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Jupiter Tag

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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Swim inward, Swim outward—Sun in Pisces—February 18th

So, this is how you swim inward. So, this is how you flow outwards. So, this is how you pray―Mary Oliver.

Pisces new moon 23For those of us who like our lives anchored by certainty, the world may seem a precarious place right now. As our plans are sucked into the undertow, we may be cast adrift from the raft of our faith.

The Sun enters Pisces on February 18th. In the archetypal journey around the zodiac, we’re invited to wear our mermaid tails and adorn our hair with sea shells. In Pisces, we dive deep into opaque waters where music and poetry melt walls that divide. We may experience, in the words of Eckhardt Tolle, “all things that truly matterbeauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peacearise from beyond the mind.”

Pisces is not an easy constellation to see with the naked eye. And in our birth chart, Pisces planets or the house with Pisces on the cusp, may be concealed by louder or more overtly visible planetary archetypes. A rumbustious Aries Sun or dutiful Capricorn Moon may be more comfortable in a world where we compare, compete, and have a “nice day”. Julia Cameron, writes, “The voice of our original self is often muffled, overwhelmed, even strangled, by the voices of other people’s expectations.”  We may hesitate at the water’s edge, admiring other people’s creativity, their altruism, their faith. We may disown our Pisces planets as the outer world presses it’s concerns into the sanctum of our intuition. We may not notice the signs and the symbols and pack away our childish magical thinking and innocent imaginings.

Pisces 8

Perceptions may shift, new insights may wash to the shore of our consciousness, or ambiguity, uncertainty and confusion may swirl around us as we swim in uncharted waters.  A faerie-circle of golden spring crocuses waiting expectantly for the bees may remind us that everything is interconnected.  A homeless woman, hollow-eyed, thinner than her beloved dog, may stir our compassion. The mute suffering of factory-farmed animals may compel us to be more discerning about the food we choose to buy. Searing temperatures, drought and fire, may prompt community spirit.

Pisces is where we journey to those soulful regions of our psyche, those places where we encounter mysterious daimons, and where powerful currents of emotion  surge like a rip-tide, shattering our peace, bringing us to our knees. In this underwater realm, we hear the songs of the whales, the whisper of the sea grasses, the prayers of our ancestors who lie full fathom five.

As we immerse ourselves into this sphere of water this month, there are sea changes that reflect the swelling tide of worldly events.

Chiron changes sign, moving from Pisces into Aries on February 18th. Chiron’s story is a tragedy. In-spite of his goodness, his wisdom, his generosity, he is accidentally wounded.

7971a7cf8f077f43e056807a18226f23Chiron, in our birth chart,  represents that place where we are maimed, irrevocably scarred, by the unfairness of life, where we discover that bad things do happen to extremely good people and that what goes around doesn’t always come around in any satisfactory or just kind of way.

Chiron will remain in Aries until 2027, having emerged from Pisces and bringing out from the murky waters an existential pain, a reminder of our human flaw, perhaps the guilt or sense of unworthiness we thought we had dealt with in therapy years ago. Collectively, Chiron in Aries necessitates a brave and radical approach and understanding to the problems that plague us personally and globally. Chiron was in Aries during theRoaring Twentieswhich brought prohibition, Jazz and the Charleston. The babies born to sexually free, bobbed haired mothers, were raised in the hard knock time of the euphemistically named, “Great Depression”.

Chiron was in Aries from the late sixties to 1977—as students protested and napalm in Vietnam scorched the earth. This was the turbulent time of the counter culture movement and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. As Black Consciousness stirred in South Africa, a tide of frustration broke through the cement walls of apartheid, and the Soweto student uprising on June 16th 1976 marked the beginning of the end of a system that has left a ridge of scar tissue on the psyche of a nation.

On February 19th the Full Virgo Moon (0° Virgo) casts her discerning light over our human foibles, pares down our wishful thinking with her keen intelligence and attention to detail. The zero degree of this lunation is significant. It marks the culmination of a cycle and the beginning of a new one as the Moon trines Uranus at 29 degrees Aries and forms a quincunx with Chiron. Our healing journey has only just begun. Virgo represents the self-possessed Feminine aspect of ourselves. Virgo is associated with the earth, with our care for all living things. Without any fanfare, she gets to work, cleans up the mess, weeds the garden. Then plants one precious seed at a time. This Full Moon illuminates the polarity between Pisces and Virgo. It is also a reminder of the precision, the  perfect timing of nature, as we marvel at a convent of wimpled snowdrops, or a robin’s egg nestled in the mossy curve of a branch.

On Sunday, February 10th, Mercury dipped into the deep waters of Pisces (11°) and will join Neptune in a phosphorescent conjunction at 15° Pisces on February 19th.

