TrueHeartWork | Mercury
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Mercury Tag

The Promises We Keep—Sun in Libra— September 23rd—October 24th

Libra 2Today is a point of balance, the Autumn or Spring Equinox. An ancient memory may stir within us at this time of awakening and surrender as wildflowers thrust their bright faces towards the sun in the south and a flutter of copper leaves quilt the northern hemisphere in russet and gold. On September 23rd, the Sun moves from the self-contained, contemplative archetype of Virgo into Venus-ruled Libra, the only sign of the zodiac represented by an inanimate object—libra justitiae, The Scales of Justice.

In the metaphorical language of astrology, the Libran part of our own birth chart will be illuminated for the next month as we practice and perfect the art of relating to others in an uncertain world, as we continually adjust, realign, re-establish our balance on the beam of life.

This is a time of weighing up, of accountability, and of carefully considering the promises we make, the promises we keep, to others and to ourselves. There’s a celestial line-up in relationship-orientated Libra right nowbetween September 22nd and 25th Venus and Mercury square Saturn and the South Node, that point of release, of old karma, that comfortable place of discomfort that draws us backwards, just when we begin to move forward. Saturn, associated with structure and boundaries, is said to be exalted in the Cardinal sign of Libra, so this month our integrity will be tested by those people or circumstances that knock us off balance, shatter our calm test our boundaries and our commitment. As we feel ourselves pulled into the dust storm of political intrigue and economic recession, we may be tempted to tumble from the beam as we wage war with the politicians, as we snipe at our lover, as we shame or abuse our body.

The Libran New Moon on 28th September (5° Libra) arrives with charm and grace and the promise of compromise. The Moon is invisible when she’s new, but she carries potent unseen energy if we have the courage to step back into balance, to find that still point of silence at the Centrepoint of our heart. We may begin to notice where we feel fractious, frazzled, out of kilter. We may buy ourselves a bunch of fresh flowers, close the curtains and light a candle, enjoy a favourite meal with the one we love.  The fast-moving Libran Sun makes a square to Saturn and Mars moves into Libra on October 5th strengthening the need to carefully consider and weigh, restore the balance, before taking action. Libra feature image 4

 

The Full Moon on October 13th brings the raw vitality and verve of Aries to what we have imagined or initiated at the New Libran Moon. We hold the tension of opposites with Aries (self) and Libra (other). This Full Moon will reflect the state of our relationships. The bonds of love and loyalty that bind. The untethered ambiguity of those casual encounters that so easily tilt and topple. Research links happy committed relationship to lower stress levels, better immune function, and lower mortality rates, as oxytocin and vasopressin activate parts of the brain associated with calm, even the suppression of anxiety and pain.

Libra 322Libra is associated with the solemn ritual of marriage, the ethics of contracts and agreements. Mystic John O’ Donohue writes, “when we approach each other and become one, a new fluency comes alive. A lost world retrieves itself when our words build a new circle.” It’s the symbol of the circle, the wedding ring, that contains us and offers a bulwark against the uncertainty of the world as Pluto’s passage through Capricorn (2008-2023) agitates the dark currents of power, politics and big business.

In the West, we’ve inherited  a biblical injunction that marriage is sacrosanct juxtaposed with the view of the ancient Greek philosophers and French rationalists, where the right of the individual to happiness is enshrined. Writes Esther Perel, we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide.”
As we re-imagine the institution of marriage, we begin a dance that requires balance and commitment to staying the course in a world that seems so uncertain. Psychologist Sue Johnson writes, “this drive to emotionally attach—to find someone to whom we can turn and say ‘Hold me tight’—is wired into our genes and our bodies. It is as basic to life, health, and happiness as the drives for food, shelter, or sex. We need emotional attachments with a few irreplaceable others to be physically and mentally healthy—to survive.”Libra 30

Marriage can flay and brand, or softly kiss our soul. It is through our sentimentality, our innocence, our insistence in the “happily ever after” and the romantic dream of the marriage made in heaven, that we meet the dark challenges that a soul-ful union will always toss, like a gauntlet, before us.  It is through the difficulties, often the sojourns in hell, that we refine the prima materia, the raw stuff of life, and learn the phases of Love in all their complexity. Writes Amy Bloom, “marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.”

