The Moon is opposite Mars and Chiron this morning and then will move into Libra where it will make its last quarter square with the Sun.
What to watch for:
With the Moon opposing Mars this morning...
* Women, mothers, and issues of health and healing
* Confrontational or challenging issues in the home, family, or property
* Moodiness and volatility
* Containment and leaks or boundaries and invasiveness
* Family karma and healing family wounds or wounds related to the mother, women, or women's health
* Controlled, practical, efficient, meets emotional, reactive, assertive, potentially volatile
So, it's a testy morning with the Moon opposite Mars and Chiron.
Next, the last quarter Moon arrives in Libra as we begin to turn inward and release the fading energy of the Moon cycle. Although this happens every month, it's an especially important last quarter Moon because our next NEW moon is a solar eclipse. This means that the releasing we are doing right now is a preparatory step for a powerful new beginning coming through in about a week from right now!
With the Moon in Libra square to the Sun and Saturn in Capricorn, we are turning inward as we explore the most balanced and mature perspectives. Nothing is perfect, and compromises are necessary, but it's also important to let go of childish, vain, superficial, or immature ideas, people, and practices if they aren't serving us any longer. However, the way in which we evolve or move on from what isn't serving us is also incredibly important. All decisions right now need to be balanced and wise, patient and discerning.
Prayer: Give us the peace to flow through difficulties and obstacles with ease. Bless us with the wisdom to know how and where to let go of the past.
The last quarter Moon is going to conjoin Pluto today and then move into a square with Uranus in Aries. Meanwhile, Venus is now moving through a trine between Mars and Saturn in Capricorn.
What to watch for:
* It's a Pluto/Uranus kind of day, which means the cathartic depth, power, and heaviness of Pluto is synching up with the rebellious, innovative, and disruptive or shocking qualities of Uranus.
* Meanwhile, with Venus enclosed between Saturn and Mars there are also strong themes of beauty, desire, grace, and containment, restraint, impulse, and action in the air.
* While spending time with the I Ching this morning the 52nd hexagram of the I Ching came up, which is called "Keeping Still" or sometimes, "Mountain." The very first line of which says, "Keeping still at the toes is auspicious." The entire hexagram displays the wisdom of keeping still from the toes all the way up to the head, but action is thought to begin in the toes and hence this line tells us to watch the toes and keep them still.
* This hexagram points to the process of slowing things down, but it also points to a situation of forced or pressured containment...of being "bound," and of how we should react to feeling stuck or trapped or suspended temporarily.
* Yesterday's I Ching study focused on hexagram 51, shock or thunder, and so today's emphasis on the 52nd hexagram fits nicely with the themes of the weekend. There are all kinds of events in the course of life that may throw us out of our center; this is natural. It's also natural that as we are finding our center more deeply and learning to separate ourselves from things that tend to keep us fragmented or scattered that all sorts of things will arise to try to throw us off center, test us, try our patience, provoke us, etc. The I Ching tells us that not only is this sequence of events natural, it is predictable. Knowing that it is predictable, we should keep steady watch at our toes, the source or starting point of action, and avoid the temptation of impulsive reactivity.
* With Venus enclosed between Saturn and Mars, we may find that deep satisfaction and beauty is available to us without needing to act on our impulses or desires.
* Contentment in life is found in the content of life. What we fill ourselves with fills us, and we are either content or discontent accordingly. Much of the time we do not stop to ask ourselves who or what we are trying to satisfy. Instead, we move from the base of intentions that we do not understand and do not care to understand, and if anyone suggests that we examine our intentions we become defiant. Our defiance in this regard is not revolutionary, or personal, and it does it awaken us to anything new. When we become defiant about things that are not good for us, we are actually predictable, impersonal, machine-like, and asleep. For example, when you try to take drugs from a drug addict, or sugary treats from a child, they become predictably defiant, they appear as though hooked directly into a machine, they lose any sense of being an individual person, and they forget the reality of others around them. :) We are all like this when it comes time to evaluate our unhealthy patterns! We find it impossible to imagine that deep beauty, harmony, and happiness can come from within, or from less, or from demonstrating patience, or from moderation.
