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.”
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