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Chiron Tag

How to be Brave—Sun in Aries—March 20th

aries 65It arrives suddenly, unannounced, concealed in a swirl of dry wind that scatters a shroud of ash over life as we knew it. It blinds us in the glare of a nuclear sky. Out of the blue, news that buckles our knees, shatters our world into shiny, sharp shards that embed themselves in our heart. At that moment, we know. Our life will never be the same again.

On Wednesday, March 20th, the Sun emerges from the deep waters of Pisces and blazes a fiery trail through the sign of Aries. A new astrological year is born.  In the North, the Vernal Equinox marks the beginning of spring. The symbolism of spring and the urgent thrust of new life is still relevant in the southern hemisphere, as the swallows return north and the sun-bleached vegetation contracts against the coming cold.

Aries marks a point of Beginning, which may be a lonely journey into the unknown. In Aries we encounter the mythic motif of conquest, which always implies an act of bravery and daring. Here we meet the mythic “Warrior” who sets off on a quest, the “Hero” who personifies courage and assertiveness. The leader who makes tough choices.  Aries is where we encounter our own autonomy, our ability to to return to life, to find ourselves anew.

There are many ways to be brave in this world. We may discover that courage is concealed in the small choices we make each new day. That act of will that gets us out of bed, the strength to put the kettle on, when all the colour has faded out of the world we once knew.

For most of us, bravery, raw courage, comes when death ambushes those we love, when our income withers, when we must muster up the courage to love again. Others risk their own lives in heroic acts of true grit.  On Friday, March 15th, Abdul Aziz’s courage during the second attack on the Linwood mosque is Aries-energy in terrifying circumstances. Journalists Praveen Menon and Tom Lasseter report “When he realised the mosque was being attacked, he ran towards the gunman… He then picked up a gun dropped by the shooter and pulled the trigger, but it was empty: ‘I was screaming at the guy, come over here, come over here – I just wanted to put his focus on me.”

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Aries is a Mars-ruled sign, and its associations with valour, with survival, with the adrenal rush of flight, fight or fold, with the existential right to exist are mirrored in the urgent thrust of nature this month. The dark face of the Ram is testosterone-fuelled anger, self-absorption and competitiveness, single-mindedness. As we set off on our Eat, Pray, Love, journey to “find ourselves” we may leave a trail of destruction as sharp and black as obsidian.  The heat of fire may singe more sensitive hearts, the single-pointed passion may suck others into its wake. Aries may have the vision, the impossible dream, but it is so often others who attend to the meticulous details.
This is a time of brave new beginnings, Big Bang commitments that infuse us with life-affirming energy, that awaken our appetite, that rouse our passion, and as Goethe once said, once the commitment is made, Destiny conspires with us to support and realise our call to adventure. As we enter Aries territory this month, we will have to take a stand, fight for our rights, acknowledge that there are no “quick fixes”, no easy exits. The iconic John Wayne gives voice to the Aries archetype, “courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.

Chiron is in Aries (February 18th, 2019, until April 14th, 2027.) Those of us who have planets or angles in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn, will encounter the fire that sears our lives, purifies our pride with fierce grace. We may be inspired to take selfless action, to be spontaneous, to rise up strong, resilient, grateful to be alive. We may learn, in the words of Ram Dass, that “Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise.”

311532b432b03e808a3565f6bd643d79The Sun conjoins Chiron on Wednesday, a suggestion that the road ahead may not be easy. That stiff upper lips and stoicism was not what M Scott Peck had in mind when he said, “Life is difficult.” We may feel flawed; our flame of creativity and passion may be extinguished by worry or sorrow. We may not feel like Xena the Warrior. Chiron pierces through our illusions, our judgements, and in our pain, we may be emboldened by our courage, our inexhaustible vitality.

The Equinox is illuminated by an expansive Full Libra Moon at the potent zero degree on March 21st. A beautiful reminder of the polarity between our own personal desires, and the need to compromise, to be fair as we relate to others in an increasingly complex world.