On a metaphysical level, the ritual of Marriage is sacred. It is a rite of passage, through which we metamorphose into a deeper, more soulful self. We integrate the masculine and the feminine within; we discover that he or she is not the god/goddess we thought they were. We discover we cannot depend on our partner to make us whole, to love us forever and ever, or to make us happy.

Libra feature imagePerhaps we could see marriage as a threshold into a mansion of self-discovery. An archaeological dig into the layers of our ancestral past. A calabash that holds the milk of compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and for each other when we make mistakes, behave appallingly. Perhaps we ought not give up too soon, stand on our soap boxes pontificating about the flaws and weaknesses of the other. Perhaps then we will learn to truly love one another and not make a bond of marriage, but a circle of love that protects those who dwell within.

You were born together, and together you shall be forever more. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your daysKahlil Gibran.

For  private astrology readings and more regular astrology updates please connect with me on Facebook or by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

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In Modesty Blaze—Sun in Virgo

Everyone shines, given the right lighting—Susan Cain

 

5a1a5baa84aaeca8c9b0182c57b70afdThere’s a different quality to the light as the Sun moves through the sign of Virgo today. Now, as fields of gold are harvested and the last of the summer fruit hangs heavy on stooping branches, we may get a sense of Virgo’s connection with the slow, careful rhythm of the earth, the perfectly timed arrival of a cluster of black berries or the profusion of jasmine that bedecks the fence at the same time every year.

Where Virgo resides in our birth chart, this is where we hone our craft, where we polish and perfect. Virgo carries an imprint of self-containment and reticence, emphasised by the glyph for the sign of the Virgin which seems to curl modestly inwards. As the light softens in the North and grows brighter in the South, those shy souls who live quietly amongst cacophonous babble of self-aggrandisement and over-share that pervades our culture may feel the need to be introspective. For those of us who were shy and awkward as children, and have emerged as reclusive adults, we may prefer the undemanding company of a good book to cocktails at a trendy pop-up. We may feel more sensitive, more easily affronted by the blustering self-help guru who claims to be able to fix a floundering relationship in just eight minutes, or the “expert” who brandishes unexamined opinions on YouTube.

As a quiet procession of Virgo planets draws us inwards, we may feel the need to clear the clutter in our lives, quite literally “spring-clean” our homes, attend to our body by walking in nature, preparing lighter, easier to digest, meals. The Sun’s passage through Virgo highlights that part of zodiac where we must refine our skills without the compulsion to be seen or validated. We may take little steps. We may need time and gentleness to mop up the mess, attend to the details, mend what is broken or ailing in our lives. Another often overlooked aspect of the Virgo archetype is the Alchemist, the Healer, the Midwife, the Medicine Woman, the Sangoma.e00eee854266bfde589a7a8a920160ff

Virgo is attuned to the silent cycles of the natural world. This is where we celebrate those quiet miracles, those very ordinary, often unacknowledged acts of service simply stitched into the fabric of our daily lives. We may meet this archetype in those who serve, those who take care of the details, those who mop up the mess. The driver of the bus who patiently explains to a breathless Spanish visitor the best route to take to the park. The volunteer at the animal shelter or food bank. The young man who drives an ambulance by night as a way of giving back.

 

Virgo 18It was Carl Jung who coined the term, “introvert” in the 1920s.  His either-or-markers for our personality traits seem simplistic and one-dimensional in the context of astrology. The light and shadows of our birth chart depict the nuanced complexity and the challenges of our human experience.  Jung’s radiantly “extroverted” Leo Sun in wide conjunction with Uranus in the 7th house would have glowed in the spotlight, but his Taurus Moon conjunct Pluto in the 4th house may have preferred soft lamplight or the dappled shade of the forest.

