New Moon in Sagittarius – Embracing Life’s Battles

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  – Albert Einstein

The New Moon is at 7 degrees of Sagittarius on November 29th. It forms an exact conjunction with asteroid Juno, and a square with Neptune and the Lunar Nodes. In Sagittarius, the combined influence of the luminaries with Juno highlights partnerships and unions based on higher values, nurturing of the intellect, respect for each other’s differences and a passionate search for truth. Its dark side, especially in stressful aspects involving Neptune entails self-righteousness, religious and/or political fanaticism, inappropriate or misguided self-sacrifice, deception and victimization.

Neptune has been a year-long influence due to a square by Saturn in Sagittarius since August 2015, now fading in effect. The Neptunian themes of delusion, confusion, psychic pain and past life review are not over however, as Saturn and Chiron, the Wounded Healer in Pisces move into a square to be fully activated in the new year of 2017. The wounds that were not healed, the debris that was not discarded, the lies that were only partially uncovered and the memories that were stirred this past year are drawn up yet again with this New Moon and in the weeks ahead.

Venus in Capricorn forms a square with Uranus and Ceres in Aries. This and along with the four planets (Sun, Moon, Saturn, Mercury) in Sagittarius calls for radical honesty and a heavy price to pay for deceit. Much of this has already been going down in the political arena and the dominoes will continue to fall over the next few months. Intense conflicts and opposing views can cause separations and loss on a grand scale.

Sagittarius favors culture and expanded education. Like all fire signs, this one does not shrink away from challenge but embraces it wholeheartedly. Whenever this sign is emphasized, more of us dare to think and do things that were previously not known or comfortable. What is something you have long wanted to do that you’ve been afraid of initiating?

Every now and then the words of one of my great-grandmothers resounds in my memory:

“Life is constant battle!” she would exclaim after telling a story, particularly in relation to surviving the Armenian genocide…

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…but I remember her as a happy little lady, ever-so-loving and grateful for all that life had blessed her with. As I grew older, I began to truly understand her words more clearly and adopted them as a sort of mantra, especially in situations that seemed extremely bad or good. This mantra reminds me that things can always be a lot worse, not to rest on my laurels, never to settle for less than what I deem as worthy and just, and that if life’s not a “bitch” in some way, shape or form I must be overlooking or doing something wrong.

Contrary to New Age belief, people don’t automatically change their reality by ignoring what’s ugly and only reciting positive happy affirmations to themselves (as if they are trying super hard to drill them into their thick skulls). Believe me, I tried all that as a teen and it didn’t work. It began to feel like a form of denial and it eventually became evident that denial only leads to escapism, addiction and self-pity. What did work was accepting this life as battle, putting on my armor, picking up my spear and going forward full tilt.

I’m not sharing any of this as gospel, but just as my own personal philosophy and experience. It also seems relevant to the Times. When one acknowledges life’s battles for what they are, there is no more room for complaining. There is only choice in how to engage or give up. Accepting the reality of battle, of hardship and of hell on Earth was actually liberating for me. It meant that I no longer held onto false promises or waited for approval and rewards from others. I gave up hope for “lollipops”, pats on the back, gold stars and Nirvana. Suddenly, so much came into focus.

Whatever principles one adheres to ultimately shape life’s experiences for better or worse. These principles can be positive or negative, religious or not, inclusive or exclusive. What really matters is what results they produce both internally and externally. Do these results weigh on the side of healing or destruction? Enlightenment or ignorance? Dishonor or valour?

“Stand for something or you will fall for anything.”

Some more questions to ask during this Sagittarius New Moon (there are no Right or Wrong answers – just food for thought):

What are you seeking for and why?

What are you fighting for and why?

What are you holding on to and why?

Whose thoughts are you thinking? Why?

 

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Pisces Lunar Eclipse 2016

I am a bit behind on today’s penumbral Lunar eclipse report…but given that the full moon just occurred 24 degrees of Pisces, opposite of a Retrograde Mercury in Virgo it seems just as well (please pardon my tardiness). Dreams, visions, memories, and heightened emotional and spiritual states have been the themes building up to this cosmic release. The Moon was in conjunction with Chiron, which has been triggering the awareness of pain that was buried within the depths of our souls, from this and past lives.