On Sunday, March 24th, Mercury Retrograde conjoins Neptune on the same degree as the New Moon on March 6th (16° Pisces) This is the middle of three conjunctions. The first, February 19th, and the last on April 2nd, as Mercury begins to gather speed and move forwards once more after turning direct at 16° Pisces on March 28th. The uncertainty, confusion, unspeakable sorrow may still linger. Venus joins Mercury in Pisces on March 26th, and on Sunday, March 30th, Mars, warrior and defender, moves from Taurus into versatile Gemini, heralding new perceptions, emphasising the theme of duality, and perhaps the ability to see both sides of the story.

Mars rules the Aries Sun, and Mars without a mission will haggle and complain and try to outmaneuver, so watch as the political dramas unfold. 

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage,” wrote Anais Nin. We may encounter many opportunities to be courageous this new astrological month. Petty tyrants may mirror our own discomfort about taking a stand while dangerous rhetoric morphs into bullets and the dark tide of anger rises, setting fire to old grudges and unexamined narratives.

The archetype of Aries is a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit, an affirmation of our ability to muster the courage to do what is morally right, to find the humour in teetering at the cliff edge, to see Grace in defeat.

54d1c631a69b4ecab094603d9ae7bc4dIt takes great courage to submit to the call to visit those secret vulnerable places in our heart, to weep away the pretenses, to risk tenderness.

As we dare to shrug off the labels,  cease the relentless need to  “work on ourselves”, may we have the courage to trust the warmth of our inner guidance, and walk bravely towards a new dawn.

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Swim inward, Swim outward—Sun in Pisces—February 18th

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

Pisces new moon 23For those of us who like our lives anchored by certainty, the world may seem a precarious place right now. As our plans are sucked into the undertow, we may be cast adrift from the raft of our faith.

The Sun enters Pisces on February 18th. In the archetypal journey around the zodiac, we’re invited to wear our mermaid tails and adorn our hair with sea shells. In Pisces, we dive deep into opaque waters where music and poetry melt walls that divide. We may experience, in the words of Eckhardt Tolle, “all things that truly matterbeauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peacearise from beyond the mind.”

Pisces is not an easy constellation to see with the naked eye. And in our birth chart, Pisces planets or the house with Pisces on the cusp, may be concealed by louder or more overtly visible planetary archetypes. A rumbustious Aries Sun or dutiful Capricorn Moon may be more comfortable in a world where we compare, compete, and have a “nice day”. Julia Cameron, writes, “The voice of our original self is often muffled, overwhelmed, even strangled, by the voices of other people’s expectations.”  We may hesitate at the water’s edge, admiring other people’s creativity, their altruism, their faith. We may disown our Pisces planets as the outer world presses it’s concerns into the sanctum of our intuition. We may not notice the signs and the symbols and pack away our childish magical thinking and innocent imaginings.

Pisces 8

Perceptions may shift, new insights may wash to the shore of our consciousness, or ambiguity, uncertainty and confusion may swirl around us as we swim in uncharted waters.  A faerie-circle of golden spring crocuses waiting expectantly for the bees may remind us that everything is interconnected.  A homeless woman, hollow-eyed, thinner than her beloved dog, may stir our compassion. The mute suffering of factory-farmed animals may compel us to be more discerning about the food we choose to buy. Searing temperatures, drought and fire, may prompt community spirit.

Pisces is where we journey to those soulful regions of our psyche, those places where we encounter mysterious daimons, and where powerful currents of emotion  surge like a rip-tide, shattering our peace, bringing us to our knees. In this underwater realm, we hear the songs of the whales, the whisper of the sea grasses, the prayers of our ancestors who lie full fathom five.

As we immerse ourselves into this sphere of water this month, there are sea changes that reflect the swelling tide of worldly events.

Chiron changes sign, moving from Pisces into Aries on February 18th. Chiron’s story is a tragedy. In-spite of his goodness, his wisdom, his generosity, he is accidentally wounded.

7971a7cf8f077f43e056807a18226f23Chiron, in our birth chart,  represents that place where we are maimed, irrevocably scarred, by the unfairness of life, where we discover that bad things do happen to extremely good people and that what goes around doesn’t always come around in any satisfactory or just kind of way.