* On the other hand, there is an art and skill (Venus) to designing or crafting something delicate, intricate, and beautiful at once. For example, while I was in India I was amazed at how much care and thoughtfulness were put into even the smallest things. Recently, I was thinking the same thing while watching my daughter bake muffins with my wife. My wife is a double Taurus and loves taking her time with things. These were simple muffins, no big deal, but for my daughter, each small step of the process was taken in very deeply and was clearly very satisfying and pleasing to her. So similarly, when we practice mindfulness, it turns out that we need less of what we desire because we have slowed down enough to experience a deeper level of joy available to us in each moment. The contentment comes from the content...it's not so much the meal we eat but the quality of the entire process that brings the soul happiness.
* When we apply this same principle of personal mindfulness to our spiritual life, then every activity can also become an activity done in the service of the divine...so we are not just thinking, "how can I get more happiness," or "what is the art of my personal moment of happiness," but "how can I make the divine happy in how I am moving through these experiences." Then our spirituality becomes relational.
Prayer: Make us relational beings. May our happiness be your happiness.
Hey Mr. Astrologist, what's the good word today?
In just a few hours the Sun will enter Aquarius and the Moon will change signs and enter Scorpio just as it makes its last quarter square with the Sun. Meanwhile, Mars and Saturn are exactly square today.
Here's what to watch for:
* Fear of the future...as Mars slices forward into the future he meets with the unknown limit, the dark and concrete, Saturn.
* The principles of limit, discipline, containment, confinement, isolation, loneliness, being matched with the principles of passion, intensity, drive, aggression, competition, and angst (Mars/Saturn).
* Tearing down something old or removing something (Mars/Saturn).
* Moving through blockages, plowing ahead (Mars/Saturn).
* Working with deadlines, limits, and harsh or severe expectations (Mars/Saturn).
* Explosions of energy that release something pent up or that damage something designed to contain (Mars/Saturn).
* The pain of a blockage and/or its removal (Mars/Saturn).
Meanwhile, the Moon is in a state of bondage with the Sun. Whenever the Moon comes to 15 degrees of a conjunction, square, or opposition of the Sun, some ancient astrologers considered the Moon to be in a state of bondage. Remembering that the Moon is a reflection of all the ups and downs of our day to day lives, we can see last quarter Moons as a moment of completing or resolving bondage. You can actually feel this if you take time to look at the Moon whenever she's in the new, first quarter, full, or last quarter phases. There is an intensity, a momentum, and a sense of something critical taking place. In the I Ching this general cyclical symbolism might be represented by the kinds of changing lines that lead from one hexagram to another, one state of the Tao turning into another. In this case, we're seeing a transition toward resolution, completion, relinquishing, resigning, or releasing. At last quarter Moons I always notice an urgency to complete whatever I'm working on, but I also notice that events tend to arise that act as miniature end-level bosses, either forcing me to forge ahead or change plans, fight through to completion or finally let something go that I no longer have the desire to stick with.
Stay tuned for more on Aquarius tomorrow! And enjoy this last-quarter bondage. :-)
Prayer: Teach us to notice the bondage of the Moon, so that we might move through these gateways of her light with grace and wisdom.
The Moon is in Leo today, just past last quarter. Meanwhile, Venus and Mars are still conjunct by degree but just beginning to separate. Jupiter is still very close by in Virgo.
A quick list of themes to watch for:
* Innocence and youth, or the appearance of innocence versus the hidden truth or secret reality of something (Mars/Venus in Virgo with Mercury in Scorpio)
* Subliminal messages, subtle cues or signs (Mercury in Scorpio)
* Honesty, confession, deeper sharing of feelings/thoughts (Mercury in Scorpio)
* The desire for achievement/advancement/security/power at all costs (Sun in Scorpio sextile Pluto in Capricorn)
* The meeting of minds, the sharing of thoughts, the education of the older by the younger and vice versa (Jupiter/Saturn square with Venus/Mars conjoined in Virgo)
* The hard reality of something versus the dream/ideal images we've been living with..disillusionment, intoxication, facing the hard/simple facts (Saturn square Neptune)
* Figuring out the difference between a truth and a grudge or anger or bitterness or self righteousness (Saturn in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces)
* Spying, voyeurism, secrets, hidden desires, plotting and scheming, or slips of the tongue/speech that reveal (Mercury in Scorpio)
* A faceoff or standoff between two egos (Sun in Scorpio/Moon in Leo)
* Being seduced/hypnotized/persuaded by something unhealthy or suspecting someone or something unnecessarily (Mercury in Scorpio trine to Neptune in Pisces)
The look of this last quarter Moon has to do with the abdication of power, of the "throne" so to speak. What happens when some element of our lives, some phase or season, is up? It's hard to let go, it's hard to go down easy. There is a lot to fear in the transition between life and death, between one world and the next....but we can either make these transitions bravely or we can resist the natural course of things and potentially poison the environment with our resistance.