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Originally, the ruling planet of Pisces was Jupiter. Later
when Neptune was discovered it became the co-ruler. The Jupiterian expansiveness is in effect on so many levels and dimensions it can be difficult to discern what is coming/going, and where any of it is leading or landing. Neptune also has a way of going and going, like Alice down the rabbit hole, to a place or state of complete and utter mystery. Saturn is still separating from its year-long square to Neptune, leaving us with much to reflect upon yet not much form to work with.

Pisces is symbolized by the two fish swimming opposite of each other, sometimes with the appearance of a yin-yang. Like the sign of Libra, where Pisces ruling planet Jupiter now transits, Pisces is very much concerned with peaceful solutions and resolution. Inherent is the understanding that there is always more to life than what meets the eye. The Equinox falls on September 22nd, when the Sun moves into Libra, the day after Mercury goes Direct at 14 degrees of Virgo in a trine five days before Pluto turns Direct at 14 degrees of Capricorn on the 26th. We currently have the opportunity to look beyond appearances and truly see what is going on beneath the surface of a thing, relationship or situation that has been causing frustration for a long time.

When the emotional climate gets too intense to bear it can be helpful to stand back for a moment and view one’s own life as they would that of a stranger’s or a character on television…

What is the funniest, most ridiculous thing somebody ever said or called you with great passion/anger in their voice? True story here: “You’re nothing but a selfish prick!”

But you know what? It ultimately helped me to be a better person, because I stood taller and more confident than before. What’s great is I can laugh about it now, although at the time I responded in shock. I’m not sure what’s sillier – that someone said this to me, or that I reacted in shock. That was quite a long time ago. In recent months I’ve had similar encounters, with the opportunity to respond differently to  crazy projections.

The Piscean theme of purification also indicates this is an optimal time for clearing space both physically and energetically. This can be done with the use of essential oils, burning herbs, healing water treatments (steamrooms, saunas, baths, etc), flower essences, mantras, and many other tools.

Speaking of Flower Essences, I am available to make custom blends for internal or external use. The new ebook Flower Spirit Medicine will become available in print in late October. Send me a note if you’re interested in winning a copy of the ebook version (names will be drawn on the Equinox!) 🙂

Solar Eclipse in Virgo 2016

An annular solar eclipse at 9 degrees of Virgo on September 1st will be visible from Madagascar and certain areas of Central Africa. The effects of this eclipse have been building up for several days, bringing explosive action, fierce opposition, and holy hell in our spheres of existence. The “ring of fire” formed the glowing rays of the Sun outlined behind the Moon could symbolize this.

For some this New Moon Eclipse heralds the release of struggle, the breaking of chains, and the onset of inspiration. Much of what is being processed now is a recap of what came up last year 0f 2015 around September 13th with the Solar Eclipse at 20 degrees of Virgo. Close where I live in Northern California, a huge fire took down almost an entire valley, and with it a spot called Harbin Hot Springs that was beloved by many. It was a time of endings, disappointment and loss on a grand scale and it was only the beginning of more of what was to come in the months to follow.

I see the huge emphasis in Virgo as a call to becoming more intimately aligned with Gaia – to make amends with Her, to assess the ways that we can become more prudent with regard to our resources. This world that we live in is as filled with awesome beauty as it is with terror and decay. How often do we immerse ourselves in the beauty? How often do we give thanks for the bounty “at our disposal”?

An eclipse or transit is never “all good” or “all bad” but a mixture of things, pushing different buttons for each of us each time. The transits we have experienced recently and are currently experiencing could very well lead to breakthroughs in consciousness that significantly change the course of our lives.

Those who shun the shadow side of life should read no further.

This eclipse on September 1st highly activates the Saturn/Neptune square that has been in effect since November of 2015. This confounding cosmic arrangement will pack its last punches with us throughout September. Many of the illusions that we have long held dear are dissolving before our eyes and sliding like sand through our fingers.