Chiron will remain in Aries until 2027, having emerged from Pisces and bringing out from the murky waters an existential pain, a reminder of our human flaw, perhaps the guilt or sense of unworthiness we thought we had dealt with in therapy years ago. Collectively, Chiron in Aries necessitates a brave and radical approach and understanding to the problems that plague us personally and globally. Chiron was in Aries during theRoaring Twentieswhich brought prohibition, Jazz and the Charleston. The babies born to sexually free, bobbed haired mothers, were raised in the hard knock time of the euphemistically named, “Great Depression”.

Chiron was in Aries from the late sixties to 1977—as students protested and napalm in Vietnam scorched the earth. This was the turbulent time of the counter culture movement and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. As Black Consciousness stirred in South Africa, a tide of frustration broke through the cement walls of apartheid, and the Soweto student uprising on June 16th 1976 marked the beginning of the end of a system that has left a ridge of scar tissue on the psyche of a nation.

On February 19th the Full Virgo Moon (0° Virgo) casts her discerning light over our human foibles, pares down our wishful thinking with her keen intelligence and attention to detail. The zero degree of this lunation is significant. It marks the culmination of a cycle and the beginning of a new one as the Moon trines Uranus at 29 degrees Aries and forms a quincunx with Chiron. Our healing journey has only just begun. Virgo represents the self-possessed Feminine aspect of ourselves. Virgo is associated with the earth, with our care for all living things. Without any fanfare, she gets to work, cleans up the mess, weeds the garden. Then plants one precious seed at a time. This Full Moon illuminates the polarity between Pisces and Virgo. It is also a reminder of the precision, the  perfect timing of nature, as we marvel at a convent of wimpled snowdrops, or a robin’s egg nestled in the mossy curve of a branch.

On Sunday, February 10th, Mercury dipped into the deep waters of Pisces (11°) and will join Neptune in a phosphorescent conjunction at 15° Pisces on February 19th.

Pisces 124In Pisces, Mercury drapes our dreams in silken images that sparkle and inspire. He withdraws from worldly concerns, submerged in fantasy, delighting in music, art or poetry. He aids emotive expression of our thoughts, our feelings, our heartfelt concerns. Yet, we can also be prey to delusion, confusion and misunderstandings in those deep and often murky waters where the two fish swim.

By March 5th, Mercury is moving slowly. He stations, and goes Retrograde, moving right back to that conjunction with Neptune from March 24th to April 2nd. He remains in Retrograde until March 30th and will enter the fire of Aries on April 17th, an opportunity to suspend our skepticism, to re-write the narrative of our lives and move toward “what if” … “what could be” …

There’s a much-quoted passage in Alice Through the Looking Glass, where Alice says to the White Queen, “There’s no use trying…one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

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As Jupiter blazes confidently through Sagittarius this year, we may have ample opportunity to dream our wildest dream, to practice believing six impossible things before breakfast. To test the validity of our optimism for the third and final time in September 2019 when Jupiter and Neptune make their final square.

Our challenge will to remain alert to the moray eels, the sharp shards of shell concealed beneath the opaque waters of Pisces.

As the tethered fish of Pisces draw us deeper, may they guide our prayers and direct our faith, so that we can hold on tight to our dreams.

 

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New Morning—Capricorn Solstice

Solstice 765 2018As the sun bleaches the blue from southern skies and a chorus of cicadas celebrate midsummer, the old Sun sinks wearily onto the cold belly of the earth at the midwinter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. We’ve reached the still point of the year.

Nature contracts, exposing an uncompromising knot-work of bare branches and stubble fields, and as the primordial pulse of the year stirs deep in our blood and bones, we might sense a slow, steady certainty moving through our body. The Solstice is the promise of life-giving light and rebirth. On Friday, December 21st at 22:22 GMT, we have the opportunity to pause, to realign, to plant new intentions that will ripen at the next Solstice on June 21st, 2019.

