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Author: Ingrid Hoffman

Possibilities—New Moon Aquarius—January 21st.

I felt like some watcher in the skies when a new planet swims into his ken—John Keats.

It wasn’t a new planet that swam into the skies over sodden California this week. A rapturous tweet from the NWS announced, “it’s the Sun!” A sign of hope, after nine deadly “whiplash” storms upended homes and trees, ripped power lines, pitched viscous rivers of mud down hillsides.

This first new moon of the year falls in the very first degree of Aquarius and conceals within her darkness the husk of endings. This may manifest quite literally as an ending of a relationship, a job, moving home, or perhaps in a shift of perception that helps us to embrace those unexpected things that upend our carefully laid plans. Pluto, mythic god of the Underworld, infuses this lunation with a sense of endings, in some cases quite literal. For most of us, endings creep up incrementally, a twist in the evolutionary spiral of time.

The Sabian Symbol for this new moon is An Unexpected Thunderstorm, reminding us of “the need to develop the inner security which will enable us to meet unexpected crises,” according to one interpretation by astrologer Dane Rudhyar. And although the moon’s silvery light is swathed in darkness, she makes a hopeful sextile to optimistic Jupiter and a trine to Mars, as we prepare to begin again.

Water or lack thereof will be prominent themes with the zeitgeist awash with watery symbolism in this year of the Chinese Water Rabbit, infusing it with potential for deep healing, fertile new beginnings. Pluto’s entry into the sign of the Water Bearer in late March, and Saturn’s ingress into watery Pisces on March 7th are preceded by a brief period of easy flow.

In the ever-changing skies, Mercury and Mars moved direct this week and Uranus offers a glimpse of possibilities as it stations direct on January 22nd. Mars will begin to move with more steel-tipped precision in March, picking up speed, energising our intentions and our actions.

Pluto’s promissory note, as he sweeps into the fixed air sign of Aquarius on March 23rd may not be glaringly obvious in mid-January, but a change of signs stirs up what came beforethe blunt trauma of toxic patriarchy, the rapacious plunder of the earth, and the wild silence of the death of millions of living things. Pluto dips in and out of Capricorn until November 2024 and then begins a 20-year residence in Aquarius, deepening our understanding of what it is be to human amidst the inexorable spread of human civilization amidst societal collapse and epic climate breakdown. The bloody American and French Revolutions erupted when Pluto moved through Aquarius in the 1700s, and this ingress in March may provide a glimpse of what is yet to come.

Lynne Tripp, author of Living a Committed Life: Finding Freedom and Fulfilment in a Purpose Larger Than Yourself writes, “The greatest threat to creating the future we want is fear, discouragement, and cynicism. It’s easy to be cynical, it’s easy and cheap because it asks nothing of us. Cynicism is like a disease, an infection, and it’s cowardly. What takes courage is to hold a vision and live into it.”

She presents Paul Hawken’s optimistic view that global warming and the breakdown of democracy is happening for us, rather than to us. That within the disastrous endings are the seeds of the transformation of the human condition.

But, we will need more than magical thinking, vision-board manifestation, or the disturbing TikTok’s Lucky Girl syndrome which seductively suggests that we can shape reality and get anything we want, and of course create exactly what we deserve.

These next 20 years will see hierarchical structures of wealth and power fracture. Breakdowns and break-throughs so vast that they may bring a commitment to systemic change that destroys human supremacy and restores the Natural Order to our home planet.

We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world,” writes Gabor Maté.

Aquarius, like all astrological signs, draws deeply from the minds that created the world millennia ago. For thousands of years, The Water Bearer has been identified with the invigorating waters that bring renewal and hope from Heaven. As we shrug off the cynicism and negativity that disempower us, as we refuse to swim in the negative conversations that pervade the media, a flood of kindness and collaboration may begin to swell.

Aquarius speaks to our instinctual need to bond, to belong. Tonight, we might reflect on the vital nourishment offered by friendship and the precious bonds of belonging that sustain us during difficult times. We may sense something stirring in our soul, a sensitivity to the fault lines of division that thread across the collective, a deep knowing that for as long as this world has existed, we have been inexorably moving to this moment in time. For some of us this might be shifting our focus from thoughts or conversations that keep us stuck in our victim narrative, for others this might be looking for what is working in our lives and shifting the light of our focus on that with appreciation and gratitude.

May our vision for a brave new world flutter with the hopes and dreams of all humankind. May we draw hope, renewal, and spiritual guidance tonight as we gaze up at the heavens, and may we be reminded that we are all connected to each other, and to the stars.

To book your personal astrology session, please connect by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Reflections—Cancer Full Moon—January 6th.

Now let us welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been—Rainier Maria Rilke.

The first Full Moon of the New Year arrives ripe with possibilities. She rests in the snug encasement of Cancer, a sign that evokes treasured rituals, home comforts, the sweetness of belonging to a loving family or caring community. It’s Christmas in Ukraine tonight. Possibilities and certainty darkened by the scream of sirens and the menace of deadly drones that swoop like raptors from the skies.

January is Capricorn’s month. As we pack away sparkling decorations and prepare to cross the threshold into this next year, we may feel the austere pragmatic presence of Saturn, Capricorn’s ruling planet, we may sense the archaic presence of Janus, the two-headed god as we glance backwards and remember the highlights and the lowlights of 2022, and imagine the blank slate of this year yet to be.

What we conceived of at the darkness of the midwinter Solstice on December 21st may still lie coiled and unformed as we stand at the portal of this brave new year. A sombre Capricorn New Moon on December 23rd, just a few days after the Solstice, reflected the determination of those lives that have been darkened by suffering. Now we have arrived at the fullness of a lunar cycle, a glimpse of hope, a whiff of defiance, on this day of Christmas, this day of Epiphany.