 

“Introverts are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling,” Jung is purported to have said, “extroverts to the external life of people and activities.”

 

Self-proclaimed consummate introvert, Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, writes “Introversion—along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness— is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living in the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.” Susan Cain Virgo

 

Susan Cain’s birth chart suggests that she has enough “extrovert” fire in her belly to become a successful author, public speaker, and Harvard Law school graduate, thanks to an assertive and competitive Mars in Aries and very possibly a Moon in Sagittarius. Her Pisces Sun conjuncts Chiron, Venus and Mercury are in Pisces, suggesting a deeply sensitive, intuitive way of self-expression and relating.

Venus demurely slipped into Virgo on August 21st, to be followed by The Sun (August 23rd) and Mercury (August 29th) and a Virgo New Moon (August 30th).

 

Virgo 10On August 24th, the relational planets, Venus and Mars, merge their essence, emphasising our human need for consistency in our close bonds with those we care for. They are conjunct on August 24th (at 4° Virgo, an echo of their last meeting at 19° Virgo in September, 2017) breathing soul, vital breath, into those bonds that fulfil our deep desire to belong, to be seen and to be deeply listened to. Author Elizabeth Gilbert who has a Moon in Virgo, describes the cadence of lasting love so beautifully, “to be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow— this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”  The older astrologers say that Venus is in her “fall” in Virgo. An outmoded and rather demeaning term that obscures the luminosity of this vibrant goddess as she appears in sensual, earthy Virgo. She’s anything but “fallen”. She rises strong, bringing the magic of the alchemist to her relationships, the sensitivity of the healer, the receptivity, the fresh uncalculatingly freshness of the Virgin to those who delight in her company. Venus in Virgo is the Earth Goddess who looks her best in dappled light, and as she joins Mars in Virgo this month, we  hone our innate capacity for empathic connection, we cultivate and nurture enduring  friendships,  we mend bonds that may be frayed or broken, and gently place ourselves in just the right lighting.

“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamp-lit desk. Use your natural powers—of persistence, concentration, and insight—to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.”  Susan Cain.

If you’d like to know more about your own birth chart, please connect with me by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.comVirgo 26

 

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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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Force of Nature—Uranus returns to Taurus—March 6th

0b1272a595b4667197dd90e774fc1235And now you’ll be telling stories
of my coming back
and they won’t be false, and they won’t be true
but they’ll be real―Mary Oliver

We cannot ignore the wind of change that is blowing across the world right now. We cannot ignore the fierce rattle at the windows of economies and governments. We’re living at a tipping point of turbulence and transformation that will test our spiritual mettle.

These winds that shake the barley may blast us from the echo chamber of our minds, unstop our ears, open our hearts. As Einstein said, “no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”  Now more than ever we require a new dimension to our consciousness, a new way of Being in a world where nothing is certain.

4ebf9930465d786077af8bf6736b47f5Most of us doggedly resist change, pay lip-service to diversity, avoid new beginnings. We’re hard-wired to take the path well-travelled.  And yet, on some level, most of us know that the external props in our lives are as flimsy as straws when the wild wind blows. Nothing and everything has changed.

Our initiatives and ambitions may be undermined this week, visibility obscured. Mercury—Magician and Trickster—begins to swim backwards in Pisces on March 5th, entering a three-week Retrograde period until March 30th, during which Mercury also conjoins Neptune for the third time. Mercury Retrograde cycles offer us a new perspective, an opportunity to retrace our steps, to rethink, repair, redo, return perhaps to where we started from. Mercury rules data, information, communication, travel, mechanical things.  Mercury in Pisces floats and dreams, softening sharp edges, blurring what we believe is the truth. On March 6th Civil, a new platform for investigative independent journalism is launched, born on the winged sandals of Mercury, the messenger, the net-worker, the communicator. We’re coming back with real stories.

Mercury Retrograde cycles have gained notoriety for miscommunication, transport delays, and technology that malfunctions.  But if we allow ourselves to yield; if we sigh out, soften; if we can relinquish our tight grip of structure and schedules, we may be astonished. Mercury Retrograde periods are times to notice how the outer world reflects our inner world.

