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solstice Tag

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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New Morning—Capricorn Solstice

Solstice 765 2018As the sun bleaches the blue from southern skies and a chorus of cicadas celebrate midsummer, the old Sun sinks wearily onto the cold belly of the earth at the midwinter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. We’ve reached the still point of the year.

Nature contracts, exposing an uncompromising knot-work of bare branches and stubble fields, and as the primordial pulse of the year stirs deep in our blood and bones, we might sense a slow, steady certainty moving through our body. The Solstice is the promise of life-giving light and rebirth. On Friday, December 21st at 22:22 GMT, we have the opportunity to pause, to realign, to plant new intentions that will ripen at the next Solstice on June 21st, 2019.

As the old year dies and the light of the sun rises again at dawn, if we look to the East, we may see Jupiter in Sagittarius, in conjunction with Mercury. Venus in Scorpio shimmers in a sweep of tangerine early morning sky as she makes a graceful trine to Neptune. Together these celestial messengers bring gifts of a new perspective, empathic and compassionate relating, and an appreciation for beauty, if we look beneath the ordinary, search for a chink of light.

TSolstice 81 2018he Sun’s last three aspects before it changes sign at 22:22 GMT on Friday, December 21st, are a square to Chiron (28º Pisces) on December 19th and the seamless embrace of a trine to Uranus (29º Aries). A tense quincunx to the Nodes in the cardinal Cancer/Capricorn polarity offers the opportunity to initiate change, to make adjustments in those areas of our lives connected to our home, our sense of security, our belonging. Now we can release limiting beliefs and futile striving, to embrace those things that nourish and sustain. Chiron represents a sacred wound, a painful prompting that leads us to us to a place where we would rather not go. An emotional or physical wound that will never heal, but that we can only bear with compassion and with understanding. Be tender and kind as a sudden remembrance leans against the bruise in our heart, or that familiar ache draws us back into our body. Amidst the tinnitus of the festive season, we may recognise and embrace a wounding that has been festering for years. In the days before the Solstice, there’s an opportunity for repair, for reconciliation, for release and liberation, if we trust the instruction of our heart.  John O’ Donohue writes, “this is the time to be slow, lie low to the wall until the bitter weather passes…”

Solstice 12 2018The belly of the Moon swells this week.

On Saturday the Moon (1º Cancer) opposes the Sun and sextiles Uranus. The Moon is in her own sign. With Cancer associated with the element of water, this lunation may heighten our instinctual response, amplify our emotion, sensitise our attunement to the unseen realms. Cancer is the Magna Mater, the Great Mother. The symbolism embraces all that brings us nourishment, comfort and safety. There’s a sepia-coloured nostalgia that infuses this lunation.  A longing for a childhood that perhaps never existed. For delicious home cooked food and indolent afternoons stretched out on the sofa in front of the fire. For families gathered around a festive table. It’s a longing exploited by advertisers, and that compels us to buy those things that we want but don’t need. This lunation is a precursor of the eclipse season which begins on January 6th with a solar eclipse at 15º Capricorn. Full Moons bring culmination. They illuminate aspects of our lives and depending on where this Full Moon falls in your own birth chart, you may be instinctively led to those things that bring comfort and joy, nurture and safety.

Solstice 3 2018Yet, this Full Moon illuminates an uncomfortable contradiction—amidst the excess and the exuberance of Christmas, there are millions of people who live their lives in the shadows of society. The old, the homeless, the working poor we summons from Uber and Deliveroo.

