Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Solstice 2014

Happy Summer Solstice!

As the sun spirals its longest dance,
Cleanse us
As nature shows bounty and fertility
Bless us
Let all things live with loving intent
And to fulfill their truest destiny
Wiccan blessing for Summer

​ We've arrived at the mid-point of Summer.  Solstice literally means "sun stand still", for at the solstices the sun seems to stop on its course before it reverses itself.  The Celtic pagans call Summer Solstice Litha.

Midsummer is the time when we celebrate the bounty of the earth and the power of the sun. Our fields are flourishing, fruits are blossoming on the trees, herb bushes are fragrant and full of life. The sun is at its highest point in the sky, and it has bathed the earth in its warmth, heating up the soil so that when autumn rolls around, we'll have a rich and bountiful harvest.
Summer Solstice celebrates the marriage and Heaven and Earth, the fruitful time of year when the new life and light that was born at the Winter Solstice is manifest in our lives and in the world. Summer Solstice has been celebrated in practically every culture on Earth, and is a time of joy and celebration of the powers of life. The Sun is at its fullest power, and the darkness of winter is a fading memory. But just at this moment of greatest light, we begin to face death, for now the days begin to shorten and the darkness grows.

Summer Solstice was the most important and widespread festival in Europe. In Celtic countries, it was celebrated on Midsummer's Eve and was a vegetation-fire-water ritual, when all the elements of life were celebrated and honored. It is a time of magic, both good and bad; a time when the faery folk once again come out to dance. Fires are lit to help the Sun in its course, the waters bring blessings, and dreams are potent.

But most of all, Midsummer is a time for lovers, for it is the moment of the marriage of Heaven and Earth. The Sun fertilizes the Earth with His heat, and She becomes pregnant with Life. But there is a cost to all of this, for the Summer King must fight the Winter King for his Flower Bride, and although he overcomes the darkness, yet will the darkness overcome him as well.   


The Summer Solstice chart is still carrying the intensity of this April's Grand Cross and Pluto/Uranus square.  Today's Aries Moon squares Pluto in Capricorn, opposes Mars in Libra and joins Uranus in Aries before squaring Jupiter in Cancer.  Our emotions will be supercharged today and tomorrow, so step back and breathe!  We can also eliminate excessive waste, align with allies and spark innovative actions as we open ourselves to new growth at the Solstice fires.​
​    The Saturn/Uranus inconjunct indicates we'll all struggle with our need for freedom vs. our need to face our responsibilities.  The truth is that freely chosen responsibilities are the order of the day.  Pursue whatever unusual interests you have (Moon and Uranus in Aries) and try not to fall back into old emotional patterns of fear and betrayal (Saturn in Scorpio).  This summer is a time to re-discover your own original Self!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Living the Symbolic Life: A Pisces Challenge

Living the Symbolic Life: A Pisces Challenge

                                                Pisces: The Fish

While the Sun is in Pisces, our awareness is called back to the Source, after traveling around the whole zodiac.  The ocean is an apt symbol of the womb of the Collective Unconscious—the place of memory where we find the essence of what it means to live here on Earth.  Love and anger, hardship and plenty, death and birth, family and country—it contains memories of all of life’s experiences, human and otherwise. This is where new life gestates. It is the source of the Wisdom of Life, the World Soul.  

So after flying to Aquarius’ starry heights, we are called to dive into the deepest oceans to regenerate our lives through the agency of those heavenly lights.  If we take that photo of Earthrise to heart, we need to get out of the old patriarchal story that refuses to take that image seriously.  

We can dissolve the old patriarchal story within us during the Sun’s journey through Pisces.  Like the Catholic’s Lent or Ra’s nighttime journey through the Underworld, humans need to take the time to let go of, withdraw from and dissolve what no longer serves our new vision in preparation for the new life of spring. 

Your new story of life will shape your energies this year, energies which will emerge into the world with the Spring Equinox.  So consider sacrificing and making sacred (Pisces) your daily schedule for the next month by adding some spiritual practices into your day: 

1.     Find quality quiet time to listen to your body, your heart and your mind.
2.    Meditate on letting go of old fears and patriarchal beliefs.
3.    Imagine the gift you want to give to the world.

2014 is a 7 year, a year of completion, initiation and conscious choice.  The energies are building toward a strong stellar configuration in April, so taking the time now to get balanced and centered will help you tremendously in a few months. 

