Title Image

Self Growth

What Lies Beneath— Full Moon in Scorpio— April 24th.

It’s not the conscious changes made in their lives by men and women which really shape them… but a long, slow mutation of emotion, hidden all-penetrative—Nadine Gordimer.

All-penetrative change is inscribed across the heavens this month.

The sun slips into sensuous Taurus on April 19th and a Scorpio full moon on April 24th supports the transformative power of intention to clear the clutter from not only our physical space, but what is outworn and unfulfilled in our hearts, so that we can move more freely again.

This month’s lunation squares Pluto, primeval god of destruction and regeneration, emissary of hard truths. As we sort through those sentimental things that bind us to a past we have outgrowndusty ornaments, clothes that no longer acclaim the person we have become, shoes that torture our toes, books that now offer no sustenance or new learning, beliefs that mire us in regret or resentmentthis lunation offers the impetus for cathartic release. Taurus is a dependable earth sign. Although “being grounded” can seem like one of those self-help amorphisms, grounding, rooting, being in the power of now, affirms the richness of our ordinary lives. Scorpio involves a confrontation with destruction and darkness, and like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, we gain insight, healing, and renewal when we drink Scorpio’s strong medicine.

This is the month of truth or dare. Mercury turns direct on April 25th and celestial lightning rods, Jupiter and Uranus, partner up between April 18th-26th at 21° Taurus, prompting us to dare greatly.

This once every 14-year union offers a powerful boost of energy, an opportunity to slice through ambiguities, renew our resolve, realign with what we truly value. Jupiter, “Optimus Maximus”, philandering god of the Romans who presided over laws and agreements, represents our search for meaning, faith and hope, yet also accompanies bloated optimism, grandiosity, and greed. Uranus, ancient sky god Ouranus, catapults us into alien territory of unexpected change, with rude awakenings, abrupt events that separate us from what once we thought we valued, often constellating a frisson of anxiety, even fear that undulates through our nervous system.

Uranus transits so often accompany a sense of alienation from bedrock aspects of life and thrust us into the unchartered terrain of choice and crisis that we’ve been doggedly resisting. Expect the unexpected with Uranus. It will shatter stability, overturn what we thought was safe and sure. Jupiter expands the bitter and the sweet, lack or largesse. This is a celestial push for concrete change and innovation.

The Sabian Symbol for this degree of Taurus is “A white dove over troubled waters”, a hopeful image of peace and calm as the waters of society churn darkly and the devastating conflicts in the Middle East, Sudan, and Ukraine shape world politics for decades to come. This is a beautiful invitation to look for guidance in the signs symbols around us.

Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions occur every 14 years, but they haven’t aligned in Taurus since May 1941, when incendiary bombs plummeted from the night skies, raining death and destruction over London. On December 7th that year, America declared war on Japan, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbour. Social structure was upturned as women left their homes to work in factories. Unspeakable horrors were inflicted on millions of people in the name of war.

This Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Taurus coincided with a slow economic recovery after the longest and deepest depression in the US which lasted more than a decade.

Jupiter-Uranus in earthy Taurus symbolise the acceleration of extreme weather events like the flash flooding in Oman and UAE, and climate break-down which has resulted in a wet winter in Europe and UK and drought in places like Morocco.  Expect to see stock markets shudder, food prices riseTaurus is an earth-bound sign encompassing those things we valuemoney, property, sensual pleasure. Depending on where this conjunction falls in your own birth chart, we might ask ourselves, what is it I truly value? Is it worth my investment of time and energy?

This conjunction follows the turbo-powered solar eclipse in Aries of April 8th  (reminiscent of the solar eclipse of 2017 which also sliced a path across America, the cross point in Texas,) and the arrival of a Green Comet, unimaginatively-named 12P/Pons–Brooks which orbits the sun every 71.18 years. This space traveller sails close to the sun on April 21, 2024, and to close to our earth on June 2nd, its ever-changing taillight, blue, its swirling outer coma, green, as it plummets across the heavens.  Ancient sky watchers associated comets with the bloodshed and plague. They were “vile stars” that foreshadowed war and disaster.  As the light and dark, death and rebirth symbolism of the solar eclipse on April 8th still lingers like the fragrance of a sweet perfume, in world events and possibly in our own lives, we may invoke the symbolism of the full moon in Scorpio to clear and release anything vile and putrid from our own orbit and take a fresh look at what drains our energy, diminishes our capacity for joy and gratitude.

Major planetary conjunctions are usually easier to observe in retrospect. They represent important cultural shifts that shape our lives personally and collectively. The Pluto/Saturn conjunction of early 2020 heralded a year of restrictions, polarised viewpoints, cultural change, as authorities imposed lock-down and nature breathed out. The great Saturn/Jupiter conjunction on the winter solstice of 2020 was a pivot point that will affect us all for decades to come, and as Jupiter merged with apocryphal Neptune in April 2022, floodgates opened (Neptune was an ocean deity) and a sea of misinformation washed away familiar shorelines.

This full moon offers a moment of refuge amidst the distractions and the to-to-lists, a wonderous moment to commit to our own desires, to sense the thrilling return of joy after a period of arid disappointment or despair.

Although nothing and everything has changed around us, quite suddenly our heavy heart feels lighter with no more room for secret sorrows. Tonight, may a slow mutation of emotion flow through us.

Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible—Doris Lessing.

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

 

1

Facing our Fears—New Moon Solar Eclipse—April 8th.

Courage is found in unlikely placesJ.R. R Tolkien.

 On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse moves across North America, passing over Mexico, United States, and Canada. This is the day that a new moon in Aries slips between the familiar body of the Earth and the fierce light of the Sun.

