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Pause—Sun in Cancer—June 21st.

Here in the north, the shimmer of summer sparkles across newly mown meadows of powered gold. We’re drunk with light, overwhelmed with a surfeit of beauty. Now the  sun pauses at the zenith of the year.  Something extra-ordinary is happening; we feel it viscerally. Old traditions return, threads of comfort as the earth’s axis shifts and the scent of dog rose wafts on a hot honeyed breeze. Perhaps in our own lives, there is a sense of returning to a familiar place as we come full circle in the wheel of the year.

In the south, things are still growing, still  beautiful, less showy. Midwinter is a time to pause, to take stock, to look again at what seems dead and needs discarding. We think of Hallowe’en as a witching time, a time when the natural order is overturned, when the veil between the worlds is thinnest. Yet the Solstice accompanies that rush of heightened awareness when our mysterious hearts un-choose… or choose anew.

Astrology doesn’t cause events but offers us a container for understanding them. As ancient Sarsen stones drink the heat of the Midsummer sunrise we may not go back as our ancestors did at Stonehenge, Maeshowe, or Newgrange, to wait for the death and rebirth of the sun. We can still draw from the eternal circle of knowing that describes the mythic journey of the hero/heroine and fall into a new more revitalised rhythm in our own lives. After the enthusiastic departure, the blistering fire of initiation, we may still feel raw, burnt and bleeding, yet we may sense the worst is over. Now comes the Return as our feet learn to support us again, as our hearts open once more to a love we can trust. The world is so different to the world we have left. There may still be tears to shed, a deep throb of pain yet to be tended to. We may still brace ourselves against the confinement of those tight corners we have grown used to. Now as the Sun dips into the cool waters of Cancer, a sign that clasps us to the familiar breast of comfort and security, our hearts open like peonies. We dare to begin again.

Mercury is still moving in reverse, unravelling our usual ways of communication, unknotting travel plans, heightening our intuition and the desperate need for more sleep. Mercury stations direct (June 23rd) yet we may still feel remnants of Mercury’s mayhem as emails go awry, communication is clouded by misunderstanding.  The disturbing alchemy of the Saturn/Uranus square perfected on June 14th, shortly after the Annular New Moon Solar Eclipse on June 10th delivering a potent smack of disruption to our lives that may have upended our careful plans, brought clarity to a situation that we had clung to for far too long.

Neale Donald Walshe writes “sometimes it looks like one thing after the other, but really it is Blessing after Blessing…if you think you are struggling, struggle is what you will experience…if you decide you are looking at a gift, even if you can’t see it clearly in this exact moment, a gift is what you will get.”

On June 24th, a sumptuous full Moon in pragmatic Capricorn animates the light-saturated strangeness with a clarity that may allow us to be truly in touch with those feelings, denied or disowned. This Full Moon may illuminate a new perception as the days of June shimmer in shades of green.

 

Mercury emerges from the shadows of this Retrograde period on July 7th and makes an ambiguous square with shape-shifting Neptune (July 6-7th) while corpulent Jupiter in Pisces (faith, long journeys, excess) switches backwards from June 20th-September 14th) and joins Neptune Retrograde in Pisces. It also can signify the tsunami of grief and loss at the ending of a relationship or the realisation that we have been unrealistic or too naïve concerning our finances or what we hold dear to our heart. We may sense something ancient and primal stirring within us as something comes to a natural end, as we begin to emerge from pain into pleasure, an expanded sense of our next self. This is our invitation to take off those rose-coloured glasses as we move fluidly through this time of stops and starts when nothing is clear or certain. Byron Katie, who has Jupiter Retrograde in Cancer, suggests pragmatically, “When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.”

A New Moon in Cancer (July 10th) is a potent time to find a safe space and allow our exhausted minds to rest. As we open ourselves to nourishing and tender connections we allow hope to power through us, we feel drawn to create again.

Now at this time of pause, of empty space, may we allow peace and contentment to enter in as  the sun sinks molten into the sea spilling a phosphorescent flash of chartreuse followed by a tiny dot of honey to mark the day’s end. As the earth’s axis shifts, we’re dazed and dazzled with by the beauty of the flowers that tumble over walls and spill over meadows.

This is the time when fairies leave the sweet-scented hedgerows to make mischief amongst mortals. When wild flowers and fragrant herbs crown our heads and love potions placed beneath pillows call future lovers to dance with us in our dreams. This is the time to celebrate and make merry. For as long as the light holds.