Pisces 124In Pisces, Mercury drapes our dreams in silken images that sparkle and inspire. He withdraws from worldly concerns, submerged in fantasy, delighting in music, art or poetry. He aids emotive expression of our thoughts, our feelings, our heartfelt concerns. Yet, we can also be prey to delusion, confusion and misunderstandings in those deep and often murky waters where the two fish swim.

By March 5th, Mercury is moving slowly. He stations, and goes Retrograde, moving right back to that conjunction with Neptune from March 24th to April 2nd. He remains in Retrograde until March 30th and will enter the fire of Aries on April 17th, an opportunity to suspend our skepticism, to re-write the narrative of our lives and move toward “what if” … “what could be” …

There’s a much-quoted passage in Alice Through the Looking Glass, where Alice says to the White Queen, “There’s no use trying…one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Pisces 9

As Jupiter blazes confidently through Sagittarius this year, we may have ample opportunity to dream our wildest dream, to practice believing six impossible things before breakfast. To test the validity of our optimism for the third and final time in September 2019 when Jupiter and Neptune make their final square.

Our challenge will to remain alert to the moray eels, the sharp shards of shell concealed beneath the opaque waters of Pisces.

As the tethered fish of Pisces draw us deeper, may they guide our prayers and direct our faith, so that we can hold on tight to our dreams.

 

For private astrology consultation, please email me: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Stand by Me—New Moon and Solar Eclipse—January 6th

58e3a4b6369c9faccf6acb7d5d409372When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
Benjamin Earl King.

The first month of the calendar year, is named in honour of Janus, two-headed god of thresholds.

“This year will be better…” we say hopefully, perhaps as a talisman to ward off the aftertaste of the year gone by.

As the effervescent bubbles of New Year’s Eve flatten into the sober days of January and we minister to the minutiae of our daily lives, Fate may enter softly through the open door, catching us unprepared. She brings news that that skids and spins us off the smooth tarmac of our carefully scheduled New Year planner. For many of us this year, we will have to bow our heads to the necessity of getting out of bed each day and finding something to be truly grateful for. We will yoke ourselves to the inevitability of change: children who leave home, a lover who no longer loves us, a dear friend who moves far away, a beloved parent who now needs the same vigilant caring as a toddler. As we eat of the bitter herb, may we know that there is milk and honey also, in the acceptance of things as they are.

1e5ab0ada433d9e43612a48815ca7cd3Our ancestors lived close to the cycles of the seasons, the rhythm of Life. During the unrelenting grip of famine or displacement by war, flood or fire, they walked with the primordial goddess of Necessity. She was Ananke, also called Force or Constraint; she was mother to three daughters, the Moirai, the Fates. As omniscient goddess of all circumstance, greatly respected by mortals and gods, it was she who ruled the pattern of the life line of threads of inevitable, irrational, fated events in our lives. Ananke determined what each soul had chosen for its lot to be necessary—not as an accident, not as something good or bad, but as something necessary to be lived, endured, experienced. Necessity has been outcast in our mechanistic material culture where we, in our hubris and our self-inflation, actually believe that are all powerful—we can fix, manifest, cut away, or buy our way out of any mess we make. Ananke is an ancient goddess, and the resonance of her name has its tap root in the ancient tongues of the Chaldean, Egyptian, the Hebrew, for “narrow,” “throat”, “strangle” and the cruel yokes that were fastened around the necks of captives. Ananke always takes us by the throat, imprisons, enslaves, and stops us in our tracks, for a while. There is no escape. She is unyielding, and it is we who must excavate from the depths of our being, our courage, tenacity, and acceptance of what is.

Midnight Kiss, 1989This New Year, Necessity may lay her hand on a defining moment in your life. The ending of a love affair, the barren womb, the not-so-exciting job that pays the bills. She may still the tug-o’-war of the heart’s calling, block the mind’s plan, and fasten the collar around our neck. There may be no escape, except a shift in perception, and the courage to accept that which cannot be otherwise and a resilience to stay the course and just do it. Author, Doris Lessing once said, “whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”

On January 1st, we cross over the burning ground where our intentions, our resolutions, are ignited. Mars emerges from the luminescent waters of Pisces and brashly unsheathes his sword. Mars is in Aries until Valentine’s day. Bodyguard of the Sun, Mars triggers a release of wilful determination that may aid the ingestion of a sugarless spoonful of realism.

The Sun, Saturn, Pluto are in Capricorn this month, harbingers of a year that may bring financial austerity, new laws and restrictions imposed by those in authority. We confront the cold facts, the consequences, the karma of our thoughts and our actions. This is the month we white knuckle down to those tedious but necessary tasks that stretch our resolve, take us to the edge of our endurance. Capricorn, like all astrological archetypes, is complex and nuanced. Here we meet the energy of The Master, the Father, the Law Giver, the Tyrant, and the Scapegoat. There are no short cuts this month, the celestial injunction is to bunker down, be responsible, exercise caution and self-mastery.

