Water is the driving force of all nature—Leonardo da Vinci.
A halo-crowned moon drifts through a silver bank of cloud tonight calling to the salty waves, the ripple of the lakes and the rivers, to the watery memory of all living things.
Aquarius is the water bearer. To the ancients, Aquarius signified the cool life-giving waters of life that have shaped the cycles of human civilizations for eons. Tonight, the moon’s otherworldly luminosity is somewhat circumscribed by a union with realistic Saturn (now Retrograde but moving direct on October 18th), an intransigent square to revolutionary Uranus (Retrograde August 24th), an agitated Mars, and a resolute North Node that speaks unfashionably of fate and destiny in a world where we naively believe that we’re in charge. As Uranus, Mars and the North Node align in the heavens, they trigger a tempestuous energy that may feel disruptive and explosive but will herald a wash of new energy that will spill over as the year unfolds.
Here in the north, an unblinking Leo Sun scalds a meagre crop of blackberries that droop in the hedgerows and greedily sucks any moisture from the streams that still trickle. The great rivers, named after ancient goddesses, barely move.
This moon in Aquarius, its image an elegant urn filled to the brim with regenerative water, is a reminder that throughout his-story there have been cycles of destruction and renewal.
The astrology suggests that we are in a cycle of turbulence and destruction. We may keep afloat if we have global co-operation, but the waves of change will be tumultuous, even for those who can afford a first-class cabin.
The effects of Pluto’s passage through Capricorn and America’s Pluto Return will linger like the smoke of an expensive cigar for decades. When Pluto entered Capricorn, the Establishment shuddered. Financial systems toppled. Decadent Plutocrats took centre stage. Pluto will be travelling between Capricorn and Aquarius next year, settling in Aquarius, the sign of the common people, in 2024 for a decade that promises to be momentous for Silicon Valley, social media, and our rather naïve thought that technology can solve everything. Neptune is in his own sign of Pisces until 2025, swirling in a sea-change that has washed up the flotsam and jetsam of fake news, conspiracy theories, Botoxed influencers, magic mushrooms, memes, gender fluidity, spiritual awakening, and utter confusion. As Uranus shakes and shudders through the earth sign of Taurus (until 2025) the earth moves, and fires, floods, and melting ice caps signal a tipping point that has already toppled.
As the old winner takes all “masculine” paradigm of competition and scarcity still permeates our culture, and the unspeakable barbarism of war still dominates the news, we notice that Venus, a faceted jewel on the breast of dawn now, moves into Leo on August 12th, the day after this full moon. We may remember that in myth, Venus is both an evening and a morning star. She has two faces. To the Mayans, the Aztecs, and star watchers of Mesopotamia and Mongolia, when Venus appeared as a morning star, she was dressed for battle.
Mars, the mythic war lord, takes the verbal sword when he enters Gemini, a sign associated with duality and choice, on August 20th, and will remain in this restless airy realm until March 25th, 2023. How we respond to this sudden gust of hot air depends on our natal Mars placement. The pace is likely to quicken in terms of negotiations, and deals—sabre rattling—in Gemini, Mars wears winged sandals, instinctively rushing into heated arguments, throwing out (so often unconsidered and regretfully painful) comments on social media, over-stimulated nervous systems, and difficulty in surrendering to the sweet release of sleep. A wilful Mars is easily provoked as he accompanies unpredictable Uranus and the North Node this month (until August 15th) across the starry skies. Mars is our primal life force that emerges like a flame when we feel threatened, or when we muster up the courage to ask for what we want, and battle with those shadowy qualities that lurk within us all.
The Star Card in the Tarot is often associated with Aquarius. And the myth of the beautiful, but curious Pandora who searches for the truth, dares to open the forbidden casket, and releases a swarm of stinging, biting insects that fill the world with darkness; primal cold-blooded creatures that bite, puncture, and goad—terrible afflictions that infect mankind. Pandora kneels at the casket, her long-lashed eyes raised heavenward as she gazes at a shining star, for Hope remains in a corner of the chest, still there amidst all the confusion, despair, and suffering. And as old structures teeter and fall, as we sift through the rubble of broken promises, shattered dreams, landscapes blighted by drought or caught in the flames of war, the Moon completes her round in the heavens and turns her luminous face to the earth, she shines on us all, reminding us that we are inextricably linked by sensory information that floats with the star dust and settles in the water we drink, and the food that has been touched by someone’s hands. Like the ebb and flow of the tides, war lords will grow weary of battle, those who acquire and accumulate will begin to find a deeper connection to their hearts and souls.
The earth is changing beneath our feet. As we look to the moon tonight, may our hopelessness be transfigured by an infusion of lustrous moonlight, our dreams and visions of rivers and glistening oceans teaming with life, cities where children play amidst tall trees, their little bare feet planted on green grass, their tiny lungs gulping clean air.
May we do everything we can do to be in right relation with this precious pale blue dot, this earth, and all sentient creatures. It’s been twenty-eight years since Carl Sagan spoke these compelling words:
“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity—in all this vastness—there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
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