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Relationship

Soulmate—Sun in Gemini—May 21st

I had embraced you… long before I hugged youSanober Khan.

The steadiness of Taurus behind us, we experience the mercurial quality of Gemini as the Moon joins Mercury and Venus in Gemini today, joined by the Sun on May 21st.

In Gemini we encounter the Other that comes in the guise of the Soulmate, the phosphorus twin flame who burns into our life wearing the red thread of fate coiled around a finger—the thread that is spun and tied in an eternal loop around the fingers of those destined to meet by a primordial lunar goddess.

Soulmates rarely appear by choice. Soulmates plunge into our lives like shooting stars. And when they do, there’s a feeling that drops into our belly like warm honey, flows through our heart like a scented summer breeze. There’s a recognition that pulls us towards one another across lifetimes. A divine Grace that directs us with absolute certainty towards a life we would never have imagined. A sublime sweetness that takes away the ache of loneliness, softens our willfulness, smooths our edges.

Soulmates appear in many guises. So often the timing is all wrong, circumstances impossible. So often there’s madness and confusion, reason abandoned, an ache that curls like ivy around the crack in our heart.

Author Brian Weiss offers this small crumb of comfort: “sometimes, Soulmates may meet, stay together until a task or life lesson is completed, and then move on. This is not a tragedy, only a matter of learning.”

Beneath the popular astrological descriptions of the breeziness of Gemini, the fun-loving and fickle eternal child, lies a story of loss and longing, a life-long search for something or someone from which we feel separated. A story that’s so often punctuated with long stretches of aloneness. A story that stumbles into the sinkhole misunderstanding. A story that ends with nothing more left to say.

The numinous image of the Twins is mirrored by the Lovers card in Tarot, depicting the awakening of a partnership of equality. Also, the strands of individuality, separation, and loss that is woven into love knots. In the round of the Zodiac, this is the first meeting with the Other, the Twin Soul.

Like so many stories steeped in patriarchy and dominion, that form the bedrock of our civilization,  the enduring stories of Soulmates are threaded with the pathos of loss and separation, woven with duality and ambiguity.

Sibling-Soulmate stories underline Rome’s foundation myth and draw us into the story arcs of fiction and movies like Shakespeare’s Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ian McEwan’s Atonement, SK Tremayne’s chilling story about the death of a twin, The Ice Twins, and the marvellous Harry Potter books.

Twins in myth and fairy tale, are similar at first glance, then reveal themselves to be fundamentally different. The story of Castor and Pollux, and their beautiful twin sisters, Helen and Clytemnestra is a brutal story of theft and revenge, kidnapping, murder, and loss. Maya Angelou once said, “I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.”

Working at it can be a Herculean labour that may erode our energy, gnaw at our resolution to untie the knots that keep us bound in conflict or rivalry. Siblings betray one another, they lie,  they steal, they envy. Siblings love one another with a love that is different from the love we have for our parents.  Brenna Yovanoff writes so poignantly, “I wanted to tell her that I loved her, and not in the complicated way I loved our parents, but in a simple way I never had to think about. I loved her like breathing.”

Yet, whether we’re twinned, a resourceful only child, a pioneering first born, a cossetted baby, or the lost child in a family too big or too poor to give nurture, we’re engaged with the mythic story of the Twins in our everyday human encounters with friends and colleagues, lovers and husbands. Those sympathetic similarities that draw us in; those polarised differences that repel. As the Sun moves through Gemini expect these themes to be highlighted as our Gemini planets are nudged to think a little differently about finding a  twin flame or a Soulmate. The well-worn sweaty T-shirt study by Claus Wedekind showed that the pheromones that attract us most are from people who are genetically very different from us. As the magic sparkles begin to flutter and the golden glow fades, we may find that our Soulmate is both our Jekyll and our Hyde.

As many countries ease restrictions, Mercury and Venus move through sociable Gemini this month as we make space for new relationships, new family configurations; as we move through our grief after months spent shepherding someone through illness, after the loneliness of confinement. We’re reminded that Gemini rules the lungs and the hands as we breathe new energy into those parts of our lives that may still feel cling-wrapped in fear and we re-connect with those vital, resilient parts of ourselves that press up against the warm urgency of longing to touch again. When our world has become precarious, when our natural impulses coil tightly inside us, it may be hard to feel connected to each other as we did before. The old ways of living on this earth have become harder to justify as the long shadow of the pandemic stretches across shrinking glaciers and warming skies.

The Sun’s passage through Gemini may highlight the fissures in our relationships, yet the winds of change swirl as two planets in air signs pause and track backwards. Saturn goes Retrograde (May 23 – October 11) consolidating boundaries and foundations, adding solemnity and maturity as it isolates the planet it contacts. We may find that we deepen our relationship to ourselves during this introverted time, that we seek privacy and silence while we gestate what needs to emerge from the trauma of this pandemic.