9a5147206ccd668439e24575e0ce99cbMercury moves into Capricorn on the eve of a Capricorn New Moon and Solar Eclipse. The Solar Eclipse plumps up the seeds of our intentions, and in Capricorn we must choose wisely where we plant them. Mercury in Capricorn brings a seriousness to our thoughts and words, we may focus on the importance the promises we make and our commitment to duty, no matter how arduous or unpleasant. Venus changes sign on January 8th, accelerating her dance through the heavens in fiery Sagittarius and joining Jupiter, that planet associated with excess and grandiosity on January 22nd. Jupiter and Neptune are in square between January 12th and 16th and, on January 21st, Venus square to Neptune may gorge hedonistically on sweet dreams and empty promises. She may languish in the half light of the opium den or pursue the glittering lights of the casino. This is the classic bankruptcy signature, so be wary of the siren call to buy more of what you want but don’t really need at the January sales. Be conservative in affairs of business. Be aware of the regressive pull back into unconscious drives and infantile appetites in relationships that demand instant gratification.

eb49f22c899eb8cad9709d47975bb123This New Moon and Solar Eclipse contains the seed for temperance, austerity and prudence that will be necessary companions in 2019.

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.”

As we honour Necessity, we can choose which threads, which colours we wish to weave into the cloth of our lives. We can discover the Miracle in the suffering, we can taste the strange honey in the bitterness of our grief as we feel what needs to be felt—in the light and in the dark of the Moon.

In loving memory of Denise Marine. March 29th 1940—December 27th 2018. Thank you for standing by me.

For personal astrology readings please contact me on ingrid@trueheartwork.com or visit my website: www.trueheartwork.com
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The Journey―Jupiter In Sagittarius―November 8th.

0786f805571c9310eee669fe8dfbb445And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars―Dale Wasserman. Man of La Mancha.
For those of us who tilt at windmills, for those of us who dream impossible dreams, the time has come to  reach the unreachable stars. The journey may mean leaving the tender touch of our loved ones as the urgency of the call to adventure takes us to foreign lands. For some of us, the journey may be  a painfully private struggle to slay  demons of addiction or despair. For some of us, this journey begins with a kiss and continues as we bravely hold  hands through these Dark Times of uncertainty.

 

68c4d24cf02d4c3af1d8fcf9b5e9925eToday is Thor’s Day. The Moon and Mercury accompany corpulent Jupiter into Sagittarius, his place of domicile and ease. The mood lightens as Jupiter rises gratefully, from the cool, still depths of watery Scorpio into the warm urgency of fire, igniting the possibility to reach the unreachable stars.  Jupiter  has returned Home,  triumphant, singing “What a Wonderful World”.

The motif of The Journey will be emphasised as Jupiter travels through Sagittarius until December 3rd, 2019. How we prepare for that journey, what we take with us, what we leave behind. Journeys require attentive preparation, stamina and resilience as we meet the inevitable challenges along the way. For the next year, we will explore new places and new encounters, even if this Journey means we never leave home.

Jupiter in Scorpio accompanied the #MeToo movement, exposing predators, opening uncomfortable conversations. Today, we enter the symbolic realm of social, religious and moral issues. Jupiter in Sagittarius confronts us with a quest for truth and meaning, with the possibility to expand our horizons.

Jupiter is a complex symbol in astrology. Jupiter’s domain is long-distance travel, intercultural encounters, international activities. Jupiter’s unbounded exuberance is also associated with risk-taking, the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that reaches for the sky, sets the stakes high in casinos and on racing tracks, merrily rolls the dice over a  lover’s tender heart. Jupiter sells aspirational dreams to the masses. Every day is Black Friday. Anything is possible. Bigger is always Better.

In the Norse, Greek and Roman pantheon, Thor/ Zeus/Jupiter were celestial sky gods. Supreme deities, elitist, autocratic. They dispensed moral and religious justice, yet from the earliest times these autocratic and self-indulgent gods were exempt from their own moral injunctions.  On a whim, they bestowed good fortune, dispensed justice, and claimed Droit du Seigneur with impunity. Relentless optimism, brash bravado, and the cheery refusal to sweat the small stuff cast a long shadow. Overblown, indulgent, excessive, Jupiter’s vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself is evident in the grandiosity and entitlement of those who wield power. The kind of hubris that spurs invincibility, races onwards and upwards, without a backward glance. Over this next year, the excesses of the plutocrats, puffed-up politicians, and those autocrats we encounter in our neighbourhoods and offices, will seem more extreme. We may have to plan circuitous routes to avoid their overbearing presence. We may have to vote with our feet.

Zeus was also the protector of those who  journeyed to far away lands, yet xenophobia is also part of this domain. For those hapless men, women and children, labelled “illegal aliens”, or migrant workers, or who simply don’t have the right-coloured passport, the right to remain will be emphasised by Jupiter’s journey through Sagittarius.