Eclipses act like wild cards. They drop into our birth charts and catapult us from our place of comfort. They alter the march of world events.  They dispatch a charge of volatility through the atmosphere. On Monday, April 8th, as millions of people gather in a darkening world to witness the quiver-touch of the moon as she slides over the vanishing sun, we may sense a collective effervescence that lifts our hearts even for just a brief moment.

The first eclipse of the spring falls at 19° Aries, and carries with it an initiatory quality, forged by the heat of fire.  This solar eclipse also conjoins Chiron, (that tender place in our psyche where we are wounded) as well as Eris, (mythological goddess of strife and discord) and winged messenger, Mercury (now moving Retrograde), as they all  move through the sign of the Ram.

This eclipse marks a decisive moment where we must be bravely honest with ourselves. It belongs to a family of eclipses in the Saros Series 8 North which astrologer Bernadette Brady interprets as “this newfound inspiration will pull the person away from his or her social life or relationship, thereby causing strain in the private life. This is a time when the person needs to be free, if only for a few weeks.”

Astrological Aries carries the heat of fire that ignites an ancient urge to battle and survive. There are five celestial bodies in Aries (plus the North Node) prompting us to engage with the archetype of the heroine/hero. As we feel the firepower, we may be inspired by those who challenged patriarchy, dared to risk, to speak out. As we imagine the fierce courage and commitment of trailblazers like Cornish-born Emily Hobhouse who exposed the horror of the British concentration camps in South Africa and was an avid opponent of the first world war, or Jane Goodall who has worked tirelessly for the welfare and survival of primates, and writer and sage, Maya Angelou, (all born as the Sun moved through the flames of Aries,) we will sense the potency of this astrological archetype.

The Sabian Symbol for this new moon solar eclipse translates as “being innocent and fearless in love” which describes so beautifully the sky story of this moment as we look out into a world that seems so dark, a world where we so often feel anxious and so helpless.

Venus enters Aries on April 5th, kindling a spark of creativity, nourishing the flame of love that burns through the heavy weight of fear and resistance. Venus is our is our sensory detector, sensual barometer of our pleasure and our joy—a new hair style or bold new choice in clothing aligns with a change in our inner selves. In Aries, Venus trail-blazes new possibilities, new ways of empowering ourselves.

As Venus enters Aries, Netflix releases “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,”  which celebrates Venusian themes of sensual self-discovery, the joy and pleasure of sex, and the yearning for human connection.The sensitively portrayed connection between Nancy Stokes, sublimely embodied by Emma Thompson, and Leo Grande, captured with gentleness and complexity by Daryl McCormack so poignantly depict  the daunting challenge of overcoming cultural conditioning and those judgemental voices in our heads. Psychologist Harriet Lerner writes, “when we think of fear, we think of a “fear of” something. Far more daunting is the challenge of how to conduct ourselves when anxiety is high and shame silences our authentic voices, closes our hearts to the different voices of others, or stops us from acting with clarity or compassion and courage. In today’s world, no challenge is more important than that.”

Mercury (the lens through which we view the world, how we communicate, and how we transport ourselves) moved Retrograde (April 1st―April 25th) and conjoins Eris (goddess of strife and discord who takes a stand for what she believes in) on the day of this eclipse. As we collectively experience the first Mercury Retrograde of this year, (at 27° Aries) we may automatically think that travel plans will go awry, or our technology will be uncooperative. Yet, Mercury Retrograde in Aries demands much more that the superficial or mechanical. When Mercury moves Retrograde through the element of fire, it is vital to seek passion and meaning in our lives. Psychosomatic illnesses or a creative “block” may be the symptom that indicates the need for deeper change in our life, or a new way of embracing life’s many pleasures. Fire symbolism carries the momentum for creative re-imagining, for aligning ourselves with all possibilities and probabilities, focusing on the higher ground, and using the force of our will to get there. As Mercury moves Retrograde, we may shift our perspective, make significant life choices, respond with spontaneity and courage to a crisis, or start moving our bodies in a way that releases stuck energy.

Mercury turns direct on April 25th   emerging once more from “shadow” (reaching 27 ° Aries again) on May 13th and races into Taurus on May 15th.

If we imagine the moon’s pale body briefly obscuring the light of the sun, we may sense, in the darkness, the soft presence of a deeper knowing, the urgent thrust of life force that compels us to move beyond our fear. Harriet Lerner writes, “It’s not fear that stops you from doing the brave and true thing in your daily life. Rather, the problem is avoidance. Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run, but it will never make you less afraid.”

This new Moon invites us to stand expectantly at the edge of something new and to face our fears.  Anne Lamott who was born under the sign of the Aries Ram asks “how do you begin? The answer is simple. You decide to.”

To book a private astrology consultation, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

0

Capturing the Light―Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse―March 25th.

The stars are in blossom, the moon is in flower and bright are the windows of night in her tower―J.R.R. Tolkien.

The light has returned here in the north, consecrating a profusion of bridal blossoms, light as breath, that bless the earth with pink and white petals. Dandelions and white daisies thrust from cracks in the pavements, tender leaves furl exuberantly skywards suffusing woodlands and neat suburban gardens in glorious greens.

Nature awakens, we adjust our calendars, reorientate our routines.

On March 20th, the astrological sun moved into Aries, marking the transitional moment of the Vernal Equinox here in the north, and signalling the first delicate flutter of gilded leaves in the south.

In a culture shaped by speed and the urgency to arrive at a destination, we so often race past significant frontiers, barely notice the threshold crossings that mark new beginnings. Yet, as the seasons shift, we may sense a tug of possibility, the warm pulse beat of a longing that arouses what Julia Cameron calls “spiritual electricity.”

