What were you doing last April? How are the issues that were coming up then finding greater resolution? What are you relieved about? Regretful about? This is all good information about the eclipse season we’re in now. Eclipses put more force behind the full moons and new moons that they fall on as apexes of changes that have been building for the past three-six months. The first eclipse falls on the late night/early morning (depending on where you are) of October 8th and since it falls in Libra/Aries, keep in mind that there is no such thing as other people’s stuff.
It’s a wild card time in general, but with the grand trine in fire signs and mercury’s retrograde in Scorpio/Libra and Uranus and the Sun forming a lightening rod for cosmic energy, expect the unexpected. The grand trine in fire (now through the 8th) encourages us to use our creativity and spiritual aliveness to focus on all that warms our heart. It’s no surprise that San Francisco is being hit a heatwave. Monitor your energy levels for information about what brings vibrancy and go for more of that. Be careful of burnout though and remember to take refuge in the shade. A blow torch is more powerful than a bonfire or a burnt bridge though I can’t deny that we all don’t have some part of us that loves to watch it all burn. Burn candles, old sheets imbued with sex with an ex or old files that are dragging you down. What phoenix part of you might rise from those ashes?
Know that while eclipses bring change and fire signs love spontaneity, due to mercury’s retrograde, caution is indicated especially around anything that you might not be able to back out of. Feel free to write those harsh emails, but don’t necessarily send them without a trusted advisor’s revision. Burn those letters and journal pages where you've purged your vitriol then perhaps you'll be able to write from a more effective place.
Don’t overcommit yourself based on the intensity of the moment. If you’re even a little uncertain, breathe deep and expand your capacity to sit with the not knowing rather than forcing a resolution. When we’re seduced by the need to find closure, it’s almost always a sign that we're avoiding the work of sitting with our feelings. The solution is usually to put the phone down, come back to the present and know that the answer will come at the right time (if it hasn’t come, it’s not the right time).
There’s nothing like astrology to give us a sense of right timing and nothing like tarot to get us through those moments of uncertainty. The only question that matters right now is “what wants to happen next.” Pull out the tarot if you’ve got too many options and/or are feeling overwhelmed. Pull a card for each option and see what feelings arise from there. Keep in mind that the cards are a reflection of your relationship to the option in that moment. It’s okay to say “no” right now and you become a “yes” later, when the time is right and more information has been revealed. If you don't have a deck or are away from it, this is a sweet online resource. Use this wild card time to lean on our wild, artful divinatory cards.
As mercury's retrograde moves back into Libra, if you have trouble deciphering the message with all the taboo shit stirring that the Scorpionic energy brings, consult with another person. Take it all with a grain of salt because you’re the ultimate authority on your life, but there’s some clarity that can come only from sorting stuff out with another being. It will be much less about what’s being said and much more about what’s being felt. This is a great time to practice using feeling words in a non-blaming way (NVC anyone?). Good luck!
The final eclipse of this cycle is on October 23rd in Scorpio. We enter the depths, letting go and sinking in to all that we’re here to learn about our psyches. I’m planning to spend that night making a collage honoring that “no” is a complete sentence. What small, often quiet voice in you do you hope pay extra attention to as the energy of the moment shifts?
Have a blessed Samhain and happy new year to all the witches out there!
For folks that have been wondering where my more regular postings can be found, for the past six months or so, I've been toying with Facebook so follow me there for more consistent & brief astrologically inspired nuggets of wisdom. It's not my favorite platform, but it does make it easy.
Choose Your Struggles
God is Change
And in the end,
Kindness eases Change.
Love quiets fear.
And a sweet and powerful
And engages each of us
In the greatest,
The most intense
Of our chosen struggles.
-Octavia Butler, Parable of the Talents
Photo Credit: Nathan Taylor
I've got a penchant for apocalyptic mythos (Octavia Butler's Parables series is a favorite I've recently re-visited). I am especially fond of those that assure me that though transformation can be quite painful there is tremendous hope for shaping our breakdowns into breakthroughs. At the same time, I'm with Saul Williams in "calling all tarot readers and sparrow feeders to cancel the apocalypse." This dark moon in Aries (March 30th) I find myself steeped in both the fear of change and craving the promise of newness, of hope, of possibility born from destruction. Aries needs something to protect so all that fiery, fierceness has somewhere productive to go. This lunation allies with trickster Uranus and Juno, protector of the underdog invoking our unique inner hero's journeys to be allied with the greatest good of all. Use the unexpected to that advantage. Now is the time to ask yourself where you want lightning to strike in your life?