The sky-story for this new year speaks of liminal spaces, slow transitions, small, brave steps. There are no major planetary aspects in 2023 but a tide of cosmic changes that will scatter star dust over all humankind.

Already the days are growing longer and the primroses on the riverbanks turn their delicate yellow faces to the sun as we begin to resume the routines and rituals that ground us in our ordinary lives. As winter’s frosty grip softens, our earth-born bodies respond to the light, new dreams seed themselves in our imagination. Silently, irrevocably, great cycles of birth, life, death, and regeneration are at work. Mars is still Retrograde in Gemini, stationing direct on January 12th, and Mercury turned Retrograde in earthy Capricorn on December 29th, and will be moving direct again on January 18th inviting us to listen more attentively to what feels authentic, to pause in the quiet shade of the unknown before we enter the fray.

We’re on the cusp of a celestial turning point with two major ingresses: Saturn enters Pisces for a period of three years. Pluto enters Aquarius, marking a major shift in the zeitgeist that will colour our world for the next 20 years. As Pluto moves through Aquarius, we will see the axis of power shift from the west to the east, radical changes in society, politics, religion, a growing awareness of the Frankenstein Monster that is Big Tech and AI, a demise in the great myth of progress amidst environmental collapse. Notice events in March which will be prequels to the zeitgeist of the coming decades.

As Jupiter rushes through fiery Aries in the first months of this year, we may feel a heated rush of courage, the faith in ourselves to start something new. Jupiter moves into Taurus on May 16th, and our focus may shift to what we value—money, material possessions, or lack of these will be highlighted, especially when Jupiter unites with the North Node in June, emphasised by Venus moving Retrograde in Leo which will mine the gold of our inner resources. This celestial prompt could be the cornerstone for self-care, sound financial management, creative self-expression, and joy.

Cancer draws us back to our coiled origins in the watery warmth of the womb, to what nurtures and nourishes us deeply.

May the light of this Full Moon offer opportunity to ease in gently to the steady routine of life, to reflect on what nourishes and nurtures our souls, and to what brings comfort and healing to our physical lives. This is the year of living bravely, soulfully, imaginatively, abandoning those things that are irretrievably broken and reimagining our place in the world, rooting back into the earth.

Onwards we go into this brave, beautiful new year.

For a private astrology consultation, please get in touch with me:
ingrid@trueheartwork.com

Stories Written in the Stars: Friday, January 6, 2023 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM PST: 6.30 GMT. If you would like to join me tomorrow night for an overview of 2023 which begins with a double Retrograde, please get in touch and I will send you a link, or register and pay here: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ejjic613b83e1aa4&oseq=&c=&ch=

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Solstice December 21st⁠—Capricorn New Moon December 23rd.

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―Margaret Atwood.

The days before the shortest day of the year are shaped by the honest starkness of winter.  Colours seem brighter, a flurry of buttery-yellow gorse, a russet flash of a fox daintily picking her way across a glistening frosty field, a tangle of burnished bracken, the glossy green boughs of holly, the silouette of a red deerall reminders that in the darkness of winter, life begins anew.

On December 21st, a new Sun is conceived in the dark womb of the heavens. It quickens and stirs at Imbolc (Candlemas), to be resurrected in the urgent thrust of Aries accompanied by a melody of green shoots and delicate blossoms at the Vernal Equinox.

Anchored to the restless tail wind of strikes and industrial action sweeping across the UK, the Sun and Moon meet in stoic Capricorn on December 23rd. This final New Moon of 2022 makes a determined square to Jupiter in energetic Aries, as we steady ourselves, prepare for change. This Saturn-ruled lunation reminds us that like the animals who survive in what is left of their natural habitat, in the dark of the year, we must gather our resources, prepare for lean times, adapt, to grow in ways we never dreamed were possible. New Moons are times of conception, transitional moments, times when the heartbeat of heaven resounds through the blackness of the night skies. New Moons signify endings and brave new beginnings, that may be overlooked in our brightly lit, forward-thrusting lives.

Capricorn is an earth sign, a sign that is associated with the quiet alchemy of winter, with lean times and stoic determination. The essence of Capricorn is structure, so amidst our midwinter rituals, this is a perfect time for putting things in order, preparing for a spiritual or physical metamorphosis.

For some this may be a lonely wintering. A period of poignant, painful anniversaries of the heart. A fallow time of scant resources. For some, the protracted dying of a relationship may rachet up the strength to shrug off a life that now feels too small, too tight. For others, this festive season may be a time of joyful celebration, as we welcome a new baby into the family, or reunite with a much-loved friend.

Mercury swings into reverse on December 29th (24° Capricorn) a Retrograde cycle that lasts till January 18th 2023. This is  a reminder, as we re-imagine our future lives to focus on what we can “realistically” manage.

A slow-burning Gemini Mars Rx (retrograde) exacerbates residual frustration as our will may be thwarted by those things we simply cannot control. Mars Rx often signifies an internal war. Those unsettling “climates of feeling” that author Anne Morrow Lindbergh describes so beautifully.  Amidst the last minute shopping, the wrapping of gifts, take time to rest, hone a sense of humour, be kind. Mars in Gemini has been in a murky square with Neptune in Pisces since October, and will make a final square in March, though Mars moves direct (8° Gemini) on January 12th, reigniting embers of hope, a latent passion, clarity, as we rise above the mists of confusion.

With both Mercury and Mars moving Retrograde, we may feel burnt-out, fractious, an illness may confine us to bed, redressing an imbalance of energy, depending on what area of our birth chart they are now traversing back and forth.

There’s a deeper message contained here, said so simply by the Buddhist monk, Haemin Sunim: When everything around me is moving so fast, I stop and ask, “is it the world that’s busy, or is it my mind?”

Thank you all for all your love and support during this year now almost gone. Wishing you a restorative and hope-filled Solstice.