On Monday March 25th  we enter the season of eclipses. This first eclipse of the season is a penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon’s delicate light slowly dims as she glides through the earth’s penumbra, (the earth’s outer shadow.) Not as visually dramatic as other lunar eclipses, but significant to those of us who seek meaning and symbolism in the story of the stars.

Whether we take the time to glance up at the moon tonight or not, this lunation symbolises the light and the dark of our human encounters, draws our attention perhaps to those desiccated places of disconnection that need our intention, to those relationships that have become shadowed by pain, hollowed out by neglect or injustice. John Welwood writes so beautifully, “the brighter love’s radiance, the darker the shadows we encounter; the more we feel life stirring within us, the more we also feel our dead spots…”

Lunar eclipses amplify emotions, dredge up buried feelings, obscure rational thinking, and for those who have angles or planets at 5° Libra, this lunar eclipse signifies an either-or choice of significance that might mean letting go of a situation or a relationship, or a rush of  release from the statis of a relationship triangle.

Eclipse symbolism is often preceeded by a time of crisis as a darkness descends on our inner landscape. We may feel disoriented, disconnected, adrift, as we grapple with a  terrifying and decisive choice that will re-shape our lives and become a border crossing between the past and the future.

Saturn conjoins Venus in Pisces on this lunar eclipse, a celestial reminder that committed relationships require maturity and compassionate hearts. Chiron in Aries conjoins the north node, symbolising the uncharted territory where we must struggle for agency, make crucial choices, exercise our will (Aries.) This calls for self-compassion as we become more self-aware, less physiologically reactive. Psychiatrist Dan Siegel reminds us that “the way we relate to ourselves shapes the way we relate to others.”

Our culture has no rituals to support our brave crossings and we may feel marooned in doubt or loneliness as we try to come to terms with what we have lost, the people and places we have left behind. Yet in the months or even years yet to come, this lunar eclipse, followed by the solar eclipse (at 19° Aries on April 8th) might accompany a sense of release and renewal after making  a difficult choice … or a literal sense of being overshadowed or eclipsed by circumstance. This solar eclipse also conjoins Chiron and Mercury, a repetition of the themes of healing and renewal as we are shaped by our encounters with others and the world around us. It belongs to a family of eclipses in the Saros Series 8 North which astrologer Bernadette Brady interprets as “this newfound inspiration will pull the person away from his or her social life or relationship, thereby causing strain in the private life. This is a time when the person needs to be free, if only for a few weeks.”

 

The Equinox is a reminder 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. This  gracious Libran full moon offers the sweet promise of compromise and peace if we have the courage to step back into balance and find that still point of peace that nestles in the centre of our heart. 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

Paintings by Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1917); Mary Macomber (1861-1916) John William Waterhouse (1849-1917.)

1

Transitions— Full Moon in Virgo February 24th.

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—Anatole France.

 

We are two moon cycles away from the spring Equinox. On March 20th, the sun enters fiery Aries at the start of the astrological new year and the beginning of spring.

As the days lengthen here in the north, and the seasons begin to shift, we may already be feeling the urge to spring clean our homes or to unburden ourselves of something that has been pressing heavily on our heart.

For so many, this has been a quixotic month. Abruptly, the lives of hundreds of people have been upended as news of the insolvency of The Body Shop in Europe and the UK has left hundreds of people shocked, shaken, suddenly jobless. For some this month has delivered news of a new arrival in the family; a birth or an engagement to be celebrated. For others the death of a beloved still reverberates. On February 16th, as Mars separated from a razor-sharp conjunction with Pluto and Venus poised on her threshold crossing into Aquarius (ethics, social causes, political issues, social restlessness), we learnt of the death of Alexi Navalny, charismatic Russian activist and courageous opponent of Putin. Alexi Navalny died in a grim Arctic prison (Pluto at 0° Aquarius square his Chiron in Taurus.) He was 47.

February may be the shortest month of the year, but human-made global warming and an El Niño heating surge have accelerated sea-surface temperatures. Meteorologists now predict that this February will be the hottest in recorded history.  Extreme weather events in California in the first week of February will be amplified in other places as Jupiter advances on Uranus in Taurus. The exact Jupiter/Uranus conjunction occurs on April 21st (21° 49′ Taurus) and will be within an 8-degree orb from 2nd March to 5th June.

 

On February 24th, a modest Virgo Moon opposes the Sun in Pisces signifying some of the tension and ambiguity we may feel amidst the collective angst. Virgo and Pisces are mutable, transitional signs, and both embody qualities we may recognise in ourselves as we move through this crucible of change.

This full Moon (5° Virgo) illuminates that part of our birth chart where we spend most of our daily lives. She precides over the quiet rhythms and routines that root us in seemingly ordinary tasks.

Virgo carries the energy of pared down simplicity. The essence of Virgo is a focused dedication to our craft, the loving attention we devote to the health and wellbeing of our body and mind. The Moon trines Jupiter in Taurus which may amplify, accelerate, or bring to our attention the need for gentle self-acceptance or a soothing practice of self-care that brings a sense of peace and calm to our daily lives. At this time of high tides and heightened intuition, we may be re-imagining our lives, prioritising self-care and spiritual practice to bolster our resilience as the ripples of change ebb and flow through our lives. Executive coach, Vanessa Loder speaks about “following our energetic breadcrumbs,” a daily choice, a tiny moment, that we can all feel into when we begin to focus our attention to those seemingly ordinary encounters.

Earth is Virgo’s element, and Virgoan qualities are so often depicted in  fairy tale where the heroine of the story performs tasks with humility and attention to detail. Humility derives from the Latin, humilis—down low, on the ground or of the earth. And as the Moon travels across the heavens tonight, opposing the Sun, Mercury and Saturn in Pisces, she may shine her light on those small disciplines, the little things that tether us to this earth at decisive threshold crossings.

