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Self Growth

Venus in Scorpio 6

The One I Love—Venus Retrograde—October 5th—November 16th.

Venus Rx 4

Sometimes it’s only when we lose what has been comfortingly familiar, tenderly consistent, that we discover what we truly value.

Venus goes Retrograde on October 5th. As she moves apparently backwards in the skies through the deeply sensitive sign of Scorpio, she quickens our hearts and demands only the most honest and loyal bonds of attachment. Venus symbolises our inner values, and in Scorpio, superficiality and masks just won’t do. We may have reached a crossroad where we wonder, as author, Elizabeth Gilbert once did, “do we want our belly pressed against this person’s belly forever—or not?”  Whether we choose to go or to stay, to keep or to give away, Venus Retrograde periods distill the essence of what it is that we hold very dear to our hearts.

The ancients tracked the passage of Venus in a perfect pentagram across the skies, ascribing her disappearance in the skies to her descent into the Underworld. The pre-Colombian Mayans believed that kingdoms were unstable, regimes might topple, and so her emergence signified an auspicious time to begin a war. Retrograde cycles emphasise those areas in our lives where we unconsciously lead with our wound. Where we move through life like a somnambulist, unable to truly value what we have until it’s too late. Where we make Shadow choices drawn from unexamined cultural programming or adaptations to past trauma. In therapy, we may learn skills that help us leave behind the legacy of our old conditioning, surpass our constricted hurt lives, all by ourselves. And yet it is in relationship that we encounter our Shadow and our Light.

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

In astrology, Venus is about relationship. As she travels through uncompromising Scorpio, she encounters her vulnerability in intense emotional encounter.

“It’s a tough, anti-relational world out there. Relationships between men and women have never been more difficult,” therapist Terry Real believes. “Close to half of couples getting married will divorce. And there are far too many couples who suffer in relationships that lack the passion and closeness we all deserve.”

The Archetype of Venus transcends gender and sexual preference. These 40 days and 40 nights bring an opportunity to transform vicious cycles into charmed circles as Venus magnifies and amplifies our most private and intimate relationships.

Blood-soaked centuries of patriarchal conditioning have programmed men and silenced women.Venus Rx 1

Writes Robert Bly, “many men numb themselves so they’re not expressive. If you’re too expressive in IBM, you get fired”.

Terry Real believes, “men are just doing what they have been programmed to do—work hard, try to be more involved in the family, try to be responsible and responsive—and feel that they will never get it right.”

Venus in her retrograde cycle invites us to slow down—our speech, our movements, our breath, the beat of our heart.

To be present with ourselves, with our lover, in a way that engages all the cells in our body and makes our heart expand like a Super Nova…

1ac16e4abe0d0efb860214925ee820a5In A Plea to Women,  John Wineland imagines that what all men want is—Less. “Our nervous systems can’t handle more. We love range. Especially in bed. We want the Divine Mother, the cock-worshipping whore. Find ways to playfully and lovingly bring that to us. Try to separate the tools that you use to succeed in business from the tools that you use in our relationship. We want more of your vulnerability, more of your fear, more of your pain, we don’t want to be told what book to read, what seminar to go to what therapist to see, we want to be told how painful it is for you when we don’t show up for you… we want you to find something in us every day that you trust implicitly…. because the thing we want the most is to feel that you trust us and that you would let us lead you anywhere and find some way to continually surrender.”

Transiting Venus moves apparently backwards in her dance across the skies once every nineteen months. Now, she’s pinned like a diamond on the coral swathe of the evening sky. Venus passed her superior conjunction with the Sun on January 9th, a mythic mating, a Venus “new Moon”, and since then, she has been moving further and further away from the glare of the Sun. She reached her greatest brilliancy on September 21st, reclining low on the western horizon. During the last week of September, she appeared as a large, elegant crescent, surrendering to the embrace of the darkness of each night, a fragile, vulnerable, a faded version of her former splendour. At Christmas time, she emerges from the Underworld, The Star of Bethlehem, the Angel of the Dawn, gifting us with a new revelation of our heart’s desire.

Philosopher, Lao Tzu once said, “being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 

Venus Rx 9Venus in Scorpio demands that we love deeply and bravely. And when she emerges once more as the glittering Angel of the Morning, may she find us awake to new possibilities, fully aware of what we truly value, and extravagantly generous in our loving.

 I post regular astrology updates on FaceBook:

https://www.facebook.com/ingrid.hoffman.75

Please contact me directly for private readings in London and for more information about forthcoming UK workshops—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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Keep Calm and Carry On—Mercury in Libra—September 22nd—October 10th.

21333ded62e57e17eb85441ff001e533So often we hit a wall. Collide with an immovable force that profoundly alters the trajectory of our life: the accident, the lawyer’s letter, the termination of our employment, the conversation with our doctor that leaves us hemorrhaging hope. Physicist Stephen Hawking who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in his twenties once told the New York Times, “my expectations were reduced to zero when I was twenty-one. Everything since then has been a bonus.”

 

Mercury races ahead of the Sun into Libra on September 22nd. On crossing the threshold, both planets square Saturn, honing our ability for practical, disciplined thinking about serious concerns. Saturn/Mercury transits can marry our minds to pessimism, steal the fleeting moments of joy that inhabit the silent spaces of our lives. As Mercury travels through Libra, we have an opportunity to cultivate a deeper awareness of our mental chatter and the worrisome thoughts that may stir our feelings. We have an opportunity to look for the bonuses.

