Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Cosmic Story: Spring Equinox 2017

Spring Equinox, March 20, 2017 at 6:29am EDT.

Astrology tracks the archetypal energies, symbolized by the signs and planets, that shape our world.  They are constantly moving in cycles and shifting patterns and whether we call them vibrations, holograms, energy waves or synchronicities, they shape our reality.  These energies are neither good nor bad--they just are.  It's how we relate or react to them that makes all the difference.  Astrology gives us a heads up: if we look at our birth chart we can see how the present energies affect our birth energies. Since we are always growing and changing, knowing which energies we’ll be dancing with helps us co-create our lives rather than being victimized by our lives. Astrology helps us work with these energies in the most conscious, positive ways. So let’s look at the Spring Equinox chart to see what the next few months look like. 

The Spring Equinox occurs on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 3:29am PDT/ 6:29am EDT/ 10:29am GMT, when the Sun rises above the equator and enters the sign of Aries. Aries is the archetypal fire of life energy that gets renewed in the Spring. Aries, the Ram, is a cardinal fire sign; fire is the divine spark of power and passion, the creative force of life. Cardinal fire means fire that wants to move and shake the world. So Aries is ready to explore new frontiers and make new beginnings. After the gentle flowing, dreamy energy of Pisces, the fire and excitement of Aries can make those dreams an outer reality. 

Spring Equinox, March 20, 2017
The Sun, Venus retrograde, Mercury and Uranus are in Aries. The Sun in Aries calls us to adventure. It’s time to explore and find out what we’re made of. Each new adventure adds to our ‘identity’ and gives us a sense of possibilities – I can do that! Aries wants to experience life on his own terms. And she wants to be free. 

Venus cycle (ending this March)
Venus' orbit does something amazing - every 7 1/2 years or so it forms a pentagram in the sky.  The pentagram contains the Golden Ratio and symbolizes the elements: air, earth, fire, water and spirit.  It is sacred to the Goddess in many traditions.  And because of her brightness, Venus is called both the Morning Star and the Evening Star.  I once saw Venus shining on the water on Christmas morning.  That's how bright and brilliant Venus can be.
Venus goes retrograde once every 18 months and during this phase the archetypal imperative is to take the journey to the Underworld and reclaim those parts of ourselves we’ve repressed and ignored.  Like Inanna’s descent to her sister Ereshkigal, we have to face the repressed loneliness, rage and despair within the psyche that our modern lifestyle can’t afford to acknowledge without breaking down. During this Venus retrograde, embrace your dark emotions, allow them their say, and come back up to the outer world knowing your value and worth. Since Venus retrogrades back into Pisces from Aries, the energy helps us align ourselves with our deepest spiritual values of truth, authenticity and wisdom. 

Marilyn Monroe had Venus in Aries. 

Venus retrograde in Aries is a force to be reckoned with. A daring, passionate, leader in Aries, Venus is more assertive and goal oriented, so watch for all the women coming forward as leaders in the coming years. ‘Western (awakened) women will change the world’ Dalai Lama. All things Venusian want to be renewed so that we are true to ourselves – so acknowledge your true feelings about love, sensuality and sex, fairness, compassion, the arts, beauty and your relationships to people and to money.
Venus turned retrograde on March 4thdid you have an interesting dream since then? It will show you the areas of life that Venus wants to rehabilitate. Has some issue come up about your relationships or money? You might need to look at your Shadow. With U.S. Republicans wanting to defund the Arts, how can we make the Arts even more relevant to a fearful society? 
Venus has an 18 month cycle: when she is retrograde and close to the Earth, she begins a new cycle as a Morning Star and after 9 months meets up with the Sun on its far side to begin her journey as an Evening Star. As Venus descends in the western sky each night now, her bright light dims and she will disappear as she joins the Sun to start a new cycle on March 25th. Being close to Earth makes Venus’ energy more powerful. which will give us a very feisty Aries Venus, ready to defend her world --the Women’s March on Washington was only the beginning. Women are awakening to our power and with this new Venus cycle, we will not be shut down or out. Don’t forget – self-care is a must now, so take Venus as your mentor. Venus turns direct on April 15 at 27* Pisces: A harvest Moon illumines a clear autumnal sky.

Mercury is orbiting out beyond the Sun, having just become an Evening Star after its conjunction with the Sun on March 6th.  Mercury’s archetypal energy resonates with how we use our Minds: our ability to think rationally and perceive what our senses tell us. Mercury is the archetypal source of our intelligence and ability to communicate what we’re perceiving. With Mercury in Aries, our Mind quickens, often seeing things before anyone else does. An Aries Mercury is really intelligent, quick-thinking, fast-talking and often impatient to get his ideas out there or else move on to something new.  During this season, think outside-the-box and listen to the imagination since Mercury semi-sextiles Neptune in Pisces.  Let Mercury move between the inner and outer worlds since he is the Messenger of the Gods, so pay attention to your dreams now. Mercury enters Taurus on April 1st, but it soon turns retrograde from April 10th—May 3rd and goes back into Aries where it will join up with Uranus at 25* Aries: The possibility to gain experience at two levels of Being.  Here's another indication of the possibility to evolve this Spring.