The Sun moved into watery Pisces on February 19th (Pisces corresponds to our lymphatic system, our feet and toes, while Virgo’s domain is our digestive organs) so this full Moon brings our focus on the quality and origin of the foods we assimilate, the health of our colon, our immune system and the comfort of our feet.  Mercury (how we think, re-imagine our lives and our relationships, and how we communicate) and Saturn (responsibility, hard work, structure and boundaries) both in shape-shifting Pisces, oppose the full Moon, highlighting the need for discernment and responsibility as we make our own tender transition into a new phase of life.

In letters exchanged between Boris Pasternak and Olga Ivinskaya, this moment of recognition and deep listening is so beautifully described: “when a great moment knocks on the door of your life, its sound is often no louder than the beating of your heart and it is very easy to miss it.” 

As this ripe-bellied Moon stirs the tides and moves the liquids in our bodies, may we refine our listening in the stillness of the night and withdraw awhile from the rough edges of this world allowing silence to wash over us like a spring tide. “Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves” Anne Morrow Lindbergh reminds us in her beautiful book, Gift from the Sea.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, we are reminded of the right timing for all things here on earth: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens.

Now, with attention to detail and humble hearts, let us prepare for a new threshold crossing.

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

These beautiful illustrations are by Swedish painter John Albert Baurer (1882 –1918.)

 

0

What Matters to the Heart—Full Moon in Leo—January 25th.

Chase away the demons, and they will take the angels with them—Joni Mitchell.

The first Full Moon of 2024 sails across a mantle of stars tonight, blessing the earth as she travels through heart-centred, self-mythologising Leo.

The essence of Leo is vibrant self-expression. Yet in our light-poisoned cities, in a culture where so many are infected by a sense of alienation, numbed, and dumbed by a relentless press of competition or spurred by a false sense of lack to consume more and more, our spontaneous self-expression may be injured or lie dormant.

In medical astrology, Leo rules the heart, the guardian of the soul. This lunation offers a reminder that we all have an authentic, divine spark within, an instinctual force that does not emerge from an acquisitive, competitive ego, but from what matters to the heart.

The Sun and Pluto in Aquarius oppose the Moon in Leo on January 25th, and the New Moon of February 9th will accent the Aquarian energy that will infuse the zeitgeist for the next two decades.

On January 20th the Sun joined Pluto in Aquarius at the sensitive 0°  as Mercury moved out of the shadow, signifying that some new force is stirring in the collective and in our own lives.

This critical 0°- point circles back across celestial song lines to the mid-winter solstice of December 21st, 2020 when Saturn and Jupiter conjoined in the heavens in Aquarius, heralding a start of a new air sign era. Sabian Symbol for this degree is “Building structures for the survival of the group”. For new souls incarnating this month and next, the Aquarian celestial signature will be part of a life long journey: Pluto and Mercury will be in Aquarius on February 5th, joined by the war-god, Mars (February 13th,) and Venus (February16th.) These personal planets rendezvous with Pluto at the supercharged 0° signalling a slow emergence of a new consciousness that will require clarity and discrimination, profound self-inquiry, and an intelligent questioning of societal norms and values.

 

Pluto’s entry into the humanitarian sign of Aquarius is no abstract event in the age of the Anthropocene. The first astrologers, the stargazers of Mesopotamia believed that the stars transferred messages from the gods.

Pluto returns to Aquarius after 245 years of colonisation, genocide and ecocide, a mere blip in the spiral of human his-story. Aquarius like all astrological archetypes, is nuanced and complex. There will be no sudden shift into a golden “Age of Aquarius”. It’s unlikely that “peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.” The New Age dream  may become a nightmare as we witness the rise of popularist governments, autocratic leaders, fanaticism, and groupthink, accompanied by unprecedented emphasis on science and technology.

For many, Pluto’s two-decade passage through Aquarius will incite a slow internal awakening, a deeper questioning of our place in our community. For some of us, this will mean a different approach to activism as social and environmental issues press into our ordinary lives. For others, the challenge of seeking meaningful, paid work as AI supersedes what we thought would be a life-long career.

Pluto, or Hades as he was named by the Romans, represents natural law, the cycles of life and death which involved a descent into the darkness of the underworld. In myth, Pluto is depicted as wearing a helmet which rendered him invisible, so we only sense his presence as we glimpse the shadowy truth of what has been buried alive in our own psyches. Collectively, Pluto tends to dredge up all that lies rotting beneath the surface, so we can expect the shadowy aspects of Aquarius to rise up like bloated corpses from the fabled water of this paradoxically named fixed air sign.The old order will resist change.

Pluto dipped into Aquarius briefly last year (March 23rd -June 11th) as ChatGPT and Nividia were heralded as the harbingers of a technological renaissance. As Pluto moves through Aquarius these next two decades our quasi-religious reverence for technology, our faith in science to provide all the answers will be challenged.

As you are reading these words, AI trawls the internet, dredging up the dross we have dumped there since the 90s and spewing it back at us again in the form of misinformation and repetition. We may find it difficult to distinguish posts by real humans from “fake”; AI art from someone’s soulful self-expression. How effective social media regulations will be amidst the flotsam and jetsam of AI generated content will be a Pluto in Aquarius concern that will affect us all. The superb ITV drama, Mr Bates vs the Post Office directed our gaze on an indifferent, omniscient institution and a  flawed technology that wreaked havoc on human lives. It was a human story that touched a raw nerve in the collective and unleashed a torrent of rage. Columnist Charlotte Higgins writes, “our current tragedy is that in the 21st century we have replaced the idea of cruel, unpredictable and all-powerful deities with our very own human-made institutions that are just as terrifying as, and rather more real than, any vengeful Greek god.”