The Moon is Full at 2 degrees Aries on September 24th. She’s conjunct Chiron, square Saturn, opposing Mercury and of course, the Libran Sun. The essence of Aries is our individual will. The signature of this lunation is the opportunity, the right moment to step over the threshold, release a thought, a habitual response, a behaviour, so that the river of our life may flow easily once more. Saturn is associated with time, (Chronos) and Chiron transits correspond with major turning points, opportunities to awaken, to re-balance, to align with our deepest, truest nature. Chiron will move back into Pisces on September 25th, and will remain there until February 18th. Chiron is also associated with an experience of deep woundedness, in our life situation, our physical body, in the way we perceive the world. This Full Moon may correspond with a new insight that accelerates our growth, fortifies our resilience.

Keep Calm and Carry On was the British Government’s attempt to console the public who faced invasion at the onset of WW II. As the epicenters 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, that keep us calm, help us carry on amidst  the gathering storm  of collective angst.
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“Be glad. Be good. Be brave,” wrote Eleanor Emily Hodgman Porter in her best-selling novel, Pollyanna. The year was 1913. This simple statement resonated in the matrix of the Collective Consciousness as the dark war clouds blotted the sun over the Balkans and thousands of young men were soon to drown in their own life-blood in the rat-infested trenches of World War I. One hundred and five years later, we continue to enlist in our private battles for survival—financially, emotionally, or spiritually. When everything around us seems to be falling apart, this steadfast statement bids us first and foremost, to be grateful. To conduct our lives with integrity and valour. The fortitude and unwavering optimism of eleven-year-old Pollyanna offered the comfort of hot-buttered toast and a cup of sweet tea at a point of impact in western civilization when there was no going back. When to be glad, good, and brave, was one constant beacon amidst cataclysmic change.

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Our evolutionary challenge this month is inner serenity and a selective, deliberate focus on those things that are right in the world and in our relationships. Lévy-Bruhl and, later, Jung, wrote of the Participation Mystique. That mystical participation that can manifest in situations and material things in our lives. That sense of wonder and magic that is inherent in small children and has been codified as The Law of Attraction. We are required to “always look on the bright side of life” as we bravely embrace the contradictions, the baffling complexity, and buckle up for those roller coaster rides that leave us whip-lashed, aching and bruised. Melody Beattie believes, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.”

 

Happiness, and her twin sister, Joy, dance in Gratitude, in the “little things that are the hinges of the universe” according to newspaper columnist and novelist, Fanny Fern. Gratitude is a spoonful of sugar to crankiness. Gratitude is like a garden. It requires careful tending if we want it to flourish. It may require gentle coaxing back into bloom after a storm or the cruel crush of frost. It certainly takes a good sprinkling of imagination and a stir of magic to feel it sometimes, and yet like the fairies that sit on our garden wall and fly about our heads as we water the rose bushes, it is always there if we look. If we believe.

Gratitude, like Love, is a choice. It’s an inside job. If we feel like Cinderella, no pumpkin carriage, no diamond tiara, glass slipper, or handsome Prince will make us authentically, radiantly happy. If we play the Glad Game, and cheat because we don’t truly believe, we can’t evoke the magic. We cannot fake it ’til we make it. We cannot buy, Botox, or bargain our way to Gratitude and contentment. We cannot pretend to be Little Miss Sunshine if we feel like The Snow Queen.

Gratitude must become habitual for the magic to work.

So, observe those wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. Give thanks that the silver white winters will melt into springs … And hold steady in these challenging times. Encourage ourselves and each other to keep moving, keep focused, as new life emerges from the dead leaves of change.

I post regular astrology updates on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/ingrid.hoffman.75

Please contact me directly for private readings and for more information about forthcoming workshops—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Virgo 09

Earth Angel—Sun in Virgo: August 23rd – September 23rd

virgo 987The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little—Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Amidst the delays, the frustrations, the upsets of daily life, there may a dawning of  new possibilities over the harvested fields of our past. As we approach the autumn equinox in the North, spring’s swelling and greening in the South, we may sense a kindling of  a new creative impulse. As the days lengthen or as darkness descends, the light, the air, the earth beneath our feet has a new cadence.

Mercury, ruler of the Virgo Sun, moved direct on Sunday, August 19th bringing gifts of clarity and insight birthed after his sojourn in the darkness of the underworld. Mars spurs our intentions, as he moves from Aquarius into Capricorn, and goes direct on August 27th; Saturn is direct on September 6th ; Pluto on October 1st. And this week, the Sun moves from the glamour and glitz of extrovert Leo into temperate Virgo. Another turning point in the Great Wheel of the year. In our own lives, perhaps, these seasonal shifts are measures of decision-makers’ choices that, at last, emerge with new vigour, as four of the six retrograde planets turn direct in the velvet blackness of the skies.

virgo 000The old sky maps reveal Virgo’s association with the fecund Magna Mater, ancient goddesses of the earth, old rituals and rites of passage. Virgo is the Harvest Maiden, who holds a sheaf of wheat in her left hand and offers us all the fertile potential of the seeds of the grape with her right. The constellation of Virgo depicts the fixed stars Spica as the sheaf of wheat, and Vindemiatrix as the grape vine, reminders of the cycle of nature, of reaping and sowing. Of the labour needed to make bread and wine, partake of the sacrament of Life.

Discernment and pragmatism are two words associated with the archetype of Virgo. She attends to the little details, she seeks solutions, she’s the spinner and the weaver of the warp and weft our daily lives. Purification and ritual breaking of bread, vestiges from the Old Religion are now enacted during the Sun’s transit through Virgo. Virgo is a mutable sign. Mutable signs bridge the sacred and the mundane.

angel-2939548_1280For those of us who carry the imprint of the Virgo archetype in our birth chart, we will inevitably encounter the duality, the complexity, the tension, associated with the Earth Angel, weighted with the detailed task of seeding the potential in every idea, every action; the never ending task of trying to create order out of chaos.