If Winter Solstice 2012 was the end of a great age, then 2013 was the beginning of the next stage—the gestation of a new age.  Back in the 60s we sang about it as the Age of Aquarius.  Our vision was very idealistic and full of fun.  The Baby Boomers are the Pluto in Leo generation, and we not only want to stay young till we die, we want to give our creativity to the world.  Now that we’re becoming senior citizens, don’t you think we’re called to step into the world with wisdom and compassion to help our children bring about the changes we envisioned back in the 60s, since the same issues are confronting us once again at this turning point in the cycle between Pluto and Uranus.  
When we let the Cosmic Story inspire us and choose to live a symbolic life, we can more easily bring that heavenly energy down to earth. The other option is to remain caught up in the fears and illusions of patriarchy, fighting the energy of change. 

Here are some images to meditate on for Pisces.

Genevieve Cseh, Sedna, Inuit Goddess of the Sea

Sedna symbolizes some of the goddess energy of Pisces.  She sacrificed (Pisces) her fingers to create the bounty of the seas, exemplifying the need sacrifice our ego’s perceptions and open to what comes to us from the deep unconscious. When we turn our attention to our dreams, we find new life and new sustenance.  The Collective Unconscious is open to us during Pisces.  

Kali is a good example of Plutonian goddess energy with her demand that we release the old life so we can engender the new life waiting to emerge in us.  But first we have to die to the old vision. 

Christ embodies the energies of Pisces—the need to say, ‘Not my will but thine’, to surrender to the Source of Life, to sacrifice our ego desires for the good of the world.  Christ speaks to our need to become the light of the world.

These two energies—feminine and masculine—encourage us with the knowledge that sacrifice is part of our human heritage, that life is not all about our desires and needs, but about the needs we share with others.  The more compassion and imagination we bring to our own time of ‘letting go’, the more wisdom we will gain from our sojourn through Pisces.

So who will engage in the Pisces challenge with me?  The challenge involves releasing the old stories of separation, domination, and violence because we have discovered the new story that we are all one family sharing Mother Earth.  Through these times of crisis and transition, we will learn to live together in a very different way.   We will create a new civilization which is founded on absolute equality between feminine perceptions of life and masculine ones.  We will live in the mystical brain where right and left sides of the brain work together to give us a better vision of how we can live in harmony with the Earth and each other.  Let us create a world full of depth and light and beauty, where we take responsibility for our actions and treat each other and the Earth with courtesy and respect.  

Starting on Tuesday, February 18th, when the Sun goes into Pisces for a month, create a different daily routine for yourself, one which includes playing in those creative, inner spaces where we can touch the Source and imagine a different way to live in the world.

Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again!  Blessed Be!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Living the Symbol Life: The Archetype of Wholeness

