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Venus in Gemini Tag

Steady Gaze—Sun in Leo—July 23rd—August 22nd

What this pandemic has taught me is to free myself from things. It has never been so clear to me that I need very little to live. I don’t need to buy, I don’t need more clothes, I don’t need to go anywhere, or travel, now I see I have too much. I don’t need more than two dishes! 

Then I started to realize who the true friends are and the people I want to be with—Isabel Allende

 

As we begin our apprenticeship into this new way of living, sort out our priorities, obediently don our masks, dutifully comply with rules and restrictions that we hope will not rob us of our freedom and our human rights in the years yet to come, the taskmasters of the heavens—Pluto/Jupiter and Saturn—close ranks. Saturn is so often accompanied by setbacks that generate anxiety, pessimism and bolstered defenses. Pluto represents painful, drawn out, but irrevocable endings. Jupiter amplifies both.

This weighty alliance is the signature of a resurgence of restrictions fortified by fines. Non-touch technology, demarcated space, and physical distance become habitual. As seismic shifts in the systems of power crack open nations and reckless leaders scramble to reassemble the vestiges of normality, we may feel as though we are in the belly of the whale. The sky story of 2020 has a ponderous tone as the past and the future excoriate the foundations of nations, leaving so many of us homeless, jobless, grieving; orphaned by the intervening clamour of forces beyond our control.

“Destiny is a mysterious thing”, wrote novelist, Francisco Goldman. “Sometimes enfolding a miracle in a leaky basket of catastrophe.”

Jupiter in Retrograde (May 14th – September 13th) tempers our enthusiasm, tests our patience, as we navigate the troughs, prepare for second waves, look for a miracle concealed in this leaky basket of catastrophe. Jupiter sextile Neptune (27th July and 12th October) offers an opportunity for compassion and empathy for the suffering of so many. A reminder to keep the faith. Yet, we may not be able to avert our eyes as we pass people huddled in doorways or jettison the unappeasable sorrow that washes over our hearts while the myth of progress destroys our Earth home. We may not be able to block our ears to the harsh rebuke of the father/politicians who cannot see how dark our world has become.

Pluto, (April 25th – October 4th) and Saturn (May 11th – September 29th) continue to switch-back in Retrograde through austere Capricorn as the death rattle of an unforgiving old order reverberates across the world.

Pluto and Saturn are conveyors of reality checks, of historic trans-formation. They were in conjunction in 1914 as innocence was lost, and scarlet poppies grew on ravaged fields.

“A terrible beauty is born”, wrote William Butler Yeats in 1916 as Pluto and Saturn moved through the sign of Cancer. An estimated 50 to 100 million people died in the 1918-1920 flu epidemic, and the subsequent famines and flu pandemics long forgotten by indifferent governments or those lives are cocooned by high walls and ethical amnesia.

Pluto and Saturn formed an alliance as WWII ended and NATO was birthed amidst the ruins of war and collapse in world trade. In 1982 a global recession heralded Thatcher and Reagan’s “special relationship” and the birth of neoliberalism.

August to December will be volatile months. Mars’s overheated Retrograde in Aries (9th September – 13th November) coincides with the final sprint for the claimant to the title of President in America. Mars conjoined Pluto on March 23rd and will form an aggressive do-or-die square to Pluto on August 12–13th, October 7–9th and December 20th. Mars sextiles Saturn (June 27th) to add opportunity to the overblown square to Jupiter between August 4–5th, October 16th, and December 12th—a potent cocktail of frustration, fanaticism and potential for violence as we stand at the end of an era. Mercury goes Retrograde between October 13th and November 3rd and challenging oppositions to the current President’s Saturn/Venus suggest that the battle for leadership will be bloody. There will be no white flag of surrender.

Venus, haloed with stars, glitters on the silken swathe of apricot sunrise, her breath-taking beauty a reminder of those things we cherish, the people that matter. She stationed direct on June 24th, emerging from the darkness of the Underworld, and glides, gathering strength, in her post-Retrograde phase until July 24th. Venus has had many incarnations. As Innana, Ishtar, she was the revered Sumerian goddess of beauty, sexuality, prostitution—and war. In modern astrology, Venus presides over matters of the heart. She’s the money that makes the world go round. As new realities begin to develop, in the love we can’t buy and the money we wish we had more of, Venus in Gemini makes a final applying square to nebulous Neptune in Pisces on July 27th. Venus/Neptune combinations are notorious for distorting facts and twisting truths. They accompany grand romantic gestures, plumes of creativity, financial loss, duplicity, susceptibility to poisoning, intoxication and infection.