Green Man 

Mars, the ruler of Aries, is in grounded Taurus, ready to take up the hard tasks awaiting us.  Mars is our archetypal warrior energy, ready to protect and defend those who can't.  Mars grapples with issues, not giving up until he has understood what's needed.  Mars energy engages in life and does what is needed for life.  In Taurus, Mars becomes the Green Man, spirit of Nature and rebirth in the Spring. 
 Mars' only contact in this chart is with Venus in Aries; occupying each other’s signs helps us to integrate these energies of the divine feminine and divine masculine, our ‘being’ nature and our ‘doing’ nature. Mars, the Sun’s ruler, is determined to protect and defend the heart (Venus). It’s a good time to bring our values (Venus) and desires (Mars) into alignment with who we really are. Shake off the rules and manifest what you want. 

Uranus is still engaged in its square to Pluto in Capricorn and its opposition to Jupiter in Libra. We feel compelled to stand up for our freedom and our beliefs as the old patriarchal structures try to assert themselves one last time before they die out. For it will die, one way or the other, as Pluto continues to bring up the dirt and hypocrisy of our cultural institutions. If anyone has planets from 19* – 25* Cancer, you will ground in the fourth leg of that T-Square, bringing big changes to your door. 

The Moon at the Spring Equinox is in Sagittarius conjunct Saturn. On one hand, Moon/Saturn contacts can feel very depressed and rigid, limiting our ability to nurture ourselves. It can be an emotionally challenging time. On the other hand, when you make friends with Saturn’s limits and discipline, the Sagittarius Moon’s beliefs will grow stronger and over time, our emotional growth and resilience will stand us in good stead. Saturn needs time to ground things in so make sure you take some alone time when you need it.
Saturn conjunct the Moon is another sign that women leaders (Moon) are necessary for stability (Saturn). Both the Moon and Saturn form a fire trine to Uranus, making sure we stay stimulated yet stable. Planets from 23*- 29* Leo will make this a strong fire grand trine, creatively nourishing your new story. Saturn turns retrograde this year on April 6th until August 26th. This will be a time to strengthen your inner resolve.
The Saturn/Moon conjunction forms a waning square to the Aries Sun. This is a time to examine our beliefs and know what it is we value so we can bring them on our adventures. Will we grow into our power or try to hide under the covers? Everything is conspiring to wake us up to take charge of our lives. We don’t have to go into Fear (Saturn can bring that) when we read about what’s happening in our world; we can create a fear-free zone where our beliefs keep us grounded in the NOW. From there, we can plan our response to the changing world.
Saturn/Moon is also being challenged by Chiron in Pisces. Chiron was the mentor of heroes, the change agents of their world. He was especially known as a wise healer. In Pisces this energy wants to heal the rejected aspects of life that shelter in the Collective Unconscious/World Soul, working through the Arts, through compassion, through a reconnection to the cosmic laws of the universe. Chiron challenges the Sagittarius Moon/Saturn to heal our fears, strengthen our beliefs and take responsibility for our lives so we can really live our spiritual values. 

The Uranus opposition to Jupiter puts tremendous pressure on us to change. This is the big astrological aspect of the year. Jupiter’s archetypal energy expands and accelerates processes while Uranus’s archetypal energy works to awaken us to our freedom, undermining the status quo. While Jupiter is retrograde, meaning it’s close to Earth, its energy affects us strongly. All retrograde energies operate more strongly in the inner world. As we examine our inner life, Jupiter’s intuitive knowing wants to find the Shadow blocks and negative habits that keep us from having strong relationships. Jupiter in Libra is all about our relationships, so our social networks will also expand, but Uranus in Aries will only want to hook up with like-minded, awakened individuals. 

This year's Equinox chart shows us how the archetypal energy field continues the process of change and transformation, both in the world and within ourselves. The more we ‘know ourselves’ the easier it is to deal with the turmoil of the outer world changes we face. Both the Venus and Jupiter retrogrades are working to break up old behavior patterns around all our relationships -- personal and collective. This chart resonates to a freedom frequency -- the more we face repression in the outer world, the more freedom we need within.  We all chose on a soul level to be here at this time on Earth to help humanity’s initiation into higher consciousness, to help us be free. What is happening in the world is an adventure your spirit has chosen to take. Be courageous in the face of fear, be consistent with your spiritual practice and be creative in your thinking and responses. Because there is no stopping evolution.

Beginners -- Denise Levertov

Dedicated to the memory of Karen Silkwood and Eliot Gralla

“From too much love of living,
Hope and desire set free,
Even the weariest river
Winds somewhere to the sea—“

But we have only begun
To love the earth.