As the old year dies and the light of the sun rises again at dawn, if we look to the East, we may see Jupiter in Sagittarius, in conjunction with Mercury. Venus in Scorpio shimmers in a sweep of tangerine early morning sky as she makes a graceful trine to Neptune. Together these celestial messengers bring gifts of a new perspective, empathic and compassionate relating, and an appreciation for beauty, if we look beneath the ordinary, search for a chink of light.

TSolstice 81 2018he Sun’s last three aspects before it changes sign at 22:22 GMT on Friday, December 21st, are a square to Chiron (28º Pisces) on December 19th and the seamless embrace of a trine to Uranus (29º Aries). A tense quincunx to the Nodes in the cardinal Cancer/Capricorn polarity offers the opportunity to initiate change, to make adjustments in those areas of our lives connected to our home, our sense of security, our belonging. Now we can release limiting beliefs and futile striving, to embrace those things that nourish and sustain. Chiron represents a sacred wound, a painful prompting that leads us to us to a place where we would rather not go. An emotional or physical wound that will never heal, but that we can only bear with compassion and with understanding. Be tender and kind as a sudden remembrance leans against the bruise in our heart, or that familiar ache draws us back into our body. Amidst the tinnitus of the festive season, we may recognise and embrace a wounding that has been festering for years. In the days before the Solstice, there’s an opportunity for repair, for reconciliation, for release and liberation, if we trust the instruction of our heart.  John O’ Donohue writes, “this is the time to be slow, lie low to the wall until the bitter weather passes…”

Solstice 12 2018The belly of the Moon swells this week.

On Saturday the Moon (1º Cancer) opposes the Sun and sextiles Uranus. The Moon is in her own sign. With Cancer associated with the element of water, this lunation may heighten our instinctual response, amplify our emotion, sensitise our attunement to the unseen realms. Cancer is the Magna Mater, the Great Mother. The symbolism embraces all that brings us nourishment, comfort and safety. There’s a sepia-coloured nostalgia that infuses this lunation.  A longing for a childhood that perhaps never existed. For delicious home cooked food and indolent afternoons stretched out on the sofa in front of the fire. For families gathered around a festive table. It’s a longing exploited by advertisers, and that compels us to buy those things that we want but don’t need. This lunation is a precursor of the eclipse season which begins on January 6th with a solar eclipse at 15º Capricorn. Full Moons bring culmination. They illuminate aspects of our lives and depending on where this Full Moon falls in your own birth chart, you may be instinctively led to those things that bring comfort and joy, nurture and safety.

Solstice 3 2018Yet, 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.

Capricorn is associated with the Father Archetype, with patriarchy and with the hard work of getting down to business. As Britain struggles to Keep Calm and Carry On in the face of an existential crisis, as walls rise around nations, and divisive thinking segregates, this lunation is a reminder of Cancer’s affinity with nurture and tenderness.  This is an energising marriage that could be a cameo of things yet to come, as the heavenly bride and groom cross the threshold into the new year. Cancer is all heart and with the Moon at home, there’s a need to shut out the world, cocoon in soulful, familiar surroundings. Cancer is about family, simple pleasures. The focus is Home and Family, and the mood is tender and vulnerable. Capricorn brings a moral awakening toughened with pragmatism. An injunction that that every thought, every action, has consequences. A reminder that even in our light-filled lives, there is an inevitability some call Fate, others call death.
As ageing populations face the inevitability of death, the conundrum of euthanasia and the human right to die with dignity must be addressed.  As the ghost of Jacob Marley brings us glimpses of Christmases past and present, and still yet to come, we may awaken this Solstice with more awareness and  more integrity, sobered by the spectre of climate change, animal abuse, unemployment and homelessness.

May we cross the threshold into this new year with light footprints and generous loving hearts. Blessings and Love this Solstice!

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Hard Time

0311-scottish-highlands-snowstorm-714We’re at the threshold of a new month which contains the seed of new possibility. The month of March is named after Mars, the god of war. And this month, conflict and strife continue to rasp and rattle across the globe.

Frustration festers beneath the scab of these acts of violence. Territory and  wealth are clasped in the hands of only a very few on this planet.