The North Node conjunct the Solar Eclipse is showing us where we may have wrongly given of our time, energy, and resources in the past. It is pulling our head out of the clouds and into the stark Now. It is helping us to redefine our goals and aspirations and encouraging practical plans of action toward attaining them. One major lesson many have been learning since November 12th of 2015 and will hopefully complete by May 9, 2017 is how to overcome the tendency to rationalize outer conditions and toxic situations at the expense of personal sanity and integrity. Between Chiron and Neptune the South Node in Pisces has revealed many of the causes of our own self-doing. Various forms of self-sacrifice and sabotage have proven futile at relieving the suffering of others, let alone the self who is being sacrificed.

Intense pain – psychic pain, physical pain, soul pain has been a highlight for so many this past year. When the pain is too great to endure, escapism becomes the coping mechanism. On the other hand, an extreme sensitivity to the disappointment, pain and suffering of others, both on minor and major scales can become distracting to one’s own progress, and we now see more clearly the ways that we have been distracted. With this illumination we can adjust our responses and create positive change.

To those for whom it applies: Whose bottomless pit of need have we sought to fill? In what way have we become exhausted because of a deep care, sympathy or pity for the states of others – shocked to find out where our very sympathy is the thing most undeserved? This is how psychic vampires even thrive; they must be fed by those who pity them enough to give of their own life force energy. Since the North Node’s transit of Virgo began I discovered the hard way that I had been trying to cater to the crying egos of others for quite some time rather than truly helping them to serve their higher purpose. It was extremely depressing to say the least. It was also liberating.

Meanwhile, Mercury is stationed Retrograde at 28 degrees of Virgo in exact conjunction with Jupiter who is getting ready to shift gears into Libra on the 9th. The danger with this combination is that words and their meanings may seem bigger than life to some and can be misconstrued in many ways. Judgment could seem more severe than is merited. Bickering and nitpicking could lead to all out brawls or become quietly resolved for those making every effort to choose the higher route.

Two big questions that arise with Jupiter in the late degrees of Virgo are:  What have we taught those who we have chosen to teach us? What have we learned by teaching others? Here on Earth, the teaching and learning goes both ways between teacher and student but usually not in any predictable fashion. In another philosophical sense everyone is a teacher to us if we are but willing to learn from our interactions with them.

The Solar Eclipse forms a trine to Pluto that could be the boost we have been needing to move on to the next level in some way. If a change of career, residence, relationship, or occupation has been long considered the road moving forward will soon appear. When it comes to eclipses (we have one more to go this year on the 16th) we can seldom be sure what direction things will take but we can expect that what is stuck will become unstuck!

The asteroid Aphrodite makes a conjunction to the Solar Eclipse which could indicate some surprises in store regarding love and/or romance. Earthy forms of healing and somatic therapy are favored now, such as massage, herbal medicine, and acupuncture. It would probably be wise to take it easy on ourselves and others and not push too hard for results the rest of this week.

Full Moon Eclipse in Aquarius

“To cast off the rotten rags of Memory by Inspiration…to take off his filthy garments and clothe him with Imagination; to cast aside from Poetry all that is not Inspiration, that it no longer shall dare to mock with the aspersion of Madness…”                       – William Blake, from Milton

An almost Lunar Eclipse occurs at 26 degrees of Aquarius on August 18th. This mysterious Full Moon event is not quite visible as an eclipse yet just as keenly felt by many, stirring the cosmic cauldron and kicking up stardust. The party is just getting started, as two more eclipses in a Mercury Retrograde cycle await us in September.

The essence of this lunar passing is one of deliverance, release, and enlightenment. It is here to usher those of who are ready through the veil of illusions that have held us captives to our lowest vibrations. It may be experienced as excruciating and/or exhilarating. What rotten old rag of a belief are you ready to cast off and burn in the pyre of things-no-longer-relevant?

In the sign of the Water Bearer, the well of inspiration flows as do tears and ideas and dreams and visions. The air is electric and untamable. Inhibitions cut loose, censors dropped or pierced. There could be a waves of sadness followed by ecstasy. This could be the chance to mourn the loss of what could not be mourned before when emotions were backed up by suppression or mental reasoning, or when conditions would not allow the very crucial process of grief to unravel.

