As the Moon moves through a series of conjunctions to Saturn, the South Node, and Pluto in Capricorn today, Pluto is stationing to turn retrograde and Saturn will also be turning retrograde in the next week as it moves into a conjunction with the south node.
Here's what to watch for:
* Reversals. Retrogrades often bring reversals of fortune. Whether we are losing something that was gained or giving up something that we've been invested in, the theme of reversal is in the air right now.
* Contraction. Saturn and Pluto with the South Node all point toward consolidation and contraction. Trimming down. Cutting out. Tightening up. Simplifying. Purging. Focusing. Judging and eliminating. Detaching. Reducing. It's that kind of time.
* Transforming the structures of our lives. Remodeling, gutting, or replacing foundations.
* Weighty events, grave, serious, and consequential, forcing us to rethink, relinquish, resist, or rectify.
* The sense that something of deeper significance is at work, churning, contracting, forcing our hand.
* The tangible sense of being oppressed, weighed down or victimized by forces outside of one's control.
* Failure, defeat, humiliation, or suffering as agents of immediate change. A change of priorities that comes swiftly and is serious and straight to the point.
* The need to deepen and solidify commitments, to set aside anything that isn't absolutely necessary, to refine, shape, structure, and crystalize a new form through the catharsis of major life events happening in rapid succession.
* An obsession with getting down to the most basic or the most essential. The overwhelming desire to contain, control, define or hold what is too vast, deep, or powerful for anyone to hold.
* Being taken over by something that we thought we could handle. Having to wave the white flag and say, "I'm in over my head."
* All of this is, of course, a preview of the Saturn/Pluto conjunction that is coming next winter. The process is now well underway.
* There is a lesson for us in all of thsi if we are willing to listen, and it has to do with recognizing our limitations. One of the most common lessons we are each learning, over, and over, and over again, is that we are not in control of the Universe. In fact, most days we aren't in control of our own minds, our impulses, desires, and actions. We are swerve drivers. And at some point, our attempt to control, consume, and stay ahead of the curve catches up to us, as in a dream where we cannot run at just the time when we need to run, or walk when we need to walk. Our legs become heavy. The machinery of our lives begins to glitch and our signal, the hologram body, starts to flicker. We are possessed by that which we possess, and brought down by that which we have attempted to control.
* However, for those who recognize this, moments of breakdown, moments of reversal and contraction, are joyous and relieving. Ahh, the soul sighs...now I can return to the plain truth. Now I can deal with the refreshment of reality as it is, not as I've been pretending it to be.
* The attempt to avoid the reality of Saturn and Pluto is like the attempt to dress up a corpse and pretend that it is alive. We aren't made for this kind of dishonesty.
Prayer: Let the dead bury the dead. Call us home and teach us to relinquish all control and all sense of proprietorship, so that we might know what it means to be held and owned by your love.
Over the next week, Mercury will be not moving more than one degree while it is in a square with Saturn who is also preparing to station and turn retrograde. Mercury will thus be in an applying square to Saturn between now and the end of the month. That's a whole lot of Mercury/Saturn to come!
Here's what to watch for:
* Mercury in Aries and Saturn in Capricorn combine fire and earth, which are incompatible elements that tend to conflict with each other. Fire is hot and dry, while earth is cold and dry. If fire is enthusiasm, then earth wants to cool and contain it. If fire is faith or certainty, vision or action, then Earth may have its doubts, may feel that fire is impractical or may seek to contain, hold, control, or make fire more "functional," potentially killing the mood or spirit of fire. On the other hand, where earth has a plan, where earth has a structure, where earth is proposing greater wisdom, rationality, or common sense, fire may be willfully defiant, rebelliously disregarding or even disrepsecting the careful and methodical processes of earth. Earth may be looking for tradition, conservation, method, and measure, while fire may wish to selfishly discard these things in favor of blazing its own trail or being willfully ignorant of something that is commonsensical. Earth may be exhausting the fire and making us sluggish, or fire may be exhausting the earth and making us feel burnt out.
* When fire and earth work together, we have passion in practical service. We have a measured but visionary response. We have method and enthusiasm in cooperation. We have maturity and strength, tradition and individuality working as one.
