Title Image

Covid-19 Tag

New World in the Morning—Sun in Gemini May 20th—June 21st

An agitation of conflicting communication about COVID-19 eddies and twirls across our screens. “There shall in that time be rumours of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are,” says the Boring Prophet in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

We become deafened to our own thoughts amidst the torrent of talk. Vacillating opinions deplete our analytic stamina.

The Sun moves into Gemini this week. The Gemini archetype lives within us all in our restless minds. Venus is Retrograde and conjoins the Gemini Sun (opposing Sagittarius Moon and South Node) of America’s maverick President. Venus will conjoin Boris Johnson’s Gemini Sun/Venus on August 5th.   As governments and epidemiologists grapple with too many variables, the immune response to COVID-19 is still not fully understood, and there is still no definitive data on post-infection immunity. Gemini rules the nervous system and the lungs.

Robert Skidelsky, in an article entitled the Unspoken Reason for Lockdowns writes, “What “flattening the curve” really means is spacing out the number of expected deaths over a period long enough for medical facilities to cope and a vaccine to kick in.”

As we venture into this liminal space, the road maps offered by our leaders are ambiguous. The familiar landmarks have gone. We’re speculating about fragmenting globalisation. Supply chains are sagging. Prices are higher. Cities are empty. Our ancient human instinct to gather, to touch, to hold and to kiss has lost its innocence. We’re hunkering down. We’re distancing. We’re separating.

The story of Gemini’s mythic twins is a story of loss and longing. Of trickery and lies. This is a story of two handsome twin brothers separated by death.

In alchemy, the process of separation isolates and defines. As we try to separate apparent truth from fiction, as we try to define our post-COVID-19 roles as colleagues, parents and partners, we may look back at what has grown from these slow days of waiting. As we knitted and baked, as we cleaned, and home-schooled our children, as we spent hours connecting on social media, as we danced around the sofa, as we anxiously watched our income dwindle, as we strained to support those we love from a distance, some of us flourished as we strengthened our bonds with those people who matter in our lives, contained in a circle of belonging. Yet for many, this has been a time to rely on the kindness of those strangers who brought food and essentials, who offered the comfort of connection during the long lonely days.

COVID-19 has brought seismic change and lingering disruption and uncertainty to our lives. For  those who have not sheltered in the safety of secure and loving relationships, those who have endured the trauma of watching a loved one die, those who will not be able to pay their mortgage, or endured domestic violence, the three Ds—Divorce, Death and Destitution—are the only certainties.

Under a cloud of obfuscation, a sequence of planets—Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn—move Retrograde, reflective perhaps of a shift in our collective perspective. The planets mirror the grim modus operandi of change and shrinking economies as they regress through the heavens.

Venus (those things and people we cherish and value) is the puella in Gemini. She has vanished from the sky, her carefree spirit subdued as she moves through the dark, in Retrograde from May 13th to June 25th (Retrograde at 22° Gemini and direct at 5° degrees of Gemini.) During a Venus Retrograde cycle we may revisit those things we valued and lost, seek out second chances, repair and heal those relationships that have become entangled in assumptions or frozen silences. Venus Retrograde periods are cosmic magnifying glasses, amplifying our inherent values and intimate desires.

Venus squares dreamy Neptune, raising our hopes high in love but also in escapism, delusion, illusion, and fantasy. She may be the victim, the rescuer. The glimmering Venus/Neptune square (May 3rd, May 20th, July 27th, and December 30th) adds a tincture of loss and longing, a heady cocktail of truth and lies, or a restless yearning for something or someone who is unattainable.

Intoxicating Neptune is notorious for delusion and disappointment. As the music dies and the fairy dust dissolves, we fall out of love with our soul mate, or realise that our dreams have been blown off course. This will be the initiation of devastating disappointment, the searing pain of grief and unspeakable loss, or the peak experience of shedding our illusion, adjusting our vision, seeing through the mirage.

Venus Retrograde may amplify the sense of awakening from our cruise on autopilot, as we exhume our buried desires and atrophied longings and embrace each moment with renewed intensity. As we prepare to emerge into this new world, there’s no going back. The way is forward. Something greater than us is governing our lives and we must walk in this direction.

Chogyam Trungpa taught the practice of the awakened heart—“the genuine heart of sadness”, which he said was natural to us all when we allow ourselves to receive the full experience of life with open hearts. It is in this “genuine heart of sadness” that we discover our repressed grief, our forgotten anger, our thin shard of shame, our intoxicating joy and our boundless capacity to Love.

On June 3rd, Venus aligns with the Sun, a mythic mating, a Venus “new moon”, a union that is an alembic for our inner values. This Venus Retrograde transit may expose our deeply buried desires, our failure to ask for what we need. Venus Retrograde may dredge up discord that signals just how far we have drifted off course from what we value. Upheavals in our relationships may intensify as lock-down thaws. Mars moved into Pisces (May 13th) as Venus changed direction. Mars will conjoin with Neptune on June 12th adding to our discontent, or augmenting our compassion and ability to forgive.

Mercury is moving through Gemini, and will unite with Venus on Friday, May 22nd (square Neptune), an invitation to be discerning about the information we ingest or pass along with an unthinking swipe. This is a time of flux, an invitation to grieve what is lost, to bring Neptunian qualities of compassion, communion, and imagination into the world we are returning to.  Systemic family therapist Richard Schwartz  writes, “it’s possible that this massive shock to our planetary and national systems will wake up enough leaders that we can get off the suicide train we’ve been on and create a slower, fairer, greener one for ourselves. I believe a lot of that depends on how each of us responds to this crisis.”

