The Moon is pulling into its opening sextile with the Sun today.
What to watch for:
* The opening sextile of each lunar cycle is about the early harmonization of the lights that begins building the positive momentum of the cycle.
* Sextiles are of the nature of Venus, which means that the lights are harmonizing.
* The harmonization of the lights can be thought of like the combining of different raw materials in order to make something useful.
* The opening sextile brings unlike things together.
* The early harmony between the lights builds and begins to construct or develop a plot line or story.
* The current Moon cycle features the Sun in Sagittarius while the Moon is in Aquarius. This brings an underlying Jupiter/Saturn dynamic into play right now.
* It's a good time to do things that are expansive or that build progressively toward a broader future while also conserving, narrowing, focusing, tightening, or becoming more disciplined.
* For example, it is a great time to begin a process of recovery, of making something older new again, or of bringing something from the past up to speed. Think of the image of an old house being restored or updated, for example, or think of the feeling of needing to clean, organize, or eliminate in order to sort of clean the slate and start fresh on a new project.
* Before starting, tidying, or before starting, tying up loose ends.
* There is both a quality of jovial, upbeat, optimism in the air right now, along with the need for practical measures, broad but serious-mindedness, and intelligent, focused action.
Meanwhile, I am 6 backers away from the 200 backer mark with 19 days left to go. Last year we raised the support of 360 backers, and that's the number we're still trying to beat this year. If you value these horoscopes, please consider being one of my backers. This is how I earn most of my living, year round, and it is totally dependent on those of you who have come to love this work pitching in and supporting it. That's what makes this whole thing go! In addition to heart and enthusiasm! :) Pick a gift reading when you donate!
Prayer: Give us the encouragement to make a serious effort. Help us to focus and refine the space around us so that we might be cleaner and clearer vessels of your radiant love.
Mars is just now separating from Neptune, while the Sun is separating from Mars.
Here's what to watch for:
* The 38th hexagram of the I Ching is sometimes called "Estrangement," and it depicts two sisters living together while having very different agendas. While they may experience disharmony on the big stuff, the hexagram advises that they may experience progress with regard to the small stuff.
* Big fights, big ideological differences, had constantly in relationships, are exhausting. We can cope with exhaustion in a variety of different ways. We can start to shun the "object" of our exhaustion, but then we become like two feuding siblings who become dissociated from each other. We are bound by each other's differences and bound to keep repeating the civil war they represent, try as we may to separate ourselves from the "other." "He/she exhausts me," we say. "We are just too different," we say. And yet, the thing we angrily reject, that very thing that we find totally exasperating, we remain bound to, even as we try to separate ourselves from it with great vigor.
* The sign of something truly being released is that it has naturally "fallen off," in the same way that hair falls out or the fruit, once connected to the tree, falls off. In fact, in Ancient astrology, the word for a planetary aspect separating, "aporroia," was related to the image of hair growing out from the head and then falling of, as in death, or the fruit of a tree falling away from what it was once connected to.
* When planets are in the process of separating, the transits are also in the process of bearing fruit, of disseminating lessons or delivering the goods.
* The Sun separating from Mars/Neptune and Mars separating from Neptune, is like the image of pilgrims or soldiers, either exhausted, defeated, or victorious but bloodied, walking home after battle. However, wars have a way of living on...
* Hexagram 38 suggests that where big divides exist they are likely to continue existing. The key to bridging the gap is thus to focus on small areas of agreement. In this way, we learn to coexist despite the gaping differences, which we learn to live with as everyday things...as common as a brother or sister we love despite having deeper disagreements with.
* Once I asked my Grandfather if he thought war actually solved anything. He was a Korean combat veteran. He scoffed, "If you win, then yes." Then he sat for a moment, and I could see him returning to the battlefield in his mind. After a few beats, he added, "But winning or losing the war doesn't change how people feel. They still believe their cause was the right one."
* At one point during the war, my grandfather had grown very fond of a young orphaned boy that his platoon had stumbled across. He always got soft, and small, and his recollection for the details would get stronger when talking about him.
* We are healed by staying small in the midst of large, bold, eternal conflicts. Our recollection of each other's eternity usually happens in small things and gentle moments, not so much the swashbuckling holy wars of the Sun, Mars, and Neptune.
* We win far too many battles while losing the war for everyday sacredness.
* The sixth line of the 38th hexagram shows a person falsely perceiving an enemy coming toward her. She draws her bow. Then she realizes this person approaching is a friend. As her doubts and aggressions settle, a light rain falls down, bringing healing and good fortune.
* If she doesn't heed this warning, hexagram 38 turns to 51, Thunder, which shocks us back into good manners and sacred attention to the small and ceremonial details of life.
Prayer: Help us to lay aside the weapons of our beliefs, returning to the small and the sacred. Make our lives altars, upon which rest in happiness the artifacts of our convictions, made gentle by daily care, and familiar to all by our brotherly and sisterly love.
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Last night I had the chance to see a film called "Free Solo." It's a documentary film about a mountain climber named Alex Honnold, who is famous for climbing some of the most difficult mountain walls in the world without a rope.
Throughout the film, the filmmakers explored the kind of singular focus and almost otherworldly calmness it takes for someone like Alex to climb rock walls like the famous El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without a rope.
One fellow world renowned climber compared Alex's feat to a gold medal Olympian athlete having the pressure of not only winning the gold medal in the Olympics but also doing it with the pressure of dying if you don't do it.