The Sun in Leo carries the standard for strength and wholehearted courage. Leo rules the heart. Gratitude and joy are homeopathy for the heart. The poet, Ted Hughes (Sun in Leo) writes, “the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”

Author Isabel Allende (Sun, Mercury, and Chiron in Leo) reminds us that Leo celebrates confidence, pride, generosity and enthusiasm. “We can’t live in fear. Fear stimulates a future that makes living in the present a dark experience. We need to relax and appreciate what we have and live in the present.”

As the Sun enters Leo today, may our qualities of strength and courage ripen. May we let fear and worry slip away as we celebrate those people and circumstances that support us.  May we look to the future with brave hearts and a gaze that is steady.

Please get in touch if you would like a personal astrology reading: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Sacred Cow—Sun in Taurus—April 20th—May 20th

Today, the Sun moves into the fertile sign of Taurus. The air smells sweet and wildlife is beginning to return to silent cities.

Venus-ruled Taurus brings us back to the earth, to the potency of the virile bull and the gentle passive cow. During this time of enforced curfew and cocooning, we may have glimpsed some of the virtues of Taurus—patience, acceptance of those things we can no longer control, those things we can no longer change.

This week’s Taurus New Moon (April 23rd) is a harbinger of slow and painful progress and economic recession. She unites with unpredictable Uranus and makes a frustrating square to responsible Saturn in Aquarius, symbolising the tension that further restrictions and limitations will bring as a second wave of this crowned virus exposes the hubris of our leaders, honours the courage of front line workers, reshapes our lives.

Outside our windows, Venus glitters against marmalade sunset while Jupiter, Saturn and Mars rise over the horizon at dawn.

As the Sun moves through Taurus, the energy of four Retrograde planets will be emphasised. Pluto goes Retrograde on April 25th (24º Capricorn), Saturn on May 11th (1º Aquarius), Jupiter on May 14th (27º Capricorn.)  Venus is moving through Gemini now and will turn Retrograde on May 13th at 21º Gemini and go direct on June 24th at 5º Gemini, a notional period of 40 days and 40 nights. Transiting Venus apparently moves backwards in her dance across the skies once every nineteen months. These important Venus Retrograde periods distil the essence of what it is that we hold very dear to our hearts.

The ancients tracked the passage of Venus in a perfect pentagram across the skies, ascribing her disappearance in the skies to her descent into the Underworld.  Innana (Venus) is stripped of all her valued regalia and exquisite clothing and enters the Underworld vulnerable and exposed. In modern times, the Underworld is a symbol of our own unconscious where we may encounter a truth that reverberates viscerally. The trial of these 40 days and 40 nights are a cosmic reminder for us to dissolve, discard out-worn values and beliefs. To re-organise, re-examine, re-prioritise those things we value around a more truthful, authentic place that rests at the hearth of our heart.

As Venus turns Retrograde in Gemini we may be facing unemployment, or the unexpected gift of emerging from our chrysalis, starting over, lighter, more appreciative of the little things that bring texture and quality to our lives. We may have reached a relationship crossroad where we wonder, as author, Elizabeth Gilbert once did, “do we want our belly pressed against this person’s belly forever—or not?”  We may be relishing our solitude, if we’re home alone. We may be dating at a distance, enjoying a slower, more sensual rhythm, a new way of being. We may be falling back into love. Grateful, blessed, to be with the one we’re with.

An invisible virus is still among us, and those leaders who become complacent or who try to hurry back to the way things were, may encounter setbacks or a resurgence in the pandemic as Mars moves into nebulous Pisces on May 13th, moving impatiently into the heat of Aries on June 28th, to rendezvous with Chiron, emphasising our pain, our grief, our woundedness.

You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control,” Ram Dass once said.