 

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Hoary old bastions of power and authority are in a process of  rupture as they no longer serve our collective evolution. This has been mirrored by the Pluto-Uranus square which has been in orb since 2008 and is now separating. So much in our modern world has changed and yet so much remains just the same: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Despite the financial crash and property bubble burst, despite the bombs that are taped to the bodies of young men and women, there are still no new financial, political or social systems to replace those that have out served their evolutionary purpose. Ideology has become a smokescreen for a castrated Mars energy that seeks scapegoats – white, black, Christian or Moslem in simplistic, formulaic rhetoric – them and us. The much reviled Donald Trump serves as a mouth piece for the great sludge of humanity and dares to give voice to what so many only think about: our prejudices our greed. He speaks through the polarized prism. Them and us. In his crassness lies something that resonates with those who live their lives like worker bees, so lightly dispensed with when profits are down. Perhaps it will take a global catastrophe to irrevocably destroy old systems and structures. It will necessitate brave new choices to build a-new with original materials.

March has been a special month astrologically.  Every six months we have a pair of special lunations that we call eclipses. Eclipses enclose certain themes at certain times. Some astrologers call eclipses ‘wild cards’. They tend to present quite uncompromisingly, situations that may present to us those yes or no kind of choices that challenge our glib promises, that compel us, like territorial animals, to move away from the familiar safety of basic ground.

 

hard time 3There have been two eclipses this March. A  new moon solar eclipse in Pisces and  a full moon partial lunar eclipse in Libra. If any of these eclipses spotlighted the personal planets in your own birth chart (they would be at 18 degrees Pisces or 3 degrees Libra) you may have had to make some kind of choice to make some lasting changes in the way you  perceive the world around you or examine how authentically you relate to those around you.  The effect of the solar eclipse will last for six months, so  as March folds into the arms of April give yourself permission to pause in the frenetic  over-scheduled busyness of your life and gently observe your inner landscape and what you truly value so that you may be Graced with a new realisation.

birds flying

Eclipses fly in pairs. The ones in March  re-activated another pair of eclipses that occurred last September – a  new Moon eclipse at 20 degrees Virgo and one at 4 degrees Aries ( the polarity to Libra ) So the planets that rule the signs of Virgo and Aries, Mercury and Mars symbolize our restless attention deficit minds and our primal urges. As we review the month of March, gently consider how did we evangelize, idolize or hold too tightly onto those convictions and thought loops that imprison us like convicts behind the bars of un-examined thinking or explosive impulse?   Hard time 2

Hard times are a choice even if the only choice we have is a change in our perception of our circumstances or how we see what is unfolding globally. We can choose to attribute good or bad to every thought, every behaviour that pricks our skin or pierces our hearts. Everything is interconnected. “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe,” wrote environmental philosopher John Muir.

Spiritual teacher Neale Donald Walshe writes, “no one does anything they do not want to do,”  says  “You always have a reason, usually, a pretty good one, for doing what you are doing and choosing what you are choosing. Be careful not to convince yourself that you are doing something against your will…be honest with yourself as to why you are choosing to do a particular thing. Then, do it gladly, knowing that you are always getting to do what you want.

The statement “I have no choice” is a lie. You can choose.

So select the outcome that you most prefer.  Isn’t that power?”older couple kissing

Seinabo SeyHard Time

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Both Sides Now

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

Novelist Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, during a time of huge social and political upheaval, violent revolution. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and in 1846, it was the best and worst of time for Neptune to be “discovered” simply because we were ready, collectively, to embrace the archetype, to make another evolutionary shift. It was a time for the Virgin Mary to make an appearance to two wide-eyed children in La Salette, France. It was a time of cholera in England, death by starvation in Ireland. It was time for the spiritualism movement to gain nebulous momentum. It was time for exploring the occult and psychic phenomena. It was time to use cocaine as a local anaesthetic, transporting patients into the sensation-less realm of Neptune.

Neptune is associated with sacrifice, victim consciousness, addiction, pain, renunciation, mass delusion, ambiguity, romance, spirituality, dreams … an ethereal longing to transcend this earthly realm. In Neptune’s sapphire waters, we swim towards “enlightenment” or wash up on the shore of our addictions. We embody our hopes and dreams or passively watch the desiccated flotsam and jetsam of beached yearnings bleach like brittle bones, unable to support the full-formed body of our creativity.