* It is inevitable, karmic, destined, or fated, that some of us will have to experience the clash of these symbolic/elemental dynamics in the next few weeks. How we respond to these elemental dynamics is also a matter of how we utilize our free will. We should never be so blind to think that we have no role to play in the unfolding of our lives but never so arrogant to think that we are in control of everything. Both extremes tend toward seeing ourselves and one another as impersonal and objective, rather than personal and relational.
* Among many other things, Mercury is the mind, speech, communication, highly developed skills, learning, technology, information, messages, invention, translation, and interpretation, whereas Saturn is ignorance, darkness, the maturity of age and time, death and disease, mortality, structure, discipline, loneliness or isolation, and things that are abandoned or outcast. When the two get together by square they are relating to one another through the language of Mars (ancient astrology tells us that squares are of the nature of Mars).
* The desire to control, squelch, direct, kill, extinguish, or exhaust someone's enthusiasm, speech or mind is a temptation to avoid right now. Similarly, the combination of Mercury and Saturn represents the fortification of the mind. If someone or something is trying to kill your joy or enthusiasm, if someone is trying to control you or tell you how to think, and it's not an instruction you've asked for, then you may find yourself needing to fortify and defend your mind from those invasive or domineering influences.
* On the other hand, sometimes our willfull, youthful, and rebellious nature, especially mentally or verbally, needs to be reformed. This transit may very naturally teach us to be less impulsive, self-centered, competitive, loud, fast, and furious...especially mentally or verbally. Sometimes we mistakenly think that the only way to communicate something is to do so with power, force, volume, or vigor. On the other hand, sometimes we mistakenly think that the only way to communicate something is to do so with as much control and reference to authority or structures of authority as possible. We forget how to be human; we forget how to be individuals because we worship structures of the mind rather than our various structures of the mind being employed to help us worship the divine.
* I refuse to think. I refuse to discuss issues or topics that are challenging or that require patience and careful or mature and compassionate reasoning. This is a problem. Sometimes people mistakenly think that spirituality involves ditching or not using the mind. People think that spirituality is nothing more than nice feelings, relaxation, beauty, and general kindness to others. These qualities are of course an important by-product of spiritual life, but if we refuse to think or if we refuse to consider the larger questions of life, "Why am I here?" "Am I more than my body?" "If I am an eternal spirit/soul, then how should I live?" "What does it mean to have a spiritual practice, and why should I have one at all?" Sometimes people say, "get out of your head and into your heart," forgetting that heart-centered practices, in fact, lead to heart-centered intelligence.
* We'll continue to look at this for the rest of the month!
Prayer: Mold our minds into the shape of our eternal selves, a pair of completely unique hands, pressed together in loving prayer. Make our minds a temple, free of the white noise of me and mine, and full of the flowering songs of devotion.
Saturn stationing to turn retrograde is like...
* Stopping something before you get in over your head
* Biding your time
* Strategizing for a later advance
* Thinking it over
* A breakdown of rules, structures, and forms of conduct
* A reconsideration or revisioning of forms, structures, and rules
* Releasing an embittered or dogmatic perspective
* Shutting down rather than opening up
* Melancholia on the rise
* Facing the inevitable
* The destabilization of foundations or the ruin, decay, or breakdown of tradition
* A time of looking inward to find a kind of stoic acceptance
* A time of great concentration
* The death or downfall of old men, men in power, old patriarchs, etc.
* The intensification of our desire to control, harness, or contain
* The tightening of hard lines, boundaries, limits or barriers
* Rejection, the cosmic "no," defeat, and inhibition
* Black and white thinking amplified
* Serious, focused, mature and responsible attitudes
* What we can and can't hold or contain
* The desire to return to a "good old" time or a "good old way" of doing things
* Generational breakdowns, torch passing
* The end of an era
* The feeling of being on hold, of one part of you waiting and waiting for being released from some duty, obligation, or confining set of circumstances
* Creative tunnel vision
* The collapse or failure of time-tested _____ (fill in the blank)
* A change or transformation to deeply held principles
* Standstills or standoffs
* Delays with regard to structural or procedural issues
* Fated events change attitudes, knowledge, or beliefs
And the list could go on!