Moon in Sagittarius 1The Sun blazes confidently into
Sagittarius on November 22nd,  inspiring Jupiter with  optimism, perhaps the ability to find humour in those things that threaten to capsize our lives and roll us into the depths of despair. Sagittarius is the gypsy, the philosopher, the inspired visionary who sets off on a quest, perhaps impulsively, but with the kind of innocent faith in the kindness of strangers, certainly trust in a benevolent god. Jupiter in Sagittarius is the Pilgrim on life’s Camino. Jupiter’s journey has a single pointed vision, there is a sense of an arrow of certainty, a destination, a purpose, which differs from Mercury’s more fluid travels.

Ninety-one-year-old Dr Edith Eger’s new book, The Choice: Embrace the Possible, describes a journey of healing, of forgiveness and of faith. A journey that began in her family home, with her parents and sister, and ended at Auschwitz. Her mother’s words as they travelled have been an integral part of her healing and her work as a psychologist: “We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but no one can take away from you what you put in your own mind.”

Sun in Sag - Always 11Edith’s journey of healing and faith epitomises another aspect of Jupiter’s domain: “I believe in the power of positive thinking—but change and freedom also require positive action. Anything we practice, we become better at.”

As demagogues dismember nations with hollow talk and empty promises, Mars—the planet associated with war and aggression—changes sign on November 16th, moving into Jupiter-ruled Pisces, swirling through the miasma of politics, perhaps strengthening our resolve to continue our quest amidst the  noise of things falling apart, to practice becoming better at walking lightly on this earth.

On the same day, another eighteen-year cycle begins as the Nodes move into Cancer and Capricorn. These are harbingers of the eclipse season that begins on July 2nd, 2019. Cancer and Capricorn underscore motifs of security, home, safety and patriarchal power. Venus moves direct in Libra on November 17th, still in a tense opposition to Uranus which has slipped back into Aries for the very last time, offering opportunities to finalise what was begun in March 2011 when Uranus entered into Aries and squared Pluto.

Mars remains in sensitive Pisces until December 31st, and Mercury moves  Retrograde on November 18th, apparently moving backwards through the sign of Sagittarius until it re-enters Scorpio for a few weeks between December 1st and December 13th, a reminder to be attentive to our thoughts, to make this journey a sacred thing.

Every quest, every journey, requires preparation.  In these uncertain times, we may need to plot our journey with care.“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journeying is to be a pilgrim,” poet Mark Nepo writes.

Sun in Sag - Always xxxOver these next months, may we have the faith to dream the impossible dream, may we have the vision to accept those invitations that transform us, and may we walk with those fellow pilgrims on Life’s Camino, receptive and true to our own glorious Quest.

The boat is safer anchored at the port; but that’s not the aim of boats―Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage.

 

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Back to Black—Sun in Scorpio—24th October—23rd November.

30207d1bada3d57ac987789d413aefa3As brittle leaves blanket the black earth in copper and gold there is something poignantly reassuring in the contracting light of autumn. Yet as Nature responds to the ancient rhythm of life and death, some of us may sense a seam of blackness in a world advancing through a dark night of the soul. As the inevitable juddering, shuddering climax of climate change, habitat loss, micro-plastics and global warming is shrugged off by plutocrats and self-serving politicians, as thousands starve in Yemen, and “rogue killers” prowl through the Saudi Consulate, torture and gruesome death is the price paid for speaking out.

Fair is foul and foul is fair. This is the month of Halloween and the ancient festival of Samhain. A liminal time, halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. A time to cull. A time  when the veil between the worlds shimmers, gossamer thin, in the cooling air. Juxtaposed with rows of golden pumpkins, the rich aroma of roasting chestnuts, a ghastly parade of ghoulish costumes send a frisson of recognition that winter is coming. On October 24th the Sun dips into the deep waters of Scorpio. That night a Full Taurus Moon illuminates the fallow fields. The very first aspect the Sun makes is an opposition to disruptive, radical Uranus and a square to the Nodes, a foreshadow of  unexpected, fated, events. Scorpio is an archetype associated with depth of feeling, with intensity, and let’s say it out loud: with death. d9b8f2254e916f0ee05098aa8c9b74dd

