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Author: Ingrid Hoffman

Sky Talk, February 2011: Hubris

“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too self-ful to seek other than itself.”
Khalil Gibran

There is a Divine Intelligence in the Heavens this month.

Sombre Saturn, slowly retracing its orbit, until June 14th in ethical, judicious Libra, is a stern celestial marker pointing our attention to the necessity for responsibility, realism, and reason. Pluto’s slow implacable odyssey through the sign of Capricorn is evident in recent events in Tunisia and Egypt, and perhaps in your own life too, as the cracks begin to deepen in straight-jacketed structures and autocratic mindsets.

In governments, offices, classrooms, and in our own homes and neighbourhoods, bullies and tyrants, like bloated maggots dropping from a rotten corpse, will not survive unscathed the implacable transit of Pluto through the sign of Capricorn.

Since late 2008, when Pluto entered Capricorn, financial and business structures splintered. We have not yet seen the full trajectory of the Global Recession nor the full implications of misuse of power in government and big business. Recovery will be excruciatingly slow, and desperately jobless. As Uranus ingresses into Aries in March, the incendiary energy of rebellion or self-immolation will shake the flimsy foundations of “civilisation” as we have manifested it, to allow for a new spiral of heart-centred growth and an embodiment of the Sacred Feminine in our societies.

Be vigilant for the convenient human tendency to seek a Sacrificial Scapegoat… implacable Mubarak, (Taurean) and megalomaniac Mugabe, (Piscean) amongst many, have been heavy-handed autocrats for years. We all knew they were misusing their power in absolutist regimes. Bullies and tyrants hold a convenient hook for all that is unacceptable and shadowy, too appalling to own in our personal lives and collectively.

The word Hubris today is imbued with a sense of over-confident pride, overbearing arrogance. An overestimation of one’s power and competence, a lack of humility. Jupiter in fiery Aries, till June 4th, inflates and overextends, but certainly not without knowledge of the consequences. Suffering inevitably follows conceited pride and arrogance – as seismic events in the Middle East describe so eloquently.

To the ancient Greeks, hubris was the greatest crime of all. The outcome was never without repudiation, as the Greek Tragedies depict. When mere mortals challenged the gods and their laws, there was always a consequence. On February 9th, Chiron entered Pisces, soon to be followed by Neptune’s 13 year transit through the same sign on April 4th, eroding our assumptions and conditioned responses to reality, bringing new spiritual, emotional and political realities.


Sky Talk, January 2011: Dare to Choose Differently

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Joseph Campbell

This first month of the calendar year, named in honour of Janus the two-headed god of thresholds, is traditionally welcomed with a flurry of festive New Year’s wishes. Astrologically, the cycle of this New Year begins with the Sun’s ingress into the sign of Aries on March 21st on the equinox, when day and night are equal, in balance. As our Earth silently cycles into a new season, we all experience, on some level or another, a new trajectory of change. The first warm flush of spring ignites tender new growth in the northern hemisphere. A new cycle of letting go, breakdown and decay, here in the south, as burnished leaves spiral silently to the ground.

“This year will be better…” I heard people say hopefully, perhaps as a talisman to ward off the heart-break and hardships of years gone by. The mood this month is serious, focused on the goal-directed activity, underscored by the dour Capricorn new Moon, on January 4th veiling the sombre Capricorn Sun in partial solar eclipse. Time to go within, after the excesses of the festive season. On January 19th, the full Moon, which falls on the very last degree of Cancer, opposes the Sun in the very last degree of Capricorn.

Cancer and Capricorn. The interior world and the outer world, the tension of opposites. So think about what home, family, nurturance means to you. Take just a moment to consider what structure, goal setting, work or career, mean in your life right now. What draws your focus and energy? Where are you feeling lopsided and yearning for some kind of as yet, ill defined but vivifying change?

This full Moon illuminates the polarised energy in our relationships, bringing deeply buried issues to light if we are willing to take the time to do some honest excavation.

Those of us with challenging aspects in our birth charts, or fixed personal planets, may choose to stay in situations that stunt our soul growth, because we have a profound terror of change. We are invested in our stagnant stories, frozen in our pain and discomfort, terrified of leaving familiar landscape to cross over the threshold into new territory.

But, the celestial clock is ticking. There is a rhythm, a cadence to life here on earth, and our tenacious grip old outworn habits, fear, or pain, does not stop the irrevocable process of change.

Saturn, Lord of Time, stations on January 25th and moves into retrograde on January 27th until June 14th, inviting us all, but most especially those with personal planets in the signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, to reflect on commitment and integrity of our personal relationships. This would be a time to regroup, do a reality check, steady our gait, before we are worn out, unravelling. Saturn provides the uncompromising black-rock solid stability to our lives. Saturn rules skin, bones, our skeletal scaffolding, containing, and bringing necessary structure and boundaries to our vital organs. Metaphorically, Saturn brings containment and structure to our lives, our relationships. It is about commitment, marriage. It takes many years to be truly married, and there may be many new versions of the person you married, many new levels of relating, within a marriage.

If we are to lead rich, fulfilling lives, anchored in what is real, what is important, we need to embrace the necessity of making the choice to live a courageous life. The word, courageous, derives from the French, coeur, meaning heart. And as we embrace each little choice as a spiritual gift, we will have the opportunity to learn and to grow, if we dare.

So before the first month of this calendar year draws to an end, be willing to let go of who you think you should be, and fall in love with your authentic self. Connect within for guidance, grace, and the courage to take a risk to be vulnerable enough to truly forgive someone who has hurt you, letting go of the pain and resentment you have been carrying for so long.

Re-connect and re-experience your partner. End a relationship that has calcified. Walk away from a life that is a lead-lined coffin of dreary desperation and indifference. Dare to heal the rupture that has disconnected you from your sense of worthiness in receiving the love you long for. Be willing to risk changing your mind about the world you live in.

“Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.”
A Course in Miracles.