The New Moon in Pisces on March 6th signals an expectant new beginning, that may draw us deeper into concealed currents of emotion. In Pisces, we don’t pare down, divide or analyse; rather, boundaries dissolve, colours run, everything empties into One.

As we return once more to that pure potent energy of freshness, we feel shiny and new.  The Sun conjunct Neptune swells the surge of fresh water, softening the sharp edges of our personal will, seeping through our defenses, stirring compassion, imagination, and our child-like belief in whimsy, in mystery, in magic.

This is also the day that Uranus returns to Taurus. We may begin to trace our footsteps along a road that winds back to the months between May and November 2018.

We may take a moment to revisit the discomfort of adjustment to new circumstance, the choices, the decisions, the roads we travelled.

702d922c275d18fffd1354899350fefaUranus remains in Taurus until 2026, shaking and jolting us from the steady rhythm of our cossetted lives, widening the fault lines in our relationships, swallowing the earth from under our feet. As we ricochet from our rut, Uranus may escort epiphanies that separate us from what we love and value, pushing us over the edge. Uranus destabilises, brings anarchy, chaos, revolution and rebellion. Uranus is the Sky god who brings innovation on winds of change.

As Uranus moves through Taurus, cracks will appear in financial systems. Where we’ve been holding on greedily to possessions and those things we think we value, we may experience sudden losses, upsets, that unchain us from those things that bind us. In the West, our worship of materialism, our lust for power, and insatiable craving for more and more is the wound that cuts us off from Mother Earth, from the natural rhythm of our bodies. Uranus in Taurus will highlight our physicality, our inter-connectedness with all living things and the cycles of Nature. Taurus is associated with cattle. The BBC Four series, Secret Life of Farm Animals shows how cows thrive in the wild, intuitively eating those herbs and shrubs that aid digestion and control parasites, how they love music and problem solving, how they tenderly nurture their young. As Uranus moves through Taurus, the conditions of cattle in the meat and dairy industries will have consequences.  Yuval Noah Harari writes, You want to know how super-intelligent cyborgs might treat ordinary flesh-and-blood humans? Better start by investigating how humans treat their less intelligent animal cousins. It’s not a perfect analogy, of course, but it is the best archetype we can actually observe rather than just imagine.” Uranus in Taurus 2

As Uranus moves through Taurus, climate change and erratic weather patterns will remind us of the inter-connectedness of all things. As Uranus moves through Taurus, we may encounter the Minotaur at the centre of the labyrinth: that part of ourselves, or the society we live in, that has been secreted away, feared, disowned, denied. With Uranus we may feel a sense of alienation, of being an outcast. We may feel restless, distraught, utterly alone. Uranus is associated with breakthroughs, the kind of breaking through that breaks us open, brings us to our kneesthe sudden death of a loved one, the shocking news that upends our world, the lightning-bolt encounter that electrifies us, shifts our perspective.

Uranus in Taurus 10When we’re shook up and shattered, on our knees, we may receive a flash of insight that directs us to a new bend in the road.

To live authentically in this new world, we will require grit and integrity and the spiritual strength to hold the tension of opposites. To enter, as the Spanish mystic, Teresa of Avila, who lived in the burning times of The Inquisition (1500s) said: “let us remember that within us there is a palace of immense magnificence”. 

For astrology workshops in the UK and consultations on Skype or Whatsapp, please email me―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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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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White on White—Mercury the Magician

White on white 22Marriage is not a ritual or an end.

It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partnerAmy Bloom.

Fairy Tale Weddings are compelling in their sentimental perfection. The flowers, cake, months of meticulous preparation. The dress, tiara, spray-on tan, flowers in the button holes.

