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Small Great Things—Sun in Libra—September 22nd—October 23rd

But you know, you go on, right? Because what other choice have you got―Jodi Picoult

As the Sun moves into the sign of Libra at this turning of the seasons our “surge capacity”—as psychologist Ann Masten calls our human ability to stay the course during short term stressful situations—stretches to breaking point.

In the metaphorical language of astrology, the Libran part of our own birth chart will be illuminated for the next month as we practice and perfect the art of relating to others in an uncertain world, as we continually adjust, realign, re-establish our balance on the beam of life. Libra and Aries mark the Equinoxes. Aries is the beginning; Pisces the end. Libra is midway, a crossroads where the old converges with the new, where the winds of change blow across our lives, exposing the roots.

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, news of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg ricocheted around an increasingly fragmented world. This diminutive octogenarian, who championed the rights of minorities in the most powerful court of America, has left us. She is mourned by all who loved and admired her indomitable spirit. Her intuitive Pisces Sun trines Pluto in Cancer, signifying her resilience and her power to bring about profound change in the system. Her Moon is most likely in uncompromising Scorpio (there is no record of her birth time). Her response to the then chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Joe Biden, who suggested that judges should lead society in some circumstances, carries enormous weight this week—judges must be mindful of what their place is in this system and must always remember that we live in a democracy that can be destroyed if judges take it upon themselves to rule as Platonic guardians.

This is the month of changing seasons and changing guardians. As we summons our last reserves of energy, the weary Sun begins to flag. The unthinkable has become normal as our civilization slides towards its end. Some of us embrace the soft comfort of denial. Some of us are outraged. We push back, we take to the streets. We trust no-one.  At this time of balance and weighing up, it is intelligent reasoning that is needed. Don’t be distracted by emotions like anger, envy, resentment. These just zap energy and waste time… real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,” said the Notorious RBG.

In the Tarot, Libra is Justice XI reflecting the advancement of culture, away from the “primitive” instinctual life. Perhaps it is this advancement of culture, our move away from our “primitive” and instinctual life that is the soul sickness of our age. Perhaps we were collectively ailing long before COVID-19  floated through the air, leaving us lost, adrift, in a strange new world. Perhaps it is this pandemic of our own narcissism that is mirrored in the media, in the behaviour of those we elect as our leaders, our addiction to the steady IV-drip of social media that is the pandemic that rages through the brittle scaffolding of this dying civilization.

The astrology indicates a period of turn-arounds, fuelled by Mars Retrograde—September 9th to Friday, November 13th —symbolising enmity, an increasing hard-right deep distrust of authority, online extremism that stretches the fissures in our societies, and opens the way for Redeemer/Savours to step in with a simple solution to mass unemployment and unwanted migrants. Saturn in Capricorn (authority figures, rules and restrictions) turns direct on September 29th, and Pluto (plutocracy, trauma, trans-formation) switches direction on October 4th, as does seductive Neptune (viruses, addictions, con-men, Redeemer/Saviours, the mirage that draws us into the belly of the whale) on November 28th.

As the Sun moves through Libra many of us may be washing our hands, keeping our distance, hoping for the best as we try to keep our balance in a world that feels gaslit and murky right now. For so many of us, balance is something we may wistfully talk about when the rhythm of our days begins to gyrate, scattering the weight of worry like a mantle over our minds, and a world weariness that infuses the marrow of our bones.

The Sun, the symbol of our creative self-expression, is said to be in its fall, or debilitated in Libra. A perpetual state of balance is impossible to achieve, as we continually re-create ourselves amidst the complexities of our relationships and the events that are unfolding in the world right now. Balance is as capricious as the patterns of neuronal firing in our brains, as fleeting as our emotionally charged perceptions of the world around us.

The Equinox today signals movement and change that comes with the reassuring beginnings and endings of the seasons. Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, moves into Scorpio on September 27th and will turn Retrograde on October 14th, slipping back into Libra on October 28th, turning direct once more on November 3rd, and diving back into Scorpionic waters on November 10th; signifying the need for resilience and flexibility as lockdown measures are revised, as we cultivate a deeper awareness of our mental chatter that disturbs our peace, stirs our feelings.

Lévy-Bruhl and, later, Jung, wrote of the Participation Mystique. That mystical participation that can manifest in situations and material things in our lives. As the epicentres of civilization shudder across the globe, as America and Britain face their “Darkest Hour”, it will be the small gestures of love and kindness, the careful harnessing of our untamed thoughts, the brave reimagining of how this world could be, that keep us calm, help us to take one step at a time. Use these last precious stores of energy. There’s no going back. The Scales of Balance are poised. As we hold the tension of two opposing forces, a third way will emerge, transfiguring, regenerating. This is the beginning, the middle, and the end. We start from here.

 

For  private astrology readings and more regular astrology updates please connect with me  by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from—T.S. Elliot

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

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Handle with Care—Mars Retrograde—September 9th—November 13th

 

There is a fire raging, and we have two choices: we can turn our backs, or we can try to fight it—Jodi Picoult

We may feel as if we have stumbled through a portal into a forgotten realm as we communicate with our thumbs-ups, as we crinkle our eyes over our masks. Perhaps a strange tiredness has settled into the crevices of our ordinary lives. Yet, as we adjust and adapt, as we draw deeply on our faith and tend to the lamp of hope, we may sense the heat in the flame.