Please get in touch if you would like to book an appointment for an astrology session for 2023. ingrid@trueheartwork.com

Welcome in  the new calendar year with a deeply nourishing exploration of the astrological weather forecast for 2023, combined with inner reflection, poetry, music and art.

 Stories Written in the Stars Friday January 6th, 2023, 10.30 AM PST and 6.30 pm GMT.

Join me, and mythologist Dr Kayleen Asbo, poet Rosemary Wahtola Trommer, and artist Johanna Baruch, for an epiphany of comfort and joy, an exploration of the sky story for 2023, and a celebration of the gifts we each bring to at the turning of the year.

To register, here is the link:

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Love and War—Gemini Full Moon—December 8th.

Light and shadow are opposite sides of the same coin. We can illuminate our paths or darken our way.

It is a matter of choice—Maya Angelou.

Mars, the ancient war-god, escorts the Moon across brow of the heavens tonight, a celestial reminder of those choices that take us down dark and lonely pathsor paths that sparkle with possibilities. As we prepare for the holidays, this last lunation of the calendar year, arrives in convivial Gemini, a mutable air sign associated with communication, connections, and with the choice we make every time we say something that may land like an arrow in the heart of another.

This full moon marks the climax of the Mars Retrograde cycle. When Mars meets the Moon, our battle for security and safety is not yet over. We may still be grappling with impossible choices, still embroiled in misunderstandings that erode our trust, still aching from a betrayal that armours the ache in our heart. We may have slipped into the habit of expecting a catastrophe, we may find it safer not to hope or dream. We may be wintering, even though the sun is shining.

As the Sun opposes the Moon and Mars tonight, a restless and confusing T-square with Neptune offers a choice, aided by a sextile with practical Saturn. Raising our glasses to the year almost gone, may we listen deeply to what is said around the dinner table, sensing a heart ache or a longing that may be concealed in an emotionally charged silence, and make our choice. We can’t avoid winter’s darkness, yet the Sun’s passage through hope-filled Sagittarius is a reminder that we may have become too rigid in our opinions, too wrapped up in anticipatory anxiety to dare to trust and hope. Says grief mentor, Julia Samuel, “hope is a feeling, but it’s also a plan.” We are living in anxiety-inducing times. Amidst the rubble of war, families are fractured, lovers separated by choice or by necessity; millions are exiled from their homelands. Mothers, fathers, teachers, store owners, are now simply refugees.

Through Gemini we encounter the power of two and the archetype of the sibling, the power of the pair to shelter one another during the fallow times when we are frozen and disheartened. The choice to make a new plan.

The numinous image of the Twins is mirrored by the Lovers card in Tarot, depicting the awakening of a partnership of equality. Also, the strands of individuality, separation, and loss that are woven into love knots. In the round of the Zodiac, this is the first meeting with the Other, the Twin Soul.

Like so many stories steeped in patriarchy and dominion, that form the bedrock of our civilization, the enduring stories of twins, siblings and soulmates are threaded with the pathos of loss and separation, woven with duality and ambiguity. Beneath the popular astrological descriptions of the breeziness of Gemini, the fun-loving and fickle eternal child, lies a story of loss and longing, a life-long search for something or someone from which we feel separated. A story that’s so often punctuated with long stretches of aloneness. A story that stumbles into the sinkhole misunderstanding. A story that ends with nothing more left to say.

Sibling stories underline Rome’s foundation myth and draw us into the story arcs of fiction and movies like Shakespeare’s Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ian McEwan’s Atonement, SK Tremayne’s chilling story about the death of a twin, The Ice Twins, and the marvellous Harry Potter books. Gemini is also the sibling we love or loathe, the bonds of blood that bind or divide. The Swimmers (Netflix 2022) is a Gemini story that marries the light and the darkness of two young sisters, Sara and Yusra, who escape the trauma of the war in Syria in a leaking boat, hoping to be reunited with their family. Theirs is a story of sexual assault by a trafficker, soulless immigration queues, barren refugee detention centres, and the triumph of being selected to compete in the Rio Olympics of 2016.

Twins in myth and fairy tale, are similar at first glance, then reveal themselves to be fundamentally different. The story of Castor and Pollux, and their beautiful twin sisters, Helen and Clytemnestra is a brutal story of theft and revenge, kidnapping, murder, and loss. Maya Angelou once said, “I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.”

This month, Mercury-ruled Gemini appears as the winged messenger, delivering choices which are seldom packaged in black and white, choices that arrive on the restless wind and arc through the air like the ideas that tumble through our minds. It is in the light and the dark of our relationships that we encounter our human complexity and discover the light and the dark within us.

May the winged sandals of Mercury carry us towards those extra-ordinary encounters that bring everything into focus. May the mythic Twins preside over those soulful tugs of choice, careful planning, that herald radical change in the way we live and the way we love.

 If you would like to book a personal astrology session for 2023, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Happy Days—Sagittarius New Moon—November 23rd, 2022.

“We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again—Katherine May.

A weakened sun lies lethargically on the horizon. Here in the north, the sky story speaks of a season of falling leaves. As winter winds blow this year to a close, glittering party clothes beckon from shop windows; bright lights distract us from the darkness for a while.

This week, the UK government announced a recession as postal and rail strikes reveal the bare bones of collective frustration and discontent.  Authoritative Saturn is still square unpredictable Uranus in earthy Taurus (banks, money, climate crisis).  Strikes and civil unrest in many countries depict the existential angst and a general dis-trust of authority.  “The present convergence of crisesin money, energy, education, health, water, soil, climate, politics, environment and moreis a birth crisis, expelling us from the old-world order into a new,” writes Charles Eisenstein, author of The Coronation.

For so many, this has been a challenging month. The New Moon Solar and Lunar eclipses in Scorpio and Taurus may have culminated in an ending of a way of lifethe sudden news of a retrenchment, an illness that initiates us into a new way of being, a divorce that reveals our bare bones. Taurus brings us down to earth—money, property, and those things we value—Scorpio dredges up those things we prefer to keep hidden from view.

