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Self Growth

Ring of Love—Crescent Moon—September 11th

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater—Haldir.

A shimmering crescent of silver light holds the mystery of promise contained in the fertile darkness of the Crescent Moon tonight. She opposes unpredictable Uranus as she moves through the sign of the Scorpion, a sign that attends the great mysteries in life, death, rebirth, and the shape-shifting shadows that we turn from when we gaze only at the light.

 

The Moon is in her waxing Crescent phase now. She gathers the psychic energy we sent out into the world at the New Moon on September 7th.

It’s been twenty years since we watched in stunned disbelief, the dark smoke rising from those flaming Twin Towers. The Moon was moving through Gemini at the time of the first attack. She was in her sharply angular Third Quarter phase, signifying strong beliefs, inflexibility, and a likelihood of putting those beliefs into action.

As we reflect on this calamitous event that stripped us of our innocence, we may remember that there were 21 years between the “war to end all wars”, and insanity of mass violence that began on September 1st, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. It was in the reeking mud and terror of the trenches at the Battle of the Somme, that J.R.R Tolkien succumbed to trench fever and was shipped back to England. Only a few of his comrades-in-arms survived the carnage.

In a letter to his son, Christopher, he reminisced, “in those days chaps joined up, or were scorned publicly. It was a nasty cleft to be in for a young man with too much imagination and little physical courage.”

J.R.R. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on a waxing Pisces Crescent Moon. He began writing The Hobbit and the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings after the insanity of the first World War. The Lord of the Rings was first published in 1954, as Saturn and Uranus were separating from their square (1952/53) inciting crisis, uncertainty, civil unrest, and repressive authoritarian reprisals.

 

 

As news of an invisible air-borne virus emerged from China, our collective “Shires” clouded over. Fear drove us into shadowy places. And the Ring of Power pressed its weight into our daily lives.

The fall-out from 2020 is still in the air as swirling sea mists chaperon the changing seasons, soaking russet leaves and weighting spider webs with glimmering orbs of dew. As we learn to adapt to life in changing times, new warnings of waning immunity, emerging strains, more waves and mutations, accompany this recent crisis in our human his-story. All through 2021 Uranus and Saturn are in conflict. This waning square is in effect all year, symbolising eruptions of repressive crackdowns (Saturn) and uprisings (Uranus.)  The Great Depression  and the rise of Hitler were also in the shadow of a Saturn and Uranus  waning square (1930-32), and then, like now, a long and arduous journey lay ahead. The chaotic nature of  this Saturn/Uranus cycle presents us with polarities, extremism, instability, and new choices.

As we grieve, as we remember those who died, those whose lives were irrevocably changed, on 9/11 Aragorn reminds us, “this day does not belong to one man but to all. Let us together rebuild this world that we may share in the days of peace.” The slender Crescent Moon of September 11th, 2021, offers us the opportunity to love, to rebuild this world. To share in the days of peace.

As we honour the rings that encircle our human story, the Moon arrives, ripely round, full-bellied,  on September 21st. This is the last Full Moon before the Equinox on September 23rd.  This Full Moon falls in the final degrees of nebulous Pisces, an archetype associated mystics and dreamers, artists and blank-eyed addicts  who cannot bear the jagged edges of this world. Pisces is where we retreat from the shrillness of life, where we withdraw to weave our dreams. Pisces is where we dissolve into love and faith and Oneness with all living things.  As this Pisces Moon floats through the skies, we may be drawn to our soul place, through a dream, a feeling, the waft of a scent that transports us to a place where “oft hope is born when all is forlorn,” as Legolas reminds us.

Our human struggle between the ring-of-love and the ring-of-power is poignantly portrayed in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which took twenty years to complete. It’s a story of misuse of power and the utter destruction of the universe, yet from this catastrophe there is some hope of understanding and the possibility of redemption and a revisioning of a world where the ring-of-power is replaced by a ring-of-love. The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is a stark reminder to us all of the ring-of-power that we may consciously or unconsciously re-enact in our encounters with others.

Writes Linda Schierse Leonard in her book, On the Way to the Wedding, “only in the ring of power do we ask another to give up his or her centre or give it up ourselves, and this usually happens out of our fears and desires, our dependency, projections and power needs.”

On September 6th, Mercury entered its pre-Retrograde shadow period, in readiness for this last Retrograde cycle of 2021. Mercury will be moving Retrograde in Libra (September 27-October 17th) as we choose to wear rings-of-love or the rings-of-power in our soul encounters.