Prayer: Help us to find the freedom within every limit, the release of expectations within the performance of every duty, and the carefree joy and spontaneity held in the secret chambers of responsibility.
What a week of astrological transits we have in front of us...
Here's what to watch for:
* Over the next week + the Sun will oppose Jupiter, square Pluto, and conjoin Uranus.
* Over the next week Saturn will station and turn retrograde
* In a little over a week Venus will station and turn direct
* In the next week Venus will exactly square Saturn and then station and slowly turn direct while Saturn is doing the same thing, making for a kind of ongoing standoff between the two planets all month.
* It's first quarter Moon today.
* In the next week Mercury will station and turn retrograde.
* In the next week we'll have a full moon activating the t-square.
WHAAAA! That's a lot to take in. Here are some big themes to watch for...
* As the Sun enters the t-square you may feel inspired, bold, courageous, and determined. Taking actions, entering the fray, and pushing your agenda forward may come naturally. However, whatever the Sun's agenda might represent, it's sure to be met with challenges from people who make the rules, bend the rules, or simply don't like your energy, charisma, or gusto. Challenges to our authority and determination are always a call to reflect a little more before we react, strategize rather than bulldoze our way through, and to check in and understand our own personal motivations.
* In a mundane sense, we are likely to see heads of state, leaders, people in power, or people with the power to judge or decide things entering into a time of turmoil, change, and challenge. It's a time where we might see heroes emerging to challenge the unfairness or corruption of something, as well as the continued attempts by people in power to bully and dominate as a way of advancing their agendas. More on this in the days to come!
* Venus and Saturn stationing and entering into a month long stand-off, alongside of a Mercury retrograde, has the look and feel of a diplomatic or relational standoff. In both our personal lives and the political world, watch as we encounter all manner of obstructions to harmony. But for a more detailed analysis of Venus/Saturn check out yesterday's horoscope here (http://www.nightlightastrology.com/…/a-long-venussaturn-squ…).
* Mercury's upcoming retrograde will also eventually conclude with Mercury stationing to turn direct in a conjunction with Uranus as the morning star. Mercury is about to delve into the underworld only to eventually emerge bright, strong, and with a groundbreaking announcement, piece of information, idea, epiphany, invention, or breakthrough to share with you and with the world. In the meantime, as Mercury stations in the next week we should expect to see the typical Mercury station themes: breakdowns, blips, and Freudian slips, delays, distortions, and misunderstandings, specifically in communication or travel or transit or information, or synchronistic events, conversations, communication, information and ideas. Mercury's station to retrograde also brings the beginning of an inner period of revision, recollection, and transformation, usually in terms of our mind, thoughts, and patterns of communication or organization, etc.
* Today the first quarter Moon points to a moment of tension, creative conflict, and energetic breakthrough. First quarter Moons usually give us a very good sense of what themes and issues, what people and conversations, which themes, struggles, lessons, and joys will be pronounced for the rest of the cycle, or at least through the Full Moon. This is true for us personally as well as in relationship to things happening in the collective.
Prayer: Teach us to feel the weight and wisdom of history, but let us stay as ethereal as the cycles of the planets and their ever-dancing lights.
Let's take a deeper look at Mars' retrograde today.
Currently Mars is just 18 days away from turning retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius. Meanwhile Saturn has also turned retrograde in Sagittarius, and sitting sandwiched between Mars and Saturn is the heart of the Scorpion star, Antares. This line up emphasizes the more extreme, Mars like qualities in the upcoming weeks. Saturn being incredibly slow right now and right there in the mix doesn't exactly lighten the load either. So what should we look for and how should we respond to or work with these celestial omens?
* The tendency to overreact
* Hostile, inflammatory responses
* Going to "war" about something, everything
* Fighting for beliefs, ideals, convictions
* Philosophical, religious, political, cultural extremes
* Principles before people
* Bullying, intractable people
* Inflammation, heat, fire
* Cutting/weapons/explosions/containment of heat or fire
* Temper, mood swings, flying off the handle
* Militarism, resistance to authority, corrupt authority figures
* Overstating, overreaching, aggrandizing, pride before a fall
* Being stung or shocked or surprised by something sharp, attacking, aggressive, or malicious
* Fighting a good fight, demonstrating courage, sticking to our principles, staying disciplined, focused, committed
* Learning to control or harness anger, internalizing principles rather than expressing them forcibly or outwardly
These are just a few archetypal themes that come to mind, but we will add others and meditate on specific themes as the transit intensifies.