The luminous lives of public figures portray the astrology of the moment. Prince Charles became Charles III during this eclipse season, and he will be crowned on May 6th during a Mercury Retrograde cycle and the day after a lunar eclipse—two celestial significators that suggest he will not settle comfortably on the throne. Charles was born on an eclipse, and will be familiar with this energy, so it’s unlikely that he will be beheaded like his predecessor, or banished to Europe. His Solar Return in 2023 (Sun/Mars conjunction in the 3rd house and Neptune on the Descendant) also suggests that his reign will not be an easy one as ghosts from the past return. Already truths blend with fantasy as the acerbic effect of the Mars/Neptune square can be seen in the “dangerous lies” peddled by the media, portrayed in season Five of The Crown.

Jupiter moves Retrograde at the poignant final degree of Pisces until December 20th and will make its third and final semi-square to Uranus on December 23rd, so the cult of progress and growth continues to take its toll on our ailing  planet. The astrology describes big wheels spinning, capricious dice that wobble and roll for those who fail to observe the cycles of life and death. Joe Biden celebrates his solar return on Sunday as Mars rises and squares Neptune, he attends to the nation’s petroleum reserves. Jupiter’s Wheel of Fortune turns for nations and humankind, as bellicose Donald Trump thrusts out his chin and turns his best side to the camera. An inflated Jupiter squares his Moon/South Node, and a battle-weary Mars takes a long shot, opposing his Moon, and moving back and forth over his Uranus/Sun/North Node in Gemini until March 2023. Saturn in Pisces will square his luminaries between May 2024-March 2025, not a great omen for a despot.  This week, Elon Musk’s fortunes plummet. Rotund Jupiter, purveyor of big dreams and big talk, opposes his power-over Pluto.  A disenchanted Mars Retrograde in Gemini conjoins his Venus (money, ruptured relationships, angry words) as his imperious demands for “a loyalty clause” raise mutiny and mass resignations.

The Mars/Neptune cycle began in on May 18th, 2022, and will peak with an opposition in August 2023, coming full circle with the next conjunction in Pisces in April 2024. The shadowy side of Mars Retrograde in Gemini erupts in hate-speak; language that severs bonds of relationship, switchbacks and U-turns, confusion, and utter exhaustion, and when Mars meets Neptune things become murkier, our will may be thwarted, our heartfelt desires swept away by things we simply can’t control. Mars is the war god, and this archetype describes battles, divisons, desire and action. This cycle may escalate a silencing of free speech, more emphasis on the currency of information, data and misinformation; cognitive dissonance, or pivotal events that challenge our beliefs as we defend or assert our version of the “truth”.

Yet the Sun joins Mercury and Venus in optimistic Sagittarius on November 22nd, Jupiter stations direct in Pisces, indicating a shift in circumstances, or perspective is possible. When the Sun moves into Sagittarius, we raise our hearts, our glasses, our vision, find magic in the mundane.  The New Moon on the same day escorts us into the season of goodwill and thanksgiving for Happy Days.

 As we pare down our expectations of how things “should be”, redefine what is truly important, we can practice being content, even happy, with the way things are. This New Moon wraps endings and new beginnings in the darkness of the heavens, so let’s toast to changing the old stories, finding what is possible within this new normal. As we review this year almost gone, may we celebrate how far we have come. May we give thanks for those bonds of friendship and heartfelt belonging that holds us to what really matters.

May we take time to reflect, to rest and restore, as winter draws us into the crucible of change. And in the intimacy of darkness, may we hold our loved ones close, find hope in hardship, opportunity in obstacles.

May we engage our imaginations in the darkness of the year almost gone, and re-discover joy and abundance in life’s simple pleasures. Here’s to Happy Days.

For a personal astrology consultation, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Rooted—Taurus Full Moon Lunar Eclipse—November 8th.

To be rooted is not the same thing at all as being tied down. To be rooted is to say, here I am nourished and here will I grow, for I have found a place where every sunrise shows me how to be more than what I was yesterday, and I need not wander to feel the wonder of my blessing—Kevin Hearne.

Her arrival is imminent. A tension building. On November 8th, a blushing, expectant Full Moon lunar eclipse brings this month to a climax, her subtle silvery light illuminating things as they really are.

This corpulent Taurus moon collides with disruptive Uranus, delivering a jolt of edgy, unpredictable energy that reflects both the pressure for and the resistance to change in the collective, and perhaps in our own lives whether we are ready or not. If this eclipse awakens a planet or axis in our own birth chart, (16° Taurus) stay rooted in the faith that there are miracles wrapped in unexpected news, serendipitous moments, or the brave surrender of letting something or someone, go. This eclipse signifies irrevocable endings as Uranus sweeps through the collective, a harbinger of change.

As our Earth’s shadow obscures the bright face of the Moon tonight, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and the South Node in Scorpio oppose her, we may be drawn back into darkness of the shadowdy Underworld, where we hear our own thoughts, sense our deepest longing.

Saturn (karma and necessity, structure, and limitation) makes a close square to this lunation, heightening our awareness, our instinctual need to be grounded in routine, well rooted in our relationships, securely connected to our interior life at this time of the earth’s turning.

At Full Moon times, the lunar cycle completes, so we may quite literally be at a time of ending, choosing what we will take in and what we will tune out. This Full Moon in earthy Taurus roots us in those things that matterbonds of love and friendship, our connection to the natural world, those things we hold dear that bring us comfort and joy amidst shifting circumstance. Taurus is associated with material things, property, money, and sensual pleasures. And although “being grounded” can seem like one of those self-help amorphisms, we can hunker down with an audio book, share a delicious meal with someone we cherish, come to our senses with beautiful music, fragrant candles, or freshly baked bread. Grounding, rooting, being in the power of now, affirms the richness of our ordinary lives.