Pluto and Mars are invoked when we talk about the Scorpion.  We talk glibly of transformation, and yet, Pluto, and the essence of Scorpio, coils around that over-used cliché. For those of us who have witnessed the dying process of a beloved pet or a loved one, for those of us who have pared down to the bone after the dismemberment of a divorce, or the devastation of illness, know the pain of those irrevocable endings, those radical severances that bring us to our knees. Death and loss of all that we hold dear, distills what we value to quintessential heart-bonds, makes us count our blessings. We’re humbled, overwhelmed by the beauty of the little things. We’re brought to tears by an act of kindness, a soft word of sympathy.  When we enter the realm of Scorpio, snakes shed their skins and feathered phoenixes emerge from the flames. We draw deep on our human capacity for resilience and survival. We experience forces greater than ourselves which render us powerless, broken, yet also capable of acts of heroism and love, as told by Heather Morris in The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

a3d0fa6c1b9099d09cdc8cea4946636eVenus Rx, Mercury and Jupiter are the Sun’s travelling companions this month. Jupiter’s passage through Scorpio—October 11, 2017—November 8, 2018 has been the Pandora’s Jar from which all kinds of “great and unexpected troubles” have oozed—Jupiter magnifies and amplifies, and in Scorpio, this has been the sexual harassment and assault has exposed the sepsis in our society that has festered in silence, for years.  The renewal and trans-formative power of human sexuality, as well as the distorted perversions and abuse of sexuality are Scorpionic themes, trivilaised on TV in the titillating Bisexual and the toe-curlingly awful Wanderlust. Venus has vanished from the sky.  She’s dressed in black, withdrawn, reflective. These forty days and forty nights, we may encounter those things that arouse a visceral response.  We may recoil from encounters or sensory experiences that sting or  poison us. Venus is the arbiter of our values, the tempera on our creative canvas. She’s our detector, altering us to those circumstances, relationships, or more literally, to a sense that our tastes have changed. We not longer crave a certain food,  love a certain style of fashion. The art or music that evoked a strong reaction now seems banal. The person we thought we liked or loved with such fervor fails to engage our interest as Venus stirs within us an internal transfiguration.

Scorpio, in its true essence, asks us to dive deep into rivers dark and dredge up what lies beneath: sexual diversity and preference, obsession and compulsion, deep vulnerability and soul naked intimacy. We experience the sublime and the profane, the Life-Death-Rebirth cycle of relationship, the intensity of  being here, now.

This month the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus Retrograde in Scorpio amplify the sense of awakening from our cruise on autopilot, as we re-examine our values and embracing each moment with renewed intensity. As we prepare for the coming of winter.

Jeff Foster, author of Falling in Love with Where you Are distills the essence of this archetype: “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.”8973168f0cbeae708dc17104c57be8b5

For astrology readings and more information about forthcoming workshops in the UK, please email me directly: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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Heart and Soul—Leo New Moon/Solar Eclipse—August 11th

Heart 10Here is my secret. It is very simple:

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;

What is essential is invisible to the eye—The Little Prince.

So many of us are sailing across the rivers dark of change and uncertainty at this time in our collective evolution. England and America are in the throes of Pluto transits. The fabled “American Dream” has long faded. Britain is befuddled and confused and in South Africa, stars hide their fires…as the death of the  23-year-old law student, Khensani Maseko  brings the inconvenient truth of campus rape to the forefront.

We’re in eclipse season. On Saturday, as the New Moon travels between the Earth and the Sun, darkening the Sun’s brilliance. This symbolism is made all the more poignant in a culture where the brilliance of externalised power and earthly matters command the spotlight in 24-hour news loops and on social media.

New Moons signify new beginnings, though we may not be able to see just what they are until the Moon is ripe and full. Eclipses amplify and intensify energy, acting as focal points, decision-makers, game changers.

Though the energy of an eclipse can lingers for two weeks before and after the event. If we have planets at 18 or 19 degrees of a fixed sign, astrologer, Bernadette Brady suggests this solar eclipse (Saros Series 2 New North) may initiate sudden collapse of plans for life-styles. Confusion may reign, but the long-term effects are those of rebuilding and transformation. After the dust has settled, the rebuilding stars and the consequences of this reshaping will have far-reaching effects. This eclipse family changes a person’s direction through the sudden collapse of an existing structure.”

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This eclipse is a high-intensity New Moon. The Sun and Moon are in a separating square to Jupiter in Scorpio and applying quincunx to Pluto on Saturday, amplifying the finality of endings; fertilising a new cycle of growth with the dust of demolition. Mercury is Retrograde, (July 26th to August 20th) intensifying the Archetype of The Trickster—The Magician—a reminder that our thoughts and words carry a charge of energy. Mercury conjoins Saturday’s eclipse. A cosmic reminder that whatever is changing, whatever is imploding in our lives, or in the world around us, now is the time to dare to practice some “magical thinking”. To remind ourselves (again) that we are what we think, and that we choose the thoughts we think, each day. This eclipse also semi-squares Venus in Libra, accenting our  relationships, and what we hold dear to our hearts. Leo is a fire sign, and the element of fire is associated with vision, with passion and warmth. Old-fashioned qualities of loyalty, chivalry and valour are associated with Leo.

 

This is the penultimate eclipse in the Leo/Aquarius axis. Another gossamer thread on the cosmic loom.  Leo (self-expression and our own sense of uniqueness) and Aquarius (tribal mind, what the group demands as opposed to our individual needs) are both fixed signs, so there is definitive flavour about the interwoven eclipses that followed the much-heralded “Great American Eclipse” of August 21st, 2017 at 28 degrees Leo. The archetype of Leo is associated with the heart, with the courage it takes to expand our understanding of what it is to be human.

