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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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Skyfall

This is the end. Hold your breath and count to ten … This portentous year of 2012 has been a shamanic journey of self-growth and spiritual home-coming for many on this planet. For some this has been a sky fall year where things “happened out of the blue.” Our bodies once robust and infallible began to falter. Our relationships demanded more honesty, more compassion. Our work brought us gifts of humility and gratitude, or a firm conviction that we must remove ourselves from a toxic environment. For millions on this planet, 2012 offered no choice. No time for self-reflection. No peace or contentment. As we approach the solstice many of us may feel, as Marion Woodman says, “dragged towards wholeness”.

We speak lightly, foolishly, of change and “transformation” as if it was a Gok Wan make-over. Trans-formation is a radical changing of form.  A literal or metaphorical process of dying. And transformation involves the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  “Most of us can only let so much go at a time,” says Woodman.

This is the end. The mid-summer or mid-winter Solstice 2012 marks a zero point as the sun ingresses into the sign of Capricorn 11:15:25 AM in Greenwich, England and at other times in other places all over the world. Collectively we stand at the door of the sweat lodge where we must sit in the heat of global warming, the discomfort of overpopulation. Collectively we must heed the final drum beat of a way of life that will and must change irrevocably.  There is a sense of “Fatedness” about the GMT chart for this solstice. Jupiter (signifying Faith, Hope, Belief, and a sense of  Expansion), Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn (herculean systemic breakdown, a kind of cosmic colonic irrigation) form a YOD which is also called “The Finger of Fate” or “The Finger of God”. Jupiter is at the focal point of this YOD. It is the signal for inevitable change and transformation to occur in the outworn structures of our civilization.

The sun will rise on December 22nd 2012.   The sky will not fall down chicken-licken. Our computers will not crash. There will be no cataclysmic ending. Just another turn in the great wheel of the year.

The Maya apparently called this day “Creation Day’. Author of the Gaia Hypothesis, Peter Russell writes,”rather than a precise date on which major changes happen, I see 2012 as the temporal epicentre of a cultural earthquake.”

 The skyscript fortells of profound and inevitable change, which will be fiercely resisted by many who cling like bloated ticks to power, gorging on greed. Pluto will be uncompromising and relentless in breaking down what is no longer necessary to our personal and collective evolution.  By December 2014, Saturn will bring to the surface all that is darkly hidden in our lives personally and globally. The square between the Sun and Uranus in this chart heralds radical change, upheaval and liberation from the old ways. The Moon makes a separating square from Pluto. We are living at the end of an epoch. The dark hyperbole of the apocalyptic prophecies terrify.  They cut close to the bone. We are entering an age of breakdown of hoary old structures, outmoded beliefs.

This is the end of verdant girdles of rainforest. This is the end for wildlife that follow ancient migratory routes now barred by barbed wire fences and the splattered spread of concrete cities.  This is the end for the Sumatran tiger, the Vaquita porpoise, the Javan and African Rhino. This is the end for the polar bear. This is the end for the ancient amphibians. This is the beginning of the end of life as we know it. We stand on the brink as individuals. As a species. As sea levels rise, a mass extinction of as high as 90 percent of our earth’s creatures, writes Mark Lynas in Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. Global temperatures will be hotter than they have been for the last 50 million years.  Most of southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East will be uninhabitable. Millions of men, women and children will migrate in great masses in search of food, water and lebensraum.  Perhaps “this  is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper,” as TS Eliot wrote starkly and with chilling prophecy in The Hollow Men.

“We have passed a critical threshold”, a new report from accountancy firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers states. “Even doubling our current rate of decarbonisation would still lead to emissions consistent with 6 degrees C of warming by the end of the century.” This report urges radical transformation in the global economy. Rapid implementation of renewable energy. A halt on deforestation and industrial emissions. Now.

