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Jupiter Retrograde 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.

 

 

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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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Way Down We Go

Right 3Being Right is an ancient art form crafted on the bones of millions who have died in the savagery of war, cemented by the defeat of those who shrink silently from boardrooms and bedrooms. Being Right rarely lights the fire of passion, seldom nourishes the warm comfort of friendship. It creates schisms between parents and children. Being Right requires a large dollop of single-pointed focus to craft just the right words to make others around you utterly miserable. Being Right emits an odour that infuses our lives with a distinctive scent of buttoned up self-sufficiency and seamless perfection.Right

Convictions and ideals are the realm of Jupiter and they are what imprison us in the repetitive stories we tell ourselves about the world and about others.

Jupiter turned Retrograde on January 8th and goes direct on May 9th. Jupiter is associated with excess, expansion, positivity – the polar opposite to Saturn’s austere restriction, necessary boundaries and temporal structure and dour melancholy. Jupiter blesses and brings good fortune – and yet also magnifies and over-inflates anything lurking under the surface: our pride, our need to cling tenaciously to our stories about each other. The planet, Jupiter is an enormous gas giant. The symbolism here on earth is that our gaseous notions, our inflated beliefs have a shadowy side that is not obvious to us when we are so self-inflated with our own agrandissement that there is no room for anything new to take root.

Jupiter is also about ideology: those ideological beliefs that form the moat around the castle of our self-righteousness, defend us against thoughts or opinions that are different to our entrenched view of the world.

castle with moatIdeology usually means a prescriptive doctrine that is not supported by rational argument. The noun has a resonance with a much older word, idolatry, and idolatry comes from the Greek, eidololatria : worship of idols. So our words, our beliefs, become the idols we worship in our need to be right, to win our arguments and have others agree with us. Ethics, morals and values are only versions of a truth. Where we invest ordinary objects or our ideas, our notions, our convictions, “the divine”.

 

hand on heart The phrase “spiritual materialism” was coined by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in his book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. We cloak our ego with spirituality, our self-righteousness with free-floating, cosmic, transcendental phrases that suggest superiority or psychological wisdom. He urges groundedness and humility, the antidote for Jupiter’s puffed-up importance.

Our brains contain myriad estuaries.  A complex system of neurological river ways that gouge Grand Canyons through our minds. Repetitive thoughts and beliefs take us down into whirlpools. We drown rather than cling to the life-raft of change.  Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson’s research indicates that the brain is like Velcro to negative experiences, but Teflon to positive ones! That means that our thoughts, beliefs and strategies have an increasingly negative direction! As we change the movies that flicker across the screens of our minds, re-tell our stories of the past, and stop scaring ourselves about the terrors of the future we begin to Become Joy and Laughter. Being Happy becomes more important than being Right.Right 2

So, we can use Jupiter to bring our awareness of positive experiences into our lives. Rich Hanson suggests we savour these for at least 30 seconds to allow more neurons to fire together and create a memory trace. That we bring that feeling into our bodies, breathe it in as we re-wire our brains. Gradually, our partners become interesting, sexy again. Mr Good Enough for Now becomes Mr Right Now and Forever. Our friendships become a source of safety and connection. Our work engages us.

So this month, let’s embrace the blessing and expansiveness of Jupiter. Let’s place our idolised points of view in the past so that we can make room for the differentness of others. Let’s be generous in our assumptions about others while staying in our integrity. Says story-teller and researcher, Brené Brown, “assume the best about people because the life you change is your own…

young coupleJupiter presided over the skies and was also called Jove by the Romans. The word, jovial, good-humoured, merry, is attributed to Jupiter. It’s hard to be Right when you’re laughing. And when we’re light-hearted we can assume the very best of ourselves and of others. The spirit of Jupiter lies in this poem, author unknown:

If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills,
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on you when,
through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can do all these things,
Then you are probably the family dog.evolutionary-psychology-in-dogs

Kaleo Way Down We Go

For astrology workshops and personal consultations please email: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com to find out more.

 

 

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