April moves us into eclipse season (4/15 & 4/29) and a grand cross in the cardinal signs (exact on 4/23). I adore when the gregorian calendar and the astrological match up and a tax day lunar eclipse is no exception. Practicing war tax resistance has made me conscious of war nearly every day. It's a small way to resist, to ensure that the nearly half of my tax dollars that go to war do not go there easily. It feels right, good and terrifying. I remind myself all the time that it's nothing compared to the terrors of war or the acts of resistance by folks like Chelsea Manning, and it's something that I can do. The feelings we have about our struggles get highlighted especially in relationship to others. The solar eclipse that follows brings shifts in our bodies and beings toward greater wholeness in the cognitive dissonance.
The grand cross brings us to this moment's crossroad. Dynamic tensions invite shifts that have probably been brewing for a while. It's our work to find integration and wholeness in the shifting possibilities. Uranus in Aries asks us to find deeper liberation of the self and courage in creating change. Jupiter in Cancer asks us to give and receive deep nourishment to our families of origin and those with whom we have chosen kinship. Mars (retrograde) in Libra asks us to return to familiar territory in relating so we can take action differently the next time around (and the next, and then next...). Pluto in Capricorn is asking us to let go of the illusion of control so that real power can come through in service to deep, lasting transformations that serve us through difficult times as well as through bliss. What is your sweet and powerful Positive obsession to guide you through this month?
As Julie Simmons says of this dark new moon time "Step inside the cardinal cross. Bring your friends. There is actually no other place to be. Imagine yourself at the center where the four directions meet. You are the keeper of the directions of your life and today or tomorrow you must make your intentions clear. You want change, you need to feed and nourish your people, you must be a leader but not a dominator and you must have extreme courage to face the fear that there is simply not enough. Whether this is true or not, is not for you to know. What is known is that there is great fear which will require great courage."
Thrival Guide to the Holydaze
I'd be lying if I told you that this Solstice season brings with it an easy astrology. With Uranus moving forward now, we do seem to be regaining a sense of clarity about who we really are and how the past months have inevitably led to this moment. This sense of ourselves is in creative tension on Xmas day. It meets with other people's expectations of what we do with our energy and how (Mars in Libra). See "there is no such thing as other people's stuff" for clues on how to practice emotional intelligence in this tussle.
Most importantly, check your expectations. Most folks are anxious, irritable and trying to mold reality to conform to a fantasy script of the holiday season. If you figure out how to make that work, please let me know. In the meantime, be someone who can smile at the chaos and breathe through the crazy. Hope this helps:
Know that it is possible to get through the holydaze with peace, joy and grace this year as long as we center ourselves in a willingness to do the work & make the effort towards accepting what is.
Photo credit: Nathan Taylor
We're in Libra season folks and with the new moon (Oct. 4th) it's time to focus on what you're wanting to get out of yet another fucking growth opportunity. The themes this month are relating, releasing and figuring out how to do what feels genuinely good even in the midst of the hard. The sun and moon are caught up in the Uranus/Pluto square encouraging us to put the effort in against all odds (as Caroline Casey says, those are the odds that the divine likes).
A wise friend recently explained that she sometimes calls Libra energy "Liebra" because there's a tendency to sweep things under the rug, to sacrifice all conflict on the altar of harmony. As she said, shit still stinks even when it's swept under the rug. The good news is that Pluto and Uranus seems to be discouraging that expression. Whatever peace we're able to find will be because of our willingness to sit with the discomfort that often comes from growth and change. Is it a surprise that the US government has now shutdown over the right to affordable care? Not really. Am I hopeful that the good sense, decorum and kindness of Libra will woo the moment, indeed! The women, infants and children need it as do the places of great beauty, our national parks (amongst so many other ways we try, imperfectly, to protect our land, air, water and health).
I wonder if we're all not feeling shutdown in some way or another, perhaps where this new moon is happening in your birth chart. Know that when we sacrifice ourselves and shutdown, the most creative parts of us suffer. We lose our sense of possibility and feel stuck. The question for me has been, where do I need to feel my feelings and where do I need to reach out for connection to spirit, to friends, to trusted advisors for help dealing with whatever I'm trying to avoid. We all need to infuse a commitment to affordable self and community care into our daily lives as one small way to ride the rising tides forward. These themes will only build as we enter eclipse season and mercury retrograde later this month.