As COVID-19 continues to sweep around the globe, we all walk through a tunnel of uncertainty. This health crisis that has affected us all in some way, has revealed the brutality and injustice in our systems, the disintegration of checks and balances, popularist demagogues that deliver simplicity in sound bites and visuals. What we believed was solid and sure is threaded with words that summon danger as Barack Obama presciently warns, “that’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

We stand at an historical crossroad. The road well-travelled stretches towards profit-driven business models; the rapacious destruction of natural ecosystems; the numbing, dumbing down generated by the echo chambers of digital platforms; the banal flash fiction from our leaders.

During lock-down, many of us dreamed of a better, kinder world. As we gazed at the glut of stuff squeezed into our homes and felt this urge to pare down, to give away, to live more sustainably, our priorities became clearer, our hopes for when this is over carried us to a future where we lived more simply, more consciously; where we appreciated our loved ones. Yet now, we may feel a strange kind of emptiness, a crisis of meaning, a flatness as we witness the same posturing by our politicians, the same worship at the altar of profit, the same precarity of work and opportunity.The roads are gridlocked again. The silence, the sweet air has gone.

Now there is a fire raging. Mars, the mythical warrior  glowers red in the night sky as he stations Retrograde from September 9th (28°Aries) to November 13th (15°Aries) moving through the shadowlands from July 24th 2020 to January 2nd, 2021. A regressive Mars reminds us that we are battle weary. That we have been wearing our armour for far too long. That our bodies are aching, that we need more sleep.

It’s Mars that gets us out of bed in the morning; gives us our resolve to carry on. It’s Mars that takes a stand for justice, that fights the flames in California and ignites the flames of wrath in overcrowded refugee camps on Lesbos.

A Retrograde Mars turns white-hot energy inwards. Mars is our inner toddler that acts out when thwarted. We may sense rising levels of frustration, a need to push back at what is wrong in our lives, in our societies. The dark face of Mars is the radicalised berserker who unleashes fear and carnage, stokes up trouble on digital platforms. And as we scroll down our screens, skim through the news, Google snippets of “information”, we may inadvertently enter the fray of battle.

Mars, the fearsome night warrior is in his own sign of Aries. He bristles for a fight as he makes a tense square to the authoritarian men in suits—Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn over the coming months. This volatile energy will be in effect until the end of December 2020.

When Mars moves Retrograde, he draws his power from within, rather than submitting to the will of authority. Mars is also our daring greatly, our heroic ability to rise up again when we’re downhearted, when we’re bruised. We may have to go back, re-do, reset something we have planned. We may be forced to retreat. To take some R&R. Mars changes his relationship with the Sun when he turns Retrograde, so this is an inner battle for many of us, a time to face our night terrors, confront our shadow, sheath our sword, make amends.

Mars retrograded into Aries in 1909, 1941, and 1988 as conflicts arose and were quelled, as luck and rhetoric enabled demagogues to cling to power within the context of turbulence, unemployment, uncertainty, and fear. Now as Machiavellian manoeuvring on the 200-year-old bedrock of US democracy opens fault-lines that fracture across an entangled world, deep divisions become weaponised, outrage spills out onto the streets. We can turn our backs, try to fight, we can take that first step into the unknown because that fire has left us uneasy to go on as we are.

“Every decision you make—every decision—is not a decision about what to do. It’s a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do,” writes Neale Donald Walsch.

In her new book, Spark Change: 108 Provocative Questions for Spiritual Evolution, author Jennie Lee guides us along a road less travelled. A road of courageous introspection where we may ask ourselves, “what am I supposed to learn from this?” She says, “that puts us into a place of humility because often we want to cast the blame outwardly towards another person or just the greater world situation, and we feel victimized by it.”

Use this Mars Retrograde cycle wisely to ask those provocative questions, to take refuge in slow time, to engage with life in a new way and to do what we came here to do. Writes Elif Shafak in her new book, “How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division, “after the pandemic, we won’t go back to the way things were before. And we shouldn’t.” It is up to each one of us not to return to the coping mechanisms, the distractions, the addictive behaviour that ravages our spirit. We stand at a new frontier. May we bring with us only those things we need to travel lightly on this earth.

 

 For astrology sessions, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

 

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Steady Gaze—Sun in Leo—July 23rd—August 22nd

What this pandemic has taught me is to free myself from things. It has never been so clear to me that I need very little to live. I don’t need to buy, I don’t need more clothes, I don’t need to go anywhere, or travel, now I see I have too much. I don’t need more than two dishes! 

Then I started to realize who the true friends are and the people I want to be with—Isabel Allende

 

As we begin our apprenticeship into this new way of living, sort out our priorities, obediently don our masks, dutifully comply with rules and restrictions that we hope will not rob us of our freedom and our human rights in the years yet to come, the taskmasters of the heavens—Pluto/Jupiter and Saturn—close ranks. Saturn is so often accompanied by setbacks that generate anxiety, pessimism and bolstered defenses. Pluto represents painful, drawn out, but irrevocable endings. Jupiter amplifies both.

This weighty alliance is the signature of a resurgence of restrictions fortified by fines. Non-touch technology, demarcated space, and physical distance become habitual. As seismic shifts in the systems of power crack open nations and reckless leaders scramble to reassemble the vestiges of normality, we may feel as though we are in the belly of the whale. The sky story of 2020 has a ponderous tone as the past and the future excoriate the foundations of nations, leaving so many of us homeless, jobless, grieving; orphaned by the intervening clamour of forces beyond our control.

“Destiny is a mysterious thing”, wrote novelist, Francisco Goldman. “Sometimes enfolding a miracle in a leaky basket of catastrophe.”