Virgo is prone to fret and fuss, flaying her nervous system with worry about making the right choice, doing the right thing, giving enough, being enough. The detailed labour of the writer, the craftsperson, are associated with those who have planets in Virgo. Her vision focuses modestly downwards, directed at the little things, the little moments. Leonard Cohen expressed his Virgo Sun, Venus conjunct Neptune in Virgo, and possibly an early degree Virgo Ascendant, in the painstakingly slow distillation of poetry and deep emotion that was his discipline and his craft. He infused genius and breathed prophecy into his poetry and lyrics. And yet, he said, “I don’t see it so much as creativity, but as work.”

Virgo is associated with The Earth Goddess who is self-contained, intact.  We meet her on the road and call her name: Mary Magdelene. Holy Harlot. She belongs to no man but gives her favours with an earthy abandonment that pre-dates the Judaic-Christian morality and the strictures of patriarchy.

In Virgo wbed797eb14394a0c247347d363f32187e encounter the Prostitute Archetype, in our own lives, and in the corridors of power. This month, we may contemplate how easily we can be bought, bargained for.  We might ask ourselves, where do we negotiate our power, trade our gifts and talents, when our survival is at stake?

The polarity of Virgo is Pisces, that boundary-less sign that so often disintegrates in relationship, is sacrificed on the cross of service, that needs to be needed so very much that she loses herself in her own story of Victimhood. Virgo looks on warily, because these same drives can be her shadow, that part of herself that lurks beneath the sensible, practical authentic Self. This month, we may ask ourselves where we lack faith in our own ability, where we deny our own inner strength.

The Full Moon on August 26th at 3° Pisces, illuminates the opposition between the sacred and the earthly, reminds us that the archetype of the Virgin is also the Alchemist and the Healer.  In her truest manifestation, the archetype of Virgo has an affinity with plants and animalsa knowing that reaches beyond book learning or Googlea wisdom threaded through  generations of healers and wise men and women.virgo 345Virgo is also associated with the Alchemist, the Sisters of Mercy, the Wise Virgin who tends her oil lamp with due diligence. She’s Vasilisa, the Beautiful who separates the poppy seeds and corn from the soil. She is aligned with The Hermit IX in the Tarot and the anchorite who holds the lamp of inner guidance as we prepare for a major change in our life direction.

As we cross the bridge between the sacred and the mundane this new month, may we pour Love into the cracks that make us human.

 

 

 

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering Virgo 06
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in—Leonard Cohen.

Please connect with me for personal astrology sessions and for more information about forthcoming workshops: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

For more immediate astrological updates, I post regularly on Face-book.

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Still Point—Solstice—June 21st

solstice 14This is the Solstice, the still point of the Sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future. The place of caught breath—Margaret Atwood.

As summer thrusts sunlight into the receptive hollows of the earth here in the north, and the benediction of winter silence presses into the cold soils of the south, the Sun moves into the sign of Cancer on June 21st, and pauses at the threshold of the year.

Our Earth is girdled with contrast, bejeweled with the counterpoint of light and darkness. Spiritual teacher, Gary Zukav describes the Solstices as “the opposition of light and dark, expansion and contraction, that characterize our experiences in the Earth school so that we can recognize our options as we move through our lives.”

At the solstice, and right now in our human his-story, we stand at a threshold, and at a time of unlocking, which promises the release of pent-up energy, the slaying of old dragons. The choice to expand, or contract against the forces of change that swirl around us all.solstice 000

Uranus moves through the sign of Taurus (2018-2026) engendering social and financial seismic upheaval, spurring climate change—a potential “ecological Armageddon” —to shatter our illusions of security and what we believe is safe and sure.  For many, these social and economic changes will change how we live, how we work. Like the interwoven spirals and coils of Celtic knot-work, the astrology of our times is threaded with the amalgam of the past. Uranus moved through the sign of  Taurus between 1934 and 1941. Yet, in the darkness of depravity and suffering many experienced their “their finest hour”. The Industrial Revolution between 1850—1859 irrevocably destroyed a way of life but also brought innovation and a new social and economic order as Uranus moved through Taurus.

Against the backdrop of the widening gyre, the Sun rides his chariot through that segment of the zodiac associated with home, with family, with safety and security, between June 21st to July 23rd.

Cancer is a water sign, associated with the bonds that bind us kith and kin, to the land of our Homeland, our Motherland. Cancer is associated with the Great Mother, with the mythic Bear and She-Wolf who nurture and suckle their young. Psychologically, Cancer offers the opportuntiy to explore the other dimension of Mother—the mother who lives vicariously through her young or who keeps them dependent and infantile. The mother who devours and destroys. Cancer represents our need to individuate, to separate from Mother and the family alembic. To turn from the breast and to nourish ourselves. In a world where health care and social security systems are being dismantled, this need for self-sufficiency and innovation may become more urgent.

Cancer is also associated with the  crab who carries her shell on her back to protect her soft body from the elements. This is poignantly enacted each day as homeless men and women pack up their meagre belongings from park benches and doorways in so-called “First World” nations.  In the poorer countries of the world, millions live in fetid squatter camps or risk their lives to seek refuge from famine and war. And in South Africa, land invasions will escalate in a disruptive and violent manner as Uranus moves through Taurus. As the gulf between the rich and the poor widens, Ted’s story is the story of thousands of men and women who, through divorce, retrenchment and rising prices, have lost their moorings, slipped into the abyss and have no place to call home in a bloated housing market peppered with Airbnb. Ted died at a table in a coffee shop in one of the most affluent areas of Vancouver this month. Battling cancer, with no means to rent or buy a home of his own, Ted had been living at a table near the washroom of the coffee shop for a decade. There are increasing numbers of people, struggling to cover the cost of food and housing in cities where house prices have rocketed. Judy Graves, an advocate for the homeless met Ted about four years ago when he had been diagnosed with cancer. “He had worked all his life, but at low-paying working-class jobs. For much of his life he had managed to scrape by, but an unexpected expense left him suddenly scrambling. Eventually he was left him without a roof over his head.”

solstice 4Frank Baum’s “There’s no place like home,” and the clichéd  “Home Sweet Home,” reflect our heart’s longing for safety and belonging as we pause in the dreamy haze of mid-summer heat, or close the curtains against the raw chill of mid-winter. As Uranus moves through Taurus, one of the manifestations will be the issue of land and affordable housing—a place to call Home.

