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Watercourse—Full Moon in Cancer—January 17th

Now let us welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been—Rainer Maria Rilke.

January, named in honour of Janus the two-headed god of thresholds arrived without the usual swaggering bravado, or wishful “this year will be better”. An unpretentious New Moon in Saturn-ruled Capricorn welcomed in this first month of the calendar year, her silvery light swathed in darkness.

On January 17th the Full Moon in Cancer gifts us with a luminous reminder of the opposing energies of Capricorn and Cancerstructures and boundaries, anchoring and love; or the shadowy qualities of muscular authoritarianism and alienation.

Already the days are growing longer and the primroses on the riverbanks turn their delicate yellow faces to the sun as we begin to resume the routines and rituals that ground us in our ordinary lives.

For forty days and forty nights of “quarantine”, Venus has been in the underworld, inviting us to turn within, to gather clarity, strength and commitment.  She has been moving Retrograde since December 19th when she united with Pluto at 26° Capricorn for the first of three intense encounters (December 19th, December 25th, and March 3rd). We all have Venus in our birth chart, an archetype that reflects our heart’s initiations, our deep soulful attachments, our satiated fullness, and our tortured emptiness.

Venus has been moving through Capricorn for four months (she enters Aquarius on March 6th) and during her time in the darkness, we may have been confronted with love’s shadowsloss of trust or hope in a relationship, changes in friendships that reflect our changing values and personal aspirations; separations and betrayals that ultimately lead us to a fuller experience of self-acceptance and a deeper understanding of what our soul yearns for. At the time of the New Moon, Venus disappeared as an Evening star and if you’re up early on January 15th, Venus will rise resplendent, a bright star in the East, a vision of beauty and fertility and power; a moment that was welcomed by our ancestors.

Elusive Mercury switches direction and begins to apparently move in reverse across the skies in Retrograde (10° Aquarius) on January 14th-February 3rd, inviting us to listen more attentively, to reconnect with the archetypal realm of our imagination, the subtle prompts of our intuition, to acknowledge the power of our intention and the psychic energy we bring to our encounters with others.  As winter’s frosty grip softens, our earth-born bodies respond to the light, new dreams seed themselves in our imagination as Jupiter floats through Pisces, a luminous star of Hope that shimmers in the west after sunset, with Saturn still close by.

Saturn accompanies rules and authorities; sober realisations that things may not turn out as we want them to. Saturn in modern times is associated with fate or destiny, with necessity and restraint, those things we have cast out in our mechanistic material culture where we, in our hubris and our self-inflation, believe that we are all powerful—we can fix, manifest, cut away, or buy our way out of any mess we make. This New Year, Saturn may lay his hand on a defining moment in your life. There may be no escape, except a shift in perception as we pare down our doomed to fail resolutions, hold ourselves tenderly as we work with what is, rather than what we wish it could be.

In the ever-changing sky, Saturn and Uranus are still in a discordant square all through 2022 and 2023, a celestial symbol of clashing points of view, polarities, and divisions, as these ancient mythic enemies confront each other in the heavens and an old order collides with the new. Saturn transits arrive as the henchmen of stasis that often thwart our efforts to move forward, yet they present as circumstances that grow us up, if we’re willing to learn. When these two archetypes face off in the heavens, they reflect tension, upheaval, limitations of freedom, resistance, and rebellion. In our own birth charts, transits of Uranus break us open, shatter and destabilise those things that are too tightly defended or have outlived their purpose.

Mars, the warrior god, joins forces with unpredictable Uranus in August and Pluto makes an opposition to Venus around then. So, although many of us are longing for some hope that the pandemic will end soon, 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, perhaps something greater ushers humanity towards what is yet to be.

The discordant Saturn/Uranus energy is reflected in the cacophonous deluge of sentiment and divisive hate-speak that has reached its nadir as tennis star Novac Djokovic’s fate is now determined by Australia’s health minister. The agitation in Australia reflects our collective psychosis after almost two years of uncertainty, on/off lockdowns, and exposes the shadowy underbelly of an Establishment that continue to ignore the plight of incarcerated asylum seekers, and those who live on the edges of society, without the fame or financial resources to employ legal aid or seek release from their circumstances.

As tensions mount, scapegoats will be driven out, minorities become criminals. A Saturnian policing bill now targets Roma, Gypsy and Travellers in the UK if they “trespass” in places that have not been designated for them. In 1930 Saturn and Uranus were in Square  and between 1933-1939, the Roma and Sinti were interned and murdered by the Nazi Regime.