Capricorn is associated with the Father Archetype, with patriarchy and with the hard work of getting down to business. As Britain struggles to Keep Calm and Carry On in the face of an existential crisis, as walls rise around nations, and divisive thinking segregates, this lunation is a reminder of Cancer’s affinity with nurture and tenderness.  This is an energising marriage that could be a cameo of things yet to come, as the heavenly bride and groom cross the threshold into the new year. Cancer is all heart and with the Moon at home, there’s a need to shut out the world, cocoon in soulful, familiar surroundings. Cancer is about family, simple pleasures. The focus is Home and Family, and the mood is tender and vulnerable. Capricorn brings a moral awakening toughened with pragmatism. An injunction that that every thought, every action, has consequences. A reminder that even in our light-filled lives, there is an inevitability some call Fate, others call death.
As ageing populations face the inevitability of death, the conundrum of euthanasia and the human right to die with dignity must be addressed.  As the ghost of Jacob Marley brings us glimpses of Christmases past and present, and still yet to come, we may awaken this Solstice with more awareness and  more integrity, sobered by the spectre of climate change, animal abuse, unemployment and homelessness.

May we cross the threshold into this new year with light footprints and generous loving hearts. Blessings and Love this Solstice!

For regular astrological weather updates please See me on Facebook!

If you don’t fancy Facebook, I’ll send you the updates privately with pleasure. Just email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

For private readings, forecasts for 2019, and more information about workshops, please keep in touch.

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Still Point—Solstice—June 21st

solstice 14This 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—Margaret Atwood.

As 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 of the year.

Our Earth is girdled with contrast, bejeweled with the counterpoint of light and 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. The choice to expand, or contract against the forces of change that swirl around us all.solstice 000

Uranus moves through the sign of Taurus (2018-2026) engendering social and financial seismic upheaval, spurring climate change—a potential “ecological Armageddon” —to shatter our illusions of security and what we believe is safe and sure.  For many, these social and economic changes will change how we live, how we work. Like the interwoven spirals and coils of Celtic knot-work, the astrology of our times is threaded with the amalgam of the past. Uranus moved through the sign of  Taurus between 1934 and 1941. Yet, in the darkness of depravity and suffering many experienced their “their finest hour”. The Industrial Revolution between 1850—1859 irrevocably destroyed a way of life but also brought innovation and a new social and economic order as Uranus moved through Taurus.

Against the backdrop of the widening gyre, the Sun rides his chariot through that segment of the zodiac associated with home, with family, with safety and security, between June 21st to July 23rd.

Cancer is a water sign, associated with the bonds that bind us kith and kin, to the land of our Homeland, our Motherland. Cancer is associated with the Great Mother, with the mythic Bear and She-Wolf who nurture and suckle their young. Psychologically, Cancer offers the opportuntiy to explore the other dimension of Mother—the mother who lives vicariously through her young or who keeps them dependent and infantile. The mother who devours and destroys. Cancer represents our need to individuate, to separate from Mother and the family alembic. To turn from the breast and to nourish ourselves. In a world where health care and social security systems are being dismantled, this need for self-sufficiency and innovation may become more urgent.

Cancer is also associated with the  crab who carries her shell on her back to protect her soft body from the elements. This is poignantly enacted each day as homeless men and women pack up their meagre belongings from park benches and doorways in so-called “First World” nations.  In the poorer countries of the world, millions live in fetid squatter camps or risk their lives to seek refuge from famine and war. And in South Africa, land invasions will escalate in a disruptive and violent manner as Uranus moves through Taurus. As the gulf between the rich and the poor widens, Ted’s story is the story of thousands of men and women who, through divorce, retrenchment and rising prices, have lost their moorings, slipped into the abyss and have no place to call home in a bloated housing market peppered with Airbnb. Ted died at a table in a coffee shop in one of the most affluent areas of Vancouver this month. Battling cancer, with no means to rent or buy a home of his own, Ted had been living at a table near the washroom of the coffee shop for a decade. There are increasing numbers of people, struggling to cover the cost of food and housing in cities where house prices have rocketed. Judy Graves, an advocate for the homeless met Ted about four years ago when he had been diagnosed with cancer. “He had worked all his life, but at low-paying working-class jobs. For much of his life he had managed to scrape by, but an unexpected expense left him suddenly scrambling. Eventually he was left him without a roof over his head.”

solstice 4Frank Baum’s “There’s no place like home,” and the clichéd  “Home Sweet Home,” reflect our heart’s longing for safety and belonging as we pause in the dreamy haze of mid-summer heat, or close the curtains against the raw chill of mid-winter. As Uranus moves through Taurus, one of the manifestations will be the issue of land and affordable housing—a place to call Home.