To book an astrology consultation, or to book a place on a short Saturday webinar, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame
William Butler Yeats.

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Moonlight Mandala—Total Lunar Eclipse—May 26th

 

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it—Terry Pratchett.

A voluminous Moon shimmers through a sphere of strange light tonight, swelling the tides, unsettling sleeping birds, spilling her milky light on lovers that lie encircled in each other’s arms. Tonight’s Full Moon/Total Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius may stir a crisis in faith, may carry us in our dream time to faraway places, stir those longings we have secreted behind bright smiles and positive thinking for so many months now.

This super-charged Full Moon is in the sign of the Archer. She nestles close to the South Node, pulling us back to prior lifetimes, to the womb of past beliefs that may comfort or burden us now.

Sagittarius is the nomad, the pilgrim, the outlander, the foreigner. Those who are introverted by nature may feel like a foreigner or outsider amidst the noise and the laughter of a social gathering. Those of us who are in a place of transition, may feel like outsiders in our families or communities.

Sagittarius and Jupiter are associated with journeys (and travel restrictions) and with our beliefs. Last year’s explosive Sagittarius Full Moon Eclipse (June 5th, 2020) bared ancient prejudices, and eons of racial and social inequality. Systemic change is barely noticeable one year after the brutal killing of George Floyd on May 25th 2020. This year’s Eclipse jolts Uranus in America’s chart and the T-square with Jupiter may expose those those certainties we thought were truths, challenge our faith in a future that still seems uncertain, strengthen our resolve to be kinder to one another.

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 concealed in painful endings; silver threads of thoughts and choices that we spin and weave for years to come.

Eclipses upend the natural order; they stir up those things we’d thought we’d burnt and buried, nine, eighteen years ago. They catapult us to the crossroads of choice; they bare uncomfortable truths about triangular relationships that usually accompany power-over someone else. They expose our shadows. Tip those rose-coloured glasses from our eyes.

As the Moon slips through the Earth’s shadow tonight, she charges the night with infinite possibilities, sensitising planets or angles at 5° Sagittarius, Gemini, Virgo and Pisces. We may wish to stay with what feels familiar or safe, yet this full moon may light our path towards deep soul healing that truly sets us free as she makes a trine to Chiron.

This month, stern Saturn in Aquarius and quicksilver Mercury in Gemini begin their backwards dance across the skies.

Saturn’s backward motion in Aquarius (May 23rd – October 10th) functions as a celestial task master this summer, as we learn to be patient and resilient, as we embody new ways of living in a world of rules and restrictions that inhibit our spontaneity; challenge our imagination.

Magician/Trickster Mercury begins his notorious Retrograde (May 29th – June 22nd) and will don his clown suit and toss banana peels as some of the world’s leaders and their retinues converge on the pristine coastal town of Carbis Bay, Cornwall for the 47th G7 Summit (11-13th June.)

The astrological weather forecast predicts protests, disruption, civil unrest.

The troublesome Saturn (rules, restrictions, delays) /Uranus (electric, iconoclastic) square infuses 2021 with drama, violence, plans upended, sudden shocks and serendipities. The waning square is in effect throughout 2021, with the final square on December 24th. It came up close on February 17th, and again delivers a concentrated clout on June 14th shaken, not stirred, by the Solar Annular Eclipse on June 10th as police prepare for mass protests in the UK. Priti Patel’s “digitise the border” project alters the UK’s asylum and immigration system that separates human beings into “them and us”—cast adrift, shut out. Strangers in a foreign land.  This is the motif of Sagittarius as the wanderer, walled and shut out by Saturn’s bureaucratic boundaries and the unpredictable omnipotence of Uranus.

The motif of The Journey is emphasised today as the Moon shines so brightly in Sagittarius even though most of us are choosing to stay home this Summer. Every quest, every journey, requires preparation. Every quest, every journey requires us to choose what to take with us and what to leave behind.

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.”

In these uncertain times, we may need to plot our journey with care. We may need to listen to our instincts and be aware that our open minds can be filled with someone else’s beliefs about the world.

“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journeying is to be a pilgrim,” poet Mark Nepo writes.

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. May we travel lightly on this earth. May we know who we are and why we are here as we begin our  journey.

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

 

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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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