Mercury backtracks at the end of this month, (May 29 – June 22) symbolising a turning point and a time when a protective chrysalis is shaped around an area of our psyche, depending on where these planets are moving through our birth chart. Pluto moves Retrograde (April 27 – October 6) stirring toxicity in our relationships, dredging secrets, exposing misuse of power, drawing our attention to those anemic areas of our lives that need a transfusion. Jupiter dips into familiar Piscean waters on May 14th amplifying our longing to escape into fantasy or denial, perhaps inflating empathy fatigue, addictive behaviour, or pain. Saturn and Uranus are still in square, a sky story that speaks of liberties curtailed as the old ways of living on this earth become harder to justify, and as the long shadow of the global pandemic stretches across shrinking glaciers and warming skies.

This month, Mercury-ruled Gemini appears as the winged messenger, delivering choices which are seldom packaged in black and white, choices that arrive on the restless wind and arc through the air like the ideas that tumble through our minds. It is in the light and the dark of our relationships that we encounter our human complexity and discover the light and the dark within us.

May the motif of the Soulmate enrich our imagination this month. May the winged sandals of Mercury carry us towards those extra-ordinary encounters that bring everything into focus. May the mythic Twins preside over those soulful tugs that herald of radical change in the way we live and the way we love.

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

 

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Practical Magic—Sun in Taurus—April 19th-May 21st.

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions, he had money as well—Margaret Thatcher.

 

Money, digital currencies, bright shiny skyscrapers, land— wild, or tamed by industrial farming—are yoked to neck of The Bull.

As the Sun enters Taurus this month, this thing we call “money” calls our attention to what we value, to the money we have, or the money we long for. For most of us, our relationship with money is an emotional one, marked by tawdry secrets, cautionary tales, sleepless nights, and magical thinking. As the Sun moves into earthy Taurus, joined by Mercury and Venus, we’re reminded of the power of practical magic to alter the state of the material world. Magical thinking has been demoted to a response to acute stress and uncertainty: the lucky charms carried in the pockets of young men going off to war, the tiny talismans, rituals that come with the unshakeable belief that we can win the match, or the lottery. Author, Julia Cameron suggests in Faith and Will: Weathering the Storms in our Spiritual Lives, that we ask Higher Power to help us with our finances. This month, we pray, perform a ritual, light a candle, use our will to add a dollop of magical thinking to the mundane, as the winds of change scrape against all we thought was safe and sure.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe…  money makes the world go around and silver sixpences have morphed into cryptocurrency, symbolised by the seven-year transit of Uranus through Taurus, (2018-2026.) Uranus in Taurus has highlighted the climate crisis and accelerated the power-hungry cryptocurrency bull run which leaves such a heavy carbon footprint. China is now minting its own digital cash, “in a re-imagination of money that could shake a pillar of American power,” writes James T. Areddy in the Wall Street Journal. As Uranus shakes and shatters Taurean ground, this archetypal force of chaos and disruption reminds us that we are standing on the rim of the widening gyre between rich and poor. That even wealthy Samaritans with the best intentions can lose it all in what Joan Didion calls this “ordinary instant”. That for most of us there is no settling feeling of security when work is patchy; that money and a gig economy are incompatible bedfellows.

All through 2021, the Saturn/Uranus square will stir up the sediment of social inequality as the rich practice the art of elegant economics and swathes of homeless continue to forage on scraps and shelter beneath flimsy roofs of plastic. The Pluto/Saturn conjunction square Eris of 2020 continues to affect the lives of millions of people who don’t have the luxury of resting in bed as they recover from Covid. US President Joe Biden, who has a pragmatic earthy Taurus Moon, says, “don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”  For those who live on the verges of society, there are no budgets. Just a continued search for a warm place to spread a strip of cardboard; perhaps a few silver coins to buy something to eat.

Money has no power of its own according to “Money Lady”, financial advisor and millionaire Suze Orman who says, “Selfworth equals net worth.” She links money with internal power. “You alone are the power source. You are the one who makes the choices to spend money, to save money, to borrow money… money is an amazing teacher; what you choose to do with money shows whether you are truly powerful or powerless.”  Her words carry a potency that has brought her riches and fame. Yet for most of us, it’s the personal powerlessness that chafes and scrapes.  Emma Mitchell writes in A Spell in the Wild, “late capitalism is not a meritocracy. We do not do well in life simply because we show up or try hard to be clever or well-behaved or good. Most often, people succeed because of the financial and institutional networks that sit behind them. From private education to parents who know important people in an industry to being able to afford property, to living in affluent areas with better health outcomes.”