We have only begun
To imagine the fullness of life.

How could we tire of hope?
— so much is in bud.

How can desire fail?
— we have only begun

to imagine justice and mercy,
only begun to envision

how it might be
to live as siblings with beast and flower,
not as oppressors.

Surely our river
cannot already be hastening
into the sea of nonbeing?

Surely it cannot
drag, in the silt,
all that is innocent?

Not yet, not yet—
there is too much broken
that must be mended,

too much hurt we have done to each other
that cannot yet be forgiven.

We have only begun to know
the power that is in us if we would join
our solitudes in the communion of struggle.

So much is unfolding that must
complete its gesture,

so much is in bud.

~ Denise Levertov ~

(Candles in Babylon)

Cathy Pagano
Jungian Dreamworker
Wisdom Coach
Archetypal Astrologer

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Cosmic Story: Pisces Solar Eclipse, February 26, 2017

The Cosmic Story: Pisces Solar Eclipse
Open to a New Dream

I know I said I’d be taking a break from the Cosmic Story but this week’s Pisces New Moon solar eclipse offers us an ending and new beginning that I didn’t want you to miss out on. 
Eclipse Cycles: Our Ever-Evolving Lessons

We are coming to the last eclipse in the Virgo-north/Pisces-south lunar node axis this weekend. The nodes of the Moon are nexus points (a bond, link, means of communication) in space where the planes of the Sun, Moon and Earth align with each other in planetary communication. They unite in the sacred marriage in the heavens, re-aligning with the energetic purpose of the zodiac sign it occurs in.
For the last year and a half while the nodes were in Virgo/Pisces, we’ve been learning the lessons of self-mastery, practical mysticism, and wholeness - uniting body, soul and spirit. To understand the lessons, let’s begin at the Source, the places we’ve come from, our personal soul lessons as part of the collective soup. The south node in Pisces brings up any personal and collective monsters lurking at the bottom of the vast ocean of the Collective Unconscious. Positive or negative, what has been rejected from collective consciousness swims below the surface of our personal consciousness. Poverty, misogyny, inequality, true sensuality, connect with our Earth, powerlessness. Since the 7 Pluto/Uranus squares in 2012-2015, what was below the radar for most people is front and center in the news now. What’s been rejected is floating up for all to see. What will we do about it? Go back to sleep or change things? That’s the challenge of those 7 squares. First we change ourselves, then we help others change.
How have our past lives and upbringing influenced how we see the story of NOW? Since Pisces symbolizes our collective astral history and wisdom, we’ve had to look at ourselves and ask: what have we suffered or how have we caused suffering; how have we martyred ourselves or demonized others; how have we lost ourselves in addictions or caused those addictions; how have we ignored our world at the expense of the Future; how have we honored the imagination or misused its powers; how have we been controlled by religion rather than freed by spirituality? How have we shown compassion or cruelty to others? These and other Pisces questions are being asked of us now, in this most dangerous, beautiful time we’re living in.
The Virgo north node urges us to analyze and integrate all the many aspects of our Piscean soul’s story, letting go of what no longer serves our present life so we can create a new future story. We hopefully created a strong connection between our ego and the Self, to our wholeness and integrity, because it will be needed in the coming years. How have we matured in the past year and a half? Have we faced our shadows, embraced our inner wisdom and found our center? Do we know ourselves and what we’re willing to stand up for? Can we get over the Piscean fear of martyrdom and punishment, and bring the compassionate Piscean beliefs, visions and treasures into our practical day-to-day lives? Can we unite body, soul and spirit to live our purpose masterfully?
Friends and I were talking about the different ways people are dealing with the chaos in the world. Beyond the fear, pain and confusion, people are finding the best way to take a stand for their beliefs. We can’t do everything, be everything, but thank goodness, WE ARE ALL ONE—that’s the Pisces message. So we share the burden.  Everyone gets to express their own part in the future, contributing their talents to help rebuild our society, each in our own unique way. (That’s Uranus in Aries.) Some will meditate, others protest. Some will put their bodies on the line, others will put pen to paper (better than emails). Some will run for office, others will volunteer for their favorite causes. Many people are standing up for truth, justice and a new viable future. It’s time to re-create the American story and deepen our commitment to our values, whatever we agree upon in equal partnership. Freedom, equality and democracy are on the table. Will we embrace the myth and engage in a new revolution?
The energies of the next year and a half will help us do it. We are heading into a new eclipse cycle for the next year and a half (May 2017—November 2018), which began a little early with February 10th’s Aquarius/Leo lunar eclipse. Eclipses energize personal as well as collective events, as we’ve seen in the past weeks all over the world. Lunar eclipses reveal what’s been hidden and often bring matters to an end. Their effect lasts until the next lunar eclipse in 6 months (August 7). So keep track of endings in your life and watch collective events unfold. We are seeing the end of patriarchy play out. It will take time, but IT WILL END.
So, what are the lessons of the Leo/Aquarius nodal axis? The south node in Aquarius indicates that rebel within us, the free thinker, the outsider who often holds the key to something the collective needs but who’s been ignored because the concept doesn’t fit into the collective paradigm. (Sorry Tesla, free electricity isn’t acceptable to a capitalist state.) Aquarius south node is the eccentric, mad scientist, revolutionary. Negative manifestations would range from shutting down science (!), shutting down the free flow of information (!) and attempting to stir up mob mentality, so people turn to a dark, violent rebellion such as we see in the Middle East. Aquarius is known as a cold air sign – archetypal ideals that shine like the cold starry winter sky; ideals not driven by emotion but by logic. The ideal is the thing, not life. We have lots of that going on already, don’t we? Cold and hard. No heart.
So we have to find a harmonious way to live out those ideals, rebellions and out-of-the-box ideas. The Leo north node brings heart to the table along with artistic flair, and if you choose your images and words well, people might actually listen to you. This is our new mission. The Arts are a great way to express this Leo lesson, because you are imagining and then creating what you ‘see’. Your art can be a private experience or for sharing. Just let yourself and others know who you are and what you stand for. We are the yeast in the Bread of Life. And remember: a picture is worth a 1000 words and a story can go straight to the heart. Find creative communication styles if words aren’t working.
Those of us who have lived ‘outside’ collective mainstream thinking now have to bring our free thinking, imagination and knowledge into the collective. That might mean changing your language and shaping your vision and words so that people can understand and embrace them. Like parents and storytellers, we must speak to hearts and not heads, bypassing stuck beliefs with creative promise. Feel your self-worth and be confident (north node Leo traits) about what you can accomplish. It will help you express your ideas and visions, bringing new insights to people and communities that need it. 
Pisces New Moon Solar Eclipse, February 25, 2017 