Jupiter in Retrograde (May 14th – September 13th) tempers our enthusiasm, tests our patience, as we navigate the troughs, prepare for second waves, look for a miracle concealed in this leaky basket of catastrophe. Jupiter sextile Neptune (27th July and 12th October) offers an opportunity for compassion and empathy for the suffering of so many. A reminder to keep the faith. Yet, we may not be able to avert our eyes as we pass people huddled in doorways or jettison the unappeasable sorrow that washes over our hearts while the myth of progress destroys our Earth home. We may not be able to block our ears to the harsh rebuke of the father/politicians who cannot see how dark our world has become.

Pluto, (April 25th – October 4th) and Saturn (May 11th – September 29th) continue to switch-back in Retrograde through austere Capricorn as the death rattle of an unforgiving old order reverberates across the world.

Pluto and Saturn are conveyors of reality checks, of historic trans-formation. They were in conjunction in 1914 as innocence was lost, and scarlet poppies grew on ravaged fields.

“A terrible beauty is born”, wrote William Butler Yeats in 1916 as Pluto and Saturn moved through the sign of Cancer. An estimated 50 to 100 million people died in the 1918-1920 flu epidemic, and the subsequent famines and flu pandemics long forgotten by indifferent governments or those lives are cocooned by high walls and ethical amnesia.

Pluto and Saturn formed an alliance as WWII ended and NATO was birthed amidst the ruins of war and collapse in world trade. In 1982 a global recession heralded Thatcher and Reagan’s “special relationship” and the birth of neoliberalism.

August to December will be volatile months. Mars’s overheated Retrograde in Aries (9th September – 13th November) coincides with the final sprint for the claimant to the title of President in America. Mars conjoined Pluto on March 23rd and will form an aggressive do-or-die square to Pluto on August 12–13th, October 7–9th and December 20th. Mars sextiles Saturn (June 27th) to add opportunity to the overblown square to Jupiter between August 4–5th, October 16th, and December 12th—a potent cocktail of frustration, fanaticism and potential for violence as we stand at the end of an era. Mercury goes Retrograde between October 13th and November 3rd and challenging oppositions to the current President’s Saturn/Venus suggest that the battle for leadership will be bloody. There will be no white flag of surrender.

Venus, haloed with stars, glitters on the silken swathe of apricot sunrise, her breath-taking beauty a reminder of those things we cherish, the people that matter. She stationed direct on June 24th, emerging from the darkness of the Underworld, and glides, gathering strength, in her post-Retrograde phase until July 24th. Venus has had many incarnations. As Innana, Ishtar, she was the revered Sumerian goddess of beauty, sexuality, prostitution—and war. In modern astrology, Venus presides over matters of the heart. She’s the money that makes the world go round. As new realities begin to develop, in the love we can’t buy and the money we wish we had more of, Venus in Gemini makes a final applying square to nebulous Neptune in Pisces on July 27th. Venus/Neptune combinations are notorious for distorting facts and twisting truths. They accompany grand romantic gestures, plumes of creativity, financial loss, duplicity, susceptibility to poisoning, intoxication and infection.

The Sun in Leo carries the standard for strength and wholehearted courage. Leo rules the heart. Gratitude and joy are homeopathy for the heart. The poet, Ted Hughes (Sun in Leo) writes, “the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”

Author Isabel Allende (Sun, Mercury, and Chiron in Leo) reminds us that Leo celebrates confidence, pride, generosity and enthusiasm. “We can’t live in fear. Fear stimulates a future that makes living in the present a dark experience. We need to relax and appreciate what we have and live in the present.”

As the Sun enters Leo today, may our qualities of strength and courage ripen. May we let fear and worry slip away as we celebrate those people and circumstances that support us.  May we look to the future with brave hearts and a gaze that is steady.

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

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Be Kind—Sun in Cancer—June 20th—July 22nd

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible—Dalai Lama

Within the constellation of Cancer is a delicate brush stroke of stars in the sky called Praesepe, the Latin word for “manger”. Cancer is associated with wombs, and cradles, with nourishment and containment. And during these long months of confinement, with the importance of home.

Qualities like vulnerability, creativity, sensitivity, and nurturing relate to Moon-ruled Cancer. As we enter a world demarcated by Perspex, muted by face coverings, we may feel tender, sensitive to noise, wary of crowds. We may be struggling with “comparative suffering”, as our longing to hug someone we love is diminished by the collective suffering of millions who face unemployment. By the pain of so many who grieve.

Lock down has been an alchemical process of confinement, symbolised by Saturn. As our lives have become more curtailed, our movements more constricted; as our personal choices and freedoms compressed, we experience the best and the worst of our humanness.

Yet, stories of kindness and compassion have emerged from the pandemic as we have stepped over our shyness, our indifferenceas our hearts have opened wider than we ever thought was possible.

 

The word kind has its roots in cynn, “family” and the Old English, “gecynd”, for nature and race, which imply belonging and community. The essence of Cancer is kindness and compassion, qualities that are inherent in human nature as endorsed by Dutch historian, Rutger Bregman in his hopeful book, Humankind.

In an article in The Correspondent, he writes, “If there was one dogma that defined neoliberalism, it’s that most people are selfish. And it’s from that cynical view of human nature that all the rest followedthe privatisation, the growing inequality, and the erosion of the public sphere.

Now a space has opened for a different, more realistic view of human nature: that humankind has evolved to cooperate. It’s from that conviction that all the rest can followa government based on trust, a tax system rooted in solidarity, and the sustainable investments needed to secure our future. could send us down a path of new values. 