During my meditation time this morning I took some time to re-read several passages from Thich Nhat Hanh's book "Anger." In one of the opening passages he wrtes, "Not only do we nourish our anger with edible food, but also through what we consume with our eyes, ears, and consciousness. The consumption of cultural items is also linked to anger. Therefore, developing a strategy for consuming is very important." He shortly goes on to say "You need to sustain your mindfulness for a certain amount of time in order for the flower of anger to open herself. It's like when you cook potatoes; you put the potatoes in the pot, cover it, and put it on the fire. But even with a very high flame, if you turn the fire off after five minutes, the potatoes will not be cooked. You have to keep the fire burning for at least fifteen or twenty minutes in order for the potatoes to cook. After that, you open the lid, and you smell the wonderful potatoes. Your anger is like that--it needs to be cooked. At the beginning it is raw. You cannot eat raw potatoes. Your anger is very difficult to enjoy, but if you know how to take care of it, to cook it, then the negative energy of your anger will become the positive energy of understanding and compassion."
During this transit, I am envisioning all of the emphasis on Mars and the element of fire as the anger. I'm envisioning Saturn and the stations and retrogrades of the planets as the potato pot holding and cooking the anger, turning it into the flower of compassion. As a new father, Hanh strikes a chord with me when he says, "Embrace your anger with a lot of tenderness. Your anger is not your enemy; your anger is your baby...You accept your anger because you know you can take care of it; you can transform it into positive energy."
Prayer: Help us to cool the flames of our anger with the container of mindfulness, prayer, and peace. Help us to turn our anger into concentrated compassion.
For more excellent coverage on these themes and for a deeper conversation on the subject of Mars retrogrades in general, check out Chris Brennan's recent podcast talk with Austin Coppock and Nick Dagan Best. These fellas were the ones who brought it to my attention that the fixed star Antares is featured in this upcoming retrograde, and the rest of their conversation is very good for those of you looking for a meaningful talk on the subject! The link is below!
Dark moon time. The Moon is in Gemini, applying to sextile Jupiter and Uranus by this evening. Meanwhile Saturn has finally dipped back into the dark waters of Scorpio, where it will now stay until September 17th.
Let's take a deeper look at the symbolism of Saturn's retrograde into Scorpio...
Between October of 2012 and December of 2014 Saturn was transiting the sign of the Scorpion. Within weeks of Saturn's entrance into Scorpio Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the USA, creating major damage, death and destruction, not to mention flooding the global media with images of NYC under water.
Then, just as Saturn began its first retrograde in late February and into March of 2013, Pope Francis was elected the first pope from the southern hemisphere.
Next, as Saturn was stationing in its retrograde to turn direct again, Edward Snowden's disclosure of the US government's mass public surveillance programs occurred.
In it's next station to retrograde the Ebola virus outbreak in west Africa began, and its next station to direct movement the Israeli ground offensive in Gaza began and soon after the US also began airstrikes targeted at ISIS.
In each of Saturn's major turning points throughout the sign of Scorpio, events like the ones above provide insight into Saturn's symbolism. There are of course an unlimited number of events that we might choose from, from the daily and mundane to the epic and global. Notice the following themes in the events listed above:
* Water, secrecy, fears, taboos
* Cleansing, genocide, outbreaks, disease, purification
* The revelation of things hidden
* Denial or refusal to take ownership
* Avoidance or defensiveness
* Hypocrisy exposed or in the spotlight
* Unavoidable natural truths or explanations
* The decay or destruction of man made things by nature
* Psychological transformation
* Structural changes related to inner psychological changes
* Hard truths and the growing up that happens when we face difficult truths
* The mass realization of mortality, fragility, and powerlessness
As Saturn dips back into Scorpio the same kinds of issues will likely be up for review, especially as Saturn presses through the so-called "anaretic" last degree of Scorpio (29th degree), and especially as Saturn stations in its retrograde toward the end of July and early August. The idea of many modern astrologers being that the 29th degree of any sign is a critical or culminating degree that often brings up crises and difficulties or peak periods (depending on specifics of the planet(s) involved). Similarly, the stationing or retrograding of any planet is traditionally thought of as somewhat debilitating to the planet's normal actions because of its slow speed or reversed action. I sometimes think of it like drawing an upside down version of a tarot card. It's not necessarily that the card is meant to be nasty...but it has a somewhat more severe or disruptive presence within a spread.