Solar Eclipse

But before that energy arrives in May, we have one more eclipse on the Virgo/Pisces axis and it’s Sunday’s Pisces New Moon solar eclipse. Pisces is the 12th sign of the zodiac, the sign of completion, when the individual ego lets go and dissolves back into the Source of Life. No Easy Task! What would happen if we let go of our old story, our history, our ego-attachments – our fears, concerns and judgments – and let Mother Earth, Lady Wisdom, the World Soul speak to us of our purpose, our destiny, our soul contract?
And this solar eclipse is a perfect time to do it. This is the astrological time to ask Great Spirit what It needs from us. We can hear it when our ego dissolves into oneness with the World Soul.
The Pisces New Moon solar eclipse occurs on Sunday February 26, 2017 at 6:58am PST/ 9:58am EST/ 2:58pm GMT. 

Pisces Solar Eclipse 2017
The Sabian symbol for the Sun and Moon at 9* Pisces is: The race begins: a Jockey spurs his Horse to great speed. The heavens are telling us to get out there and run in the race. Whose ideas and values will shape this new social identity we’re all creating? If we want to bring in a more balanced and equal cultural story, we have to get out there and explain it, share it and root it in. Choose your horse and start riding.
This New Moon in Pisces is conjunct both Neptune and the south node, the magic mirror of the Collective Unconscious which offers up any remaining issues that need to be faced. Pisces is the sign of endings. Let things END. New Moon eclipses are new births. Let yourself be reborn!
The Sabian symbol for Neptune at 12* Pisces is: Candidates are being examined by the lodge of Initiates. This symbol indicates that Neptune is ready to transmit wisdom, understanding and vision to us. Once again, another reminder to meditate.
The Sabian symbol for the South Node at 4* Pisces is also relevant: A traffic jam on a narrow isthmus between two resorts. Energy is stuck. Old beliefs cause problems. There’s a need for better communications between the two transit stations (resorts). It’s not the final destination (home) but this in-between place is frustrating. Deal with your issues and get on with it. The horses are running.
Spend time meditating and let your barriers dissolve (Neptune); let the ‘monsters’ come. These are the issues your soul chose to be tested on. Mercury has also just arrived in Pisces and is very close to the south node, helping us receive these images, ideas and intuitions that have been trying to get our attention. Let yourself see what visions come to you. Do they speak to long-standing issues? Are you shown how your actions created those issues? Have you learn the lesson? Let Neptune dissolve the trauma of those past events as you integrate their meaning. SEE it dissolve. You no longer have to carry that cross, a very Piscean method of dealing with life.
You are free. Now create your new story!
Our relationship to the Earth and each other is all recorded in the World Soul or Anima Mundi. Plato described the Anima Mundi as ‘this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence ... a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related’. (Timaeus) We are part of the larger story of Earth. Ask for your part to play.
As we go within to explore the Unconscious, Neptune who ‘rules’ Pisces, gifts us with the ability to direct the Piscean tides. Ask your question, turn your attention to the answer and see what shows up. Neptune will both gift us and endanger us, so use the Virgo north node energy to discern between illusion and truth in the visions Neptune bestows. The south node can bring up ancient visions of wholeness, beauty and truth as well as any unrecognized monsters that need healing and reconciliation. If we feel Pisces’ compassion for ourselves and those monsters, and then engage our Piscean imagination to forgive, release and heal, we will have integrated the self-mastery of this sacred Pisces/Virgo axis. 
Other Astrological Energies Supporting the Eclipse 