For some, the effects of this eclipse linger, weeks before and after the eclipse, and this Full Moon Eclipse alignment with disruptive Uranus may send shockwaves across the earth throughout November. The race to the White House in 2024 begins on this Lunar Eclipse as Pluto and Mars Retrograde make their fated returns to their natal positions in the US birth chart of July 4th 1776. Mars in Gemini, now a battle-scarred and weary warrior, travels Retrograde from October 30th to January 12th making a jarring quincunx with Pluto, an aspect which so often accompanies ruthlessness, crisis, struggle, uncertainty and imbalances that can affect our health. Mars also makes an enervating square to Neptune in Pisces (exact October 12th, November 19th, and March 14th, 2023) an alignment associated with scandal, disappointment, loss, illness, and vulnerability.

Jupiter Retrograde travels through the heavens at this final poignant critical 29° Pisces, a degree that accompanies a sense of urgency, overcompensation, suffering, or difficulty.

In Ukraine, the grim conflict drags on as a bloom of inflation congeals with fears of recession. Rising energy prices correlate with Jupiter’s return to Pisces (October 28th-December 20th) and its subsequent move into Aries and semi-square Uranus between December 23-24th may bring further upheaval and shocks politically, economically as the climate crisis worsens.

“Everything you love, you will eventually lose. But in the end, love will return in a different form,” writes Susan Cain in her new book, Bittersweet: how longing and sorrow make us whole. In a world where enforced smiles and white-knuckled positivity clenches against the wild winds of adversity, she reminds us that “light and dark, birth and death—bitter and sweet—are forever paired.”  At this in-between time of transition we may feel suspended between life’s crevices and cracks as Jupiter’s lingering longing expands the bitter and the sweet. And as Naomi Shihab Nye reminds us, “before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.”

Now, staying deeply rooted in the relationships, the ordinary pleasures that nourish us;  allowing ourselves to feel the deepest thing inside during this turbulent time in our human history, becomes an act of rebellion. Kevin Hearne writes, “and when you are rooted, defending that space ceases to be an obligation or a duty and becomes more of a desire“.

As bare branches reach towards dove grey skies here in the north, and wild geese swim through the clouds in honking arrow heads, take a moment to look up at the moon tonight. Feel her presence, bathe in her light. This Full Moon/Eclipse is, as Maya Angelou once said, “plump with promise,”  and inspiration and delight will come with the new Moon in optimistic Sagittarius on November 23rd, an emissary of new horizons burgeoning in fallen leaves and rain-soaked grasses.

At at this time of Full Moon illumination and natural ending of a cycle, may we feel peace in our heart as we root deeply in what we cherish and linger a while with what brings us joy.

To book an astrology consultation, please email me: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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Waking the Dead—New Scorpio Moon and Solar Eclipse—October 25th.

October is the month of the dead. This is the time when the veil between the worlds is thinnest. This is the time of the ancient festival of Samhain when we remember those who have gone before us, when we confront inevitable endings and that great taboo. DEATH.

In October, leaves of gold turn to mulch. Shimmering spiderwebs sparkle in coppery hedgerows. In October, Death is monetised. Brightened, kept at bay with a parody of plastic costumes and grotesque face paint destined for land fill.

“Endings seem to lie in wait” wrote the mystic and poet, John O’Donohue who died as he slept in the January of 2008. Endings lie in wait in those ordinary instants, those unremarkable moments when quite suddenly, life as we knew it is over, our security, sameness, ruthlessly snatched away.

Spectral plumes of mist curl from rust-coloured forests and from the hilltops the plaintive roars of the rutting red deer promise new life and the ambush of death this month. As the Sun moves through Scorpio now, we enter the reflective depths and we think about endings. Many of us may be sitting with uncertainty, painfully paring away those things that no longer serve us. We may feel scooped out, dead inside, the vestiges of a long illness still lodged in our bones. Endings come with the loss of our identity when we retire; with the changes in our body as we age, our brave beauty etched in our faces, our strength shining through our eyes. Endings so often strip us of our innocence. They come in the brutal betrayal that spills diamonds and rust from the forgotten places in our heart. “You sit down to dinner and life as you know it, ends,” wrote Joan Didion.

On the eve of a new Scorpio Moon on October 25th, Sun and Moon hold a séance with Venus in regenerative Scorpio, accenting the cartography of our heart. This eclipse amplifies the finality of endings; fertilises a new cycle of growth with the dust of demolition. Tonight, we come back to what we deeply value. And what we must discard or choose to keep. A solar eclipse is a high-voltage new moon, and a new moon encapsulates the seed of a new beginning, a new shaping of our expectations, though we may not be able to see just what they are until the Moon is ripe and full. And as this new moon travels between the Earth and the Sun, darkening the Sun’s brilliance, something, someone may be eclipsed. This symbolism is made all the more poignant in a culture where the brilliance of externalised power and earthly matters command the spotlight in 24-hour news loops and on social media. The essence of eclipses lingers like an expensive perfume, for two weeks before and after the eclipse. They act as celestial highlighters, amplifying, intensifying energy and they can be game changers.

As the UK Tory party faces yet another crisis, transiting Uranus symbolises the unexpected changes in political fortunes—“I’m a fighter, not a quitter,” said Liz Truss before being routed within a day. Uranus was moving over Mars in her birth chart. As I write, Boris Johnson gains the necessary 100 MP nominations for the leadership, then pulls as transiting Venus conjoins his Moon. Uranus conjoins and Saturn squares Rushi Sunak’s Mercury/Sun conjunction in Taurus. Will he become prime minister or could Boris volte face again and return as PM to dismember the Tory party?

