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Julian of Norwich Tag

Keeping the Lights On—Sun in Virgo—August 23rd—September 23rd

Scorched stubble shimmers in the pixilated August heat and as the harvest is gathered, the swallows swoop over bows weighted with blushing apples.

As summer slips into autumn and harvest festivals echo with the songs of our sunburned ancestors, the Sun moves into the sign of Virgo. Virgo is the harvest maiden, her origins threaded and bound to the earth’s ancient rhythms. Virgo’s arrival heralds the spring or autumn equinox on September 22nd and as the seasons change, we may sense a new momentum, a desire to spring clean, rearrange, prepare for a new rhythm in our own lives. Or we may simply be doing our best to keep the lights on, to make the best of things beyond our control.

The astrology of 2020 reflects the contraction of the economy, plans postponed, events cancelled, as invisible plumes of COVID-19 swirl silently through our communities. In this strange new world advertisers cheerfully remind us that “we’re all in this together”. And yet, for those who remain incarcerated in care homes, or stranded in cities far from home, worried about income, this a time of suspension. We may never have felt more alone.

Damien Echols (Mars in fiery Sagittarius) spent almost two decades on death row, mostly in solitary confinement. He survived the brutality and stagnation of prison life by exploring the practice of hermetic magick.

In his book, Life After Death, Damien writes “I have two definitions for the word “magick.” The first is knowing that I can effect change through my own will, even behind these bars; and the other meaning is more experientialseeing beauty for a moment in the midst of the mundane.”

As the seasons change, as we transition from the confinement of lockdown into the restrained containment of this new way of being, we are challenged to shift our perception, to symbolically keep the lights on, even if we feel we are not making much progress. The last New Moon of August 19th (26° Leo) calls to our innate ability to see “heaven in a wild flower” as the visionary William Blake offers in his poem, Auguries of Innocence, though the astrological weather will be stormy these next six months as Mars marches through Aries to square the behemoths, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, three times. As Mars squared Jupiter on August 4th, a devastating explosion mushroomed over Beirut, Lebanon.

Mars turns Retrograde on September 9th (28 °Aries) symbolising internalised anger and desire, subversive action, as well as an opportunity to reassess the way we negotiate our power.

Apathy, depression, paranoia, sexual anorexia, and enormous frustration emanate when Mars is in chains. Mars is also the Samurai, the Warrior, who embodies erotic energy and virility, and the ability to stand one’s ground, defend our rights, tame our own demons, conquer our self-doubt in the months ahead. Mars is Retrograde until November 13th (15° Aries.) A provocative Mars squares Jupiter once more—October 19th and January 23rd—Saturn August 24th, September 29th, and January 15th, and will make a confrontational square to Pluto—August 13th, October 9th, and December 23rd.

As frustrations build, and tempers chaff and fray against ever-changing lock down rules, and algorithms determine the fate of thousands of school leavers and university graduates, and carbon emissions continue to rise, we may ruminate or catastrophise, or use our innate capacity to focus on the present moment with gentle interest and kindness.

Mercury-ruled Virgo is also the alchemist and the magician who uses ingenuity and clear vision to guide us across the threshold of change as we engage in lessons of integrity. Joseph Campbell called the Magician archetype “the mentor with supernatural aid” and as  Mercury moves into his own sign of Virgo on August 20th, we may be selling our skills, refining our self-worth, perhaps investing our time and our energy as we mentor someone, or become the apprentice as we learn a new skill.

We may feel worn out, weary, as the light of our faith begins to flicker. The  Full Moon of September 2nd  (10° Pisces) carries the injunction to tend to our spiritual practice. The Sabian Symbol for the New Moon of September 17th (25° Virgo) A Boy With A Censer Serves The Priest Near The Altar invites us to light a candle, perform a ritual that celebrates our spirituality and renews our faith.

Uranus in Taurus stations on August 16th and will move Retrograde until January 13th, 2021, upending everything that has become too rigid and stuck in our lives. Future-directed Uranus uproots the past; accompanies break downs and break-throughs, unexpected events and separations that fling us into fresh starts as we align our energy to what matters most.

Collectively, and personally, we are in limbo, which has it’s roots in limbus, meaning hem, border, edge. As we stand on the edge, we may feel uncertain, hesitant, stuck or confused. When Virgo walks through the sun-bleached fields, it’s the little things she notices—those things that clutter our lives, clog our bodies, erode our integrity. Virgo’s virtues are self-containment and discernment. As the Sun awakens our Virgo planets or illuminates that part of our birth chart that is Virgo, we may feel insecure, unappreciated. Our industriousness and attention to detail may not get the recognition or financial reward we need to pay the bills.  Virgo’s shadowy traits emerge when we stumble into the seductive archetype of “The Harlot/Prostitute, when we sell ourselves short, when we don’t honour the commitments we make to ourselves, when we collapse into the fear of survival and clutch onto security at any cost. When we serve others and like the foolish Virgin, we neglect to fill the oil or trim the wick of our own lantern.

At this time of transition, we may be seduced by the security of the old ways. We may try to continue as we did before. Yet there is another way.

Where do we begin? Begin with the heart,” wrote anchoress Julian of Norwich who was walled up in a small cell built onto the church for most of her life. In so many ways, this woman who took on the name of the church she was quite literally attached to, epitomises the humility and reclusiveness of the Virgo archetype, the Magician, and the Warrior.