Father Neptune

There is quite a lineup of planets in Pisces – besides the Sun and Moon, Mercury, Neptune, Chiron and the asteroid Pallas, as well as the south node of the Moon. The Sun channels the light of consciousness, the Moon the light of the Unconscious. Neptune dissolves the boundaries between worlds and Mercury the Mind travels them. The south node is a magic mirror that looks into the past. Chiron is the Mentor who helps us transform our gifts through healing, dreaming and art into our destiny, while Pallas is the archetype of feminine strategy and practical wisdom. The eclipse will renew all these energies, so drop what no longer serves your life and allow these reborn energies to re-shape how you embrace the next part of your life.
The waning but still potent Uranus in Aries square to Pluto in Capricorn is transformed into a tense T-Square all year as Jupiter in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries and squares Pluto in Capricorn. The challenge to leave old patriarchal rules behind and step forward into the future is given extra power from expansive Jupiter in Libra. Now it’s just not about change, but about just and fair changes that align with our higher values. If we’re going to transform our culture, we have to live it ourselves and be examples of that fairness and justice and equality. Courtesy goes a long way. Ask any Libran.
What changes things with this configuration is that now Mars (the planet of desire, engagement and action) and Eris (the planet of discord/going against the heart) are exactly aligned with Uranus at 22*-23* Aries. Any time Mars and Uranus hook up, things can get crazy. Having Jupiter’s expansive energy opposite them just adds to this intense awakening. The best way to be available for the positive benefits of this dynamic aspect is to stay home and meditate after the eclipse. Allow the energy to unfold on the Inner Planes and see what happens. Record it all in your journal. Create Art about it. Also be aware of sudden changes, accidents, attacks and other extreme Mars events around you. With Eris involved, our job is to find her positive side – the one who listens to the heart. Otherwise, discord is a good possibility.
The Sabian symbol for both Mars and Uranus at 22 * Aries is: A Huge Gate opens, revealing the Garden of All Fulfilled Desires. Wow! This image took my breath away. That’s exactly what Uranus/Mars feels like. This is a call for us to AWAKEN/Uranus to what we really DESIRE/Mars. This is the doorway of possibilities, of abundance and cosmic blessings. What a beautiful reminder to stay optimistic—believing in the greatest good. When we do, we create things that are blessings. Let us shower our blessings on the world in these dangerous beautiful times.
The Sabian symbol for Eris at 23* Aries is: A Woman in a Summer Dress is carrying a precious veiled burden. What is this precious burden except our hearts’ desire? If we go ‘against’ our heart, we will have discord. If we take care of our precious gifts with the same heart, love and fun this Woman in a summer dress has to offer, we will prosper. This is a perfect image for the creative self-expression coming our way during the upcoming Leo/Aquarius eclipse seasons. Leo is all about the fun and creativity, especially in the summer when Leo’s fire is at its hottest.
Embrace this Pisces solar eclipse energy by meditating, dreaming, creating art, imagining. The vision you received at Imbolc is now taking on more detail. See it, feel it, breathe it. This vision for your year is about to be born into the world. See it with great clarity.