In myth, Venus was also a goddess of war. The pre-Colombian Mayans believed that when kingdoms were unstable, and regimes might topple, her emergence signified an auspicious time to begin a war. Venus Retrograde in Gemini may bring to a climax a festering conflict in our relationship, or the return of a mangy old grievance. As our politicians use military-style language, and direct their impotence towards another country or each other, we may resolve to act in ways that don’t ignite conflict, or deplete our own immune systems.

As this pandemic becomes endemic, we speculate about what life might be like after COVID-19. The astrology speaks of years, not weeks or months, of metamorphosis, the kind of heat and stress that changes limestone into marble, that transforms golden calves into sacred cows.

The combustible 2020 Pluto/Jupiter/Saturn conjunction square Eris (goddess of discord, strife, and consequence) is the capstone for the end of an epoch. Pluto and Jupiter united on April 4th and will meet again on June 30th (both Retrograde) and finally on November 12th, just after the US presidential election.

Unprecedented change, disruption, and upheaval will be the hallmark of the waning square of the Saturn/Uranus cycle as it builds between 2020 and 2023. There will be three exact, uncomfortable Saturn/Uranus squares from February to December 2021, and a close encounter in October 2022, but this energy can be felt already, as the old order breaks down.

Saturn/Uranus alignments coincide with periods of civil unrest, economic collapse, revolution, radicalisation, and the collapse of systems that no longer serve their purpose. If we look back in history, the Saturn/Uranus square of 1928/1933 heralded the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression, and the establishment of The Third Reich. It is likely that there will be record levels of unemployment that will again precede enormous social change. Like the interwoven spirals and coils of Celtic knot-work, the astrology of our times is threaded with the amalgam of the past.

This is a long-term encounter with destiny that will highlight the jagged edges in our relationships, crack open fault lines in our societies. As we steady ourselves for more sacrifices, as we anticipate more uncertainty, Teresa of Ávila who lived during a Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn at the time of the Spanish Inquisition, reminds us to have courage for whatever comes in life—everything lies in that.

 

I post astrology updates regularly on Facebook, and offer personal astrology consultations, so do please connect with me, I’d love to hear from you ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Love’s Labour—Pluto/Jupiter and Lockdown

As the virus that knows no boundaries pervades the sanctuaries of our homes, and lodges in our dreams, we grieve those things we have cancelled, the celebrations that never took place, the hand we couldn’t hold at the end. We worry about our adult children who live in another city. We are consumed with concern about elderly parents.

We may feel inexplicably exhausted, drained by the grief that drags at our bones. The cupboards we planned to tidy, the books we intended to read, the routine that now seems rather pointless in this shapeless, formless state of suspension.

We’re all in this together. And we aren’t. The rich cocoon in comfort and the poor huddle together in refugee camps and council flats. Yet, we’re sharing our stories, swapping jokes and recipes to stave off loneliness, boredom and fear. Our boss, our co-worker and our oldest friend enter the messy ordinariness of our homes as the kitchen table becomes a place to work and a place to socialise. As Venus moves through the mercurial sign of Gemini we’re talking to our screens, caressing our devices, responding to the slightest ping or gentle vibration—often with more enthusiasm or presence than we give to the one we love.

At this time of enforced togetherness or the purgatory of physical separation, we may be learning a new style of relating as we begin to realise that for so many years, we have  concealed our vulnerability behind the cement wall of intractable beliefs about our partner. Many of us will return again and again to that stuck place, that sterile landscape littered with the bleached bones of broken promises, eroded by silence. For others, as physical distancing brings more emotional honesty, we realise that we’ve been alone and yet together for far too longwe’ve sublimated our desire, displaced our passion, jettisoned our joy.  Perhaps we recognise that we talk, but seldom listen, or feel heard. That we speak about empowerment and boundaries, but really don’t value ourselves enough to say No. During this time of enforced togetherness, some of us may be learning to assert ourselvesgiving way, leaning in.  Perhaps we’re profoundly grateful, as we celebrate and champion the love we have now rather than the love we haven’t had in the past.