Pluto makes one last and brief visit to Capricorn from September 1st – November 19th and  will remain in Aquarius till 2044 as humankind re-imagines the myth of progress or succumbs to the illness of alienation, a numbing soul-loss as we lose our hand-crafted lives, forget what matters to the heart.

This is a call to create a new relationship with nature, and with each small act, to tend to each other, to allow the ragged scars of patriarchy slowly heal from the bottom up. This is a call to reach out to a friend who is shrouded in the darkness of depression. This is a call to sprinkle wild meadow seeds on the barren edges of what was once a fertile marsh land, now a concrete parking lot. This is a call to remind ourselves, in the words of Paula Gunn Allen, that “snowflakes, leaves, humans, plants, raindrops, stars, molecules, microscopic entities, all come in communities. The singular cannot in reality exist.”

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

1

New Dawn Rising—2024 Astrological Weather

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.

Anne Lamott.

“This year will be better…” we say hopefully, perhaps as a talisman to ward off potential heartbreak and hardship.

The mood this month is serious, focused on the goal-directed activity, underscored by a determined Capricorn new Moon, on January 11th augmented by Mars in Capricorn, a celestial prompt to get things done and as author, Doris Lessing reminds us, “whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”

Elusive Mercury moves direct on January 2nd and Jupiter, the planet associated with abundance and “good fortune” moved direct on December 30th after a three-month backspin in the sign of Taurus, a sign where where change comes incrementally, one small step at a time.

The astrological signature for 2024 wraps itself around the next three years, signifying the changes that have been emerging since the solstice of 2020, in our own lives and collectively.

Pluto moves into Aquarius on January 22nd , dipping back into Capricorn as profound evolutionary forces sweep through the collective psyche, breaking down what no longer serves us. Since Pluto entered Capricorn in 2018, we have witnessed the rise of authoritarian governments and the revelation of the abuse of power, the #MeToo campaign and the #BlacklivesMatter Global Network. As we bring our attention to any unfinished business in our own lives regarding power or powerlessness, responsibility and accountability, Pluto will finally enter Aquarius on November 19th and will remain in Aquarius till 2043. Already, we have a sense of what Pluto in Aquarius what might be like as the climate emergency, mass migration, gruesome conflict and fanaticism cast a long shadow. The unprecedented proliferation of AI that is already hardwired into our daily lives is a taster of things to come as the Silicon Valley Plutocrats gain omnipotence. Pluto’s presence will be felt in politics this year. 2024 is the year of The Election as more than 40 countries hold national elections, some free and fair, others determined by despots.

Pluto, mythical lord of the underworld, sovereign of the dead, draws us all into his shadowy world to confront the truth with courage and honesty this year. In myth, Pluto was custodian of what has been interred: the complexes, patterns that have not yet been accepted or exorcised.  As Pluto arrives at the end point of its 14-year passage through Capricorn, those who have planets in early degrees Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius will feel Pluto’s presence as it crosses over the charged 0° Aquarius once more. Saturn conjoined Jupiter at this sky point on 21st December 2020 as we began a slow emergence from the pandemic.

Saturn and Neptune are still floating in the nebulous waters of Pisces, moving closer to a conjunction in 2025/2026 as things become blurrier and in the echo chambers of social media, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern fact from fiction.

When Saturn and Neptune perform a Dionysian dance in the heavens, we swoon. This intoxicating combination offers the sweet promise of redemption, intensifies our yearning to return to Eden. These are the murky waters where charismatic con men create cults that offer a false belonging, where opiates and psychedelics carry us away from the harshness of this world, and cyber criminals and hackers hunt across the dark web. When Saturn meets Neptune, wonder who or what is real, or we wake, as if from a trance, bitterly disillusioned. When Saturn (carbon) conjoins Neptune, permafrost thaws and noxious gasses, bacteria, and viruses (Neptune) are blown by the wind. This combination of celestial energies may unleash a tsunami of pent-up grief and suffering; it may surge through cryptocurrencies, drown the hype, dissolve castles in the air. This is the hungry energy of the speculator, a glimpse of hope that may be unfounded, perhaps, the realisation that as we drop the salvational fantasy we are freed up to sweetness of simple pleasures, self-acceptance, and a deeper appreciation of the poetics of life.

Uranus, Saturn and Neptune both move into new signs in 2025, and the rest of this decade will be infused with the energy of Uranus trine Pluto, Neptune sextile both Pluto and Uranus.

April may be a tumultuous month for many as rotund Jupiter aligns with explosive Uranus, an indicator of volatility in financial markets, inflation, and the potential for seismic activity. Jupiter will amplify the uncertainty and unpredictability of Uranus, and this energy will permeate society, paving the way for Jupiter’s entry into Gemini, on May 25th which may amplify divisions and polarisation on social media platforms, or offer the opportunity to heal a ruptured relationship, offer words that land gently.

2024 ends as Mars moves Retrograde in Leo opposite Pluto (in orb from October 2024 to January 2025) with one close contact on November 3rd, only two days before the US election and one more on January 3rd. Mars/Pluto contacts accompany unscrupulous power struggles that have a life-or-death quality and have the potential to erupt in violence. The eclipse season begins with an Annular Lunar Eclipse (5° Libra March 25th), followed by a Total Solar Eclipse (19° Aries, April 8th), and ends with a Partial Lunar Eclipse (25° Pisces, September 18th) and an Annular Solar Eclipse (10° Libra, October 2nd.)