Living the Symbol Life: The Archetype of Wholeness
    Living the symbolic life means that we inhabit an image to find its meaning.  Since meaning is rarely valued in patriarchy, we have to re-learn how to use our imaginations to do this.  So one of the first images we can meditate on is the image of Earth in the photograph called 'Earthrise'. 
Even after seeing the amazing images of our universe taken by the Hubble space telescope, it is no surprise that the picture of Earthrise is still a powerful image after almost 50 years (the crew of Apollo 8 took the photo on Christmas Eve Day, 1968).   Our universe is vast, mysterious, a bit scary as well as breath-taking, but there's something hopeful about that image of our beautiful Earth shining in the darkness of space that touches my heart and soul.  Do you feel that way too?
I've been drawn to that photo since the first time I saw it back in 1968.  I put it on the front page of our college year-book the next year; it's on the cover of my book of seasonal fairy tales, Stories of the Earth, and for me at least, it is connected with my vision of Lady Wisdom as the ‘Woman clothed with the Sun’.  Our Mother Earth is indeed ‘clothed with the Sun’ in this iconic photograph.  
     This image of our Earth evokes what the Ancients called the Anima Mundi or World Soul, the idea that there is an intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet, which relates to our world in much the same way as the soul is connected to the human body.  (Also see Lynn Margulis and James Lovelock's Gaia theory.)   When we look at this picture of our home planet, we can sense the truth of that belief.  There's only one world shining out in space.
The Western idea originated with Plato in the Timaeus.   Therefore, we may consequently state that: 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:29/30)
An Eastern image of this connection is called Indra’s Net.   ‘When Indra fashioned the world, he made it as a web, and at every knot in the web he tied a pearl. Everything that exists, or has ever existed, every idea that can be thought about, every dharma and destiny that is true, is a pearl in Indra's net. Not only is every pearl tied to every other pearl by virtue of the web on which they hang, but on the surface of every pearl is reflected every other jewel on the net. Everything that exists in Indra's web implies all else that exists.’
"Imagine a multidimensional spider's web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image." –Alan Watts
Carl Jung called the archetype of wholeness in a person the Self.  The Anima Mundi is the archetype of wholeness for our planet. This Feminine principle manifests within us as the collective unconscious, which contains all the images and feelings and experiences of humanity throughout the ages.  Is it any wonder that this image of Earthrise speaks to us of the Wisdom that creates worlds and galaxies and conscious beings?
     Joseph Campbell felt that the image of Earthrise was a symbol of new myths arising in the future.  I believe it, because the image has worked upon my unconscious to open me to the mystery of Lady Wisdom.  There is an image of the returning Divine Feminine that shares this image of Earthrise  
And a portent appeared in the heavens: A woman, clothed with the Sun, standing on the Moon, crowned with Stars, in birth to the Savior.
     The Cosmic Story is calling us back to re-work the soil and tend the plants that were seeded in the 60s.  As Uranus and Pluto square (90*) each other seven times, we find ourselves at a crossroads.  Will we let the powers of repression and domination continue to shape us?
'If myth is a storied way to feel out our place in the world, then we can grasp the significance of ‘Earthrise’ by considering what it rode in on. The Environmental Movement, Ecopsychology, Systems Theory, the Internet that joins us across the globe, global structures of finance, the Goddess movement, the push toward sustainability, organic agriculture, Brian Swimme's inspiring cosmological reveries: these and other worldly-circling matters grew up in the light of Earthrise. This image did not "cause" these movements so much as announce them as they swarmed into collective consciousness.'    (Craig Chalquist, Ph.D. Earthrise: A Mythic Image for Our Times.
Images are not owned by any one religion or corporation.  Symbols are universal and they come to us pure in our dreams and through synchronicities in our waking life, and through true myths, music, art and stories.   Of course, patriarchy is very aware of how to use images to capture our attention, but they use it to lie, manipulate and control.  When we look at an image and let it speak to us—just as we can let this image of Earthrise or that of the Woman clothed with the Sun speak to us—we really can arrive at the wise answer to any question.
If we want to evolve, we all have to undertake a Heroine's Journey.  It is an inner journey that can free us from the patriarchal corsets and straightjackets we've been shaped by.  And the gift we receive and the treasure we bring back will be the Wisdom of the World Soul—the wisdom to find solutions to the personal and collective crisis which face the world. 
Some of those solutions involve the archetype of community.  In patriarchy, community was usually centered around the tribe, the nation, the race, the gender, the religion, the army, the family.  Usually it involved being separate from others, being special in some way, being chosen.  
When we look at this image of Mother Earth and see that we are one world, opportunities for community expands.  Our new communities are connected via the Internet—much like Indra’s Net—where we connect with like-minded individuals around the world.  These communities are based on common ideals, interests and beliefs and make no distinction between races, religious beliefs or genders.  
There are other communities being formed, much like the communes of the 60s.  Family now consists of close friends as well as blood relatives.   People feel they are citizens of the world rather than just one country. Patriarchal religions are losing ground to spiritual communities comprised of Christians, Moslems, Jews, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.  Sports teams honor the player, not his or her race.  In this new idea of community, no one needs to be the leader, because each of us can lead when our expertise is needed.  This re-birthed archetype of community is all about equality.
Community gardens, business co-ops, and charter schools are just a few ways to be in community.  People with common skills form guilds or unions.  People with common ideals gather to stand up for what they believe in, such as the Occupy Movement.  We still have spiritual communities, although these are different from the patriarchal monastery or convent.  There is a common bond between the members of the armed forces just as there was with the ancient Irish warband called the Fianna; and of course, we have the image of the Knights of the Round Table.   
When we look at this image of our one world, we can imagine a multitude of new ways to be in community. 
We are living in a time of choice.  The Cosmic Story is supporting transformation and rebirth.  Will we stand with the Earth, with the Anima Mundi and with our souls?  Will we find new ways to be in community?
Perhaps we need to meditate on this picture of our Mother, the Earth and remember that we are indeed all connected. 

Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Living the Symbolic Life: The World Needs a New Story

You see, man is in need of a symbolic life - badly in need. We only live banal, ordinary, rational, or irrational things . . . but we have no symbolic life. Where do we live symbolically? Nowhere except where we participate in the ritual of life. . . We have no symbolic life, and we are all badly in need of the symbolic life. Only the symbolic life can express the need of the soul - the daily need of the soul, mind you! And because people have no such thing, they can never step out of this mill - this awful, banal, grinding life in which they are "nothing but." . . . C.G. Jung, The Symbolic Life

I believe it’s time to take the idea of the symbolic life seriously.  That means it’s time we see our lives as meaningful.  This is the first of a series of essays that will look at the old archetypal stories and see how they might be renewed within each of us.

It’s time to tell a new story about life, love, community, power, responsibility and re-birth.

Today’s New Moon in Aquarius is a new beginning for the collective Mind.  Each year this New Moon gives us an opportunity to transform the collective Mind, but this year something bigger is happening.  This year’s Aquarius New Moon is gestating in the womb of a cosmic grand cross; the 5th cosmic challenge between Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries, invoking the continuing story of the revolution and evolution that started in the 60s.  The challenge becomes an energy generator with the addition of Jupiter in Cancer and Mars in Libra this Spring.   

The Cosmic Story is telling us to work with these energies now, because our challenge is to become conscious forces of evolution.  It’s time for us to bring our gifts into collective awareness. We are challenged to change a whole world view that was once necessary and good, but which has become lop-sided and detrimental to the health of the entire bio-field of Earth.   

We are facing Death: the death of our environment as we know it, the death of patriarchy, and the death of the belief that we are separate from each other.  If the knowledge of Death doesn’t get us out doing something, I don’t know what will.  Are we really willing to let ourselves to lead to the slaughterhouses without protest?  Without doing something about it with originality, honor and courage? 

Aquarius symbolizes humanity’s ability to consciously connect with the archetypal patterns, the cosmic laws of the universe.  These laws are instinctual, built into the fabric of our world and cosmos.  Archetypes are energy fields which structure plants and animals and human beings, rocks and trees, wind and rain, light and dark.  And as far as we know, human beings are the only ones here on Earth who can become conscious of these archetypal patterns.  And as Carl Jung demonstrated, once we become aware of these archetypal instincts, we can change how we relate to them.  

Archetypes can only be known through an image, a symbol which contains many layers of meaning.   As we work with the archetypal symbols of the collective unconscious, we rediscover the original intent of the archetypes.  And when we are aware of the archetype’s primal power, we can consciously let it shape us. 
Yes, we have to be balanced to do this—we need a sharp mind that can discern what is delusion (God told me to sacrifice my son, and then try to literally do it) and wisdom (I sense that I need to let my son live his own life now and stop trying to make him into someone I want him to be).  But if we hold true to our values and our truth, the archetypes can gently shape us with a true story.  Right now, we have all been shaped by the patriarchal stereotypes of what life is all about.  

The freed-up archetypes can tell us a new story, which can inspire our imagination and in turn, give us the courage to take action.  For example, the archetype of the leader has become the stereotype of the politician.  When archetypes lose their feeling aspect (when people no longer believe it) they become dry stereotypes.  Once we stop ceding the archetypal power of leadership to this stereotype, the archetypal energy of leadership becomes accessible to us.  I’ve often talked about how the archetype of the Bard, whose word is law and inspiration, has become the stereotype of the entertainer, who takes our minds off reality.   The good news is that the archetypes of leader and bard are still accessible to us.

So the New Moon in Aquarius is an ideal time to nurture an archetypal seed lying within you.  Where do your talents lie?  How do you use them now?  How would you like to use them?  To change your life, you need to change the story.
The ancient myths show us collective archetypal patterns that shaped cultures and people’s perceptions of life.  Which pattern calls to you?   

I just wrote a blog after I read an article by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D. "Earthrise: A Mythic Image for Our Times." on the image of Earthrise, that first mystical picture of our Earth floating in the heavens.  This image, while unique to modern times, derives some of its power from the archetype of the Anima Mundi, the World Soul.  You can just see that beautiful soul shining out into space, can’t you?  

Archetypes get renewed in our consciousness when there is a need for new perspectives and new actions and new growth.

With Pluto in Capricorn breaking down belief in our collective social structures—patriarchy, finance, government, religion, capitalism—we have an opportunity to create something different because the archetypal patterns are also being renewed.  Of course, the old ways aren’t dying easily, but that’s Saturn—archetype of patriarchy—for you!  In Greek mythology, Saturn ate his own children, swallowing them until Rhea, the Earth Mother, gave him a rock to swallow instead of her youngest child, Zeus.  Zeus grew up and went on to lead the revolution against Saturn.  