Venus, the Evening Star of Wisdom

Complete Venus Cycle
Have you seen Venus in the evening sky? She is at her brightest and most beautiful now just before she disappears into the Sun before becoming the Morning Star in April. She is at her closest to Earth during this phase of her cycle. Venus is about to turn retrograde on March 4th, moving from 14* Aries back to 27* Pisces on April 15th. She is going back to retrieve something she left behind. Let’s look at her symbolic journey as she completes this Venus cycle which began in August 15, 2015.
Adam Gainsburg’s description of the Venus cycle in his book The Light of Venus is brilliant. This Venus cycle began when Venus was at 23* Leo. The Sabian symbol is: A bareback rider jumps into the ring, amidst roaring applause. This is a dramatic image, an image of balance and grace, mastery and showmanship. The showmanship energizes the crowd. Besides echoing the horse race of the Pisces Solar Eclipse degree, this was the degree of the Leo/Aquarius lunar eclipse a few weeks ago. The weave are getting tighter. Synchronicity abounds. Let the images guide you.
So now this cycle comes to an end as Venus begins her retrograde. Gainsburg calls this retrograde phase, the completion phase: describing the Feminine Elder, Ripened Wisdom, Maturity. He says, “The Queen of Heaven and Earth prepares her legacy by internalizing her wisdom and dispersing it into the world.” (The Light of Venus, Soul Sign Publishing, 2012, pp. 159-166). This is the time to let your feminine light shine out, sharing your wisdom by living it. This is the time to let your inner voice direct your actions and engage with the Creative Imagination. There’s a lot to digest from this cycle. How have you grown since August 2015? Are you confident like that bareback rider? Are you ready to give and receive love again? With Jupiter in Libra, which Venus ‘rules’ we’ll have opportunities to share this wisdom and our love.
The Sabian symbol for Venus turning retrograde at 14* Aries is: A Serpent encircles a Man and Woman in close embrace. Another Wow! moment for me. This is an alchemical symbol of the Sacred Marriage. The snake is a potent symbol of the kundalini energies of life. Kundalini energy helps us evolve our consciousness, as it rises through the spine and activates the Chakras. This image for Venus retrograde speaks of the need for a renewed connection between inner and outer, masculine and feminine, men and women. This is what Venus seeks as she heads back to Pisces.
The Sabian symbol for Venus turning direct at 27* Pisces is: The Harvest Moon rises in translucent autumnal skies. At harvest time, we give thanks for the abundance of life. We trust that Life itself will bless us with what our souls need. That’s what Venus needed to reclaim. Her trust in life and in love. I pray we get our harvest.
The Heavens tell us that Venus will find her partner, her mate. Watch how she manifests in your life—find where 27* Pisces to 14* Aries is in your chart. That’s where this renewed heart energy (Venus) will find you.
As you can see, the planetary energies are reflecting what’s going on here on Earth. Use the knowledge to help you navigate these dangerous, beautiful times.
Until next time,
Walk in the Light,

(Steve Eardley, The Revised Sabian Symbols)

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today... Aha-ah...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world... You...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Cosmic Story: Imbolc Festival of Light Returning

(Note: I’m going to combine the astrology of the seasonal Gateways of the Wheel of the Year with the Goddess work I’m doing. So while I will look at the New and Full Moons of each of these seasons, it won’t as detailed as my old astrological reports.)

While this edition of the Cosmic Story is about the season from February 1 to March 20th, I have to start with a brief mention of the American Inauguration chart and the Women’s March the next day.

Inauguration Chart 2017

Just a quick look at the Inaugural chart shows us that the President (the Sun in the 10th house) is basically isolated, since the Sun makes no major aspects to other planets. An unaspected Sun is a wild card energy, one that can’t be controlled from the outside.  
The closest aspect is a wide square to the Moon in Scorpio in the 6th house—not a happy placement for the Moon, which symbolizes the public. The President and public are at odds, challenging each other. The Scorpio Moon shows us a distrustful public mood, at odds with the Aquarian Sun’s urge for freedom and equality. As a sign of how this administration will operate, the outer ‘show’ of all inaugural charts set for January 20th is the Aquarius Sun of unity and freedom—the US myth, while the Moon shows what the mood of the administration is—dark, power-hungry, violent, controlling.
The blessing of the chart is that the chart ruler (the Ascendant is Taurus), Venus, is in the sign where she is ‘exalted’--Pisces. With both Venus and Mars, as well as Chiron and Neptune in Pisces in the 11th house, we’ll see more women (and men) uniting to bring about the end of patriarchy during this administration.
Hence the world-wide Women’s Marches on Saturday. That chart for Washington D.C. has a Pisces Ascendant with Uranus in Aries in the 1st house – the urge to freely express ourselves in a show of heartfelt unity.
I guess we had to remove the blinders about the utter depravity of patriarchy so that we’d stand up together and protect our Mother Earth, our lives and the future. As visionary activist astrologer Caroline Casey says – this is our beautiful, dangerous assignment in these times of change.

February 2nd - 6th: Imbolc—the Return of the Light

Imbolc is the Celtic fire festival that celebrates the first signs of Spring, even if most of us are still in the throes of Winter. The name Imbolc comes from ‘ewe’s milk—oi melc in Gaelic, because it coincided with the birth of the spring lambs and the lactating of the ewes. In America, we celebrate Ground Hog’s Day on February 2nd, when we look to see if the ground hog can see his shadow and predict the coming Spring. (As most of us have seen the movie Ground Hogs Day, you can see how archetypal the movie is in dealing with the shadow. Which is why it’s so popular—it resonates with us on a deep level.) This year, more than ever before, we have to look at our Shadow and work through it to see what we can become.
At Imbolc, we look for the first signs of life and light returning, and you’ll notice that after Imbolc, the days begin to visibly lengthen. We’ve arrived at a time when we look more deeply into what we want to achieve in the coming year. It is a quiet festival of light, when we light candles and go into the silence to listen to the voice of Spirit. It is a visionary time, when we journey to the Goddess to get a clearer vision of what our soul assignment is each year.