Dr Mary Wellesley writes, “at the moment of an anchoress’ enclosure, a priest would recite the office of the dead, which was the set of prayers said at a person’s funeral. This symbolised that the recluse was dead to the world.”

The exclusive mens’ club, which was the medieval church, was a dangerous place for an intelligent woman. “Julian” called herself a “simple creature that cowde no letter,” yet she courageously wrote Revelations of Divine Love. It was seminal writing, a daring act of self-expression, which could have been construed as heresy. As we explore the archetypes of Prostitute, Magician, Recluse, and Warrior this month, may the Wise Virgin hold up the lamp of inner guidance as we emerge into the world with humility. We may feel dead to the world and to ourselves. Yet, we can begin again, with the heart.

For astrology consultations, please get in touch: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Sun in Pisces—Rolling in the Deep—Mystic, Mélusine, Misfit

a239a69d3960d9823ccff550b08dfbb5The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do itJ.M Barrie, Peter Pan

Bruised clouds hang in bunches over the parched land, delivering thunder and lightning and a meagre measure of rain. Yet as river beds turn to dust in the wind, jasmine bursts, a froth of fragrant creamy white, from tight-coiled cerise buds. Eight months before spring.

Faith and Hope hold us airborne. There’s a life-force that spirals from struggle.  Writer and civil rights activist, James Bladwin, says of Shakespeare’s life in Elizabethan England, It is said that his time was easier than ours, but I doubt it—no time can be easy if one is living through it.”

Throughout human history, times of drought, plague, famine, flood, and myriad human atrocities have crushed civilizations. Yet from the shards of broken lives rise  mystical visions and Marian apparitions. New perceptions perfume the air. From the confines of her monastery in the politically hazardous 11th Century, Christian Mystic, Hildegard of Bingen wrote, I am the fiery life of the essence of God; I am the flame above the beauty in the fields; I shine in the waters; I burn in the sun, the moon, and the stars. And with the airy wind, I quicken all things vitally by an unseen, all-sustaining life. And as the Black Death scythed 50 million souls or more, in the 14th century, came this reassurance from Julian of Norwich: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” As we spiral through our ordinary life’s seasons amidst a maelstrom of political and climate change, magical thinking, practiced by shamans and visionaries for centuries, offers sustenance in our own difficult times.

There’s a sublime sensitivity, an innocent faith in the celestial sky-story this month. The Sun moved into the sign of Pisces on February 19th,  joining Mercury, Venus, Neptune, and Chiron in the unbounded depths of the sky. The Sun and the Moon consummate their union with the new Pisces Moon on March 17th.23494e332063871e31b4fcc990a16b4f

The Sun’s passage through Pisces awakens our yearnings, diffuses our dreams with dappled remembrances. It stirs our faith in the ineffable, the non-ordinary realms, bringing magic and wonderment to lives so often infused with a tincture of loss and longing. Pisces is associated with The Hanged Man in the Tarot, directing us as initiates to suspend our worldly concerns to turn our gaze inwards, shifting our perspective.

Planets that wear iridescent Piscean clothing offer strange tinctures of genius and madness.  In the watery-logged realm of this archetype is a marshy Never Never Land surrounded by an ocean of dreams. Here Lost Boys and Lost Girls skip the light fandango, turn cartwheels ‘cross a sea floor scattered with the bones of those who lingered and languished in the deeps.

Faith and Belief are strung like precious pieces of coral around the Fishes’ tails. Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces, is associated with “luck”. The kind of abundance we evoke by using affirmations as talismans to ward off  the spectres of lack and loneliness that haunt us. “Buildings fall; even the earth perishes. What was yesterday a cornfield is to-day a bungalow,” wrote Virginia Woolf. Jupiter’s Wheel of Fortune spins for each one of us, oblivious to status and wealth, to prayers and affirmations or the amount of exercise we do.

Jupiter crossed the border into Scorpio in October 2017 and will turn retrograde on March 9th at 23 degrees Scorpio.  Jupiter in the sign of Scorpio stirs up  dark sediment: the outing of sexual predators, the massacre of seventeen students on Valentine’s Day. Mars, the planet of war, and Jupiter, the planet of excess and amplification, are now in mutual reception before Mars changes sign on March 17th.  With Jupiter, be careful what we wish for.

 

43ff4608b3d5a7ce2c4ff73558b1e8c9Neptune is the more elusive modern ruler of this amorphous sign. Neptune’s associations are born of the sea, carried in the deep roll of the waves by the Muse that inspires music and art, ecstatic intoxication, and slow wasting diseases that are impossible to define or to cure. Lodged in this archetype is our debt to eons of human history. A soulful yearning for redemption and transcendence. With Neptune comes necessary sacrifice, carried for us all by the gory image of a crucified Christ and a dismembered Dionysus.

Neptune, turns a ghostly face to our human need to hold onto those things we love, to keep things just as they are.  We learn that everything is transient. That what we hold on to too tightly, fades into nothingness. Writes mystic and poet, John O’ Donohue, “transience makes a ghost out of each experience. There was never a dawn that did not drop down into noon, never a noon which did not fade into evening, and never an evening that did not get buried in the graveyard of the night…”  Still we search, like children on a pebbled beach, for miracles and wonder. We discover “synchronicities” that shape our sense of reality. We hold the flame of faith that things will be better as we welcome new presidents, new Father-Redeemers to lead us to the Promised Land.

 So, come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!―J.M BarrieCarried in the Deep 3

For workshops and private consultations, please email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com 

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