The Age of Taurus (4,000-2,000 BCE) coincided with the prosperous river civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia; and for eons, the Bull and the Cow have been associated with wealth, with the flooding of the great rivers, the rich black sediments of the earth. Taurus, despite its association with the muscular bull, is associated with “the feminine”, which has been denigrated, distorted, disowned for thousands of years. Yet she is still there in the sharp green scent of green growing things, in the soft contours of the land, the artists brush that sweeps turquoise and violet across the tangerine skies at sunset. We know her indomitable presence that emerges in the daisies that turn their faces to the sun from cracks in the pavements, in sluggish city rivers filled with plastic, in filthy alleyways strewn with syringes and layered with human detritus where bright yellow dandelions grow.

Accompanying our global rite of passage, Pluto moves through Capricorn, (2008-2023) intensifying and complicating matters of the physical world, highlighting the “masculine” qualities that we glorify in our culture.  Pluto turns Retrograde on April 27th,  and this retrograde journey lasts five months until Pluto stations direct on October 6th . Retrogrades can feel disruptive especially if Pluto moves over planets and angles in our own birth chart. The intense energy of Pluto may compress and pulverise our tenuous relationship with what we grasp too tightly. Pluto destroys those things that have outlived their purpose; those things than no longer serve the evolution of the whole.  As Pluto’s raw power activates our own birth chart, we finalise unfinished business, eliminate and end those things that must be ended, and we contain our own resilience, draw deep on our own rescources.

Expansive Jupiter dips into the dazzling and confusing waters of Pisces on May 13th-July 28th, and will return there for most of 2022, amplifying Piscean themes of compassion and suffering, illusion, and delusion. This is the realm of long-distance travel, higher learning, pharmaceuticals, High Hopes, and Grand Designs. Jupiter turns Retrograde on June 20th, moving “backwards” through the cosmos till October 17th (22° Aquarius) and will eventually join Neptune in Pisces in May 2022. Expect a sharp undertow that draws us back to those things that matter most in our lives right now as we continue to live amidst a global pandemic, economic recession, and the harsh reality of the climate crisis. Naturalist, John Muir wrote “everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” As we are propelled from the comfort of the old, we may need to borrow the wisdom of the indigenous Americans—only when the last tree has died, and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.

As we face into the reality of many more years of mask-wearing, curtailed freedom, and economic thrift, may we discover that our health is our wealth, that there are diamonds in the dust of loss, and that good intentions are magical resources.

Please connect with me directly if you would like an astrology consultation: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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Wild Water Swimming―Sun in Pisces―February 18th―March 21st

So, this is how you swim inward. So, this is how you flow outwards. So, this is how you pray―Mary Oliver.

For so many of us, the routines and rituals that swaddled and sustained us last March have begun to feel stifling. Some of us may dream of golden beaches, yearn for the crowded conviviality of our favourite coffee shop. So many are still stranded, far from their place of belonging.

Our old lives feel may so distant after this year of life-shaping sequestration. For those who have lost loved ones, for those whose lives have been dragged down into the undertow by loss of work or direction, everything may seem blurred, life’s pulse beat feeble. Hundreds of thousands of people have died since last March. Millions of people are grieving broken bonds of belonging.  In the UK, March 23rd, the first anniversary of the UK lockdown, is a National Day of Reflection. 

For grief, there is no inoculation.

Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac. We are collectively at a time of emptying out, letting go. This week, as the porous Pisces Sun unites briefly with diffuse Neptune (20° Pisces) we may pause and compassionately reflect on the year that has passed, the sacrifices that were made. The Sun and Moon unite with otherworldly Neptune on the New Moon of March 13th as Mercury emerges “out of shadow” and we slowly step into a world touched by change.

This rhythmic, watery imagery may permeate our world-weary lives with a longing to return to what we have neglectedthose simple pleasures that are the arteries of attachments to that which quenches our thirst. When a miasma of uncertainty leaches moisture from our lives, we may need to tend to the well within, quench our imagination, reaffirm our lives as we inhabit a new dimensionality in the face of challenges and defeats.

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, the Black Lives Matter movement highlighted the long dark shadow of racism and inequality that stains our communities and is embedded in our institutions. The sky story describes a long, slow and painful healing process for us all on some level.

The signature of 2021 is the slow-moving Saturn/Uranus square that suspends us all collectively between the elements of air (intellect, communication) and earth (matter, “reality”) as our visions and ideals crash against a wall of inertia. Saturn, (conservatism, authority) and Uranus (shock waves, idealism, anarchy, innovation) are mythic enemies. Meghan and Harry’s “kryptonite” interview with Oprah Winfrey depicts this upsetting energy as shockwaves ripple and racism shakes the bedrock of the Monarchy and the nation. Writes David Olusogo in the Guardian, “be in no doubt this is the most serious crisis ‘the firm’ has faced since the death of Princess Diana – according to some, since the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936. But this is not just a crisis for the royal family – but for Britain itself. Yet rather than use this moment to embark upon an honest national conversation about race and racism there will, I fear, be further demonisation of Meghan and Harry. Trapped in denial – about everyday racism, structural racism, slavery and empire – there are parts of British society that appear incapable not just of change but even of its necessary precursor: honest self-reflection.”