The dreamy magical month of June may have brought timely reminders to stay flexible amidst uncertainty and ambiguity of the bellicose tweeting, the self-aggrandisement of the politicians. We’re exactly one month away from eclipse season and as the Wheel of the Year turns, and we draw closer to the mid-Summer/Winter Solstice, Venus ingressed into Leo on Wednesday, June 13th, and Mercury slipped into Cancer on June 12th against the backdrop of Brexit, which will affect us all. Another colour wash is Mars opposing the North Node this week and beginning to slow down in the early degrees of Aquarius before turning Retrograde on June 26th to August 27th.

So, stay flexible and alert, prepare for things to change, perhaps not in the way that you expect them to. If you have planets in Aries or Scorpio, you might feel this shift quite dramatically as life seems becalmed. Return to basics, re-do, reinforce, and use this time wisely to replenish your own energy reserves. Black Elk offers this wisdom for Mars in Retrograde—It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.0dec402d59d23a9e1004a898b40af19c

Mars is the archetype of war and is associated with anger. Moving slowly through idealistic Aquarius, ideologies and the Tribal Mind are emphasised. When Mars is in Retrograde, his energies are bridled, curtailed, he cannot move freely or spontaneously. If you’ve ever been at the receiving end of an insult that explodes through your heart, you’ll have sense of the power of this astrological signature. These next few weeks may  may feel supercharged, yet nothing happens; our nervous system may feel like a string of a violin that has been strung too tightly. Be mindful of thoughts create tsunamis across the surface of your mind and capsize your calm, words that emerge from the cave of your unconscious and darken the blue skies of affection.

Mars always needs to pick a fight, so the energy may feel as  volatile as a swarm of bees racing through the skies con a hot summer’s day. If you’ve been putting up with, or tolerating a situation that has become untenable, anger may erupt in a heated rush as Mars goes direct. Projects, plans may proceed with unprecedented speed.

We’re living in uncertain times.

Yet there’s a certain kind of freedom in uncertainty. Freedom from our addictive fear of the unknown, freedom from our past conditioning.

Writes Deepak Chopra, “in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.”

solstice 7I post astrology updates regularly on Facebook, and offer private readings on Skype or in person, so do please connect with me, I’d love to hear from you—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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Grace

grace-2There’s a quickening amidst the hurdy-gurdy rub of holiday preparation, the hurried rush to cross the finishing line of this year gone by. There’s a bright promise of something new that shimmers in the light of the Full Gemini Moon on December 14th.  The last of three Supermoons, she’s perigree, hugging close to the generous curve of the earth’s flank. A minuscule mote of light in the infinite darkness of the cosmos.

For so many, this year has been a Perfect Storm. A sharp-bladed scythe of setbacks. A blow-out of betrayal. For others, a soul-searing loneliness coils tightly around gaudy decorations and the repetitive loop of Christmas carols. We may be  wrung out. Weary amidst the clocks and calendars and linear time. Astrology like the seasons, is cyclical and there is “ a time to every purpose under heaven.”

The Super-moon illuminates and magnifies the energy of the Sun conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius, T-square to Chiron in Pisces. Concealed within the dark dross of  loss and pain, secreted beneath those things that block or thwart us, lies the gold, back-lit now by lunar light.

people-walkingThere’s a subtle theme change on December 19th. Mercury stations retrograde conjunct Pluto (Capricorn, 15 and 16 degrees respectively ) Mars moves into watery Pisces that same day introducing a  subdued tone to the music of the spheres, a deeper, more introspective harmony, if you’re willing to listen. The Solstice on December 22nd heralds the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn marking mid-winter or mid-summer in the seasonal cycle. A pause. A gap. A  hiatus that offers us time for spiritual renewal. The Solstice Libra Moon conjunct Jupiter opposing Uranus offers a liberating vision of exquisite beauty, inner peace and harmony if we are willing to look around us with new eyes and consider, as Judith Lasater suggests, that “we are being called into realization with great urgency and extraordinary beauty, and oftentimes not without difficulty.”