On December 21st 2012, many will gather together in prayer or meditation. And for millions on this planet, the solstice of 2012 will be just another day. Unless we all choose differently. We may not individually be able to halt industrial emissions or stop the slaughter of the rhino, or the melting of the polar ice caps. Our urgent task now is to Love and to Be Loved. To walk lightly on this beautiful planet. To honour all living things. We cannot afford the luxury of negativity and scepticism. We will simply have to “pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off… and start all over again.”  Living our lives more consciously.   “It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest as if it was the only one we had,” wrote Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. We all have a limited time on this earth, collectively and personally. Our Faith (Jupiter ) will be our only solace and ultimate salvation. 

So at this sacred portal. This turning point in the great wheel of the year let us take a moment to be still and to listen to the bird song. Let us breathe in Hope. Let us open our hearts to give and receive Love. Let us feel the heartbeat of Mother Earth and allow our own hearts to beat in unison. We are stardust. We are of the same essence as this earth, this boundless universe. We are witnessing the death of the old, the birth of the new.

This is the end. And the beginning.

The inimitable Adele’s incomparable voice soars above the haunting lyrics of Skyfall.  This is the signature song that frames the 23rd Bond movie, and a powerful anthem to herald the End Times.

 

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Landslide

 

Change is a word, like the outworn “transformation”, that paradoxically stops us in our tracks. We may like the idea of changing. But when it comes to significant changes in our lives, most of us recoil from the bracing air that blasts from the open doorway. We retreat to the familiarity of our routines, familiar landscapes, in a world where the speed of change seems faster than the human psyche can contain. Sometimes our souls cannot catch up with the rush of lives lived to the incessant pulse of noise, busyness. Though, there are times when the flame of our courage burns brighter, illuminating the way out of the familiar, into the unknown.  Market research shows that at those threshold times of transition in our lives –  the end of a relationship, the springtime of a new love affair, loss of a job, move to a new country, or a  pregnancy, are fertile beds to grow new habits – and shopping behaviours! If we are to seize these fleeting moments, make lasting changes, set off on new adventures, we require more than courage. We need a sense of meaning.

Many of us suffer from a sense of something missing. It’s not our relationships, our friendships, or our work. A vague loss of meaning, purpose, enshrouds us like a thick fog. Despite a plethora of self-help books, YouTube offerings, workshops, support groups that offer a better way to love, to live. Despite having the tools, holding the key to The Secret, we still cannot find a way to turn our lives around in an irrevocably changing world.

We may feel we are going through the motions, even living a lie. We may experience a delectable plume of joy, a rush of enthusiasm as a holiday, a new project, a new passion, displaces the sense of emptiness –  for a while. The intense peacefulness after a meditation retreat, the peak experience of falling in love, or a spiritual awakening, stirs up the murky mud from the depths of our psyche, bringing the darkness into clearer view. We awaken the demons from the dark folds of our unconscious and find ourselves raging, or  hollow and sorrowful, after a delicious interlude of light and love. So often, we may feel we are moving backwards rather than forward in our spiritual growth, as we enter that dank valley that St. John of the Cross called “the dark night of the soul”.

Every beginning marks the end of something.  Says Marianne Williamson, “It’s when we face the darkness squarely in the eye – in ourselves and in the world – that we begin at last to see the light. And that is the alchemy of personal transformation. In the midst of the deepest, darkest night, when we feel most humbled by life, the faint shadow of our wings begins to appear. Only when we have faced the limits of what we can do, does it begin to dawn on us the limitlessness of what God can do.”

Many of us enter our spiritual and psychological growth as consumers, shopping around for therapists, healers, gurus, to get us “fixed” more quickly. Some of us compare ourselves to other, “more spiritually evolved”  people than ourselves, only to judge ourselves as lacking. The competitive, consumer model will not work if we want authentic lives. There are many astrological significators for the various stages of our growth. These celestial cycles are often painful and necessarily slow. “The caterpillar is luckier than we are. It goes through its transformation in the relative peace and security of a cocoon. We, however, may be in the middle of a profound shift in our unfoldment and growth and yet, more often than not, are expected to go on with our daily life as if nothing is happening,” says Dr. Roberto Assagioli, founder of psychosynthesis. These messy crises are a natural part of the cycle of growth. We plummet from the peaks dishevelled and disheartened by what seems to be the enormity of the forces that obstruct our movement to where we long to be.  When we hear, “you were much better before you started meditating/ going to therapy/yoga…” know our mettle is being tested. When we flatline into despair, go a little further. Anatole France says, “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” It is in the landslides of change, as we are covered with the muddy debris of our choices, that we discover our alignment with the seasons of our lives, our belonging to this beautiful Earth. It is when we courageously climb down from the mountain, do we discover a new landscape, a new season in our lives…. Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide. This is for you, Bev …

