Happy Spring Equinox and Full Moon everyone!
n the next 24 hours, the Sun will pass through the gateway of the Spring Equinox and enter the fiery and energizing sign of the Ram, Aries. Just as it does so, the Moon will be full in the sign of the Scales, Libra, and Venus and Jupiter, the two benefics, will form a sextile and rain down their blessings.
Here's what to watch for:
* The Sun's entrance into the sign of Aries heralds the dawn of zodiacal Spring, which also means that we are now moving into the "yang" half of the solar year from the standpoint of the zodiac's symbolic orientation in the northern hemisphere. The days will be longer than shorter now all the way until the Sun enters Libra.
* The basic meaning of the Sun in Aries has thus been associated with youth, energy, upward and outward movement, virility, fire, light, heat, and the moment of the scales tipping or of the light taking over from out of the darkness of the yin half of the year and the winter season.
* Think about it, everything you've ever heard about the sign of Aries, from bravery and courage to competition, dominance, and self-centeredness, correspond very simply to the moment where the scales tip in favor of the light. The light takes over and begins to dominate the yin, or the darkness, which can be translated in terms of the qualities so easily associated with Aries. It is an initiating, cardinal or "tropical" sign. The word "tropical" comes from the word "tropos," which means "to turn." So Aries energy is almost always associated with energy that moves, swiftly, as though turning, initiating a takeover of the yang.
* Accordingly, the Spring Equinox has long been the starting point of the tropical zodiac, which is first and foremost a mathematical circle divided into twelve portions by virtue of the Sun's movement through the ecliptic from our perspective.
* Why start the zodiac with Aries? Because ancient astrology is oriented in relation to the Sun, and light, and this is the time of year when the light takes over and begins its dominance. This is the turning point of the light. Some might say that the winter solstice turns us toward the light as well, and its true that it is a seeding moment in the solar year, but just as the birth chart is oriented toward "first appearances," with the ascending sign defining the orientation of the chart in the eastern sky at the time of birth, so too is the zodiac itself established in relation to the first appearance of the "yang" coming out of the yin half of the year, which corresponds to the first signs of life emerging again in Spring.
* Remember, the language is symbolic and although the circle is oriented from a specific place on earth, the orientation is archetypal and therefore the language of the system of astrology is valid from any place on the planet, including the southern hemisphere.
* But what about this Equinox in particular? Isn't it substantial that it's taking place at the time of a Full Moon in Libra and the benefics are getting together in a harmonious sextile?
* One hint that may help us interpret the meaning of this Equinox comes from understanding the dignity of the Sun in Aries, which is the place of its exaltation. As light and life and the yang is now rising, the Sun is said to be "exalted" in the sign of the Ram. Traditionally, all the fire signs were also called "royal," and the element of fire occupied the highest elemental sphere and was closest among the elements to the strata of the planets. In a Platonic sense, the Sun in Aries is, therefore, both subtle, light, energetic, clarifying, and action-oriented, like a philosopher-King. At its best, The Sun in Aries is like a powerful leader who is both wise, kind, subtle, and strong. A wise leader knows what actions to take but also knows precisely HOW to take those actions so that they gain the support of others in the process.
* With the Moon simultaneously rising Full right now in the sign of the scales, Libra, we are also presented with an image of wise judgment or discernment, of the need to weigh and balance our options, to choose wisely, and fairly, and to consider the need for both beauty, truth, and goodness at the same time.
* There is a teaching from the oldest of the Chinese classics, the I Ching, from the 42nd hexagram, called "Increase." It depicts the blessings of heaven, of teachers, gurus, sages, Kings, or those with power or authority, raining down generously on those below. The basic teaching of the hexagram is that the natural position of divinity is to supply creation with the facility it needs to achieve its desires. "Ask, and you shall receive. Knock, and the door will be opened."
* The first two lines of the hexagram offer a few more important lessons. The first is that given that heaven is always dispensing its blessings and providing us with the facility to achieve our desires, we should be absolutely sure that we use whatever is given to us in service to divinity, or a higher cause, especially when some unexpected windfall or blessing comes to us. The auspiciousness of receiving something great is actually the opportunity we are being given to make a great offering in return. The second lesson has to do with the trouble we attract if we do not have a higher cause or source to serve when given greater facility. Without this, we aren't likely to recognize and fully appreciate the gift giver, and the responsibility that comes with being a recipient of some act of benevolence or grace.
* When these two lines change, hexagram 59 appears, called "dispersion." The hexagram depicts wind moving over the water, dispersing it in all directions. The hexagram also tells the story of a King, who saw that after a joyous gathering, his people's energy was scattering in all directions and hence losing focus. In other words, they were getting a little too high on the "good times." It was at just this time that the wise King decided to make a journey to a distant temple, to offer something up to his ancestors and to the gods. His immediate absence after the celebration would help the people to quickly retain a concern for safety and order, while also helping them return to their spiritual center.
* Similarly, though the Equinox brings with it the swift action and fiery blessings of Spring, and with it new facilities and new blessings from heaven symbolized by Venus and Jupiter's sextile, we should be wise and discerning, like the scales of the Full Moon in Libra, knowing both where to apply this energy and to whom or what we owe our allegiance and devotion, lest we get too high on the newness of the moment and scatter our energy or focus in too many directions at once.
Prayer: We thank you for every blessing and excitement, for the fullness of the life that you give us, endlessly. May we come to recognize the proper use of what we are given, and may you always be our prayerful remembrance.
We're heading into a full Moon weekend, while Mars is coming to conjoin Saturn in a close square to the Full Moon and Mercury is also moving back into the square with Mars and Saturn.