In our desire for the perfect wedding we so often find the golden apple of Discord. The Trickster appears to knock the bouquet off the altar of tradition. The fainting bride, the glitch in the sound system, little page boy who squeals just as the vows are pronounced. A flaw in the perfection of the meticulously planned occasion that brings laughter, and that may be the prelude of a profound agitation of two entwined souls. Like actors on a stage, bride and groom, play out the old scripts of the marriages before them. In their own lives, or in the matrix of their family history.

The compelling mystery of Marriage is that it can flay and brand, or softly kiss our soul. It is through our sentimentality, our innocence, our insistence in the “happily ever after” and the romantic dream of the marriage made in heaven, that we meet the dark challenges that a soul-ful union.  It’s through the difficulties, often the sojourns in hell, that we refine the prima materia, the raw stuff of life, and experience the phases of Love in all their complexity.

As the days of May unfurl like bright-coloured scarves tossed by the wind, Mercury guides us across the threshold of change and the ritual of Marriage. Mercury is associated with the Trickster and the Magician archetype, and is the patron of youth, of new possibilities, new perceptions, offering us the gift of ingenuity and intellect.ae6b30abe4584b2f97890bbee2582c6a

Mercury has been riding tandem with Uranus for the past few days, a high-voltage energy, so perfectly typified by the spectacle of this year’s Eurovision song contest, and the win by Israel’s Netta Barzilai who celebrated diversity in her confident delivery. Mercury changes sign this week, slipping into Taurus on May 14th.  Taurus embodies an earthly, sensual, resourceful energy, and as Mercury changes into the richly sensual clothing of Venus-ruled Taurus, this ingress signifies a phase of cerebral creativity for us all on some level.

The Taurus New Moon on May 15th heralds a threshold crossing, corresponding with Uranus’ ingress, the start of a new seven-year cycle, as Uranus penetrates the calm solidity of Taurus. Uranus, associated with upheaval, with sudden change that uproots the past, shatters the status quo. This marks an unfolding journey for us personally, and collectively, that will initiate us into unexpected change, fresh starts, and new challenges, just as the ritual of marriage marks a turning point in our lives, an initiation into an ancient covenant.

Uranus in Taurus featured pixAmidst the blush of cherry blossom and the pristine purity of white-thorn, tradition and ceremony, street parties; amidst the flags strung against blue skies in celebration of the Royal Wedding, the stage is set for a sequence of astrological aspects that herald unexpected events and an opportunity to stretch and bend with changing circumstances in our lives.

Mars, the planet associated with action, with severance, moves into Aquarius, squaring Uranus, on May 16th creating the potential for a destabilising energy that urges us to break apart, to separate from something that may have grown too stuck, too staid, too stultifying. Mercury squares the Nodal axis, symbolising a “fatedness” a sense of “destiny” that’s embedded in the ceremony and tradition that will be enacted on May 19th.

Uranus was last in the sign of Taurus between 1934 and 1941, and these next seven years will have implications for those of us with planets or angles in the late degrees of Cardinal signs and the early degrees of fixed signs. Meghan Markle (North Node, Mercury and Sun in early degrees Leo) and her popular Prince (Pluto at 00 degrees Scorpio and Moon in Taurus) will not be exempt.  Uranus energy feels like an electric current that sizzles uncomfortably and the more we resist the more we may feel we are being electrocuted. As new revelations compel us to marry the polarities in our lives, or cast away the old, and bravely say, “I do”, the symbolism of the Royal Wedding on May 19th invites us all to look beneath the spectacle, to notice the signs and the symbols, to be curious about the road ahead.df12ebdbd4816f8a81b0dd3618f92b9e

For some, there’s something reassuring about ceremony, securely tied like bright bunting, to poles of upright tradition. For a few hours of revelry and wonder, the strains of struggle and uncertainty will be soothed by splendour and spectacle. Even though our lives may continue to continue, we may feel a little differently, a little changed, perhaps, more open, more perceptive and curious about the world we see. On a metaphysical level, the ritual of Marriage is sacred. It’s a rite of passage, through which we metamorphose into a deeper, more soulful self.  It’s an alchemical process though which we have the opportunity to integrate the masculine and the feminine within. Soon, we may  discover that he or she is not the god/goddess we believed they were. Soon we may discover we cannot depend on our partner to make us whole, to love us forever and ever. Author Mignon McLaughlin observes, “a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”

