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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

 

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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

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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.)

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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.)

 

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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

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