Reflect on the motifs of our lives since last August. Where were we back then? Where are we now? How far have we traveled?  If we attune to the energy of this eclipse, and the symbolism of this potent New Moon, we may allow our passion to stir, re-kindle a sense of purpose, strengthen our resolve in making those changes we have dreaded, resisted, for so long now. 280054adda70922999966e90ebdf6c74

The thread so far this year has been a Total Lunar Eclipse on January 31st at 11 degrees Leo, the partial Solar Eclipse the day after Valentine’s Day at 27 degrees Aquarius, the Total Lunar Eclipse on July 27th at 4 degrees Aquarius, culminating in the Total Lunar Eclipse next year on January 21st at 00 degrees Leo. Milestones, turning points, beginnings of new cycles.

We’ll need courage to sift through emotional and mental flotsam—vigilance to discern the difference between our own narratives and those voices that may still hold authority over us. The real spiritual journey is ongoing. The symbolism of astrology offers us the gift of inner sight on our heroine’s journey. And as we feel our way through these dark days wholeheartedly, and take that Leap of Faith. At this New Moon, may we honour that part of ourselves that is our Essential Beauty, may we disarm, remove the mask, shrug off the stories we tell ourselves about our age, our body, the mistakes we have made, and simply honour our true purpose. Love.

 

 

For private astrology readings and forthcoming workshops for women, please email 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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Follow your Bliss: Sun in Sagittarius—November 22nd

Follow your Bliss The weeks before Christmas deliver an avalanche of excess and indulgence.  The Sun in exuberant Sagittarius this month escorts  Merry into the days preceding the winter solstice.

The essence of Sagittarius contains an ember of optimism and good cheer. Our solar consciousness has been richly feed in the deep dark waters of self-scrutiny in Scorpio, and now, without a backward glance, we embrace the warming element of fire as winter closes in.

Mercury goes Retrograde from December  3rd-24rd . This retrograde period begins with Mercury conjunct sombre Saturn, amplified by the Mercury-ruled Gemini Full Moon. Mercury Retrograde invites introspection: a still-point of silence amidst the brouhaha. As friends and families gather together we may feel unspeakably alone amidst the tinsel and the gaudy lights. Perhaps now is the time to acknowledge those  uncomfortable emotions that pop like Christmas crackers at family gatherings and year end office parties.

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The year may be coming to a close now, but we may still be in the midst of a long winter cycle of intensely private grieving.  If this is the first, or one of many  festive seasons that swirls around the carousel of loss, we may be reminded of the soft presence of the one we have loved. Our heart may ache as the old year ends with such finality. Nostalgia may curl cold fingers around this season of exuberance and joy. The lyrics of a song played in a department store may draw us back to a different time and another place, to a small unmarked grave where a piece of our heart lies buried. We may be gestating a new greening. Or we may heroically be at the zenith of our own personal summer where we resolve to bring our Best Self to the silent spaces in relationships that speak eloquently of pain and disappointment, loss, and longing.

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Ancient traditions and spiritual wisdom are underpinned by the knowledge of the silent circuit of the great wheel of the year. As the seasonal energies realign with the solstice, our body rhythms realign with the seasonal shifts. Western medicine is largely ignorant of what shamans, Chinese and Indian healers have known for centuries: our minds, our bodies, our psyches have cycles.

In the cyclical nature of our own lives, let’s take time to pause in these weeks before the holidays. Let’s tenderly anoint the scars of loss, finally relinquish any hope or expectation that things will be different.

Mercury Retrograde is a time to acknowledge that if we were ready to make those changes in our life, taken that different road, we would have. We made the choices we made, we did the best we could at the time.

Jupiter is the astrological ruler of Sagittarius and also of Pisces, an archetype so often imbued with a tincture of loss and longing.  Despite our prayers, despite our positive affirmations, we don’t get the things we wish for. Jupiter is the roll of the dice, Lady Luck, the Wheel of Fortune, and the jovial Father Christmas who brings us a casserole dish when we wanted perfume.

full-moon-451605_640_1So let’s go gently as the weeks gather momentum for the crescendo of the solstice on December 21st. Amidst the Christmas carols that loop repetitively from sound systems in shopping malls and supermarkets, the frenetic hurrying to buy what we think our loved ones want. The strenuous exertion, the anticipation, the planning, the doing. Let’s be tender and kind to our weary bodies. In the flurry to buy food, gifts, stocking fillers, ask yourself today what is it I truly need now? Amidst the bright babble of the office party, the fairy lights of the crowded malls, amidst the heated rush of hurry, re-claim a few moments of sumptuous silence in the gap between the in-breath and the out-breath.

What do I truly need now?