As the seasons turn, and the cycles of nature begin a-new, may we embrace life’s energy in the rapture of spring’s blossoms and in the ruby and gold ripened leaves that flutter to the ground as summer’s extravagant beauty dies.

 

 

As we honour this 20th anniversary of 9/11 and ready ourselves for the decent into the darkness of winter, may we return again in the spring, more open, more generous, more loving. May we vow to encircle our earth and all living things with a golden Ring of Love.

 May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out—Galadriel.

 

 

Love Apples—Celebrating the Sacred Feminine in Astrology and in Fairy Tale—Saturday 25th September 2021—14.30 BST.

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales againC.S. Lewis.

Fairy Tales were fireside stories told by women to women. These were stories of envy and revenge. These were stories of love and enormous courage. As we move through the painful birth pangs of this new era, fairy tales and the metaphor of astrology offer guidance and hope at a time when rewilding the psyche is so urgent.

Join me at this time of changing seasons and personal harvest. We’ll meet Snow White and learn more about the regenerative power of matriarchal goddesses, Venus and Eris in our own birth charts.

Set aside 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon for a virtual treat. Nothing to do. Just curl up on the sofa and gather together with other wise and wonderful women. We’ll begin at 14.30 BST and the date to diarise is September 25th. There will be rich and nourishing sharing and lively discussion afterwards if you wish to stay on longer.

If you aren’t able to join us on the day, I’ll send you a recording.

Cost is £40. I will send a PayPal request which converts to local currency, or banking details if you prefer. Please pop me an email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com to book your place on the day.

In Love,

Ingrid.

 

 

 

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Moon Shadow—New Moon in Cancer—July 10th.

Somethings can only be seen in the shadows—Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

As the light-infused days of July stretch languidly towards the blue dome of the horizon, edges seem sharper, shadows bleached. We’re three weeks past the Solstice. As the Sun moves through Cancer the days here in the north are already growing imperceptibly shorter. This is a turning point in the solar/lunar cycle. We’ve entered the dark.

Cancer is a receptive water sign and where Cancer is in our birth chart we seek solace from life’s hard edges, we feel in our heart and body the searing heat of the wild fire and the wild winds that buffet the islands of the Caribbean. We are aware of our tender exposed places as nature signals her distress. Solastalgia, a word coined by Glenn Albrecht, carries a plaintive sigh of melancholy as we witness habitat corruption and feel the pain of loss.

The Sun serves the Moon when it moves through Cancer, heightening our intuition as we read the energy of emotions, sense what is there, hidden in the shadows.

Author and story-teller, Andrea Hoffman writes, “on a psychological level, the annual solar-lunar cycle makes us aware of the shadow.”

In the Grimm’s Fairy Tale, Little Brother and Little Sister, the disowned “evil step-mother’s” sticky residue coats the Midsummer wedding celebration with an ominous residue:

The king lifted the beautiful girl onto his horse and took her to his castle, where their wedding was held with great splendor. She was now the queen, and they lived happily together for a long time. The deer was cared for and cherished and ran about in the castle garden.

Andrea reminds us, “the brother is still a deer. The spell has been cast and is still at work here. In fairy tales and in life, we must look for clues, read between the lines, sharpen our peripheral vision in order to sense our personal and collective shadow.”

Mercury the celestial messenger is now in plain sight. Mercury slipped from the shadows on Wednesday, July 7th, and is now moving direct (since June 22nd). Yet the day after the New Moon, Mercury sinks into the soft comfort of Cancer, aiding tender conversations, gentle dialogue with our inner evil stepmother. New Moons carry the impetus for fresh starts, and Cancer’s domain is home and family. This New Moon opposes uncompromising Pluto, which signifies a wiping of the slate clean and beginning a-new, perhaps with realism and resilience as Venus opposes Saturn this week (July 7th) and then makes an uncomfortable square to Uranus which may bring a seismic shift to a relationship impasse, or bring us to the kind of breakthrough that John Welwood describes in his book, Journey of the Heart, that will “inevitably penetrate our usual shield of defences, exposing our most tender and sensitive spots, and leaving us feeling vulnerable—literally, able to be wounded.”

