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Keeping the Faith—Sun in Sagittarius—November 22nd-December 22nd

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder—John O’Donohue

There’s a merry momentum as we turn our attention away from the cynicism and lies of those jaundiced public figures who dominate the news. This month we  switch channels to something lighter, less dissonant less deeply disturbing.

The Sun in exuberant Sagittarius this month scatters star dust and sparkle into the weeks preceding the winter solstice. The essence of Sagittarius contains an ember of optimism and effervescent good cheer, mirrored by sequinned party dresses that glitter in the shop windows, the profusion of seasonal fare that delivers an avalanche of excess and indulgence.

Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter.  Jupiter is associated with the kind of laughter that brings tears to our eyes and softens the hard edges of the world.  This is the month of Thanksgiving.  For counting our blessings.  We invoke the buoyancy and resilience of  Jupiter when we keep the faith, when we look up, when we notice the silver lining in the dark clouds of circumstance.  When we change our perception and quite suddenly,  discover serendipity.

 

Changing our attitude takes practice and repetition. Rick Hanson, a psychologist who focuses on mindfulness reminds us that our brains are biased towards fear and threat and negativity because the brain keeps us safe. Yet our brains are plastic, constructed for growth and adaptation. Practicing pessimist Tim Dowling describes how he learned to be an optimist in a week. He writes, “Optimists have fewer strokes, sleep better and live longer than pessimists. But how do you change our outlook? By embracing your Best Possible Self, keeping a gratitude journaland changing your narrative.”

Research acknowledges what shamans and witches have known for eons. The thoughts and images that flow from the deep ocean of our imagination have real physiological consequences for our bodies. Our brains often can’t distinguish whether we are imagining something or experiencing it in “real time”.   It’s up to us to re-frame our dark nights of suffering and loss, to take our bundle of straw and spin it into gold. Says Gary Zukav, “You cannot, and will not, encounter a circumstance, or a single moment, that does not serve directly and immediately the need of your soul to heal.”

Jupiter is travelling through Sagittarius now, enhancing and expanding our ability to believe in those intangible things we cannot see, to make those brilliantly courageous, self-loving choices that transfigure our energy, redirect the course of our lives. The placement of Jupiter in our birth chart symbolises our potential for optimism, our ability to dare greatly, to take that chance, to keep the faith. This is not the delusional, “gone with the fairies” kind of approach to life that pushes anything “negative” or “bad” in a weirdly cheery and disconnected way. This is about attuning to what is right in the world we see, with that conscious (and often difficult) choice to bring our best self into our relationships and our daily interactions with those we meet, wanting what is good for our communities and our planet. Writes Annie Dillard, “beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”

From the 12th century the word bileave took on a meaning which was more about holding something dear, having a sense of esteem or trust in something. This subtle nuance speaks eloquently about our personal values, and ultimately, how we wholeheartedly trust and value ourselves. Author Briana Saussy captures the optimism and the faith of Sagittarius in her book, Making Magic: Weaving Together the Everyday and the Extraordinary.

Dream true. Listen to your dreams. Ask a question, seek an answer, be purposeful. Bring an offering. Discern with care who is worth listening to. Go into the wild. Show kindness to strangers. Accept that the journey will take as much time as it takes. Do not rush. Do not dwell. Pay attention. Find the cave. Ford the river. Be willing to wait for what is worthwhile. Sit by the fire. Make it your own. Stay as long as it takes. Lust, love, tell stories. Say thank you. Know your true name. Remember what matters. Live life so that others can remember, too.”

The choreography of our lives is infinitely poetic.  We visit experiences that exile us from our homeland, wash us up on the cold shores of loneliness and suffering. We walk through the morass of despair. Astrology offers a colour wash to our ordinary lives as the planets reflect mirror our experiences. For so many, this year has been a Perfect Storm. A sharp-bladed scythe of setbacks. We may be wrung out, utterly world-weary, driven by the unceasing call of technology, the relentless clocks and calendars of linear time. For so many, the office parties and family gatherings are enfolded in a soul-searing loneliness that coils tightly around gaudy decorations and the repetitive loop of Christmas carols.

Yet, if we sit by the fire, if we are willing to wait for what is worthwhile, we may sense in the silence that envelops us just before the dawn that delicate brush of Hope that carries our bruised heart on the white wings of possibility.

Mars has moved into tenacious Scorpio and Mercury in Scorpio is now moving forward which may mean that plans or projects begin to flow more easily. The New Moon on November 26th brings a bright promise of something that shimmers like tinsel, beckons us with the warm glow of possibility. The Moon magnifies the energy of the Sun in Sagittarius, as she trines Chiron in Aries and makes an edgy quincunx to electrifying Uranus in Taurus. This lunation will quicken our energy, stir those parts of our lives that may be weary of repetitive numbing routine.

Venus begins a new cycle in pragmatic Capricorn on November 26th, accentuating our values, pressing us to firm up our beliefs, to venture to the edge, and to commit to taking the time and the effort to choose a new way of relating to the world.

Neptune stations direct on November 27th inviting us to gaze up at the starry heavens. To be present with ourselves amidst the hurdy-gurdy rub of hurried distraction, the completion of deadlines, the planning for the future. Now we can choose to allow grace and gratitude to wash over us as we savour what has been wonderful about this year.

In this month of Thanksgiving, may we bravely embrace the spirit of Sagittarius, lift up grateful hearts. And be amazed.

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

For private astrology readings please email ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

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Tender Heart—Sun in Cancer—June 21st to July 23rd

Cancer feature pic 9As summer thrusts sunlight into the receptive hollows of the earth here in the north, and the benediction of winter silence presses into the cold soils of the south, the Sun moves into the sign of Cancer on June 21st and pauses at the threshold in the year. Margaret Atwood reminds us, “This is the Solstice, the still point of the Sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future. The place of caught breath.”