The answer may come as one of those delicious surprises we find behind the tiny windows of the advent calendar. Our needs may be quite simple really. More sleep. This might mean loving ourselves enough to get into bed earlier. A sudden craving for rice pudding and custard that brings comfort reminiscent of a childhood when it snowed and all the word was white? This might mean buying pearl rice and switching on the oven to pre-heat. The strength to let go, to forgive the one who has hurt us so deeply. The willingness to forgive ourselves for hurting them too. This will certainly require humility and Grace.

What we need may be priceless. The simplicity of being in the presence of those we love with all our human hearts. A pause in the busyness.  Time to think. The strength to say no. In a voice that speaks as authentically now as it did in the 12th Century, the mystic Hildegard of Bingen invites us to “glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings…

child-659283__340Sagittarius is associated with the Quest for Vision, the Journey not the Destination, the Search for Meaning. We may never find any of the answers in this human life time, but we are ready to stretch and grow into all possibilities. Sagittarius is associated with long distance travel where we may encounter tastes and smells and rich new experiences, where we meet people who challenge our conditioning, free our minds, break away from boring routine. In Sagittarius we look up. And we’re amazed.

As the gyre of this year comes full circle, cultivate gratitude and optimism. See the delight in a little child’s eyes. Embrace comfort and joy. Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.771493d40834c45daa97c83feabf742b

 

 

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Eyes wide Shut: Sun in Scorpio―October 23

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Just when we think we have garnered peace and tranquility, a wrecking ball shatters the structure of our lives. Pulverizes all that we believed was “real.”

We may have been blindsided by flattery or the heat of a lust we thought was long-lasting love. We may find out that it’s all a mirage, shimmering in a dust storm of lies. We may acknowledge that we have cruised along on autopilot. Allowed entry to our life the very thing that liquefies our viscera, congeals the blood in our veins, rubs against our values, endangers all those things we hold dear.

There’s a new harmonic in the symphony of the spheres today. The Sun moves into Scorpio, illuminating those parts of our human nature that grow in darkness: intense desire, envy, jealousy, resentment, vengeance, rage, powerful sexual urges, primitive drives, death. In ancient astrology, Scorpio was The Serpent that shed its skin, renewed itself. The Serpent was the symbol of healing often associated with the goddess. In modern times, the archetype of Scorpio carries with it a primal energy that lies coiled in the blackness of time.  Shedding of skins, even for snakes, is not an easy process. Blind eyes and searing vulnerability so often accompany sloughing off and release. Yet, the essence of Scorpio is renewal, letting go of those things that serve us no longer, amputating those parts of our lives that are beginning to rot.

Mercury and Jupiter are the Sun’s travelling companions this month. The whistle-blowing on sexual harassment and assault has exposed the gangrenous decay in our society that has festered in silence, for years.  The renewal and trans-formative power of human sexuality, as well as the distorted perversions and abuse of sexuality are Scorpionic themes, amplified by Jupiter’s passage through Scorpio over the next thirteen months. Scorpio, in its true essence, asks us to dive deep into rivers dark and dredge up what lies beneath: sexual diversity and preference, deep vulnerability and soul naked intimacy. The immense power of the unconscious, has a Scorpionic signature. So does the Life-Death-Rebirth cycle of  our relationships.

43eef4f8d46903e94be089a5c9c70bd1The Scorpion, when cornered, commits suicide by his own deadly sting.

For those of us with a strong Scorpionic thread running through our birth chart, this indomitable pride, this fierce resistance to control or humiliation is so often played out in the power struggle of relationship, graphically depicted in film and literature. Those of us who have walked away from relationships that were pickled in pain or abuse, those of us who have severed bonds with siblings or partners who are manacled by their own addictions, those of us who “burnt in the hell of a destructive partnership” rather than submit and walk away may still carry the ashes of our pain in the heavy urn of implicit memory.

Recreating a new life from the ashes of the old one is a soul craft that requires patience, skill and compassion. This may mean searching for the roots of the lotus flower in the dross of circumstance. This may mean changing the way we perceive the past and weaving a new story of our lives.

There’s a sparkling jewel that glistens on the necklace of poetry that is William Shakespeare’s The Tempest“Let us not burden our remembrances with a heaviness that’s gone.”

samhainMoving forward is an act of will. So is holding on. There is a Tibetan saying which goes something like “everything rests on the tip of motivation.”  We are required to dig deep to find the motivation to change the energetic field in which we live.  To have the courage to be re-born, over and over again. Mark Nepo in the Book of Awakening writes so beautifully, “Repetition is not failure. Ask the waves, ask the leaves and ask the wind.”

