And although “being grounded” can seem like one of those self-help amorphisms, we can hunker down with an audio book, share a delicious meal with someone we cherish, come to our senses with beautiful music, fragrant candles, or freshly baked bread. Grounding, rooting, being in the power of now, affirms the richness of our ordinary lives.

For some, the effects of this eclipse linger, weeks before and after the eclipse, and this Full Moon Eclipse alignment with disruptive Uranus may send shockwaves across the earth throughout November. The race to the White House in 2024 begins on this Lunar Eclipse as Pluto and Mars Retrograde make their fated returns to their natal positions in the US birth chart of July 4th 1776. Mars in Gemini, now a battle-scarred and weary warrior, travels Retrograde from October 30th to January 12th making a jarring quincunx with Pluto, an aspect which so often accompanies ruthlessness, crisis, struggle, uncertainty and imbalances that can affect our health. Mars also makes an enervating square to Neptune in Pisces (exact October 12th, November 19th, and March 14th, 2023) an alignment associated with scandal, disappointment, loss, illness, and vulnerability.

Jupiter Retrograde travels through the heavens at this final poignant critical 29° Pisces, a degree that accompanies a sense of urgency, overcompensation, suffering, or difficulty.

In Ukraine, the grim conflict drags on as a bloom of inflation congeals with fears of recession. Rising energy prices correlate with Jupiter’s return to Pisces (October 28th-December 20th) and its subsequent move into Aries and semi-square Uranus between December 23-24th may bring further upheaval and shocks politically, economically as the climate crisis worsens.

“Everything you love, you will eventually lose. But in the end, love will return in a different form,” writes Susan Cain in her new book, Bittersweet: how longing and sorrow make us whole. In a world where enforced smiles and white-knuckled positivity clenches against the wild winds of adversity, she reminds us that “light and dark, birth and death—bitter and sweet—are forever paired.”  At this in-between time of transition we may feel suspended between life’s crevices and cracks as Jupiter’s lingering longing expands the bitter and the sweet. And as Naomi Shihab Nye reminds us, “before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.”

Now, staying deeply rooted in the relationships, the ordinary pleasures that nourish us;  allowing ourselves to feel the deepest thing inside during this turbulent time in our human history, becomes an act of rebellion. Kevin Hearne writes, “and when you are rooted, defending that space ceases to be an obligation or a duty and becomes more of a desire“.

As bare branches reach towards dove grey skies here in the north, and wild geese swim through the clouds in honking arrow heads, take a moment to look up at the moon tonight. Feel her presence, bathe in her light. This Full Moon/Eclipse is, as Maya Angelou once said, “plump with promise,”  and inspiration and delight will come with the new Moon in optimistic Sagittarius on November 23rd, an emissary of new horizons burgeoning in fallen leaves and rain-soaked grasses.

At at this time of Full Moon illumination and natural ending of a cycle, may we feel peace in our heart as we root deeply in what we cherish and linger a while with what brings us joy.

To book an astrology consultation, please email me: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Brave—Aries Full Moon—October 9th.

One wishes that pain weren’t the potent alchemical element that it is―Athol Fugard.

Today, news of two explosions travelled across plaited fibre optics onto our screens and  into our hearts.

In the early hours of this morning,  a bomb on the Kerch Bridge linking Russia to Crimea generated a fireball obliterating the lives of three people.  On the 227th day of a war that continues to send shards of pain and trauma across the globe, the bombing of the symbolic and strategic bridge—“the jewel in the crown of Vladimir Putin”—may be a key event in the gruesome story-arc of this war which has affected us all in some way. In a close-knit Irish community in County Donegal, nine or more people died in an explosion that incinerated a petrol station and demolished nearby buildings. As search teams comb through the rubble, families and friends wait, hearts barely beating.

Pluto, (irrevocable endings, break down, eventual revival and deep healing) stations direct today (October 8th) escorting us collectively and personally into the dark of the year as Saturn (structure, authority) and Uranus (rebellion and breakthroughs) form a tense, explosive square (2nd-12th October.)

Tonight, a blood-red Full Aries Moon rises over the Earth’s soft curve. Mars has sovereignty over this warrior Full Moon as she travels in tandem across the night skies with Chiron, the wounded healer, symbolising the grief and suffering so many may be experiencing now, and the promise of deep healing if we are brave enough to move more consciously through painful rites of passage.

There are many ways to be brave in this world. For most of us, bravery, raw courage, comes when death ambushes those we love, when our income withers, when we must muster up the courage to love again. We may discover that courage is concealed in the small choices we make each new day. That act of will that gets us out of bed, the strength to put the kettle on, when all the colour has faded out of the world we once knew. “We never know how high we are till we are called to rise,” writes Emily Dickinson.