Cancer embodies the primal force of the Magna Mater, the Great Mother who at a whim, turns her head and exposes her dark face and eyes of burning coals.  She is the One who gives and takes life in casual and constant cycles of destruction and rebirth. She is the wicked witch, the evil stepmother, the mother-devourer demonised by patriarchal religion, yet who initiates those who are willing to pay attention and walk carefully among the shadows.  Cancer is a Cardinal sign that requires us to act, perhaps to protect any violation of our boundaries. Yet, as author Marion Woodman says, “there is no sense in talking about ‘being true to yourself’ until you are sure what voice you are being true to. It takes hard work to differentiate the voice of the unconscious”. Cancer is a water sign; its energy is fluid and receptive. Yet we may feel petrified, immobilised by the sharp scrape of the world. Like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, we may have fallen asleep, cradled by the curse of the Dark Mother, drowsy with inertia. This is the spell of enchantment that traps us in a tangle of false beliefs. This is the long dark shadow that seeps from our unconscious and scatters clues of white breadcrumbs in our dreams as we follow the path that leads to something new. This New Moon, speak softly to the Dark Mother who feeds us poison apples. Pay attention to those judgements and beliefs that knock loudly at the door of our integrity.

All through this year, Saturn (the old order, rules and regulations) squares Uranus (idealism, freedom, revolution) and a tidal surge of a very different kind swirls across the skies as Jupiter, that planet associated with big dreams, grandiose visions and faith, encounters the ineffable Neptune in Pisces. Neptune spins backwards from June 25th-December 1st and Jupiter stalls our sense of expansion and growth from June 20th-October 18th amplifying perhaps the deep bruise of loss, a sinkhole of disappointment, or the dissolution of a high-flying dream. Both planets are moving Retrograde, drawing us into the undertow of delusion or ecstasy as we long to escape, to travel, to “get back to normal” while a virus shape-shifts and perplexed politicians throw the dice. Neptune and Jupiter will connect with other planets as they move in Retrograde through Pisces, offering us clues that emerge in plain sight now that Mercury has emerged from the shadow.

At the Sun’s zenith, may we remember that the light has already begun to wane and winter is coming. In the darkness of this New Moon, may we be prompted to look more closely, listen more carefully and trust that we can see in the dark.

For a personal astrology reading or for more information about the next webinar, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com


Love Apples—Fairy Tales and Sky Stories…
A virtual banquet.

Saturday, September 25th, 14.30 BST.

As the metamorphic colours of Autumn accompany the seasonal shift of the Equinox, we arrive at  another threshold crossing in the heroine’s journey.

Join Swiss author and storyteller, Andrea Hofman and Ingrid Hoffman, a psychology-orientated astrologer based in Cornwall, as we explore the sumptuous symbolism of the Apple through fairy tale and astrology.

The wheel of the zodiac turns to Venus-ruled Libra on September 23rd. Libra is the quintessential sign of marriage and partnership.

Join us for an afternoon of juicy love lore as we meet ailing princesses and the red-lipped Snow White. We’ll discover more about Eris and the forgotten feminine, and marvel at the real beauty of the Golden Apple as the seasons change.

Our feast begins at 14.30 BST on Saturday, September 25th and, of course, if you can’t be with us on the day, we’ll send you a 90 minute recording.  Cost is £40 via PayPal. Pop me an email to book your place on the day: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pause—Sun in Cancer—June 21st.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Moonlight Mandala—Total Lunar Eclipse—May 26th

 

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

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

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

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

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

In the affairs of nations, and in our own lives, eclipses herald times of endings; they ease our ability to release, to let go. They are harbingers of new beginnings concealed in painful endings; silver threads of thoughts and choices that we spin and weave for years to come.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Edith Eger’s inspiring book, The Choice: Embrace the Possible, describes a journey of healing, of forgiveness and of faith. A journey that began in her family home, with her parents and sister, and ended at Auschwitz. Her mother’s words as they travelled have been an integral part of her healing and her work as a psychologist: “We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but no one can take away from you what you put in your own mind.”

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

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

At the start of this eclipse season, we may feel as if we are stepping onto foreign ground. So much has changed, so much is changing. May we travel lightly on this earth. May we know who we are and why we are here as we begin our  journey.

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

 

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Soulmate—Sun in Gemini—May 21st

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Endurance—Sun in Aries—March 20th

If your nerve deny you, go above your nerve—Emily Dickinson.

The days stretch long in the north. In the south, autumn’s honeyed light spills over sun-bleached grasses. On March 20th, the Sun slips into Aries, marking the spring or autumn Equinox. The start of the astrological new year.

Aries is associated with vibrant reds; with the purifying heat of fire; with raw vitality and with that heart-stopping, breath-holding moment when we take that terrifying leap forward. When we go above our nerve.

Aries is where we encounter our own autonomy, our ability to return to life, to find ourselves anew.