Pluto (virus) and the recently “discovered” planet, Eris, more aptly named Discordia by the Romans form a fractious square all through 2020 and 2021 (exact on August 27th and October 9th.)

Eris is in Aries, that sign associated with autonomy and Self, and as she sows discord and upset, many rebel against heavy-handed rules, as individual and national selfishness ricochet across fractured communities.  The altruistic “We’re all in this together” has been subsumed by individualism and nationalism as Eris, sister of the war-god Mars creates sparks that illuminate Pluto’s long shadow that will continue to dismantle redundant structures and smoke out corruption and misuse of power as Pluto moves through Capricorn (2008-24.)

From hoarding toilet paper and tinned beans, we are now witnessing vaccine nationalism and a new kind of equality as the virus mutates and spreads in the slums of Brazil, India, or South Africa, and the so-called “first world” looks to the vaccine for redemption.  Writing for the Financial Times, Yuval Noah Harari observes, “even the richest people in the most developed countries have a personal interest to protect the poorest people in the least developed countries. If a new virus jumps from a bat to a human in a poor village in some remote jungle, within a few days that virus can take a walk down Wall Street.”

We are still 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, flow outwards. 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.”

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 are defined by their sexual preferences, or the colour of their skin; 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 the shocks that stir us into awareness, reverberate through our bodies, bloom in our hearts.

Spiritual teacher, Eckhardt Tolle reminds us, “all things that truly matter―beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace―arise from beyond the mind.”

 

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

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Insurrection—Saturn/Uranus Square January 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As the weeks gather momentum for crescendo of the solstice on December 22nd and the much- heralded Saturn/Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius, let’s linger in the warmth of Sagittarius’s fire. As we reflect on 2020, may we allow grace and gratitude to wash over us as we savour all we have learnt; how much we have changed on this Journey. Poet Mark Nepo writes, “to journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journeying is to be a pilgrim.” May this pilgrimage lead us all towards a place of healing and Love.

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

For private astrology readings please email ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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The Last Stand—Pluto/Jupiter Conjunction—November 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Nature responds to the ancient rhythm of life and death, some of us may sense a seam of blackness in a world advancing through a dark night of the soul. Here in the north, firebreak lockdowns presage a winter of discontent. “Burnout” and exhaustion attend a certainty that the pandemic is far from over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Collectively, and personally, we are in limbo, which has it’s roots in limbus, meaning hem, border, edge. As we stand on the edge, we may feel uncertain, hesitant, stuck or confused. When Virgo walks through the sun-bleached fields, it’s the little things she notices—those things that clutter our lives, clog our bodies, erode our integrity. Virgo’s virtues are self-containment and discernment. As the Sun awakens our Virgo planets or illuminates that part of our birth chart that is Virgo, we may feel insecure, unappreciated. Our industriousness and attention to detail may not get the recognition or financial reward we need to pay the bills.  Virgo’s shadowy traits emerge when we stumble into the seductive archetype of “The Harlot/Prostitute, when we sell ourselves short, when we don’t honour the commitments we make to ourselves, when we collapse into the fear of survival and clutch onto security at any cost. When we serve others and like the foolish Virgin, we neglect to fill the oil or trim the wick of our own lantern.

At this time of transition, we may be seduced by the security of the old ways. We may try to continue as we did before. Yet there is another way.

Where do we begin? Begin with the heart,” wrote anchoress Julian of Norwich who was walled up in a small cell built onto the church for most of her life. In so many ways, this woman who took on the name of the church she was quite literally attached to, epitomises the humility and reclusiveness of the Virgo archetype, the Magician, and the Warrior.

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

The exclusive mens’ club, which was the medieval church, was a dangerous place for an intelligent woman. “Julian” called herself a “simple creature that cowde no letter,” yet she courageously wrote Revelations of Divine Love. It was seminal writing, a daring act of self-expression, which could have been construed as heresy. As we explore the archetypes of Prostitute, Magician, Recluse, and Warrior this month, may the Wise Virgin hold up the lamp of inner guidance as we emerge into the world with humility. We may feel dead to the world and to ourselves. Yet, we can begin again, with the heart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Girl with the Pearl EarringBanksy.

 

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Love’s Labour—Pluto/Jupiter and Lockdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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