The darkly brooding presence of Pluto, Scorpio’s modern ruler, casts a long shadow over the month of October in world events, perhaps in our own lives with news that has reminded us of the impermanence of this life. Pluto stationed direct on October 8th and the heightened effect may have lingered for a week before and afterwards in our own lives, most certainly in world events. There is a quality of the absolute that lingers and settles over us all now and presses its hard edges into our daily lives. Writes Joan Didion, “It’s easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends.” Something bigger than us, something fated, is at work.

We may remember that for the ancient Greeks, Fate came in the form of three Moirai, those three sisters who determined the Fate of every living creature. It was Atropos who cut the thin thread of life. We meet Fate when the Nodes of the Moon transit the planets or angles of our birth chart. The South Node draws us back, into the undertow of the past; we hesitate at the threshold, we circle endlessly in our place of discomfort. The North Node is where we see the diamond of our destiny, although the threshold crossing is never easy. Something is calling us to our purpose, our ability as a race to love and heal and to nurture one another and all creatures great and small.

Jupiter slips back into diffuse Pisces on October 28th and will tread water at 29° till November 12th, drawing us collectively and personally into the shape-shifting realm of water that washes and dissolves the structures of life. Jupiter represents our search for meaning, faith and hope, yet also accompanies bloated optimism, grandiosity, and greed. Jupiter moved through this degree point in early May 2022 as Mariupol was besieged and the divisive issue of abortion escalated. Scorpio is a feminine sign, and paradoxically ruled by testosterone-driven Mars. With Scorpio there can be no compromises. Death, darkness, trans-formation, may be unfolding themes in our lives this month and in our collective future “Light thinks it travels faster than anything, but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it” writes Terry Pratchett, in Reaper Man.

 Mars, the war god is moving wearily through the heavens now. We may need more rest, more space to sit with painful emotions. Mars stations Retrograde on October 30th, and the battle out there may be an inner battle with the simmering heat of our rage; with our thwarted desires, with our view of the world that is predisposed to battle. “We have not yet arrived, but every point at which we stop requires a re-definition of our destination,” writes poet, Ben Okri, in Tales of Freedom.

As Nature contracts, exposing an uncompromising knot-work of bare branches and stubble fields; 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. This lunation carries the seed for repair, for release and renewal, if we trust the instruction of our hearts and know that death, like birth, is both an ending and a beginning. As we pause awhile, in this world of dying things, may those dead places in ourselves open to Love in new and deeper ways.

 Please get in touch if you would like an astrology reading:  ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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Brave—Aries Full Moon—October 9th.

One wishes that pain weren’t the potent alchemical element that it is―Athol Fugard.

Today, news of two explosions travelled across plaited fibre optics onto our screens and  into our hearts.

In the early hours of this morning,  a bomb on the Kerch Bridge linking Russia to Crimea generated a fireball obliterating the lives of three people.  On the 227th day of a war that continues to send shards of pain and trauma across the globe, the bombing of the symbolic and strategic bridge—“the jewel in the crown of Vladimir Putin”—may be a key event in the gruesome story-arc of this war which has affected us all in some way. In a close-knit Irish community in County Donegal, nine or more people died in an explosion that incinerated a petrol station and demolished nearby buildings. As search teams comb through the rubble, families and friends wait, hearts barely beating.

Pluto, (irrevocable endings, break down, eventual revival and deep healing) stations direct today (October 8th) escorting us collectively and personally into the dark of the year as Saturn (structure, authority) and Uranus (rebellion and breakthroughs) form a tense, explosive square (2nd-12th October.)

Tonight, a blood-red Full Aries Moon rises over the Earth’s soft curve. Mars has sovereignty over this warrior Full Moon as she travels in tandem across the night skies with Chiron, the wounded healer, symbolising the grief and suffering so many may be experiencing now, and the promise of deep healing if we are brave enough to move more consciously through painful rites of passage.

There are many ways to be brave in this world. For most of us, bravery, raw courage, comes when death ambushes those we love, when our income withers, when we must muster up the courage to love again. We may discover that courage is concealed in the small choices we make each new day. That act of will that gets us out of bed, the strength to put the kettle on, when all the colour has faded out of the world we once knew. “We never know how high we are till we are called to rise,” writes Emily Dickinson.

Mars goes Retrograde on October 30th (25° Gemini), a celestial injunction to rest our fried and frazzled nervous systems and make space to reassess our goals as economies collapse and ice caps melt.  Mars Retrograde cycles often coincide with low energy levels as Mars, the war god, retreats from battle. We may need to reassess our goals, or even postpone things till he stations direct in January 2023. The last time Mars moved Retrograde in Gemini was at the beginning of the financial crisis of 2008, and as we prepare for a long cold winter, Jupiter returns to that last potent degree of Pisces between October 28th and December 20th amplifying spiralling inflation and soaring energy costs.

We’re entering the winter eclipse season, a time that is vaguely described by some writers as “a portal” time, though what precisely this means is unclear. Eclipses come in pairs and there are four eclipses each year. An eclipse happens when there’s an exact alignment between the Sun, Moon, and Earth. In the affairs of nations, and in our own lives, eclipses herald times of endings; they ease our ability to release, to let go. In the mandala of the Zodiac, we are now moving through a series of eclipses on the Scorpio/Taurus axis, and it may be helpful to recall the events in our own lives as the series of Scorpio/Taurus eclipses dropped across the heavens in 2003/2004. In Scorpio, we encounter the inevitable: death and taxes. In Taurus, we dig deep into earthly matters. We may experience profound changes in our finances and in our shared material resources as the climate crisis continues to destroy our home planet.

“Things do not change, we change,” wrote Henry David Thoreau, a pioneer in minimalism and authentic living, a man who knew the seasons of nature intimately. As we seek our quiet centre at this monthly moment of Full Moon illumination, may we see more clearly all the ways we have changed, we may be setting out on a new path of our journey, embarking on a new stage in our life’s journey.