photograph-by-logan-swayzeIn a world currently experiencing a great cycle of break-down and transformation, we do have a choice. Amidst the hurdy-gurdy rub of hurried distraction, the completion of deadlines, the planning for the future, we have an opportunity to pause, breathe out. To choose to remain, even if only for the briefest moment, in that magickal space between the past and the future. To be—in the gap—of now. To find grace amidst the tired, tattered tail-end of the year.

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.”

This  human journey is a journey of discovery that everything that happens to us can deepen our understanding, open our heart to the new willingness to change our story.

contemplation-mercury-rx-9Author and teacher Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes: “the doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”

We are birthed with each new cycle, every new experience. Spiritual traditions are the husk that surrounds the fertile seed of forgiveness. Forgiveness like Love and Happiness is a word that has lost its currency and yet there is enormous potency in the mystical act of forgiveness. Estes names four stages of forgiveness:

Foregoing: refusing to dwell on the wounded place in our heart or the dervish thoughts that spin drying in our minds. To “take a vacation from it” to create a space for the healing to begin.

Forbearing: to make the decision not to be hostile, not to succumb to guilt or rage. Practicing instead generosity of spirit as a therapeutic balm over our scar tissue

Forgetting: letting it go, laying it to rest. Making a conscious effort to put it out of our mind.

Forgiving: to let go of any expectations that we are “owed” anything, or that the other person will take responsibility for our pain. We may not like the person, we may not choose to spend much time with the person, but we let go of the need to make them pay or suffer for what they did to us. We thank them for the part they have played in our growth. We become what we don’t forgive, she reminds us.

May you have the Grace to forgive yourself and those who have hurt you so terribly, that you may be released to live the life you have come here for.

May Grace imbue the dying year with the promise of re-birth. May the light of the Sun and the Moon  illuminate your pathway.

trees

The Byrds, Turn, Turn, Turn

Kate Havenik- Grace

 

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Sacrifice

sacrifice 1Make America Great Again. It’s a call to action that offers the promise of something tangible amidst the vague rhetoric and mud-slinging in America’s House of Cards.  Pluto has been opposing the Sun of the American chart all through 2014 and 2015. The Titan Nation is approaching the end of a cycle with its Pluto Return in 2023/2024 and all that is rotten, untenable for the evolution of America will be pruned over the coming years.

Who will tend to the Garden? To some, Donald Trump’s appeal is crazy. With his fly-away corn-yellow hair secured beneath a baseball cap, the ageing billionaire steps up to the podium and delivers a message that entertains some and baffles others. He’s the Jester, the Comedian, the Wizard of Oz. He offers to a population fed on a banal diet of Reality TV and processed food a message as feel-good as a bucket of KFC. American author, David Eggers, writes, Is it more troubling, or less troubling, knowing that no one in the audience really cares what he says? And could it be that because Trump’s supporters are not all drawn from the lunatic fringe, but in fact represent a broad cross-section of regular people, and far more women than would seem possible or rational, that he could actually win?

For more astrology listen to this week’s podcast:

imagesX0JLUBI0America’s back yard is a tangle of weeds. From the outside looking in, we can glimpse the wood, not the trees.  Neptune and Saturn have been in square aspect since last November. These three squares symbolise what is going on collectively in a world where young men die as they dance and in Europe, refugees in threadbare clothing risk their lives in flimsy boats. The middle square occurred on June 18th when Saturn was at 12 degrees Sagittarius and Neptune at 12 degrees Pisces. Those of us with planets or angles at these degrees will be sensitised to the opposing energies of these two planets as we confront a choice between whether to be in Fear or to have Faith in a world that seems poised on the brink of madness.