The dreamy magical month of June may have brought timely reminders to stay flexible amidst uncertainty and ambiguity of the bellicose tweeting, the self-aggrandisement of the politicians. We’re exactly one month away from eclipse season and as the Wheel of the Year turns, and we draw closer to the mid-Summer/Winter Solstice, Venus ingressed into Leo on Wednesday, June 13th, and Mercury slipped into Cancer on June 12th against the backdrop of Brexit, which will affect us all. Another colour wash is Mars opposing the North Node this week and beginning to slow down in the early degrees of Aquarius before turning Retrograde on June 26th to August 27th.

So, stay flexible and alert, prepare for things to change, perhaps not in the way that you expect them to. If you have planets in Aries or Scorpio, you might feel this shift quite dramatically as life seems becalmed. Return to basics, re-do, reinforce, and use this time wisely to replenish your own energy reserves. Black Elk offers this wisdom for Mars in Retrograde—It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.0dec402d59d23a9e1004a898b40af19c

Mars is the archetype of war and is associated with anger. Moving slowly through idealistic Aquarius, ideologies and the Tribal Mind are emphasised. When Mars is in Retrograde, his energies are bridled, curtailed, he cannot move freely or spontaneously. If you’ve ever been at the receiving end of an insult that explodes through your heart, you’ll have sense of the power of this astrological signature. These next few weeks may  may feel supercharged, yet nothing happens; our nervous system may feel like a string of a violin that has been strung too tightly. Be mindful of thoughts create tsunamis across the surface of your mind and capsize your calm, words that emerge from the cave of your unconscious and darken the blue skies of affection.

Mars always needs to pick a fight, so the energy may feel as  volatile as a swarm of bees racing through the skies con a hot summer’s day. If you’ve been putting up with, or tolerating a situation that has become untenable, anger may erupt in a heated rush as Mars goes direct. Projects, plans may proceed with unprecedented speed.

We’re living in uncertain times.

Yet there’s a certain kind of freedom in uncertainty. Freedom from our addictive fear of the unknown, freedom from our past conditioning.

Writes Deepak Chopra, “in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.”

solstice 7I post astrology updates regularly on Facebook, and offer private readings on Skype or in person, so do please connect with me, I’d love to hear from you—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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Uranus in Taurus 1

Close for Comfort—Uranus in Taurus—May 16th 2018—April 26th 2026

Uranus in Taurus 8 Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe

As May’s darling buds loosen and shake from the embrace of greening branches, and burnished bronzes blaze in rows across southern vineyards, we may sense a quiver, a tremor stirring the sameness of our daily lives. We may feel a force gathering momentum that lifts the veil of familiarity as the seasons change.  Yet, unlike our ancestors who used rhymes and talismans to ward off evil, to grant fertility and prosperity, we may linger in the reassuring comfort of the old well-trodden roads, unsure of what form this newness might take.

On April 20th the Sun ingresses into Taurus.  Passing from Aries and the heated rush of Fire, we sink into substance, the loam, the ancient clay of Earth. The Age of Taurus (4,000-2,000 BCE) coincided with the river civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, and for eons, the Bull and the Cow have been associated with the fecundity, with currency. Material possessions, land, and shiny silver sixpences, are yoked and bound to neck of The Bull and amidst the roar of the economic machine, we buy and sell “stocks”, and bullion; markets are temperamentally “bullish”.
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Woody Allen once quipped, “money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. This thing we call “money”, this stream of electrons, is our irrefutable medium of exchange and over the next several years, our relationship with moneyand the disparity of wealth on our planet, is about to be shaken. Not stirred. If you’ve just bought into the cryptocurrency hype. If you’ve always believed that you should save for a rainy day. If you find it easier to talk about your sex life than what you earn, the transit of Uranus through the sign of Taurus over these next seven years will slay the Minotaur of covetous complacency and avarice. As the accumulation of wealth by the rich continues to continue; as swathes of homeless continue to forage on scraps and shelter beneath flimsy roofs of plastic, the top one percent who have the Midas Touch,  will have clasped sixty-four percent of the world’s wealth by 2023.

On May 16th, Uranus crosses the border into the sign of The Bull. The passage of Uranus through Taurus  will bring sudden shocks and surprises that break open hermetically-sealed structures, catapult us into new terrain. There may be losses and gains that compel us to be resourceful, more flexible, humbler, more grateful for the sixpence in our shoe. This ancient archetypal force may remind us of our clay feet as we stand on the rim of the Widening Gyre between rich and poor. Affordable housing, land distribution, and sustainable food production, will certainly encircle our lives, shattering our identification with existing form and attitude. Uranus brings the gift of fire which was stolen from the gods. New, unknown, it transforms our perspective, alters our reality—breaks through that are too rigid, too fixed, too chrystalised, in their form.  Over the next several years, all those things we think we truly cherish and value; that something old, that something borrowed; might seem faded and frayed, as we reach for new possibilities, new potentials.