93 million miles away, solar storms create magnificent aurora spectacles on Earth, yet can also distort the magnetosphere, the protective magnetic wrapping of our earth, disrupting our body’s magnetic field, as well as distorting electrical grids, GPS signals and the movements of the millions of satelllites that circle our home planet.  A peak of “solar maximum” between January and October 2024 will be stronger and longer than estimates made back in 2019 according to a US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration statement. Neptune was backtracking Retrograde (26° Pisces) on September 1st, 1859 when The Carrington Event, the most intense geomagnetic storm ever recorded, caused wide spread fires and powerful auroral displays. This year, it might be worth noting that transiting Neptune is now moving direct (25° Pisces) and will turn Retrograde on July 2nd.

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 we welcome this brave new year and sit with the paradox of those things that stir our anger and release our tears, let’s pause for a while in the quiet shade of the unknown before we enter the fray.

This is the year of living bravely, soulfully, imaginatively, abandoning those things that are irretrievably broken, and reimagining our place in the world as we root, with profound gratitude into the rhythm of our lives.

Wishing you all a gentle beginning to this new year.

With love,

Ingrid.

For an in-depth exploration of your own birth chart, please get in touch: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

0

Approaching the Dark—Winter Solstice December 22nd

To this world you belong. To this moment, in this place where you already stand, something greater has ushered youToko-pa Turner.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. A demure fir tree bejewelled with baubles becomes a dazzling diva. The unassuming delivery man wears a gaudy novelty sweater with “I’m sexy and I snow it” emblazoned across the chest. In small gardens, dancing reindeer and corpulent Santas twinkle, and fairy lights garland trees and hedges. As the old year dies in the darkness of midwinter, rituals—quirky and quaint—secure threads of continuity, create meaning, beguile us with wonder.

For some, this may be a lonely wintering. For those unmoored by a cluster of losses as the darkness closes in, the gaudy glitter and surfeit of this Christmas season amplifies isolation. For some this may be 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.  And for some, 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.

On December 22nd the sun enters Capricorn. The old sun dies. A new sun is born. This is the mid-winter solstice, a sacred still point in the year, the longest night, and in the darkness, something is gestating. Capricorn, like all astrological signs is multi-layered, profoundly complex. As ambassador of the mid-winter darkness, Capricorn embodies stoic acceptance, the pared down necessity of wintering through difficult times. Capricorn is an earth sign, a sign that is associated with the quiet alchemy of winter, with lean times and quiet determination. The essence of Capricorn is structure, so this is a perfect time for putting things in order, methodically getting things done.

Capricorn brings a moral awakening toughened with pragmatism, often the self-denial that strips us of those things that are stagnant or decaying and must be relinquished. In a throw-away culture where even our longest relationships can be reactively “unfriended”, where family estrangement has reached epidemic proportions and exile is often self-chosen, we may be actively seeking a new place or relationship that meets who we are becoming.  Yet, so much of our conscious awareness lies hidden in the shadow. We might think we think independently, yet we are identified with institutional ageism, sexism and the insidious collective dogma that is so evident in politics, religion and corporations as warring factions separate spheres of belief and project their shadows on the Other. Jung is so often quoted as saying, “when an outer situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate.”

Before we reactively severe ties this Christmas, we might remember that the archetype of the Mountain Goat is also about the endurance, the resilience, of the long-haul.

“At the heart of ‘belonging’”, writes poet Toko-pa Turner, “is the word, ‘long’. To be-long to something is to stay with it for the long haul. It is an active choice we make to a relationship, to a place, to our body, to a life because we value it. Even though that it may not be all that we hope it to be, we are keeping the long view of what is possible, and our life becomes an offering to making it so.”

 

The last full moon of 2023 journeys through the heavens on December 27th. This full moon falls in Cancer, a sign that embosoms our belonging—to a place, a community, a tribe, or family. The vibratory signature of this lunation symbolises the heart fire of our emotional security, our sense of safety, life-giving friendships and soulful connections that nourish and sustain us through difficult times.

Cancer is a Cardinal water sign, so the days after the festivities may release a torrent of emotion, stir the sediment of memory, dislodge vestiges of nostalgia, and remind us, as we unwrap our gifts and hug our loved ones, of those separated from their families by conflict, or trafficking, those who have fallen through the cracks of the system and are now homeless, sleeping rough.

The astrology of midwinter aids reorientation to what we value, offers a sanctuary to reconnect with ourselves within the darkness. Mercury turned Retrograde in Capricorn on December 13th and on December 27th will be moving Retrograde through the fire sign of Sagittarius, conjunct Mars. This is a time to listen generously, to practice curiosity, to allow ourselves to be surprised. On a more mundane level, Mercury Retrograde times can accompany miscommunication, transport difficulties, train or air traffic control strikes, lost or stolen devices that are alarmingly now the sole point for function in a virtual world. As we enter the new calendar year, Mercury stations direct in optimistic Sagittarius on January 3rd as Mars joins the Sun in pragmatic Capricorn. Jupiter changes direction just before new year’s eve. Jupiter has been moving Retrograde in Taurus (sensual pleasure, finances, property) since September 4th and this cycle ends on December 30th, which might offer impetus to act, to dare greatly, to reach for what you long for with good faith in the outcome.

As we come to the end of this year, the bare bones of winter and the dark contours of the landscape offer no distractions. This is a time to turn within, to gift ourselves with some contemplative time, away from screens and devices, so that in silence we can sense what is dying and what is stirring, waiting to be born.

“The biggest illusion about a path of refuge is that we are on our way somewhere else, on our way to becoming a different kind of person. But ultimately, our refuge is not outside ourselves, not somewhere in the future— it is always and already here—Tara Brach.

Heartfelt thanks to all of you who have supported my work this year past. I am taking a break from technology over the solstice and will be looking forward to meeting again for personal astrology consultations in early January. Please email me to make a booking: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

Wishing you all a restful and peaceful festive season.