 

I took my love and I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Mmm Mmm… I don’t know… Mmm Mmm… Mmm Mmm…

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older too

 

 

 

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Heaven’s Door

Sooner or later, each one of us will have to sit in the deep silence of death. In the Western world, death, like old age, is shadowed by a terrible taboo.

 I believe the veil between the living and the dead is gossamer thin. The dead are with us in invisible presence, transfigured into butterflies, free of their fleshy cocoons, close once more to the Creative Source. The work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the hospice movement, the mainstream acceptance of psychic mediums like John Edward and Sylvia Browne, to name only two, has brought comfort to so many. Yet in a world where contemporary thinking offers a narrative of death as an elemental process or an abrupt unravelling of a life with the promise of some far away realm in outer space, many of us live in fear or denial of the inevitable, ultimate, transformation. Sooner or later, Death darkens every life. Death is dreaded, denied, sanitised, and softened with euphemisms, like, “she passed away, or I lost my husband”… Like the hypocritical Victorians who covered the legs of the chairs in their homes, and unbuttoned their repressions with prostitutes in dark alleyways, death is demurely concealed behind a damask curtain. For those that die, it is their end of this world. For those who watch and wait, death unravels feelings of compassion, sorrow, and rage, and the deepest love. Silent stitch by silent stitch.

I believe that our ancestors lived more bravely, more honestly in the rawness of death than we do today. The rigid grasp of our religions, our governments, our medical profession, our skewed clutching to the sanctity of life, hold hostage those who long for the still sleep of death. Billions of dollars are spent on weapons of insane destruction. Vital lives are doused by laws that still uphold the ancient lie “an eye for an eye”. We shoot horses, euthanize pets, execute adulterers and criminals, slaughter young men and women in the absurdity of dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.  Yet, so often, we embalm those we love with chemicals, life support systems, in our need to keep them in ensnared in a lack-lustre half-life. Death transports us to the imaginal realm, those who have experienced NDEs report. To non-ordinary states of consciousness, known to the shamans, and to pioneers like Stanislav Grof, one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology, as a realm that is accessible from this world.

I believe nobody dies empty, but full of radiance, ripe with the sweet fruits of a life lived, experiences garnered in a final harvest. Even those souls who come to this physical realm for a brief flicker, little buds that never unfurl, or souls that are jettisoned from their bodies in the mindless violence of war, or by murder, or fated accidents, will have a flame of inner life contained within the soul. In some traditions it is believed that the soul shelters the body and has a deeper knowing than the mind. Death empties the physical body, and it is the indestructible soul that carries our Essence beyond frontiers. All our experiences are transient, like dappled shadow and brilliant light. We carry a kaleidoscope of experiences that vanish like the smoke from a flame extinguished. Only our essence remains in the cycle of life and rebirth. Now as we approach the solstice, the dark dormancy of winter in the north, with the hope of rebirth of spring … the brilliant blaze of summer here in the south, soon tempered by the burnished bronze of autumn, we must pause, as the sun stands still, to cross the threshold into a new cycle of the year. I am comforted in the knowing that with every in breath, every emptying out breath that sustains my physical body, when the time comes for death to empty me, my soul will ferry me silently across still waters, where I will fly free as a butterfly sipping the nectar of new experiencing. And for my beautiful ya-ya sister, (I dedicate this to you) what more exquisite tribute to a life well lived, now so gracefully ending, from poet and visionary, William Wordsworth who writes, “our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; the Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star hath had elsewhere its setting and cometh from afar; not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home.” 

Dylan singing Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

Mama, take this badge off of me I can’t use it anymore. It’s gettin’ dark, too dark for me to see I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door. Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Mama, put my guns in the ground I can’t shoot them anymore. That long black cloud is comin’ down I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door. Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door.

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