Celestial heralds of the best and worst of times, Neptune and Chiron, dipped into the mystical ouroboric waters of Pisces, in April 2011. Chiron was “discovered” only in 1977, although like Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, it had been silently, invisibly there all the time. Chiron embraces the archetype of the “wounded healer” or Shaman, and with the advent of the New Age Movement, we were ready. Chiron compels each one of us to imbibe the sacred medicine of suffering as an initiation into our wisdom and conscious understanding, so that we can enter a new stage of our spiritual journey. This is what the Neptune/Chiron energy has brought to consciousness, making us aware that we are all in the same evolutionary spirit boat. As we individually breathe in the star dust that envelops us in a cloak of collective consciousness, perhaps it is not enough to be a mere custodian of spiritual books or to adopt the cosmology of the Native Americans, the Tibetans, or the Hindus. The flaccid underbelly of the “New Age” subculture will need vigorous toning for the Maharishi Effect to expand into a coherent template of love and unity in collective consciousness.

In our own lives, we now have the opportunity to embrace compassion and spiritual maturity in an intensely personal way. This may mean being more responsible and ethically conscious of the foods we buy, the clothes we wear, the choices we make when we opt to buy or not to buy bright shiny disposable technology (are you aware that that sexy little screen on your mobile phone requires a non-renewable rare earth metal, called indium, that may run out in the next ten years?)  Is “virtual reality” perhaps a sham to escape the appalling loneliness of our disconnected lives? So many of us in the west live in the ivory towers of the intellect. A place where the ultimate goal is unattainable perfection through sheer will – of our bodies, our minds, our bank accounts, our relationships. We self-help, self-improve. Our realm is a place of great straining and striving to accomplish some goal in the future, all the while wearing insulated space suits that keep us separate, safe and small.

“I am a Rock,” sang Simon and Garfunkel… “I am shielded in my armour, Hiding in my room, safe within my womb. I touch no one and no one touches me. I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain; And an island never cries.”

Neptune and Chiron will  gradually dissolve all that we thought was of substance in our lives through the long Pisces transit (2018 for Chiron and 2026 for Neptune). Over these next decades, we may be required to examine the porous membrane of social networking sites. To be more discerning and honest about how we Eat, Pray and Love. To ponder why it is that we feel the need for the puritanical cleansing of our souls to make us “better” than we are right now. To question, with intelligence and humility, the illusion of what we “know” as “truth” about the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, our lovers, our friendships, our god, our footprint on this earth, be it “sustainable” or stiletto-heeled living. To examine our societal and cultural beliefs. To question our desire to belong to the tribes we form at the office, the gym, and our places of worship. To look, from both sides now, at our own narratives, the “rights” and the “wrongs” about this world we live in. To acknowledge that just because it “happens” it may not mean it is honourable, just or right.

Joni Mitchell  knows the bows and flows so well:

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now,

From win and lose, and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall.

I really don’t know life at all.”

 

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All Along the Watchtower

 

Ten years ago, I made a conscious decision to step aside from the torrent of fear that gushes from the media.  I have not watched TV news, read a newspaper. I’ve shunned magazines, except a desultory glance at those stacked along the shelf at the hair dresser.

I’ve allowed those friends who choose to live in a miasma fear to slip out of my life. I’ve smiled as people have called me an ostrich, unpatriotic, because I do not watch Carte Blanche, or gorge on the maggot-ridden garbage tossed out by crooked politicians. I question conspiracy theories. I choose to eschew urban myths. I am aware that there is a very noxious, very dark Shadow on this earth. I am aware of gluttonous greed, a surfeit of suffering. I choose the messages I feed my mind, because I like my serotonin high. I know what the stress chemical, cortisol does to my body.

Today, I came across an eloquently written blog which made me feel like the ugly duckling who finds her swans. It is worth a read.