Reinier Van Persijn
Reinier Van Persijn

The Moon just passes fixed star Sadar and lights the front wing of the Swan in the constellation Cygnus. Swan energy is about transformation, poetry, music, and the inner child. Creativity in all of its forms has highly renewing qualities at this time. As synchronicity would have it, the Swan has mythical ties to Jupiter which becomes activated in a Finger of God formation by the Full Moon’s sextile to Uranus and their almost opposition to this ginormous planet that represents all that is grandeur. This “finger” aspect could produce some FOG alright, but the way through will also be brightly lit. Chiron in Pisces opposite of Jupiter has been serving as a reminder this year of wounds inherited, learned, and acquired throughout many lifetimes that have the potential to crush souls or finally liberate them from bondage. Uranus thrives on chaos and the Unexpected and just might be our savior in this situation. Take a bold step where your heart guides you and see where it leads.

New Moon in Leo 2016

“All gods are homemade, as it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours” – Aldous Huxley

Whether one agrees with the above quote or not, it offers some interesting food for thought that is relevant to this month’s astrological mash-up. The sign of Leo in particular is concerned with a certain kind of power, and at times power for its own sake. To whom do we assign authority? Who assumes it without question or intervention? Who grants power and who takes it away? Who embodies it? Who crumbles beneath it?

leo1The New Moon is 10 degrees of Leo, highlighting all passions and affairs of the heart, as well as personal power. This, along with the building energy of a lunar eclipse on the 18th is stirring up both mischief and creative inspiration, pushing buttons and briskly grabbing people’s attention – here, there, everywhere! It launches a fiery summer month that is bound to be anything but boring.

The onset of August and its lunar activity is associated with Lughnassadh, a pagan holiday honoring the Sun god Lugh, the waning of the solar god, and waxing of the moon goddess. This day also marks and celebrates the beginning of harvest season. At this juncture, energy begins to draw ever so slightly inward, in preparation for the dark half of the year. The actions that have been taken or not taken in previous months are reevaluated.

The Sun and Moon’s trine to Saturn and quincunx with Neptune indicates a possible strong theme of immoral manipulations and obfuscations, or conversely, the uncovering of deceit. As if most minds are not already filled to the brim with it, there will be more dirt on political candidates, more scandals, and more rage. Fortunately, the brief yet stabilizing influence of Saturn has actually been lending a sense of poise and objectivity to those in need during recent stressful jolts.

Mercury having entered one of its own signs, Virgo on July 30th moves out of a square with Mars which will have entered Sagittarius (sigh of relief!) just hours before the New Moon. The number of times (by date) the planet of communication has clashed/will clash with the planet of raw energy and action this year:

  • January 5th
  • March 5th
  • July 29th
  • September 12th
  • October 13th

Here we have a bit of the good, the bad, the ugly…and lo and behold, the funny. If you’re not laughing yet at the absolute absurdity of things lately, God help you. While it’s true that our knowing hearts may effectively guide us through life’s challenges, the faculties of the intellect should not be neglected in the attempted solving of complex problems. Also, courage, guts, and Will itself will also get us farther along than mere faith in a projected outcome.

With the planets only occupying earth, water, and fire signs now and throughout the month most of us are strongly feeling and doing rather than a ton of thinking and planning. Instinct rules over reason, which could work for or against in any given situation. Big thanks to Mars in Sagittarius, many prior plans are finally being put into action. Stifled energy and things affected by Mars’s transit through Scorpio since the year began (extra long due to Mars’s Retrograde) are being set back into motion again. With Mercury slowing down during the fourth week of August to station Retrograde on the 30th until the Autumn Equinox in September, don’t expect everything to automatically just fall into place.

Venus, in late Leo begins edging into a square with Mars that will take place on the 6th. Whether an intensity of emotion plays out constructively or destructively, helpful or harmful, will depend upon where personal values have been placed during the past few months. The use of force to affect change, especially against the wishes of others can backfire. However, a position of passivity taken in the midst of outright attack may manifest in far worse ways.

One of the ways that frustrated aspects between Venus and Mars plays out is in sexual conduct. Abuse and misuse of sexual energy and assertion tends to ripple out and affect entire communities and civilizations. We may hear or read about the horrors of child molestation and sex trafficking in the news, but none of these types of things are new. Today, we are looking at the many outcomes that this kind of abuse has had on humanity throughout the ages. To say that sexual abuse is natural human behavior is a gross misstatement, but it has apparently become the “norm” in many cultures. Where, or more specifically how did it all begin? It almost always begins with tension.