 

Robot and human hands almost touching - 3D render. A modern take on the famous Michelangelo painting in the Sistine Chapel; titled, "The Creation of Adam".

Uranus, has been moving through Aries, since March 2011, reflected by technological innovation, accelerated surveillance and social manipulation through Facebook, Google, YouTube. Uranus’s gift of fire in the sign of Aries delivered Artificial Intelligence, the rise of the robots, the internet of things, the rise of right-wing political parties.

Uranus is an archetype associated with the rallying cry of rebellion and disruption, with the shocking collapse of social order. Uranus is an archetypal force associated with the Collective, rather than the personal, individual will. This planet is associated with reason, with ultimate perfection, with sudden dispassionate dissociation. With the hive mind that swarms in unison. Monty Python’s Life of Brian describes this kind of Uranian  murmuration:  You don’t  NEED to follow ANYBODY! You’ve got to think for your selves! You’re  ALL individuals! The Crowd: Yes! We’re all individuals! Brian: You‘re all different! The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!

These next several years will bring something new, something unexpected, to our lives, depending on what area of your birth chart, and what planets are awakened by a Uranus transit. We may feel like outsiders in a world gone utterly mad. We may be drawn to those religious traditions that propose non-attachment. We may anaesthetise ourselves with regular fixes of  (Uranian-ruled) technology.

 

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Uranus was last in the sign of Taurus between 1935 and 1941, when the delicate ecosystem of the great plains of America turned to dust. Spring has grown increasingly Silent since Rachel Carson documented the destructive use of pesticides in 1962. Uranus brings us the gift of fire. At a price. Starhawk writes, “the brush that is tinder dry from decades of drought, the warming of the earth’s climate that sends the storms away north, the hole in the ozone layer. Not punishment, not even justice, but consequence.”

In May, it will be 50 years since biologist Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb when the world’s population was less than 2 billion – 5.6 billion fewer people than today. Ehrlich reminds us, “perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell… but the longer humanity pursues business as usual, the smaller the sustainable society is likely to prove to be.”

In the 1950s we began engineering polymers. Now microfibres leaking formaldehyde, invade our bedrooms, our cars, our offices, our oceans. Uranian inventions have become the monstrous Frankenstein who ultimately destroys his creator.

The energies of the outer planets are felt long before an ingress. Positive news for our environment is that Japanese scientists have discovered some bacteria that use plastic as a food source.

 

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On Sunday, May 14th, Mercury enters Taurus. Mercury is associated with contracts, negotiation, deal-making, communicationand mis-communication for those stalking the stock markets.

On May 15th, the New Moon in Taurus emphasises the motif of the Bull, (not sweet Ferdinand, the Raging one.) This lunation trines the Mars/Pluto conjunction which squares Uranus at the power degree of 29 Aries. Chiron, associated with the archetype of the “Wounded Healer” moves into Aries on April 17th and we are asked to cultivate a new relationship with Promethean Fire. Survivalist self- sufficiency and self-assertion may mask fear and uncertainty. Our personal sense of powerlessness  become more apparent amidst political and social change as we encounter these potent archetypal energies. fba48bee60e4e9041bc1096b13b83f47

We may consider just how much power we give to “the monetary system”. How we trade our integrity when we buy the things we do. What price we pay for safety and security.

Our inner values of honesty and integrity, our code of personal honour, our Taurean sensuality, our sexuality, will be upturned so that we shake loose the old beliefs that wrap around our lives like blue garters. Uranus is not about personal freedom or individuality. But as  Lynne Mc Taggart says, “the power of mass intention may ultimately be the force that shifts the tide toward repair and renewal of the planet.” 

As we are propelled from the comfort of the old, we may need to borrow the wisdom of the sages—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.

 For more information about forthcoming workshops and private readings in Dublin please email ingrid@trueheartwork.comUranus in Taurus 11

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Hero 3

Cry Heart, but never Break—Sun in Aries

Hero

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Saturn in Love

Saturn—Pluto Co-presence—An Ode to Love

lovers 32This Valentine’s Day, millions of people will demonstrate through chocolates, music and flowers, their longing to love and be loved. “Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved”, writes author Alain de Botton.

To be seen, fully seen by our lover emboldens and ennobles us. The power of love plucks us out of our literal life into the full-throated drama of  our fantasy, flings off our inhibitions, invites us to create a-new. Yet, the course of love in the digital age is perilous: we’re ghosted, benched, and bread-crumbed. We’re executed with one lethal swipe.  There’s absolutely nothing we can do or say to make someone love usto treat us with kindnessto engage. Concealed within the seductive scent of a scarlet rose, the soft sentiment of  Teddy Bear, love coils and cools, neglected and betrayed. Kristen Roupenian’s highly acclaimed short story, Cat Person, is chilling rendition of the arc of  relating in our adolescent culture. With the callous flick of a finger, a tender human heart crushed, a connection cruelly cauterised.  The technological revolution has got everyone talking, yet so few of us have the courtesy to listen, the skill to empathise. Love amputated by ridicule and disdain aches like a phantom limb years after the bond has been irrevocably severed.wings 6

 

 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 learn to love with all our hearts.

passagewayThe archetype of Saturn is redolent of prisons. Pluto is accompanied by a primal, shadowy fear that’s hard-wired in every living creature. Pluto is life and death. Pluto is survival. Tapping into the core scene of the Saturn/Pluto energy of this time, Hard Sun, the pre-apocalyptic BBC drama, depicts a world that faces certain destruction in five years. It’s a prophetic vision of love and survival that resonates with the zeitgeist of Pluto in Saturn’s sign.