Imbolc is sacred to the Celtic goddess Brighid/Brigit as well as Ceridwen, the Welsh Goddess of the Cauldron of Inspiration and of Bards. Brighid is the Goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft, which was a highly magical skill for the Celts—the smith was a practitioner of skilled manual arts – creating, forging, fabricating. As you can see, a poem, a story, a song has to be crafted as well as a sword or a plow.
Brighid is also connected to sacred springs (her healing role) as well as the heat which warms them (her sacred fires). The Celtic Brighid was associated with an eternal flame which was kept going by her nine priestesses. As the Goddess of Inspiration, she is associated with the Greek 9 Muses. Both Brighid and Ceridwen are goddesses of inspiration and vision.
The season of Imbolc is the time to ask the Goddess for inspiration for the coming year as well as offering our services to her. That means asking how can we serve something bigger than our own personal agenda. This year, that shouldn’t be hard to do. If we want to be inspired, we have to take our role as concerned stewards of the Earth seriously. So it is important to take time to clear our own inner source of inspiration, our inner wellspring of creativity and vision. It’s the season to nurture the tender shoots of our new dreams for the year. It’s time to celebrate the return of Life and Light.

The Element of Air

While Imbolc is one of four Celtic fire festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain), we work with the element of AIR and the direction East from Imbolc to Beltane. East is the direction associated with Spring, sunrise and new beginnings. Air is the element that symbolizes the energies of the East.
Air is associated with intelligence as well as eloquence, with clarity and reason as well as inspiration. The word inspiration comes from the Latin inspirare "blow into, breathe upon," figuratively "inspire, excite, inflame," from in- "in" + spirare "to breathe" "breathe into" to "infuse animation or influence," thus "affect, rouse, guide or control," especially by divine influence. Inspire (v.) in Middle English also was used to mean "breath or put life or spirit into the human body; impart reason to a human soul." It also means someone who inspires others.
So this is a season to get inspired and to inspire others. The Christian Holy Spirit (which in essence is the Goddess Wisdom) is associated with Wind/Air as well as the Celtic Awen, which means flowing spirit, their word for inspiration. Air flows between us and is exchanged between us with every breath we take. So air is connected with speaking and communicating. When we speak,we fill our lungs and activate our voicebox and send out a vibration through the air. We connect through our ability to communicate. 

 Crowley Deck
The Sword is symbolic of Air, the ability to be precise and to discern between truth and falsehood—a topic that’s been brought to our attention all last year with the square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces. That square tested us to see if we could discern between what is true and what is illusion—hence the idea of ‘fake news’ was important. At the moment, it looks like delusion won out with many people but also gave many others a chance to stand up for their truths.
So this year, be clear about what you want to communicate so you can inspire others instead of shutting them down. It’s time to relearn the art of conversation. Learn to listen and ask questions. You already know what you believe, so be open to other people’s beliefs and let the give and take of differing opinions open you to new insights.
Words can heal or harm, bless or curse. Choose your words carefully, but speak your truth. The Buddhist’s ‘right speech’ says it all – you should speak at the right moment in the right place. And unless you can say something useful, keep silent.

Imbolc Chart: February 2, 2017--Dawn

 Imbolc Chart 2017

Since I’m writing about a season from Imbolc to Spring Equinox, we can look at the chart for February 2, 2017 at dawn and see what energies are available to us for the next 6 weeks. The Imbolc chart is intense. The Aquarius Sun is unaspected, meaning it makes no connections with other planets, so it seems we have to find our own independence as we rise to stand up for our vision of a just society. An unaspected Sun gives us more freedom, along with the danger, to act on our own.
It’s the Moon that comes alive in this chart. The Aries Moon is conjunct Uranus and Eris, the planet of discord—that which goes against the heart. When the Moon and Uranus hook up, our unconscious impulses and psychic abilities are strong. Listen to those intuitive hits and trust yourself. Don’t go against your heart’s wisdom. It’s time to act out-of-the-box and instigate change. Re-invent yourself!
The Aries Moon is action-oriented and mixed with Uranian energy, it can mean that each of us has to embrace our vision of what our purpose is (the Imbolc gift) and stand up against what goes against the heart/discord/Eris. This Moon is opposite Jupiter in Libra, embracing justice for all in our stand and squares Pluto and Mercury in Capricorn, helping us see exactly what is wrong with our society. The Moon also trines Saturn in Sagittarius, giving us the discipline to protect our heart values. With Venus at the very end of Pisces, we have to remember to be compassionate. Just in case we forget, Venus will retrograde back to 30* Pisces on April 3rd and once again moving forward at the end of April.