We are living in challenging times. Novelist Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, during a time of huge social and political upheaval and violent revolution.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, and in 1846, it was time for the planet Neptune to be “discovered”. Now as then: “It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

 The celestial markers of our human journey, Neptune and Chiron have been in tight conjunction in the sign of Aquarius all through 2009. Together, they dipped briefly into the compassionate, ouroboric waters of Pisces for the first time, in April 2011. Neptune fully enters Pisces in February 2012  and remains there until 2025. Neptune is about sacrifice, victim consciousness, addiction, pain, renunciation, delusion, romance, spirituality, a longing to transcend this earthly realm. Neptune can embalm us in a glutinous cocoon of immobility. Or lift us up spiritually and creatively. Neptune also symbolises the energy of Christ Consciousness and compassion.  Chiron was “discovered” in 1977. Like Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, it was silently, invisibly there all the time. Chiron embraces the archetype of the “wounded healer” or Shaman, and compels each one of us to imbibe the sacred medicine of suffering as an initiation into our wisdom and conscious understanding on  our spiritual journey.

Times are tough on so many levels for so many. As above so below, the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm of our lives when we open the Pandora’s Box of relationships and intimacy. We fear we are not loveable enough, not good enough, beautiful enough, young enough … the shoulds, musts, and the buts, which entomb us in a mausoleum of self-imposed limitations fly out, shrieking. We keep ourselves small, in the darkness.  Though inner saboteur and the inner critic have their place in our psyche, their voices need now to be silenced as we follow our hearts, trust our intuition and cast off the self-imposed shackles that bind. Fear hides behind perfectionism. Fear lurks behind cruelty.  We fear death, change, poverty, love and loss. We fear happiness. We fear the pleasure of sensuality and the soul connection of sex. We fear telling the truth, or making those smallest behaviour changes that will save our relationships from tumbling over the dark abyss. We fear reaching across the expanse of the bed in the dark of the night to hold our lover’s hand after a fierce argument. We fear saying, “I’m  sorry” or “I forgive you.”

So we continue to continue… leaking leak vital energy; remaining trapped in what Eckhart Tolle calls the “pain body”. We use the instrument of our minds to scare ourselves with repetitive and useless terrors that corrode our joy and leach our life force. Says Marianne Williamson, in A Return to Love, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

I’m going on a fear fast while Mercury is in retrograde until December 14th. Would you be willing to join me? To commit to being aware when you shame or criticise yourself. To watch for the “Victim/Persecutor” dance in your relationships.  To avoid watching or reading “the news”. To lovingly examine the hidden agendas in the melodramas in your own life and in the lives of those around you. To choose to set aside time each day to focus on those things that nourish your spirit.  To stop scaring yourself. 

Open your heart; embrace the changes and challenges in your life with a sense of curiosity and wonder. Know that you are held and supported at all times on this rollercoaster of life. Remember, that after all the evils of the world had flown out of Pandora’s Box, it was Hope that remained.

Hope and All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” St. Teresa of Avila.

All Along the Watchtower, written by Bob Dylan: YouTube

“There must be some kind of way out of here,
Said the joker to the thief,
There’s too much confusion,
I can’t get no relief.”

 

 

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Hey Hey My My – A girl called Amy

As I walked out into the new day, a double rainbow arched luminously over the soft curve of the waves in the sparkling bay below our home. And as I walked, I thought about Amy Winehouse.  A young woman I never even knew, and yet in her few years of fame and notoriety, she touched my life in some inexplicable way through the power of her intense, soulful voice.

Who was this person whose bright trajectory of fame and scandal imploded so publically? Who was Amy Jade Winehouse, behind the beehive hair, the tangle of  tattoos,  the artificial breasts, the outrageous  young diva, hurriedly hurling through her one wild  life, crying fuck-you all ? A plethora of musings and assumptions, judgements and accolades reverberate in the after-shock of her death.  It’s better to burn out, than to fade away...Like the mythic gods and goddess of ancient lore, she now takes her place in the firmament.  Out of the Blue and into the Black.  