At this New Moon, Pluto is joined by Venus, stationing and about to go direct.  Venus has just come through her conjunction with the Sun, reborn as the Morning Star.  The energy of a planet in retrograde motion feels like it’s going into the inner/under world.  So at this New Moon, Venus has just emerged from the Underworld, bringing new heart knowledge to this collective breakdown.  Joining Pluto, we might imagine that Venus takes on the role of Persephone, wife of Pluto as well as the Spring Maiden.  Venus and Pluto are around 13* Capricorn, in the second 10* of Capricorn, ready for rebirth—ready to start rebuilding a new cultural foundation.  A strong foundation that gives equal weight to the feminine aspects of life, something sorely lacking in patriarchy at the moment!  

When we add Venus to Pluto’s energy of rebirth, we could say that Lady Wisdom is guiding us with the truth and the beauty of the Morning Star.  The Cosmic Story is telling us that it’s time for us ‘to be as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove’. 

Another new archetypal pattern concerns Uranus in Aries.  Aries is the sign of self-discovery, a brilliant flash of fire that illumines new ground for action. Why have we incarnated?   Uranus brings sudden changes, opening us to the archetypal fields (Uranus rules Aquarius).  This energy once again offers us a choice: who do we want to be, what do we want to discover, what is our purpose in life?  The breakdown of the system (Pluto) calls for individuals (Aries) to become their archetypal Selves, living their soul’s purpose (Uranus).  That’s our personal challenge.

What will really get this challenge moving is the addition of Jupiter in Cancer and Mars in Libra.  These four planets are in the four cardinal signs, energy generating signs, action oriented and energizing.  The addition of these two planets moves the square’s challenge forward.  

Jupiter is the Roman aspect of Zeus, leader of the rebellion against Saturn.  Jupiter awakens our curiosity, expands our vision, and opens us to spirit.  In the sign of Cancer, it broadens our appreciation of the archetype of the Mother and her nurturing qualities.  Jupiter pushes us to explore our inner depths (Cancer) and discover who we really are and what we really want—instead of what patriarchy has shaped us to be and want.   And as a mother, I can tell you that nobody is as fierce as a mother defending her children.  We need to become fierce in defense of ourselves, our people and our planet.  

The last to connect with the upcoming grand cross is Mars retrograde in Libra.  At this New Moon, Mars is still moving forward in Libra, away from the other four planets, but it is going to turn retrograde on March 1st and will be very tightly bound to the grand cross in April.  Mars is the archetypal energy of desire and assertion, the energy that moves us and shakes us and tells us that we’re alive.  With Mars in Libra, we are learning that we feel more alive when we partner up with others, when we take their needs and desires into consideration and learn to be fair and balanced.  A true balance of masculine and feminine consciousness opens us to Wisdom.  

There are many archetypal patterns being renewed now—perhaps all of them with the changing of the ages.  We are at the beginning of that change, and so we are responsible for how those new archetypal stories begin.  Will we rise up and meet the challenge in new and creative ways?  Unnecessary war is patriarchal.  A grown up doesn’t have to literally fight to win a battle.  With intelligence, creativity, courage, intuition and wisdom, we will change our world.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Cycles and Circles of the Planets, Part 1

Astrology operates through a system of wheels upon wheels, cycles within cycles, spirals within spirals.  The outer planets symbolize collective forces, Saturn and Jupiter reflect how we adjust to those cultural cycles and the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars symbolize our 'personal' bias.  Let's explore how these planets are doing right now.
The outer planets—Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—describe the collective tone of the moment. The background upon which we create the future!  We are immersed in those energies culturally and globally.  Right now, those three planets are disrupting as well as energizing our collective paradigm.  

                                     Pluto and it's moons

Pluto symbolizes the archetypal energy of death and rebirth, of evolution, of raw, catalytic energy.  Things change when Pluto comes to visit.  Pluto in the sign of Capricorn (since early 2008) is dredging up the dead weight of our cultural institutions – the ineptitude of our Congress, the greed and power of Wall Street, the unsustainability of capitalism, the waste of war and the wrong-hearted repressive beliefs of our patriarchal religious institutions – to make room for new growth, a new culture and a new paradigm of community life.  And like any catalytic agent, Pluto is quickening the transformation.  It isn’t pretty, but it’s necessary.  As within so without.   As people’s belief in our cultural institutions crumbles, so too, our inner belief that Patriarchy Knows Best is also crumbling.  When Pluto gets through with Capricorn in 2024, my hope is that we will have evolved into a more responsible, self-aware world, where peace is our obvious choice, where good stewardship of our Mother Earth the bottom line, and where feminine wisdom is once again valued alongside masculine intellect.  