And all this just in time to be prepared for the biggest test of this century, our pandemic in slow motionclimate change.”

George Monbiot points out in his book, Out of the Wreckage, that humans are unique, spectacularly unusual, when it comes our sensitivity to the needs of others. We have an innate altruism, an inborn sense of community. Neuroscience, evolutionary biology and psychology all conclude that we have evolved to care, to cooperate with one another. “By the age of fourteen months, children begin to help each other, attempting to hand over objects another child cannot reach. By the time they are two, they start sharing some of the things they value. By the age of three, they start to protest against other people’s violation of moral normswe are also, among mammals, with the possible exception of the naked mole rat, the supreme co-operators,” Monbiot writes.

We may feel bone weary after months of adrenaline-charged coping, of being our best and bravest, kindest selves, yet the sky-story this month depicts a sequence of events that will marshal kindness and co-operation as our plans are eclipsed, our options disappear.

Mercury goes Retrograde in Cancer from June 18th to July 12th. Mercury in sensitive Cancer collides with what is harsh or resistant and symbolises an uneasiness in an unsteady, confusing world.

Jupiter and Pluto make a second cathartic conjunction (June 22nd – June 30th) reminiscent of that fated conjunction on April 4th when flights were grounded, and city streets fell silent. This could mark a resurgence of the contagion as many countries open non-essential shops and restaurants, as borders cautiously reopen. New developments will emerge around the pandemic that has brought our lives to a standstill. As air travel resumes, the astrology suggests we may be flying too high, too soon.

It is likely that public health and a jittery economy reminiscent of early 2020 will resurface amidst confusion, deception, blind spots and more uncertainty as Neptune begins a Retrograde cycle (June 22nd.)

Venus moves direct on June 25th, and a frisson of tension will course through financial markets as the grim reality of unemployment and economic depression frustrate any hope of a quick recovery.
Mars, god of war, moves into hot-headed Aries (June 28th —January 7th 2021) making a volatile, perhaps violent, square to Pluto (irrevocable endings, power, enormous wealth, plutocracy,) and Saturn (confinement, restrictions, borders and barriers.) 

Eclipses act as tipping points between June 5th June 21st, and July 5th. 

They signify relationship triangles that are eclipsed by circumstance or choice, second chances and fated encounters. This eclipse lands on the power point of 0 degrees Cancer, and although the effects of an eclipse may be felt most powerfully on the day, events may unfold over two weeks, so static situations or relationship dynamics may unlock quite suddenly between now and the Full Moon Eclipse on July  5th.

I wrote in early January 2018, “the astrology of these next five years (as Saturn moves through Capricorn and then through Aquarius) eloquently portrays the flavour of fin de siècle: a closing of an era exemplified by the events of the 1980s. Saturn’s co-presence with Pluto in the sign of Capricorn—December 20th 2017—December 2020—mines Collective and personal trauma that may offer, for some of us, a creative impetus to work through noxious legacies, to stoically endure a world that is falling apart as we love with all our hearts. As we live our lives kindly.”

This Solstice, as the Sun stands still, we arrive at a place of re-entering, a pause before we re-enter a changed world. The tide is turning. May we be brave enough to fully extend ourselves. May we be kind and generous even when it’s burdensome and painful. May we deepen our connection with all living things. May we find our place of calm.

 

 

For regular astrological updates, or more information about your own birth chart, please visit my Facebook page, or email me: 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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Sacred Cow—Sun in Taurus—April 20th—May 20th

Today, the Sun moves into the fertile sign of Taurus. The air smells sweet and wildlife is beginning to return to silent cities.

Venus-ruled Taurus brings us back to the earth, to the potency of the virile bull and the gentle passive cow. During this time of enforced curfew and cocooning, we may have glimpsed some of the virtues of Taurus—patience, acceptance of those things we can no longer control, those things we can no longer change.

This week’s Taurus New Moon (April 23rd) is a harbinger of slow and painful progress and economic recession. She unites with unpredictable Uranus and makes a frustrating square to responsible Saturn in Aquarius, symbolising the tension that further restrictions and limitations will bring as a second wave of this crowned virus exposes the hubris of our leaders, honours the courage of front line workers, reshapes our lives.

Outside our windows, Venus glitters against marmalade sunset while Jupiter, Saturn and Mars rise over the horizon at dawn.

As the Sun moves through Taurus, the energy of four Retrograde planets will be emphasised. Pluto goes Retrograde on April 25th (24º Capricorn), Saturn on May 11th (1º Aquarius), Jupiter on May 14th (27º Capricorn.)  Venus is moving through Gemini now and will turn Retrograde on May 13th at 21º Gemini and go direct on June 24th at 5º Gemini, a notional period of 40 days and 40 nights. Transiting Venus apparently moves backwards in her dance across the skies once every nineteen months. These important Venus Retrograde periods distil the essence of what it is that we hold very dear to our hearts.

The ancients tracked the passage of Venus in a perfect pentagram across the skies, ascribing her disappearance in the skies to her descent into the Underworld.  Innana (Venus) is stripped of all her valued regalia and exquisite clothing and enters the Underworld vulnerable and exposed. In modern times, the Underworld is a symbol of our own unconscious where we may encounter a truth that reverberates viscerally. The trial of these 40 days and 40 nights are a cosmic reminder for us to dissolve, discard out-worn values and beliefs. To re-organise, re-examine, re-prioritise those things we value around a more truthful, authentic place that rests at the hearth of our heart.