Our Earth is girdled with contrast, bejewelled with the shimmer of light and the stillness of darkness. Spiritual teacher Gary Zukav describes the Solstices as “the opposition of light and dark, expansion and contraction, that characterize our experiences in the Earth school so that we can recognize our options as we move through our lives.”

At the solstice, and right now in our human his-story, we stand at a threshold, and at a time of unlocking, which promises the release of pent-up energy, the slaying of old dragons, shedding of old skins. Between June 21st to July 23rd, against the backdrop of the widening gyre, the Sun rides his chariot through Cancer, that segment of the zodiac associated with home, with family, with safety and security. We have a choice to expand, or contract against the forces of change that swirl around us all.

Like all astrological archetypes, Cancer is nuanced. The little crab knows about defensive armouring and threatening claws. As the shards of life piece our tender hearts, embed themselves in our sweet spots, we may be acutely aware of our vulnerability.

This ancient dweller of this liminal, in-between place where the great oceans meet the shoreline is an adaptable scavenger, a brave opponent.  We all have Cancer somewhere in our birth chart. Cancer is the place of our tender heart. This is where we close the curtains, turn down the lights. This where we long for the comfort of soul food, or the ache for the soft bosom of an all-loving Mother. This is the place we protect with claws and pincers that flay against life when it presses in too hard.

cancer mother

We may feel uneasy, exposed, as an unyielding triumvirate in Capricorn—Pluto, Saturn and the South Node—threaten to break the fragile thread of security we have cast into the world. As silver-back politicians jostle for power, as bellicose tweets ricochet across our future lives, and invisible hackers prey on our most intimate and tender communication, hijacking our accounts, we may be feeling a kind of sea-sick. Tension mounts in Iran. Stock markets shiver. An epidemic of homelessness is a stark reminder of the widening chasm between the rich and the poor. Cancer is associated our human capacity to heal, to nourish and nurture. Cancer is associated with the stomach. As those who wield power avoid answering inconvenient truths about the climate crisis and the increased use of pesticides, we may be feeling a little queasy as we realise that we are eating a credit card sized portion of micro-plastics each week.

The world may feel volatile as Mars in Cancer joins forces with Mercury and the North Node to oppose the Capricorn planets (Saturn, South Node and Pluto—June 12th —June 23rd) rocking our cradle of comfort.

Cancer feature pic 3In contrast to the earthy Capricorn knot, all though this year a tidal surge of a very different kind of energy is swirling across the skies as Jupiter, that planet associated with big dreams, grandiosity and faith meets Neptune where we yearn to escape, be rescued from the burnt out ends of our human existence, where we long for romance, ecstatic spiritual experience; yet in real life we do the laundry, walk the dog and come home to relationships that, as John Welwood suggests in his book, Journey of the Heart, “will inevitably penetrate our usual shield of defenses, exposing our most tender and sensitive spots, and leaving us feeling vulnerable—literally, able to be wounded.”

We may have been consciously or deeply unconsciously threading strands of this Neptune/Jupiter square through our lives since January this year. (January—14° Sagittarius/14° Pisces; June—19° Sagittarius/Pisces; September 17° —Sagittarius/Pisces) This waning square is often accompanied by the deep bruise of loss, a sinkhole of disappointment, or the dissolution of a high-flying dream. Neptune yearns for the ineffable, the ideal. This aspect brought Theresa May’s career as leader of the Tory Party to an end. It’s difficult to get things accomplished under this kind of energy. We may be undermined, duped, deluded. It’s the illusive green curtain behind which the Wizard of Oz directs the affairs of state and promises deliverance. For us all, there are opportunities to tumble into the ache of our heart, or to feel the brush of an angel’s wing as we soften in acceptance of the way things are. As Byron Katie, who has Jupiter Retrograde in Cancer, suggests, “When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.”

The ancient god  Dionysus stretches and yawns when we enter Neptune’s nebulous realm of music, dance and intoxication; as we enter the non-ordinary; as we engage with magic and mystics; as everything empties into One. Neptune is Retrograde from June 21st to November 27th. This is our invitation to find deeper meaning in a renewed sense of purpose. This is our invitation to take off those rose-coloured glasses. To see more clearly a larger vision. This is our invitation to feel compassion, as we “suffer with” and our hearts open wider.

Cancer feature pic 4Venus  makes a T-square to the Jupiter/Neptune square June 23rd – 24th to offer us the gift of soul-union with a lover, artistic inspiration, the ability to be selfless, to see the beauty growing out of the cracks in the pavements, the black delta of mould in the subways. It also can signify the tsunami of grief and loss at the ending of a relationship or the realisation that we have been unrealistic or too naïve concerning our finances or what we hold dear to our heart.

Mars changes sign from Cancer into Leo and the eclipse season begins on July 2nd with a total eclipse of the Sun. This eclipse is at 10° Cancer and is followed on July 16th by a by a partial lunar eclipse at 24° Capricorn (conjunct Pluto and opposing Mercury and Mars.) These are celestial power-points that drop into our consciousness and will re-calibrate national and global events.

Cancer 632Mercury turns Retrograde (4° Leo) on July 8th, stirring up the silt from the shadowy waters of the previous sign of Cancer. We may be prompted to be more introspective, to be mindful of just how we choose to wield our authority, how we bring forth our vision and creativity.  As we stand at the Still-Point of the year, may our path be gentle. May we learn to pause and appreciate the simple pleasures, the exquisite beauty, the Love that is all around us.

I post astrology updates on Facebook and offer private readings.  I’d love to hear from you—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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