Tonight, in a secret corner of the sky, a New Leo Moon hides her flaming face. It’s been a cruel hot summer.
In the ever-changing sky, Saturn and Uranus remain in a discordant square all through 2022 and 2023, a celestial symbol of turbulent times, bitter division, as these ancient mythic enemies confront each other in the heavens and an old order collides with the new. Saturn transits arrive as the henchmen of stasis that often thwart our efforts to move forward, yet they present as circumstances that grow us up, if we’re willing to learn. Transits of Uranus break us open, shatter and destabilise those things that are too tightly defended or have outlived their purpose. When these two archetypes face off in the heavens, they reflect tension, upheaval, limitations of freedom, resistance, and rebellion. Creation stories always tell of darkness and chaos that come before creation. The Pluto/Saturn conjunction of January 2020 has fermented all that is rotten in our world. The dross has risen to the surface and each one of us now faces the consequences of those things we have repressed or simply ignored. In the tumultuous confusion, perhaps something greater ushers humanity towards what is yet to be.
There are few who can stare at the pain of the world without blinking. We all long for some light, vacuous distraction from the reality of raging wildfires that consume forsaken landscapes, the tumult of politics, and the vagaries of the obscenely rich.
Global debt has ignited fear and scarcity and sparked an inferno of unrest that has been simmering for decades―first Sri Lanka, with other poorer countries to follow. Here in the UK, politicians bicker while railway strikes disrupt the lives of millions; in the US the far right are gaining ground, while millions get their news from Chinese-owned TikTok.
Hot summer streets and the pavements are burning… It’s a cruel cruel summer, sang Bananarama.
And now as the carefree weeks of summer holidays are seared and sealed seamlessly by the sun, nowhere is this more apparent than on talcum beaches, where sea spray infuses the pervasive smell of sun block and the scent of sea grass. Stunned by the glut of sunlight, hordes of visitors amble slowly along promenades or slump in deck chairs, drowsy participants in these halcyon holidays, this all too brief escape from reality, from society in decay.“Humankind cannot bear very much reality,” T.S Eliot once wrote.
Jupiter/Zeus, the celestial father-archetype, also associated with excess and grandiosity, turns Retrograde in over-heated Aries today (till November 23rd) highlighting moral and cloistered religious codes that are deeply entrenched in our culture. This will test our own values and choices, our moral angst in the months to come. In the nuanced language of astrology, Jupiter will amplify the aggression and haste of Aries. And when planets go Retrograde, the celestial instruction is to slow right down and then look within.
Those startling synchronicities, those things that “happen” outside ourselves, so often mirror what is moving through the collective or in our own lives. Mars, the war-god, rams into an intractable Saturn on August 7th, which can bring enormous frustration and a sense of being thwarted as Saturn accompanies rules and authorities, sober realisations that things may not work out as we had hoped. Writer Cheryl Strayed wraps this planetary aspect up in her own inimitable way― “writing is hard…. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.” When Mars meets Saturn, we may feel as though we are “hitting our heads against a brick wall”, “fighting against the odds”, and these contacts often manifest as exhaustion, low libido, feelings of frustration, being motivated by fear or duty unless we simply dig. We may attempt to “start something” without true inspiration and verve, or reach a very stuck place where, eventually, events or emotions erupt, bringing destruction of the old. Yet amongst the little fires or the flames of the inferno, new possibilities will grow, the much longed for changes we dreaded, yet unconsciously manifested.
The sky story speaks of simmering tension that will ripple and churn with increasing intensity as Uranus in Taurus unites with the North Node on July 31st and Mars makes trouble by joining the fray on August 1st, sparking tinder dry disputes and the madness of war. As we yearn for the stability and calm of Taurus, the undertow of the Scorpio South Node may suck us back into conflict and what Eckhart Tolle calls “the pain body.”
Mercury in Leo enters the conversation this New Moon making a frustrating square to a twitchy Mars in Taurus / Uranus / North Node―a meeting that is often associated with a heated rush of energy that may accompany rash behaviour, sudden upsets, accidents. “Wake up calls” that jar and jolt us from our complacency. The Sabian symbol for the Uranus / North Node alliance that sweeps through the heavens until February 2023 is “a new continent rising out of the ocean.” This union encapsulates enormous potential, yet like Prometheus, the god who stole fire to gift to humans, there is a price to pay in defying the gods and daring to seek “new worlds” instead of tending to this one.
They’re calling it “the age of anxiety, says Kristen Lee, author of Worth the Risk: how to micro-dose bravery and grow resilience. Yet amidst the overwhelming pain and chaos of it all we may be moved to do something noble, gracious, kind.
“Despair is our chance to wrestle with fire and come through,” writes Christina Baldwin. The vibratory signature of this regenerative New Moon may light the way, even if dimly at first, to a flowering of purpose, a deeper way of listening, a different way of seeing, an outward rush of a life force that floods through us even in the darkness. Trust. Don’t let go.
There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this―Terry Pratchett
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