As Venus turns Retrograde in Gemini we may be facing unemployment, or the unexpected gift of emerging from our chrysalis, starting over, lighter, more appreciative of the little things that bring texture and quality to our lives. We may have reached a relationship crossroad where we wonder, as author, Elizabeth Gilbert once did, “do we want our belly pressed against this person’s belly forever—or not?”  We may be relishing our solitude, if we’re home alone. We may be dating at a distance, enjoying a slower, more sensual rhythm, a new way of being. We may be falling back into love. Grateful, blessed, to be with the one we’re with.

An invisible virus is still among us, and those leaders who become complacent or who try to hurry back to the way things were, may encounter setbacks or a resurgence in the pandemic as Mars moves into nebulous Pisces on May 13th, moving impatiently into the heat of Aries on June 28th, to rendezvous with Chiron, emphasising our pain, our grief, our woundedness.

You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control,” Ram Dass once said.

In myth, Venus was also a goddess of war. The pre-Colombian Mayans believed that when kingdoms were unstable, and regimes might topple, her emergence signified an auspicious time to begin a war. Venus Retrograde in Gemini may bring to a climax a festering conflict in our relationship, or the return of a mangy old grievance. As our politicians use military-style language, and direct their impotence towards another country or each other, we may resolve to act in ways that don’t ignite conflict, or deplete our own immune systems.

As this pandemic becomes endemic, we speculate about what life might be like after COVID-19. The astrology speaks of years, not weeks or months, of metamorphosis, the kind of heat and stress that changes limestone into marble, that transforms golden calves into sacred cows.

The combustible 2020 Pluto/Jupiter/Saturn conjunction square Eris (goddess of discord, strife, and consequence) is the capstone for the end of an epoch. Pluto and Jupiter united on April 4th and will meet again on June 30th (both Retrograde) and finally on November 12th, just after the US presidential election.

Unprecedented change, disruption, and upheaval will be the hallmark of the waning square of the Saturn/Uranus cycle as it builds between 2020 and 2023. There will be three exact, uncomfortable Saturn/Uranus squares from February to December 2021, and a close encounter in October 2022, but this energy can be felt already, as the old order breaks down.

Saturn/Uranus alignments coincide with periods of civil unrest, economic collapse, revolution, radicalisation, and the collapse of systems that no longer serve their purpose. If we look back in history, the Saturn/Uranus square of 1928/1933 heralded the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression, and the establishment of The Third Reich. It is likely that there will be record levels of unemployment that will again precede enormous social change. Like the interwoven spirals and coils of Celtic knot-work, the astrology of our times is threaded with the amalgam of the past.

This is a long-term encounter with destiny that will highlight the jagged edges in our relationships, crack open fault lines in our societies. As we steady ourselves for more sacrifices, as we anticipate more uncertainty, Teresa of Ávila who lived during a Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn at the time of the Spanish Inquisition, reminds us to have courage for whatever comes in life—everything lies in that.

 

I post astrology updates regularly on Facebook, and offer personal astrology consultations, so do please connect with me, I’d love to hear from you ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Couples in Confinement—Pluto/Saturn Conjunction 2020

 

It will take decades to fully grasp the significance of 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn.

Saturn rules boundaries, walls and barriers. When we talk of “cabin fever” or being “in the trenches” we are talking about a Saturn experience. Pluto represents power and powerlessness. We feel Pluto when we feel the visceral energy of survival, when our ancient reptile brain is activated. When we sense death, irrevocable endings, final outcomes.

Pluto is also connected with the ultimate power that our governments wield, with enormous wealth, and with plutocracy.

Lock down, self-isolation. This is the alchemical process of containment, symbolised by Saturn. As our lives become more constricted, as our personal choices and freedoms compress, the fissures in our relationships become more apparent.

As we face our deepest fears, we bump against the sharp edges of relating. Our history, our culture, our different parenting styles, our different ways of dealing with uncertainty, surface in captivity.

In our birth chart, Saturn represents our defences and our fear. Pluto’s placement comes with our ancient strategies for survival. Now, Pluto, Jupiter and Mars are in in Capricorn. Capricorn is synonymous with Father. As we place our trust in our leaders to protect us, as we grapple with the challenges of working from home, our worries about our ageing parents, as we feel the chill of the massive financial crash yet to come, we bring the unfinished business of our childhood into our relationships. The alembic of confinement may be a time of healing, repair and revival. In captivity, old wounds may be revisited, emotions may flow deep as a shared longing heals the scars on our hearts.

The term, “crisis” derives from the Greek, “krisis” which is translated as meaning decision, or judgement.

In this time of crisis, what decisions do we make? Does our own inner critic emerge to shame us for not doing enough, not being enough? Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn carry a serious, joyless kind of energy that may mirror the perfunctory peck on the cheek we give our partner as we bend towards our device. Saturn represents the brakes we use in our relationships, our strategies of avoidance and denial, the myriad ways we say no to intimacy, to vulnerability.

As we acknowledge our inner walls and labyrinths, we may also feel the need to place symbolic walls around the private spaces in our homes. Perhaps our bedrooms become the sanctuary where we pray, meditate, dance, take each other’s faces in our hands and gaze into one another’s eyes. As we dismantle the barriers that keep us from loving bravely, we may expose our vulnerabilities and our fear of being rejected, humiliated. We may have to show our partner what we need now to feel safe, to feel special. We may have to give ourselves permission to receive, to rest in one another’s arms.

The astrology reflects the heart-beat of the uni-verse, and although different places on earth are experiencing different time lines, different spikes on the graph, as Pluto (destruction, break down, death) and Jupiter (amplification) move into a close conjunction on April 4th and April 5th,  there is an echo of the crisis that began in 1939.