As impetuous Mars and the North Node in Taurus aligns with Uranus (April, May, October and November) frustrations may intensify and spill over nebulous and overvalued cryptocurrency as governments (symbolised by Saturn) attempt to regulate this environmentally devastating disruptor to established banking systems.

A subtle backdrop this year is the idealistic union of Jupiter and Neptune (April 12th), a rare meeting in Pisces and one that amplifies Piscean qualities of compassion, creativity, but also a celestial blind spot, something hidden in the collective midstream that may seduce or anesthetise, conceal a truth or weave a web of lies. Jupiter and Neptune co-rule Pisces. The fish are ephemeral, lacking in substance, intoxicating, seductive and illusionary, and perhaps swimming is futile. All we can do is to relax and float until we are sure that what we have seen is not a mirage.

Jupiter and Neptune were last united in Pisces in March 1856 as Wagner completed Die Walküre and Sigmund Freud was born. 1856 was a year of senseless warfare and sacrifice, ships were lost at sea, native communities were exterminated, and the barbarous Crimean war ended.

Piscean symbolism includes oceans, but also extremist ideologies that offer the promise of redemption from suffering. This combination of celestial energies may unleash a tsunami of pent-up grief and suffering; it may surge through cryptocurrencies, drown the hype, dissolve castles in the air, suffocate seabirds in sticky black oil as giant oil tankers run aground. This is the seductive energy of the speculator, a glimpse of hope that may be unfounded, perhaps, the realisation that as we drop the salvational fantasy we are freed up to sweetness of simple pleasures, self-acceptance, and a deeper appreciation of the poetics of life.

We may feel pulled apart by a longing to escape from it all as this expansive, boundaryless Jupiter-Neptune conjunction forms while the next constrictive and frustrating Mars/Saturn conjunction emerges; an echo of the Mars/Saturn conjunction of late March early April 2020 as the magnitude of the pandemic permeated through the collective and nations locked down.

The conjunction of Mars and Saturn of late March and early April 2022 signifies an ending of a cycle, and the start of a new one that occurred during the early outbreak of the pandemic and the early phases of the lockdown, and continued as Mars moved through Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio in 2021 and new COVID variants emerged accompanied by mandates and restrictions. The North Node entered Taurus on December 23rd 2021, and will move through Taurus till July 12th 2023, meeting Uranus this July.  There’ll be a sprinkling of eclipses in Taurus on April 30th, and November 8th and in Scorpio on May 16th and October 25th, as Pluto returns to the place of its inception in the American birth chart this year. Modern astrologers tend to agree that eclipses are wild cards, and the effects are unpredictable, though solar eclipses tend to be externalised and lunar eclipses are subtler, more internal, often related to the past, to our emotions and perceptions.

As the archetypal energies of Taurus and Scorpio are energised in the coming months, in our own birth charts and in the birth charts of nations, we may be reminded of the bull-headed, flesh-eating half-man who lived in the centre of the labyrinth. This hideous monster, the Minotaur, was also called by another name. Asterion. Star.

As we welcome this brave new year and sit with the paradox of those things that stir our anger and release our tears, let’s pause for a while in the quiet shade of the unknown before we enter the fray.

This is the year of living bravely, soulfully, imaginatively, abandoning those things that are irretrievably broken and reimagining our place in the world, rooting back into the earth.

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

For astrology consultations, please get in touch with me, I would love to hear from you: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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Practical Magic—Sun in Taurus—April 19th-May 21st.

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions, he had money as well—Margaret Thatcher.

 

Money, digital currencies, bright shiny skyscrapers, land— wild, or tamed by industrial farming—are yoked to neck of The Bull.

As the Sun enters Taurus this month, this thing we call “money” calls our attention to what we value, to the money we have, or the money we long for. For most of us, our relationship with money is an emotional one, marked by tawdry secrets, cautionary tales, sleepless nights, and magical thinking. As the Sun moves into earthy Taurus, joined by Mercury and Venus, we’re reminded of the power of practical magic to alter the state of the material world. Magical thinking has been demoted to a response to acute stress and uncertainty: the lucky charms carried in the pockets of young men going off to war, the tiny talismans, rituals that come with the unshakeable belief that we can win the match, or the lottery. Author, Julia Cameron suggests in Faith and Will: Weathering the Storms in our Spiritual Lives, that we ask Higher Power to help us with our finances. This month, we pray, perform a ritual, light a candle, use our will to add a dollop of magical thinking to the mundane, as the winds of change scrape against all we thought was safe and sure.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe…  money makes the world go around and silver sixpences have morphed into cryptocurrency, symbolised by the seven-year transit of Uranus through Taurus, (2018-2026.) Uranus in Taurus has highlighted the climate crisis and accelerated the power-hungry cryptocurrency bull run which leaves such a heavy carbon footprint. China is now minting its own digital cash, “in a re-imagination of money that could shake a pillar of American power,” writes James T. Areddy in the Wall Street Journal. As Uranus shakes and shatters Taurean ground, this archetypal force of chaos and disruption reminds us that we are standing on the rim of the widening gyre between rich and poor. That even wealthy Samaritans with the best intentions can lose it all in what Joan Didion calls this “ordinary instant”. That for most of us there is no settling feeling of security when work is patchy; that money and a gig economy are incompatible bedfellows.