All this heaviness aside, Leo is about the playful and colorful sides of life, love, and sexuality, as well as putting one’s unique stamp in the world through children or other expressions of creativity. There is much creative fire lighting up even the darkest corners and back alleys. Those who have been down on their luck with nothing left to give might find that suddenly they feel great, and even generous. During this New Moon’s influence, the objects or recipients of love and devotion are powerfully reflecting back what is being offered.

“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth, “You owe me”. Look what happens with love like that. It lights up the sky.” – Rumi

Full Moon in Capricorn, July 19 2016

“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges; it should allow you to find values which will be your roadmap through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.”
― John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

The Holographic Universe by thinkingupwards
The Holographic Universe by thinkingupwards

The Full Moon at 27 degrees of Capricorn on July 19th is showing us just how far we have come toward the attainment of our goals. It is both congratulating us for our efforts and kicking us in the rear end to keep working hard. It is questioning our priorities, and asking us to cut down on excess. It is revealing glimmers of the fruits of our labor.

We will be in the midst of a separating Grand Water Trine, with Mars and Chiron both in sextiles to the Full Moon. Our emotions are our teachers, especially now. Capricorn’s ruling planet Saturn is in trine aspect to Mercury and Venus. We are gaining clarity about our values and seeing the results of where and how we have placed our focus during the past few months.

This Full Moon is about shedding some serious baggage and reclaiming the Power that we lost – that was stolen from us – that we gave away unwittingly – that we ran away from – that we feared. Because of this, things could get a little bit “confrontational”, as we take care of unfinished business that has followed us home or has been festering there for quite a while.

The Full Moon squares Uranus in Aries, which may give a boost to just about anything but our tolerance levels. Who, or what has crossed the line – one time too many? How many times do we need to go through this same scenario, tell this same story, hear this same lie, trip over this same trap, before we’ve had enough? In America (in my humble opinion) we need a massive dose of Chestnut Bud flower essence, “for people who fail to learn the lessons of life”.

The point being made is that whatever we haven’t quite got down yet is something we’re afraid of getting, and whatever we’re holding onto in order to avoid our pain is getting very – well, OLD.

The Moon’s sesquiquadrate to the North Node shows us that we badly want to move on and to advance, but we just might not have allowed ourselves to yet. Some of us believed we didn’t know how. We forgot some of our most important resources, our allies, and even our own abilities. This is all changing. We are in a state of remembering.

The late degrees of Capricorn are influenced by Mercury, so with this area highlighted we are interested in knowledge and the power it has to make or break us. The Full Moon’s inconjunct aspect to asteroid Vesta in Gemini furthers this influence. Many of us learned a lot of negative habits and absorbed information that proved useless to us outside of the classroom. It’s time to unlearn what is not useful and to seek for true wisdom. All of us have kernels of wisdom, sometimes buried deep inside of us. We all have an inner compass that guides us when we ask it to. We all have an inner self. That inner self is crying for our attention now.

We will step up and simply Be who we are truly meant to be, without the traps, the masks, the cords tugging at us from all directions, the layers of imposition, the guilt, the many sorrows of the Not-Self? Yes, the clock is ticking. We’re all on borrowed time in this dimension. Time waits for no one. It is now time to shed that old rotten baggage we’ve been carrying… before it consumes us.

Venus Emerging

The overall feel of July 2016 has been quite intense, but with a certain degree of tension lifting that has been present since late April. On this day of July 13th, Venus rises as the Evening Star at 2 degrees of Leo, moving into a conjunction with Mercury that becomes exact on the 16th.

All will experience this shift in different ways – some with great joy and relief, and others with resistance and struggle. As the planetary goddess of love emerges from the Underworld and out into view, the deep passions, hurts, or visions we have carried might also have risen to the surface. Whatever is bubbling up needs to be acknowledged in order to be released. By being honest with ourselves we move through emotional and creative blocks and are able to express more of our true selves.

pearl-goddess
art by Andrew Gonzales