The New and Full Moons of this Season

The Aquarius New Moon occurs just before Imbolc on January 27th, beginning a yearly cycle where we take the needs of the many into consideration. In this time of radical change, we have to become true citizens of the world. The New Moon in Aquarius is unaspected, leaving us to find our own independence. The other major aspect is a Venus square to Saturn, making sure our hearts are in the right place. Just after this New Moon, Mars moves out of Pisces and into its own sign of Aries. Time to take strong action in the area of your chart where Aries resides.

The Leo Full Moon is a lunar eclipse on February 11, 2017 at 23* Leo/Aquarius. A lunar eclipse helps us become conscious of our unconscious feelings. The eclipse cycle is changing signs by May, but we’re getting a preview now of that change from Virgo/Pisces to Leo/Aquarius. The Leo/Aquarius axis will open us to use our talents and creative self-expression (Leo) for the good of the group (Aquarius). We can already see that our artists are ready to use their talents for a larger purpose. Let’s continue it with our own creativity. The Leo Moon forms a grand trine (planets in all three fire signs) with Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus/Eris in Aries. That’s a lot of fire! How we use our passion and inner light to transform our lives is crucial now. It’s not a time to lash out at those we disagree with. It’s time to use our creativity to create a new story that others want and need. Instead of using our energies to go against things, use it to envision something new. There is a ‘finger of God’ aspect at this eclipsed Moon, from a base of the Moon sextile Jupiter in Libra up to Chiron in Pisces. Once again, don’t be afraid to use your creativity to help heal the world.

The Pisces New Moon on February 26th is a solar eclipse occurring at 9* Pisces. We’re back for one more eclipse from the Virgo/Pisces axis, hopefully releasing old habits of martyrdom, victimhood and delusions. This is our chance to dream BIG since the Sun and Moon conjunct Neptune, Pisces ruler and the energy of mysticism, vision and imagination. Pisces energy—our ability to sink back into the unity of the collective unconscious—is strong now with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Neptune, Chiron, Pallas, and the South Node working together to cleanse our souls from the karma of the Piscean Age. We are truly entering the Aquarian Age where freedom is more important than sacrifice and our original blessings are more important than our original sins. We get to keep compassion and vision and imagination as we release the fears instilled in us by our religious past.
Mars in Aries joins up with Uranus later in the day, activating the potent Pluto in Capricorn square to Uranus along with the opposition to Jupiter in Libra. We’ll still be resonating to that radical energy for the next few years so keep moving toward your vision of the possible future. These next few years will see the change we’ve been talking about as we actually act on the changes we want to manifest. The Women’s March was just the first step in taking back the world from the power elites. The election of Donald Trump is the last vestiges of patriarchy. It’s time to leave the Father’s House! There’s no time left to linger.

The last Full Moon of the Imbolc season is the Virgo Full Moon which occurs on March 12, 2017. This Pisces/Virgo Full Moon squares Saturn in Sagittarius, focusing once again on bringing our soul’s purpose into full manifestation. That means we have to have the discipline and focus to unite our logical brain with our intuitive brain. Mercury, the ruler of the Virgo Moon, is in Pisces. We can either get confused or we can listen to our intuitions and imagination to figure out a way to unite body, mind and spirit.

Planets in action

During this 6 week period, we begin with all 10 planets moving forward. That changes quickly. Let’s look at the planets for this season.
Jupiter in Libra turns retrograde on February 6th until June 9th. This is the time to deepen our relationships and bring more positive energy into them.
Venus begins this season at the very end of Pisces, and swims into Aries on February 3rd. The big news is that Venus in Aries turns retrograde on March 4th until April 15th. Venus goes retrograde every 18 months and moves from an evening star to a morning star on March 30th this year. Venus retrograde is the time to look at what you value and re-evaluate your life. Love, money and possessions are examined and you can decide what really matters in your life.
Mercury moves into brilliant Aquarius on February 7th and then slides into imaginative Pisces on February 25th. On March 13th, it jumps into Aries. Mercury symbolizes how we use our minds, and this season, we’re asked to open to higher powers—the brilliance of the universal mind and the compassion of the universal heart. Once it integrates those two mysteries, it takes action in Aries.
Mars strides through its own sign of Aries this season until March 9th, when it moves into grounded Taurus. Mars stays in a sign for about 6 weeks.

During this season of Imbolc, use these energies to enhance your vision for the year. Once we arrive at Spring Equinox, you can take your vision out into the world for a test run.
See you at the Equinox!
Walk in the Light,

"Affirmation of the Disciple" from World Goodwill
(posted by Alan Okan)
I am a point of light within a greater Light.
I am a strand of loving energy within the stream of Love divine.
I am a point of sacrificial Fire, focused within the fiery Will of God.
And thus I stand
I am a way by which humanity may achieve.
I am a source of strength, enabling them to stand.
I am a beam of light, shining upon their way.
And thus I stand.
And standing thus, revolve
And tread this way the ways of men and women,
And know the ways of God.
And thus I stand.