It is in Aries that we must dare to find the deeper meaning of courage and endurance as we wear our bravest smile, take the hand of our loved one whose light is dimming. As our own Aries planets are forged in the heat of the Sun, we may feel hope that comes in a heated rush; a surge of ardor that emboldens us to speak out, make a move, before it’s too late. As the Sun climbs across the equator, we may feel a sense of relief and renewal as a relationship unspools, leaving us heartsore and lighter.

Aries is a Mars-ruled sign. The raw energy of Mars is ignited by a goal; something to conquer or defendthe Romans pragmatically dedicated the month of March to war-god as they set off on their campaigns, certain of fresh supplies. We may notice Mars energy all around us this month. Survival, and procreation are embodied in the natural world as the urgent thrust of spring spills over the land in a cascade of colour and the sweetest song.

As Venus (relationships, what we hold dear to our hearts) moves into Aries on March 21st and makes her annual appointment with the Sun (March 24th), the words of author Isabel Allende may resonate as we burn for something new “we don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward…” Venus and the Sun conjoin Chiron on March 2830th—an indication that for most of us, the road ahead may not be easy.

When the Sun enters Aries, a flash of 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 the distortion of the Hero/Warrior depicted in the media, enacted in our homes, behind closed doors, or in the shadowy realm of cyberspace.

Aries’s shadow is self-centred and brutal as depicted by the cruel anonymity of trolling, the persistent violence of stalking and digital voyeurism, the misogynistic harassment and assault that is endemic in our culture. This patriarchal power-over behaviour—directed at “foreigners”, blacks, gays, women, and those people who live with disabilities, has seeped through society for eons. Barely a week after International Women’s Day, the killing of Sarah Everard sent shock waves of grim recognition through everyone who has clutched a can of mace or hurried coiled, contracted, through a subway or a park. As a primal fear and rage bled across the internet, the vigil on Clapman Common was met by acts of aggression by the Metropolitan police, reminiscent of the brutality inflicted on the Suffragettes, the police killings that ignited the Black Lives Matter movement.

The dark face of the Ram is testosterone-fueled anger, self-absorption, competitiveness, single-mindedness. Our self-directed quest to “find our voice” may deafen the voices of others; our need to be “free” may mean breaking the heart of someone who loves us.

As Mars moves through Gemini (March 4th April 24th) our negative thoughts and beliefs may be obstacles to conquer. As Nasa’s Perseverance grinds and clanks across the arid surface of the red planet in search of past life, we may feel this same sense of grinding and clanking against obstacles that demand resilience and perseverance. When Mars moves through the element of air, words become blades, rhetoric morphs into bullets and the dark tide of anger rises, setting fire to old grudges and unexamined narratives.

As existential angst heightens our human response to threat and uncertainty, surveillance capitalism harvest our emotional bonds, sells our anger and our shame as “data.” “The goal now is to automate us,” writes Shoshana Zuboff, in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.

The motif of the Saturn/Uranus square—a cycle that began in 1988 with a Saturn/Uranus conjunction in Capricorn—infuses our lives with defining moments as regulations tighten, people push back. This year, three waning squares define the zeitgeist of disruption—the first was February 17th, June 14th is the second. In tandem and working in the darkness, the ominous Pluto/Eris square dredges up all that is putrid in our societies, as we wade through what Eckhardt Tolle calls “the pain body.”

The applying square of Saturn and Uranus back in 2000 brought recession after the dot-com bubble of the late 90s detonated. Alignments of staid Saturn and unpredictable Uranus mark economic collapse, civil unrest, radicalisation—the gain or loss of human rights and liberty. Martial law has been extended in Myanmar, a savage repeat of lethal confrontations between the military and the “’88 generation” of students that led the uprising in 1988.

As new lockdown measures are imposed in many countries, Mercury muscled into  Aries on April 4th. Frustration simmers. The passage of Venus (April 23rd) sensitises the destabilising Saturn/Uranus square, followed by the Sun (April 30th-May 4th) and Mars adds fuel to the flames this year and next. (July/November 2021;  March/April/July/ 2022.)

For most of us, our hero’s or heroine’s quest is not a muscular or spectacularly heroic response to the challenges of life. So often, it’s the austere grip of necessity that wrenches us out of our ordinary lives and gives us no choice but to dare greatly. Financial ruin, illness, the noxious fallout from a ruined relationship may ignite within our hearts the courage we never knew we had.

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: we so often face the same obstacles and foes along the way. 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.