Looking at Saturn's presence in your own chart right now can help. Is it angular, is it making aspects, entering a new house...each of these factors will contribute to a healthy interpretation of Saturn's meaning or location in your life right now.
Recall that Saturn generally relates to difficulties, restrictions, limitations, hard work, maturity, consensus or concrete reality, age, mortality, sobriety, repression, depression, seriousness, melancholy, structures, traditions, rules, gravity, and mastery.
In the sign of Scorpio we are perhaps embarking on one more season of the kind of inner growth work we did between the fall of 2012 and 2014. One more journey into the incredibly deep, psychological territory of Scorpio. Meeting our fears, seeing the hard truths, maturing through limitations, sobering by way of the more difficult facts, and learning to find trust in the midst of the darker psychological mazes of the unconscious.
The question "why" is a good one to ask and an even better one to wait patiently on for the next few months. The question "how" is also a good one to ask, but only if we're willing to receive the real answer and make the changes necessary.
Prayer: Oh lord of somber lights and the wisdom of death...keep us in good health and good faith as we learn what only you and the Scorpion together can teach.
image courtesy of creative commons:
Annnnnnd Mercury is now retrograde! Fitting with the Moon in Gemini, and Mercury in the sign of its rulership today.
So let's take a moment to do our 3x yearly reminder of why Mercury retrograde isn't something to freak out about, and let's try to discern what this particular retrograde cycle is all about...
First a few reminders about mythic Mercury:
* The symbolism of Mercury, Hermes, and the messenger of the gods is inseparable from the pattern of planetary retrogradation. Mercury retrograde isn't about Mercury "going crazy and messing up our lives," it's actually as simple as Mercury being Mercury. The back and forth and back and forth of the retrograde cycle, in general, no matter what planet we're talking about, is in keeping with Mercury's core characteristics: changeability, flightiness, messages, thinking and the mind, ideas, conversation, circuitous routes rather than linear ones, deception, double meanings, quicksilver, androgyny, etc.
* Mercury is similar to the Moon in many regards, and in fact both have associations throughout the history of astrology with the 3rd house and 3rd sign of the zodiac (Gemini). Mercury is sometimes called "the moon of the sun," and generally (like the moon) takes on the characteristics of what it is near, in aspect or dialogue with, etc. This is also an insight about the changeability of the body and the mind, the moods and thoughts of the human animal. As Mercury was considered by traditional astrologers to be an "inferior" planet, it is a planet closer to the earth, or closer to the Moon we might say. There is something common about Mercury...like the way we speak or act or think when we're not in a formal setting..when we're "on the street," so to speak. Mercury retrogrades are periods of time where lots of "common" things become vehicles for uncommon insight or wisdom...like our mailman is starting to deliver divine messages (or maybe divine bills!) rather than just advertisements or bills from the electric and cable companies.
* Mythic Hermes was a bit of a trickster. There is no quicker way to invoke the wrath of the trickster than to try and "plan" for his appearance. Delaying major contracts, purchases, or decisions might be wise during the stations of the retrograde cycle especially (when Mercury isn't moving much), but don't be fooled...Mercury can deceive and dupe us no matter what part of his cycle he's in, all year round. Retrogrades of Mercury (in my opinion) are better suited to attentiveness, double thinking, reflection, and careful revision than lots of brash forward or impulsive movements, but that doesn't mean that Mercury can't suddenly present us with some very special inspirations that we will indeed need to act upon during the retrograde cycle (especially when Mercury turns direct again). In fact, during retrogrades its often the case that Mercury will introduce things through our reflections that we can begin to implement right away...things may change a few more times in any process, and Mercury often symbolizes nothing more than the changing nature of plans and expectations.
