My joy, my grief, my hope, my love, did within this circle move―Edmund Waller.
We are not the first generation to live in disquieting times. Yet, there may be days when the roar of the world unravels our calm. When worry drains our joy and the silent sob of collective grief surges through us, spilling over our morbid preoccupation with illness, our unspoken fear of death.
Ever-changing protocols hang like a miasma over our lives as politicians panic and numbers rise. American deer are now infected, amidst concern for cross species transmission and the emergence of new variants. We may feel stuck in a daily round of gloom. Yet as we lift our eyes to the heavens the luminous orb of the Moon reminds us that there are circles and cycles in our own lives and in his-story and that just when we think we have arrived, we must begin again.
As the last golden leaves of autumn flutter to the ground, the fading light reveals a landscape stripped of pretence. At this culmination of the lunar cycle, we may need to draw inward, rest, replenish. Revive our energy in a circle of calm.
In the mandala of the zodiac, the partial Lunar Eclipse on November 19th is a harbinger for the eclipse cycle of 2022 which sprinkles over the Taurus/Scorpio Axis, an initiation of what’s about to unfold in the new calendar year. The changing Moon will be the last lunar eclipse of this year and as the Moon passes into the Shadow of the Earth, the eclipse will be visible from Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America, and North/West Africa.
Eclipses are times of recalibration; self-nurture to rekindle our creative fire, time to dream, to pray, to stay still so that our energy may flow freely again. These are symbolic power points that hold the impetus to generate something new in listless situations, to cradle ourselves gently. The effects are felt most strongly on the day, but often within two weeks of the eclipse, so observe events as they unfold in our own lives and on the world stage between now and up to the New Moon in fiery Sagittarius on December 4th. A series of Scorpio/Taurus eclipses dropped across the heavens in 2003/2004. In Scorpio we encounter the inevitable: death and taxes. In Taurus we dig deep into earthly matters. We may experience profound changes in our finances and in our shared material resources. Climate continues to plunder our home planet.
“Things do not change, we change,” wrote Henry David Thoreau, a pioneer in minimalism and authentic living, a man who knew the seasons of nature intimately. As we seek our quiet centre at this monthly moment of eclipse, we may see more clearly all the ways we have changed.
As the steadfast earthy Full Moon shines her light on the Sun and Mercury in Scorpio, she sketches a T-Square in the skies with Jupiter, an offering of faith, patience, and persistence.
Mars in Scorpio opposes Uranus and forms a T-Square with Saturn, and as the laws of Heaven and Earth circumvent our ordinary lives, we may have to humbly learn our limits, defer our dreams, take a detour, or return to where we began.
There are no planets in fire until the Sun enters Sagittarius on November 22nd, just a few days after the Full Moon, so the mood may feel intense and volatile as we are forced to take a slower path, avoid loud and aggressive persons, as American writer Max Ehrmann suggests in Desiderata.
Our virtual and close encounters with others will be highlighted as Venus in pragmatic Capricorn enters her Retrograde Shadow on November 19th and will encounter Pluto as she moves Retrograde from December 19th– January 29th. We may have to listen more deeply, honour our differences, speak our truth quietly.
Ancient adversaries, Saturn (boundaries, restrictions, fear, control, authority, stability) and defiant Uranus (insurrection, disruption, idealism, innovation) are still in a tense square, a square that has been building through 2020 and will still be in alignment till December 2021, edging close once more in October 2022 and in effect all through 2023.This waning square reflects the tension of opposites, a polarised force that may infuse the silent spaces in our relationships and root there.
Our ancestors knew about circles and spirals and the soulful journey of life. They carved them into the unyielding granite at sacred sites, they fashioned rounded drums that resonated with the heartbeat of the earth; they built languorous labyrinths and mysterious mazes.
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. Now, it seems likely 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.
The earthy symbolism of Taurus encircles the natural world. When our Taurus house is activated by the motion of the Moon, we may seek simplicity, yearn for peace, and calm. Henry David Thoreau’s ground-breaking novel, Walden, the quintessential book about living simply in nature, down-sizing, getting off the treadmill, was written as transiting Saturn conjoined Uranus during turbulent times of xenophobia and polarised opinions about slavery in America.
Thoreau was born during a Saturn/Uranus square (Saturn in Pisces square Uranus in Sagittarius) and as Saturn now conjoins the comfort zone of the US South Node (burdens, old beliefs that are familiar and safe, though not always beneficial for growth) this quote may resonate with us all as we struggle to shed the skins of old beliefs and revalue our material possessions: “as a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
To live authentically in this new world, we will require grit and integrity and an interior life that contains us in turbulent world. .
Etty Hillesum, who was murdered at Auschwitz at just 29 years old, her first Saturn Return, wrote this in her diary, “when you have an interior life, it certainly doesn’t matter what side of the prison fence you’re on. . . I’ve already died a thousand times in a thousand concentration camps. I know everything. There is no new information to trouble me. One way or another, I already know everything. And yet, I find this life beautiful and rich in meaning. At every moment.”
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