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.”
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