Prayer: Help us to trust the changes of Autumn.
The last quarter Moon is in Gemini today, applying to square Jupiter and Neptune while also making a trine to Mercury before squaring the Sun by this evening.
A day where both of the lights are pointing us toward Mercury. Meanwhile Mercury is in an applying sextile to stationing Venus in Leo (about to turn direct over the weekend).
Translation: Something is being summarized, finalized, integrated, revised, or finishing touches are being added to a process of some kind. We're making sure we've said everything that needs to be said, put everything in its right place, leveled or balanced the ledgers or the look of something, agreed or negotiated our way to the appropriate resolution, or even committed ourselves to the correct course of action after needing to make constant or small adjustments. Communication and technology issues might be at the forefront as Mercury prepares to go retrograde again later this month, and in the meantime Mercury is about to communicate something powerful, romantic, proud, confident, and beautiful. A statement or summary expressed in art or affection might be coming soon, or even a declaration of confidence and belief in something learned or gained over the past several months.
As Venus stations to turn direct, strength is returning to Venus governed matters..whether that's health, romance, personal confidence or pride...a sense of relief and transformed self esteem might be on its way after the long summer retrograde. If a transformation of lifestyle, finances, appearance, or aesthetic has been under way then expect to see the changes begin to integrate and become natural over the next month or so.
Also watch for an increasing awareness of how we speak or communicate with each other. The need for greater diplomacy, tact, kindness, sensitivity, poise, subtlety, and sophistication intellectually will be increasing during our upcoming retrograde period.
Remember that a lesson understood is not necessarily a lesson learned. A lesson learned takes time and repeated attempts at the implementation of our understanding, especially as we practice what we've learned in our relationships.
Prayer: While finishing, remember to move mindfully...the young fox who has not acquired caution may get his tail wet just before he finishes crossing over the river (I Ching #64)
The Moon is exalted in Taurus today, applying to make its last quarter by tonight with the Sun in Leo. Meanwhile, Mars is finally out from the rays of the Sun and will soon leave its fall in Cancer. Mercury is conjoined with Venus today and about to square Saturn in Scorpio, and Jupiter will soon enter Virgo.
Coming to the last quarter of a Moon cycle means coming to grips with the end of another cycle. The last quarters of each moon cycle often leave us with the fruits of our labor, or the integral wisdom of the monthly round. Sometimes they also present difficulties, challenges, or setbacks that generally require letting go or starting to shift gears and change focus for the upcoming cycle (like new seeds falling into the ground).
This past cycle has been full of challenges. Perhaps most specifically the challenges have been generational. With Jupiter and Saturn squared to one another it's been an interesting dialogue between generations, between the old and the new, the conservative and idealist, the faithful and the doubtful. As these conversations are past their peak, we should remember that they will come back in a different from next winter/spring as Jupiter and Saturn will square once more.
In addition to the Jupiter/Saturn square we've been working with Venus retrograde in Leo. The subjects of pride, recognition, authority, and ego have all been front and center. As Venus has been in the square with Saturn once more the conversation has been generational. It's been about what we find embarrassing about ourselves or those we're associated with. It's been about revising our friendships and relationships as we see more clearly than ever exactly how we are valued or judged, fairly or unfairly, kindly or cruelly, justly or unjustly. It's about feeling betrayed or let down...but it's also been about the natural purging of relationships that aren't worthy of our heartfelt sincerity. Sometimes relationships are purged simply by removing the power we give them over us....then the relationship continues but never again with the same unequal power dynamic. Other times the person or people have to be literally removed from our lives.
Also the subjects of letting go, hoping, wishing, dreaming, and idealizing, versus resisting, holding back, holding in, denying, resisting, or blocking....it's likely that blocks have been removed..even if they've felt like thorns being pulled lately.
And generosity...with all this Leo energy in the air...how do we make room for others, give royally from our hearts, and honor or recognize the essential dignity of others? If we haven't made it a practice before, maybe we're starting to understand the need for it now...it's not enough to simply think of those who are different from ourselves as "odd, strange, weird, not together, over the top," or whatever else.