With love,

Ingrid.

1

Change of Heart—Gemini Full Moon—27th November.

One new perception, one fresh thought, one act of surrender, one change of heart, one leap of faith can change your life forever. Robert Holden.

Now as we tend to the cherished customs and familiar rituals of this holiday season, it may be easy to be distracted by busyness, overwhelmed with fatigue, whiplashed by unexpected events that leave us disorientated, discombobulated, yearning for soul shelter amongst those simple things that bring us comfort and joy.

November’s full moon  invokes Gemini’s mercurial magic as we approach the Solstice on December 21st. In the Greco/Roman world, Mercury/Hermes presided over thresholds, crossroads, and boundaries. As we prepare ourselves for the challenge of crossing a new threshold, we may meet the spirit of Gemini in the wind that rustles the branches of the tree outside our window, a reminder that nothing is constant. Against the rich warm browns of dying bracken and marmalade and honey-gold of the last autumn leaves, it is the oak that holds fast the green the longest. A reminder perhaps that change emerges discretely for some of us, or in a flash, with a sudden change of heart, for others.

Air is Gemini’s element. This is the energy of the trickster—versatile, elusive, clever, playful, and infuriatingly inconsistent. Gemini moves through its two personas, appearing in those either-or choices we feel compelled to make, sometimes showing up at crossroad moments in our lives. Through Gemini we encounter the power of two, the kindred spirit, those relationships we find most challenging, the conflicts that bring out our exiled dark twin. Spiritual teacher, Caroline Myss’ Gemini Moon conveys the archetype of the Storyteller, the Data Gatherer. She writes, “the challenge is for us to decide whether to make choices that enhance our spirit or drain our power.”

So often in myth and fairy tale, opposites are depicted as the hero and his enemy—Parsifal and the Red Knight; Biblical brothers, Cain, and Abel; and in Gnostic teaching, Jesus and Satanael, twin sons of God, symbols of light and dark. Our human minds are hard-wired to see opposites and differences, warring opposites instead of complementary pairs. As yet another divisive far-right politician brandishing inflammatory rhetoric gains power in Europe, the astrological signature this weekend is dominated by Saturn (structure, authority, tyranny) in boundless Pisces.

As Mars leaves the dark waters of Scorpio to join an optimistic sun in Sagittarius, a deal has been struck for a brief pause in hostilities in Gaza and the release of some prisoners and hostages. On November 24th, Mercury (mediation) makes a trine to the Moon in Aries. On this day, the moon (in Aries) trines Mars (in Leo) in the birth chart of Israel and transiting Mars and Sun trine Israel’s Leo moon, which augers well for the families and those who have been kept in captivity. Mars rouses our survival instinct, stokes our will, and heats our desire. Saturn (boundaries and limitations) arrives in the form of realistic, measurable outcomes that demand accountablity and maturity. This weekend there may be situations and circumstances that test our resilience and fortify our spiritual mettle.

As Mars and the Sun confront this Gemini Moon on November 27th, 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 bruise 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.

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 or encased in cynicism to dare to trust and hope.

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; then choose to soften our stance, allow a change of heart.

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.

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.

Please get in touch if you would like to book an astrology consultation for the year ahead: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

1

Blessings and Bombs—New Moon in Scorpio—November 13th.

Children of chance, we have made ourselves into what we are — creatures who can see a universe of beauty in the feather of a bird and can turn a blind eye to each other’s suffering, creatures capable of the Benedictus and the bomb. Creatures who hope—Pattiann Rogers.

Darkness comes early now.

As we descend into “fall”, Nature responds to the ancient rhythm of life and death. Shoals of fluttering leaves twist and turn like golden minnows and delicate spiderwebs spangled with diamonds of dew shimmer in the hedgerows. The brilliant greens of summer have turned to marmalade and plum revealing the bare bones of the branches.

As the light slips softly off the hillsides, a new moon in Scorpio nestles beneath the dark hem of the night. New moons are generative times. Seeding moments when we plant wishes in the darkness and wait patiently, expectantly for them to grow. In our own birth chart, it’s the moon that conveys our private longings, our place of comfort and belonging, our habits and emotional topography.

In ancient astrology, Scorpio was The Serpent that shed its skin, healed and renewed itself, the mythical Phoenix that soared from flames and ashes.

In modern times, Scorpio is associated with the far-sighted eagle that soars high above the mayhem.

Even if we avoid “the news”, we may sense a seam of blackness in a world advancing through a dark night of the soul. Set-backs and existential challenges pervade our consciousness. Bombs and bullets continue to kill and maim in war-ravaged Gaza and Ukraine. In myriad forsaken places, cities are razed, lives destroyed. Iceland declares a state of emergency as tremors split the earth and the country prepares for a volcanic eruption in the coming days. As things fall apart, divisions widen. Polarised and impassioned opinions cleave friends and family as we reduce anxiety by focusing on something, or someone other there to fear or blame.

In our own lives, the primal energy of Scorpio may come in the form of that wrecking ball that smashes through the illusions, a truth that breaks the shackles that have bound us for so many years. It may come in a heroic apology, a severance that sets us free from a relationship that has outlived its purpose, a revelation of a truth.

Mars strides into battle at the midpoint of this new moon. This lunation (20° Scorpio) reflects the volatility, the anger, and the rage we may feel in the world around us. It’s an edgy, unpredictable astrological signature that accentuates a combative and explosive opposition to Uranus (21° Taurus), reflecting a reactive, heated rush of energy that may spill over into our lives, manifest as an accident, an earthquake, volcanic eruption, and accelerate the brutality of war.