Neptune symbolizes the archetypal power of the Imagination: at once vivid and illusive.  Neptune energizes our spirit, opens us to the imagination and honors our compassion.  Depending on our self-awareness, Neptune can also disillusion us, get us lost in fantasy (like being in Faerie for a night and emerging 300 years later), and literally drive us crazy through merging us with everyone around us.  Neptune moved into its own sign of Pisces in 2011 and will stay there until 2025.  So our spiritual awareness and imagination is being taken back into the ocean of the collective unconscious where it will also be renewed.  My hope is that Hollywood starts telling the stories people need to hear, rather than the inept fantasies of young men from 18-36 (Hollywood’s target audience).   Never doubt that your psyche/soul is influenced by images, and that the increase in violence in our world isn’t influenced by the violence we see on our movie, TV and computer screens.  Take back your imagination!  Find stories and images that inspire you to be the best person—not a goody-goody best but the most real person—you can be.  Perhaps Percy Jackson, son of Posiden/Neptune, is the new hero archetype, the hero who also allows others to be heroes, the hero who knows we’re all in this mess together.  Look at the inventiveness with which they defeat the old powers of Chaos once again, as all good heroes and heras (female hero) do. 

                                          (tilted) Uranus

Uranus symbolizes the archetype of the new, the original, the revolutionary.  Uranian energy demands a breakthrough, a sudden twist, a surprise awakening to a larger understanding of life.  Uranus loves the archetypal energies of the Mind and the heavens, the eternal laws of the universe, which need renewal and expression.

Uranus in the sign of Aries offers us a new beginning, with chances to be courageous, to know how to deal with changing situations and to find a new identity.  We have to stop thinking of ourselves as less than expected, which is what patriarchy has done to all of us.  We need to discover our archetypal identity as teacher, healer, mother, father, bard, warrior, judge, artist etc.  We are so much more than we’ve been led to imagine.  

So, the collective planets are telling us that things have to change—our culture is no longer a viable option for continued life here on Earth.  The on-going Pluto square Uranus challenges us to find a new, bigger self-identity to meet the chaos of these changing times.  Neptune opens us to other dimensions of reality, helping us to cope with the big changes coming our way with imagination, compassion and spiritual awareness of our oneness.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Cosmic Story: 1st Aquarius/Leo Full Moon July 22, 2013, Mercury Goes Direct July 20th.

Mercury Direct
So how did your Mercury retrograde go? I know something happened to all of us, because I saw it happening all around me too.  What about you?  What did you run up against?  What flowed smoothly? What did you learn about yourself and your needs?  Mercury retrograde in Cancer can tumble us in crashing ocean waves or cradle us as it rocks us down the river.   

Mercury is the god of travelers, after all, and when it goes retrograde we tend to do our traveling within ourselves.  When Mercury travels backwards through the water signs, we discover our emotional needs and depths.  Did you find any emotional nurturance this watery retrograde period (June 26—July 20)?  Did friends come through for you?  Did your children show you their love?  Did your boss recognize your work? Did you create something?  Did you see a beautiful sunrise?  Did a wild creature cross your path?  Can you feel the love that others want to give you?  When we know we’re loved, we’re not afraid to ask for what we need.  I hope Mercury showed you exactly what you need to fulfill your life so you can start asking for it.

Mercury can also play the trickster on us.  If we’re not listening to our bodies, our hearts, our spirits—but only the mind—we might have encountered some difficulties during the past three weeks.  Did your unconscious decisions come home to roost?  Are you having a hard time standing up for your own needs?  Are you over-mothering and getting the backlash? Are you not getting the recognition you deserve?   Do you feel unsupported?  Are you fearful of a health crisis?  Any and all of these experiences are Mercury’s challenge to you.  Don’t forget, ‘As Within, So Without’.  Time to take care of yourself.  

Mercury in Cancer has us exploring our emotional body needs and can even help us ride those wild emotional currents instead of being swamped by them.  We all have a lot to deal with right now, fully engaged in the mid-point of the ongoing Uranus/Pluto game-changing square.  Since Saturn in Scorpio turned to direct motion on July 7th, our spiritual test (Neptune in Pisces—trining Saturn) is to stand in our truth and stop projecting our shadows out into the world and onto other beings (human or otherwise). If we don’t learn how to relate to ourselves, how can we relate to others? 
Mercury retrograde in Cancer gave us the opportunity to listen in to our real hopes and dreams—rather than to the false desires patriarchy has tried to shape us to.  Consuming is a Cancer task, but America, a Cancer country, has taken it to extremes.  Cancer’s real wisdom concerns when and what to consume for optimum Body, Mind & Spirit health.