The eclipses that fall like hailstones on January 31st, February 15th, July 13th and 27th and August 11th, puncture our birth chart, stir fresh opportunities to re-calibrate, to flush out contaminated old stories. Pluto irradiates Saturn: Traumas of the past are made manifest. Now we must plumb a toxic legacy more consciously. Now we must question those predigested ideas, examine formulaic rules that have no place in a spiritual partnership or a new world order.  

Mars changes sign on January 26th, and as he moves from Scorpio into Sagittarius, from water into fire,  we may feel an infusion of vivifying red, a new impetus to love bravely and honestly that releases us from the prison of fear and conditioning. Mars will be travelling through Sagittarius until March 17th. This Jupiter-ruled sign is associated with faith and optimism. Love lives in the imaginal realm of our soul, and like Santa and the Easter Bunny, authentic love comes to only those who truly believe.

On February 11th, Venus moves from Aquarius to Pisces. She joins Neptune on February 22nd, amplifying the Piscean flavour of the intoxicating sweetness of that first kiss embossed on a silver cord of memory that reverberates across the bars of a song. Neptune is associated with illusion and delusion, with the pain of longing, the exquisite eroticism of an idealised love enshrined in the sugary commercialism of Valentine’s Day. Romantic love is a multi-million-dollar Bolly-Hollywood illusion that mirrors our collective longing back to us from the silver screen. The glittering grandeur of star-spangled romance leaves us breathless, aching for more.

“Illusion” is derived from the Latin, “in ludere,” which is translated as “in play.” And when our world-weary souls expand in joyful play, our lives are graced with “illusions” that may enfold us and protect us from “reality” which may be a mere stand-in for an authentic life.
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Our challenge, as we navigate this end time, is to balance caution and mature wisdom with compassion. To cherish the precious fire-fly of Romantic love. To remember that when we ghost, freeze or bench someone, we wound a tender human heart.

A love that lasts requires a Saturnian back bone: the resilience to stay the course as passion wanes, flickers, and re-ignites. Love in the time of Saturn demands maturity and wisdom, and the courage  to expand our hearts and clear our heads of the clutter that belongs to someone else.

Expect to be moonstruck by the image of beauty in the one you Love. And in the quiet darkness of the new Aquarian Moon on February 15th  let Love press itself deeply into your heart.  

Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beautyLeonard Cohen.

Join me in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, Saturday, April 28th, 2018 for a day devoted to the sibling constellation in our birth chart: Bonded By Blood. Email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Miracles and Wonder—Light and the Dark of the Moon January 2018

56838d5aff9f13ef84692959b204257bIf you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down—Toni Morrison

The first month of the calendar year, is named in honour of Janus, two-headed god of thresholds.

“This year will be better…” we say hopefully, perhaps as a talisman to ward off the aftertaste of the year gone by. As the effervescent bubbles of New Year’s Eve flatten into the sober days of January and we minister to the minutiae of our daily lives Fate may enter softly through the open door, catching us unprepared. She brings news that that skids and spins us off the smooth tarmac of your carefully scheduled New Year planner.6b6a23914dceb57b5308f1808a99e48b
“God never gives us more than we can handle”, is the trite knee-jerk response to desperate calamities and unspeakable suffering that so many endure. A visit to a psychiatric hospital, a war zone, the trauma unit in your local hospital, witnessing an execution on You Tube, makes me question what kind of god who would gift us with this kind of suffering.

The uncomprehending stare of a young mother’s eyes when she is told her child has died, a young man paralysed from the waist after diving into an azure pool one hot summer’s day, the black dog of depression that gnaws at so many, trapped in a snare of excruciating loneliness and loss.

 

63bb2d49cd6977e9cd095104c19e7230For many of us this year, we will have to bow our heads to the necessity of getting out of bed each day and finding something to be truly grateful for. We will yoke ourselves to the inevitability of change: children who leave home, a lover who no longer loves us, a dear friend who moves far away, a beloved parent who now needs the same vigilant caring as a toddler. As we eat of the bitter herb, may we know that there is milk and honey also, in the acceptance of things as they are.

Our ancestors lived close to the cycles of the seasons, the rhythm of Life. During the unrelenting grip of famine or displacement by war, flood or fire, they walked with the primordial goddess of Necessity. She was Ananke, also called Force or Constraint, she was mother to three daughters, the Moirai, the Fates. As omniscient goddess of all circumstance, greatly respected by mortals and gods, it was she who ruled the pattern of the life line of threads of inevitable, irrational, fated events in our lives. Ananke determined what each soul had chosen for its lot to be necessary—not as an accident, not as something good or bad, but as something necessary to be lived, endured, experienced. Necessity has been outcast in our mechanistic material culture where we, in our hubris and our self-inflation, actually believe that are all powerful—we can fix, manifest, cut away, or buy our way out of any mess we make.
1e64214c60f641fd56a4da1dd54af859Ananke is an ancient goddess, and the resonance of her name has its tap root in the ancient tongues of the Chaldean, Egyptian, the Hebrew, for “narrow,” “throat”, “strangle” and the cruel yokes that were fastened around the necks of captives. Ananke always takes us by the throat, imprisons, enslaves, and stops us in our tracks, for a while. There is no escape. She is unyielding, and it is we who must excavate from the depths of our being, our courage, tenacity, and acceptance of what is.