Pluto (ruthless destruction, purging, elimination) and Jupiter (amplification) are in conjunction all through 2020 (the aspect perfected on April 4th and will do so twice more on June 29th and November 12th). These conjunctions contain an explosive energy that so often coincides with turning points in our human story—as all that is corrupt and rotten in governments, institutions, and  in the often flimsy structures of our own lives is revealed. Pluto/Jupiter conjunctions can be combustible when they brush against our birth charts or the chart of our relationship, dredging up buried truths, destroying what is, and inviting us to revision a new future. They may ignite tinder dry resentments. Set ablaze those innocent promises we made and forgot to keep.

In the war about who’s right and who’s wrong, how much you love me and who’s in charge, there’s no room for relationship. Says psychologist, Terry Real, “proving just how right you are can be a tough temptation to walk away from. But relationship grown-ups understand that being right is not the real point. Finding a solution is.”

In his book, The New Rules of Marriage, Real writes, “letting go of the need to be right is a core principle of relationship empowerment: learning to live a non-violent life. Non-violent between you and others. Non-violent between your ears. Scolding your partner as if you were his mother, passing judgement on him, humiliating him. These are all forms of psychological violence.”

Today, a hot-headed Sun conjoins Eris (goddess of strife) at 23° Aries and both are in a tense square to Pluto/Jupiter, auguring a time for radical honestyor more stringent control and power-play.

We may feel as though we are suspended, dissolving, putrefying, as we are locked within a sarcophagus of physical confinement, too close for comfort.

“We always marry someone with the purpose of finishing our childhood,” says psychologist Harville Hendrix, who suggests that we’re unconsciously drawn to people who will guarantee a re-enactment of the old, familiar relationship dynamics we grew up with. It is through our sentimentality, our innocence, our insistence in the “happily ever after” and the romantic dream of the relationship made in heaven, that we meet the dark challenges that a soul-ful union demands.  It is through 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.

Power struggles in relationships have soared to new heights of psychological sophistication with easy access to often dubious “self-help” offerings on the internet. We can diagnose our partner as being a Narcissist or having signs of Asperger’s syndrome. We can play Victim, Rescuer or Persecutor in the tawdry soapie of our own lives. Labels, like headache pills, can be an easy way of dealing with the symptoms, but not the cause.

“Toxic relationships can sneak up on almost anyone. And controlling behaviour on the part of a partner knows no boundaries—people of any age, gender, sexual orientation, or socio economic status can be in controlling relationships, playing either role,” writes psychologist, Andrea Bonior in Psychology Today.

Toxic relationships don’t sneak up like thieves in the night, robbing us of our joy and our autonomy. We create them all by ourselves. Adult power struggles resemble “the terrible twos”. We use avoidance, manipulation, verbal and very often physical abuse to get our own way. We stamp our feet and sabotage moments of tenderness or connectedness. We withhold or demand sex or money. The old Berserker brain takes charge. Reason, compassion and wisdom fly from the bloody battle fields.

The anatomy of love and desire requires boundaries and structure, whether it’s the ritualised control and submission of bondage and sexual play or the intricate web of rules that we weave around ourselves when we become a couple.

What do we share and what do we keep private? Do we stay friends with our ex on Facebook? Does honesty always nurture trust and intimacy? How do we come together and stay present for one another amidst the distractions that trip-wire closeness? How do we soothe and repair those bruised silences that hang like dust motes above our sensitivities? Sex therapist, Esther Perel believes “relationship boundaries are not a topic that you negotiate only once. Your personal and couple-dynamic boundaries may change based on your relationship or your individual preferences at varying stages of your life. The most successful couples are agile and allow this to be in an open and ongoing discussion.”

At this time of physical distancing, our devices can offer connection yet Eric Pickersgill’s series of photographs, Removed, depict the phantom limb of our treasured devices that signal our busyness and unapproachability. This invisible addictive force splits our attention and takes us away from those who are physically present.

Connection is an energy. It manifests when we feel seen, heard, and validated. When we draw nourishment and strength from our relationship. When we feel like allies not foes. When we find our own wings to fly between the spaces and the coming together, even in captivity.

 

For a private astrology reading, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lemonade

beyonce 8

“Are you cheating on me?”

Beyoncé throws open a door. A torrent of water gushes forth, the salty tears that wash the wound of Betrayal.

Beyoncé’s powerful new visual album Lemonade, depicts her profoundly painful experience of infidelity by husband, Jay-Z. And we watch as she rises, renewed and  invigorated by the pain of loss and announces to the world, “If we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious!”