The six planets moving through Cancer are energizing our personal and collective emotional body and opening our minds to listening to and understanding what our hearts believe, need and desire.  When we own up to our own rejected emotional needs, we can stand up for ourselves even when we stand up for others.  It’s a win-win situation when we understand the feminine voice of Wisdom, which comes to us through the language of the heart.
The Sabian symbol for Mercury turning direct at 14* Cancer is: An old man, alone, faces the darkness in the NorthEast.  This old man is in need of renewal—that’s why he faces the NorthEast.  Like each of us, he stands alone facing the darkness in the land; he stands there centered in his spirit and hopeful in his heart for rebirth.  He has to remain faithful to his heart wisdom.  This degree gives us the ability to channel emotional power.  This is the next step in our evolution. 
This Summer’s Water Grand Trine and potent Square

Just to recap:  Multiple planets have been moving through Cancer since June, each making up the third leg of a grand water trine along with Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces.  Mercury, Venus, Moon, Sun in Cancer have already formed the third leg with Jupiter and Mars finishing up this week just before the Full Moon on Monday.  Each energy center has been blessed by the Great Mother of Life in this time of crisis and transformation.  (Mercury-5th, Venus-4th, Moon-6th, Sun-3rd, Jupiter-7th, Mars-2nd, Saturn-1st).   With a water trine, our boundaries are fluid, making us more psychic and open to each other.  This ongoing healing trine offers the gifts of healing, wisdom and greater consciousness.  Stay open so your dreams and feelings can guide you in reshaping your life.
This blessing calls us back to the loving arms of the Mother, to the Earthly Paradise, where all of us are loved.  If we would love our neighbors, first we must love ourselves.  And we learn that love from this Great Mother who nurtures us, shelters us, gives us life and takes us at death.  The healing energies of this grand trine are profound if we consciously work with them and healing none-the-less even if we don’t.   We just have to watch out that we don’t get dragged under by powerful emotions where we project onto others our own deficiencies because we refuse to accept Saturn in Scorpio’s demand to look at our own darkness.  
Neptune in Pisces can help us dream big dreams, opening our imaginations to Spirit’s messages.  Aligned with Saturn, we have a chance to actually manifest some of our dreams.  The planets moving through Cancer pick up these big change energies and incorporate them into our daily lives.  As each one of them become part of the water trine, Neptune and Saturn will bring both a vision and a discipline to our lunar feeling life, our solar sense of Self, our Venusian love nature, our Mercurial mind, our Jupiterian inspiration and curiosity, and late this month, to our Martian desires. 
At the same time, each of these planets will become part of the Uranus/Pluto square.  All of us are struggling at the crossroads where Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries are challenging each other and us with the energies of death and revolution, transformation and innovation, letting go of the old so the new can be born.   This is deep and exhausting work and everyone needs some lovin’ at times like these.  So while the universe is sending us challenges all month, remember it is also sending us the blessings of the waters.  The Water of Life heals us on the deepest levels, so let the healing happen while you deal with the challenges.  
As these planets move through Cancer and come into an opposition with Pluto and a square to Uranus, they receive the energy of change and transformation as well as send a message back about what our emotional and security needs really are.  In the midst of deep change, what are the important things to hold close?  Family, friends, creativity, children, nature, spirit, justice?  Cancer demands that we take into consideration the feminine, nurturing qualities of life that patriarchy has ignored.   Now is the time to recognize and incorporate these feminine qualities in your own life and in our collective life.
The Goddess has returned and She wants us to recognize that we are all loved.  But like any good mother, She wants us to also love each other.  

The Aquarius/Leo Full Moon
The Aquarius Full Moon occurs just a few hours after the Sun enters Leo on July 22, at 11:17am PDT/ 2:17pm EDT/ 6:17pm GMT.  This is the first of two full Moons in the sign of Aquarius—the second one on August 20th will be a Blue Moon—when there are two full Moons in an astrological month (not in a calendar month).  After the second Aquarius full Moon we’ll be back on the new Moon/ full Moon lunar cycle.  (Remember, now we have a full Moon in a sign before the new Moon.)