All through our human history, times of crisis have been times of evolutionary growth and change. As lockdowns intensify in countries all over the globe, we inhabit a world that will be irrevocably changed as a recession pares down economies. Saturn moved into the air element of Aquarius on March 21st swinging his scythe at our ideals, our narratives, the old stories that have threaded through our families for generations. Saturn times are times for rebuilding structures. Saturn moves confidently through Aquarius, turning his gaze towards grass roots movements, and the needs of the group. For those leaders who are putting business before the health of people, Saturn’s journey through Aquarius may have a volatile impact, as the group energy, or at worst, the hive mind, begins to demand new structures, develop innovation, more focus on human rights.

Saturn was last in Aquarius in 1992/1993. Saturn in Aquarius may force us off the road well-travelled into unknown territory that may take us way beyond the norm. The restrictions regarding daily life, travel, and social interactions are likely to intensify around March 31st when Mars conjoins Saturn at 0° Aquarius. Saturn Retrogrades on May 10th, and then returns to earthy Capricorn on July 2nd when he will remain until the decisive conjunction with Jupiter on December 19th, another huge collective and personal turning point. In Aquarius, Saturn may be innovative and experimental. We may begin to question the old ways and feel the urge to restructure old conceptions.

Planets cast a shadow, and we can feel this shadow at least six weeks before and after the tight conjunction. In the build-up, the heaviness of the collective fear and the sense of  oppression intensifies, there may be a sense of “the new normal” as we move along the outbreak cycle, and another peak as the Nodes move from Cancer/Capricorn to that powerful point of 29° Gemini/Sagittarius on June 5th. This is a process. It will be long and it will demand the best of us all. Despite what the politicians say, this will not be a quick fix. There are karmic chickens coming home to roost. We have an imperative to stop doing what we have been doing, to contain, to reflect upon our lives, to allow our souls to catch up with us. To begin again. Changed. Humbled. Different from before.

 

Astrology offers a fresh perspective on our daily lives. If you are curious about the hows and the whys, please get in touch: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com

I’m offering discounted sessions for all health workers, and for those who are have been affected by the lockdown financially.

 

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The Invitation―New Moon in Aries―March 24th

At this pivotal moment in our human story, the Sun and the Moon meet in the sign of the Ram today at 9.28 am GMT.

Aries is associated with courage and valour, with autonomy and individuality. With “me” rather than “we”. In the context of the Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter heavyweights in Capricorn, this New Moon invites us to bravely go within. The sky story tells of something much bigger, much more profound than the current pandemic. This is our opportunity to stop in our tracks. To radically change how we live on this earth. To downsize, de-clutter, those things that weigh down our lives, clog our psyches.

Saturn is about confinement, constriction, limitation. Pluto ruthlessly destroys what no longer serves our collective and personal evolution. Over the coming months, the pressure will increase.

This is a time of endings. A time of grieving. A time when our unresolved issues will surface. Our collective and personal shadows will stretch longer as we push the already demoted Pluto “out there” onto our partner, onto the government,or name it “the Chinese virus.” As the struggle for survival intensifies, there will be acts of heroism and selflessness. As things become darker, we will make music and send jokes across the internet. As our personal freedom is curtailed our social connections will become more important, more meaningful.

This New Moon conjoins Chiron, the Wounded Healer, symbolising the grief and suffering so many are feeling now as economies collapse; as we face environmental destruction and climate crisis. Many of us are still in a state of shock and numbness, as we obey government guidelines for social distancing, as we brace ourselves for more limitation and hardship.

This Chiron/New Moon is a signature for painful “self-isolation” but also an opportunity to transmute our pain and suffering into the healing we need for our bodies, our souls and for all the other species who live amongst us. As we lean into our discomfort, as we stay with the uncertainty, with chaos, the shakiness and the hopelessness, we will learn not to panic, remember to breathe out, and gently and compassionately reach out to help someone else with loving kindness.

Pluto (irrevocable endings, break down, eventual revival and deep healing) and Jupiter (amplification of the catastrophe) are still in conjunction square Eris (goddess of discord and strife) and my interpretation of the astrological symbolism is that this will be more of a marathon than a short sprint, with the months of April and May requiring our altruism, our generosity and our self-sacrifice, for the good of the collective so that healing may occur.

Pluto and Jupiter are in conjunction in Capricorn on March 23rd and March 24th. Mars conjoins Pluto at the start of this new week as we adapt to the impact of the disruption to our routines, our livelihood. Saturn (boundaries, restrictions, limitations and isolation) moved into Aquarius on Sunday for the first time in 30 years. Saturn is associated with the fear many of us may feel seeping through the collective consciousness. Saturn is the Hermit card in the Tarot. Saturn will remain in progressive and revolutionary Aquarius for the next two and a half years as new grass roots movements emerge hopefully to tackle the environmental crisis and huge disparity between the rich and the poor. Saturn is about what needs to be done, what really matters, rather than on what we would like to do.

Mars joins Saturn in progressive and revolutionary Aquarius on March 31st, symbolising decisive law enforcement and intensified lock down of movement and social engagement that will be the “new normal” of our lives. Mars (encompasses war, sporting events, action) Saturn (restrictions, limitations as we carve out new structures for our lives.)