This New Year, Necessity may lay her hand on a defining moment in your life. The ending of a love affair, the barren womb, the not-so-exciting job that pays the bills. She may still the tug-o’-war of the heart’s calling, block the mind’s plan, and fasten the collar around our neck. There may be no escape, except a shift in perception, and the courage to accept that which cannot be otherwise and a resilience to stay the course and just do it. Author, Doris Lessing once said, “whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”185d87a49608548f1fc31957c125ab58


The astrological signature this month accentuates persistence, discipline, and realism. The quiet dignity of commitment. The promises we keep. The words we honour. Mercury changes sign on January 11th, joining the Sun, Saturn, Venus and Pluto in Capricorn. And the month of January is bound by a pair of full-bellied Moons that hang melon-ripe, luscious in the night sky. They nudge so close to our earth that they appear larger, brighter than usual. American astrologer, Richard Nolle, coined the term Supermoon, in 1979, and symbolically these Moons amplify and illuminate those areas in our lives, casting their silvery luminescence on what might have been obscured or denied. On January 2nd, at the threshold of this new year, the Cancer Moon nestled protectively close to her sister Earth as we shrugged off the old year to gaze with hopeful eyes upon the pristine newness of the year ahead. This Moon was a harbinger of the total lunar eclipse on January 31st, at 12 degrees Leo. Observe the interplay of the elements—fire and water, yin and yang. The contrast in the terrain of the landscape this month might be a template for the choices we must make to fly as we let go those things that weigh us down, or stoically accept that things are as they are for now. Leo is associated with spontaneity, with self-expression and with courage.
This lunar eclipse is the first of the eclipse season this year, the next lunar eclipse occurs on 27th/28th July five degrees Aquarius.

As the shadow of our Earth sweeps across the face of the Moon she grows darker. Imagine how our ancestors would have observed the goddess growing darker, redder, or paling into blue, depending on the amount of dust in our atmosphere—a sign, an omen.

Modern astrologers tend to agree that eclipses are wild cards, and the effects are unpredictable, though solar eclipses tend to be externalised and lunar eclipses are subtler, more internal, often related to the past, to our emotions and perceptions.

Poet and novelist, Ben Okri writes, “bad things will happen, and good things too. Your life will be full of surprises. Miracles happen only where there has been suffering. So, taste your grief to the fullest. Don’t try and press it down. Don’t hide from it. Don’t escape. It is Life too. It is truth. But it will pass, and time will put a strange honey in the bitterness. That’s the way life goes.”

As we honour Necessity, we can choose which threads and which colours we wish to weave into the cloth of our lives. We can discover the Miracle in the suffering, we can taste the strange honey in the bitterness of our grief as we feel what needs to be felt—in the light and in the dark of the Moon.0000e417_medium

 

 

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Hard Facts―Saturn in Capricorn December 20th 2017―22nd March, 2020.

christmas 111“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “ Another Christmas has come and gone, and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books” ―J. K Rowling.

Another Christmas has come, packaged with nostalgia, wrapped in the comfort of custom, tied up with tradition. Paper hats and crackers, fir trees and festive extravagances, redolent with the smell of our grandmother’s brandy-soaked pudding.

Without a backward glance, Saturn moves into its own sign of Capricorn on December 20th,  and will remain in Capricorn until March 21—22nd 2020. There’s something about this ingress that feels sure-footed and determined to get ahead with the task at hand as Saturn moves resolutely to unite with the Sun  on the solstice on December 21st.  Venus joins the Capricorn line- up on December 25th in a statement of celestial artistry redolent of boardrooms and cigars, power dressing, getting down to business.

There’s a serious overlay to our earthly festivities this December as we face into the practicalities of facing into a period of increasing austerity and hard facts.  secrets 2

We’re living in a time where chunks of polar ice fall into the sea, Californian homes and forests burn, deadly drones dive from dark skies and Big Brother is watches every move we make. Collectively, personally, the very bed rock of our existence is being cracked open by greed and the admonishment to “consume” without any notion that all of Life is interconnected.  “We have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature,” wrote poet John O’Donohue.

Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism comments grimly, “the world we are creating is an ADD-ridden flat land.”  And Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice-president for user growth at Facebook, writes “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.”

Traditional astrologers associate the archetype of Saturn with limitation, adversity, restriction. Saturn is the celestial accountant who asks us to take stock of our lives, and who brings a timely reality check. Perhaps, for some of us, a stoic acceptance of  those things we simply cannot change.

Saturn was in Capricorn during the Great Depression of the late 20s and early 30s, again as Fidel Castro marched to power in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and once again as the intractable Iron Curtain shattered in 1988.

Saturn is associated with  law and  order, and over the coming months we may see defenses mobilised, stronger bulwarks against anarchy and chaos. The draw bridge goes up to protect a new order. In myth, Saturn, Chronos, devoured his offspring. The symbolism is chilling. Alice Walker writes, “the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”  Through our own rigidity, resistance, through fear and defensiveness, we may devour and  disown our power and creative potential to birth something new.castle 1

The United Kingdom’s 1801 chart has the Sun in the sign of Capricorn, and as society there has become increasingly fragmented, the anxiety unleashed has manifested as the blight that is Brexit as the super-rich become the new kings and queens sealed from the common people in glittering Shards, riding the waves in enormous yachts.

Saturnian control, restraint, self-possession, and persistence, are boring and unwelcome guests in solar world where we’re shining like the sun, always having fun, where every day is a “nice day.” Daphne Rose Kingma writes, “The power of persistence is required especially when we’re dealing with intense, emotionally devastating circumstances or bunches of hugely difficult things that have stacked up all at once. When you’re facing a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, a taxi accident, and the imminent death of your sister, and your boyfriend has just moved to Japan, you will definitely need to call on persistence.”2db99990d82f314ebc7ec3abb078b1ec

Saturn has an affinity with the archetype of Capricorn, and if we choose, we can use this energy wisely to manifest goals, to firm up commitments.