For more in-depth Astrology, tune in to my first Podcast here.

beyonce 6Betrayal punctures our child-like illusions of Love, expels us from the fusion-state with the archetypal Parent, shatters the projections that cloud our vision of our partner. Infidelity pins our butterfly-winged innocence to a deep awareness of human limitation and our own un-lived psychic life. In the torrent of emotions swirls guilt, anger and despair. Betrayal leaves no room for titillation, morality or judgement. Betrayal is about passion, hot sex, erotic energy, life and death. Betrayal is about broken hearts.

We live in a culture that is sexually immature. There is a collective adolescent preoccupation with the tawdry tacky side of sex that diminishes and obscures its sacred power and sublime sensual beauty.  We cloak our obsession with sex and obscure it’s deeper meaning. Saturn has been transiting over Jay-Z’s  Sagittarius Sun since January 2016 and Mars moves over his Venus/Neptune conjunction in late Scorpio till early August. In the same time frame, Mars comes to Beyoncé’s  Scorpio Moon/Uranus conjunction … “Grief sedated by orgasm, orgasm heightened by grief.”  We can speculate that their healing is ongoing and powerfully revitalising for them both.

Lemonade 3-beyonce-jay-z-lemonadeIn the nuclear aftermath of an affair, therapists may guide couples through various stages of atonement, stripping the soul of sex of its nuances. As sex therapist, Esther Perel, points out, we speak of “victims and perpetrators; injured parties and infidels; confession, repentance and redemption…”  Dr Shirley Glass, “Godmother of infidelity research”, writes in her book, NOT Just Friends, about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and yet it’s the Scorpionic essence of trauma, the powerful emotions of grief, jealousy, passion and erotic energy that must be acknowledged if we are to repair, heal and be glorious!

On May 24th, Venus moves into the Twinned sign of Gemini where she hangs in all her magnificent sparkling splendour in the skies, opposing her lover, Mars in his return journey into the frozen reflective depths of Scorpio.

beyonce 3In Venus’s inviting arms, Mars surrenders his brutish crudeness, puts aside his weapons of war to envelop her sensuality with a solid sense of power and strength. So think of Venus dressed in Gemini clothing – communicative perhaps, playfully flirtatious, curious in the face Mars’s attractive thrust of strength and the assertiveness he now displays in fiery Sagittarius… And yet he is moving away from his lover, moving backwards into an area of the zodiac, where we must all at some time or another confront issues of our deepest longings, our deepest repressions and frozen fears. In Scorpio we confront our shadow. With Mars in this area of the zodiac, we may feel brave enough to take action, to lean in, to draw our vitality from the deep well of sexual energy, bringing our creative offspring to life in the form of new ideas that come to the surface, new initiatives that are there but may not be quite ready to be birthed until Mars moves direct again on June 30th.

beyonce 11Betrayal is the means through which our fantasies are punctured and recognised. Venus-Saturn and Venus-Chiron – and in Beyoncé’s birth chart  a Venus-Pluto conjunction – do not cause a person to be drawn into triangles, but they describe a deep and innate awareness of human limitation. In childhood a distant or unavailable parent will then unconsciously be attributed to our own unloveability because a rival will take them away. And yet it is the depths of our pain that we discover hidden treasure in the dark silence of renewal.  An affair becomes the crucible where we burn away stagnation and destroy our false selves. Our recovery and healing thrust us back into a more authentic life.

Sex gives colour and vitality to our lives.When we hide from it or displace our sexual energies in excessive work, unexamined beliefs or restraining morality, where does this powerful erotic energy flow?  Writes Thomas Moore in his superb book, The Soul of Sex: many cultures perceive sex as a sacred cosmic force. Like all the elements in the soul, sex needs to be manifested or we suffer from the sudden return of the repressed – sex breaks through in negative and uncontrollable ways.

So take time this week to cherish your body, delight in your sexuality. Allow the life-giving energy of your passion to melt away irritation or victim-consciousness.  Use the energy of Mars in Scorpio from May 28th for deep healing.

“if we’re gonna heal, let it be glorious.”let it be glorious

 

 

 

 

 

 

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