Here's what to watch for:
* Another astrologer friend of mine recently said that Mars and Saturn together are like "driving with the brakes on." This is a good description overall right now because with so many planets in Aries squared up to Mars and Saturn in Capricorn (not to mention Pluto!), there is a stop and go quality indicated by the planets right now.
* You may experience this in terms of a process being pulled back, drawn inward, stopped, halted, doubted, blocked, reconsidered, or temporarily suspended.
* Be careful of joy-kills. There is a way to say or discuss difficult subjects without discouraging others. There is a way to explore doubts without losing faith, and there is a way to work hard without exhausting ourselves or others.
* When we are young or when something is fresh and new it's also especially important not to expose it to too many challenging elements too quickly. Fostering and nurturing something from the ground up requires patience and discipline, not to mention enthusiasm and determination. These qualities are also indicated by the youthful spring energy combining by square with the wintry Mars and Saturn in Capricorn energies.
* Be careful of idleness. When we get stuck in a temporary jam, a space of doubt or uncertainty, or a time of setbacks or blocks, it's easy to quit or give up. But instead, the I Ching tells us to recognize the moment as a time for recharging power or regaining inner strength before going out again.
* The 26th hexagram of the I Ching is in fact sometimes called "Recharging power."
* The third line of the 26th hexagram also says that the wise person will remain focused on their goals and will continue to find ways of moving forward during times of hindrance (rather than becoming idle or stagnant) as well remaining on defense after breakthroughs (not getting cocky and making the same mistakes twice).
* The implicit message of this changing line is that we often get stuck because of our own actions, in which case we have to recognize that the blockage is really a pregnant pause...an invitation and opportunity to examine our motivations, our actions, and their consequences. Once we've taken this cue from the Tao, and not gotten lazy in the meantime but kept moving forward in whatever small ways we can, a breakthrough will occur. The next instruction is to learn the lesson and stay on guard moving forward.
* Pride comes before falls, and often after falls as well, and often after recovery from falls.
* We children of the post-modern era are generally averse to the word "discipline." With good reason. We don't want to see anyone treated unfairly or without dignity. This is actually a deeply spiritual motivation because on the level of the soul, we are all equals, we are each part and parcels of the divine. However, in this material reality, we are equal to one another in a huge and diverse variety of ways. Spiritual discipline is necessary specifically so that we do not get lost in the material realm and begin thinking of ourselves and others through the lens of all the material categories that tend to strip us or each other of our inherent equality as souls. We need spiritual discipline because there is a big difference between the intellectual idea of spiritual equality (our inherent, shared, dignity as souls) and the living realization of that equality. The word "discipline" has connotations related to self-mortification and austerities, but its root etymological meaning is related both to "learning" and to "discipleship." To become devoted to a path of spiritual learning requires a high level of commitment and sticktoitiveness. This transit may ask us to grade ourselves with regard to our spiritual practices or spiritual lifestyle, overall. How are we doing? Where is their room for improvement? We might have the right "ideas" and we might say the right things, but are we walking our talk?
* Similarly, to pursue any of our goals, success requires commitments, and commitments are not always easy. Commitments require some sacrifices. The following example is sometimes used: if a masterful musician doesn't practice for one day she notices it; if she doesn't practice for two days then her instructor notices it, and if she doesn't practice for three days then everyone notices it.
* On the other hand, if we are driving forward with something and our core motivation is selfish. If we desire something and we're putting all of our energy into it so that we can have a platform from which to lord our results over others, then this transit is a good reminder that this kind of ambition will end up hurting us or others. It's just not worth it.
We'll continue to explore this transit over the weekend. Meanwhile, my next year-long online apprenticeship/certification course, "Ancient Astrology for Modern Times," begins on June 10th! I hope to see some of you there. If you have questions or want more details, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer: Give us the courage to see every roadblock, doubt, labor, or hardship as an opportunity for the deepening of our love, commitment, and devotion. Soften our hearts, and give us your spirit of generosity.
Happy Full Moon everyone!
Late tonight the Moon will conjoin Uranus as it becomes full. Meanwhile, at nearly the exact same time Mercury will be square to Pluto. Here's what to watch for...
* Truth and disclosure (Mercury/Pluto)
* Revelations and propaganda (Mercury/Pluto)
* Disinformation, spin, and manipulation of facts (Mercury/Pluto)
* Media meltdowns (Mercury/Pluto)
* Empowered speech (Mercury/Pluto)
* A big announcement (Mercury/Pluto)
* Important information received (Mercury/Pluto)
* Secrets and spying or monitoring (Mercury/Pluto)
* Covert tactics, agreements, deals (Mercury/Pluto)
* Conspiracy and the paranoia of conspiracy (Mercury/Pluto)
* The unconscious speaks (Mercury/Pluto)
* Speaking the truth after holding it in (Mercury/Pluto)
* Transformation or challenges related to transit, vehicles, traffic (Mercury/Pluto)
* A major transformation of circumstances related to the Mercury ruled areas of your chart, or the places ruled by Capricorn and Libra.
* A revolution in the home (Uranus/Full Moon)
* The people stand up, stand against, unite toward (Uranus/Full Moon)
* Political, social, cultural revolution, or the foreshadowing of one (Uranus/Full Moon with Jupiter/Uranus coming in December)
* Issues with paternity, creative ownership or responsibility, fathers, or traditional authority figures (Sun opposite Uranus)
* A burst of powerful creative or innovative energy (Sun opposite Uranus, Full Moon with Uranus)
* Shocking or unpredictable events in public (Uranus/Full Moon)
* Events beyond our control that serve to shock, inspire, and evolve our lives rapidly
Prayer: Help us to remember the emptiness in the midst of this fullness.
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Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.