The October 25th  partial Solar Eclipse (2° Scorpio) is one of the Saros Series 6 eclipses that Bernadette Brady suggests “is about being forceful and taking power. It has a maniac flavour about it… with great force or strength manifesting in the relationship area…”  This may be a time of re-imaging an old story about a person or an event that has left us feeling disempowered in some way. In her new book, Trusting the Dawn: How to Choose Freedom and Joy After Trauma, Mary Firestone describes her long recovery after the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and a catastrophic mudslide that demolished a mountainside and her home.

She describes how she managed to move from Victimhood and change her perspective, and says that by “understanding that just like the mudslide was a force of nature that came down that mountain and I happened to be in its path, whatever was moving through that man was a force of nature and I just happened to be in his path. So for me, switching that story around again, it actually had nothing to do with me. It had to do with the force of nature.”

 On November 8th, the Moon will slip through the shadow of the Earth and a super-charged total Lunar Eclipse will energise and sensitise planets in our birth charts that fall at 16° Taurus, Aquarius, Leo, or Scorpio. Eclipses upend the natural order; they stir up those things we’d thought we’d burnt and buried, nine, eighteen years ago. They are forces of nature that catapult us to the crossroads of choice; exposing uncomfortable truths about triangular relationships that usually accompany power-over someone else, reveal our Shadow, tip and topple those rose-coloured glasses from our eyes, bringing new understanding.

At the start of this eclipse season, we may feel as if we are stepping onto foreign ground. So much has changed, so much is changing.

Dr Edith Eger’s inspiring book, The Choice: Embrace the Possible, describes a journey of healing, of forgiveness and of faith. A journey that began in her family home, with her parents and sister, and ended at Auschwitz. Her mother’s words as they travelled have been an integral part of her healing and her work as a psychologist: “We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but no one can take away from you what you put in your own mind.”

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

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One Moment in Time—Libra New Moon—September 25th.

A slow, attentive light settles on heather-clad hilltops. In steep ravines that slice the coastline into restless waters of the Atlantic, gilded leaves flutter on the invisible breath of autumn winds. This is the month of changing seasons and changing guardians.

The Sun enters Libra on September 23rd. As it moves over the equator, day and night are equal. This is the midpoint of the zodiacal round, representing the seasonal shift that accompanies endings, and beginnings. In the metaphorical language of astrology, the Libran part of our own birth chart will be illuminated for the next month as we practice and perfect the art of relating to others in an uncertain world. Libra is symbolised by a pair of balancing scales. For so many of us, balance is something we may wistfully talk about when the rhythm of our days begins to gyrate, scattering the weight of worry like a mantle over our minds. The souls of the dead were weighed against the Feather of Truth by the ancient Egyptians, and this month, for many of us, there will be a sense of arriving at a crossroads of a situation that requires sound judgement and careful consideration. Libra is an air sign, and the element of air may make us feel unsettled, unsheltered, and ungrounded. At this time of the Equinox, as the seasons shift, we may feel we need more rest, foods that support our digestion. In Ayurveda, autumn is the vata season, a time to enjoy grounding, warming soups, or hearty casseroles.

October may feel disorientating as Mercury moves direct on October 2nd, followed by Pluto direct on October 8th and Saturn on October 23rd, but it will be the Mars Retrograde cycle that begins on October 30th that might test our courage and resilience. When Mars moves Retrograde, the primitive shadowy nature of Mars may erupt on the global stage and in our own relationships as we project our aggression or thwarted desires outwards. Mars represents our instinctual will to live, our primal rage. Mars serves the individual rather than the collective, and our battle may be an intensely private, interior campaign as we practice self-mastery and draw deeply on our inner strength.

Mars Retrograde in Gemini coincided with the financial crisis of the credit crunch and recession of 2007-08 as Pluto entered Capricorn, a poultice that has drawn to the surface all that festers in big business and hierarchical social structures. This sense of dissolution will continue, peaking with the Saturn/Neptune conjunction in Aries in 2025-26.

The Libran New Moon on September 25th arrives with charm and grace, offers the promise of compromise as both Mercury and Venus, both in discerning Virgo nestle close to the New Moon this month. Amorphorous Neptune may cloud our sound judgement, or soften our gaze as we practice radical empathy and compassion.  The Moon is invisible when she’s new, but she carries potent unseen energy if we have the courage to step back into balance, to find that still point of silence at the Centrepoint of our heart.

The Full Moon on October 9th brings the raw vitality and verve of Aries to what we have imagined or initiated at the New Libran Moon. We hold the tension of opposites with Aries (self) and Libra (other). This Full Moon will reflect the state of our relationships. The bonds of love and loyalty that bind. The untethered ambiguity of those casual encounters that so easily tilt and topple. Research links happy committed relationship to lower stress levels, better immune function, and lower mortality rates, as oxytocin and vasopressin activate parts of the brain associated with calm, even the suppression of anxiety and pain.

At this time when relationships between nations are strained, President Putin threatens nuclear retaliation and a partial mobilisation of Russia, and Liz Truss’s rampant ideological “trickle-down economics” bolster the fortunes of the rich and powerful, the buttress of those relationships that offer comfort and belonging become even more important.

“Intimacy is a difficult art,” Virginia Woolf once said.

For some, this will be the moment in time when we harvest all the thoughts and emotions that have brought us to a place of ending. This will be a time of departure from a relationship that for far too long has provided scant nourishment. For others, this may be the time of our heart’s delight as the revitalising fire of passion draws us to a deeper, more soul-ful, intimacy.

Intimacy is a difficult art in a world where technology replaces the warmth of human encounter. Voyeuristic TV series like Married at First Sight portray a lonely absence of intimacy, a hungry urgency to find shelter for the soul. In a culture so focused on measurables and certainties, we may find the candlelit depth and substance of intimacy a difficult art. Yet within every human heart is a longing to be cherished and to be seen.