In the unfolding of our love, we may discover that marriage is a threshold into a mansion of self-discovery. A home-renovation project that takes us to the foundations of our  past. And as we witness this Royal Wedding, something ancient within us all will unfurl like bright bunting, as we raise our glasses to Hope.

white on white 8For astrology readings on Skype or in person, and for information on womens’ workshops, please contact meingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

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Miracles and Wonder—Light and the Dark of the Moon January 2018

56838d5aff9f13ef84692959b204257bIf you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down—Toni Morrison

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 your carefully scheduled New Year planner.6b6a23914dceb57b5308f1808a99e48b
“God never gives us more than we can handle”, is the trite knee-jerk response to desperate calamities and unspeakable suffering that so many endure. A visit to a psychiatric hospital, a war zone, the trauma unit in your local hospital, witnessing an execution on You Tube, makes me question what kind of god who would gift us with this kind of suffering.

The uncomprehending stare of a young mother’s eyes when she is told her child has died, a young man paralysed from the waist after diving into an azure pool one hot summer’s day, the black dog of depression that gnaws at so many, trapped in a snare of excruciating loneliness and loss.

 

63bb2d49cd6977e9cd095104c19e7230For 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.

Our 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.
1e64214c60f641fd56a4da1dd54af859Ananke 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.

This 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.”185d87a49608548f1fc31957c125ab58


The astrological signature this month accentuates persistence, discipline, and realism. The quiet dignity of commitment. The promises we keep. The words we honour. Mercury changes sign on January 11th, joining the Sun, Saturn, Venus and Pluto in Capricorn. And the month of January is bound by a pair of full-bellied Moons that hang melon-ripe, luscious in the night sky. They nudge so close to our earth that they appear larger, brighter than usual. American astrologer, Richard Nolle, coined the term Supermoon, in 1979, and symbolically these Moons amplify and illuminate those areas in our lives, casting their silvery luminescence on what might have been obscured or denied. On January 2nd, at the threshold of this new year, the Cancer Moon nestled protectively close to her sister Earth as we shrugged off the old year to gaze with hopeful eyes upon the pristine newness of the year ahead. This Moon was a harbinger of the total lunar eclipse on January 31st, at 12 degrees Leo. Observe the interplay of the elements—fire and water, yin and yang. The contrast in the terrain of the landscape this month might be a template for the choices we must make to fly as we let go those things that weigh us down, or stoically accept that things are as they are for now. Leo is associated with spontaneity, with self-expression and with courage.
This lunar eclipse is the first of the eclipse season this year, the next lunar eclipse occurs on 27th/28th July five degrees Aquarius.

As the shadow of our Earth sweeps across the face of the Moon she grows darker. Imagine how our ancestors would have observed the goddess growing darker, redder, or paling into blue, depending on the amount of dust in our atmosphere—a sign, an omen.

Modern astrologers tend to agree that eclipses are wild cards, and the effects are unpredictable, though solar eclipses tend to be externalised and lunar eclipses are subtler, more internal, often related to the past, to our emotions and perceptions.

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 and 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.0000e417_medium

 

 

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Thinking makes it so―Mercury Retrograde―December 3rd to December 24th

4ea64aed0f9de5ea2594e99b4f4e0b66

“What time has ever been a simple time for those who are living it?” asks author Elizabeth Gilbert in her novel, Committed. And yet, as news rushes through the tendrils of technology, flooding our nervous systems, squatting for days and weeks in our divided minds, this time, for most of us living in it, is knotted with perplexing complexity and information overload. The old ways are not working any longer yet for so many of us, nothing seems clear or certain in a world where plastic grows like a cancer in our oceans and human populations bloom like algae. Where what seemed sure and certain empties into the unknown.

On December 3rd, Mercury began its last Retrograde cycle for this year (December 3rd-24th.)