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

 

 

 

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Ring the Bells—Sun in Aquarius—January 19th—February 18th

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be
—Leonard Cohen

In these fallow times, as we burrow down in the quiet containment of our ordinary lives, hesitant to trust the torrent of news that so often enters our consciousness, unbidden. Many of us are numb, suspended in the eye of the storm; held hostage by loss and grief; struggling to feel at home in a body that feels fragile and pained. Many of us are wondering what is yet to be.

Yet now is the time to start again. A slew of powerful astrological transits swirl around us. We pay our collective debt to the gods today as the Sun joins Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury in Aquarius. In the ever-changing sky, Uranus, the “awakener”, turned direct on January 14th (6° Taurus). As exhilarating as an awakening may seem, it is so often accompanied by an obliteration of life as we knew it. Saturn and Uranus will be in square three times this year. Saturn transits arrive as the henchmen of stasis that undermine our efforts to move forward. Uranus breaks us open.

Mars, the warrior god, joins forces with unpredictable Uranus (rude awakenings, shocks, and unexpected events) and although so many of us are straining for some kind of change in our lives, some hope that the pandemic will end soon, there will be more losses, more deaths, more grieving.

Creation stories always tell of darkness and chaos that come before creation. The Pluto/Saturn conjunction of January 2020 has fermented all that is rotten in our world. The dross has risen to the surface and each one of us now faces the consequences of those things we have repressed or simply ignored. In the tumultuous confusion, something greater ushers humanity towards what is yet to be.

Few of us go willingly into the kind of initiation that accompanies a Pluto transit. Pluto is still in Capricorn, square Eris and opposing the Mercury of the US birth chart. America’s Pluto Return (2017-2024) and the former President Trump’s Pluto opposition (2019-December 2021) to his heavily armoured Saturn/Venus conjunction require a head bowed humbling of will. Pluto transits never leave us intact.

The Eris square to the US Pluto will permeate American culture well into the 2040s. A Collective meeting with Fate.

The torrent of Tweets has stopped. In the silent space between chaos and something new, there is the descent into the unknown. Joe Biden has answered the call. He has worked and waited and prepared for this day’s dawning. He gazes out at a map of shifting possibilities. If he is to succeed, it will be as a Shaman, a Wounded Healer, not a problem-solving politician. January 20th is the first anniversary of the first case of Covid in America. As the death toll rises, it may soon surpass the 405,000 Americans who died in the chaos of WW II.

The Moon moves into Taurus on the day of the US Presidential Inauguration and for a brief moment, she will brush gently over Joe Biden’s pragmatic Taurus Moon, at the pinnacle of his political career. The Leo Full Moon of January 28th illuminates the Pluto/Moon square in Joe Biden’s birth chart, as he begins a process of  initiation that will test him to the limit.

Fintan O’ Toole, in a superbly written Guardian article, writes: “His skills as a fixer are finely honed – but they cannot restore a pre-Trump normality. As president, Biden’s private self, shadowed by loss, must come into its own.” Joe Biden’s private self is symbolised by four resilient planets in Scorpio which must find their way through the dark as they will be squared by Jupiter, Mercury, Saturn and Uranus in the coming months and years. Mercury turns Retrograde on January 30th (square Joe Biden’s Scorpio Sun). There is so much to be healed and repaired. The slow retrieval of what has been lost or captive will be painful. As Pluto opposes the US Mercury from 20172024 there will be walls to dismantle, bridges to build, digital communications to reform, and Silicon Valley Titans to tame.

“This will not be an American spring,” writes O’Toole, “the political Biden is not the man who can change America. It is that other, richer persona, the private self, shadowed by time and loss and a sense of tragedy, that must come into its own.”

Therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands  suggests that the healing of America will be long and slow and will take many generations. He offers: “If we are to survive as a country, it is inside our bodies where this conflict needs to be resolved… the vital force [behind] white supremacy is in our nervous systems… You start with things that are maybe uncomfortable but not hard to do, like: Put yourself in situations. If you’re a white person, go someplace where there are gonna be a lot of black bodies, and just feel what happens in your body. And go back again.”

Here in the North, golden daffodils glisten in the spring sunlight. The first blue bells brush cobalt across the woodlands. The air is scented with the promise of renewal. Today, may our salty tears bring cleansing and deep healing.

May all that is unforgiven in you be released. May your fears yield their deepest tranquilities. May all that is unlived in you blossom into a future graced with love.

—John O ’Donohue.

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For private astrology readings please email ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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The Last Stand—Pluto/Jupiter Conjunction—November 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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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