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 journal—and 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.
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