A short list of what to watch for today:
* Communicative standoffs or shutdowns or blockages
* Unclear or withholding information
* A messenger asking for something that somebody else doesn't want to give or provide
* Not getting the best out of each other
* Heart centered communication, requests for clarity, honesty, openness
* The tide is slowly turning..momentum building, a feeling of "can do it" coming back
* A royal congregation, entourage, an intervention
* A messenger or diplomat acting on behalf of a reasonable request, the message is received, and blockage or denial isn't as strong...more is coming
* Change of style, aesthetic, or approach under way
* Revisiting or revising relationships from the past
* The old man who refuses to die or relinquish power or control, inflicts his issues on others...another "50 something white man attacks movie theater"
Prayer: Heart, strength, courage, and faith...this is my prayer, in the secret, this is my practice
It's last quarter Moon today, as the Moon in Aries squares the Sun in Cancer. Simultaneously, the Moon in Aries will be engaging her mutual reception with Mars in Cancer, and squaring Pluto in Capricorn.
Here's a list of what to watch for given these signatures in the sky right now:
* Role reversals and changes of power or position
* The weak becoming strong and the strong becoming weak
* Generational transformation
* Mutually beneficial strategies
* Healing wisdom transferred from one generation to the next
* Saving grace, healing actions, plans, strategies
* Family, ancestral work, land, property, contentiousness, inheritance, taxes, loans, and negotiations over assets or shared/historical wealth and power
As our last quarter Moon is the harvest of the summer solstice's cycle this year, many of the changes we're experiencing right now are initiating things that will take shape over the course of the rest of this summer season, including our upcoming Jupiter/Saturn square, Saturn's next station, Uranus' station, Mars' slow exit from the Sun's rays, Jupiter's entrance into Virgo, and Venus' retrograde. To put it simply, the next two Moon cycles should continue and deepen the complexities, joys, and challenges of all that we've been doing for the past month now. Knowing this we can move with the times more gracefully.
Prayer: Help us to see the hands of the harvester. Help us to feel that these changes and results are the presence of an intelligence inviting us once more to participate in an everlasting divine relationship.
The Moon is in late Pisces and about to enter Aries where she will begin her last quarter aspect to the Moon. Over the next two days the first Moon cycle of summer will begin disseminating her gifts and learning lessons. As the last quarter Moon will be in the sign of Aries, and the Sun in Cancer, this disseminating moment will likely bring up the Moon/Mars mutual reception between the Moon and Mars in each other's signs. In horary astrology there are certain conditions in which this aspect might allow for a role reversal or swapping of places between the planets, symbolically. The Moon and Mars will be doing things for each other's benefit, or they might share a mutual concern of some kind that may turn their normally contentious relationship (Moon/Mars don't exactly resonate in terms of their qualities) into something advantageous.
With the Moon and Mars highlighted at this last quarter moment, we might think of any of the following themes resonant:
* A person in a weak position being empowered by someone in a stronger position
* Anger and strong emotions finding appropriate outlets for expression or action
* Home, property, ancestry, family, the past, and conflicts, aggression, desire, sickness, and impulse all coming together to accomplish something
* Women's health and empowerment
* A need addressed or advocated for
* Role reversals...the weak are made strong and the strong are made weak
* Negotiating power or leverage shifts in a negotiation
* The tables are turned compared to a situation in the past
Remember that in the last quarter situation we're outlining, Mars is in a weaker position because of its proximity to the Sun and because of its sign placement in Cancer. So the situation implies a time where the Moon and Mars are going to work together to overcome a moment where Mars might otherwise be considered relatively impotent. It should be an interesting next few days!
Prayer: The warrior and the mother are coming together to accomplish something. Help me now to learn and listen.
It's last quarter moon today, which means we're at the last critical turn of our current moon cycle. From here until new moon next week the light of the moon will gradually disappear into blackness again. Traditionally the moon's power to act was associated with the quality of its light. Waxing moons were generally thought of has having more influence whereas waning moons were thought to have less. In modern astrology it's also common to associate the darker moon periods with the thinning of the veil, or the dark mysteries of the unconscious or sacred feminine. Last quarters in particular have frequently been spoken of as the harvesting time of the moon's cycle. If full moon represents a culmination, then the last quarter moon is like the harvesting of whatever built up and fruited through the full moon.