The final square will be on the 10th of September this year when both planets are at 10 degrees of their respective signs and it will be interesting to see how things play out on the political stage in November. Saturn calls for realism and practicalities. Neptune reflects a facet of the collective consciousness that calls for some kind of sacrifice. With Neptune there is an irrational emotional identification that sweeps us along in a swirling murmuration. Trump may represent the distracting delight and glamour of Neptune as he says inappropriate things into the microphone and Elton John’s Tiny Dancer heralds his arrival at rallies with lyrics that have absolutely no relevance at all to the gravity of political office.

sacrifice 13Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand…

Trump’ s birth chart resonates with the chart of the USA.  Trump’s Gemini Sun squares Neptune in the US chart and there’s an interesting Mercury Venus/Jupiter/Sun contact. He is a mouth-piece for the collective psyche at this point in American history. The US chart has Sun square Saturn and Trump has Saturn conjunct Venus, a painfully self-deprecating aspect that builds a defense as thick as the soon-to-be-extinct rhino’s hide against rejection, feelings of inadequacy or vulnerability.

Yet, with Saturn-Neptune contacts there tends to be a blind spot which contains the seeds of sacrifice of some kind. If we look back in history to previous Saturn-Neptune contacts there is a sense of a collective sacrifice involved.

Saturn square Neptune in 1909/1910 heralded the Suffragette hunger strikes, the Saturn square Neptune in 1944/1945 birthed the Atomic Bomb and the V1 V2 rockets that reigned terror and destruction on Germany.

In 1963 the square manifested as Vietnam and the Counter Culture. In 1979-1980 we had Thatcher and Reagan and in 1998/1999 the seeds of the Financial crash were sown by the internet stock boom.

Neptune is an outer planet. It’s not personal. Astrologer, Liz Greene once referred to Neptune as death by drowning… an intoxicating woman at gravepull into something bigger than ourselves that envelops us into something that is beyond our individual understanding. The numinous quality of Neptune may draw us into situations where we lose our sense of clarity. We believe the promises of redemption offered by self-appointed Messiahs posing as politicians. And then perhaps these Messiahs themselves must be sacrificed, engulfed in Neptunian waters  to atone, to redeem something deeply off-centre in a world where there is so much polarisation, so much disconnection from Manley’s “ the dearest freshness deep down things.”

sacrifice 2Neptune is the silver screen, the make-believe world of film and television. Neptune may dissolve or distort our sense of reality or expose our sense of personal inadequacy which is Saturn.

The show is not over. When the last Saturn – Neptune square in September lifts the green curtain… The Tiny Dancer will sing.

So at this time of the Solstice, let’s take a moment to pause. To stand still long enough to allow clear vision and courage to anchor us amidst hype and confusion. In the words of poet and mystic John O’Donahue, “May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”

Elton John, Sacrifice

Neptunian Ocean by Pierre Carreau

 

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My Silver Lining

We’rsnowe living in a world where chunks of polar ice fall into the sea. Where forests burn and bomber planes fall from the sky.   We’re living in a world where the admonishment is to “consume” and destroy and Big Brother watches every move that we make. We’re living in a world where leaders  choose to ignore the wisdom of the yogis, the shamans, the spiritual teachers: All of Life is interconnected. When we burn down the rain forests in the Amazon and Indonesia, when we kill the last rhino and the last whale, we violate our own souls. The acts of insanity in our cities and in the Middle East, affect us all. We are experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul. Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism comments grimly, the world we are creating is an ADD-ridden flat land.”