The New Gemini Moon on May 23rd may draw us back to our natural rhythm. To the moment of now. Jeff Foster, author of Falling in Love with Where you Are distils the essence of this month’s lunation: “This moment is not life waiting to happen, goals waiting to be achieved, words waiting to be spoken, connections waiting to be made, regrets waiting to evaporate, aliveness waiting to be felt, enlightenment waiting to be gained. No. Nothing is waiting. This is it. This moment is life.”

As we reflect on the sacrifices we have made and the enormous challenges we now face, poet Rainer Maria Rilke reminds us, “let me not squander the hour of my pain.”

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

 

New World in the Morning. Songwriter: Roger Whittaker.

 

 

0

Shadowlands—Pluto Retrograde—April 25th—October 4th

For those who are just beginning to emerge from a surreal dreamscape after months of confinement, the world may seem freshly washed, the air intoxicatingly sweet. For those who are still marooned on uncertain ground, far from home, devoid of landmarks, suspended in a state of waiting, the long days melt into weeks. Time stretches like spun sugar.

It’s been almost a week now since Pluto, dark god of the Underworld stationed Retrograde (April 25th 24° Capricorn.) Pluto abducts us and takes us into the Shadowlands of our psyche, and draws up all that is foetid, rotten, in the world. As Pluto moved Retrograde, the tense square to Eris (Goddess of Discord) and Mercury (God of communication and increasingly our mental health), has once again highlighted the restrictions for the good of all (Saturn in Aquarius) that grip us tightly, shut us away from the hunger of the homeless.

Today is Beltane, May Day, a spring festival that has been celebrated with singing and dancing and feasting for centuries to celebrate nature’s greening as icing sugar white blossoms that flutter like confetti from the trees. Today, in some countries, naked emperors wrap our lives in rules and restrictions that sit uncomfortably for those of us who know the story of the Hand Maid’s Tale.

Mercury conjoins Uranus (7° Taurus) on May Day, reflecting perhaps stirrings of rebellion as our personal freedoms are curtailed, perhaps for some, a sense of liberation as we appreciate the small miracles that sparkle in the spaces of the day. This too shall pass. Yet, it doesn’t take a crystal ball or the metaphor of astrology to know that this is the end of a way of life for all of us, except the Plutocrats. Air travel, shopping, cruise ships and holidays will never be the same again. There will be many more widows who cook stones for their hungry children.

From May 11th, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn prepare to loop backwards in Retrograde through the heavens. Expect reversals, lockdowns, slow starts. And if our leaders fail to learn from his-story, civil unrest.

As Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn move in tandem through the heavens, (April 4th, June 30th and November 12th) we may see a resurgence of COVID-19, and certainly a second wave on the pandemic in some countries.

Pluto Retrograde cycles may drag us down, compel us to enter those forsaken places, where, as Dylan Thomas wrote, we “hold a beast, an angel, and a madman…”

In myth, Pluto demands surrender, the letting go of a way of life that now may feel like an uncomfortable fit as we inhabit the twilight of these in-between months. As we sit and wait.

In myth, Pluto’s realm was Hades, the place of death and darkness. Jupiter was a sky god; his realm limitless. Optimistic Jupiter lifts, expands, amplifies, and spreads. He may inflate our confidence and our hubris as Pluto draws out all that is hidden in the shadows and exposes all that is rotten in our communities and self-serving plutocracies.

These planets will both be in Retrograde as Venus emerges from her Retrograde period in Gemini, a sign that is associated with our lungs, with our well-washed hands. As this pandemic peaks or recedes in some countries, there may be a sense of breathing out, easing up, a gradual emerging into the world once more between May 14th and June 25th, at least until the final Pluto/Jupiter conjunction perfects on November 12th.  A volatile self-centred Mars will be in combustible Aries from June 27th to January 6th, 2021. Mars will be Retrograde from September 10th to November 13th, moving direct 10 days after the big reveal of the US elections.

Pluto transits are slow and often painful if our hearts are impatient, if our hands “grab”, and our eyes are too dim to see the hidden treasure concealed in things. Some nations are experiencing Pluto’s power of break-down and destructionthe UK since 2013 when Pluto began to conjoin the UK Sun and oppose the UK Moon. In America, the land of the free, Pluto opposes the US Mercury (communication, paranoia, truth and trust) from 2017 to 2024.

The American nation dances with the Fates as the nation’s Pluto Return (2022-23) marks the culmination of a cycle that began on July 4th, 1776 when America declared independence from Britain and pledged to uphold democracy and freedom.

Psychiatrist Dr Lise Van Susteren co-author of the book, Emotional Inflammation, describes the anticipatory anxiety and pre-traumatic stress that has emerged in this uncertain time, as emotional inflammation.

She reminds us that the parietal lobe of our brain lights up when we work collaboratively, when feel compassion, when we transcend our own feelings and reach out with generosity; when we become what she calls an “upstander” instead of a “bystander.”

Gandhi once said that when the people lead, the leaders will follow. Mohandas Gandhi was born under a Pluto/Jupiter conjunction in earthy Taurus, and in 1931 when Pluto and Jupiter met once more in Cancer, he defied the British ban against Indians collecting salt from the ocean and selling it, leading one of the world’s most powerful non-violent campaigns. Author Lynne Mc Taggart writes, “a single collective directed thought is all it takes to change the world.”

As we sit and wait, may we flex our courage, direct our thoughts. May we turn back towards the breathing earth, our Home.

Light breaks where no sun shines. Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart push their tides—Dylan Thomas

Please look out for my more regular Facebook posts or connect with me in person: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com

The Girl with the Pearl EarringBanksy.

 

0

Sacred Cow—Sun in Taurus—April 20th—May 20th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

0

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

0