As we harvest the fruits of this particular cycle we're looking at the mutable qualities of Gemini and Pisces in combination. This month it's been all about the mind, our beliefs, perceptions, communication, ideals and ideas, the unknown or unknowable, the limits of rationality, spiritual escapism, walking our talk, and shifting our point of view. Today's astrology especially highlights the confrontation between the rational mind and the true believer, or the faith filled hopeful enthusiast and the careful, skeptical thinker. We have gurus, devotees, and higher truth mixed with logic, reason, and open mindedness.
For example, in the past 48 hours I've received three different emails from students or friends asking me what I think of several different articles on the nature of archetypes and the birth chart. Each person asked me the same thing, "Are we our birth charts?" "What is the birth chart describing?" and "Do archetypes keep us in our head?"
Within each question is a reflection of the current planetary weather. To a certain extent the questions are traps because there isn't just one way of answering them and in my opinion there doesn't need to be. Some people say our charts describe our souls, others say the chart is only describing the ego. Some people say astrology is a soul "science," and that our souls have a specific blue print (so to speak), while others say that who we are is ultimately unknowable or indescribable by means of the intellect or language.
Some say the chart describes the psyche or our psychology while others believe it describes the evolutionary path of the soul back to source or god. Some say that astrology is a form of divination while others insist it's an objectively verifiable science (we've just yet to find the right method for testing its results).
In terms of archetypes, some astrologers use the word to refer very specifically to a metaphysical point of view that sees the predictable moving dynamics of the planets as various spheres of consciousness interacting to create various worlds of co-creative possibilities, while others use the word to basically mean "a multidimensional category."
Some people say that you can evolve beyond your chart, while others think you are more or less defined or limited by your chart. Some people say more fate and less free will, others say it in reverse. Some people say astrology keeps you in categorical thinking, others say it puts you in relationship with the gods and many forms of consciousness that are part of our nature.
At the end of the day it's my feeling that there's something interesting in all the different conclusions we come to about astrology. Just like there's something interesting about all the different ways we think about most anything we're interested in. To my mind there are two traps in astrology we have to be careful of. One is the trap of trying to over define or over defend the philosophical positions we have about astrology. Two is the trap of throwing astrology out or oversimplifying things whenever we find its intellectual paradoxes or intricacies frustrating. Better to continue astrologizing than get jammed up because of ideas about astrology.
So for me, when I received the sudden flurry of philosophical questions about the nature of the birth chart, my first response was not to see them as literal questions that needed literal answers. First I saw the planets within the questions. I saw the questioning mind and its curious explorations (Gemini), running up against the overwhelming face of the other worldly or transcendent beyond (Pisces). I saw the entire mutable signature of this month, along with the mercury retrograde, and it put me in touch with something happening at the moment I received the questions rather than only a question needing an answer. Seeing the astrology within the questions I received revealed something hidden but it simultaneously pointed toward something concealed even more deeply within. I got that mysterious and exciting feeling...astrology is happening right now.
Some people might say that it's a cop out to say that the questions I received simply reflect the current astrology. Some people would say I'm not taking the questions seriously by doing this. But I believe it's the ongoing practice of astrologizing that really matters if you're going to do astrology, which isn't any different than a musician who simply hears music in everything. If I go up to a poet or musician and I say, "I'm wondering about whether or not god exists," the poet or musician will probably turn that question into a statement and let it be the first line of a poem, or the first beat of a rhythm appearing in their head. The rational mind is only a problem that needs solving when we take it too seriously to begin with. The ego is only a big problem that needs solving when we take it too seriously to begin with. When we continue astrologizing, all of our questions about astrology are continually being answered in different ways at different times, until our attempts to harness the power of astrology by our thoughts ABOUT astrology are no longer fruitful or interesting and we've gotten comfortable simply "doing" astrology and letting the experiences speak for themselves.
If someone asks a musician "why" they play music, they will probably say, "because I like to," or "because I love it." So why do we do astrology? Because we like it.
If someone says to a musician, "What is music good for, and what does it achieve, and how should it be used?" A musician would probably say, "It's good for a lot of different things. It achieves too many things to name, and it should be used to make good music."
Prayer: What's good music? Depends on who is listening.
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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.