            Every year we cycle through all the signs of the zodiac along with the Sun.  As the Sun enters the sign of Leo, our attention turns to Leo’s truths: self-confidence, creativity, self-expression, personal power, generosity, playfulness and Individuation.  More than any other sign, Leo represents the urge that Carl Jung called Individuation—our soulful need to be unique individuals.  But unlike ego-individuality, individuation helps us also see that we are part of a larger group.   
            That larger group is represented by Aquarius.  Aquarius offers us the possibility of alliances with like-minded individuals working toward a common goal.   So while we work on our personal hopes, we also can be working on our shared dreams.  Now is a great time to search out like-minded individuals who are working on a common goal.  We are stronger for our unity.
            The Sabian symbol for the Sun at 1*Leo is: Blood rushes to a man’s head in anger. Anger is an intense emotion that mobilizes our vital energies to defend ourselves.  Will we give in and attack or will we process the emotion and understand just what it is that makes us so angry?  Is it righteous indignation?  Or a need to fight for personal rights?  Can we use our will to direct these energies properly?  Since the blood goes to the man’s head, perhaps we need to ‘use our heads’ and not get caught up in emotional drama?  Instead, we need to name the emotion and understand what it’s telling us and then act on it consciously. 
            The Sabian symbol for the Moon at 1* Aquarius is: A cubical white temple in the desert.   The desert strips you bare—it leaves you to face your essential self.  Since this is a temple in the desert, it is dedicated to the basic spiritual and natural laws of life.  Leaving religions behind us, we can seed a new spiritual vision that encompasses the realities of our times and can be a basis for a new civilization based on partnership between masculine and feminine rather than patriarchal domination over everyone else.  The old gods are dead—a new age calls us to spiritual and earthy freedom.
            Saturn in Scorpio squares this full Moon, showing us where we need to make some inner changes so we can all work together.   Saturn demands that we take responsibility for our lives, and with the square to the full Moon, it shows us where we are accountable for the mess in our lives. Full Moons bring us awareness through relationships. Saturn squaring the full Moon says, ‘if you want to become aware of how you fit into the group, pay attention to how you feel with others.’  But since Saturn is still part of the grand water trine—especially now that Jupiter and Mars are part of it—we will have the energy, enthusiasm and confidence to move ahead with our plans.  Keep sharing those plans with like-minded people because that’s how collective change happens.  It’s time to realize that ‘no man is an island’ and that if we really mean it that we want to change our world, then we have to find others to work with.  This full Moon and the 2nd Aquarius full Moon will help us connect.

            The last week of July will be intense as Mars in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn and squares Uranus in Aries.  Watch some long-standing issues come to a head and beware of jumping to conclusions without getting all the information.  This volatile combination can give rise to power struggles.  Are they worth it?  When you become a vessel of power, which is the feminine way of handling power, there are no struggles.  Just an easy flow of handing power around the circle.   

                                                   Grand Sextile

A beautiful and rare grand sextile occurs on July 29, 2013.  The grand sextile is formed by two grand trines.  The first is our water trine we’ve been bathing in since June.  The second is an earth grand trine comprised of the Moon in Taurus, Venus in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn.  This second grand trine speaks about the collective re-orientation toward the Divine Feminine.  Combined, the two trines position a planet every 60* around the circle in the feminine elements of water and earth.  Manifestation is powered by our emotional body and the more focused we are on our real needs which nourish life, the better able we are to manifest the situations which will help us get what we need.   Sextiles (60* aspects) are all about opportunity, and this beauty gives us another opportunity to change ourselves and our world.  Step into your new life!
Below is a list of the changing energies remaining this month.  Watch and see how you feel and act on these powerful days.

Dates for the Water Trine and the Uranus/Pluto T-squares:
July 13:  Mars enters Cancer
July 17:  Uranus stations retrograde.  Jupiter in Cancer trines Saturn and Neptune.
July 19:  Saturn trines Neptune
July 20:  Mercury stationary direct.  Mars in Cancer trines Saturn and Neptune.
July 22:  Mar conjuncts Jupiter in Cancer.  Venus enters Virgo.  Sun enters Leo.  Full Moon in                     Aquarius/Leo.
July 27:  Mars in Cancer opposite Pluto in Capricorn.
July 31:  Mars in Cancer squares Uranus in Aries.

As we head into the harvest-time of Lammas (August 1), remember to offer something of your harvest to the Divine Spirit of Life.  Offerings show our love and gratitude; save a child, a tree, a river, a man, a woman—in honor of the Light.
Blessed Be.