One of my most oft leaned on affordable care tools is comedy. Thank goodness for the truth telling court jesters Colbert, Stewart and their amazing teams in these trying times. I even dreamt about Louis CK this week. Louis CK is one of those brilliant people born in the late 1960s when Pluto and Uranus were presenting a more united revolutionary front. These blessed individuals get to bring that energy into this moment of more tense transformation. His sun is right next to Pluto/Uranus so his career as a creative person, after much Virgoan hard work and integration, has really taken off in this unique astro-ecology (I see a similar opening for a lot of clients born in the late '60s). His Saturn in Aries and Moon is Capricorn have been activated by Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn too. His career is what it is today because he's willing to break taboos about parenting, marriage/divorce, and society in ways that can give a sense of relief and liberation, of not being alone, of not having to sweep it under the rug anymore. He does this best by invoking the wiser, more connected parts of ourselves. We know that empathy, feeling our feelings and being uncompromising in our commitment to live whole lives even in a consumer society run amuck is more powerful than that deep sense of empty, loneliness that comes with being human.
Photo credit: Nathan Taylor (my title: running from the sad)
Happy Summer Solstice! The night is returning. The day is to be celebrated and enjoyed. I read recently about a wise mother who, when her child became afraid of the dark, invited her to their backyard at night. There she shared with her child all things that were beautiful and right about the darkness.
The super full moon in Capricorn (6/23) asks us to walk the line in terms of doing and caring. Best thing to do is bring them together by doing that which demonstrates your care. I'm setting up a solstice ancestor altar, grateful for all that has been and trusting in what will be while doing my best to really occupy this space in between (now). It's all we have and all that.
Jupiter enters Cancer (6/25), the sign it will call home for the next year. This ushers in the summertime heavy hit of astro-weather, a Grand trine in water. Every time we say or feel love, a part of us knows that we'll also lose it, often to separation, always to death. Still, when the endings come, most of us know we'd do it all over again. Dreams, trance, meditation bend time and space and in that way mean moments of liberation and consolation. We must feel it all or feel nothing at all. The ocean flows from our eyes or we are thirsty in the desert, sometimes both at once. Death reminds us to live. Letting go reminds us to hold on while we can. Love it all. Swim.
Mercury goes retrograde in Cancer on June 26th-July 20th though we get to ride the shadow phase through August 5th. Talk with your feelings. Ask them what they want. I've been worried that my recent grieving has been too public, too vulnerable, too real. Grieving in the internet age is a different thing. No one can see me wearing black. And yet, I can't imagine any other way. This sadness isn't a private thing, it's everything and nothing, an illusion and all that is real. Whatever it is you're feeling, say it, dance it, sing it, draw it, share it, make it real enough to let go all the while allowing the waves to ebb and flow. Know also that we are not our feelings. When feeling enslaved or obsessed by the undertow, move sideways, give yourself a break, breathe, allow the flow to buoy you. Stop striving for perfection. Find the meaning and revelation in the mistakes. Love it all. You can't do it wrong. Your words can be salve. Use them wisely. Reap, rest, respect.
Uranus/Pluto-The intense tug of war between our need for collective transformation and individual liberation continues to tie us up in knots. There can be something meditative about untangling the knots. At other times, it's best to throw it into the cauldron and see what messages the flames bring. When panicked about a decision, it's probably not actually time to make it. Just remember, don't just do something, sit there.
I'm getting asked a lot about the intensity of the moment. It's not just the eclipses or the approaching mercury retrograde for most folks. The larger arc that many are feeling is probably the Pluto/Uranus square (exact most recently on May 20th). The last time Pluto and Uranus were dancing together was during the late 1960s, before that was the Great Depression. This moment we're in now has echoes of those eras-it's less dancing and more a sideways tug of war a la occupy/tea party mvmts. On a personal level, the need for deep inward change calls and the universe answers with unexpected outward shifts that make avoiding that deep call much less of an option. Themes around the individual and the collective call too. We've got a couple more years of this to go. Some astrologers have been saying "buckle up." The astrologers I've been most resonating with are saying that "buckling up" will do no good. The illusion of safety from the great turning holds us back from so very much and it's time to let go. You can find my favorite resource for dealing with this on a personal level (described aptly as a first aid kit for the soul) here.
I've noticed that folks born in the late 1960s seem to be experiencing a certain blossoming. A blog is brewing about that, but isn't yet ripe. If you're one of the folks born around 1968 or 1969, I'd love to hear how the past couple of years have been for you. I'd love to hear how the past couple years have been for all of you.
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