A few pieces of advice about Mercury mess ups:
* Slowing down usually helps
* Just because something is messing up or not working or delayed doesn't mean its bad..in fact lots of times something won't work because something else will actually help us a lot more if we slow down and examine what we're doing
* Don't bitch and moan about Mercury retrogrades too much and especially not publicly...it encourages lazy astrological understanding
* Mercury isn't causing anything too happen...think about that as often as you blame Mercury
* Meltdowns and delays are messages, study them rather than facebook posting about how Mercury is screwing you up...share the message rather than just the empty sounding fact of Mercury's retrograde
Where did the saying, "Don't kill the messenger come from?" Maybe it came from Mercury retrogrades!
What does this Mercury retrograde have in store for us?
* This particular retrograde in the sign of Gemini will square Neptune twice more, and also conjoin Mars and the Sun in Gemini as it also loosely opposes Saturn in Sagittarius. This t-square alignment is powerful and emphasizes mutability and the mind.
* We are facing a philosophical transformation. Perhaps a bridging of several modes of thinking is occurring, or perhaps we're trying to reconcile one philosophical or mental tendency versus another. Dispersion versus organization of thought and activity. Mystical receptiveness versus spiritual rules and regulations. Debate and argumentation versus open exchanges and shared wisdom. Altered states of consciousness and transcendent realms versus realms of logic and structured thought. All of these themes are in the astrological air right now.
* The environment of Gemini, including the Sun and Mars is conducive to rapid dispersion and activity, while Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius is comparatively contractive and limiting. Meanwhile, Neptune in Pisces is cold and moist and receptive to both influences. It's as though a highly receptive and relaxed monk is listening carefully to the arguments of two very different philosophers, vying for the victory. The laid back monk sees through both sides of the argument...sees the world both arguments create...maybe tends to get pulled along by one side or the other back and forth...ponders whether or not synthesis is possible or even desirable...might need to consider that the decision isn't just philosophical but also personal and environmental and aesthetic (stylistic).
What if the radical idea of the moment is that the imagination comes before and after "truth?"
Who are we when our ideas are less about objective truth and more about the kind of world we want to create--the style, the images, and experiential qualities? For some this is an intolerable idea. For others its the ticket to spiritual freedom.
There is a temptation in the air right now to sacrifice some essential ingredient of our philosophical character. Sometimes people make us feel like inconsistencies of belief or thought mean that we're doing something wrong or that we're immoral. That's not always true. On the other hand, sometimes we need to call a spade a spade and learn to walk our talk, or at least discern what our walk is compared to our talk and get the two on the same page. Sometimes this fairly demands sacrifices be made.
Other images: martyrs, journalists, thinkers, saints, sages, philosophers, mystics, fuzzy thinkers, deceivers, and die hard believers...
These are some of the core archetypal issues reflected in our retrograde cycle right now.
Prayer: Help us think things through as things think through us...
Void of course Moon in Aquarius today, and Mars finally leaves Taurus and enters Gemini. Over the next month of Mercury's retrograde we're going to have a whole lot of action between Saturn, Neptune, and Mercury, Mars and the Sun in the mutable signs of Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Let's take a look at some of the themes that will likely show up during this time.
* With Mercury retrograde in its own sign we might be trying to figure something out while simultaneously changing our mind back and forth about everything involved in the decision
* With Mercury opposite Saturn in Sagittarius we might be revising or revisiting something from the past, clashing with authority figures, seeking mentors or elders for help with decisions, committing to a new form of study, or working to synthesize different spheres of information or ideas.
* With Mercury square to Neptune we might be feeling alone or isolated, all over the place or mentally fatigued or overwhelmed or spaced out. We might be suffering from a kind of divine discontent of the mind or emotions...comparing things and feeling as though nothing is as it should be. We also might find ourselves the targets of other people's projections or shadows, misunderstandings, and even fears. Watch for poor boundaries in communication or seeping/leaking conversations that leave you feeling drained or victimized.
Communication is such a big issue right now. We want to be heard and seen clearly, and the energy of mature, clear, and mindful communication is here for us to learn from very strongly right now, but we have to be willing to do the work of listening, revising, thinking before we speak, and learning to slow down and speak slowly from the heart.