What we experience comes in cycles, so we can return again and again if we need to, and do it all at our own pace. “We fall down as many times as we need to, to learn how to fall and get up. We fall in love as many times as we need to, to learn how to hold and be held. We misunderstand the many voices of truth as many times as we need to, to truly hear the choir of diversity that surrounds us. We suffer our pain as often as is necessary for us to learn how to break and how to heal. No one really likes this, of course, but we deal with our dislike in the same way, again and again, until we learn what we need to know about the humility of acceptance,” says Nepo.

63712.ngsversion.1466467229375.adapt.1190.1The primal energy of Scorpio, illuminated by the Sun this month, may come in the form of that wrecking ball that smashes through the illusions, the silences, the memories that no longer serve us. It may come in the form of a truth that breaks the shackles that have bound us for so many years. It may come in Love’s renewal and the regeneration of our Desire.

 

 

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Basic Instinct

Jupiter in Scorpio—October 10, 2017 to November 8, 2018

butterfly_ashevilleJupiter crosses into Scorpio on October 10, 2017, and swims through Scorpio’s dark waters until November 8, 2018.

Words like optimism, abundance, “good luck”, generosity and excess cling to Jupiter’s corpulent mass. In Scorpio’s frozen waters, quick-fixes and cheery New Age platitudes just won’t stick. Jupiter in Scorpio amplifies our preoccupation with those things that prefer the cover of darkness: Sex, the use and the misuse of power, the criminal underworld, in-depth psychology and death.

In Scorpio we confront our sex drive, rampant or dormant, and genital brute force—rape, violent pornography, fetishes that go way beyond kinky experimentation, and adultery. In Scorpio we confront issues of trust and betrayal. This month, as Jupiter crosses the line, sex therapist Esther Perel releases her new book on sexual transgression—The State of Affairs. Drs. John and Julie Gottman use their Trust Revival Method to champion couples after the rupture of adultery.

The word, Adultery comes from Latin meaning “to pollute, or corrupt.” With Jupiter in Scorpio we must ask ourselves penetrating questions—what is polluted? Trust? Ownership? A vow or a covenant?

“There is some kiss we want with our whole lives,” wrote Rumi. It may take the sweet kiss of just one person to awaken us from our slumber. It may take the catalyst of an affair to expose the cracks in the chalice of our marriage. The tender memory of the lover’s embrace may bruise our skin for years to come, long after the albatross of the affair has been killed and thrown into the ocean depths. Poet Mary Oliver wrote about the affair her life partner, Molly Malone Cook, had just before they met— “She had an affair that struck deeply; I believe she loved totally and was loved totally. I know about it, and I am glad… This love, and the ensuing emptiness of its ending, changed her. Of such events we are always changed — not necessarily badly, but changed. Who doesn’t know this doesn’t know much.”

78d7c9801a2c0b64d5b70dd87814e6f4Sexual intimacy reveals our deepest vulnerabilities and ardent longings. Sex is more than an exchange of body fluids with Jupiter in Scorpio’s realm.

Jupiter expands our wanting and our longing. What have we  been settling for?  In committed partnerships it may be missing passion, mediocre sex. The energy of Scorpio requires uncompromising depth and true intimacy that can only be achieved with wisdom.

As we arrive at the crossroads of choice, do we risk all for passion, adventure, the unknown, when the rugged terrain of a long relationship has been charted, cohabited? Jupiter’s 13-month passage through Scorpio offers us a deadly serious choice: Do we risk it all to leap like a salmon over the rocks, tumble up waterfalls following our instincts as a new impetus of growth calls us to swim as if our life depends on it. And it often does.

If we’re the one that leaves, our parting of ways will involve a dismemberment of the life we knew. An annihilation of our old self. There will be dark nights when we wake with fear gnawing through our belly. Jupiter in Scorpio will bring the flotsam and jetsam of our lives to the shore of consciousness; are we willing to sift with reverence along the tidal zone ?

ff16e95348c6e06bbb4bb7392ea22a37Self-growth is seldom as simple as leaving the husk of a desiccated relationship, changing jobs, walking the Camino, or falling in love with someone new. It’s an arduous task, which requires endurance… and courage. Unless we’re willing to look honestly at ourselves, merely switching partners will bring us back to the same issues we tried to escape from with our previous partner, often leaving us marooned, stripped of our innocence. But if we are conscious and serious about the tugging at our hearts, there are rich lessons in each new relationship, as we retrieve the long-buried parts of ourselves.

Jupiter intensifies and distills our urgent wanting. We desire quality, not wasteful quantity. Clarissa Pinkola Estés writes, “One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the choice of mates and lovers. A lover cannot be chosen a la smorgasbord. A lover has to be chosen from soul-craving. To choose just because something mouth-watering stands before you will never satisfy the hunger of the soul-self. And that is what the intuition is for; it is the direct messenger of the soul.”

dance 10When, at last, we come to trust our own instincts, hear and respect our own voices, feel valuable enough to touch that fertile, erotic, vulnerable part of our self, buried beneath the sediments of cultural conditioning, we dare to risk bursting into blossom.

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