Throughout the film, Alex appears much like a monk, living in a van by himself, and doing what most people in the world would absolutely never attempt. However, as the film developed (don't worry, no spoilers), his story is complicated by falling in love.
As I walked away from the film, afterward, I was thinking about how rare and uncommon his story is and yet how it is somehow just the type of accomplishment that many of us unconsciously measure ourselves against all the time.
Spiritual life is often sold to us as a story of great vertical heights and singular focus, the gold medal on high. If you want to reach God, you have to essentially become the singularly focused gold-medalist, and the stakes are high, ignorance or enlightenment, death and illusion or ultimate reality, truth, and nirvana or birth after birth lived in illusion.
Most of us look at these ideas in the same way we look at an insurmountable mountain like El Capitan. Few of us attempt to climb that mountain, what to speak of doing it without a rope.
And, because this is so much the unconscious conception of enlightenment perpetuated in popular culture, "Climb the greatest mountain to the greatest summit," we tend to reject the idea of a devoted, daily spiritual practice. "What am I trying to prove?" we ask ourselves. Or, "What am I trying to accomplish here?"
It's understandable. Nobody wants the goal of spiritual life to be an impossible ambition. It just doesn't feel right on so many levels.
But what if that's not the paradigm at all?
What does "enlightenment" look like when we take it off the mountain top and bring it back down to earth?
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains to Arjuna that the traditional form of yoga that is done sitting in a cave, meditating one's way to the top of the mountain is possible but very difficult and arduous. We can also easily fall down along that path because the stakes are so high. However, Krishna goes on to say that the best path of yoga is that of love and devotion.
The thing about love and devotion is that while it is a practice, there is no goal other than making the beloved feel happy. While it is a goal, it is not a selfish goal but a goal rooted in the desire to serve our divine source.
When we are absorbed in this kind of practice, we couldn't care less if we are born into another body, if we stay or leave the material matrix, of what happens or where we go next, the only thing we care about, truly, is love.
From this kind of singular focus, the Universe is also seen as a mountain, or a great tree, whose roots are upward and whose branches descend downward. Living life in the valley, we can reach up and very easily touch the tallest summit because the choice and practice of love, is both the lowest and the highest, at once.
I'm still, of course, completely impressed by people like Alex Honnold. Watching him climb El Capitan without a rope was also a study in presence and calmness. I highly recommend the movie!
I also couldn't help but notice that while the Moon was in Capricorn, conjoining Saturn, that I was watching the equivalent of a human Mountain Goat, scaling an enormous mountain with ice water in his veins!
I hope you all have a beautiful day today!
I am in need of 10 more backers today to help me keep pace. We are almost at the 200 backer mark!
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Here's a written overview of December's astrology!
* All month long the signs of Sagittarius and Pisces are emphasized with a series of planetary configurations moving through both signs. The most optimistic reading of this tells us that Jupiter is doling out a lot of blessings and bigness this month!
* December 1st to 4th the Sun is moving through a square from Sagittarius to Mars and Neptune in Pisces. This is a heroic and also sacrificial transit, inspiring, muscular, faithful, and also imaginative. It's a great time to renew your personal or professional vision or mission statement, to recommit to a practice, a course of study, or even your spiritual life, but it's also a potentially exhausting time where you can overextend yourself, give yourself away to causes that aren't truly your own.
* The first week of the month is also potentially exhausting due to the waning/dark Moon energy combined with the surging/creative energy of the Sun/Mars/Neptune square. It's a strange mix. A late surge or last charge, a bold final stand, or a heroic moment of surrender. Think Obi Wan's last moment...losing the battle but winning the war...
* The New Moon on December 7th falls in a square with Mars/Neptune, planting seeds of renewal and expansion for the month ahead, but it's also, again, a time where we might easily invest our energy in a losing cause or get swept up in a romantic and potentially dogmatic frenzy. On the other hand, this new Moon restores our faith by reminding us of what is worth fighting for and what struggles are worth releasing.
* The Sun will move into a trine near the Solstice, on December 20th, bringing a surge of fiery, expansive, assertiveness and unexpected or sudden brilliance. This transit is a nice counter to a month that is otherwise dominated by the moody and changeable back and forth between Sagittarius and Pisces.
* December 21st, 22nd the Winter Solstice in Capricorn and the Full Moon in Cancer foreshadows the start of a new series of eclipses falling in Cancer and Capricorn next month. The Moon/Saturn dynamic brings together themes of the public, groups, families, tribes, nations, and those who are either at the top of the groups, the hierarchies or organization of these groups or also those who stand outside or in opposition to these groups. These eclipses have a lot to do with family and national karma but also with personal issues related to responsibility and emotional maturity, vulnerability, and nurturance. More on this next month!
* Finally on December 21st through the 24th, Mercury will conjoin Jupiter in Sagittarius and then square Neptune in Pisces...bringing last month's Mercury retrograde full circle again. This should be a time of completion and closure, creating opportunities for seeing things clearly that we've been confused by or giving us room to doubt something that we've been far too confident about. Either way, growth in our understanding, around teachers, learning, and communicating will be strong at this time of the month!
Meanwhile, I am about 200 backers shy of my year goal, with the rest of the month to go! We need to keep pace with about 10 backers per day to finish on track. Today I still need 7 more backers to keep up. Help me get there and pick up a year-ahead tarot, I Ching or astrology reading when you donate! I will record you a reading personally and send it to you in the New Year!
Prayer: Restore our faith, renew our minds, and bring us through the gateway of the new year...with hearts on fire for you, and for loving one another.
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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.