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.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Cosmic Story: January 2017

I'm in the midst of travels and change, so here is a quick review of January's Cosmic Story.

The Pluto/Uranus square that occurred 7x’s between 2012-2015 is again being resonated by Jupiter’s passage through another cardinal sign, Libra. All these planets energizing cardinal signs signify the tremendous challenges awaiting us in 2017. 2017 is a great year to creatively and fearlessly play with these energies of change

This mont
h while the Sun travels through the sign of Capricorn, it will connect with the Pluto in Capricorn/Uranus in Aries/Jupiter in Libra T-Square (when 2 planets oppose each other and both square a 3rd planet). This tension-filled aspect opens us to change. The Sun in Capricorn joined Pluto on January 6th; it will square Uranus on January 10th and Jupiter on January 11th, hours before the Cancer Full Moon. 

Are we ready to make a change? We’ll find out on this month’s Full Moon in Cancer on January 12th. The Moon at 23* Cancer moves into the 4th leg of the T-Square, grounding and resolving some of the issues it presents. Cancer urges us to pay attention to our emotional body, our family, our homes and our communities. We have to bring in the Divine Feminine, the source of our soul’s nourishment. What feels right must be rooted in our feminine wisdom, not in an unconscious lashing out over hurt feelings as some of our male leaders seem to be doing.

Uranus opposed Jupiter (Dec. 26th), calling for a balance of freedom and fairness in our relationships. Did you experience that? I did with my family, which was really wonderful. With both planets squaring Pluto, creating tensions that effect us and our society. Can we be civil even to those people who have ‘different’ values, especially since many times, we have the same values, just with different names? it’s so important to engage in civil discourse again, so volunteer to do it next time you find yourself in a conversation.

Pluto is moving slowly ahead to 19* Capricorn, continuing to expose what’s dead and offering us a space to imagine the possibility of new life if we let go of the old. Then if we can adapt to any opportunities which come our way, we might discover what we have to offer the future. Uranus challenges us from 21* Aries to experiment, to take ownership of our purpose this lifetime, which is to help create a new society. Forge ahead! You are a pioneer! Jupiter in Libra expands our vision of social justice and partnership possibilities. We will see may people standing up for equality of gender, sexuality, race, religion.

Mercury goes direct on Sunday, January 8th at 29* Sagittarius and will move ahead into Capricorn on January 13th. Mercury in Capricorn is practical and organized. If you didn’t do it already, clean up your files and leave space to dream.

Mars in Pisces is a spiritual warrior, more apt to stand up for others then himself. Mars squares/challenges Saturn in Sagittarius on January 19th, just minutes before the Sun enters Aquarius. What are our goals and which might need to be changed? In what ways have our goals changed since the late summer? We might have one goal at harvest time that no longer is viable as the Winter sets in. What do we want to focus on now that we see a new year shaping up?

Venus is also in Pisces, a sign she is very comfortable in. Here she can express herself as Divine Love, Compassion and Wisdom. She meets up with spiritual, imaginative Neptune hours after the Cancer Full Moon on January 12th,, adding her compassion and care to Cancer’s nurturing. Venus will square Saturn on January 27th, hours before the Aquarius New Moon, focusing us on what our compassion can accomplish if we stand for the Truth.

So, this month stay conscious of all the challenges facing our world—and facing you. Your practical mind and compassionate heart will be tested. Stay true to your values and your beliefs.

See life as an adventure and everything that happens to you as a blessing in this time of wild beauty.

Walk in the Light,