In the nuanced language of astrology, the planets describe the quality of experience we  assimilate and express. A Retrograde Mercury asks us to be patient and tenacious in the face of delays or obstacles, and amidst the ceaseless clamorous chatter, to “remember what peace there may be in silence.”

Patience and the commitment are carelessly tossed aside in the distractions of the times we live in. Yet in the North, Nature withdraws, retires inwards and waits patiently for spring’s Resurrection. Colours empty into shades of grey and stark skeletal branches pierce through the low lidded sky. In the South, shards of sunlight shatter the blue-sky dome with a radiance that saturates the secret life of rocks and trees. Shimmering light sweeps across the ocean sprinkling daubs of dancing silver over the crests of the waves, rendering us drunk with light, satiated with heat, immobilised, enervated.  Time quivers and expands.2370c600ab2525602f92996176404e54

This time of the year may bring endings, the potential of new beginnings. It may bring the polarity of choice that skewers us in indecision.

Between the retraction of Winter or the swelter of Summer, the way forward may not yet be clear. We may have to be still. We may have to wait.

Astrological Mercury embodies eons of symbolism that can be traced to the Babylonian, Chaldean, Egyptian mythology and religious systems. A strongly placed Mercury in your birth chart enhances your ability to be humorous and charming. Mercury is the teacher, the comedian, the net worker, the communicator, the trickster who brings lightness and laughter and a new perspective to our world. Mercury is also associated with Thoth, the Egyptian god of healing and fertility and it is with our words that we can heal, with our words that we can birth new possibilities.

The Retrograde cycle of Mercury occurs three times every year and moves through the elements of fire, air, earth and water, in a procession across the zodiac, alerting us the rhythm of inner reflection that is needed for a more conscious experience of living. Mercury’s realm is magical trans-formation. He was the god of cross-roads and times of transition. Mercury was the only god who travelled back and forth from the Underworld.

Mercury is an important planet in our birth chart, signifying how we access information from the unconscious as we silence the chatter of our mind. In these Mercury Retrograde cycles, our perceptions may shift, igniting the creative process, birthing brilliant ideas.

Right now, we are all, on some level, experiencing a Mercury Retrograde cycle in the fiery sign of Sagittarius, which is a sign associated with our beliefs about the world. Sagittarius is about expanding our awareness, learning something new, perceiving with new eyes.

fire-2837843_960_720Mercury harmonises its energy with Saturn (November 28th December 9th and again from January 11th 15th)  and as this calendar year hurries to an end, we may feel a sense of moving through treacle, sucked down by obstacles when everything around us is moving so fast. As Saturn and Mercury, hang low in the molten evening skies, there’s a deeper message contained here, said so simply by the Buddhist monk, Haemin Sunim: When everything around me is moving so fast, I stop and ask, “is it the world that’s busy, or is it my mind?”

Saturn is often connected with the law of karma and Mercury is about our perception. When these two energies combine in the heavens we return to the inner sanctum of our thoughts, that very private, personal space where linear time dissolves. We may choose to revisit the past, to follow the sweet scent of nostalgia to rest in unchangeable memories of someone we loved with all our heart. We may decide to clear away a tenacious thought that clings like a burr, repelling our peace in the still dark hours just before the dawn.

“Don’t let the hand you hold hold you down,” wrote the poet, Julia de Burgos. The simplicity of this statement may have a resonance for those of us who still hold the hand of an old hurt, a fearful thought, a limiting core belief.

Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” said the Bard. Nothing exists until we become aware of it. It’s the awareness of our minds that births the world we see into being. It’s our perception that makes the time we live in simple, or painfully fraught.  All it takes is a conscious shift in perception to see a new world, a promised land, a world where we can anchor in Faith, trust in the process of  Life itself. “Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature”, says Thich Nhat Hanh.

3ff8b87dfdae59ca145c6e7a23d5fc0bToday, let’s bring new vision, self-reflection, and healing to our thoughts and to the  words we speak. Today, let’s be mindful that we do have a choice to re-write our signature, clearly and simply.

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