There is also a big theme in the sky right now that has to do with "walking the talk." A lot of us, including myself, can talk a big game. It's easy to be constantly spilling out spiritual cliches and acting the part of a spiritually enlightened person. How much harder is it to shape our words and thoughts with care in a unique responsiveness to each moment? How much harder is it to do this when the bi-product of this work can just as often be obsessive self-consciousness and an inflated ego? How are we supposed to be mindful without becoming unnatural?
How do we walk our talk without making the walk just look like the talk--like a recited nursery rhyme or pledge of allegiance? Walking the talk should become as natural as dogs doing what dogs do, or birds doing what birds do. And yet for deeply unconscious and naturally toxic patterns to change we need to raise our awareness. In the IChing this is sometimes talked about as the taming of the great. Little choices that build upon one another are what tame great unconscious beasts. And yet, again, isn't it natural for beasts of the wild to resist the domination of a master with a whip? We can't just "whip ourselves into shape," and yet we might be feeling the call to grow up and get over some of our immaturity in a big way right now!
During the next month Mercury will go through its square to Neptune twice more, and Mars and the Sun will also participate in the same t-square to Neptune and Saturn. This is a philosophically pivotal time period. Our entire approach is changing, and yet approaches are also EXchanging as well. There is value in the way other people see and do things that we're about to receive, and yet we shouldn't underestimate what we have to give. We also need to be careful not to lose ourselves or sacrifice too much of our own position. This philosophical transformation has a little something for everyone, but it depends upon nobody giving more than what they authentically have to give or taking more than what they need. Mostly this should happen during challenging conversations or communications...some more hostile than others with Mars coming into the mix in short time.
Prayer: I know that this is only the first part of an ongoing dialogue that is about to happen...and I know that I'm here to learn as much as I am to teach...help me discern when and where its time for which.
An imagined note from Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius...to an imagined audience of students:
* If you're not involved in ongoing study or practice of some kind, any kind, then it's not likely that much of any part of your life will change in the ways you hope or dream. It's not that studying "makes us better," it's that it makes us different, and difference leads to change...one of the essential ingredients for the pursuit of our dreams and the health of our imagination.
* Don't let someone tell you that some studies are holier or more divine than others...comparisons of these sorts are like the hiccups....eventually you'll do anything to make them go away
* Don't bullshit yourself, if you don't make room in your life for studying and practicing and learning more about what you love, then your interests will be just fantasies you have about yourself
* Don't let go of perfectionism...just let go of the idea that perfection is literal
* Don't be too proud to ask questions...more important than the answers you get when you ask questions are the people and voices you meet when someone answers
* Faith is an attitude, not a set of concepts
* The heart is unconditional...it just beats and beats and beats...this is more than a metaphor...but unconditional is not the same thing as accepting.
* I have my opinions, you have yours, but they are not automatically equal
* Age and experience still count...equality and rebellious creativity sometimes need to zip the lip and listen to someone older speak about their experiences
* Problems are problematic...that part doesn't change and its still there in all the answers we find to our problems
* Solving cosmic and spiritual problems happens while you're alive...when you're dead you don't know what happens or whether the same problems exist or the answers we think matter still matter...think about this as often as you try to solve your good problems
* Read books and write and turn off the TV and cell phone
* Make something with your own hands
* Sweat and work your body so that it's tired
* Do things that you'll say you'll do and finish things you start
* Remember that work is holy, but the way we do work is what counts more than the results...
* When you do things, really do them...don't just "kinda" do them
I am the gym coach of your spiritual training. I am serious and kind of old school and often depressing. But here's what I need you to do. I need you to "work" your depression..work into it...and right now this should be done through whatever you're learning, studying, or practicing.
Once a man prayed this prayer to me: "Depression is an answer to widespread manic activism, and is a dying to the wild world of literalism. Feeling low and heavy, we are forced to move inward, turning to fantasy rather than the literal action of the ego. And that turn is necessary for the soul, for it creates psychic space, a container for deeper reflection where soul increases and the surface of events becomes less important."
And so you need to take your studies seriously...go into something and keep going into it and don't stop...or I'm telling you...your life will feel unreal. Everyone says I'm about "reality" versus "fantasy," but I'm not. I'm about how unreal life feels without the deeper and more committed focus of the imagination.
Use it or lose it, party people. smile emoticon
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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.