“Anger is a tool for change when it challenges us to become more of an expert on the self and less of an expert on other,” writes psychologist, Harriet Lerner. Yet seeds of compassion and forgiveness germinate at this new moon time as we tune into Scorpio’s power to heal a relationship rupture or make a heroic heartfelt apology for something we wish we could have done differently.

“It’s a profound challenge to sit on the hot seat and listen with an open heart to the hurt and anger of the wounded persons who wants us to be sorryespecially when that persons is accusing us and not accurately as we see itof causing their pain,” Harriet Lerner in her book, Why Won’t You Apologise?

The Sabian Symbol for this hard-hitting lunation offers a subtle, intuitive glimpse into the shadows and the hidden light of this new moon: Obeying his conscience, a soldier resists orders.

Jeff Foster asks that we “kneel before the power in your anger; honour its fiery creativity. From this place of deep acceptance, you do not become weak and passive. Quite the opposite. You simply enter the world from a place of non-violence, and therefore immense creative power, and you are open to the possibility of deep listening, honest dialogue, and unexpected change. In suffering, you become small. In love, anything is possible.”

As we prepare for the coming of winter, this dark moon carries a message of hope and regeneration through its association with the snake that sheds its skin, the mythical phoenix that rises from dust and ashes, and the all-seeing eagle that soars above the beauty and the suffering. It invites us all to enter this new day with a blessing or a prayer for healing, and the wisdom to obey our conscience.

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

1

The Light Within—Partial Lunar Eclipse in Taurus—October 28th.

So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending—J.R.R. Tolkien.

As mist curls in spectral plumes across swathes of rust-coloured forest, the plaintive roar of a rutting deer echoes across the valley.

In the north, Scorpio season draws us into rot and decay. This is the realm of dragons and serpents, scorpions that sting, endings that ambush, darkness that seeps from night to day.

October is the month of mulching and composting, of endings and letting go. The ancient festival of Samhain, at the midpoint between the equinox and the winter solstice, marks the death of summer and the impending darkness of winter. October is the month of the dead, monetised at Halloween when the dread of darkness is brightened with a parody of plastic costumes and grotesque face masks destined for land fill. At this time of the earth’s shedding, many of us sit with uncertainty, painfully aware that climate change and the unspeakable brutality of war continues to deliver death and devastation to millions consumed in the conflagration. As news of more suffering washes over our safe, comfortable lives, we may feel scooped out. An unhealable grief sits wetly in the chambers of our still beating heart.

Life changes fast. Life changes in an instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it, ends,” wrote Joan Didion when her husband of 39 years died of a heart attack while she was mixing the salad.

On October 28th, a Scorpio Sun and Taurus Moon hold a séance in an autumnal sky. At Full Moon times, the lunar cycle completes. An eclipse is a super-charged full moon, so we may quite literally be at a time of ending as we draw deep and find the courage to let go and face in the growing darkness, whatever losses we inflict or must endure.

This eclipsed full moon marks the culmination of an 18-month cycle of eclipses in the signs of Scorpio and Taurus, that brought up issues relating to security and rescources and the existential crisis of climate change. Not everyone will resonate with the same intensity as an eclipse brushes over their birth chart. Eclipses are feral, unpredictable things, yet for us all, the symbolism of this  lunar eclipse calls us to slow down, feel our feet on the earth and connect with our heart so that we can send love and healing energy out into the world, wrap love around war-ravaged places.

Taurus is associated with material things, property, those things we value and deem to be beautiful, and sensual pleasure. Taurus is a dependable earth sign. Although “being grounded” can seem like one of those self-help amorphisms, grounding, rooting, being in the power of now, affirms the richness of our ordinary lives. Scorpio involves a confrontation with destruction and darkness, and like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, we gain insight, healing, and renewal when we drink Scorpio’s strong medicine.“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. Death, darkness, trans-formation may be unfolding themes in our lives this month and in our collective future.

At this in-between time of transition, we may feel suspended between life’s crevices and cracks of a choice about a relationship, career or a place of belonging. Eclipse moments bring us to the heart of the matter. Tonight, we may be drawn to what we cherish and hold close to our hearts.

October’s eclipsed moon (5° Taurus) conjoins Jupiter Retrograde as she opposes a coven of planets in Scorpio: Sun, Mercury, and Mars.

Jupiter expands the bitter and the sweet. And Scorpio’s uncompromising intensity takes us deep below the surface, if we are willing to go there.

The symbolism of this lunar eclipse may play out in world events, as Mars and Mercury meet in Scorpio one day after the lunar eclipse, a caustic combination in the fixed sign of Scorpio, amplified by Jupiter Retrograde in the fixed sign of Taurus and the Taurus lunar eclipse. This could be enormously challenging for hostage negotiations as Mars, the war-god, viciously slices through communication (Mercury). Poet, Andrea Gibson, speaks to hunting out the fear, which might mean facing a painful truth and harnessing rampant reactivity or finally daring to open to that difficult conversation.

On November 4th, Saturn (boundaries, structure, self-discipline) turns direct at 0° Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac. Saturn presses slowly forward, suffusing our experiences with necessary endings, the dissolution of outworn structures. Saturn moves through the liminal realm of Pisces from March 7th, 2023, to February 2026. The archetype of Saturn carries ponderous associations with fate and consequence as the western civilization turns to rubble, and unfettered growth and expansion are bounded by the inconvenient truth of climate crisis and mass migration. “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.” 

Nature contracts, exposing an uncompromising knot-work of bare branches and stubble fields. The primordial pulse of the year stirs deep in our blood and bones and tonight, as we 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 acknowlege 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. And as the moon’s light grows dark tonight, Tolkien reminds us of the light within: May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.

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

 

 

2