All through 2021, the Saturn/Uranus square will stir up the sediment of social inequality as the rich practice the art of elegant economics and swathes of homeless continue to forage on scraps and shelter beneath flimsy roofs of plastic. The Pluto/Saturn conjunction square Eris of 2020 continues to affect the lives of millions of people who don’t have the luxury of resting in bed as they recover from Covid. US President Joe Biden, who has a pragmatic earthy Taurus Moon, says, “don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”  For those who live on the verges of society, there are no budgets. Just a continued search for a warm place to spread a strip of cardboard; perhaps a few silver coins to buy something to eat.

Money has no power of its own according to “Money Lady”, financial advisor and millionaire Suze Orman who says, “Selfworth equals net worth.” She links money with internal power. “You alone are the power source. You are the one who makes the choices to spend money, to save money, to borrow money… money is an amazing teacher; what you choose to do with money shows whether you are truly powerful or powerless.”  Her words carry a potency that has brought her riches and fame. Yet for most of us, it’s the personal powerlessness that chafes and scrapes.  Emma Mitchell writes in A Spell in the Wild, “late capitalism is not a meritocracy. We do not do well in life simply because we show up or try hard to be clever or well-behaved or good. Most often, people succeed because of the financial and institutional networks that sit behind them. From private education to parents who know important people in an industry to being able to afford property, to living in affluent areas with better health outcomes.”

The Age of Taurus (4,000-2,000 BCE) coincided with the prosperous river civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia; and for eons, the Bull and the Cow have been associated with wealth, with the flooding of the great rivers, the rich black sediments of the earth. Taurus, despite its association with the muscular bull, is associated with “the feminine”, which has been denigrated, distorted, disowned for thousands of years. Yet she is still there in the sharp green scent of green growing things, in the soft contours of the land, the artists brush that sweeps turquoise and violet across the tangerine skies at sunset. We know her indomitable presence that emerges in the daisies that turn their faces to the sun from cracks in the pavements, in sluggish city rivers filled with plastic, in filthy alleyways strewn with syringes and layered with human detritus where bright yellow dandelions grow.

Accompanying our global rite of passage, Pluto moves through Capricorn, (2008-2023) intensifying and complicating matters of the physical world, highlighting the “masculine” qualities that we glorify in our culture.  Pluto turns Retrograde on April 27th,  and this retrograde journey lasts five months until Pluto stations direct on October 6th . Retrogrades can feel disruptive especially if Pluto moves over planets and angles in our own birth chart. The intense energy of Pluto may compress and pulverise our tenuous relationship with what we grasp too tightly. Pluto destroys those things that have outlived their purpose; those things than no longer serve the evolution of the whole.  As Pluto’s raw power activates our own birth chart, we finalise unfinished business, eliminate and end those things that must be ended, and we contain our own resilience, draw deep on our own rescources.

Expansive Jupiter dips into the dazzling and confusing waters of Pisces on May 13th-July 28th, and will return there for most of 2022, amplifying Piscean themes of compassion and suffering, illusion, and delusion. This is the realm of long-distance travel, higher learning, pharmaceuticals, High Hopes, and Grand Designs. Jupiter turns Retrograde on June 20th, moving “backwards” through the cosmos till October 17th (22° Aquarius) and will eventually join Neptune in Pisces in May 2022. Expect a sharp undertow that draws us back to those things that matter most in our lives right now as we continue to live amidst a global pandemic, economic recession, and the harsh reality of the climate crisis. Naturalist, John Muir wrote “everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” As we are propelled from the comfort of the old, we may need to borrow the wisdom of the indigenous Americans—only when the last tree has died, and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.

As we face into the reality of many more years of mask-wearing, curtailed freedom, and economic thrift, may we discover that our health is our wealth, that there are diamonds in the dust of loss, and that good intentions are magical resources.

Please connect with me directly if you would like an 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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