Many people are limiting their intake of negative or fearful news. Some are choosing to avoid energy-draining encounters and rather place their focus on those people or activities that will boost morale. Mars conjunct Saturn on March 31st may mark a deeper descent as we are sucked into the undertow of fear and worry, yet this conjunction also marks a turning point which may strengthen our resolve, fortify our willpower, as we prioritise, pare down, cut away those things that drain our energy and resources.

The invitation at this new lunar cycle is to rest our bodies, still our minds, take stock, be accountable for our actions for the good of the whole.

 

In Love,
Ingrid

The pandemic will have long lasting financial and psychological implications. Please drop me a private email if you would like to find out more about the whys and the hows in your own life and in the world, from an astrological perspective. If your income has been already affected, I will offer discounted sessions via Skype or Zoom.
ingrid@trueheartwork.com

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does―William James

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Out of the Blue―Sun in Aries―March 20th

 

There are blue skies over the Great Wall of China. Bird song suffuses the silence in empty streets as a pathogen permeates the jangled air we breathe. For so many of us, Fate has intervened scuppering our travel plans, shaping the way we work, the way we touch, the way we kiss.

Like the Saturn/Pluto opposition of 9/11, the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn (January 12th) has ushered in a year of planetary turmoil that will have an indelible effect on our collective psyche.

This conjunction is a celestial mirror of the isolation, the economic recession, the fear and uncertainty that is sweeping across most of the planet. The archetype of Saturn is redolent of prisons. Pluto is accompanied by a primal, shadowy fear that’s hard-wired in every living creature.

With Pluto we enter Jurassic Park. We learn about the cycle of life and death. We lose our innocence. We lose control.

In the final year of the carnage we now call WW1, a “Spanish flu” scythed through an estimated 100 million people. They were young, wage-earners.  In 1918, Pluto was in Cancer, the sign of home and family.

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars are all now in Capricorn, a sign associated with the Elder, with commerce and large organisations. As some nurses and doctors on the front-lines compare the outbreak of Covid-19 to war-time triage, we may be reminded that at the last conjunction of Saturn and Pluto (in Libra, November 8th, 1982) the US entered a recessionary cycle and England sent her young men and women to war in the Falklands.

Rheinhold Ebertin, in his book, The Combination of Stellar Influences (COSI) suggests that Saturn/Pluto combinations can manifest as “perseverance, as well as diseases with causes difficult to ascertain.”

This month’s super-charged Super Moon in Virgo (March 9th) has illuminated the health crisis and the necessity for assiduous hygiene.

The Full Moon fell opposite a Sun/Neptune conjunction which precipitated the sudden drop in oil price and plummeting stock markets (Neptune’s domain is oil) and a surging swell in the pandemic (viruses and pandemics that permeate boundaries are ruled by Neptune). Neptune is about suffering, sacrifice and loss and as the pandemic spreads, many more people will grieve the deaths of loved ones. The cracks and flaws in our governments, health systems and social networks will be exposed. Pluto/Saturn energy focuses our ancient survival instincts, and although there is altruism and collective compassion (Neptune), most governments appear to be acting unilaterally and independently as fear fuels panic buying and hoarding.

Mercury, the god with white wings on his sandals, was the god of crossroads. He is associated with communication, with travel. On March 10th, Mercury turned direct and will be moving through the air sign of Aquarius (humanitarian issues) until Monday, March 16th when he slips back into the boundless waters of Pisces. On Friday, March 20th, the Sun emerges from the same deep waters and blazes a fiery trail through the sign of Aries. A new astrological year is born. In the North, the Vernal Equinox marks the beginning of spring. The symbolism of spring and the urgent thrust of new life is still relevant in the southern hemisphere, as the swallows return north and the sun-bleached vegetation contracts against the coming cold.

Aries marks a point of Beginning, which may be a lonely journey into the unknown as we face into many more months of turmoil and uncertainty. In Aries we encounter the mythic motif of conquest, which always implies an act of bravery and daring. Here we meet the mythic “Warrior” who sets off on a quest, the “Hero” who personifies courage and assertiveness. The leader who makes tough choices.  Aries is where we encounter our own autonomy, our ability to return to life, to find ourselves anew. The New Aries Moon on March 26th is supported by the impetus of Mars in Aries on the last day of March as Mercury clears his introverted Retrograde cycle, quickening events in our lives from March 31st.

The symbolism of the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn this month has cast a long shadow over our lives. The conjunction will intensify in early April. When Jupiter and Pluto combine issues of power (plutocracy) become amplified. Ebertin said that Jupiter/Pluto isn’t explicitly “success” or “good fortune” but desire for power; loss of social standing and wealth, the misfortune to lose everything.

Jupiter encompasses foreign travel, new adventures, religion, and faith. Jupiter moves into Retrograde from May 14th to September 13th   impacting summer holidays and grounding flights, signifying the demise of more airlines, an end to low-cost air travel. The impact on tourism and the economy will be immense.

As the painful process of unpicking the structures of governments and financial institutions which began with the banking crisis back in 2008 continues to continue, (symbolised by Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn) we may be facing into the stark necessity of realignment of  those things that represent structure and stability in our own lives. Pluto remains in Capricorn until 2023 and as we emerge from this process of break-down, we may discover that there are many ways to be brave in this world. We may find courage concealed in the small choices we make each new day―that act of will that gets us out of bed, the strength to put the kettle on, when all the colour has faded out of the world we once knew. We are not defined by external forces. We are not trapped in our his-story, the purgatory of our tribal mind. We can make new choices, as we cross this threshold into this new year. Leonard Cohen said, “To offer oneself at the critical moment when the emergency becomes articulate. Its only when the emergency becomes articulate can we create the willingness to serve.”