John O’Donohue’s poetics resonate as the December 22nd solstice marks another round in the wheel of the year: “we have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature.” For those of us who long to retreat from the annual surfeit of spending and gathering of “stuff” we don’t want or really need, we may  deeply feel we have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature.  The relentless cheer of Christmas lights, the repetitive loop of  carols highlight the bleak grey landscape of loneliness or lack. The excess and the merry making may be excruciating for those who are estranged from their families, unemployed, or enduring the silent suffering of terminal illness. As the world turns to face into another year and dark clouds cover the sun, we search for redemption. We want a silver lining.sad woman 1

For all of us on this beautiful blue planet, the year 2015 was dominated by Saturn and Neptune reflecting above what is down below in a tense 90 degree square aspect. This square is a cosmic dance between these very different archetypal energies and will affect us personally (if you have a mutable planet in your birth chart between 5-12 degrees ) as well as collectively. Saturn is now in  fiery Sagittarius until 2018 and will offer challenges as well as growth gifts if we are willing to take the road less traveled.  Saturn encounters elusive Neptune between November 2015 and September 2016 as she shape-shifts through watery Pisces (till 2026). Neptune squaring Saturn is a tension of opposites that descends like a fine mist. It’s subtle. The effect of this transit may not be evident for some months after the final mutable square.

young girl at windowThis may herald a time of personal awakening, a deepening of faith, a new focus and direction. It may also herald a time of disillusion, deception, addiction, great suffering and disappointment as everything we believed to be solid in our lives seems to dissolve, nothing seems clear or sure. Saturn’s realm is structure, worldly progress and  material things. Neptune’s realm is murky, intangible, corrosive and often collides  with human values. As Neptune washes over Saturn’s boundary walls, firm foundations crumble and dissolve and we may be washed away in a tsunami of confusion. Money, health, relationships are frustratingly illusive. Our goals, our plans, our positive affirmations, all shape shift into a shimmering mirage in the dim distance.

Saturn in Sagittarius requires the truth. This is a time of inner re-calibration. Of vigorous self examination and honesty. A time of intelligent consideration of what is disseminated as news in the media.  A time of trusting that despite acts of terrorism, political and  corporate greed, and the pessimistic outlook for global warming after the COP21 in Paris this year, we can individually make a difference.

old loversFaith is a word we don’t often use in a bright solar world where we’re shining like the sun, always having fun, where every day is a “nice day.”

FAITH 1

Barbara Brown Taylor author of Learning to Walk in the Dark and Leaving Church writes, “faith is a huge naïve trust in those things we cannot control, we cannot see.”

Faith, for some,  is an irrational knowing that there will be enough money to pay the bills, that the apparently incurable dis-ease is merely a symptom of the soul’s malaise and can be cared for tenderly. Faith resides in the heart. It is the handmaiden of the soul. Faith is our silver lining.

heartWe may have to vigorously tame our thoughts, make a commitment to ourselves to release hoary old habits and rusty old grudges that keep us trapped like the Tin Man in armour that crushes our hearts. We may need to examine our lives scrupulously and ask if we are adding more aggression and self-centredness into the world. We may pray for the courage to put our soul in charge of our life. “We may not be comfortable but we will be awake and aware and fully alive,” says Prema Chodron, author of Taking the Leap and When Things Fall Apart.

Faith is not taking the easy road or staying safe. Faith is choosing again and again to trust that the world is a safe place, that Life is for me. “Trusting that whatever happens will teach me something.  That most people do not mean me harm. That I can make a difference in a few peoples’ lives by being present, by listening. That I can do some good both in community and on my own. That seems enough to live on for now,” Barbara Brown Taylor suggests.

“And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future,” said activist Howard Zinn. “The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory.”

Perhaps,  it is in silence, in the dark of the moon that we can be fully awake and in tune with the inter-connectedness of all living things.  In the pause, in the gap, in the space between the ceaseless chatter, we can be open and touch the energy of the moment. Perhaps it is through the dark clouds that we can glimpse the silver lining.silver lining 1

First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining

Ingrid Hoffman offers astrology consultations on Skype and in person please contact me at: info@trueheartwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

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There is a Season

The weeks before Christmas leave me breathless. Perhaps like me, you have a clamorous inbox of shoulds and ought-tos. An avalanche of choices, decisions to be made. Deadlines to complete before the holidays.  For many of us, uncomfortable emotions pop like Christmas crackers at family gatherings. We toss, turn and fret over problems that are still-born. How do we soothe the seeping hurt that curls cold fingers around this season of exuberance and joy? If this is the first, or one in many year ends that swirl around the carousel of loss, we may be still mourning the presence of the one we have loved.Our heart may ache inexplicably as the old year ends with such finality. As families gather together we may feel unspeakably alone amidst the tinsel and the gaudy lights. How do we draw up festive ebullience within ourselves when our well is dry? When what we really want to do is close the door, turn out the light, stay home tonight – and tomorrow night?