The press have dubbed this constellation of shining bright stars the Tragic 27 Club. Requirement for membership:  Youth. Reactionary behaviour. Exceptional  talent. Extraordinary beauty. Brilliance. Bravado. Hubris and naivety fuelled by an  insatiable thirst for opiates and intoxicants… so that they all tripped the light fandango by the age of 27. Astrologically, this is when the secondary progressed moon makes one full cycle in the birth chart, shortly followed by the Lord of Time, stern Saturn.  This is a new cycle of growth and maturity. We  assimilate the lessons of childhood,  integrate the experiences of the first 27 years of our life time.

These glittering rock star gods and goddess are significant astrologically, and collectively. For one brief, tremulous moment, they capture the zeitgeist. They carry something wild and primal in the Collective that perhaps is too large and too potent to be embodied by one mortal. Their time on this earth is  a brief budding before they ignite and are immortalised, forever young.

Popular “sun sign” astrology, which has very little validity, in my opinion, would describe Amy’s Virgo Sun sign as presenting her with the  attributes of a sensitive, practical, grounded young woman, perhaps someone rather demure, who would prefer to work efficiently behind the scenes and be of service in some way. Amy was and would have been a hard worker, very driven and highly successful, had she grown into her full wisdom and maturity.

I have not been able to verify an exact time for Amy’s birth, but she was born  with a Virgo Sun and a Moon either in late degree Sagittarius or early Capricorn, suggesting that these last four or five years would have been especially intense and often traumatic for a sensitive person like Amy. Her birth chart holds the seed of her creative genius, as well as the numbing shadow of her eventual self-destruction. The siren’s call of alcohol and narcotics grew louder and louder, I imagine, especially from 2007.  My interpretation of her birth chart suggests that the real Amy behind the petulant Diva Mask she wore was soulful, highly intelligent, highly keyed and very fragile. It was perhaps  the self-punishing self talk around being good enough, and her intense sensitivity and nervous energy, that only the numbing oblivion of booze or opiates could quell.  Her Virgo Sun is squared by Neptune, a planet that dissolves boundaries of mundane reality, and also gifts us with enormous creative impetus. There can be great difficulty in creating healthy boundaries and also confusion about a sense of identity along with a yearning to transcend this earthly coil, to seek escape into oblivion. Neptune conjoins her Moon, enveloping her emotional and psychic sensibilities with extraordinary creative talent, yet also a great difficulty in staying grounded and focused. Amy’s Venus and Mars are conjunct, in passionate Leo, amplifying an enormous need to be seen, adored, admired as The Diva. Her fiery energy and  flair for the grand gesture  is counterpoint to the Virgo’s humility and  drive for self expression through work and service. To me, it is her Chiron in Gemini, that really  taps into the pain and wounding of the Collective. It sounds through the  often dark lyrics of her songs, and the heart-rending rise and fall of her beautiful voice. Jupiter and Uranus oppose Chiron, this small planet, a refugee from the Kuyper belt, that symbolises the Wounded Healer Archetype which came into Collective consciousness only in the 70’s.
With this challenging aspect to Jupiter and Uranus,  Chiron symbolises  a deep psycho-emotional wound that doesn’t heal, but which will, in time with conscious awareness, guide us to heal ourselves. Amy’s Chiron wound is around her ability to express herself to others.  Chiron and Mercury in Retrograde in her birth chart suggest that her wound runs painfully deep. The opposition of Chiron to Uranus,  not uncommon in those of us born between 1955 and 1985, has a well-documented tendency to evoke addictive behaviour because of its intense effect on the nervous system. The term, Indigo Child might best describe this wild child, who was too sensitive to survive the rigours of life here on earth. Exploding across the skies like Icarus,  she rests now with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, and Kurt Cobain, who never lived long enough to experience the first return of Saturn. “My greatest fear is probably dying with no one knowing of any contribution I’d ever made to creative music”  Amy Winehouse is reported saying  seven years ago. Her Spirit lives on, gone but not forgotten.

With thanks to Neil Young:

My my, hey hey

Rock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey.

Out of the blue and into the black
They give you this, but you pay for that
And once you’re gone, you can never come back
When you’re out of the blue and into the black.

Neil Young

 

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