Tomorrow the Sun will rise again. The moon will cast her silvery light across the contours of our Mother Earth. “The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere, the dew is never all dried at once, a shower is forever falling, vapour ever rising…” wrote the man who inspired a nation and a president to set aside land for the magnificent American national parks, John Muir.

Things may not be solved. But we can offer ourselves. We can serve with brave hearts.

For personal astrology consultations on Skype or Whatsapp or to receive the more detailed regular astrological weather updates I post on
Facebook, please email me on ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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I’m Still Standing—Sun in Capricorn—22 December—20 January 20th

Everything does fall.

It must be gravity—Dan Brown, Angels & Demons

At the darkest point of the year, the frail old Sun lies like a feeble old patriarch, recumbent on the Northern horizon.

In the skeletal silence of mid-winter, in the crowded craziness of mid-summer, we may long to withdraw from the excessive festivities, from the chicanery of swaggering politicians who play snakes and ladders with our lives, from the ache in our heart as bush fires blaze against a backdrop of sepia sky.

Every year, the Sun arrives in Capricorn at the time of the mid-winter or mid-summer solstice. The days reverse their gathering of light and dark.This is the still point of the year.

In the silence of the night, we prepare to enter new ground.

Saturn-ruled Capricorn, like all astrological signs is complex and nuanced. It’s associated with fathers, and patriarchs. Tyrants and scapegoats. With ageing and death. With the resilience it takes to accept a new reality. With the wry humour it takes to sing I’m Still Standing when we’re lying down.

In myth, the horned goat, Capricornus, is a cousin of Pan, a lewd, lusty, music-loving Satyr who incited “panic” and contagious pandemonium among those who travelled through the dark woods.

There may be ghosts of loss that haunt us as the bells of Christmas ring. Fears that unbalance us as we stumble into the darkness of despair. A fog of loneliness that drapes itself over our shoulders like a heavy coat.

In her new book, Tea and Cake with Demons: A Buddhist Guide to Feeling Worthy, personal development coach Adreanna Limbach writes about those gnarly aspects of ourselves that tend to come to the forefront when we’re overwhelmed, frazzled with exhaustion. Adreanna advises, “get close to the earth in case of turbulence” as we grapple with the challenges of being human, when everything around us seems to be whirling too fast, too loudly.

 

As the painful process of unpicking the structures of governments and financial institutions which began with the banking crisis back in 2008 continues to continue, (symbolised by Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn) we may be facing into the stark necessity of realignment of  those things that represent structure and stability in our own lives. Pluto remains in Capricorn until 2023, and those new babies who will be incarnating next year will arrive as Saturn and Jupiter amplify and concretise the changes that must be made on our home planet as the environmental emergency becomes even more compelling.

There’s a special New Moon on December 26th.  The last solar eclipse of 2019 pulses through a frayed circle of strange light.

We may be grappling with a difficult choice that leads us away from a path well-travelled. Eclipses are points of re calibration, turnstile moments that accompany a crisis;  turning points when we must befriend our fears, identify what feels authentic and true.

So often eclipses are harbingers of irreversible events that may ripple through our lives for years to come. If this eclipse aspects an axis or a planet in our own birth chart, tensions may already be rising and we may not yet be able to see clearly as the Moon obscures the sun’s light. We may need to sit quietly, attune to our breath. Seek our moment of  solitude amidst the tinsel and bright Christmas lights.

Author J.K Rowling describes a turnstile moment as she writes, “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realised. I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

For those of us who have planets or angles at 4° Capricorn, what we thought was solid and sure may be tested, we may be forced to rearrange our  priorities over the coming year; re-focus our energy, pay attention to what we want to manifest in our life.

This eclipse is part of a Saros Cycle 132 that began on August 13th, 1208 during the time of the crusades. There is a sense of fatedness, accountability, responsibility about the concentration of Saturn-ruled planets, and also the potential of wounding as this New Moon and Mercury square Chiron activating our sense of rejection, abandonment, deprivation, silent suffering and loss.

Mercury’s ingress into the sign of the Mer-Goat on December 29th accents the ticking of the cosmic clock as we approach this year’s ending, and the mountainous Saturn/Pluto conjunction of January 12th, 2020.

Saturn/Pluto delivers a concentrated clout of energy, much like this month’s super-charged new moon. This conjunction contains the finality of endings entwined with the promise of new beginnings.

The last conjunction of Saturn and Pluto was in the air sign of Libra on November 8th, 1982. The US entered a recessionary cycle and England sent her young men and women to war in the Falklands.

The January 12th conjunction will carry a sense of accountability, a sense of fatefulness, a sense of destiny, a feeling of an immovable force that propels us onward, that will pervade our lives all through 2020.

 

For those of us with planets between 21 and 24 Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, themes of endings may be prominent. And so often endings are wrapped in fear that unravels, catches us off-guard. Our resilience will be tested, the durability of our bodies. We may have to leave something or someone behind. Capricorn rules the teeth, the bones, the skin and especially the knees.We may feel the need lower our gravitational centre. Kneel. Give thanks for those who have allowed us to open our hearts wide this year. For those rock bottoms that have become solid foundations for new beginnings. For Elton John, and I’m Still Standing.

Thank you all for your support this year, and for keeping in touch. I post regularly on Facebook, but if you would like me to send you more regular updates in a private email I will do so with pleasure.

Just connect with me via my website www.trueheartwork.com  or by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com I would love to hear from you.

Solstice Blessings and Love,

Ingrid.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life―John O’Donohue

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