Psychologist Sue Johnson writes, “this drive to emotionally attach—to find someone to whom we can turn and say ‘Hold me tight’—is wired into our genes and our bodies. It is as basic to life, health, and happiness as the drives for food, shelter, or sex. We need emotional attachments with a few irreplaceable others to be physically and mentally healthy—to survive.”

The Sun, the symbol of our creative self-expression, is said to be in its fall in Libra implying that a perpetual state of balance is impossible to achieve, as we continually re-create ourselves amidst the complexities of our relationships and metastasise the events that are unfolding in the world right now. Balance is as capricious as the patterns of neuronal firing in our brains, as fleeting as our emotionally charged perceptions of the world around us. It will be the small gestures of love and kindness, the careful harnessing of our untamed thoughts, the brave reimagining of how this world could be that keep us open-hearted and soul-directed at this moment in time.

Please get in touch if you would like a private astrology consultation: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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High Flight—Full Moon in Pisces—September 10th.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace… the high trespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Royal Canadian Airforce Pilot and war poet, John Gillespie Magee. Died in a mid-air collision over England in 1941.

 

The Queen is dead. She has slipped the bonds of Earth, along with millions of others who died yesterday.  Public reaction to the death of the Queen surged quickly. A strange, spontaneous tide. And as a nation mourns, sorrow lands wetly on the hearts of those who never knew her on the eve of a watery Pisces Full Moon. “From the loss of Diana to Brexit, spontaneous outpourings of emotion terrify those in power. How will they respond now?” writes Marina Hyde in The Guardian.

The archetype of Queen is a powerful one. In England, the monarchy serves as a receptacle for collective projections, a fulcrum of purchase and stability amidst a churning sea of change. While politicians carry our collective imperfections and foibles, a Queen sits high above us all, serene, steadfast, unsullied by the messiness of life.

Change has its own cadence. It slides in, suddenly, catching us unprepared, or it seeps in softly, lapping at foundations of our lives, rising in increments until we are fully submerged.

Tonight, an incandescent Pisces Moon carries us across the threshold of emotion, bathing us all in luminous light as we grieve private losses, as we mourn a dead Queen and a dying world. This Full Moon conjoins elusive Neptune, a planet associated with sacrifice and redemption; with contagions that cannot be contained, with hysteria that surges and spills over; with those unfathomable, mysterious things that we can’t measure, touch, or see.

Neptune turns a ghostly face to our human need to hold onto what we love. Boundaries dissolve, treasured possessions disappear. We learn that everything is transient. And when we hold on too tightly, Virginia Woolf reminds us, “buildings fall; even the earth perishes. What was yesterday a cornfield is to-day a bungalow.”

Grief, Faith, and Belief are strung like precious pieces of coral around the Fishes’ tails. The delicate essence of Pisces—so often infused with a tincture of loss and longing—awakens our yearnings, diffuses our dreams with dappled remembrances, inchoate sorrow. This rhythmic, watery imagery may permeate our world-weary lives with a longing to return to what we have neglected: those simple pleasures that are the arteries of life itself, those bonds of love that nourish and sustain.

Pisces is associated with The Hanged Man in the Tarot, directing us as initiates to suspend our worldly concerns and turn our gaze inwards, shifting our perspective. Throughout human history, times of drought, plague, famine, flood, and myriad human atrocities have crushed civilizations. Yet from the shards of broken lives rise mystical visions and Marian apparitions. New perceptions perfume the air.

Astrology is a language of metaphor and symbolism that mirrors what emerges in the collective and in our personal lives. We are at a time of collective ending, already glimpsed in extreme weather, the miasma of political machinations, and sharp-edged transitions that precede new beginnings in our own lives

Mercury turned Retrograde in relational Libra on September 9th and will be apparently travelling backwards through the heavens until October 2nd.  The Retrograde cycle of Mercury occurs three times every year and moves through the elements of fire, air, earth, and water, in a procession across the zodiac, alerting us the rhythm of inner reflection that is needed for a more conscious experience of living. In Libra, the sign associated with balance and harmony, the focus falls on our relationships, with each other and with all living things. As we widen our circle of compassion, Plato reminds us “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

Mercury’s realm is magical trans-formation. He was the god of crossroads and times of transition. This fluid, shape-shifting archetype influences communication, transport, and learning, and this Retrograde offers an opportunity to pause, to catch up, to review our inner lives, our inner truths.

A Retrograde Mercury asks us to be patient and tenacious in the face of delays or obstacles, amidst the ceaseless, clamorous chatter or the polarity of choice that skewers us in indecision. We are collectively in the alchemical stage of solution. Jung describes this process as “the selfish hardness of the heart is dissolved: the heart turns to water. The ascent to the higher stages can then begin.” As we make fluid our rigid routines, dissolve our hardened habits, cleanse the debris of emotional blockages, we draw moisture into our parched lives, as we flow outwards again. As we pray. Emily Dickinson’s brief poem captures the sea-language of Pisces. When a dear friend she loved died, she wrote: “each that we lose takes part of us; a crescent still abides, which like the moon, some turbid night, is summoned by the tides.”

Mercury slips back into Virgo on September 22nd, the day the Sun moves into Libra on that important cross quarter day of the Equinox. As they cross the threshold, the Sun and Mercury join Venus and the Moon in Virgo, honing our ability to attend to the details, to pare away those things that are superfluous, to act with humility and discernment. In myth, Mercury was the only god who travelled back and forth from the Underworld.

“Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth,” writes Naomi Shihab Nye. As the tethered fish of Pisces draw us deeper, may they guide our prayers and direct our dreams, heighten our empathy for those who are struggling with depression or loneliness; for those who feel that they have lost their way and yet are in quiet motion. We are collectively moving through a time of initiation that may transform us at our core. Our healing may come from losing things, feeling our future dissolve in a moment, stirring us into a more conscious awareness of the power of Love that blooms in our hearts.

To book a private astrology session, or to find out more about future webinars, please connect with me by email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

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