We may have to vigorously tame our thoughts,  release hoary old habits, rusty old grudges that keep us trapped like the Tin Man in armour that crushes our hearts. We may need to examine our lives scrupulously and ask if we are adding more aggression and self-centredness  into the Field, and take ownership of our sloppy behaviour. We may need to pray for the courage to put our soul in charge of our life.

“We may not be comfortable, but we will be awake and aware and fully alive,” says Prema Chodron, author of Taking the Leap and When Things Fall Apart.

Perhaps, it’s in silence of this holy night,  as we unwrap yet another practical pair of socks in the presence of our loved ones, that we can be open to embrace the energy of this sacred moment as our Sun stands still.

“And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand Utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory,” activist Howard Zinn declares.

As we seriously commit to making our world a better place, the wise words of Carl Sagan envelop the zeitgeist of Saturn in Capricorn these next years, “better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.”

Perhaps, it’s in silence, in the dark of the moon this solstice that we can be fully awake and in tune with the interconnectedness of all living things.  In the pause, in the gap, in the space between the ceaseless chatter that we can be open and touch the energy of the moment.

Through the dark clouds that gather, we can glimpse the silver lining.

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Thinking makes it so―Mercury Retrograde―December 3rd to December 24th

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“What time has ever been a simple time for those who are living it?” asks author Elizabeth Gilbert in her novel, Committed. And yet, as news rushes through the tendrils of technology, flooding our nervous systems, squatting for days and weeks in our divided minds, this time, for most of us living in it, is knotted with perplexing complexity and information overload. The old ways are not working any longer yet for so many of us, nothing seems clear or certain in a world where plastic grows like a cancer in our oceans and human populations bloom like algae. Where what seemed sure and certain empties into the unknown.

On December 3rd, Mercury began its last Retrograde cycle for this year (December 3rd-24th.)

In the nuanced language of astrology, the planets describe the quality of experience we  assimilate and express. A Retrograde Mercury asks us to be patient and tenacious in the face of delays or obstacles, and amidst the ceaseless clamorous chatter, to “remember what peace there may be in silence.”

Patience and the commitment are carelessly tossed aside in the distractions of the times we live in. Yet in the North, Nature withdraws, retires inwards and waits patiently for spring’s Resurrection. Colours empty into shades of grey and stark skeletal branches pierce through the low lidded sky. In the South, shards of sunlight shatter the blue-sky dome with a radiance that saturates the secret life of rocks and trees. Shimmering light sweeps across the ocean sprinkling daubs of dancing silver over the crests of the waves, rendering us drunk with light, satiated with heat, immobilised, enervated.  Time quivers and expands.2370c600ab2525602f92996176404e54

This time of the year may bring endings, the potential of new beginnings. It may bring the polarity of choice that skewers us in indecision.

Between the retraction of Winter or the swelter of Summer, the way forward may not yet be clear. We may have to be still. We may have to wait.

Astrological Mercury embodies eons of symbolism that can be traced to the Babylonian, Chaldean, Egyptian mythology and religious systems. A strongly placed Mercury in your birth chart enhances your ability to be humorous and charming. Mercury is the teacher, the comedian, the net worker, the communicator, the trickster who brings lightness and laughter and a new perspective to our world. Mercury is also associated with Thoth, the Egyptian god of healing and fertility and it is with our words that we can heal, with our words that we can birth new possibilities.

The Retrograde cycle of Mercury occurs three times every year and moves through the elements of fire, air, earth and water, in a procession across the zodiac, alerting us the rhythm of inner reflection that is needed for a more conscious experience of living. Mercury’s realm is magical trans-formation. He was the god of cross-roads and times of transition. Mercury was the only god who travelled back and forth from the Underworld.

Mercury is an important planet in our birth chart, signifying how we access information from the unconscious as we silence the chatter of our mind. In these Mercury Retrograde cycles, our perceptions may shift, igniting the creative process, birthing brilliant ideas.

Right now, we are all, on some level, experiencing a Mercury Retrograde cycle in the fiery sign of Sagittarius, which is a sign associated with our beliefs about the world. Sagittarius is about expanding our awareness, learning something new, perceiving with new eyes.

fire-2837843_960_720Mercury harmonises its energy with Saturn (November 28th December 9th and again from January 11th 15th)  and as this calendar year hurries to an end, we may feel a sense of moving through treacle, sucked down by obstacles when everything around us is moving so fast. As Saturn and Mercury, hang low in the molten evening skies, there’s a deeper message contained here, said so simply by the Buddhist monk, Haemin Sunim: When everything around me is moving so fast, I stop and ask, “is it the world that’s busy, or is it my mind?”

Saturn is often connected with the law of karma and Mercury is about our perception. When these two energies combine in the heavens we return to the inner sanctum of our thoughts, that very private, personal space where linear time dissolves. We may choose to revisit the past, to follow the sweet scent of nostalgia to rest in unchangeable memories of someone we loved with all our heart. We may decide to clear away a tenacious thought that clings like a burr, repelling our peace in the still dark hours just before the dawn.

“Don’t let the hand you hold hold you down,” wrote the poet, Julia de Burgos. The simplicity of this statement may have a resonance for those of us who still hold the hand of an old hurt, a fearful thought, a limiting core belief.

Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” said the Bard. Nothing exists until we become aware of it. It’s the awareness of our minds that births the world we see into being. It’s our perception that makes the time we live in simple, or painfully fraught.  All it takes is a conscious shift in perception to see a new world, a promised land, a world where we can anchor in Faith, trust in the process of  Life itself. “Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature”, says Thich Nhat Hanh.

3ff8b87dfdae59ca145c6e7a23d5fc0bToday, let’s bring new vision, self-reflection, and healing to our thoughts and to the  words we speak. Today, let’s be mindful that we do have a choice to re-write our signature, clearly and simply.

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