Mars goes Retrograde on October 30th (25° Gemini), a celestial injunction to rest our fried and frazzled nervous systems and make space to reassess our goals as economies collapse and ice caps melt.  Mars Retrograde cycles often coincide with low energy levels as Mars, the war god, retreats from battle. We may need to reassess our goals, or even postpone things till he stations direct in January 2023. The last time Mars moved Retrograde in Gemini was at the beginning of the financial crisis of 2008, and as we prepare for a long cold winter, Jupiter returns to that last potent degree of Pisces between October 28th and December 20th amplifying spiralling inflation and soaring energy costs.

We’re entering the winter eclipse season, a time that is vaguely described by some writers as “a portal” time, though what precisely this means is unclear. Eclipses come in pairs and there are four eclipses each year. An eclipse happens when there’s an exact alignment between the Sun, Moon, and Earth. In the affairs of nations, and in our own lives, eclipses herald times of endings; they ease our ability to release, to let go. In the mandala of the Zodiac, we are now moving through a series of eclipses on the Scorpio/Taurus axis, and it may be helpful to recall the events in our own lives as the series of Scorpio/Taurus eclipses dropped across the heavens in 2003/2004. In Scorpio, we encounter the inevitable: death and taxes. In Taurus, we dig deep into earthly matters. We may experience profound changes in our finances and in our shared material resources as the climate crisis continues to destroy our home planet.

“Things do not change, we change,” wrote Henry David Thoreau, a pioneer in minimalism and authentic living, a man who knew the seasons of nature intimately. As we seek our quiet centre at this monthly moment of Full Moon illumination, may we see more clearly all the ways we have changed, we may be setting out on a new path of our journey, embarking on a new stage in our life’s journey.

The October 25th  partial Solar Eclipse (2° Scorpio) is one of the Saros Series 6 eclipses that Bernadette Brady suggests “is about being forceful and taking power. It has a maniac flavour about it… with great force or strength manifesting in the relationship area…”  This may be a time of re-imaging an old story about a person or an event that has left us feeling disempowered in some way. In her new book, Trusting the Dawn: How to Choose Freedom and Joy After Trauma, Mary Firestone describes her long recovery after the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and a catastrophic mudslide that demolished a mountainside and her home.

She describes how she managed to move from Victimhood and change her perspective, and says that by “understanding that just like the mudslide was a force of nature that came down that mountain and I happened to be in its path, whatever was moving through that man was a force of nature and I just happened to be in his path. So for me, switching that story around again, it actually had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the force of nature.”

 On November 8th, the Moon will slip through the shadow of the Earth and a super-charged total Lunar Eclipse will energise and sensitise planets in our birth charts that fall at 16° Taurus, Aquarius, Leo, or Scorpio. Eclipses upend the natural order; they stir up those things we’d thought we’d burnt and buried, nine, eighteen years ago. They are forces of nature that catapult us to the crossroads of choice; exposing uncomfortable truths about triangular relationships that usually accompany power-over someone else, reveal our Shadow, tip and topple those rose-coloured glasses from our eyes, bringing new understanding.

At the start of this eclipse season, we may feel as if we are stepping onto foreign ground. So much has changed, so much is changing.

Dr Edith Eger’s inspiring 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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Libran New Moon on September 25th arrives with charm and grace, offers the promise of compromise as both Mercury and Venus, both in discerning Virgo nestle close to the New Moon this month. Amorphorous Neptune may cloud our sound judgement, or soften our gaze as we practice radical empathy and compassion.  The Moon is invisible when she’s new, but she carries potent unseen energy if we have the courage to step back into balance, to find that still point of silence at the Centrepoint of our heart.

The Full Moon on October 9th brings the raw vitality and verve of Aries to what we have imagined or initiated at the New Libran Moon. We hold the tension of opposites with Aries (self) and Libra (other). This Full Moon will reflect the state of our relationships. The bonds of love and loyalty that bind. The untethered ambiguity of those casual encounters that so easily tilt and topple. Research links happy committed relationship to lower stress levels, better immune function, and lower mortality rates, as oxytocin and vasopressin activate parts of the brain associated with calm, even the suppression of anxiety and pain.

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

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

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

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

Psychologist Sue Johnson writes, “this drive to emotionally attach—to find someone to whom we can turn and say ‘Hold me tight’—is wired into our genes and our bodies. It is as basic to life, health, and happiness as the drives for food, shelter, or sex. We need emotional attachments with a few irreplaceable others to be physically and mentally healthy—to survive.”

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Astrology is a language of metaphor and symbolism that mirrors what emerges in the collective and in our personal lives. We are at a time of collective ending, already glimpsed in extreme weather, the miasma of political machinations, and sharp-edged transitions that precede new beginnings in our own lives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tread Softly—New Moon in Virgo—August 27th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water is the driving force of all natureLeonardo da Vinci.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Striking Fire—New Leo Moon—July 28th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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