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. The calendar year may be coming to an end now, but we may still be in the midst of a long winter cycle of intensely private grieving.  The lyrics of a song played on New Year’s Eve may draw us back to a different time and another place, to a small unmarked grave where a piece of our heart is 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.

The calendar year is a man-made construct. In the cyclical nature of our own lives, let us take time to pause in these weeks before the holidays. Perhaps to tenderly anoint the scars of painful losses. Perhaps to finally relinquish all our hopes or expectations of things being different.  Perhaps to find the Grace to accept those things we cannot change. Endings can be stock taking times. Times to acknowledge that if we were ready to make those changes in our life, taken that different road, we would have. Times of knowing that we did the best we could at the time.

So 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 in the planning, the doing, as this calendar year draws to a close, let us be 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 our self 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 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. Now, think.

Know that our soulfulness ebbs and flows. Know that it has seasons of joy and of sorrow. So as the gyre of this year comes full circle, take time to harvest the abundant treasures of your heart. Tell yourself how well you have done, how far you have travelled, how very brave you have been. Cultivate a garden of gratitude. Pause and smell new fragrances. Stop and really see the moon and the stars.  Savour the flavours of this season, and know that this too shall pass.

Art by Julianna Bright.

 

The Byrds sixties classic – Turn! Turn! Turn!

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A New Day Has Come

Hush now. See the Light in the sky.  A new day has come. The year is re-born.

The life-giving Sun stands still today, this day of the Capricorn Solstice – midwinter in the northern hemisphere, as the Sun lies low over the horizon. Here, in the south, at approximately 7:30am on December 22nd the Sun at its brilliant zenith, big blue skies, the brilliance of midsummer.

At the Solstice, the sun literally stands still. There is no movement. Our life-giving Star rests. Ancient stones placed on sacred sites now swathed in myth and mystery, still stand as silent sentinels to the pathway of the new born Sun, signifying survival in the famine months of the cruel winter. The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year was celebrated by ancient cultures. In more recent history, the ancient Greeks made merry on Lenaia; in ancient Rome, Bacchus the god of wine was honoured and, later, the Romans overturned social conventions at the festival of Saturnalia (the feast of Saturn, god of agriculture) a time of excess and merry making.  

New beginnings… beneath the Victorian trappings and commercialism of Christmas, the glitter of lights in celebration of Diwali and Hannukah, what we are all celebrating is the re-birth of Light, of a new day, the risen christ consciousness within us all.

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence…” *   Many of us are efforting, pushing on beyond exhaustion, as this calendar year scurries to an end. Adrenal fatigue, crankiness, a frozen sea of aloneness amidst the frenetic agitation of the supermarkets and striving of the shopping malls. Family gatherings trigger explosive arguments as septic tensions ooze beneath the tinsel and baubles of festive cheer. The spectre of loneliness shadows the conviviality of office parties, with dinner for one on Christmas day.  And yet, the celestial symbolism of astrology brings glad tidings. Jupiter, “benefic” planet of expansion and largesse, turns direct on Christmas Day, with the Capricorn New Moon on Christmas Eve, a lunation heralding a symbolic new beginning, as she marries the New Sun.Capricorn is an earth sign, so use the energy of the element of earth to ground new seeds of hopes, dreams, and intentions for the coming year. Place Hope and Faith at the centrepiece of your festive table. Bow your head to your heart this new day. Pause. Sit quietly and allow the soul to enter in its dappled brilliance. Sup on Gratitude for the year gone by. Raise your glass to Hope, on this New Day. “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaGLVS5b_ZY

Celine Dion, A New Day Has Come

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann.


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